Now that the Flex 1500 is no longer in production ...

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So the Flex 1500 is discontinued?  I know at one time I had seen posts that it was the best seller for Flex.  I wonder why it was discontinued.  Perhaps sales for it had tapered off a lot or it made business sense to put more resources on the 6000 series.

Right now the entry level Flex SDR is the 6300.  Is there possibly plans for another entry level rig in plus or minus $1000 range?

Just curious and invite information or speculation on the above questions :-)

---Gary
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Gary L. Robinson

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Posted 2 years ago

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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 I wonder why it was discontinued

FlexRadio Systems discontinued the production and sale of new FLEX-1500s due to component sourcing challenges.

Right now the entry level Flex SDR is the 6300.  Is there possibly plans for another entry level rig in plus or minus $1000 range?

We are not allowed to comment or speculate on any new products unless the release of it is imminent.
(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Too bad.  Sorry to see the end of production of the 1500.  But that is progress.

Probably no answer available, but I will ask....

Can you elaborate any about "component sourcing challenges"...
i.e. Does that refer to major mixing IC's, power output transistors, jacks and connectors, case hardware?  Have they become unavailable?  or are component prices increasing due to obsolescence driven shortage?  Manufacturers no longer producing critical components?

That is probably too much inside business intelligence, but I am always curious about the contributing factors of production decisions.  A little information can sometimes generate a lot of understanding and quash rumors.

BTW.  I still miss my little 1500.  But I still love the 6500!

Looking forward to Dayton!

Ken - NM9P
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I am really not a liberty to go into any detail.  Sorry.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Didn't think so, but worth a try.  (;>b)  
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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It never hurts to ask :-)
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Dan -- KC4GO

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If you don't ask the answer is always NO, but if you do ask you must be willing to take NO as the answer.
My dad taught me that over 60 years ago. I feel it's still valid today. 
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Gary L. Robinson

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Thanks Tim!  Yes, I understand about not speculating.  I should have said that I wonder if anyone else would like to see another product in the $1000 +- price range.  Anyhow, the 1500 is my second favorite all time transceiver only because I have a 6300 now.  One nice thing about the 1500 though, is that for a disaster scenario situation the 1500 low power drain and features makes it very relevant for battery operation.

---Gary
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Ken Hansen

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The refurbished Flex 3000 is a very capable sub $1,000 radio available directly from FlexRadio.

The 1500 appeals to a niche market, while the 3000 includes an ATU and a 100 watt RF deck.

Just my opinion...
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Norm - W7CK

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My wish list for a new rig:

    A small Icom IC-7100 sized SDR

    Removable front control head that has knobs and small screen.

    Low power consumption on RX
 
    Shack-in-the-box type rig.  That's what some folks call the all mode transceivers
        that cover 160-6m, VHF and UHF.

    A 20w version would be just fine although 100w would be better

    Split independent 2nd receiver so that it can do Full Duplex
        This would be great for cross band repeat and satellite operation.

    Ethernet for SmartSDR control.  Addition of USB would be a plus.

I think this would be a great seller.  Would work as a good mobile, SOTA, camping, and as a great home station via SmartSDR.   No one produces a radio with this functionality.

Its only a matter of time.  If Flex doesn't do it, someone else will.
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Ken Hansen

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What would you be willing to take out of a Flex 6300 to create a new, lower-priced, entry-level radio?

Ethernet connectivity?

Support for current software?

100 watt RF deck?

Not sure the compromises required to cut the price of a 6300 in half would really please a sufficiently large number of new customers.
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Gary L. Robinson

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Make it single slice, 1mhz bandwidth, and 10-20 watts.
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Ken Hansen

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So engineer an entirely new SCU, unique to one radio, along with an entirely new RF deck (flex doesn't have a 20 watt RF deck in a current production device AFAIK, and sell it for... half the cost of the 6300? A third? Seems like an uphill battle with a very steep R&D investment with a low profit margin (compared with other Signature Series radios).

Were I product manager st Flex (PS, I'm available! ;^) I would take the 6300 and drive down the price, hoping to make it up on volume (perhaps closer to $1800-1900 than $2500), and roll out a 'half 6500' radio with only one of the higher-spec SCU shared by the 6500 and 6700 radios, bringing all the 6500 accessory and optional capabilities to this new radio - let's call it the 6400 - that could support a $3,000-ish price tag.

The way to drive down per-unit costs is to reuse current technologies, not to invent entirely new platforms. I don't think a sub-$1,000 radio that would support SmartSDR is possible.

The current approach to lower-cost, entry-level radios is with certified refurbished units based on previous generation technology.
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Gary L. Robinson

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Yeh, I am probably a more a dreamer than practical engineer-business guy for sure hihi  Definitely a uphill battle for what I would LIKE to see :-)
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Ken Hansen

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Well, the point of the thread is to speculate, which is a form of dreaming... the discontinuation of the entry-level 1500 opens up a spot in the product line, there's no requirement that the space be filled with a similarly-priced device, it just frees up resources to focus on a new product, either a new low-end, entry-level device (like the 1500), or something positioned elsewhere in the product spectrum (like the imaginary 6400 or 'half a 6500' radio I described previously), or something else (6500 in an integrated chassis with a maestro front panel?)...
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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How about a QRP rig based on the Maestro with a 5-10 watt transmitter built in?  Might be a KX-2/3 killer!
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Mark Erbaugh

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The Maestro's side tone and CW keying would need to be improved to touch the KX2/3
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Ross - K9COX

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Just my opinion...this Flex paranoia is ridiculous.
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Gary L. Robinson

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I'm a little bit lost trying to figure out how pananoia relates to this thread.
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WH6HI - Pat

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Is it time to develop and release a 6100?  SmartSDR for 1 panaadapter, one maybe 2 slices?  that would be a nice competitive radio.   Price 1-1.5K  perhaps.  

Pat  
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Dave Gipson

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We used to have a saying at the Magnavox RF Engineering lab, "Design engineers make terrible business managers." Sadly... how true that is. :)
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Yes, an HF mobile SDR radio. Icom could tear the tuner out of their IC-7300, and make a mobile control head. The single biggest challenge would be the cable needed to connect the head to the radio. Recall Icom has experience with fiber from a CH to radio. Glass might make sense, given the RFI problems with a conventional copper cable carrying so much data.

BTW, 2M/440 capability would not be needed in a mobile version of an IC-7300. There are tons of low priced, stand alone 2M/440 transceivers available, ranging from plain Jane analog FM to dstar, Fusion, you name it.

Br,

Larry
WA7LZO
(Edited)
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Ken Hansen

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I don't think fiber would be needed to connect a remote control head to a radio like the IC-7300 or a Flex 6000-series radio. The Icom radio is able to send it's audio and rig control information, including band scope, across a single USB 2.0 connection, and the Flex 6000-series radios send a data stream fast enough to send radio. On trips along with the band scope across a wifi connection.

What would be interesting would be a mobile radio with built-in wifi to support a wireless control head like the Maestro without having to snake a control, speaker, and microphone cable through the car to the dashboard...

Such a radio could appeal to many usecases - mobile, go box, armchair operation at home QTH, etc.
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Yup, you could be quite correct that WiFi might be an alternative to connect the CH to the radio in the rear, no doubt about it. Of course, that would also make it quite convenient to saunter into Starbucks, whilst your car is parked just outside, with its 7310 mobile and Icom AH-760 antenna so you could work DX via your WiFi remote head, as you sip your Vente drip latte!

Meanwhile, all this gear could soon be repurposed (e.g., dumped on eBay), as soon as Flex firmware V2.0 comes out (WAN!), and you take delivery of your new Tesla Model 3! This will call for a shiny new iPad to be appropriately mounted in the Tesla's cabin to connect to your 6700 at home. (Yes, I know I can do all of this now using VPN, but I much prefer to wait for the real solution, V2.0!)

Where there's a will, there's always a way! 

73,
Larry
WA7LZO