Sharing my Flex-6500 using Smart SDR v3.0.19

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  • Updated 7 months ago
Once I've paid for the upgrade, how does my friend in a horrid HOA access my radio? Does he have to purchase SmartSDR v3.0.19 as well? Do I give him my SmartLink login info?
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Richard Adkins

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Posted 7 months ago

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N9VC

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He does not have to purchase it, but you have to give him
your log-in info.
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Richard Adkins

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Thank you!
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Robert Lonn

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You give him your credit card number, Pin number to your ATM and 3 digit security code, and he will be set to go!!!! :-)

Robert
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Craig Williams

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Cute, not.
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Joe N3HEE

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I think you can also create a second SmartLink account and link it to your radio.  Then give your friend that second SmartLink account info to connect to your radio. 
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Rich McCabe

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Joe, Be curious if this is the case. I would like a guest login
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Dave - W6OVP

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We need a nice simple 5 minute video clip showing how to set this up with a minimum of angst...
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Joe N3HEE

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I believe someone is working on a video ?
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Dave - W6OVP

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I'm surprised it isn't ready for release at the same time as the software since it is a key feature of V3...
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Michael Walker, Employee

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There are videos on setting up SmartLink already:
(Edited)
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Dave - W6OVP

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This is a 15 min generic. How about a short one that is VERY SPECIFIC to what we are talking about?

"Sharing my Flex-6500 using Smart SDR v3.0.19"

TNX. Dave

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Michael Walker, Employee

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Hi Dave

If I did it over on V3, I'm not sure what I would add.  I would think that watching this and watching the V3 overview would provide the same information.  

Am I missing something?  

In V2, only one of you could access at the same time.  In v3, you both can access at the same time.   Beyond that the interfacing and operation has all the same specifics.

I am open to specifics and would be happy to do one if required.  

Mike
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Roger, W6VZV

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I would love a short video showing how to run my Flex remotely over the internet using Marcus' iPad program remotely.   That is my next step in my Flex evolution.
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Richard Adkins

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This is a feature ripe for being at the top of an FAQ.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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But to your question, it's simple. Your freind will need a good internet connection, they do not have to be using V3, all you do is give them your log in info to connect to you.
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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They NEED to download and use the same version loaded in the radio. There is no cost to download SmartSDR 3.0 for Windows. 

There IS a charge, for radios purchased prior to 10/1/18, to upgrade the actual radio to 3.0 or newer.
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Pat N6PAT

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I have to wonder if there is a certain risk in allowing someone to remotely use your radio. What happens if they operate illegally in some manner? As the owner of the radio are you responsible for their actions?

What if they do something to damage your radio or amp? Let's say they keep transmitting on ANT2 but you don't have an antenna set up for ANT2 or they somehow leave it in a keyed mode for an extended period of time.

With the money I have invested in my station I would never allow anyone else to operate it especially when they are located somewhere else.
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Richard Adkins

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I understand and share your concerns. In my case, there is only one person that I have in mind to share my radio with and we've been friends for over 40 years. He's a licensed ham with a radio of his own but, it ain't a Flex! 
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Pat N6PAT

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And if he somehow damages your radio and/or your amp will you still be friends? Who would cover the cost of repair or replacement?
(Edited)
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Dave - W6OVP

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As long as I can watch the other Ham using my FLEX on my screen, and I can change the Password quickly and easily, I don't have any concern at all.
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Pat N6PAT

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So you would only allow a remote op to use your radio when you are there? How do you know if they're using it while your not monitoring it (asleep, dining, driving, etc.?)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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How possibly could anyone damage your Flex radio? For me, I don't have my amp on when someone uses my radio, they only have 100w to play with.

I would hope users are veted a little bit so you know who they are first.

With V3,,you can disconnect the other client
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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Actually there's probably a number of ways an operator could damage a radio.

Yes, you can disconnect someone but only if your watching while they are operating your radio. Many ops say they leave their Flex on 24/7 so how do you know if someone is using your radio when you're sleeping or away?
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Pat

Are you sure your not a lawyer.. you have so many negative thoughts

Hi Hi


FYI--- been sharing my radios and towers and amps for years and never had an issue


in fact my 6700 is usually one of the remote demo radios at the Flex Booth. where the "Great Unwashed" get to fiddle.. and if they can't break it... well!!!!!!!
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I don't think anyone can damage my radio if they really tried to, what is not protected?
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John N6NTM

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There are safe guards in place.....before you think of the negative......learn all there is to know.....ease your mind Flex brother.... confidence in those that bring us.....RADIOS FROM THE FUTURE.....after all....these things your worrying about are up to you....simple.....unless your 100% trusting in a person you share with...don’t share....
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Pat N6PAT

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Howard,

No. I am not a lawyer. However, my 35 years of system design taught me to consider the possibility of what could go wrong and not just concentrate on what could go right.
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Pat N6PAT

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Bill,

If a radio and amp are protected to the point that it cannot be damaged then they would last forever.

It's not wise to assume that nothing can go wrong.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Pat

I am an engineer. I have built complex systems all over the world since the early 60’s. The hardest part of working on Innovative systems is fighting negativity.
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Pat N6PAT

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Hey that's great.

I've found that while designing a system focusing on the potential pitfalls of each element allows me to address them during the design phase rather than having to address them after implementation at additional cost.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I agree Pat, but as I think about it, there really is not anything anyone could do to harm my radio remotely. so the aspect of someone damaging your radio is not likely.
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Pat N6PAT

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How would that work with an older tube amp that must be re-tuned manually?  It's pretty easy to damage that type of amp
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Yes that is the only thing I can think of,,this is the reason my amp is off line when it is being used bye a freind,,other than that they can do what ever they please.
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Pat N6PAT

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So the remote user can only operate at low power for your configuration?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Yes 100w, my amp is an tube amp.
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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I will NOT allow anybody use my radio unless I explicitly trust them.

It is a very short list :-)

 Trying to talk my friend in Hawaii to upgrade his Flex 5000A to a 6600. He's been playing earlier via MultiFlex.

Dave wo2x
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Pat N6PAT

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Well that brings to mind any other EQ that might need to be handled manually such as a manual tuner. That would come into play regardless of the power level.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Good thing is..this freind knows what he is doing, but because my station is not fully automated I have to have some things off as he can't adjust everything. But he uses my on board ant tuner.
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Pat N6PAT

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I'm just trying to understand what conditions you would need to allow a remote user to fully operate your station. You would have to eliminate all manual tasks (coax switches, tuners, amp, etc.)
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Pat N6PAT

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Would they be able to operate your antenna rotator remotely?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Here in my shack it's simple, I have the amp off and my outboard tuner set to direct. He can only use the bands my antenna can work on and he understands that.

This is why I said before, it needs to be someone you can trust and understands conditions in your shack. But sharing can be a safe thing to do.

I am using a dipole antenna.
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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Agreed. It can be done safely if you cover all bases. Pretty much everything has to be automatic or controllable remotely. Basically a fully automated shack
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Bill -VA3WTB

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My setup here is not the best, The guy that uses my radio is an elderly man in a retirement home, But he is thrilled just being able to get on the radio on 40m. And I'm glad I can share this with him.
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Hi Pat,

My setup has a solid state amp that tracks radio frequency via USB cable to the back of the radio so automatic bandswitching. In SmartSDR v3 there is a new TX persistence table where you can enter settings for all the bands in one place (power out, TX1, 2, 3, TX Inhibit, etc) 

I also have an auto antenna tuner which follows frequency direct from radio USB. 

Antennas are switched using a USB to BIT cable that drives a SainSmart USB8 board. That in turn drives my 1x4 antenna switch for automatic antenna switching.

So my friend in Hawaii has been bouncing between 17, 20 and 40 meters today and everything was switching fine.

I may spring for a 4O3A 2x8 antenna switch so I can have a second client running on a different antenna than the first.

Hopefully this gives you some insight as how you can set up a station for remote or MultiFlex operation.

73
Dave wo2x
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Pat, forgot to mention, I use PST Rotator to control my HF Yagi and it has a built in web server. My friend can bring up a web page to enter beam headings directly and there are preconfigured azimuth buttons. I use a non-standard port for the web server.

Also I have a network power distribution that again uses a non-standard port and is password protected. He can switch the amp & radio on or off, DC supply, rotator, etc.

Dave wo2x
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Pat N6PAT

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But how would you both control the rotator at the same time? How would you prevent the remote user changing antenna direction while you are using it?

Also, if you are on one band and the remote user is on another wouldn't that force your tuner to retune almost non stop?
(Edited)
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Best thing to do is use something like Slack to coordinate between remote users. 

Dave wo2x
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Pat N6PAT

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Yes. It's almost as if you have to limit the operations to one operator at a time.
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Pat

I have running my 6700. SteppIR Monstir, Rotor and 2K-FA remotely for years Yes I have all sorts of backup systems and remote reboots for everything as well as dual homed internet. Pretty close to 99.99% uptime. Sharing it is not a major issue. As I said it’s usually one of the Flex Show Demo systems that the public can play with. For the most part it’s totally automated even with two clients albeit I have profiles to use separate antennas.

I really do not understand your continual negativity. On The Other Hand I have successfully fought such negativity for years when designing and building systems. Life is much better with a positive can attitude.
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Pat N6PAT

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You 're confusing genuine curiosity. with continual negativity

I'm attempting to understand how allowing remote users to use your radio while you are using it applies to shacks that are not (or even if they are) fully automated.

If two ops are on different bands it seems to me to be unworkable for anyone that has a manually tuned amp or tuner. Even an auto tuner would go crazy constantly re-tuning between bands. How does that work?

How do you share an antenna rotator or an antenna switching unit?

Why do you label these kinds of questions as being negative? I'm really surprised no one has asked them before
(Edited)
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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I think what it comes down to Pat is knowing what the limitations of the station are.

For example, a Flex 6600, PGXL, 4O3A 2x8 switch, resonant antennas and proper isolation between antennas allows two people to be on two different bands at the same time. If you have multiple towers and separate Yagis for each band then each can have their own rotor control.

Now dumb down a station where there is only one auto tuner for non resonant antennas then the users need to know the limitations (amount of time for tuning when switching bands, etc).

That is where the station owner needs to lay down ground rules before handing over SmartLink credentials.

You do bring up good points that thought and education needs to come into play before letting someone use your station remotely. (Or even when they are visiting and in front of the radio).

Dave
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Pat N6PAT

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I agree. It almost seems that to take full advantage of V3 you need as you said "PGXL, 4O3A 2x8 switch, resonant antennas" etc, Those are very expensive toys.

Certainly it can work without all that but it places considerable restrictions on how you operate.

If you have a manual amp and/or tuner then you have to be present whenever someone wants to remote in. You also would not be able to operate at the same time on a different band without constantly re-tuning.

That's all I'm talking about. These are questions regarding limitations that should be asked yet I am accused of being negative.

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Bill -VA3WTB

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Pat,,,All good questions you asked. All this is just part of sharing a radio in the way we can now. limitations for some and none for some, all depends.

It will be interesting what things people will come up with in the future, this is just the begining of a technology in ham radio.

I read yesterday were a few members said that V3 is a god send for them because sometimes they forget to close SSDR down at home then find that they can't log in at the office because the radio is busy. Not a problem now,,can leave SSDR running at home and log in anytime. It's things like that that makes this so nice.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Pat

I normally run,on 20M/40M AT THE SAME TIME. on my 6700. Both Antennas are resonant so no tuner Isolation is very good. 2K-FA Amp is usually on 20M. Solid state. Albeit electronic ally switchable between bands. PSTROTATOR web app. Station has been remoted since 2011. Over the years I have added significant redundancy so the station is pretty well bulletproof. Been used as a Flex remote demo station for 2+ year. So far none of the “Great Unwashed” has yet to break anything. Hence no issues sharing with friends.
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Pat N6PAT

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That's good to know.

But what about the ops that use older hardware in conjunction with a Flex V3? Not everyone can pony up the coin for a PGXL.  .

For example - Bill mentioned that he has to shut down his tube amp in order to allow a remote op to use his radio and limit the remote op to just 100 watts.  Of course he is also limiting himself to 100 watts if he's using the radio at the same time.

When I bring these questions up you accuse me of being negative. I'm just trying to understand exactly how V3 will play out.

And who are the "Great Unwashed" you are referring to if you don't mind me asking?
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Unsophisticated button pushing public that randomly populate the Flex booth at shows. They are phenomenal beta testers because if it’s possible to break something they will. So far my station has survived.

Frankly you get what you’re willing /able to pay for For me, Since I travel so much, being able to seamlessly Operate remotely Was imperative and so I made the investment in station automation. Once the Station became remotely automated Extending to my friends to operate was trivial.

I can’t speak for what others need Or are willing to invest in

I guess my reaction to negativity is due to the fact I spent much of my life fighting being told it wouldn’t work or could not be done attitudes and then proving them wrong.
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Pat N6PAT

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Take a look at the thread "V3 - Smart SDR 2nd Pan Adapter Greyed Out"

Eric mentions that on a 6300 or 6400 - both have only 2 panadapters and 2 slices -  if a remote user is on then the resources the remote op is using will be unavailable to another op.  I wonder if you let 2 remote ops use that configuration then would the local op be out in the cold with no slice to use at all?

I asked the question "does that mean neither op can run split if a local and remote op (or 2 remote ops) are  on a 6300 or 6400 at the same time?" but haven't gotten a response yet.

It does seem from what I'm reading that on a 6300 or 6400 you give up split capabilities when another op is using a slice. Ouch!

Of course I could be completely wrong - I often am.







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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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You can certainly use the RIT and XIT to achieve split with one slice. If two people are connected to a 6300 or 6400 then the +RX button and Split button will be unavailable.

If the station owner needs both to have split capability he can call Flex and talk to them about a trade-in towards a two SCU radio.

As far as resources, on a single SCU radio both will share those resources. If they are on a multiband Yagi one can be on 15 and the other on 20 meters.

Again manual tune amp, manual tuner then the remote op is at the mercy of the local op’s current operating band/freq.

We’ve pretty much ran this topic into the ground. You get the idea that model radio, antennas, and accessiries will be limiting factor on how Flexible the operating will be.

Let’s move on.

Dave wo2x
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John KB4DU

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The local club has had the same discussion. Would like to convert to Flex so members don't have to go to the club station to operate. I can't find anything FCC about the radio owner being responsible, only the operator.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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So, this is not buried in the thread.

This video has been around for a while and all you need is V2 to get started and v3 if you both want to do it at the same time.

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Richard Adkins

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Sweet! Thanks, Michael.
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Richard Adkins

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And, to answer Pats question, yes, if something happened and my friend completed destroyed my Flex, he would still be my friend. In the end, it's just a radio, and his friendship is much more valuable. Also, he's the ONLY person I'd allow to access my radio. 
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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I think it's admirable to put your friendship before the expense of a radio. Many people would not
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Money is easy to replace. Good friends are not that easy. To find
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Burt Fisher

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Some even put the radio ahead of their wife.