73 de Tom K3IO (ex W3IWI)
In any case, I think AA6E is right on the mark: This is good for everyone. As DDC SDR moves from "bleeding edge" to well-established technology, we can look forward to the many different ways that various vendors will bring this technology to market.
The trick for Flex will be to continue to add their own differentiating factors and value to their products using this technology. It won't be "buy a Flex because it's the only serious DDC SDR in town" anymore. It'll be "buy a Flex because is has a full-screen panadaptor, remote operation, the option to use knobs and switches if you want, and an open interface that numerous people are using to innovate and create cool interfaces." Or, whatever.
Will SOME people buy an IC-7300 that would have otherwise bought a Flex? Maybe. But the folks who do that will be ones who want an "ordinary" radio with the performance of DDC SDR.
In the long run ICOM will be a serious competitor in the SDR field, as they tend
to produce excellent TRX (my IC-756PRO is IMO still excellent for CW full QSK).
Let's therefore wait for the TRX and test it against our Flexes. I will surely do that,
as I need a replacement for my FT-897D, which I use for EMCOMM.
Competition is always good for us hams!
One should never sell the Japanese short as effective competitors. Yes they are late in the game with SDR's
But look at how they destroyed the U.S. Ham Radio manufacturers in the 70's by bringing out good enough and eventually better radios at much lower price points. They did the same to the U.S. Auto industry.
I pointed out that their initial offering the 7300 has a projected $1,250 price point. On the first reading of its specs, it does not look to be close to competitive with a 6300 but at 1/2 the price they will sell a lot to uninformed hams around the world who can't read spec sheets
So I already expect them to cause serious damage to the bottom end price point products like the Elad., Zeus, flex 1500, etc.
Give them a year or two of experience and I fully expect them to have serious competition for the 6700 at very competitive if not predatory pricing to knock Flex out of the market like they did to other U.S. Manufacturers
All I can say is in the long run it's going to be the quality of the software that determines how good flex and other companies will do. Because “It's All About That Software”. You know the "S" in SDR!
might be a good move for flex now is to kick the software development
into high gear and leave the competition in the dust. The 6000 series is a solid platform to write great software for.
Japaneses Companies like Icom, Kenwood & Yaesu are very aggressive in business and they would have no problem throwing tons of money at software development just to get a BIG jump on the competition. Once the competition get's ahead it will be hard to catch up. And besides the ROI (return on investment) on software is much higher than Hardware development.
I guess a flexradio isn`t so bad after all, everyone want` to copy it.
Overheard on hf one day. Just bring the IF out of the radio into the computer and you have a SDR radio like a flexradio.
I didn`t touch that conversation with a 10 foot pole. lol
Flex has no worries for several years down the road in my thinking.
These are great times with live in for Ham radio. Lots of exciting choices ahead.
One last thought. I want a Flex 6150 with a built in tuner to replace the Flex 1500, and while you're at it, give it the ability to integrate with a KXPA100. Thank you.
Fully eqipped "suitcases" (classic style) are SunSDR MB1 as i know http://eesdr.com/en/products-en/transceivers-en/mb1-en#photo and Elad http://eesdr.com/en/products-en/transceivers-en/mb1-en#photo, but noboday can tell me exactly how the knobs help ? + both with one ADC onboard
None of the major (by sales volume) manufacturers of amateur radio equipment are sinking the kind of money into R&D that they once were. Not for amateur radio or ANY of their product lines. The way I understand it, there are either very few or NO engineering teams left at ANY of the manufacturers who concentrate solely on amateur radio. Everything does double-duty. The team does a new commercial LMR design, and then move on to a new ham radio design. Undoubtedly, much of the basic engineering is shared. I remember one of the manufacturers (was it Kenwood?) explicitly citing this as the reason for the long time lag between ham radio releases.
Again, this is a terrific development. I think it signals the beginning of the demise of conventional radio design in the ham radio space. That will be a long process indeed, but one that will clearly come.
When we (Flex users) think of "SDR" in ham radio, we currently think of panadaptors and mouse clicks. When commercial and public safety radio users think of SDR, they think about features like frequency agility, protocol flexibility, mesh networks, and the vast potential for cognitive radio. They just want to communicate. They don't care about the technology. It will be interesting to see of SDR continues to develop in both spaces.
I believe there are a lot of tremendous radios out in the market and we are fortunate that any of the manufacturers make models for us (much less break new technology) because this is a teeny tiny market with little or no profit for most if not all of them. The variety provides a wide range of choice which is great because the ham usage is so broad that no one radio could possibly cover all of the bases.
Lets be excited for the guys who only want an Icom and buy their first SDR and not be smug that we have been using it 8 yeards or so, help them just like you would someone with a more traditional SDR. If they like it, they will be on this forum sooner or later!