smart sdr version 3

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  • Updated 8 months ago
New version 3 but no information for this version.

http://cart.flexradio.com/SmartSDR-Version-3_p_1107.html
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Jean Drolet

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Posted 10 months ago

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JohnSweeney

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If you Google SmartSDR Version 3, it says: SmartSDR Version 3 - $199.   It goes on to say something about ordering but the included link is no longer available.
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Marc Lalonde

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already deleted ,short lived version ;-)


(Edited)
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Ted VE3TRQ

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I really liked the previous "short loved" version of your comment, Marc - it was so appropriate :-)
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Marc Lalonde

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ya big finger + dyslexia make lot of funny thing 
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Yes, there was a v3 link in the store.  It is part of getting ready for the release when it happens.  It is actually somewhat hidden and you can't find it normally, but not hard for people like Jean.  :) 

You do that well in advance just so you can test things.  Not a big deal.

As for when, Steve N5AC answered below.  Feel free to read on.
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Johan / SE3X

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Good sign though! someone screewed up when preparing website for the release of V3. First sign of life of the new version .. Maybe a Christmas present for us users? Just praying the multi client will be in this release :)
(Edited)
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bobby

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Christmas present for flex ... havent even got a year of free updates on 2 and now they want more money for fixes that havent materialized including a decent noise blanker ... really, Ho Ho Ho. Merry Chrstmas :-( You do the math 8000 users upgrade x $200 a pop ... WOW ... 1.6 Million Dollars for software with new features. (bugs) and free beta testers! Cost to the company Ziltch .. staff is already salaried and figured into the budget .. pure profit!
(Edited)
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N5LB - Lionel B

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Might be mostly profit, but many companies reinvest some of the bottom line in future capabilities to maintain a reasonable growth of both top and bottom line. I’m okay with Flex operating a profitable business and adding capability to my radio.

An interim release of 2.x.x would be welcomes but I assume a jump to a 3.x release has significant new capability. As a serial first adopter I’ll have an interesting experience.
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Johan / SE3X

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Bobby .. I choose Flex over ANAN and other suppliers because if investing many USD in a radio (in my case the 6700) I prefer to do business with a company like Flex, that makes money on software as well and are more likelly to stay in business for a long time.

Very few companies will survive, long term, selling only hardware. When using freeware to handle the radio, they miss out an important part of the business.

Flex both sell hardware and make money on software. That makes me fell my investment is protected as much as possible.

Updating, paying those 200 USD, are voluntary. I f.ex, are awaiting the multi client functionality. If it's not in V3, I'm very likely to stay with V2. And I will be fine with that for a long time forward.
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James Whiteway

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Yes, Automatic Notch Filter working, BEFORE having to pay for another version would be nice too.
Basic functions that WORK , should be made for all previous versions without having to pay again.
I don't mind paying for NEW features in a new version. But, paying in hopes of getting what should be already working properly, bugs me. If that's the case here, it'll take a lot to convince me it's worth the price of continuing to own a Flex, just to continue to wait for fixes that may or may not, ever materialize.
James
WD5GWY
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Johan / SE3X

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Quote "" Basic functions that WORK , should be made for all previous versions without having to pay again. ""

Do take for granted that you have put those demands to Microsoft about their Windows software before upgrading .. Any success? if you ever been a Windoz user?
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Ted VE3TRQ

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To be fair to Microsoft, Flex does not need to support hardware from hundreds of independent hardware manufacturers stretching over a dozen years.

Flex manufactures both the hardware and the software, and only needs to support two major technology versions (albeit with some variation).

And I don't use Microsoft operating systems if I can avoid it.
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Flex is a software company. The $200.00 for a complete version up date does not nearly cover the cost of the software development but it helps.

And yes, in the new year we will have had a full year of updates. We should see around 4 updates per year on average.
(Edited)
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James Whiteway

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Johan, I've been a Windows user since the DOS versions. As Ted rightly pointed out, Microsoft supports ( or at least attempts to) far more configurations of hardware and software than FRS does. There's no comparison between the two.
I'm not asking for anything special or specific to me. I simply expect basic features to work, and work well.
More so, since an older generation of FRS's software offerings does have those basic features working well.
My hopes/ expectations are that those basic features get the attention they need and are added to current versions of SSDR. Not provided in a full version upgrade that costs more money.
Again, I have no problem paying for a full version upgrade if it offers something completely new and unique. We should not have to pay for bug fixes or half baked current features and functions.
James
WD5GWY
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Good point James,,there is never a cost for bug fixes.  We have never paid for bug fixes. But the bug fixes are done at the same time as feature sets. For me even if Flex never gets around to finishing every possible known feature, even missing a couple basic ones, I would still not look at buying another radio at this time.

I can buy another product and find things that are not so good as well, then what?

Remember it took 8 years of development to get PSDR to the place it was when Flex let it go.
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Pat N6PAT

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What do you think about a free trial period on new releases? I had issues with 2.4.9 so I wouldn't want to spend $199 for 3.0 if I have issues with that version. I would really like to try before I buy
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Ted VE3TRQ

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Frankly, I'd rather that Flex spent time on features and bug fixes rather than putting in ways of crippling the software. Think about all the software that you've used in the past that had obtrusive rights management built in. I'd rather just wait until all the good folks on this forum report the bad things in a new version before I upgrade to it - one of the BIG benefits of this community. There will always be those willing to be on the bleeding edge and report on it.

Ted VE3TRQ (somewhat tongue in cheek, but not too much :-)
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James Whiteway

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Bill, you are correct. There are other options out there that have better basic functions currently. BUT, they lack some things that my 6600M has that I would be hard pressed to do without. It all boils down to what one is willing to do without. And as you know, the ANF is one feature that works well in PSDR, but, not so well in SSDR.
The one big difference between PSDR and SSDR is, we never had to pay to get new features or bug fixes. It might have taken 8 years to get it to the point it was when the new hardware and SSDR came along. But, it did finally happen. And, at no additional cost.
    There are a lot of issues (bugs) that have been reported here over the past year with SSDR, some of which have been addressed and others that have not. Issues like the ANF, Noise Blanker etc not working well. have been ongoing in SSDR since the first version was released. And they continued into the next paid upgrade.
And it would appear that that trend will continue. I hope not. But, I would not be surprised to see it happen. I know FRS needs to generate more income, but, even though they claim to be a "software" company and not a "hardware" company, they are actually both. Without the hardware, there'd be no need for the software. They go hand in hand.
    As it stands, the hardware is great, the software on the other hand, not so great.
(the "not so great" being basic features that don't work like they should/could)
There is a lot to like about SSDR, but, from talking to friends that are also Flex owners, it seems FRS wants to only focus on Contest type of features, instead of realizing that not all of their customer base are Contesters. And those non-contesters spend money too. Maybe that's the whole point here. FRS really doesn't want non-contesters to use their hardware and software. Or they feel there's not enough non-contesters buying their products to warrant making their radios attractive to a wider audience.
    Anyway, off my soapbox. I know Bill, and probably others as well, are tired of reading what I think should be working in SSDR.
James
WD5GWY
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Pat, If the updates were only about features maybe a trial would work. How ever, each updates are full of fixes and under the hood tweaks we don't see. We don't pay for seperate updates, we pay for a new version. with out paying for a new version we would not enjoy the the full benefit of all the updates.

Any new version could go two years before moving on to a new one. Version 2 has gone better than a year of updates, if we see 4 updates per year in a version, how can we try that version? We would have to wait till the version is complete, a year later to try it.

James, one reason to work closely with the contesting community is because of the benefits we all get from that. Learing how to create software with high performance features is good for all. Many things that have been improved for the contesters has also improved the things we as non contesters do with our radios.

The reason Flex is seen as a software company is simple. Once the radio hardware is designed and tested that is the end of it. what you end up with is all there is. finished.
Gerald say's the hardware is the easy part, once you have a plan and you sellect your parts, you pretty well know what you have and how it will work.

The software on the other hand is the really hard part. And so very costly, many times more then the cost of the hardware development. And un like the hardware, the software is constantly evolving. SSDR is brand new ground, new code. Everything Flex changes in the code know one knows what it will do till much testing is done. Nothing done in SSDR has been done before, there are no examples to copy. Every line of new code in inventing. Depending what the featurs are some testing could take weeks,,or several months to see how well it works. Even then a feature may need further tweaking in months to come.
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Pat N6PAT

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"Pat, If the updates were only about features maybe a trial would work. How ever, each updates are full of fixes and under the hood tweaks we don't see. We don't pay for seperate updates, we pay for a new version. with out paying for a new version we would not enjoy the the full benefit of all the updates."

What has that got to do with my question? I didn't ask about what the update contained. I asked why we are not given an opportunity to try it out before we buy it to see if it's worth the money and fixes any problems we might be experiencing.

A free trial is standard for most software packages


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James Whiteway

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I don't see where a free trial that times out after a certain point would be an issue. The radio "phones home" for a new version, if the trial period is up, then the radio's software downgrades to the previous version. As should SSDR do when the trial period is up.
The "under the hood" tweaks would get downgraded in the process as well. As for any "fixes" those should apply to the user's current version thru a separate update. Not thru trialware. And the "fixes" shouldn't cost anything either. More so, if they fix issues with previous versions that should have been fixed prior to the new version.
  I really think someone from FRS should chime in here and clear up exactly what they plan to do as far as this new version and fixing current version(s) shortcomings.
If they have no plans to fix the basic issues that a LOT of people have, then they should say so. Then, the user can decide if V3.x is worth the money or not.
I for one, hope they do plan to actually fix things in the current version that have continued on since v1.x. But, I'm not holding my breath waiting!
James
WD5GWY
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Mario - KC8P

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Agree, would be good to know what they plan for near future....my best guess is a major release every year ($199) and 4-5 updates per year. This would be a reasonable plan from business point of view...software development is expensive, single developer salary with experience is an average +100k per year...  
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Pat, sorry you missed my point, it would be more complicated then you think. But I have a good idea. don't buy V3 untill you see something you think you would like. but in doing so you miss all the performance upgrades. If it is only features your looking at then don't buy it, wait for V4.

Flex will never forcast what is all in every update. But we can read the release notes when they come out...
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Pat N6PAT

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Bill,

It is you who's missing my point repeatedly so I will say it again.

A free trial would allow ME to see if the new release is right for ME. Forget how it works for others who may have completely different computer configurations and operating methods that don't apply to ME.

In other words, I want to see how the new release works for ME. I don't care how it works for others because that doesn't help ME. Version 2.4.9 has issues that I've experienced but not all ops have experienced the same issue. I would like to know if those issues are still present in a new release BEFORE I pay $199. I can only determine that by actually using the software and not by reading comments from other users.

What is so difficult or unusual in providing a free trial period? That's standard practice for most software packages that you can purchase.

That is my question: Why doesn't FRS provide free trials of new releases?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Pat, the reason is, we don't pay per update, we only pay for a complete version. Each version may have as many as 4 updates.
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Pat N6PAT

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Bill,

I'm starting to think that you are intentionally avoiding my question so I will be as clear as possible:

For the next COMPLETE VERSION i.e. version 3, why doesn't FRS provide a free trial period so we see if we really want it or not?

I am NOT talking about updates in any way , shape or form. I am talking about NEW VERSIONS that we are charged for.
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James Whiteway

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Pat, the reason Bill avoids your question is simple, he doesn't work for FRS so he doesn't know the answer.
Like everthing else here, it's all conjecture and speculation. Only FRS personnel can give you an answer. And even then, it may not be accurate.
I know that one from experience. I had FRS's top engineer tell me at HAMCOM last Spring that the ANF issue would be fixed in v2.4.x. It wasn't. So, no one knows answers.
Not a good answer for you, but, that's as accurate an answer as you are likely to get.
James
WD5GWY
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Bill -VA3WTB

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True, I do not work for Flex. but keep in mind anything I say is always from past statements from Flex,,not my own unless I say they are.

Pat I have tryed to answer you.
It would not be possible to try a complete version as a trial. It takes a year or two to complete a version. You continue to seperate a version from updates and you can't. Each update is a building block to completing a version.

James, there is no reason Flex should comment on this post. They have already answered all your questions regarding basic features, Gerald answered this himself. The answer was and still is I beleive They are planned. But no dates.

The other thing is, Even Flex Radio does not always know what will be in a version. This is what meetings each week are for, to talk about what can be put into a version and what has to be held back, this depends on a lot of things.
(Edited)
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Sergey, R5AU

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Ver 3 should consist global features on top , however within ver2 plenty of improvements should be released / issues solved
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Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

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On a sales E-Mail earlier this week, Flex wrote that any radio bought now would receive a free upgrade to Version 3.0 (a $199 value). Wonder what the new “Killer Feature” will be? Multi Client?

Quote from email:
“If you purchase a new FlexRadio , we will include a free upgrade to Version 3 of SmartSDR when SmartSDR ships in the coming months. That alone is worth $199.”
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Chris DL5NAM

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“If you purchase a new FlexRadio 
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WW1SS - Steve

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Can you forward the email to me as I just purchased a 6600 and it will arrive here tomorrow
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Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

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FlexRadio has some December specials happening if one of our radios is on your shopping list.

First, in case a Maestro is on your list, we now have them in stock.  Included is the RadioSport Traveller  headset and a headset case.  

Flex 6700's are $1000 off.

We have 6400's and 6600's with a Maestro Bundle including our cool tilt feet for the Maestro and a discount on the overall price.

6400M and 6600M's come with a free dust cover and a discount on the overall price.

6400 and 6600's come with a free Flex Control Knob and a discount on the overall  price.

If you purchase a new FlexRadio , we will include a free upgrade to Version 3 of SmartSDR when SmartSDR ships in the coming months.  That alone is worth $199.

All of these can be reviewed in our store at http://cart.flexradio.com

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me

Many 73 and the best of the season to you and your families.
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Pat N6PAT

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I went to 2.4.9 but had to revert back to 2.3.9 because changes in the receive functions caused CW signals to almost disappear for me. I've gone back and forth between 2.3.9 and 2.4.9 several times trying to get it to work and it does not

If I purchase the new release and the problem has not been fixed I will be forced to go back to 2.3.9 and will have wasted $199

A 7 day free trial period of new releases would be very helpful. This is a common practice with new software releases elsewhere.



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Don - kx9q

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Wondering if you put in a help ticket with flex?

Don - kx9q
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Rich McCabe

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Well hope they make some significant changes with version 3.  For us guys that don't use remote the changes from V1 to V2 are pretty minimal and nothing I would consider major release (excluding remote). So if this is going to become an annual thing and I hope it does, I would want to see something for my money.
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Mario - KC8P

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I was wondering if we will get an another update to version 2 this year, but seems to me the development team focus on version 3 already....
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Why would you say they are working on V3 without finishing V2? We just don't know where they are in the V2 releases. I think an update could be coming by Christmas because of when the last one was released.
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Mario - KC8P

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Bill, This is just a pure speculation, but I do work for IT and know a little bit about development process...it consumes a lot of money and resources. I hope for an another update to version 2, hopefully by end of this year.
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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KC8P, we have little idea what is going on in Flex Radio, they have weekly meetings to discuss all this. but Gerald has given us some insight as to what goes on and how they decide things.
Because of the resources needed I think they are busy working on the lose ends of V2. But we do know one thing planned for V3, that is multi client. That is a ham radio game changer yet again and a huge project.

I don't think V2 is done yet, one more update? two more? who knows, but don't go anywhere...  I think in a few weeks we may see something.
(Edited)
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Rich McCabe

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Why is mutli-client a game changer?  Maybe I don't understand the benefits of it.  I know I wanted it when I had M radios but now that I have reverted to a non M 6600 what is the benefit?

Rich
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Rich, we don't have all the details yet about what it looks like. but it will allow more than one user to log into your radio at one time. Will it be 4 people? 2 people? and just how will it work?
It would be a game changer being the only radio that can do that. As simple as it will be. I share my radio with someone that is a elderly ham radio shut in. He is et up with a laptop and he simply logs into my radio 2 times a week and uses it. But I can't log in with him, with multi client I will be able to.

This would be great for clubs that wish to share the radio with multible club members as an example.
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Rich McCabe

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Thank you Bill for a response.  OK got it.  So would be a game changer for a small fraction of users.

I could see the benefit when I had the 6600m because it was either front panel or SSDR,  I always thought it would be nice to see something on the M radio when using the software or at minimum be able to use the tuning know :)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Rich, what your saying may be part of it as well, we just don't know. For a mouse or tuning knob it has to be connected on the computer side. For now there is just to many things we don't know, and we don't know how many people will take advantage of it. As we all know,,complete station integration is what Flex is about. This is one more step towards it.
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James Whiteway

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I was hoping for multi client so that my app would have full access to the SSDR UI (waterfall etc) and other other panadapters. My original idea (break apart windows for each panadapter spread across multiple monitors) has since been implimented in SSDR itself. While mine works, it's better such a feature is integrated into the main program.
So, I hope some of my other ideas get the same treatment.
I plan to work on a version of ANF since there are other developers here sharing ways to handle the audio stream in a separate app. It won't help SSDR's onboard audio DSP but it will fix the current problem outboard of SSDR.
Being able to code for my radio is the main reason I keep it.
James
WD5GWY
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Bill -VA3WTB

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You are taping into a lot of power James. I don't do code. I will keep my radio out of sheer performance, not to mention the best panadapter in radio.
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Rich McCabe

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James unfortunately all the stuff you want to do would be better handled by the API if they would allow it and not by multi-client? Seems like your vision to use multi-client is just a way to make it work?  Or would that actually be the preferred method?
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James Whiteway

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Personally, what I have been doing with my app's UI was what I felt would be a good thing to have in SSDR. Fortunately, they implemented that feature in v2.x. So an outboard app to handle additional panadapters spread across multiple monitors, is no longer needed. Before it became a feature in SSDR, my app would have needed multi client to work alongside SSDR.
I'm sure my idea of an outboard ANF will eventually suffer the same fate. Hopefully, sooner than later!
:-)
As for handling it via the API, yes it would be a cleaner solution. No need to process the audio thru an outboard computer's audio system.


James
WD5GWY
(Edited)
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Rich McCabe

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So take one for the team James and develop that outboard ANF so they can immediately release theirs. Since you are the team captain on the naughty list, I know you can get it done.
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James Whiteway

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:-)
Thanks for your support there Rich!
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Douglas Maxwell

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Hopefully they will fix PTT for CW before we all go deaf. I’m embarrassed to demo the Flex to anyone in its current state.
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Matt NQ6N

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I look forward to every software update, and I think Flex is taking the right approach by charging for significant software updates.  

Of course I don't have an unlimited budget, but a few hundred dollars a year is a very small price to pay for Flex maintaining a team of experienced engineers to improve and enhance the software every day.  Such fees are the best value in dollars per dB that I've found for my shack.

Flex seems to be talking some of the harder software engineering problems on the overall wish list, which I think speaks well of the level of ambition and commitment to making the 6000 series platform the best overall value for a lot of different amateur purposes. 

One reason I opted for a 6600 was to avoid having to buy two RemoteRig pairs for remote SO2R. This was a savings of over $1K and it's due to the software engineering efforts of the Flex team. 

Since I took delivery of my 6600 there have been improvements released to SmartLink which make it noticeably more reliable amid packet loss than the VPN method. 

Flex seems to be focusing on software updates that enhance the overall value proposition of the 6000 series in the ways that best leverage the hardware's unique strengths. 

I'm sure that the many other minor refinements will come over time, and I look forward to using the API to build some of the items on my wish list as time permits. 

73,
Matt NQ6N




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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Official Response
We're always working on new software so there shouldn't be any real surprise in that piece of information.  In the past, we've run the spectrum of announcing well in advance what we're working on through not making any public comment until the software is complete.  Announcing what we're working on doesn't really affect when we'll be done working on it, but it has caused issues in that it immediately generates the "when" question and depending on the nature of the software, when is not always an easy question to answer.  Nevertheless, we've often also provided a best guess to when, which has also come back to bite us if we're not done in the timeframe which was provided with the best intentions.  

The inclination, then, is to not discuss what or when until we're virtually complete with anything we happen to be working on.  At this point, when we have a good picture of the release schedule, we'll typically communicate to let everyone know what's coming up.  This allows preparation time for any new features you might like to take advantage of that require preparation also.  Not communicating earlier is a little painful for everyone involved because 1) we all like to talk about what we're doing, certainly to like-minded folks like yourselves that have an interest in what we're doing, and 2) for the most part you guys like to hear what we're up to.  Our current policy is not to communicate about what we're working on while we're in the middle of things, deferring instead until we're about finished and the full picture of what we've accomplished is clear and worthy of specific communications.  In short, thanks for your patience, stay tuned and we'll post publicly as soon as we can!
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Pat N6PAT

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Steve,

Why doesn't Flex allow a trial period for new releases so I can decide before i buy it if I want to upgrade to the release?

This is standard practice for most software packages. I see no reason why this is not done for new Flex releases
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Pat, not speaking for Flex, but I’d imagine for two reasons: 1) upgrading “software” also upgrades radio firmware. Changing one radio’s firmware will affect how it operates in your system, including remote, DAX, CAT, other clients, loggers, etc. I would absolutely not want to be the guy taking calls about how version 3 “breaks” something, or “forces” updates elsewhere. And you know people would be mightily full of righteous fury over it. 2) Flex is a business operated by the model the owners select. Free trials aren’t what they choose.
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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See, that's the problem. You don't speak for Flex. That's why I directed my question to Steve.

I am well aware that a new version alters the radio firmware. I am also aware that you can downgrade at any time. I've done it several times.

A free trial with an expiration date would allow an op to try before they buy. When the date expires they would either buy the new version or have to revert back to the original version in order to operate again. What's so hard about that?

I use Windows 8.1 and I don't know if Flex tests new releases on just Windows 10 or all versions of Windows that SSDR will run on. I've asked that question at least 4 times with no response. Therefore, I cannot be certain that a new release will function properly for me and I would hate to spend $199 and find out that it doesn't because I don't use Windows 10. A free trial would answer that.

Now do you see my point?
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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I believe your point has been made clearly to the participants in this thread, Pat. It’s a valid question you have. Unfortunately, Flex isn’t going to answer you right now. Their corporate policy is not to, and having been around FRS rigs for almost a decade, I do see the wisdom of it.

I understand your desire to confirm proper operation before committing to a substantial purchase. That’s completely reasonable. My point is it would likely be difficult to actually run a business supporting all the ill-informed lookie-loos and multiple upgrade/downgrade cycles that a free offering could entail. From a business perspective, if it were my business, I would do as FRS Is doing, and provide the same level of excellent release notes and manuals that we have seen. That way, users can intelligently evaluate their unique circumstances and make informed choices. I know it’s somewhat naive to expect people to read the manuals and other documents, but that really is (in my opinion) the right approach.

All the best for the holidays to you and yours, and when the new software comes, I hope it works very well indeed for you.
(Edited)
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Jimmy Collis

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The way I see it if someone is satisfied with the way there flex is operating and don't want new features as an upgrade don't buy
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James Whiteway

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Which you don't have to do. What George has said makes sense to me. It certainly won't make everyone happy. But, given Steve's statement above, it pretty well explains their current policy.
It's frustrating, but it's FRS's game. So, they get to call all the shots. We as customers simply have to decide if we want to accept that or not.
James
WD5GWY
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I still do not understand how on earth can you try SSDR before it is completed, and is still being worked on? so if it takes one year or two years to complete, when would you test drive it.

The software Pat is talking about that you can try out before buying it is finished software, so when you try it you can use all the things the software can do.

When I test drive a car, it is complete, finished.
Not so with SSDR, when Flex is working on a version, when do you try it out?
When they are finished with it? a year later?
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Rich McCabe

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I don't think he ever said that Bill. Like a lot of software it runs for 30 days without purchase. This would be after final release.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Ok so when would the trial be? after a version is complete? a year later?
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Rich McCabe

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I think what he was saying you could be running version 2 and want to try version 3 to see it it benefits you.  It runs 15 days or 30 days and then expires where you have to purchase it or uninstall and go back to your version 2.   There is a lot of software out there like this.  CWskimmer is an example.   Doesn't matter to me as I will just buy it if it appears there is enough value in the updates. 
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Pat N6PAT

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Bill,

Here is what I am saying so we are all on the same page:

After v3 is released allow all users to try it for a trail period (15, 30 days whatever). If they like it then they can purchase it.

If they don't like it then they can revert back to the previous version that they were using.

Because some users like to wait before installing a new release, the free trial period would begin whenever a user downloads the new release for the first time. This could be immediately after the release is made available or some time later(3 months, 2 weeks, whatever) What is so confusing about that?

I paid $199 for V2 and got panadapters that could be separated and an increase in the preamp. Both features are nice but it makes me wonder why these features were not included originally

For example,  2.4.9 gave us colored S meters. The other meters like Level were already colored by intensity. Why wasn't the S meter done in this manner at the same time? Was it held back so it could be hailed as an exciting new feature for a future upgrade?  I don't know.

I really would like to hear from FRS about the possibility of a free trial. So far no one has commented even after I directed that question to Steve.

I think my 6700 is the best radio on the market and I say so all the time on QRZ. But I do not want to blindly lay out a lot of cash just to have a new release without knowing if that release will work for me.

Hopefully this is now crystal clear. If you still cannot understand the concept of a free trail then I suggest you google it for more information.





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Bill -VA3WTB

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Pat, I got it, I was asking only in light of how SSDR software is created, and how it would work.

But we should be fair as well. In every new version be version 2 or 3 they all have a main feature that defines each version. Version 2 was all about remote and Smart Link. Version 3 is said to be about multi client. And perhaps Flex version of pure signal? And along these versions smaller things are add like the ones you mentioned, not to forget the hundreds of fixes and performance tweeks.
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Pat N6PAT

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Yes, v2 was about remote operations which I do not and never will do. Had I had an opportunity to test it out via free trail I would have probably not purchased it as there were not enough "goodies" worth $199 to me.

Regarding the bug fixes that come with each new release. I think these should be applied to whatever version you are using because if you purchased v1 and it has bugs that are not fixed until v2 then why should you be required to pay $199 for the v2 just to get the bugs fixed that existed in v1 which you already paid for?

When a new version is released does that mean that bugs in the prior release are no longer being fixed unless you pony up the coin for the new release? That's another good question for FRS
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Rich McCabe

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"Regarding the bug fixes that come with each new release. I think these should be applied to whatever version you are using because if you purchased v1 and it has bugs that are not fixed until v2 then why should you be required to pay $199 for the v2 just to get the bugs fixed that existed in v1 which you already paid for?"

In my case they have pretty much took care of bugs on older versions.  I love my Flex. Just hoping they come out with more features for the average ham. In my 4 or 5 years with Flex, very few updates have benefited me.

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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Pat, to your direct question, we've just not had a serious discussion internally about trial software.  It's no more complicated than that.  Doing so would require additional development work that could be allocated to adding new capabilities, so that trade-off exists.  It would require effort to manage the process as well for when there are issues (I signed up for a trail license and it doesn't work, the trail license I got only lasts until XXX can I get an extension, I installed the software and everything was fine and now a month later it doesn't work and I need my radio now, etc).  

I think someone also mentioned that they didn't want to purchase the software because the last version wasn't what they wanted.  This is how the process works and that's perfectly fine with FlexRadio.  We want you to look at the features and decide if it's something you want.  If it doesn't bring value to your operation, we don't expect you to buy the software (unless you just want to contribute to ongoing development which we're happy for you to do).  Conversely, we watch how many people buy and ask questions about what features are desired by customers in an effort to bring the most value to the most customers.  
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Pat N6PAT

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Steve ,

Can you please address my second question about testing new releases? Are they just done on the latest Windows or all versions of Windows that SSDR runs on?
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Pat N6PAT

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Steve,

Regarding your answer about free trials.

A free trial environment does not require constant monitor or man hours.

I've been writing software systems for 35 years so I have a little bit of experience in this area. Trial offers are for the most part on auto pilot with very little human intervention once set up. The same app can be used regardless of the release version being offered for trial.

You say users may call and ask for extensions. Do you actually think users call Microsoft for an extension to a trial offer? When was the last time you called a software company asking for an extension?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I think I read were there are more then 1000 bugs yet to tackle. These bugs are put in two catagorys. Bugs that are considered vital and effect the performance of the radio. And then bugs that well, just anoy us. If Flex were to stop everything and only work on bugs in each version, would that be ok?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Pat, do you really think Flex is new to this?
Anyways was answered
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Pat N6PAT

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Do you expect them to simply ignore the bugs until they are addressed in a future full release that requires you to pay more money for the fixes to the software that you already paid for?

That would in reality be charging you for bug fixes.
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Pat N6PAT

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Until I can get a clear answer from Flex about the testing I will not buy any more releases.

I must know that the software has been tested for my version of Windows and because no one seems to want to answer my question then I have no choice but to assume that releases are not being tested for Windows 8.1
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Bug fixes are spread out into each update, it is only possible to address so many in a single release update. Being that perhaps there are only 4 or 5 updates a year it would be hard to funish every bug in the back log. It is possible that bugs in v2 could carry over to v3. But they could stop everything they are working on to complete the back log I supose.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Pat that is fair,,simply don't buy. I think it depends on what windows versions the testers are using at the time.

I think your question is not being ingnored, Steve and the team would be very busy right now,,they will get to it....
(Edited)
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Mario - KC8P

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Pat, answer for your question is in the SmartSDR Software User Guide. Have you seen it?

3.2 MINIMUM WINDOWS AND .NET REQUIREMENTS SmartSDR is a Windows .NET Framework application designed to operate on Windows 7, Windows 8.x and Windows 10. The .NET Framework 4.0 Client Profile is required. The minimum version of Windows supported by SmartSDR v1.2.0 and greater is Windows 7. The SmartSDR Installer will automatically detect your current Windows version and will notify you if it does not meet the minimum operating system requirements
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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How does that address which version (s) of Windows the testing is done on?
(Edited)
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Mario - KC8P

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It is obvious, if the application is supported on Windows 7 and above, they have to do the testing on all newer OS versions, it is a standard development and quality assurance process before the final build is released to the end user. It is an industry standard. 
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Pat N6PAT

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"It is an industry standard."

So is a free trial but they don't do that. How would you know what version of Windows they test on?

Also, if they are testing new releases on Windows 8.1 then why not just say so? I've now asked that question 6 times without an answer.

I've paid out over $7,000 so I think I should at least get an answer to a simple question


(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Pat I realize you feel this question is all important to you. But you need to wait till someone has the time to answer you. For me, I think Steve has devoted more time on this then he should.
(Edited)
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Mario - KC8P

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"...application designed to operate on Windows 7, Windows 8.x and Windows 10." = tested, they support it....Windows 8.x = Windows 8.1 If you having an issue with 8.1 open a ticket and they will help you. 
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Pat N6PAT

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I'm not going to continue this discussion any longer.

Until Flex extends me the courtesy of answering my very simple question I will not buy any more releases.

It's very sad because I am probably the most vocal supporter of Flex on QRZ.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Pat

I don't think we have any machines running on Windows 8.1 in house.  Windows 8.1 was not one of Microsoft's best releases and it was pretty much left in the dust but most of the customer base.  It is also End of Lifed by Microsoft on January 9, 2018.  I will also make an executive guess that no one on our Alpha team is running it since it was too bloated and just plain slow. 

You would do yourself a favour to upgrade to Win 10 Pro for  many reasons.

I have no idea how many customers are running SmartSDR on Windows 8.1, but it might be a small install base.   I did check with Tim and he has to see an issue that is unique to Windows 8 if that helps at all.

I think Steve addressed some other concerns.    

Mike 
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Pat N6PAT

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Mike,

According to Tim Flex stopped supporting SSDR on versions of Windows that reached EOL. Therefore, Flex stopped supporting SSDR for my 8.1 machine almost a year ago right around when Flex released V2.

So I purchased for $199 SSDR that was not going to be supported by Flex because I was using a version of Windows that had just reached EOL.

Did Flex inform anyone of this when they stopped the support for 8.1? I didn't see any notice. Do you think I would have paid $199 for software if I thought it wasn't being supported?

Why did I have to ask about this 6 times and never get an answer until I opened a ticket? I asked Steve directly a few days ago and he answered a different question but ignored this question.

I paid $7,000 for my 6700 and I expect better customer service than this. Flex has made a great radio. I think it's the best on the market and I say so on QRZ almost every day. Unfortunately I would not rate your customer service  as high
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Jay / NO5J

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I do feel that there's a SmartSDR upgrade in the works. I always feel that way. Which is why I own a Flexradio. I like things that can get better over time, as opposed to those that can't. My vintage 2014 FLEX6500 is still maturing, as are all the 6000 series Flexradios. We just ain't seen nothing yet. But, I think we will. 

    #FlexRadio IRC chat

For real-time discussions

        SDRgadgets

User-created documentation.
           Volunteer!!

         73, Jay - NO5J

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I find the features on v2 didn't justify the price so I will not buy v3 or any other piece of software from Flex until... Well definitely not on launch date.... Maybe never.

I was afraid of this... You don't tell us what a new version will bring due to your no communication policy and we have to spend the money based on faith or conjecture of what might or not be on the new version.

I am done with this model. V2 didn't offer what I wanted and I bought it hoping that it would. I will not fund this approach.
Which eventually leads to a subscription model. Not my cup of tea.

I have a defective device ( constantly charging so it doesn't die, glorified dell tablet), Maestro V1, because I was an early adopter . I have spent thousands on Flex equipment to pretty much have the same functionality I had 3 years ago. And V2 brought remote with some of the worst latency numbers you can imagine. I can't use it for anything more than a gimmick , and I rely on remoterig for my remote needs. Good luck Flex but you just lost a loyal customer.
I will use my flex 6700 until something else comes along that appeals to me... But that something else will most certainly not be FRS gear.
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Just to be clear, we do communicate what is in the software at the time of release and typically in advance of that time.
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Pat N6PAT

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Steve,

Please answer these two simple questions

1)  Do you test new versions of SSDR on all versions of Windows that SSDR will run on or only the latest version of Windows.

This is important because if you only test on Windows 10 then in reality as a Windows 8.1 user I would be buying untested software for my version of Windows

2) Why doesn't FRS offer a free trial for new releases? This is common practice for the majority of software thees days.

I've asked question #1 at least 5 times now with no response. Don't let this be #6.
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Pat, to your direct question, we've just not had a serious discussion internally about trial software.  It's no more complicated than that.  Doing so would require additional development work that could be allocated to adding new capabilities, so that trade-off exists.  It would require effort to manage the process as well for when there are issues (I signed up for a trail license and it doesn't work, the trail license I got only lasts until XXX can I get an extension, I installed the software and everything was fine and now a month later it doesn't work and I need my radio now, etc).  
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Pat N6PAT

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Bill, do you work for FRS or not. One minute you act as if you do and the next you say your not.
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Rich McCabe

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LOL, you would think so at times. But his cut and paste made it sound like it.
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Mario - KC8P

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OMG, Pat, Steve from FRS answered your question above. Bill just did copy and paste!
(Edited)
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Michael Walker, Official Rep

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Salvador

I thought I would share some latency readings on my end on 2.4.9.  My remote has some pretty normal internet, but the best upload I can do on the radio end is just over 1 mb/sec.  That does allow me to run contests with an average of 80msec round trip, but I do have to dial back the FPS and the Rate on the waterfall.   90% of the time I can connected from a Maestro A Alpha unit.  This is one of the first units.

Neither you or I can control what goes one between your 2 routers (here and there units), so it is a bit of a crap shoot.  

I also ran a TS480 and Remote Rig for a long time,  maybe 6 or more years.  RemoteRig does use much less bandwidth and the TX and RX audio is pretty light, except for the audio artifact is produced when the bandwidth got constricted.  I was happy to hear more due to the lower noise floor, but the TS480 had an average receiver at best that fell apart during any HF big contest.  AGC pumping, front end overload, etc.  

While your experience with SmartLink has not been very good, I'm not sure you can blame this on Flex.  You are talking about the symptom not the actual problem.  With out in depth network analysis, it is pretty hard to fix the symptom you are seeing.

I can talk about a lot of things that can cause your symptoms, in fact, I did do a presentation at Dayton that discussed just these points.  All you and I can do is fix the parts we own (inside our routers).

Personally, I am not aware of your network topology and I am sure you have done significant work on your latency issues.  I can honestly say as a ham (not a biased employee :) ), that your situation is likely not related to FRS remote technology but impacted by the data carrier in some way.

We have some great network talent on the Flex Community.  If you want to work through it on a different thread, I am sure there are  many that will help to diagnose what you are experiencing.

Mike va3mw
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Thank you Mike. I will open a different thread. I have done so many time on other subjects and I have had very limited success, so I do not "trust" it will get me anywhere besides receiving the typical share of posts criticizing my post instead of providing insight to the content itself. Maybe this time around it will be different....
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Burt Fisher

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I tried using a WAN twice, first time  I barely could hold a contact second time latency was barely good enough for receive so what are the experiences of others?
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Matt (K0KB)

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Burt,  The experience here is great.  The latency isn't noticeable and the result is that I operate just like I'm at home.  I've done it from a multitude of devices, locations and connections and my home internet is nothing to scream about being several hops on a WISP to get internet with a max upload of 5mbit that is spotty.

Only problem I've had that I've posted about is that IMO they should do something to improve availability.  There should be absolutely ZERO down time for the service.  The entire thing needs to be cloud hosted with multiple failovers.
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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This is Smartlink



And below same connection same network same radio but on VPN

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Michael Walker, Official Rep

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Hi Salvador

Thanks for this.  I have seen the same issue from time to time (not all the time) and reported on on #4949.    I do use SmartEther VPN with encryption turned off - or I used to.  I am 100% SmartLink now.

I talked to engineering about it there is a slight be of overhead on SmartLink channel, but it continues to be a Peer to Peer connection between the radio and the end user.  

On your 2 screen shots, you are seeing about 50ms overhead.  When I ran long term tests, the difference was about 25ms (this is not an official FRS test, just me being a typical user).  

What I can say is that 50ms made no difference on my operating experience either for rag chewing on contesting and my internet at my remote end is pretty limited.

Mike
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Mario - KC8P

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Mike,

I don't want to hackjack the thread, but I have a specific question, how does the SmartSDR measures the RTT? 

It is quite puzzles me, I have average RTT with ping - 25ms, SmartSDR shows latency (RTT) 100ms! I can't find anywhere explanation, please elaborate.

Both endpoints have excellent connectivity...10Gb uplink and the home 500 Mb/s down /  30 Mb/s up





 1     1 ms    <1 ms     1 ms  141.210.186.129
  2    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  c1-ge-7-8.net.oakland.edu [172.22.32.1]
  3    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  172.20.0.102
  4     1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  172.20.0.105
  5    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  198.111.3.161
  6     2 ms     1 ms     8 ms  ae2x562.sfld-cor-123net.mich.net [198.108.23.195]
  7     8 ms     8 ms     8 ms  irbx1922.eq-chi2.mich.net [207.72.237.1]
  8     8 ms     9 ms     9 ms  te-0-12-0-2-5-pe01.350ecermak.il.ibone.comcast.net [66.208.228.141]
  9    10 ms     9 ms    10 ms  be-10563-cr02.350ecermak.il.ibone.comcast.net [68.86.82.157]
 10    15 ms    22 ms    19 ms  be-7922-ar02.pontiac.mi.michigan.comcast.net [68.86.90.46]
 11    15 ms    15 ms    15 ms  96.108.20.226
 12    15 ms    15 ms    15 ms  68.87.187.70
 13    24 ms    26 ms    25 ms  c-x.x.x.x.hsd1.mi.comcast.net [x.x.x.x]

Mario
(Edited)
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Michael Walker, Official Rep

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So, I had to do some digging on this after I consulted with Eric.  The, I had to convert that to something we could all understand.  Thanks to Google, I found that it worded nicely.  Short story is that it is not uncommon for RTT to be longer than Ping as RTT is calculated totally differently.

Round-trip time (RTT) is the time it takes for a packet to go from the sending endpoint to the receiving endpoint and back. There are many factors that affect RTT, including propagation delay, processing delay, queuing delay, and encoding delay. These factors are generally constant for a given pair of communicating endpoints. In addition, network congestion can add a dynamic component to RTT.  

Propagation delay is usually the dominant component in RTT. It ranges from a few milliseconds to hundreds of milliseconds depending on whether the endpoints are separated by a few kilometers or by an entire ocean.

The remaining components (processing, queuing, and encoding delays) can vary by the number of nodes in the network connecting endpoints. When only a few router hops separate endpoints, these factors are negligible.

In real-time communications, we must consider the impact of network topology on RTT. Any infrastructure-based topology introduces incremental delay as compared to a peer-to-peer connection. 

Round-trip time and ping time are often considered synonymous. While ping time may provide a good RTT estimate, it differs in that most ping tests are executed within the transport protocol using ICMP packets. In contrast, RTT is measured at the application layer and includes the additional processing delay produced by higher level protocols and applications (e.g. HTTPS or other protocols).

Network latency is closely related, but different than RTT. Latency is the time it takes for a packet to go from the sending endpoint to the receiving endpoint. Many factors may affect the latency of a service. Latency is not explicitly equal to half of RTT, because delay may be asymmetrical between any two given endpoints. RTT includes processing delay at the echoing endpoint.


I hope that helps explain it (and, I learned something as well).

Mike 
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Mario - KC8P

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Yeah, I understand this, here is an another great article explaining RTT

https://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=2539132

I know and agree that ping use ICMP and it maybe deprioritized or filtered over the networks....Sounds like SmartSDR use application level RTT which my have an additional overhead....but 4 times more seems to be excessive.

Do you access to developer who can answer the question about how the latency is measured from the application perspective?

Thanks
Mario 
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Michael Walker, Official Rep

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Hi Mario

Not in the near future, only as they are headsdown in V3.  And, I mean seriously heads down.  That is why they haven't been online as much as they have in the past.  We have a bug logged on this (4949 I think the number is).    Getting them to go back and dig at published code will distract them from the current goals of V3.  Your question is similar to those I've seen in the gaming community.

But, I did discuss it with them and he did confirm that between the application and the priority that they are processed that this ok.   Yes, it is the application level RTT.

Personally I operate 100% HF remote for DX and Contests and haven't ever seen it as a problem that impacted my operating at 100ms.  If the number was never published, then we would never know.

What I don't know is if ICMP Ping is a measure of the time from sent to received, or is it just the time for my packet to reach the far end.  

The other thing to consider is that Ping using windows and ICMP is only 32 bytes long and in Linux is 56 bytes.  With SmartSDR showing RTT, that packet is significantly longer, so while you may see much longer times that your ping times, we really aren't moving the same type of payload with the priority.

Mike
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Mario - KC8P

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Mike,

Thanks for the additional info, this is helpful! Ping ICMP is defined as "It measures the round-trip time for messages sent from the originating host to a destination computer that are echoed back to the source"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ping_(networking_utility)

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1739#section-2.2

Agree, the payload may influence the RTT as well, here is the example:

Pinging xxxx.dynu.net [x.x.x.x] with 65300 bytes of data:
Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=65300 time=57ms TTL=51
Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=65300 time=56ms TTL=51
Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=65300 time=59ms TTL=51
Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=65300 time=60ms TTL=51

I've used 65300 bytes size packet, this is a little below the max packet size for IPv4

I would like to emphasize that I DO NOT experience any issue despite the measurement values in the app.

Thanks
Mario

Photo of Mike - VE3CKO

Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Was sitting on sidelines on this one until now. At the chance of sounding like a cheer leader for which I proudly am, time to chill out a little. Why is it that things get a little testy when a hint of a new release is imminent. People start making demands and in their own little world their feature requests seem the most important and should be addressed immediately. When they don't get the answer the demand, the threaten not buy this or that or do this or do that.
When this happens I always come out of the woodwork and say, "They needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"

Nobody is twisting anyone's arm to upgrade. When there is an upgrade many people report on those said features and fixes, either you trust people who report or you don't. Either way as station operators we must make the decision to spend the $199 or not. It is Flexradio's job to develop and implement the features that will drive people to upgrade. I do think they are wise people and already know this so I have no doubt future releases will catch up with feature requests and more station integration, but and new features no one has thought of yet.

My opinion free trials will be a support nightmare that will cause more headaches than it would be  beneficial. The time and resources are better spent on other things.

I'm hoping for several more releases within version 2 before version 3 comes out. Since multi-client is a major huge feature it makes sense that would be worthy of a new version.


Photo of Don - kx9q

Don - kx9q

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Well said - Bravo.

Don -  kx9q
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Ernest - W4EG

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I could not say it better than  Mike - VE3CKO
Just one question? Are the "Limited Edition" originally purchased and register, are they entitle to received upgrade v3.x.x. If NOT; let us know if you are accepting payment for the upgrade to v3 at this time.
The "SmartSDR Technology Roadmap" published in January 2014 shows only up to v2.x (WAN Remote)
Photo of Don - kx9q

Don - kx9q

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I have a "Limited Edition" and that was only covered to an upgrade to V2.  I am guessing Flex will not take pre-orders for software but I may be wrong.

Don
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Winston VK7WH

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Well said Mike.

Winston
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Burt Fisher

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EA4GLI et.al. can the Flex operate on a WAN with reasonable latency?
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Frs might be in a better position to answer that. I don't feel like critical opinions will be well received any longer in this forum so I refrain from answering anything beyond my personal experience in "my own little world", in which latency is an issue with remote operation through Smartlink.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Salvador, if a person wishes to speak criticaly it is best to relate things from personal experience, instesd of, I heard this or that,,so that is what my opinion is also. And it is good to make sure we have as much information as we can before commenting?

Perhaps mixing in some praise with a critical comment? If a person was to look back over the year at their own comments and record them, what would the average be. More critical, or praise?

Burt, I use remote sometimes and i find it very good, this is an area Flex is a leader in. Many use remote only. But then again it depends on your connection with the network.
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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I wish there was some capability to edit the post after someone replies. You can edit until that point. I do try to read before posting but often in too much of a hurry. Sorry for the bad grammar.
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Don Stefanik

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iF i CAN AFFORD IT i DO IT.
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Burt Fisher

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Version 3 if there ever is one ought not be the spending of $200 to fix the problems  with version 2.
It ought to be about new features.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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How can that be done Burt? If there are over a 1000 bugs spread out over 4 updates? What you are asking for is that they freez all  feature work for a year and complete none critical bugs.
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Burt Fisher

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I no longer can hear my recordings on air if I record a CQ after the last update. I should have to pay to get it back.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Bill / VA3WTB,
RE: your comment " If there are over a 1000 bugs..."

Since a bug is a defect ( i.e. a design or coding error), that seems like a huge number.  I've seen references to an internal FRS defect list and they do reference some defects by number occasionally.  They don't publish the list but I would have guessed the number of bugs to be closer to 30 than 1,000.

There are a lot of ideas, enhancement requests, requests to finish up existing features, etc but most would not be considered bugs.  Some users would consider a few of the incomplete features bugs but that still doesn't approach 1,000.  

QUESTIONS
  • Is the 1,000 bugs your estimate, or a guess, or a hypothetical?  
  • Is there a post or data from FRS that references the 1,000 bug number?
  • Are you considering all requests for changes ( enhancements, etc) as bugs?
Also since a bug or defect implies an error in design, or coding and something that was missed in testing it would reflect poorly on the team if they really made 1,000 errors.

Al / NN4ZZ 
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 & SSDR-W  V 2.4.9
Win10 




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Michael Walker, Employee

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Burt, can you explain, step by step what you are trying to do?  There might be a bug in there on 2.4.9, but I have yet to be able to recreate it.  

In order for us to deal with it, we need to recreate it.

Take some time and elaborate please.
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Lasse Moell

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I would happily pay 200 bucks if they fixed the AGC  when using narrow filters. Listening on a CW station having  hard keying and using a narrow filter on the FLEX is almost painful. Turning on my Perseus SDR receiver, it shows it can and have  been done years ago by others.  The difference is simply stunning.
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Burt Fisher

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You shouldn't have to pay for a fix.
Photo of mikeatthebeach .

mikeatthebeach .

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Life is too short so I use CATSync Web SDR with SmartSDR SSDR and mute
My Flex Receiver which is questionable and mute it and use WebSDR receivers
Since I cannot take out interference with phasing similar to Anan100D to geout Plasma TV
Interference, Solar Panels and Plant POT grow lights
Just my two cents
Life is too short to wait for stuff “fixes” that may never be !
(Edited)
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Greg SP7QJF

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V1.11.12 no software repair for a year. Dax sql bugs and others are all the time.
The only thing we hear is that the error is registered at number. I will never buy a flexradio again
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Bill -VA3WTB

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V1 one is feature frozon, but they still fix critical bugs.
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Greg SP7QJF

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they have not repaired anything for over a year.

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Chris DL5NAM

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Bill your a employee of FRS or as next FRS Elmer ? 
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Pat N6PAT

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LOL!!
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WW1SS - Steve

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Getting a little rough here aren't we.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Just a few more thoughts.

Mike va3wtb is not employed by Flex but has been honoured by Flex for his help and support of the Flex products.  He is very knowledgable in the Flex product set and more.

As for remote, SmartLink, today I just drove across Toronto (11 million people here) and was on HF the entire way with my 1mb/sec upload at my remote.  It was on my iPhone and an on and off again LTE connection.  In 45 minutes, I had 2 slight drop outs in areas that are very high traffic, but for the most part it was rock solid.

Streaming HF and the white random noise we hear on HF is bandwidth intensive.  You can't really compress it like Video or even a telephone call.  If it was FM, that would be a different story.  Heck, AM might be more efficient on bandwidth, but I have never tried it.  :)

As many have said on various threads here, WiFi is a party line and expect it to work perfectly is difficult due to the 802.11 spec.  

Just a reminder, this is a technical hobby and things at times do require digging under the covers at times.  That is what makes these forums very helpful.

Mike va3mw
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Pat N6PAT

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Mike va3wtb is not employed by Flex but has been honoured by Flex for his help and support of the Flex products.  He is very knowledgable in the Flex product set and more.

I asked this same question about Bill's relationship with FRS yesterday. Many times his comments come across as those of an employee or a representative of FRS. It's very misleading and I do not find it beneficial.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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To help you in the future I will try to name the source of my comments. I have also made it clear that when something is my own opinion I say so.

Any of the info I mention in my comments can be found here on the forum if people would care to look for it.
(Edited)
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James Whiteway

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Bill is not an employee of FRS as far as I know. Just very much into their products. Even though he and I may have different opinions of FRS and their business model at times, I do respect his opinion.
And his quotes from FRS at times has kept me from having to dig for answers.
( I've never found a single quote of his to not be correct,yet)
James
WD5GWY
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I have..lol
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Ted VE3TRQ

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Bill's only fault is his enthusiasm :-) Merry Christmas, and I hope FRS _does_ deliver us a present sooner rather than later.
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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To help you in the future I will try to name the source of my comments. I have also made it clear that when something is my own opinion I say so.
Bill -VA3WTB
Geez Bill, I will never be so PC, give you credit for that. I will not be pressured to quote my sources. Your accumulated knowledge is quite beneficial to many so I would encourage you to keep doing what your doing.
Many times his comments come across as those of an employee or a representative of FRS. It's very misleading and I do not find it beneficial.
Pat N6PAT
Bill contributes to this community just as you and others do Pat. I'm no rocket scientist but I can easily see that he is not an FRS employee. How one might ask?  It doesn't say it in his profile name. So why speculate and question ?

To go from questioning FRS's integrity to that of a fellow community member is uncalled for and has no positive purpose. Besides certain etiquette is expected here, it's the Christmas season. 








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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Folks - you are looking in the right place as FRS has announced new releases here at the community.

So this is the right place to watch.

Finding a URL that appears to be a link for future use is great, speculating about possible feature sets even better, though we can do little more than guess until FRS tells us more.

Personally I think it is awesome and cool that so many folk are impassioned and actively speculative about the timing and substance of a future version.

Without getting crossways with my own personal FRS NDA, I can share ..... <pregnant pause>..... that I am excited that everyone is so keen on a new version.

As an aside, if you ever hear FRS reference an item number for software fixes/bug-reports/enhancement suggestions - the numbers themselves are just "labels" and don't appear to be more than a label to track things with.  I've seen a couple mentioned in various places by FRS, and had once asked them if they meant anything. 

S
eems not so much, though I don't think they recycle them once used.  It of course doesn't mean that there are oddles of things unresolved - kind of like a small contractor that was near me who had their three shop van vehicles marked 121, 122, and 123, yet I knew they didn't have another 120 vehicles in their fleet.  But over coffee they told me they had used all the earlier fleet numbers during their nearly 100 year existence, as I had suggested they made them up to impress customers.  The early numbers had been traded in or scrapped over the years.  I think similarly FRS just indexes their control number labels.  

73

Steve
K9ZW

(disclaimer - I'm NOT a FRS employee, but have lots of FRS gear and am part of the FRS Alpha testing team as an add-on with the PGXL testing. 

So I'm biased by commitment, investment and inclination, and respect of my FRS NDA.

YMMV as they say, but mine won't as "I say!")  (edit was to fix a nasty split word and a typo)

(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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Huh???
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KC2QMA_John

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I set aside for Christmas $199 for SSDR V3, I sure hope my Christmas wish comes true this year :)


(Edited)
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Mark WS7M

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Would be nice, but if I were FRS I would not release over the holidays just to keep the customer support down during the holidays.

But yes... Looking forward to it.
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KC2QMA_John

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We are baking up the cookies and will have warm milk ready for Santa (in this case FRS ;) Christmas night. I sure hope he puts V3 under the tree this year :)

Happy Holidays and to all a good night.

KC2QMA

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Burt Fisher

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I hope all Flex employees are home with their family and children. No one on their death bed ever said, " I wished  I spent more time at work getting Version 3.x out for the hams."
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bobby

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Ho ... Ho .... Ho. .... Santa is reviewing your behavoir ...
nope you should have been better ... no pgxl in this sleigh .. dig down to the bottom i see sdr but cant read the version ... oops there it goes just fell out of the sleigh ... santas gettin old .. better luck next year .. you need to behave better!
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Neal Pollack, N6YFM

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I think the above people that speculate about a hand-full of bugs, somewhere in the "tens" rather than hundreds or thousands, simply do not have large complex software engineering experience.  The Flex product is really great, does a far better job than my Icom 7300.   That said, in ALL products, there are bugs and room for future improvement.   It is the nature of complex software development, and trying to translate abstract human ideas into working computer machine code.

I work for a fortune 500 computer operating system software manufacturer.  NOT Microsoft.
I can tell you that our systems run banks, airlines, military, gov, hospitals, schools, logistics/shipping, etc.  But at any time, we have well over 2,000 software bugs on file.   The vast majority of those are not seen by any customer.  But the cost of delaying and investing to fix every last one would bankrupt any modern day company.   So product teams prioritize which critical bugs to fix before shipment, and then ship it.   When you get any product, it has far more software and firmware bugs than you realize.   But you should never worry about that, since you will likely never see more than
a handful.    That includes your cell phones, cars, home appliances, etc.
I can tell you that I found over 25 bugs in the dash software for my 2012 Ford, and there were
hundreds more.  But I love driving that SUV, and it works great, except for the touch screen
nits that could be improved.
This same software and firmware issue also includes Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood, etc.   
The choice is balancing the idea of delivering a product that does mostly what people need, or delaying, not delivering, and going out of business.

We like our radios, cell phones, cameras, cars, washing machines and TV sets.
But they all have bugs.   Get over it.
Good companies prioritize the bugs that customer complain about most, and do the best they can.
Flex at least delivers free updates approx 3 or 4 times a year.   And each update has both
new features and bug fixes.    I wish the same could be said for my Icom and Yaesu radios.
No big new features there, and very few bugs fixes.   Icom, for my 7300, has come out with maybe
4 to 6 updates since 2013?   No significant new features, one or two fixes.

Cheers,

Neal
N6YFM
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Mario - KC8P

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Well said  Neal Pollack, N6YFM !

No new improvements and features translates to limited number of issues.

BTW....Are you saying Sun?.... Ok, I know already ;-)  
(Edited)
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Neal,
My background is in IT also and includes mainframe, mini and micro systems and software.  Our systems also served many customers but is much smaller in scale than the systems you described.  We probably have on the order of a hundred active defects across all of them at one time.  If a bug doesn't have any real impact (e.g. a typo in an error message) then it might just be closed. 

The SSDR ecosystem would be smaller in scale that either of these examples.  So I would have expected significantly fewer than 1,000 active defects for SSDR.  It would be interesting to get the FRS perspective since I'm sure they use a defect tracking system and could provide a number.  Typically the defect trackers contain a lot of detail on the defect.  Some of the detail can be supposition, or confusing without the full context and proprietary so I understand why FRS would not want to publish the list.  

But every defect must have been discovered by someone (tester, coder, user) and then documented.  1,000 active defects in SSDR defect log still sounds quite high to me.  

I guess the number will be speculation unless Steve or someone from FRS wants to provide the details. 

Regards,  Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

 
Photo of Neal Pollack, N6YFM

Neal Pollack, N6YFM

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There is no reason for any appliance or electronics company to disclose
this information, since the general public simply does not understand the
process and economics, and that information would be used by their
competitors marketing group, who would never disclose THEIR own bug
Photo of Mark WS7M

Mark WS7M

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I've always worked for smaller companies except for one small stint for Agilent which really was not fun.

My software work has been highly technical.  For years I wrote software to measure tiny things.  During those years I was far more comfortable thinking in micro-inches than anything else.   

During that time I wrote software that helped build many of the rotating disks by manufacturers like Seagate, Tandum, Micropolis and many others. 

During this period in time our bug lists were always very small.  First the software was small but bugs meant a line was down usually so we spent lots of time with extensive verification and validation plans and we practiced fault tolerant methods whenever possible.   Still we had bugs and as described here we had a process for deciding if a bug was worth fixing or not.

These days I work in the research medical industry on a very complex piece of software that captures data at very high event rates and plots this data on graphs for the user while computing statistics on the data and controlling the instrument at the same time.

I would honestly say our software is more bug prone now down it was in my disk drive years because as a research tool these users sort of expect it.  It drives me crazy but that is the mind set.  

I have no issue with another $199 for 3.0 when it is released.  Each day I connect to my radio and listen to the world I realize it is a heck of lot cheaper than travel.
Photo of Mario - KC8P

Mario - KC8P

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I don't know any private software company that disclose their bug list publicly....SmartSDR is a proprietary software that comes with support, if you experience particular issue contact them and they will tell you if this is a bug or not...on another end if you dealing with open software package with community support and contribution you will easily find a bug tracker for every single issue, but this is a little bit different story...

Also, if there is well known bug affecting software the common practice is to create a KB article with workaround until permanent fix will be avaiable to help the customer and reduce the number support requests.

 
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Pat N6PAT

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".SmartSDR is a proprietary software that comes with support"

Not if you're using Windows 8.1 or 7
Photo of Mario - KC8P

Mario - KC8P

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Pat N6PAT I don't want to repeat myself...their documentation states otherwise.

Both Windows versions are under Microsoft extended support.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-ie/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet
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Pat N6PAT

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You need to review what the FRS employees said in their posts.
Photo of Mario - KC8P

Mario - KC8P

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Yes, he was correct about the dates for end of mainstream support for Windows 8.1, but he did not say that extended support ends January 10, 2023.

When mainstream support ends, this is what occurs: 

*Microsoft no longer supplies non-security hotfixes unless you have an extended support agreement
*All warranty claims end
*Microsoft no long accepts requests for new features and design changes

When extended support ends, you can no longer count on any security patches or reliability patches. This is what happened in April of this year for Windows XP, and what will happen on July 15, 2015 for Windows Server 2003.

(Edited)
Photo of Jon - KF2E

Jon - KF2E

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"and what will happen on July 15, 2015 for Windows Server 2003."

Did they miss the date or has it already happened?

Jon
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Mario - KC8P

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Ignore that part, irrelevant...copied by mistake.

The next important date to remember is January 14, 2020 -  support ends for Windows 7 SP1.
(Edited)
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KF4HR

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I see no reason for a upgrade trial period.  FRS always provides Release Notes describing the new version enhancement(s) and/or fix(es).  If you want the improvements pay for them, if not, run an older version.  It's always up to you.
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Charlie Rubenstein KB8CR

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I'm wishing for paddle CW from the laptop over SmartLink in v.3.x.
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KC2QMA_John

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Cant wait to see what's in V3!
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AA0KM

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Me either! ha lol..