not so warm and fuzzy feeling about my new radio

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  • Updated 2 days ago
day 2 of owning this $5000 radio and this is what i see, sorry to complain but the speaker sux. but that aside, the screen keyboard will not load all the time when you click on areas in the menu, it will start to load and then just close and then you touch it enough times it will finely take (this could be happing other places but for sure it happens on the transmit menu)

the band selections keep getting jacked up. i had to factory reset once already, the first time all i did was hit the 2200 selector, the display would not even show where the dial was on the spectrum and then after that nothing worked. the 40 meter selector would  disable the slice when i clicked on it. the other bands started going to wrong frequencies etc, it's now happened again. i have read others have had this issue but no real fix.

just want to restart it and it shut down on but with the 1 red flash fan error. Why does it feel like i'm working on a device thats in beta testing. all that in less then 24 hours since unboxing it

anyway if things keep going i will not need 30 days to determine if i'm sending this back, at this rate, i'm about finished screwing with it.

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John Orjias

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Posted 4 days ago

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Dan Quigley N7HQ, 4O7HQ, Service/Support Manager

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Hi John,

It sounds like you are making the transition from using a standard radio to Flex.  There are a lot of similarities, but there is a conceptual difference that can be frustrating to some.  I urge you to submit a helpdesk ticket and have Ken or Tim help orient you to the radio. 

There are some outstanding videos on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcXYIGF4--uipOh4_BZzpYw) that will help as well.   

There are also plenty of Elmer's here that give generously of their time to new Flexers. 

73,
Dan
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John Orjias

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persistent database corruption has been an issue for over 5 years now, based on what i have found in the forums, as a CSE i would personally never leave a problem like this existing on any product i was responsible for putting out on the market. I will check with them tomorrow.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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John did you see my reply to you on resting the data base.?
A lot has changed in 5 years
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I think there is something that you are doing that is causing this corruption, If you re set the data base properly you should not have to do it again, or never. This is not a usual problem your having.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Ok if you are doing this correctly we need to find out how or why it is changing. This is really un common.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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It also sounds like it is not a data base problem but something else going on there in the radio. I suggest you start a help ticket right away.
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John Orjias

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i hope so, other then the speaker which i can get over haha (though i really wish it was better),  i really like the interface on the 6600M. its the right amount of controls to get the job done with out being overloaded with a bunch of buttons. it just seem to come naturally. i did not even have to really get use to it.  So i do really like that, just this corruption thing is concerning me. and i figured out the fan issue and its not really a fan issue based on that info i posted above.
(Edited)
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Ken Wells, Employee

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Hello John,
I see that you have submitted a ticket in HelpDesk and that Tim Ellison has responded to your issues.  He will give you great service.  Have a wonderful day!

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K2CM

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what radio did you buy?
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John Orjias

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6600m
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John Orjias

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in all fairness though i do think the persistent database issue is caused RFI in the shake, i just ordered an artificial ground to see how things go (and stopped transmitting in the meantime).  And then other issues could be i was trying the dogparksdr software which i am finding is full of bugs, and things seem much better since switching to smartsdr, the only issue i'm seeing that is not user related is the touchscreen keyboard fails to load consistently and i have sent them a video about that.
(Edited)
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Mark - WS7M

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John, trust me when I say that it can.

Back in Oct 2019 Flex Radio sponsored our event to celebrate radio station WWV where we operated 5 full time stations from the site of WWV, a very RF rich environment.

I'm not at all implying that this is your issue but it could be.   During our radio celebration I found that one of the Flex 6600M radios that was loaned to us was almost virtually impossible to use the touch screen.   

I figured we might have a less than perfect radio but it mostly sat on one frequency and settings were not changed.

After the event was over I took the radio home and found the touch screen perfect.  I put it back in my car and drove up to WWV and once again had problems.

Where we were operating at WWV we were within 2000 feet of all of the HF transmitters for WWV.  I am convinced that this high level of RF caused issues with the touch screen.

Granted your home environment is not WWV with 10 of Kws floating around but my point is simply that if RF is getting back into the radio some one you will see strange problems.

This is not really a Flex problem either.  We had some Elecraft K3s on site at WWV as well.  One of them was driving a KPA-500 amplifier that regardless of what we did the amp kept setting itself to 30m.  Nothing we tried would fix it.

The problem was simply that the WWV 10mhz transmitter, just 2000 feet away at 10kw was simply so strong it make the RF sensing circuit in the KPA 500 think it was on 30 meters.  This occurred until we had about 20 watts of drive into the amp.

So don't rule out RFI.
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K2CM

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I had some interesting problems when I got my 6400M.  Traced the problems to my Astron 50A supply.  Changed supplies to a switching supply and all the problems went away.

My suggestion is to start with the radio itself, forget all of the extra software....use it as a 6600M.  Don't connect it to your computer. Make sure that you have a good earth ground, not a water pipe ground.

Use all of the functions of the radio as it is.  Should you have problems then, talk to tech support.

If you have no problems, load Smart SDR....see if that works.  Next load N1MM logging software.

What antennas are you using?

Its necessary to take a step by step approach to solving your problems.


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John Orjias

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It’s a very bent doublet to a 993b atu but the issue is on on the second floor and I just found out me very good electrical ground is a very bad rf ground so hopping the artificial ground I ordered will resolve that issue
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K2CM

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John, as you suspect, your problem is probably not with the radio; but, with your grounding system.  

I had a severe grounding problem when on a DXPedition to the island of Bequia.  I solved it by making a counterpoise with a long, insulated, wire laid in the ground. It solved most, but not all, of my problems.

At one time, a cold water pipe ground would work; but, in an apartment complex, this might send RF throughout the building. Furthermore, if it is a newer building, there are probably plastic or PEX connections somewhere.  In one of our houses I tried to use a cold water pipe ground but found a plumbing insulator between the house piping and the city water system.


Being on the 2nd floor, make your own counterpoise by running a #20 gauge ground wire along the baseboard...as long as possible.  Run a couple of more under the rugs....the more the better.  If you can drill a hole to get to another room, run counterpoise wires in that room too.

If this is your house, I will give you some drastic suggestions that should have a high probability of working.

Once the grounding issue is fixed, the other issues can be addressed.


George K2CM
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Bill -VA3WTB

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A water pipe, or electrical grounds are not RF grounds, they are electrical grounds. Big difference.
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John Orjias

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right, i get that, i just did not get that it had to be a short ground strap and not one 25 ft long from my second floor, I did not realize it would resonate as and antenna. 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Well your getting there John. you know what you can try? Is having NO grounds at all. Many times grounds causes a lot problems unless it is done to great standards, and even then!! 
(Edited)
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John Orjias

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i'm curious to see if this will improve my noise level once i have it resolved. that would be nice :-)