New Sherwood 6700 and 6300 tests - 9 MONTH LATER

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  • Updated 10 months ago

Hi everyone,


It was stated before 9 month:


Ween Rob returns from his vacation, I will send him the unmodified FLEX-6300 he was testing.  We will create a new software test release that has the optimized settings.  He can upgrade/downgrade the software to compare before and after, which will demonstrate that the fix is purely in software.  While I have not had time to test this exhaustively on the 6500/6700, a quick check leads me to believe that the optimized settings will improve IMD performance of all FLEX-6000 Series radios.  

73,
Gerald


Today, 9 month later, nothing heppend, still 6700 on the 13th place,

and 6300 on the 21th place. Would a new testes ever come?


Regards


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Gopro

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Posted 10 months ago

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Photo of WW1SS - Steve

WW1SS - Steve

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Looks like Elecraft is kicking A#$
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Gopro

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Funny the way you perceive the asked question?

Simply, some is promised but newer done, rather  often seen pattern here.

(Edited)
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WW1SS - Steve

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Agree 100%
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Flex 6700 is still in. First Place

With the new 7th order contest band filter systems, I suspect that the 6600 will soon top the list too.
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Gopro

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But still we have a problem with tests done on 3/17/17- Flex 6700 13th place.

How we can modify- manipulate the list?


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Gordon, ve7on

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Sherwood has updated his list.  The latest is December 23, 2017 and it shows the 6700 as number 1.  How much better can it get?
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Mark K1LSB

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But Sherwood still has the relatively poor DR numbers posted for the 6300, still with the same lame footnote that a second sample show a "significantly higher" DR.  Pretty worthless verbiage, if you ask me.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I expected Mr. Sherwood to update the info sooner. All you get is a footnote for the 6300 saying literally "NOTE: Dynamic range testing of a second 6300 sample resulted in a significantly higher dyanmic [sic] range." Leaving inaccurate information (*previous test results) on the table and dedicating considerably more time to some gear versus others doesn't look terribly professional.

While I used to follow his reviews closely, lately I have become disillusioned with his methodology and perceived bias on testing. I am no expert on testing and I don't have the necessary equipment to corroborate his or arrl's or any other testing results. But I feel the comparisons are apples to oranges. The 7851 gets its Dynamic Range Narrow Spaced (dB) score of 105 with a 1.2 KHz Roofing Filter. 

The 7300 gets an impressive 94 with IP+ ON and a more modest 81 with IP+ OFF and the footnote states: "NOTE: With IP+ OFF, intermodulation degrades gracefully. Recommend only using IP+ when absolutely necessary due to noise floor degradation."  
That 81 will put it bellow all Flex radios (and many others) including the Flex 1500 (*88).

The recently tested Icom 7610, on december, before it was available to the general public (*in the US), makes me understand it was provided by Icom directly. The latest Flex radios tested are used models from unknown sources in unknown state/condition. The test of the IC-765 has this footnote: "Receiver was optimized by Malcom Technical Support for best dynamic range".

I feel that this disparity of testing conditions proves that it is impossible to test all radios in that same conditions and the results are very very subjective. Probably, the best statement from Mr. Sherwood is that any radio with a DRNS of 80dB or more is plenty adequate for most hams.
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Gopro

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Unfortunately, same can one say for 6700 testing:

once with preamp enabled and than

a more modest results wethout preamp?

Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Exactly. At first glance you get a list, where you tend to value top positions. Once you dig deeper you start to see that the position is not THAT important when it is based solely on Dynamic Range Narrow Spaced... and once you read all the materials available you realize the testing is just not that scientific.... eventually you might reach the same conclusion as me.... the list is not that important.

After years of using different equipment I am more inclined to value WORKFLOW over any thing else.

I still turn on my Flex 1500 every other week. *Mostly to see what is in store with the new versions coming from Darrin! And guess what... the 1500 is a very fine radio. I sometimes manage to get better audio out of it than out of the 6700. Same antenna, same speakers. While I love the features of the 1500 and miss many on the 6700 I find SmartSDR easier to use..... but, it is still far from what I would like as far as WORKFLOW.

Workflow is not sexy, it will not top any list, and ultimately differs from user to user.... and that is where I fault all radios. They are built with someone's ideas of operating and it is impossible to please everyone. However, that should be the strength of an SDR device. Software should allow for customization. But I digress from the thread. I can't wait until the new radios are available so they stop to be the fixation of the forum and the dust settles so we can open a thread about some of the ideas for the SOFTWARE. Even if it is just us users and FRS doesn't get involved in the conversation. I keep a list of the things I would like to see in SmartSDR. I am sure many have their own ideas.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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IMHO the Sherwood tests are overrated and should be considered a go/no-go (pass/fail) rather than a ranking.

Perhaps once there was enough differential between offerings to consider the delta between various radios significant but in the current offerings non-tested criteria is as significant or more so than what is tested.

A lot of this testing is like trying to pick who is the best Basketball Center player just by measuring their heights. Yes the player has to be in a deployable height range to be a professional center, but their are more overriding characteristics that separate which is the best player.

We all can name at least one “High Sherwood Rated” transceiver that in actual usability doesn’t work well for us personally.

Truthfully that same unit may be a “dream machine “ in another ham’s hands.

I enjoy Sherwood’s work and very much understand its limitations and bias, but he doesn’t operate in my shack.

A lot of radios have come and gone in my shack. The FlexRadio Systems presence is the only brand that has kept earning itself a featured place in the K9ZW shacks.

73

Steve
K9ZW
(Edited)
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Mark - WS7M

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Can I ask where this list is?

Like Salvador, I do not always put stock in "lists" because the tests have to be confined in a way that maybe isn't real world for all entries to be fairly tested.

In my experience with my 6500 and a modest 80m loop only up about 35 feet I often hear stations during our roundtable QSOs and hear them very well that my neighbors (same city) with better antennas cannot hear.

I have a Yaesu FT-991 which is my little backup rig if the Flex fails and needs to be sent back.  I have tuned to a signal on the flex, tuned the yaesu to the same signal and switched the A/B antenna switch between them.  The Flex wins every single time.

Anyway I'd still like to see the list.  
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Mark K1LSB

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"...I do not always put stock in "lists" because the tests have to be confined in a way that maybe isn't real world for all entries to be fairly tested." -- Mark - WS7M

Agreed, particularly with regards to the arbitrary (IMO) Dynamic Range constraint Sherwood applied to his list.

I've often wished I could filter the list according to different criteria, for example Noise Floor (dBm) or Sensitivity (uV).  Now that I'm actually writing this, it just occurred to me that I could copy and paste Sherwood's list into a spreadsheet and filter it however I wanted after that.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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My buddy EA1DDO already did that
http://www.ea1ddo.es/radios.html
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Gopro

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Mark Aaker K6UFO

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Rob Sherwood NC0B usually presents further details about radios tested during the year at Contest University in Dayton in May. You can see his files and videos at www.contestuniversity.com   I expect the upcoming May will focus on the IC-7610 and a few other new additions.  
(Edited)
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Mark I haven't seen you out here too much.  Welcome! 
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Ken Hansen

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This seems more of a Sherwood question than a Flex question - why ask it here? I suspect the reason is like the old joke about the drunk under the street light:

A man walks up, sees a drunk man looking at the ground, so he asks the drunk what is he doing? The drunk replies "looking for my car keys."

The man asks "where did you lose them?"

The drunk says "over there."

The man asks, "then why are you looking over here?"

The drunk responds "because the light is better over here."

As I understand Rob Sherwood tests radios provided to him provided he has the time and interest to test them - the real question here is for Rob Sherwood, and I don't think he monitors posts here.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Hi Ken
I think you need to read the original post about the tests and the response written by Gerald from 9 months ago to get the necessary context. Then it will make sense to you that it gets posted in this forum.
73
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Gopro

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Perfectly formulated
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Well, I would much rather have flex working out the issues with their new and existing hardware than spinning their wheels trying to see who can be at the top of the list.   They are a small company and they are busy and I mean REAL busy trying to get new products out to you all.  Personally I judge my choices on performance and results. I am winning contests with the flex 6000 series.  thats my performance metric. The flex 6700 is at the TOP of sherwoods list.  Take the high road gang. 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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To me none of these test hold much importance. Very few of the numbers reported by Sherwood make any difference in the working conditions. I wish a good ham radio magazine wood start up the actually test drive radios in the real world. I'm thinking about  Car and Drive, and Motor Trend, road and Track,
This type of testing and reporting I would find far more interesting. I know QST tries to do some of this but I find the writers not very credible.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Hey now Bill, you saying my 6500 from a contesters  perspective in qst want credible ;-)
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Mark K1LSB

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I agree that real world reviews like Car and Driver does would be nice, especially something along the lines of a "20,000 miles later" review, where all of the quirks and shortcomings (and the good points too) that are only revealed with long-term use come to surface.

That said, why do you say that QST's writers aren't credible?
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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just kidding..   keep an eye out in NCJ I should have something published there as well soon.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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As a contributing contest author for QST myself, I can say that there is emphasis on making sure the material is readable and appealing to a broad audience of hams from the full spectrum.  It can be difficult to make the articles as detailed as some would want, while others may even find a non-detailed writeup mind boggling.  Its a tough challenge to find a sweet spot that works for the masses.  But when they wanted contest feedback on the flex 6500, the did contact me to write it up..   
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I should have not used the word credible, what i mean is most reviews leave out important info, Read a good article in Car and Driver and custom a review of a radio after that.
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VE7ATJ

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Just to bring this back to the original topic, I'm wondering which version of SSDR this IMD improvement will be included in (or if it has been already)?  There was no mention of performance improvements in the release notes for 1.11.x or 2.0.19 so it would be interesting to hear if this might be in the upcoming releases for the 6600 and 6400 releases.  We've been getting a number of hints regarding new stuff, so I'm looking forward to the new version.

And yes, I understand that FRS can't give us a 'preview' of what to expect in the next version of the software until it's ready...
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VE7ATJ

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Am I right in assuming that if Sherwood were given a 6500 to test, that the results would be similar to the 6700 (i.e. essentially the same hardware, just doubled in the 6700) ?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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You can just look at the published spec between those radios,,the 6700 has some better specs.
Assuming you mean better IMD then we have now? witch is very clean now. From looking at the 6600 on air, think the IMD is better then the 6500 and 6700. I have seen Dave on his doing better then 45db down.
Whats coming? Who knows?
(Edited)
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AA0KM

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AA0KM

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AA0KM

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Rich McCabe

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I have to admit I follow the Sherwood list but would NOT make a buying decision on the one spec the list it is sorted by.

Buying a Collins R390a  because it has a better spec than the Icom 7700 (which is down the list) would be crazy. Talking receivers of course.
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Neither does Sherwood himself. He owned a Ts990s and recently added a 7300.