New radio announcement at Dayton ??

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Let’s try and guess if Flex will announce a new radio at Dayton this year. My guess is a replacement for the 6700.
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Manuel Maseda

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Posted 6 months ago

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Tom

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A replacement for Flex 1500??
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Jon - KF2E

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A competitor for the IC-9700?
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Neil D Friedman N3DF

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No new radio announcement. 
(Edited)
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Johan / SE3X

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Useless speculations. Spend your time using the current Flexradio if you have one? Doing radio and having fun.
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Robert Lonn

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This would surprise me if they did!!! I think working on Software now that 3.0 is released is key.. A competitor to the IC-9700 would hit a  smaller portion of the Ham Community.. Also, hitting a $1800 price point is not going to be easy.. But the FLEX VHF-UHF etc. radio would have HDMI, 10 MHz lock and probably a lot of neat features plus Smart SDR remote operation.. It took ICOM almost 18 months to bring the radio to market.. Some rumors have Yaesu in the HUNT for this share of the market.. You can get transverters for the FLEXD if you want VHF and UHF.. For now Satellite Operation is on my GPS 10 MHz Locked ICOM IC-9100 radio...
(Edited)
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Greg SP7QJF

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FRS took 3 years to introduce powerenius xl and is still not available
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Manuel Maseda

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It would make sense for Flex to move the 6700 features on to the 6600 architecture and case form factor.
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KF4HR

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I'm guessing V3 was the 2019 announcement.
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Cal Spreitzer

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Ditto
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Clay N9IO

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I think so too.
Version 3 is still in it's infancy with BIG potential!
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John - WA7UAR

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I'll add a guess that the eventual replacement for the 6700 will include TWO transmitters -- giving each person using Multi-Flex a complete and independent experience. 
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Sergey Abrikosov

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6800 with 4 antenna outputs!

Sergey, KN7K
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Richard Zalewski

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And an espresso port
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Neal Pollack, N6YFM

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Um, Guys:

If it really IS "Software Defined Radio", WHY do they need to announce a new radio?
If Flex really wants big news, and wants to drive increased sales, Flex just needs to
announce new software that will address the top 5 "most complained about" fixes/features
that their customers want.   The hardware is already very much fast enough, with more than
enougn capacity.   The "NEW" that people seem to be thinking about here, are things like
the recently complained about noise reduction features that don't seem to work as well as
the competition,  and some of the other top complaints from the recent survey.
Those feature or deficiency fixes do not require new radio hardware.  They require
better software, which is no small task.

Flex is a true SDR.   So making a "new" one, really means making new software
that actually does address a bunch of the annoyances that customers have been
complaining about for several years.

[Thread HiJack Alert:]
If FLex is really listening;  Do you know what has more impact on sales/revenue than
adding a new remote feature or contest feature?  It's getting to understand why a 
certain percentage of Flex customers sell their radio and move to Icom or Yaesu
or something else.   Deeply understanding WHY those customers left will help you
address existing base feature bugs/fixes that carry more weight long term.  It is likely
those deficiencies and bugs in basic needed features that result in most customer
attrition to other brands.

Back to the business model argument of "do we first add new contest features or
fix base feature bugs that customers complain about?"
I can summarise this way;   A  prize building or Ferrari is not built upon a shakey
foundation.   Finish the foundation FIRST, and make it something solid, something
to be proud of,
before rushing forward to work on the higher floors.  You want to be able to call
it the Crystal Tower, not the Tower of Compromises.

New Tag Line;    The Radio IS the Software....

You know where to focus.

Neal
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Bill -VA3WTB

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That is the reason for the latest servey.
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k3Tim

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An eight channel receiver good for DC to 6 Ghz using a Xilinx RFSoIC and 4 channels of DAC for TX.  With onboard SoC for a minimal parts count solution. The development board is US$7,995. Some would say expensive. 

Maybe not for Dayton 2019 more like 2020
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Richard McClelland, AA5S

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I was thinking that DC to 440 Mhz would be pretty sweet.
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Lucas - W6AER

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If it could cover the main ham bands, so let's say up to 23cm and down to 2200m I would put a deposit down today. Although 5/10GHz would be good too given the planned geostationary satellite will be five and dime. Doubt many have a use above 6Ghz but why not!
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KI4P

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Maybe some software fixes
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Charlie Rubenstein KB8CR

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If anything.....maybe v2.5 
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Tom Warren

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 Over the years I've owned a number of Flex radios but as time marches on and there is no response from FRS on the various issues.  Every time I click those noise reduction buttons on my 6600 I get more upset. The company I'm watching is Elecraft. W4TMW
 
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mikeatthebeach .

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At least with Elecraft it works!
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Cal Spreitzer

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Like Tom I've owned a number of Flex radios but what good is another new Flex radio if the software that "defines" that radio is below par?  I will no longer be jumping in line to order any new Flex radios or hardware until Flex starts addressing the issues with current software!  

Cal/N3CAL
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Robert Lonn

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Last night I was tuning around on my JRC NRD-545 DSP radio... I normally go to this radio for SWL listening,, Sometimes it is my Drake R8B... I ran into a situation where I was getting a lot of noise across the band,, Actually it reminded me of the Yaesu Video on the NR for the FTdx 101D radio.. 

I figured this would be a good test on NR.. So I fired up several radios to check this out...  First the NRD-545,, on a scale of 1-10, the noise was reduced to a level 6.. OK but not that good.. The Drake has a Noise Blanker and it was almost non effective.. The the ICOM IC-R8600 that just got the new 1.34 Software.. It reduced it from a 10 down to a level 7, but it added Audio Distortion as you increase the level, sort of that wobbly sound..

Turned on my Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V that has a very good 4 setting NR circuit, Again probably a 8, not bad, best so far...Then I turned on my ICOM IC-9100 radio (Satellite Radio), and again probably an 8, but noting as dramatic as the new 101D radio demonstration... On went the Yaesu FT-991 used in the Motor Home, Well the NR is just not that great as it has heavy audio distortion, been that way since I got the radio 2 years ago... I would rate it a 5!!

So now on goes the FLEX 6600M.. After listening to these other radios I had a fairly good baseline.. I also watched the YouTube video again so I wanted to calibrate my ears... 

After tuning on the Flex and tuning in the station with NO NR turned on, I hit the NR button.. OK, that was not to bad, but I had the NR level set relatively LOW,, so I went and cranked it up to 100% "Figuring" that along would come Audio Distortion,, but that did not happen, it improved it a lot to a 9 level,, OK Impressive and not what I expected... Remember the Yaesu 101D is a 10..

BUT!!! Then I discovered something interesting.. If you watch the Yaesu Video you notice that when he turns on the NR, it takes like 1  to 2 seconds to become fully engaged.. Well with the NR on my Flex at 100% i wanted to turn it on and off as a comparison, and my Flex did almost the same thing,, took a second for the NR to fully engage. And this time the NR was more effective raising the bar to a 9.5,, I was amazed how well it worked.. 

Next thing was to reduce the NR down to the 50% point,, then I turned it on and off, and did not get as noticeable 1 second delay to engage.. And the NR dropped back down to an 8.. Pushed it back up to 100% but did not regain that 9.5 rating.. But turning it off and then back on did the trick.. 

So it appears that turning it on and off, allows the Algorithm to do its thing more effectively. That is what I found and hopefully others can give this a try.. I think we are just use to increasing and decreasing the level control and expect it to just track, but for me I need to turn the NR off and then On to get the full benefit...  

I guess as others try this they can share their findings.. Did not do this on SSB stations, this was a S-9 SWL station... 

OH, still running the 2.xxx software...

Robert
(Edited)
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k3Tim

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I tried NR here on the same station as shown in the Yaesu link and had pretty much the same results as the YouTube star. One thing about NR is it will change the audio characteristics a bit so it's best to re-tune the audio equalizer. Tested  again on 9350kc with a s7 to s9 signal and NR knocks the noise + hiss down very effectively. With AGC, BW and SAM, the NR does (and has done) well.  

Occasionally some impulse noise will be present and NB removes it but these instances are rare. Fortunately never needed WNB here.

A BoG is a very effective receive antenna and 'ignores' noise. At this stations a hunk of enamel magnet wire was used without the grounds at each end, so it was simple to install.
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Burch - K4QXX

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I find that sometimes turning off and then back on the WNB also makes a huge difference. 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I think the effectiveness of the Flex filters are more important to the ham bands and SSB. This is the area the filters need some more work. I would have liked the Yaesu test been done on SSB on signals between stations.
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Manuel Maseda

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I’m still betting on a 6700 replacement !!
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Manuel Maseda

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Glad I was wrong. My 6700 will still hold its value for a while longer !!
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KF4HR

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Having the ability to watch 8 slices at the same time has me hooked on my 6700.  Anything else would be below par for me. 
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Dave - W6OVP

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I'm looking for the new and improved FlexRadio Model 1590. The product of a decade of experience since the ground breaking 1500:

$999
25W output
Single slice with panadapter and waterfall
Simple remote over WAN
Single receive input
SmartSDR limited edition
No internal tuner
Mike and CW jacks on FRONT. USB and PWR on back

It is now a decade later. The new Model 1590 will capture and overrun the SDR market with entry level buyers who will soon be ready to move up the food chain. With careful planning and marketing it will not significantly cannibalize the 6400 but will provide a much more affordable entry step on the FlexRadio ladder. The number of potential FlexRadio buyers will increase exponentially.

Stamp them out like bottle caps and back up the UPS trucks. Ship 'em out!

Take my order now? Does the show discount apply?

-Dave


(Edited)
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John AE5X

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You're absolutely right. Look at all the mcHF (and clones) and the upcoming QSX. QRP SDR is all the rage now and Flex is missing an opportunity to bring newbies into the fold with a Flex 1500-like product at an economical price.

As much as I enjoy them, I would not currently own my Anan-10e or my mcHF if Flex (or Elecraft) made a similar product.

John AE5X
https://ae5x.blogspot.com/

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Scott Russell - N1SER

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Wow the Elecraft K4 looks sweet!!!
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KC2QMA_John

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Yes it does look nice. Ton's of I/O but still has that darn Power Pole connector. ;)
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Richard Zalewski

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I think both Flex and Elecraft missed the boat somewhere.  They have units capable of SO2R but came out with amps that really don't support that mode of operation.  KPA1500 has no SO2R capabilities so coupling it with the K4 is useless.  Flex's amp is also limited without have a built in tuner.  Even the add on tuner is still a ways away.  Seems to me the long range planning on both parts left something to be desired.
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Ned K1NJ

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   Was anything actually said about the Tuner Genius?  Was there a demo unit
perhaps?
                         Ned,  K1NJ
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Not at the booth but what I was told was that gerald visited ranko recently so they’re moving on some things. I cannot say specifically what they are discussing but they are actively working on joint projects.
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Burt Fisher

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Someone posted a New radio announcement at Dayton about the K4 but it;s gone? Why? Is it OK to compare transceivers? Isn't that what the Sherwood thing is all about? Flex is a great US company but so is Elecraft. They are both the creme de la creme.
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Scott Russell - N1SER

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Yeah I noticed that... hmmm... not too cool.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Elecraft had not officially announced the product.  As a common courtesy, FlexRadio does not post our competitor's product announcements if they have been leaked.
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Burt Fisher

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It has now been announced.  That said, there is a censorship mentality among some representatives in the past
which beyond being a moral concern, is unnecessary as Flex can stand on its own.
(Edited)
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Neil D Friedman N3DF

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At the dinner last night, Flex announced that a version 2.5 will be forthcoming and addresses some bugs, as well as a similar update to Version 3 software. 

Incidentally, nearly 400 will attend the two nights of Flex dinners.  The Flex exhibit at the Hamvention has 20 personnel and roughly 20 operating stations.  I don't believe any other exhibitor can match that. 
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Commercial ones anyway. We had more than that in the ARRL expo :)
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Burt Fisher

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The ARRL has 20 operating stations?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I read some comments from the Flex dinner talks. It is nice to hear Flex is very very healthy and growing.