My question is, will the SmartSDR software if loaded on my laptop, power on the Flex 6300 or 6500 & when finished power it off? Provided of course the power supply it is hooked to stays on 24/7? Or do you have to leave the radio powered on 24/7 also? I have zero experience with SSDR, but I’m researching and trying to learn. I previously had a Flex 3000 and PSDR and loved that radio, just wanted to upgrade to something that easier for remote ops.
Unfortunately, one needs a separate way of turning the Flex off remotely. It has a RCA female plug in the back and requires a closure (short) to turn it on and an open to turn it off. Your being a seasoned remote operator probably does not need any help in effecting such a closure over the Internet. I, personally, think this is a design error and the radio should have a means of remotely awakening and putting it to sleep. Also the radio has 4 fans which have a limited life. Leaving the radio on 24/7 will, of course, limit their life span.
Unfortunately the thing that makes Flex great, DAX (digital audio exchange) and allows it to do all the digital stuff very easily does not work remote. IE if you use the SmartLink remote, DAX does not transmit / receive over that link.
That being said you can still do remote desktop type operation perfectly fine. I do that a lot when I want to work FT8.
I do believe there are plans to do Dax over Smartlink but I would not hold my breath on when it will be delivered.
That being said, you can sort of get around this in two ways:
1) Setup a VPN. They are easy and cheap to do. You can follow the directions here (search VPN) and setup a Raspberry Pi as your VPN server. Connecting this way Dax works perfectly (assuming you have reasonable internet in both your shack and remote location). The raspberry Pi can also be the same one that drives a relay if you choose to use remote on/off that way.
2) It is possible since the slice audio does come remote over SmartLink to use like a rigblaster for digital work. It gets complicated as keying remote using something like that gets tricky.
As far as turning it on/off, I leave my radio on 24/7. I do have a Raspberry Pi that drives relay boards so I can reboot the flex by toggling the remote on/off input port on the Flex.
While there have been some fan failures, there are many on this community that have left their radios for years 24/7 without problems, but you just never know.
Cell Phone hot-spots really work well and sometimes they don't just depends on the local network, Don't even try it on Motel WiFI's they are junk and lock out most of the kind of ports and services you will need and is really frustrating.
I think the 6700 which I have, uses the same fan's as the 6500 does, just a couple more of them and Since the 6700 first came out I have changed the outside fan's one time and never on the FPU's yet which FLEX needs to do.
I have left my radio on 98% of the time I have owned it.
I have heard a lot more 6300's having fan issues then the other two models but sometime you get a good fan that seems to run for ever and other times you don't, not a defect in the radio.
If you are going to purchase a used radio and plan on using it as a server Remotely I would send it to FLEX and have them change out ALL the Fan's to give you years of Remote Radio Server type service.
One more thing I would suggest besides the Remote Power switching that others have suggested would be to set up a SoftEther VPN server at the station using a Raspberry Pi just in case FLEX SmartLINK disconnects from the radio and gives you a way to still login to the radio on your network at home or where ever you are.
To register SmartLink you must hit the LOCAL RADIO PTT to have the radio reconnect to the SmartLink server, so you may want to set up a 2nd MOMENTARY relay to hit the PTT remotely.
Since then Flex has found a replacement to the fans that should be better. But the new fans are part of a heat sink and fan unit. The new fans on their own can not directly replace the old fans. The heat sinks must be changed, and that is not field serviceable.
But as there have been some early failures in fans, many have not had trouble as well.
So if I’m understanding correctly, I can get an internet controlled switch as mentioned above, make the rca switch cable to remote power on/off, and connect via a vpn and everything would work like my laptop was right on my home network? If you go the vpn route, there’s no need to do smartlink? Sorry for the dumb questions, just trying to figure it all out before I start dropping cash...which will be soon I hope