New Flex radios at Dayton this year

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Anyone want to speculate on what new radio Flex will introduce this year? I’m betting on a replacement for the 6700.
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Manuel Maseda

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Posted 2 months ago

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AH0U

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I think a 6700M .... the Maestro can be replaced by an iPad
(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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A series of 6000’s for vhf/uhf with 1 or 2 SCU’s for full duplex satellite and terrestrial work. Perhaps with 144,430,1200 bands and transverter outputs from each band for use on microwaves....can you imagine SO2R on 144/432 during the contest?
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KF4HR

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220 and 900mhz too!
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David Kowell

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that is what I want vhf uhf  1.2 gig flex radio
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Tony WV2C

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I would love to see a 2 meter transverter!
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John - K3MA

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Seems to me the introduction of new hardware takes away from the speed of software enhancements.  From the operator perspective I think there is much more functionality improvement available via software development than with new hardware.  I could live with a year or two of no new hardware if the pace of software development increased significantly.
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Craig Williams

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I would guess they have a few hardware engineers who don't know how to write software? They could invent without hindering software improvements.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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All our engineers can write software.  Even some of our support staff.
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W2PP

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My wish is the PGXL gets sorted and is shipping immediately!
(Edited)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Peter - keep your eyes on the newsletters for the latest updates. 
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W2PP

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I signed up for them and never get them. 
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wayne suite

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Software dont pay the bills ... the hardware sales pay the bills ... everyone prioritizes and chases the dollar ... software not so much.
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Craig Williams

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$200.00 upgrade prices should pay a few bills? That's what is keeping from buying a used 6300 at this time which is good as I really want to save up for a 6400.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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The $200.00 barely scratches the surface, but it does help offset the cost of software development. As wayne said, they would make very little on software if any at all.
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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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Eventually no one will want the hardware if the software is still lacking. This is SOFTWARE Defined Radio, after all!
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Steven G1XOW

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With every new hardware invention the software looks more and more underfunded and unloved. The Flex 63/6500 is now obsolete hardware yet the software hasn't come close to maturity yet.

I like Flex The company, I love Flex The hardware, However, The software leaves me cold.

So much more can be done to make it sing from the rooftops, and in doing so it would beat the best at pretty much everything we could ask of it. Let's hope SSDR doesn't become the achilles heel of Flex.

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Joe N9VX

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Flex 1500 replacement.
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Lee, Elmer

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I would like to see a set of smart antenna devices like wireless rotor controls, relay boxes, 4 square controllers, steppir controllers etc which are integrated into the Flex ecosystem.

73  W9OY
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W2PP

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I'd like to see the current hardware "in inventory" before more "stuff" is released.  Old before new.  I also agree the software should be stabilized further first.  PGXL, antenna tuner, antenna switch, lets get the basics done before more is added to an apparently full platter.
Peter
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Zack Schindler

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I am betting on a 6100 that puts out 5 watts and has a smaller form factor than the current rigs. Price around $750. Also a 6200 that is a stripped down version of the 6400. It would have a lot fewer port options on the back panel and would be more like the old 3000 verses the 5000. Only 1 antenna port and no transverter ports. Price around $1250. Why else would Flex leave the names 6100 and 6200 unused unless they had plans for future rigs? But then I could be wrong too!
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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I too agree that more should be done to solidify the software for current line of products. The flagship 6700 still does not have any calibration for 2m. Each time I go to 2m I have to manually set the XIT/RIT. It's an embarrassment when I forget, "oh you have the best Flexradio available and they haven't got 2m working proper yet"? Please at least have the capability to save RIT/XIT setting for 2m. As much as am a fan of Flexradio, that is my pet peeve. Adjustable diversity for the 6400/6700s would be another desired enhancement. Adding the capability to select antenna settings on the AG from SmartSDR and Maestro. There are plenty more fixes and suggestions others have made too.
I don't Flexradio will or should break the $1000 price barrier. So much cost cutting would have to be done, housing, components, software and there will even more competition for the low end SDR market. May never be able to recover the development costs of that lower end product. I think they have positioned themselves quite good, mid to high end SDR market, but you never know. The 6800 or whatever the replacement of the 6700 will be, is more likely the direction they will be going. To separate it from the 6400 it will have to have 144/432 internal and/or some other features such as ROD, rotator on demand. Yes I just made it up, but they had been developing something related. I vision an external box connected to SmartSDR via ethernet to interface to common rotators controllable via SmartSDR/Maestro. Like the tuner it should be able to at the base of a tower via relays to directly control rotators, or in the shack interfaced to common rotator control boxes. On second thought maybe ROD isn't a good name after all, as some of will be playing with it.
(Edited)
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Lee, Elmer

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Why don't you use DDUTIL to write a macro to set the offset for 2 meters?  I have a macro that sets XIT to +2 khz (since I generally work LSB low bands) for when I tune up.  After tuning he XIT automatically cancels.  
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Good thinking Lee. Never used macros with DDUTil. Ok, did a quick review and just setup to invoke when 2m band selected to change freq, profiles so got that going but I don't see the macro in wiki for XIT, RIT. The wiki link is an incomplete list of commands ? I found the CatCommandReferenceGuide.pdf
Got this macro working when I switch band to 2m:
DD6TTP065; set power output for DEMI 2MLDPA
ZZRT1; turn on RIT button
ZZRF+00900; set RIT offset
ZZXS1; turn on XIT button
ZZXF+00400; set XIT offset

Thanks for the suggestion Lee, using DDUtil macros was much easier than it looks just was too lazy to learn I guess.
(Edited)
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Lee, Elmer

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Yep those are the commands.  you can toggle a button using DDTG command so you can toggle one button for + or - and another for off and on for simplex/repeater  You can also  add colors to the toggle to see which state you are in.

73
(Edited)
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Lee, Elmer

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Make sure you save the macro file once you get it set up.  I save mine to the cloud
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I can't comment on what is coming obviously (I actually don't know, and if I did I couldn't say) but I do see some of the ideas here being viable products that should be made. The question is, when and what exactly.  I would love a portable QRP radio like the KX3 or McHF. Maybe with built in wifi. 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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An SDR headset?
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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(I know nothing about what FRS have in the new product channel)

but I would hope a new QRP rig.  existing one is old tech, so that seems to make the most sense.  Something that is small, full featured and would have decent live on batteries and supported SSDR-W as a control interface.
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AE0MW

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My Flex Wishlist for Dayton:

QRP Flex (~$1000ish)
-Built in tuner
-Built in WiFi AP (for the iOS app)
-Built in USB-C port (Internal USB -> Ethernet bridge)

SmartSDR Enhancements
-Plugin
architecture similar to Waveforms for USB connected devices (Just let me have a UI window as part of SmartSDR and send me the serial port data. I'll figure out what to do with it. We need to control station peripherals remotely!)
-Remote Improvements (Fix the fragmented packets, Digital mode support)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Perhaps a smaller amp, say 600w to bridge between the mother off all amps to something more affordable. I think this will be coming, the same as having different radio models.
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Zack Schindler

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You could get a Elecraft KPA500 now. 
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W2PP

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Not reallytgey are back ordered and it won’t be as powerful or as well integrated.
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Zack Schindler

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What does the KPA500 not do that you need. I use DDUTIL and it tracks the bands. You can also preset the power with DDUTIL.
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W2PP

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It’s not 2kw
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Zack Schindler

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The post that I was replying to was talking about a 600w amp that he would like Flex to sell.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I know the KP500 is there, but if Flex made a smaller amp I would buy that over an KP500,  Zack when I suggested a small Flex amp, I considered there were others around as well.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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What does the KPA500 not do that you need. I use DDUTIL and it tracks the bands. You can also preset the power with DDUTIL.

Sometimes you want the ability  to not to have to use DDUtil. Controlling DDUtil is also kind of hard when you're on a smartphone. Compare that to the PGXL experience on iOS. I have an "amp" panel where I can turn the amp on/off and monitor SWR, power, temp from in one window. 
(Edited)
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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My understanding is that the PG tuner will be able to be located at the base of the tower. Some other huge features and like Ria pointed out you won't have to use DDUtil. Haven't researched the Elecraft amp enough to comment any further.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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While it is true you can use almost any amp on the Flex, there is no getting away from the fact that having a Flex amp made for a Flex radio has many advantages you won't have with anything else.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Yes, Bill, .... a "PGXL Jr."  ... same integration and ease of interface, but with half the power.  That would interest a lot of people.  I would LOVE a PGXL but I would need to take a loan against my car to do it at the moment !
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KK9W - Steve

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Like . . .
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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"Power Genius Mini"

1KW out (single LDMOS). No SO2R, but all of the other goodies - MEffA, ethernet, etc.

Light like the SPE 1.3K-FA for travel.

That would interest some people.
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KB4OIF

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Would love a PGXL Jr/Mini.  600 to  1 kw.  My budget can't take the price of the current one.  
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W2PP

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Could you expand on that?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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As I think of it, maybe there are no reasons to buy a Flex amp, perhaps others that know the amp better then I could chime in.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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I have a KPA500 (currently sitting on the floor), a 2Kfa  and a PGXL in test.  Here are some thoughts (or reasons to buy)  the Flex PGXL

1. Its a natural fit for the flex 6600-6700.  it fully supports the same SO2R functions, in one box.  Rather than 2 transceivers and 2 amplifiers, one of each does the job, and very well.  It fully tracks band and mode data for 2 slices simultaneously, and is instantly ready for use.  

2.  Full power -  the 2kfa peels back power to mid level at RTTY/keydown duty cycle.  this includes FT8.  the PGXL handles these modes as full power, no problem.

3. Cable reduction and simplification.  The PGXL only requires a lan cable on the same network to interface with a flex 6000 series radio.  this includes keying the amp and band mode tracking.  This significantly reduces the cabling needed for the KPA500 and E2KFA.

4. lightweight full power.  Its weight is similar to a KPA500, but it puts out full legal limit.

I have basically fully retired my KPA500 and relpaced it with the PGXL.  it is now my backup amp.  If I want lower power I reduce the drive.    Any low power flex/4o3a amp would have the most value if it supported the same dual band so2r functions IMO.  Im not sure a lower power would be significantly cheaper for that reason.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Not to mention all the future echo system features that would leave all other amps out of the picture.
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W2PP

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What is echo?  Sorry new to some of this.
Peter
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Sorry, it is the Flex system connectivity. Ecosystem...
(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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eco-system = ecosystem (from ecology system) = the total environment in which a lifeform lives.

I think echo was a typo....

Technology designers are now drawing from biological terms to describe the complex interactions between parts of their engineering systems.

They are also using theological terms to describe marketing systems - e.g. someone may be a technology "evangelist" - i.e. someone whose job it is to help other people understand and adopt the new technology.  

It is kind of interesting how the different disciplines are adopting each other's terminology.  It reminds us of how interconnected everything actually is...

====end of sermon =====  LOL

Ken - NM9P
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W2PP

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I did chuckle Ken well done.  As a retired physician I appreciate that!
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Roland Guidry

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I would vote for a 2 meter transverter!
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Tony WV2C

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How great would that be!
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KF3F

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Agreed. That would be awesome.
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KK9W - Steve

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It is going to be the new Flex X
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Stan - VA7NF

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I am surprised with the FRS 2M talk.  I went looking for an antenna direct SDR replacement for our repeater with no success.  A (good, low noise) FM repeater would be nice but there doesn't appear to be a large market.
Here's hoping.