MultiFlex Demo at Orlando HamCation 2019

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Here is the MultiFlex Demo on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugPxTaUo1z0


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Reggie

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Posted 1 week ago

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K3SF

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i like how it showed who was transmitting

I think i missed where  it shows who is connected...

hope to see more videos soon...
and
to actually install on my 6600M

Paul K3SF
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Rory - N6OIL

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I wonder how much K9CT is in this software? I seems like the perfect match for his operations. I can barely handle one band at a time, but I did do a RTTY contest once faking it with N1MM+
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mikeatthebeach .

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I think Contesters like K9CT use SO2R
( Single Operator Two Radio’s ) category but
Think MultiFlex would be a new Category 2O1R
( Two Operators One Radio )
Never heard of that new Category before !!!
Count the number of Transmitters in a Contest
Unless your redefine the meaning of SO2R to mean
( Single Operator Two Receivers )
Now that would cause some confusion!!
Hi ! Hi!
Well it more about sharing your radio with
A buddy that has no ham station !!!
73 Mike
(Edited)
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Matt - KD5FGE, Employee

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It was a lot of fun demonstrating multiFLEX at HamCation as we came across several applications we had not previously thought of. One example was that I had several husband/wife duos that found it to be perfect for them. Historically one of them would be stuck with a lower performance radio on a lower performance antenna. With multiFLEX they can share a Flex and both utilize the good antenna at the same time.
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Larry - W8LLL

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Will two connections be able to operate on the same band and frequency? For instance a friend logs in and joins your rag chew being able to hear each others transmissions but just having to share transmit times.
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mikeatthebeach .

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Yes
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Joe N3HEE

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I want to see some videos of MF in action !   
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Tonno Vahk

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Hi, have been reading the list for some time now with great interest but have not yet posted. Got 2 6600M with Maestros in summer for WRTC2018 in Germany and have been applying them now in our ES9C contest station. I have been waiting for the Multi Client option with great anxiety to take full use out of the radio in MS and M2 setups. I could just wait a few months and things will sort out but then again why not ask some things in my mind already:)

Will both users be able to use any RX/TX antenna independently of each other? So either the same RX or TX as the other user or different? And will one operator always have his RX enabled (FDX?) when the other station is TXing? But naturally when operator A has selected say ANT1 for RX and operator B is TXing on ANT1 then the RX of operator A will be muted? Is it possible to create some scenarios then to give operator A a secondary RX antenna (ANT 2 or RX ANT) for the period when operator B is TXing on the main antenna?

Secondly I am trying to understand how 2 operators can share the radio at the station when not using Maestros? Is there a solution for them both have their own footswitch/paddle/headphones output? There are 2 MIC inputs but how can they have 2 of the other things when they use 2 different computers with SmartSDR? How will this work?

73
Tonno
ES5TV
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Hey Tonno, great to hear from you!  The rules about antenna usage are the same as they would normally be with the radio -- if you have a 6300, 6400 or 6500, only one RX antenna may be in use at a time.  If you have a 6600 or 6700, you may use two RX antennas at a time.

With multiFLEX, each operator can have their own TX antenna since they cannot TX at the same time and the radio will switch to the correct antenna whenever an operator transmits.  You can have full duplex on either or both stations and it works just like it normally would (you receive when you're transmitting).

Your secondary RX antenna is an important one for contesters and we believe we will have to do this, but it will not be in the initial release.  One current idea we had for this (which was largely influenced by K9CT) is to have a "backup receive antenna" designated.  When someone transmits on your receive antenna, you would automatically switch to the backup receive antenna.  This would allow, for example, each operator to have ANT1 for both RX and TX and RX_A for a backup and in this case, both operators would receive on ANT1 until someone transmitted on ANT1 and then both stations would switch to RX_A for receive.

When two computers are in use, each will run CAT (and optimally DAX).  The CAT stations will be connected to a client instance (SmartSDR, Maestro, etc) and when a transmit is issued in CAT, it will be on the transmit frequency in that client instance (client slice).  One station can be assigned to the radio for inputs (if you like).  The other will need to use inputs on the client device.
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Tonno Vahk

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ok, thanks Steve. Yes, another antenna (e.g. RX A or ANT2 for that matter) defined as "backup receive antenna" sounds exactly what is needed.

As for operation with 2 computers with SmartSDR and one radio and 2 ops sitting next to each other I think it has to be worked out in practice who gets which inputs/outputs. For example paddle can't be connected to computer so they would need to either share a paddle connected to the radio or have two in parallel I suppose.

Also I don't exactly imagine how assignment will work if one op is using radio inputs/outputs say phones connected to radio. How does radio know to which client he has to assign the inputs/outputs, etc... We'll see.

As for number of clients. As 6600M has 4 receivers, then optimally of course I would like to connect 4 clients to it for a MS operation for example. Our MS means 6-7 stations/operating positions at least and having 4 guys operating 1 radio would be cool. But for now of course starting with 2 clients is very fine:)
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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There is a setup panel in both SmartSDR and Maestro that allow specification of which client has the radio inputs/outputs.  One client is selected and will have all of the associated inputs/outputs on the radio itself (in addition to any it has direct access to).

If you have two operators with paddles, today you would need to have at least one Maestro I believe -- you could assign one client to the radio (where one set of paddles would connect) and the other would have a Maestro.  Nothing precludes a paddle interface on other clients, but that has not been implemented yet.

As of v3.0, multiFLEX will support two simultaneous clients.
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Tonno Vahk

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ok, clear, sounds good.

Is it also possible to use 6600M with front panel and SmartSDR on computer in parallel so that front panel knobs and buttons and VFO could be used alongside the SmartSDR to control the same slice, etc? Like FlexControl I believe (have not tried it).
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Bill -VA3WTB

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On a 6600 with two SCU you can each have different antennas.

We can use a Maestro, laptop, Ipad, phone. to connect. Each op will have there own radio sharing the transmitter. Each will have there own settings and ptt.

This is the marvel of this, most people have not really grasped what is possible here.
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K3SF

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one example,
i plan on using it to have two to three slice monitoring FT8 freqs on my 6600m and be able to do pedestrian mobil while walking the dog about the neighborhood using my iphone.....

need two clients to be able to do this..
.one doing ped mobil and  one doing FT8'ing

example number two
is mutli op contesting where not all ops do not need to be at my place although smartlink doe ssome of this, multi-flex will allow for more search and pounce ops



example three (three client scenario)

two computers running their own ssdr, one focused on FT8 (two bands)
and
the other on rtty (on one band)
and
me using the 6600m using main panel to monitor ssb net on a fourth band

need the computers to be able to access four slices of 6600M cause can not activate four slices from main panel of M models...

also, i have used my ipad using ssdr-ios to access all four slices of the 6600M


just some thoughts on the possibilities of multi-flex capability

Paul K3SF



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Ted VE3TRQ

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All of the descriptions so far appear to reference a two-client limit :-(
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Just out of curiosity, what would you do with more?
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Ted VE3TRQ

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I only made that comment because someone above mentioned a scenario with three radios.

I barely need two GUI connections myself, and for the occasional time I might be using GUIs on both a computer and the front panel of the 6600M, as long as I can disconnect whichever one I choose, I'd be happy. I use a mix of Windows, MacOS, and iOS.

I do often run three devices to the 6600, but only one is a GUI, the rest are CAT / xCat and DAX / xDax plus an iPad running in control mode. It will be nice to have the M front panel and the iPad both connected :-)
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Gene Duprey

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I guess you could have 3 if the radio was a 6700 which has 8 receivers.
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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@Gene Duprey, multiFLEX only supports two graphical interface clients in v3.0, independent of the radio model.  You can show more panadapters and use more receivers on radios with more, however.  For example, with a FLEX-6700, multiFLEX and a Maestro, you could operate with one band on the Maestro and seven additional panadapters on a PC to show band conditions.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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I'd find additional RX-only multiFLEX sharing useful.

While my primary two GUI clients would have both RX/TX capabilities, my RX-multiFLEX clients would basically allow use of a slice from remote stations to be combined into band condition monitoring or even wide-geographic diversity schemes.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Steve

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Well, MultiFlex seems to have captured every ones imaginations.  Lots of possible uses now and as it matures in the future.  It occurs to me that V3 will be released soon.  The question is what else is in V3 for us mere mortals??  Hopefully some of that imformation will be forth coming.  Also. will there be "fix it" release for V2??  Inquiring minds need to know this stuff.
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FRED W9TB

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I would like to know when ver 2.5 is going to be out ? We were told soon about 2 weeks ago. What is soon to FRS ?

I will buy V 3 when it comes out but for now I just wont what was broke in 2.3.9 fixed like dax and vox not working at the same time.
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Matt - KD5FGE, Employee

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Hey Fred, we will be working on a subsequent v2 release following the v3 release. V3 is targeted for release in March so it will be after that :)
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Steve

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Joe,
Thanks for the link to questions and answers.  It occurs to me that V2.5 should have been released before now, but certainly before V3????  We who have been loyal Flexers deserve to have bug fixes addressed in a timely manner.
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FRED W9TB

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Matt, are you telling me vox and dax will not be fixed in V3 ?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Ok so now we know, v2.5 is going to be out after V3 is released, sounds good Matt.
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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The following is my opinion. When v3 gets released as with all new releases, it will detail both new features and fixes. Then a short time after that the reported previous major version update (v2.5) will be released. This is how FRS has been doing it and for good reason. With the release of a major update there will be a wider range of users with more varying operating conditions and perhaps something not picked up by developers and Alpha teams may show up. If this happens they will need to duplicate any issue and fix it and they will want to include any additional fixes in one final update, in this case v2.5.
We all want to see fixes released more sooner than later. FRS is quite flexible and are always tweaking things to improve the customer experience but the current process seems to be acceptable by most and that itself is a great achievement.



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Joe N3HEE

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Existing customers should never have to wait 6 months for break fixes at the expense of a feature release.  Break fixes should be dealt with quickly to keep us happy with a fully functioning radio while we wait for the next feature release.  This community is full of complaints about broken stuff going back years. I get it that FR has limited resources but it feels like we are being put on the bottom of the list when it comes to fixes.  I sure hope I'm wrong about that.  Perhaps FR is a bit too ambitious about rolling out new products and software ?  I'm a new customer (Sept. 2018) and like where FR is trying to take the techology but I probably wont stick around too long if things dont change.  I would be willing to wait a year for a feature release but I am not willing to wait 6 months for bug fixes.  I will say that customer service has been excellent when I had issues with the radio or had questions. Let's get the bugs fixed first FR ! 
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Johan / SE3X

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Makes sense to me. When THE last and final release of V2 comes around, as much as possibel will be taken care of. With possibel experience from early V3. I can wait for V2.5.
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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You have to remember for every legit bug report there are also reports with exaggerated thread titles that turn out not to be a bug at all, but operator error or a new user looking for help, most times they get the answer or pointed in the right direction, but the over dramatic thread title remains and for those not following the thread are left with the perception of that thread title. 

(Edited)
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WW1SS - Steve

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I have been Bitching about getting bugs fixed for years but it always seems to fall on deaf ears.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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@Joe N3HEE - FRS's stance on how the participate in this community runs towards leaving most threads uncurated and often not closed.  No don't get vexed when someone "bumps" a very old thread.  Often the the problem they describe is not software as Mike VE3CKO reminds us.  As community posts often contain scant information often not identifying the software version being discussed you will find time-displacement/version-displacement confusion in threads.  

@All - FRS did the same trickle down of fixes when v2 came out.  They didn't do it when v0 (Preview) was replaced by v1, as that was the end of the preview series as they moved towards their present testing posture.  

There is a chicken and egg issues folks need to get a grasp on, as the fixes people would like to see are drummed out in the overall Alpha Test process, which as a major version change includes tesing the next major version.  

I know from my point as an Alpha Tester the hammering this team does to get a release ready for all of the community is humongous.  The amount of volunteer man hours if not donated unpaid would make the software very expensive.  

It is in those thousands of hours of testing that fixes to the prior version are proven.

Then at a new version roll out the numbers of systems suddenly running the new software massively escalates, in the process checking what the Alpha Team found successful again.  

@FRS - Perhaps it might be work labeling obsolete threads or actually retiring them to an archive?  It doesn't seem productive to leave threads available to reopen when the initial thread software has long been replaced.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Joe N3HEE

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I really dont care what it takes for FR to fix bugs.  Not my problem.  As a customer I expect hardware and software that works as advertised.  Whether its Flex, ICOM, Yaesu or Kenwood. Right now there are known problems with 2.4.9.  Many have rolled back to 2.3.9.  That's not acceptable.  FR is very fortunate to have a loyal customer base that seem to put up the bugs and delays.  If you want or need more alpha testers to keep up with the rapid developement cycle then count me in.  I have a computer and engineering background and would love to help.  I am already a beta tester by default ! :)  I'm having fun with the radio and see great potential but expect a little more in the way of software support.