SDR Ver 3

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  • Question
  • Updated 10 months ago
SDR Ver 3 so for those of us who don’t need two operators, how long before we will need buy the upgrade before we miss out on other new features? Or will new features be also available on Ver 2 for sometime in the future?
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Mark NS9N

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Posted 10 months ago

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WA2SQQ

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Nice upgrade, but how about us "single ops"? I bet we make up most of the user base.
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Jeff / KI0KB

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As I understand the limited release info at this point I think for the “single” ham using an “M” version radio or a Maestro user will now be able to have an active version of SDR running on your PC simultaneously as well as on the Maestro or M screen with radio control from both as desired. At least I hope that’s part of the multiFlex platform.
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Burt Fisher

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Why would anyone want that?
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I leave my 6700 on 20 and 40M FT8 all the time looking for new countries. (I am stuck at 201 on FT8)....If I pops up, I get a text message, then I grab my iPad - wherever I am in the house or traveling and work them...- at the same time, my 6700 keeps on chugging away. 
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Burt

If you had friends who would share radios with you, you could work wide area diversity  I have a friend not far away whose 6700 hears the EU much better than I do while I hear the Pacific much better than he does... we can share our receivers to copy the hard to hear ones ...but still use our own TX and antennas to work them.
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k3Tim

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I'm really looking forward to V3. Running SDR on the PC running FT8 and using Maestro for SWL. The programmable band markers will also be nice especially if one can set the SW bands. 

V2 was released on or about 26 July 2017. At $199 that works out to 32 cents per day.  A bargain in my book...

_..--
 TiM  
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fkf

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I bought my Flex at August, 20th. V2 with $199 was included. Up to now I paid $1,12 each day and I have to pay additional $199 for V 3. That's annoying.
73 de DJ6CF, Friedrich
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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By the time its finally released, your cost per day will be less

What's annoying about getting new features?
You have the option not to buy them..


To get new features with Elecraft, Icom, Yaesu or Kenwood, you would have to buy an entirely new radio costing you a lot more than USD $199
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fkf

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Tnx for your comment and I can go a little bit with you. The difference is, that we are talking about software and that is a different business. Normally you get upgrades which are much more cheaper than the original license. Buying new hardware (Icom, Kenwood, etc.) means that you have new TRX with new components in it.

73 de DJ6CF, Friedrich
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Let me give you a different perspective.

Flex makes Software Defined Radios.
The radio is the software

Open your Flex radio up and you will find many less components that a traditional Legacy Radio. 

On a $5,000 Flex Radio, the actual hardware cost is likely much less than $2,500
and the software cost is likely much more than $2,500

So a $199 upgrade is a bargain
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fkf

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Hi, 
here you will find my last response because I don't want to open an endless discussion. I accept that you have another point of view. That is ok.
My point of view is, that the software is not the radio itself, but it defines the possibilities of the radio. Without the radio the software is rather useless.
$199 are not an upgrade but the normal price each newcomer has to pay. Therefore there is no advantage for existing customers.

73 de DJ6CF, Friedrich
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Burt Fisher

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Howard the others like Elecraft sell a radio that is done and in most cases have more features, further unlike Flex they don't come out with updates that damaged features that previously worked. I wonder if Samsung will come out with a  software upgrade that lets me watch my friends TV who has more channels. As far your diversity argument there is a web receiver I can use that a ham has posted but how many hams really care about diversity?
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John - K3MA

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Howard.  Fact Check on your comment.

 "To get new features with Elecraft, Icom, Yaesu or Kenwood, you would have to buy an entirely new radio costing you a lot more than USD $199"

Link for only Icom Firmware downloads.  Some are new features some are bug fixes and some are both.  All free of charge.  https://www.icom.co.jp/world/support/download/firm/index.html

I suspect you will find others like Elecraft have done the same.  I own a KX3 and it has had features added many times.

I am not expressing an opinion of the merit of $199 or V3 usefulness but rather correcting the error in your statement.
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Ed Johnson

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Has Flex ever considered a simple annual software registration fee... say $50 per year?  This would include all updates that year.  Many companies do this and it provides a constant revenue stream and more people will stay current reducing support time and expense for Flex.
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Michael Coslo

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Not a bad idea Ed, but to my way of thinking, Windows updates are the main problem for SSDR users.  And I've been here a few years, I suspect that would cause more complaints, not less.
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Michael Coslo

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John, are you calling firmware updates the same thing as new versions of SSDR?  Anyhow, I recently updated our KPA-1500s with new firmware. That was to keep the amps from blowing themselves up on 160 meters. And did Icom take care of that screen burn in problem yet?

Note - I'm responsible for a 7610, a K3S system, and multiple KPA-1500's, and my experience is that there is no real relation to their updates and SSDR or DogPark updates. Can't speak to iOS SSDR. 

I do like all of the radios though. 
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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Exactly Mike.  ICOM makes fine radios (I own 3 of them). And in my opinion, their NR/NB is second to none!  But feature updates??  Give me a break!  (-:
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bobby

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You get to wait for the next bus v4.0
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Mike

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Yes but will it be going in the direction you want?
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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FRS has always release free updates between major updates, like they did for v1 and v2. So there will be free updates of v3 up to the release of v4. They have said many times they don't say what features or fixes being worked on until the release is imminent. There have been lots of discussions on this.
Again as they have stated, there will be no more new features added to previous versions. In other words there will be no more new features for v2 as they have already announced the pending release of v3 so any new features will be in that. They also did announce they will be releasing a v2 final release called v2.5 which they said will include a number of fixes.
I hope this helps.
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AH0U

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Where/when did they announce V2.5??
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James Whiteway

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It's an "unofficial" announcement in the announcement of v3 thread.
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Steven Linley

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I very much look forward to v2.5, bug free, if possible.
For now I like v2.3.9 but was hoping for more free upgrades to version 2.
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James Whiteway

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After v2.x did you see a single update/ bugfix for v1.x?

I didn't. I didn't see anything till I bought my 6600M . And it came with v2.x.

There were and are several bugs or incomplete features that carried over from v1.x to v2.x. maybe v2.50 update will contain those fixes and completed features.

If not, I will be hesitant ( read that as won't) to purchase v3.x in hopes of getting basic features like the ANF working.

James

WD5GWY
(Edited)
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Michael Coslo

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I thought that 1.9.13 was the wrap-up after the first 2.xx was released. Could be wrong though. They don't continually update the old versions forever. 

What is it that causes the ANF to not work? I find the adjustment range to be way overkill, but I set mine on low settings, click it, and the tuner-upper goes away. I've used it to notch out heterodynes. What am I not understanding?
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James Whiteway

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Try using it in an actual QSO that you're monitoring and have a tuner upper/jammer key up continously over the conversation you are listening to. No matter the settings you use, ( I'm not the only one to experience.this) the tuner upper's tone will blow right thru the top of an on going conversation. Voice, beeeep, voice beeeep........ on and on.
The ANF works fine on a tuner upper that is not doing so over a conversation. Then it will knock it out. But, otherwise, it's next to useless.
Testing solely on a single tune up signal won't show the priblem. My ICOM 706 KMIIG and many other radios I've owned, deal with this issue without problems.
Even PowerSDR's ANF works correctly with a Flex 1500.
So, I figure a $5,000.00 6600M should too. And it shouldn't cost any extra to get it working right.
BASIC features and functions should not be considered Upgrades that have to be paid for.
When I bought my 6300 a well known FRS salesman told me that SSDR would( v1.x at rhe time) have ALL of the FEATURES and FUNCTIONS ( like ANF and All Mode Squelch to name a couple) of PowerSDR, BEFORE there would be a paid version upgrade. (v2.x) I based my 6300 purchase on that statement.
It never happened. I have owned a 6300, 6500 and now a 6600M ,which came with v2.x. still incomplete BASIC features to date.
So, that has been my experience. Hardware wise, these radios are top notch. Software wise, SSDR needs work.
James
WD5GWY
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Duane, AC5AA

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If it's one guy on the same freq, just drop a TNF on him.  
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Asher - K0AU

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I'm on the fence about this one. I don't really expect any more free software features than I get on the first day of v1.05 on my 6700 (although I kind of hope to get security fixes). Flex has delighted me by delivering a lot more functionality than I got on day 1 in 2013. I bought V2 and it's kind of a bust from my perspective. I'm trying to get excited about V3, but it's designed for a very specific use case that I don't have.

All that said, I want to support their software efforts. I fear they've taken on an impossible task, to deliver all the features we collectively want with a small team that appears to be funded by new hardware revenue. I'd buy a Maestro today if it supported a use case I have (does a remote Maestro work with an AG2x8 switch that has a native Windows app?)

I keep wondering if they need to open up an API somewhere on the radio, but I doubt they're tooled up to support 3rd party programming inside the radio.

I also think Flex has made a mistake by making their roadmap a secret. I was here on the Flex Community when things got slightly nasty about roadmap, but what we're getting now is lots of pent up frustration. New software is greeted with, "I wanted bug fixes/different features/I thought the feature would work differently"

I'm just trying to figure out best station practices, and it's really hard to work out the best way to fit things together or if I'm due for any hardware upgrades.

Bottom line is I agree with your sentiment about the hardware and I'd like to be constructive about how Flex can do a better job to set and meet expectations about software.
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James Whiteway

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Try that with the M model's touch screen. Almost impossible to do. Besides that, the ANF should work.
No one should have to jump thru hoops to gets a BASIC feature working. The TNF was designed to notch out consistant interference that you have no control over. Using it is a bandaid to fix what should already be working. If a ICOM 7300's ANF can do it, a high end radio like the 6000 Series should be just a walk in the park to handle it.
James
WD5GWY
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Asher - K0AU

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I get the issue. It's hard for me to tell what should be easy for them. I've found DSP signal processing guys are a different group than other software people, and I have no visibility into how many DSP engineers they have vs Windows, Linux, UI and other disciplines. My guess is they need more people and the question is how do we collectively support their business model so we all get what we want?
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James Whiteway

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Asher,
FRS will never allow access to the radio's internals. Nor should they. Allowing 3rd party access to the Linux OS and the associated hardware proccessors to outside developers would be a support nightmare.
I for one, am content to play around with creating my own GUI client. I want nothing to do with the internal OS and drivers. Too easy to mess things up to the point the radio is useless and has to be sent in for a reflash.
James
WD5GWY
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Asher - K0AU

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Apple didn't have an iPhone App store on day 1. But they came around. Flex could provide safe hooks in various places. Wouldn't a native skimmer be a great DSP feature? Or a TNF/ANF that works! But I doubt they have the skills or staffing in the building to support a 3rd party ecosystem inside the radio. I've looked at using the VITA link and feeding it into a TI DSP dev board with Ethernet, but I don't have the signal-processing skills to do anything useful.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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yes V1.9.13 was the bug fixes for v1 as it turned over to v2, so yes there was a bug fix for v1
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Michael Coslo

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Somewhere back in here someone told me that the ANF won't work on tuner uppers. That beats me. I've used it on tuner uppers, I've used it on CW ops operating on a voice QSO,  I used it on heterodynes on 40 meters, last night in an attempt to figure out what exactly I'm doing wrong that makes it work for me, I tried notching out a RTTY signal. I did have to up the slider to "3" from 1 or 2, but it silenced both sides of the RTTY. Probably would be pretty tough on a voice signal.  Anyhow, I'll just concede I'm doing something wrong.  8^)

Thing that is funny is that until people started complaining about it, I never used it - I'd always right clicked the spot of a tuner-upper, and enabled a TNF. Now it's another tool in the arsenal.
What I think Flex might do is not have such a large range of adjustment, because I thiink people naturally try to set things in the middle to start. And that's way too high for the ANF.

- 73 N3LI - 
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Michael Coslo

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Somewhere back in here someone told me that the ANF won't work on tuner uppers. That beats me. I've used it on tuner uppers, I've used it on CW ops operating on a voice QSO,  I used it on heterodynes on 40 meters, last night in an attempt to figure out what exactly I'm doing wrong that makes it work for me, I tried notching out a RTTY signal. I did have to up the slider to "3" from 1 or 2, but it silenced both sides of the RTTY. Probably would be pretty tough on a voice signal.  Anyhow, I'll just concede I'm doing something wrong.  8^)

Thing that is funny is that until people started complaining about it, I never used it - I'd always right clicked the spot of a tuner-upper, and enabled a TNF. Now it's another tool in the arsenal.
What I think Flex might do is not have such a large range of adjustment, because I thiink people naturally try to set things in the middle to start. And that's way too high for the ANF.

- 73 N3LI - 
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Ken Davis

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I hesitate to ask this question but I have to. I am at V1,xx on a 6300. When V4.xx comes along will I have to buy V2 and V3 to get to V4? I think I know the answer but go ahead, make my day :-)
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N8SDR

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As stated in the release notes of upcoming Version 3 the simple answer is NO you can skip. In the  Version 3 FAQ sheet there is an example  :if I'm currently on version 1.X do i need to purchase ver 2 before i can purchase and use version 3. answer : This is not necessary, you may purchase and install SmartSDR v3 as a direct upgrade from version 1, and you will also automatically get all of the additional features release in v2 over the last 18 months with no additional charge.
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bobby

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No you can just buy the newest version which will contain all the previous fixes and features that you missed before. So if a new version comes out that has a feature you cant live without then you buy it otherwise you skip the versions that have bugs you cant live with and wait for the features you cant live without, kinda like girlfriends.
(Edited)
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Ken Davis

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I love the analogy. Thanks
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Asher - K0AU

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Slightly off topic, but V3 has me thinking about a Maestro for remote operation with my 6700. What's a link to best approach to control my AG2x8, Alpha and Green Heron when I'm operating remote with a Maestro? Does the Maestro provide a VPN tunnel to access other Ethernet devices?
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AH0U

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As far as the AG8x2 many of us has asked this for years and the best sand latest response from Fkex is that that is a 4o3a issue and not our issue... 4o3a says we are working on that with Fkex... take your pick but don’t hold your breath waiting for a fix
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Asher - K0AU

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Well it's $1200 of Maestro revenue for Flex if they or Ranko can solve it. Along with controlling my GH controller and a couple of other RS-232 peripherals. There's no revenue in finger pointing. Or just provide a VPN tunnel so I can do it myself. But if I have to build my own VPN, then who needs SmartLink?
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Don Plunkett

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All that I want to know is why I would pay money for a feature that I would NEVER use, And, how much is the upgrade ... I haven't seen that in any documentation. ... Don ... VA6FH (6300)
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Craig - KØCF

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It was explicitly stated: $199.
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Larry - W8LLL

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Its more than just multiFlex,

" In addition to the multiFLEX feature, this first release of SmartSDR 3.0 will also include: new band settings menu/panel that allow a user to set certain settings per band like power levels, TX
inhibit, ACC/TX1/TX2/TX3 enables, RCA/ACC TX request enable and HWALC
 TX/MIC Profile Changes – all settings are now saved on the fly (as settings are changed) "


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Michael Coslo

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Don, I'll ask you the question - Why would you pay money for a feature you will never use? You don't have to buy anything.  You do know that the radio doesn't stop working, so if you are happy with what is on your computer so far, you're golden. $199 American, whateve the exchange rate is Canadian. 
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Asher - K0AU

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That one's easy! If Flex adds features that sell more radios, then they can hire more people and get us even more features. For this to work they have to show they're building features for contesters, DXers, ragchewers... Which means committing to some roadmaps. If I only get 1/3 of the features I want each year, I'm still better off.
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Steven Linley

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Version 2 still has bugs the latest release disabled the recorder. None of the versions improve the noise reduction.
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Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

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Here come the snakes:

Here is the situation: I have a can of worms, Each worm does a specific job. Each worm can crossbreed with any other worm. This gives rise to a new generation of worms, most perform the tasks that their parents did but some stop others doing their specific tasks, we'll call these mutant worms 'bugs'.

Now as the owner of the can of worms, I have some specialist worm breeders who look for the mutant worms and if they are not beneficial to the colony, eradicate them, hoping that this does not affect the good worms. We call these people 'programmers'.

Sometimes, all the programmer's time is spent eradicating the bugs, and when they are all gone, they can get on with breeding some new worms, we call this adding new features or making original features better. Unfortunately doing this can cause new mutant worms to be produced so we have to go back to finding and killing them off.

As the number of worms is always growing, the number of bugs is also growing. So now we ask some other people who know a bit about our can of worms, to help us find the mutant worms, we call these people 'alpha or beta testers'. The can't kill the mutant worms but they can tell us when they find one so that our programmers can kill them.

As my can of worms gets ever larger, then I can sort out the really good worms and hopefully, make them better at their jobs and breed fewer mutant worms (bugs).

I decide that my can of worms is now in a state where I can sell my can of my worms to other people, we'll call this 'Version A'. Lots of people buy the can complete with the worms and start to use it. As they use it, they think of more good worms that they would like to have so they get in touch and say, 'can you make a worm that does this job'. I talk to my specialist breeders (programmers) and ask if they can breed this specific worm. After a bit of head scratching, they come up with a worm that does the specific task I ask for, not perfectly, but pretty good.

So I add this new worm to the can and give it to all the folks that have Version A, we'll call this 'Version A1'.

We keep adding more worms, sometimes because people ask for them, sometimes because we can see that better worms make our can better that the competition's can.

As we do this, the we reach a point where we have maybe 10 versions and we then add a monster worm, this one does something we always said was going to be possible but we couldn't do it in Version A, so we decide that we will call this 'Version B' but it has cost a lot of money to make so we sell it, as our customers already have the can, we'll call it a radio server, then all we need to sell them are the worms, so we make the price a very reasonable $199.00. Lots of the can owners buy the new set of worms are are very pleased. Some are not pleased because the worm they want is not there or isn't quite up to the task at a level that they want.

As is often the case, the people who didn't get the worm they wanted are often the most vocal, sometimes they are even polite in asking 'what about my worm'.

So I find another couple of worm breeders and keep on breeding more worms. Can you see where this is going? Breeding worms is cyclic, as each new generation arrives, it brings its own benefits and problems. 

However, I know that my can and worm farm are far better than anything the competition has or is likely to have in the near future, after all I have been doing this for years and I know how to make a really good can and my worms are pretty amazing. 

Most of my customers are very happy, but there are always some who want slightly different worms. We don't say to them, 'tough, we aren't going to take any notice of what you want'. What we do is try to breed the worms they want, the happy customers are all still happy and many of those that are not happy at least feel that we are trying, well most of them do but there are always a couple who will stir my worms up just for the sake of doing it.

At the end of the day, it's all about choice. I advertise my can with it's worms and you decide whether or not to buy it. At the very least, when you buy my can, you know that new worms will be offered in the future. As things are at the moment, none of the 'big' players in the market can do that because they are still making their cans the old way.

To end the analogy, I look at what Flex has done this way:

Version 1 or SSDR was small worms.
Version 2 is big fat earthworms.
Version 3 looks as though it may have real snakes.

Oh, yes, the can - my original can still works with all the worms I can produce. I made a couple of new cans with different features but I know that for the foreseeable future, all my cans works with all the worms I have ever bred.

I like snakes, roll on March! 

Tim
(Edited)
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Michael Coslo

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Hi Tim, here's the short version:

99 little bugs in the code,
99 little bugs,
Take one down, patch it around,
128 little bugs in the code.
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John - K3MA

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Tim.  The real issue is that people object to the fact that the small worms in Version 1 have 20/20 vision and everyone knows that worms are all blind.  But now in Version 3 Flex may have fixed that problem and have a change that makes all the small worms blind like they should have been but you need to pay for the snakes in order to get your worms to be blind like every other worm.  Some people do not like snakes and have the reasonable expectation that their small worms should have been blind from the start and object to having to pay to get it corrected.
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Michael Coslo

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As a person blessed with exposure to a lot of different radios, and the chance to operate them enough to get a good handle on them, every radio out there has issues. Many of these problems are not even acknowledged as problems. 

The IC7610, which people in here threaten to buy because of reasons - well, if an update is interrupted, you have a brick that needs shipped back to the factory.

My KPA-1500's, which are wonderful amps,  had a problem that would brick the amps and took an emergency firmware update. 

Regardless, I have never seen a radio company with as good service as FlexRadio Systems. 
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Burt Fisher

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No one matches their customer service and that maybe I am forgetting?
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WA2SQQ

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Looks like many of you aren’t thrilled with FRS’s decisions on V3. To me, it’s obvious what’s behind it. I’m a product engineer for a well know consumer electronics company that produces digital still cameras. September starts my 40th year so I’ve been down this road many times. Our “competition” is Canon and Nikon. Because effective product design relies on market feedback I interface with our marketing people daily. 11 years ago, we introduced “mirrorless” cameras and the competition laughed at us. We than added high end video recording capability to a still camera, and again they laughed at us. But as we predicted, these innovations started the demise of the traditional digital SLR camera.   Fast forward to 2019 - the “competition” is trying to compete in the mirrorless market. We recently introduced two new mirrorless cameras with a substantially larger image sensor than we’ve been using for the past 10 years. As was expected, a large part of our user base took to social media concluding that we were abandoning our legacy models and moving forward to compete in much higher and more expensive markets. As one user stated, “you guys are trying to create solutions for problems that don’t exist.” The truth is, their conclusions were totally wrong. Realizing that there was a portion of this market that wants larger image sensors, the current design was scaled up to accommodate the larger sensors. This enabled us to go after another market, while retaining our current user base.  I think this is what V3 is all about.

FRS was a pioneer in SDR and has been responsible for many innovations in the SDR evolution. V3 seems to be all about trying to increase their foot print in the amateur radio market. I’m hoping they will do what we did. To reassure the core user base, we’ve been releasing firmware updates and new peripheral accessories for those who have no desire to move up. Adding features that have been removed over the years. Wouldn’t it be nice if FRS offered a few updates that the previous platform offered? Customization of the filters by “right clicking” on them – maybe allowing users to create their own “skins” to customize the GUI appearance or even improving the NR?

We all need to realize that for a company to grow, it’s not just making current customers happy, it’s about adding new customers and creating product that set them apart from the competition.






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Michael Coslo

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Well put. And Flex is doing a great job of competing. Between say a Flex Signature series and what many consider to be their main SDR rival, the Icom 7610, well, my modest 6300 is many times the radio that the 7610 is, and that's based on personal experience. 

If I were to look at the biggest threat to Flex, it is the platform for SSDR. Windows 10 updates are harmful, and reduce uptime. It garners a bad rep for Flex.
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Kevin

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What you say makes some good sense. I'm also a product manager but my product is subscription based. That means besides being concerned about getting new customers we must keep existing customers satisfied to ensure their renewals. Competition is very stiff so there's no sitting on our past victories. People are used to quick (agile? yuck) innovation.

How does repeat business fit in with the camera model? You do very specific things so that when someone is ready to upgrade they buy another model of your camera instead of one from the competitor. What kind of things do you do to entice them; innovate within their price point or add features that have limited use? How do you talk to your current customers?

Personally, I think flex is not anywhere near as mature as your camera company. I think they are more in the Elon Musk arena doing cool stuff but maybe not making the best business decisions. And I think that's maybe a good thing for as long as it lasts. They have contributed to the state of the art. My prediction, sorry about this, is that for Flex to actually grow and become a major player it will take a buyout. In the ham radio market, that's not a likely prospect. Can you possibly imagine purchasing an MFJ-6700? Maybe an IC-6700? How about a Heath HW-6700? Man!

I disagree with a lot of what Flex is doing. Then I turn on the radio and the world changes. It's weird. I know. 

Kev
K4VD
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Terry K8EET

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Great post. Mirrorless cameras, electric cars, SDR radio all on the leading edge of technology. Less expensive to build...true as a consumer you pay to be on the leading edge but you are supporting the development. If you don't want to be on the edge of this technology, there's a good market for your radio. Sell it and go back to those wonderful legacy radios. 
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Asher - K0AU

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This is great insight. I've also product managed tech businesses for many years, but generally not consumer. The way I perceive V3 is it's a "recruit the influencers" release. Contesters are the most visible influencers. There are no ragchew influencers. DXpeditions may be influencers but DXers probably have antenna influencers more than rig influencers.

Remote operation is a very interesting concept, particularly in today's HOA world. It's probably the best growth market for high-end hamming. My personal perspective is that Flex should finish the remote use case. Unfortunately they've dropped the ball on peripheral control. Even for peripherals they resell, like the 4O3A Antenna Switch.

They've also dropped the ball on communicating who they're bullding for, what use cases they're prioritizing, and what's the best way to integrate their products into a ham station solution.
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Mario - KC8P

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Guys, nothing is perfect, one of primary business goals is to make a profit. The armature radio is a niche market. I can't even imagine how FRS can exist, innovate, pay and retain employees, it could be tough....on consumer side we have always choice to select different product to satisfy our needs and requirements.
(Edited)
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James Whiteway

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Amateur radio is not FRS's only source of income.
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Mario - KC8P

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I'm aware of that....but to hire and keep decent software engineer cost them more than $100k per year and I'm quite confident they have more than one...now, think how many units do they have to sale to cover single employee salary....
(Edited)
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Mario - KC8P

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...and according to this https://www.owler.com/company/flexradio they have 45 employees and $3M annual revenue.
 
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WA2SQQ

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1.       No decision any company makes will satisfy everyone. (Bottom Line)

2.       Every decision should be based on ROI.

3.       You buy a Flex and you effectively have a plug and play radio, unlike Anan which requires substantially more technical tinkering. Hooks to external software and hardware are generally more difficult. I bought my radio to use it, not to be in a perpetual beta testing mode.

4.       Many version 1 users did not upgrade, and their radios work just fine. Version 2 offered added capability – those that were interested purchased it. V 3 won’t be any different.

5.       Icom makes a nice radio, but it’s no Flex. Neither Icom, Kenwood or Yaesu provide service and support that comes close to Flex.

To me this is what matters - the freedom to choose.




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Jimmy Collis

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Your right No decision any company makes will satisfy everyone. But I think it should satisfy the Majority
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I think multiflex will make a lot of people happy, there are a lot that will make good use of this v3 as it is so far. I for one have little use for it,,but I know how it has also put Flex Radio at the top in this kind of connectivity.
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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In reference to Steve Jobs, some products only fill a gap once you have tried the product. Remote operations was very much like that for me, since I was comfortable with using Teamviewer already. I didn't know I needed a maestro until I owned one.

Sometimes pleasing the 'majority' of your customers doesn't grow your customer base.
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David - AB1XG

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Be patient.

If V3 does not have any features you want/need, then don't upgrade.

If V3 at some time in the future has new features you DO want, then if it's worth it to you, then upgrade.

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Ken Davis

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How about someone at FRS Tech Support publishing a YouTube on V3 and show us what it will do and all the good things about the upgrade (no marketing hype please). If you like it, buy it. If not, stay on your current version until V4 comes along. Then, if you are really impressed with the new features in V4, buy it and you get V1, V2, bug fixes plus V3. 

On the annual subscription thing, that is a good thing too.  Look at the Microsoft Office 365 model.  For an annual fee which I think is around $125 you get the entire Office Suite for 5 PC's for one year with all the feature and bug updates to boot.  If FRS would do something like this for something under $100 it would be a winner and this diatribe would not exist.

IMHO
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Flex is working on a video as we speak
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AH0U

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If another station is operating via my 6700 remotely, will they also need to buy V3???
(Edited)
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Ted VE3TRQ

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The license is associated with the radio, not the user / pc.
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James Whiteway

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" On the annual subscription thing, that is a good thing too. Look at the Microsoft Office 365 model. For an annual fee which I think is around $125 you get the entire Office Suite for 5 PC's for one year with all the feature and bug updates to boot. If FRS would do something like this for something under $100 it would be a winner and this diatribe would not exist."

Even if FRS did offer an annual subscription there would be complaints. Don't pay the subscription fee in time and you radio stops working, would create a lot of havoc. Plus, being a tiny company compared to Microsoft, the support costs alone would kill FRS.
It's not having to pay for FEATURE upgrades, ( new ones, not partially working existing ones) that some people have issues with. It's having to purchase a full upgrade in hopes that at some point, EXISTING bugs and partially working features finally are fixed.
None of the reasons given by myself and others, for questioning the fact that, bugs and partially working, existing features should have been addressed before requiring a paid upgrade is unreasonable or wrong in some way.
If you or others here don't understand that, I don't know what to tell you. Too many people are happy with the status quo. And let things slide as long.as what they want works or they are blinded by brand loyalty to the point they cannot, or will not, accept that not all people have the same feelings towards the company and product, they admire so much.
James
WD5GWY
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Most of us who is blinded by brand loyalty as you say see it this way, or at least I do. I know some of the DSP filters are not working as well as they should. I know the record playback on air is being fixed in this 2.5 up date. There are many things that could be better,,,yes...

But, I still do not see another radio I would prefer over my radio. I think SSDR is amazing and Flex has been doing a great job with it.

It surprises me Flex has said months ago multi client is coming, and now it is very close it has already opened the door for the same people complaining, thinking that they make a difference,,that they are helping, they don't. WE are all aware of the things that need work, nothing new here.

The same ones who never ever say anything positive about Flex, and call people names or think those who are happy with Flex are nuts, drink cool aid or what ever, or blinded.

I know I could just walk away and not read these silly never ending critical comments. Being hidden as helpful comments.
The same way people can can move on to something they feel would be better. But they don't. Why? Because these same complainers also know Flex offers to much to let go. They too have no interest in anything else, because their still here.

I think it is great when someone mentions something that needs attention or fixing, keep it coming, but every few weeks? the same things? the people doing that are intent of stirring up the community, that is what they are about, and we know who they are,,just read their comments.

I really hope those of you doing this can make a change and make comments that lift the community up.
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James Whiteway

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Bill, I'm sorry if you think my comments were to disrupt the Community. That never has been my intention. As for my repeating.the same things, yes you are correct. If something is not brought up once in a while., nothing will ever be done about it.
I see posts here daily focused on things that interest contesters, that are not working correctly. And very few, if anyone attempts to belittle the poster for mentioning the issue. But, let someone voice their concerns about issues that some seem to thing should just be accepted or ignored, then the thread turns into veiled insults and belittling.
None of that improves the situation. Of all the people that post here, I respect your opinion. Even if I do not agree at times.
Unfortunately, that cannot be said.for another here who seems to almost enjoy belittling others by constantly reminding everyone of his wealth.and business experience. Along with saying anyone complaining about ongoing issues that he has no interest in, are few and reading in between the lines,
do not matter. I respectfully disagree.
James
WD5GWY
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Bill -VA3WTB

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If something is not brought up once in a while., nothing will ever be done about it.

Thanks James, one of my points to all, is that continued harping on something will not and can not speed anything up. Everything is well documented. Here is the simple truth. Flex has weekly meetings to discuss the same things we mention here. They set plans in motion. But we do not know what they are, or time frames.

I know this bothers those that just must know all this inside info, but we can't. End of story.
It makes no difference what bugs they fix, or what features they decide to introduce, there will always be some that will ask,, what about my idea, or,,where is my feature?
Or, it is nice they added this feature, but it would have been nicer if they did this way, and added this or that.

I honestly believe Flex has tipped the scale in favour of the contesting community were the big money is, and yes Flex has bragging rights for doing things no other company is doing or can do with their radio lines. And Flex is not really considering the average user as they really should be. I can see that as well.

But my radio is just so nice to operate under almost any conditions, anything I need that is not native to SSDR I can find it in other 3rd party software, so simple to setup.

I think of all the great things my radio does so easy compared to other radios that need USB cables and patch cords to do the most simple things that are just part of the Flex system, no cables. Just mouse clicks to set anything up.

My Flex has such a great receiver that I hardly ever need a NB, or ANF. or NR. I just simply carefully adjust the AGC-T and volume and I can live with it. I can't say that for other radios I had. If those filters were not working really well then the radio was almost un usable.

So you see, even with some of the things that are not working as they should, I'm still happy with what I have. NO, I am not blindly giving Flex a free pass, I wish some things were better, but if it were not for the things the radio does so well and I can give credit for, I would look for something else.

But for now as far as I can see the future, I am ok with hoping things come along that I think I can enjoy on my radio and I can enjoy the radio I already have.
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Mario - KC8P

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I would also agree with the subscription model aka software-as-a-service (SaaS) as long as is reasonable priced. All the major software players are going this route...Adobe, Microsoft, Google etc.
(Edited)
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Johan / SE3X

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Just for the record, I'm very much against it! I like to own what I have and I really dislikes the SaaS model.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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At one point in Ancient History, Flex toyed with the idea of an annual subscription fee.. But hams being CHEAP caused such a huge negative outcry against an annual fee, that the idea was quickly killed.   Flex then came up with a fee for a MAJOR Version Upgrade. which, of course, since Hams are Cheap also resulted in an outcry albeit not as loudly negative as the annual fee idea.


The issue is this..

It costs a LOT OF MONEY to make, fix and support software.. Features are never EXACLY what the customers want or EXPECTED them to be or THOUGHT they heard the salesman promise when they ordered them. 

For Example. I rarely use ANF because the TNF feature is so superior to any notching.  ANF does work but clearly does not meet the expectations of a few users.  Same with NB.. I find its more than adequate but WNB is far superior to anything by Elecraft or Icom for my ultra noisy location.  Again, NB does work but clearly does not meet the expectations of a few users.   

if you are running a business, you need revenue to make payroll.  Do you commit resources to meeting adequate but unsatisfied expectations of a few existing NON PAYING customer by giving away upgrades to old features or do you work on features that will drive in new revenue to pay the bills.   BTW..IMNSHO Changing the ANF or NB or adding Squelch features would be feature upgrades

Over the years I owned a few companies in Software/hardware businesses and the ongoing development, support and maintenance costs using the version upgrade pricing model almost killed them..

We ultimately fell by accident into the annual subscription model. lost a few customers but in the long run, the companies became quite financially healthy before I sold them.    But my customers were well heeled Corporations and Governments who were willing to pay the costs... because it wasn't a hobby and they needed the software to work.

Flex, OTOH, has CHEAP HAMS for customers (Not an Insult but a fact of life - I could say financially challenged but many hams are wealthy so that wont work)  No matter if Flex maintains the Version Upgrade Model or the Annual Subscription Model, someone will complain about the price and value of the product.  Flex can't win no matter which pricing model they use.


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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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Since, in yearly terms, a new release comes every 2 years (yes I know this one is a bit ahead of schedule), if you buy every one you are paying 100 bucks a year for maintenance. This would likely cause more revenue but also pissed off customers who have to buy it. As Howard said, this is a kinder way to do this since its not mandatory but delivers the same effect
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Lots of people think that Gerald has no idea how to run a company, I have read comments to that effect in the last few years. Most those whom are full of them selves and have no skin in the game at all. some things just never change...too funny.

I read such a post yesterday when someone thinks SSDR should never exist and Flex should have stayed with open source the way it began. And that Flex should just get out of software all together. I hope that never happens.

I have watched Anan take better then a year trying to get V3 working properly and it is so slow in progress. No thanks....they have done some great work and should be held high yes,,,but I think I will just stay put here with something that I at least understand what I'm dealing with.
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Burt Fisher

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Gerald absolutely knows how to run a company and his kid is pretty good too. He should do a TED talk on excellent customer service.