I've been saving to buy a new 6500. A friend will sell his Flex 5000 with two receivers. Is there that much difference between the two? His is in excellent working order. He is going to buy a new 6700.
Any comments? Thanks.
The 5000 is a mature stable platform that you should be able to pick up used for about 50% the cost of a 6500.
It really depends on what you want. You'll hear a bit better with a 6500, but with most antennas you're not working everything you can hear with a 5000 anyway. The 5000 has a better noise reduction noise blanker and notch filters so if those are important to you that's something to consider. The 6500 should get better eventually (currently scheduled to be improved in v1.5 which has a nebulous release date).
If you want to do any remote operating (and think about this carefully) the 6500 is the way to go. I'm not talking about operating your station from Timbuktu, I'm talking about sitting in the EZ chair in your living room while being forced to watch a Twilight marathon or Sex in the City. It's pretty nice to fire up a tiny laptop and work RTTY or PSK. How about sitting on your deck in the summer with a laptop next to you and throwing your dog's ball while getting some new DX. These are things you can do today with the 6500, and pretty easily.
The problem with the 6000 series is it feels like I bought a race car but seats were still prototype and the doors don't shut properly. I didn't think these were big deals but it turns out that I very seldom need to drive 200MPH but I always need to sit in the uncomfortable seat and that crack along the door letting air and noise in is a constant reminder that the new seals are coming "any day now" except, so far, they're not.
Flex's development on SmartSDR frustrates me greatly, but overall I'm really happy with the 6500 and I have faith they will eventually get it right. In the mean time, I get to play roulette with every new SmartSDR release! We wanted a software defined radio, we got it, both the good and the bad.
It's decision of an end of life product vs a new product. There's always some pain with the new stuff, but with a 6500 you won't be looking at it in a couple years going, "I wish I had <new whiz-bang feature only available on the 6x00>." It's pretty much a promise that you're going to run into that if you get a 5000.
Just my $0.02, adjusted for inflation.
Why not consider buying the entry 6300 radio and see how you like the platform and software before investing in a 6500. I think more people will be looking to do that in 2015 as the smartsdr software matures, so I see the second hand value of the 6300 staying high. The few second hand 6500 I have seen go up for sale in uk recently haven't been cheap enough to tempt me. I am lucky in that I have a good job and could afford a new 6500 or 6700 now - but it didn't make sense to me to buy one whilst the software is still developing . I was going to buy a new ft5000mp for my contesting in the meantime, but I am so impressed with the performance of the 6300 on close in ssb crowded 40m band and it's cw performance that I am holding on to my my contesting budget and investing in more antennas for the low bands to try out in the 6300. Once I have a clear view of how to best implement so2r with sdr radios that will be the time I make a larger investment such as the 6700 to add diversity options to the mix. I don't like being at the bleeding edge if technology but I think now is the time to jump into sdr rather than continue dabbling with fun cube bandscopes and in built scopes. If you like power sdr software maybe a second hand dual Rx 5000 may suit your needs - but I would seriously consider going straight into smartsdr with a 6300.
73 steve gw0gei
Wow! I appreciate all the responses to my question about the 5000 with 2rx. First, I would like to thank every one of you for responding to my question. I am really impressed with your thoughts and consideration. If I wasn't sure about buying a Flex radio, I am now. It seems the best informed hams around have one or want one.
I think the 5000 would serve my operating style quite well. I enjoy cw and DX. But, I believe I'll buy the 6500 at HamCation next February. I'll need a new computer and some other items at that time, too.
I have been operating my S-Line since the late '70's. (KWM-2A & 75S3C). I've rebuilt and repaired these as needed. This will be a big step for me because I'm quite out of step with all the new technology. What use will I have for my vtvm? Hi, hi? My S-Line is already sold to a collector. The buyer said I can buy it back if I'm not happy with what new rig I buy. I'll miss it but it is only across town.
Thanks again for all your responses. 73's to all
Ken - NM9P