My Flex decision

  • 4
  • Praise
  • Updated 9 months ago
A few years ago I looked at every transceiver on the market and ended up with a TS590SG which I still like and plan to keep. My initial research included the Flex but being licensed 54 years ago, could not get away from the conventional approach - knobs, etc.  In retrospect, it was just a mindset. Recently I began to consider upgrading. After researching all the usual suspects, I decided on a Flex. Certainly the obvious technical advantages of  direct sampling SDR's took me a long way down this path, but one important factor that led me to decide on a Flex this time was customer service. I have been reading the forum for a while trying to learn everything I can not only about Flex radios from a technical perspective, but also to get a feel for the after sales support, what other users are saying and the culture of FlexRadio in general. Radio problems may surface, but how the problems are handled is more important to me. My tipping point was a post I read recently where a brand new Flex did not work out of the box in front of a group at a club meeting. A very embarrassing and unpleasant experience at the time to be sure, but what I found re-assuring were all the responses, notably from Steve, Gerald and undoubtedly other Flex employees behind the scenes in the resolution of the problem. The CEO gets involved! This fantastic customer service and how Flex responded to resolving the issue tells me a lot about the company and was reassurance that buying a Flex was the right decision for me. I have also seen timely responses from Tim regarding older Flex radios no longer in production, and going the extra mile for customer satisfaction. This kind of support means an awful lot in my book. So ironically, a new radio that did not initially work out of the box was one of the factors that convinced me to buy a Flex.
Photo of Jim, VE6JF

Jim, VE6JF

  • 7 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes

Posted 9 months ago

  • 4
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3032 Posts
  • 671 Reply Likes
Hello fellow Canadian. Is this your first Flex? What did you buy? Not surprising when a brand new product comes out as complicated as the new radios are, things happen and radios can get in the hands of customers that have problems.
As you say, it is how Flex handles these reports that is the big difference.
Photo of Jim, VE6JF

Jim, VE6JF

  • 7 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Hello Bill - yes first Flex, and my only previous exposure to one was a 5 minute preview to a 5000 our local club owns. I don't have it in the shack yet but it will be very soon. Would have been sooner but I have been trying on various models to see which one fits and what I may want from it. Want to get it right the first time and have been going through this for many weeks. Being an OT and having 50+ years experience twisting knobs makes it quite a transition for me but the training wheels are coming off and it will be the 6600; not the M. Did software engineering, networking etc for a living before retiring so there is no intimidation factor. Exciting time to be a ham!
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3002 Posts
  • 660 Reply Likes
Jim, great choice, that is a radio you can grow into as it can do so many things you may never try.
I have had a Flex 3000 for 12 years, still have it here. now I am using a Flex 6500 and I like it a lot.
The Flex is so well thought out that it is pretty slick when it comes to connecting through networks, It just works, but sometimes you read were some have had trouble with some rather odd problem.

Enjoy, your going to have so much fun.....
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 4025 Posts
  • 1248 Reply Likes
I have used a 6500 for almost 5 years - since the pre-V.1.0 release days and LOVE it!

You are going to really enjoy the 6600!

One thing I wouldn't be without, however, is my FlexControl Knob.  It is one of the best $99 I have spent for that rig.  I didn't need a full control console, but the FlexControl Knob it is very flexible and very handy for quickly tuning stations, managing dual Slices/splits, and rapidly adjusting things like RIT/XIT, AGC-T, etc.

Ken - NM9P
Photo of Jim, VE6JF

Jim, VE6JF

  • 7 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Hi Ken - Thanks. I saw that and thought that if I had knob withdrawal symptoms, it would be a good accessory to have! :)
Photo of Yuri, RT5A

Yuri, RT5A

  • 7 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
My small addition to Flex control. Very comfortably.

Photo of Jim, VE6JF

Jim, VE6JF

  • 7 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Very nice Yuri! 
Photo of Tim Ellam

Tim Ellam

  • 236 Posts
  • 28 Reply Likes

Jim

Good to see another Albertan with a Flex!

73

Tim VE6SH

Photo of G3CRH

G3CRH

  • 1 Post
  • 2 Reply Likes

Hi Jim, from across the Pond, Hugh G3CRH endorses all your comments and would like to specially mention FlexRadioSystems after sales aspect.

Recently I carelessly damaged my '-3000 so I appealed to Austin who, for geographic reasons pointed me in the direction of their European, accredited Service department in Northern Germany.

I have nothing but praise for the treatment I received from this Service Centre  based at Gross Wittensee and managed by Norbert Wrede,DC6UW.

The job was received in their workshop, via DHL from the UK one morning a couple of weeks ago.                                     

The fault was diagnosed and several components were replaced, including relays and semiconductors. The repaired Rig was then subjected to a full Flex production test and calibration  before being released and repacked for shipping back to the UK all in the same day!

The  components requiring replacement were available off the shelf despite the age of the -3000, no waiting for alternative sources to respond with their attendant delays and additional costs.

My rapport with the Manager was first class, his communication was excellent.

On a more sensitive point, the charges I consider to be, very, very reasonable.

My sincere thanks to all involved in the chain from HQ to Germany from a very satisfied customer.



Hugh Sanders    G3CRH



Photo of Jim, VE6JF

Jim, VE6JF

  • 7 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Hi Hugh, happy to hear your 3000 is back with you and in much better health than when it left. Your story just reinforces my belief that I have made the correct decision. Good customer support aside, a feeling I come away with after reading many posts such as yours is a sense that the majority of the Flex customer base are reasonable, curious and rational people willing to experiment with radio and who do not throw in the towel and bad mouth Flex if something does not work. It didn't take me too long to feel right at home...
Jim
VE6JF
Photo of Brad A. Steffler

Brad A. Steffler

  • 92 Posts
  • 31 Reply Likes
Jim,

You will indeed be very happy with your Flex. I have been with my 5000a, 6500 and now my 6700. Nothing beats the visual interface. And the filters work exceedingly well. I have never needed customer service. All my questions have been answered on this community web site. And what other company have a web site where the president drops in, answers questions and gives updates?
I could go on, but you will find out how well Flex does things yourself. Other companies make good amateur gear, but I believe that Flex surpasses them all.

Brad
KE4XJ
Photo of Jim, VE6JF

Jim, VE6JF

  • 7 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Thanks Brad for the feedback. With the experience of owning 3 Flex's you must be a happy customer! I am in agreement with that & you echo my thoughts exactly regarding the company. Now I just want to have it in the shack and be able to twiddle the knobs - figuratively speaking of course. :)