SmartSDR - Annual Costs - ????

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Ok. This is getting ridiculous.  

$200 a year to keep my radio current?

Of course it is "optional" until it is not optional. 

I have been in IT for 30 years. I have seen this model before, and it did not play out  well for the companies that did it. In the end, they either went under, went to a subscription model, or gave out the software for free.

Why don't you switch to a service model where you charge something like $5 a month or $60 a year. This service can include the remote services, support,  updates, etc.

You will find that most of the owners will go for this model over paying out $200 every year or so for "optional" updates.

The problem with optional updates is that it will introduce security issues to the v2 models since they are internet facing and lets be honest, you are not microsoft and keep legacy systems patches going for years after a release.

The other issue is that the resale value of the radio drops by $200 the minute a new version comes out.  Right now for new flex people, an icom 7300 ( yes, I know it is not a fair comparison but it is a choice people make) NEW costs around $1100.  A flex 6300 costs around $1200 used. Once 3.0 is out, the flex is now worth $1000 at best unless it has ver 3.0 installed.

A newbie to SDR will look at the self contained Icom for $1000 - $1100 NEW and they simply drop it in, or do they want to get a flex and have the learning curve?   This is a conversation that is taking place on the nets right now and most people lean toward the IC7300 since it is good enough and they do not have to pay for updates.

I love my flexradio, but you need to re-evaluate your software model, it will have long term impact on your products.  
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David H Hickman

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Posted 9 months ago

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Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

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Haven't we been here before when SSDR V2 was released?

Not one comment I have read from those who object to Flex's business model have added anything new to the debate.

Many have said it, including me, if you had read what FRS have said, it was obvious that a 'major' software release, denoted by the change from 1 to 2 or 2 to 3, that this would be a paid upgrade.

Like most Flex users, I have no problem with this model. If I choose not to buy the latest version my radio won't stop work exactly as it does with whatever version of the software I have.

OK, so you don't think that this feature or that feature works or isn't implemented to suit your taste, you are entitled to your opinion and I will defend your right to express it but, by the same token, you cannot deprive me of the right to disagree.

What I find difficult to accept is the vitriolic comments that some people make. We are all supposed to be reasonably educated people, surely it's not difficult to express your opinions in a reasonably educated way?

For me, it was a very big decision to buy a Flex in the first place but having done so, as someone who has been in IT for over 40 years and owned some of the most highly rated radios in nearly 60 years of Hamming, I can honestly say that, as far as I am concerned, FRS produce some of the best radios in the world and my Ham experience is far better now than it ever was.
One last thought, if you can afford 5 Flex radios, then surely you can afford to buy one copy of the software and try it. If you don't think it adds to you experience, don't upgrade your other radios.

The choice is yours, buy the upgrade or don't but please stop whinging about something you knew from day 1 of buying a Flex radio.

Tim

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Kevin

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We've been here before. We'll be here again. New people come to the group. Old people (from a forum perspective) have issues that remain unresolved. $200 is not trivial. For me, that would be paying $200 to stay up to date on the latest code everyone else is using even if I'm not using any of the new features. I do not believe I would get bug fixes to old issues if I stuck with 1.x.

So... maybe not new to you but new or still of importance to others.

The choice is yours, ignore the thread or not but please stop whinging about something you know is going to happen every time someone asks for $200 for questionable (by some) updates.

Point is, there's tons of great threads to join in on in this forum. If this one is not to your liking try one of the others. Or not.

Kev
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I think we need to be clear about a few things.
It is important to understand what a bug in SSDR is and what type it is.

Any bug that effects the performance of the radio or makes the radio work poorly will always be addressed for all the versions, V1  V2 and so on.

Critical  bugs are not version frozen. New features are.

People complaining of having many many bugs? what are they? count them. And in what type are they,,critical or non critical. It is up to Flex to determine what type they are. Not us.
Also, as an example. If Flex decides to work on the NB and ANF again and it happens to fall in V3,xxx,  then that work and corrections would be back ported into V2 and maybe V1 because these filters are not new features. They are pre existing ones needing updating. But as V1 is feature frozen so will V2 at some point. Likely after V3 is out.

If Flex does work on the DSP in a way that it is a new feature in the way it works in V3 or V4,,then yes to get that upgrade we would need to buy that new version.

I know Flex employees do not post here much any more, but if I am way off target then a comment would be nice on this.
(Edited)
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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ok, my opinion now. Bla, bla bla bla, bla bla, bla bla. Same old, same old repeated many times in the past. Should just cut and paste from old threads. First off the thread title even with the question marks is designed to guarantee responses from both sides. Anyone who thinks there is an annual fee to operate a Flexradio is just plain misinformed for all the reasons stated by many so far. You need to do some BASIC and I mean basic research. It's all been said here many times before but I do understand there are many new users of this community and Flexradio who don't know how to use the search feature of the community.

As per subscription for remote, as much as I don't like to shoot down ideas, the scenario of someone paying a monthly subscription so they can remote in to their own radio is a model that isn't worth the time to discuss. Who will actually pay that? Of all the people I know who have gotten a Flexradio, I can't think of anyone who would every pay a subscription in order to remote to their radio.

I and others have said this in the past. The ball is always in FRS's court when it comes to updates. If the features/improvements are good, people will upgrade. If they are not, they won't. FRS has a track record of implementing innovative and industry leading features and it is in their best interest to continue to do so, and all of us will benefit. OK, said it, now to get off my high horse.
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Michael Coslo

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Hi Mike - You bring up the title of the thread " SmartSDR - Annual Costs - ????"

We can answer that question immediately. 

The annual cost of operating a Flex radio is $0.00. 

You can if you wish, purchase newer versions of the software. No one is forcing anyone. 

But I don't know if they changed the radios, (of course they didn't) but my 6300 I recently traded in, would function very well if I loaded the software from the original disc and ignored it afterward. 

All radios can have issues. All radios do. I also use a K3S. The Panadapter is bad. You can tune and the signal you are looking for disappears in the noise that shows up. Great on CW, Just okay on SSB. Our KPA1500s did get a firmware update recently - to keep them from blowing up on 160 meters. We have a 7610. It's okay, but not terribly intuitive. I could have saved a few thousand by buying one. But it just isn't the radio. And they've been having their own issues. One thing I do know - if I lose power during an update, I don't brick my Flex and have to send it back.

I'd just advise people to consider if they are happy with their radio. I'd advise to try a few experiment with things they think do not work. Life is too short to become angry about a radio, and about paid updates that you may or may not need.
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Ed Stallman

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Simple question, I bought my 6600 new in July 2018 . Will I need to pay for V3 

Thanks Ed N5DG
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Yes
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Joe N3HEE

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October 2018 was the cutoff for free upgrades to V3.  I purchased in August 2018.  I will wait to see what V2.5 brings in the way of fixes and enhancements.
(Edited)
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MichaelC

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Version 2.5 more than likely won't bring much as far as fixes and enhancements. People are still complaining about bugs that were in Version 1 of the software and are still not fixed in Version 3 of the software.  Version 2 and Version 3 just had feature that I would never use, so why pay for it, hopping to get a few bug fixes.  I've had a Flex 3000, 5000A and a 6500.  Software fixes were fast and frequent with PowerSDR, and the features continue to continue with PowerSDR since KE9NS started developing the the latest versions of software.  A single person, has made more improvements to the old PowerSDR then Flex has made to SmartSDR.  I keep getting weekly emails to upgrade from my 6500 to a 6600 or 6700, but like Flex Radio says, "The Software is the Radio".  Well since, they have not fixed anything, a new piece of hardware would still be the same old radio,since they haven't fixed any of the bugs.  Well I've ordered a new K4 and am looking forward to getting it, and I've stopped drinking the Flex Koolaid.

Mike Chasse
w7wrj
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Sounds good Mike, I hope the K4 never has any problems and it is all you want in a radio. Enjoy. From what I read the K4 will be a radio that should concern Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu. It is the radio to watch.
But I really like my Flex and see nothing coming to pull me away.

I have know idea what bugs your talking about that go all the way back to V1?
(Edited)
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Ken Hansen

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Of course, KE9NS incrementally improving mature software is EXACTLY like charting a new software development effort on new hardware.

In computer terms you are marveling at all the amazing things a lone programmer is adding to stand-alone software on an Apple ][ computer, and struggling to understand why it takes so long to develop a multi-user client-server platform. The two environments are worlds apart.

The situation may not be optimal, but countless thousands of owners somehow manage to make contacts on their Signature Series 6000 radios. I hope you enjoy your K4, new radios can be very exciting - and frustrating, just ask an FTDX-101 owner.
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MichaelC

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Well, I'm hoping it won't be any more frustrating than the issues I've had with my 6500 since the beginning.  Here's a list of some of them:

1.  For the 1st 30 to 40 days, the radio kept getting a power error,  and then the problem just stop.  Nothing changed, same power supply, same power cables, the the issue just went away.
2.  My 6500 has never put out more than 75 to 80 watts from 160 to 15 meters and never more than 60 watts on 12 and 10 meters.  That's in any mode, and into a calibrated lab power meter.
3.  The ATU has never worked or has been able to tune anything on 20 meters.  It even fails when tuning into a resonate 20 meter antenna.
4.  The radio has also had the issue of just locking up and sending a high pitch sound out of the speakers.  Only way to clear it, is to turn off the power supply, because the power switch won't even turn off the radio when it locks up.  This still happens as of 3 days ago, just something I've got to live with.  I'm sure it's not a network issue, because the radio is directly connected to the 6500, and the computer shows no network packet drops.
5.  I also get a really neat vibrating noise out of my 6500 every time I transmit,  Some times it sounds like it's getting ready to take off.

And that's just part of the un-documented features, I've had with this 6500.  I've been running Flex radios since 2009, started off with a 5000A and then picked up a Flex 3000 to use when I travel, and I never had any issues with either the 5000A or the 3000 and loved them.  I actually use my 5000A more then I use my 6500, because it won't lock up in the middle of a QSO with a DX station like the 6500 has done more than once.  

Bottom line is this 6500 has been a Lemon since day one.  So I don't think the frustration level will go up much with a new radio.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Wow, I see what you mean. If I ever had any of those problems I would have dumped my Flex.

But I can share what I know.

First off, nothing on that list is a bug. They are all problems caused by the envirement of the shack. Nothing on the list are consistant Flex 6500 issues, they are caused.

#1 was caused from a power supply problem, may not be the power supply but the power connections, somehow it solved it self.

#2 Low power out is may be due to improper load and it can and will very from band to band. My radio puts out close to 100W into a dummy load on most bands. And the power connections may be effecting the TX power problems.

#3 The tuner did not work because of a bad load, 20m can not be resonate on 20m as you say. The 6500 tuner is known to have a good tuner.

#4 There used to be a bug were the radio could freeze randomly. But over the last couple updates this has been mostly fixed. some have had it happen, I have never seen it happen in 3 years.
It sounds like RF getting to the computer or a disconnect to the computer, even with a direct connection.

#5 There are 4 fans in your radio. It sounds like a case fan is on the way out. A ventalation problem? It sounds like it's gettin hot. You said each time you transmit?The fans should not run at high speed till the PA gets to a certain temp. The fans are the only moving parts in your radio. Nothing else can make this kind of noise inside the radio.

The 6500 is a completlty different beast then the 5000 and the possible problems are different as well.
All the problems you mentioned are solvable. If one wants to bother.

As I said, none of these problems are common to the 6000 radios, but any of them can happen depending what caused them.
(Edited)
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MichaelC

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Bill,  I forgot to add one really good un-documented feature of my 6500.  At least once an hour the radio will just stop receiving.  The radio doesn't stop working, the receive signals just drop from around -130 to -150.  But the band does look totally quite when this happens.  The only way to get the receiver to start working again is to click on the Tune button, and key the radio for a few seconds and then un-key the radio, and all of the signals are back.  
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Lawrence Gray

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Michael.

I was thinking about going to a 6600 before I saw the K4.  I now have a K4 on order.   I'll keep the 6500 for digital work.

Larry, W1IZZ
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Pete - W6OP

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You really need to look at the whole idea differently. You buy a PC which is hardware. It came with Windows XP, MSOffice and some other apps. As time goes by you can "pay" for an upgrade to Windows 7 and then to Vista and then to Windows 10. You may also buy MSOffice upgrades and upgrades to other apps.

Or, you can stay on Windows XP and the original version of all your apps until there is something that compels you to upgrade the OS or an app. Or wait and buy a new PC at some future date that has the newer software.

The Flex Radio is the same, you bought a piece of hardware that came with some software and it will continue to work without upgrades. If there is something in the upgrade you want or need bad enough then pay for the upgrade. Or wait and buy a new Flex with new software at some future date.
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Craig Williams

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Best comment so far.
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Joe N3HEE

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Very true.  And lets face it, this technology is moving at a very rapid pace, Flex will inevitably come out with a new or updated hardware platform within the next 5 years.  
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Dave

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They have already discounted and added new hardware 6xxx series.  The 6300/6500 are discontinued but still are eligible for updates. Of course the addition of the 6400/6600 (M).  
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EA4AYW

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Good morning to everybody.
this agreement to pay $ 200 plus taxes, remember it. It may suit the American market.
but not to Spanish.
here in Spain the software costs € 242 which is not $ 200.
It is a high price for these updates.
and more taking into account and we must remember, flex radios do not give them away, they charge an exaggerated price for the 4 components that it has.
I understand that you get a lot of money for old equipment, because you had much more electronics inside.
But the costs of an SDR are much cheaper than a conventional radio.
Remember that the most important thing in our Flex is the software, and not the hardware.
and to some extent I understand that they can charge for the software.
But...
They charge a lot for the hardware, and they charge a lot for the software.
It is true that the Flex market is not that of the radio amateurs, but the military, but I do not agree that each version costs $ 200 plus taxes.
and that these versions leave almost less than 1 year apart.
adding bullshit that for many users, are not necessary.

Remember also, that you are making us pay for errors that occur in programming and that we report to solve and improve.
That is to say that we give them the ideas and they charge us for it.
Which should be the other way around.

It is true that we are not obliged to a certain extent to have to move to a new version, as long as flex solves the programming crashes they have.
and I say this because a very basic thing that is the VOX, it was working properly in versions 1.xxxxx and in version 2.x that has stopped working.
among many things.
I mean we paid $ 200 more taxes for things already solved and damaged in the version that they have charged us.
and further away from solving it, now they go and they take the v3.x
This is unfortunate.

Also, every $ 200 plus taxes that are paid for the flex, this will be constantly devalued if you want to sell it secondhand.
I have a Flex6500, but if this continues, I will be forced to exchange it for the RUSSIAN SDR, (Sun SDR)

It is true that the new versions of the flex 6400m and 6600m seem to look good, until you have one of them.
I do not know if it was the 6400 exhibition that I had the opportunity to play with, but the aesthetics leaves much to be desired.
and the screen when pressed pressed down from its position.
I already say that I do not know if it will be a defect, or that the unit was damaged.
When the cluster was activated, and the data flow was interrupted, the display would go stumbling and would not flow.
leaves a lot to be desired the new flex line for my point of view.

By this I mean that the flex directive, instead of wanting to earn a lot of money at our expense, to think a little about the radio amateurs that are not rich and that paying for a flex is an effort, when more having to pay for errors of programming that are not corrected.
and deceive us with something new that in the case of version 3, is a shit, since this should not be limited from the first versions.
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Ken Hansen

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From where I sit in America, the difference between $200 and €242 looks a lot like cost plus VAT, and that added cost is because of local politics & gov't policies, nothing Flex has any control over.
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EA4AYW

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Sure, but the consumer has to pay, and therefore be flex or state you have to pay € 242. and this comes out of your pocket.
nobody pays you

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Ken Hansen

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The 21.5% VAT is a tax that Spaniards have imposed on themselves to fund their local government, you can't reasonably expect Flex to offer it's goods at reduced prices in high-tax regions.
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EA4AYW

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Totally agree.
In each region you have your taxes.
and this can not be discussed.
But you have to be realistic.
in Spain, the flex license does not cost € 200.
yes no € 240
therefore we are not talking so cheerfully of $ 200.
I know that flex here does not influence,
but if it affects our pocket.
even if you do not want to see it.

and I know that in some other region the tax is still more expensive, as has been said in the thread.
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Complain about the amount or the business model, it still all boils down to whether it is worth it to your station to upgrade or not. If your budget can't do it, that's ok because it is optional. Complaining about an optional $200 upgrade doesn't make sense to me, Icom is not offering me any upgrade for my 7600 still the same dumb radio that is loosing it's monetary value and it's value to my station, more and more every day. Since I don't make sense sometimes, I'll put on my complaining hat, let's see where this goes..

Today's Bank of Canada exchange rate on $200 US is $268.58 then we have HST of 13%, so the upgrade hits me at $303.50 Canadian dollars. 303 is a bigger number than 242 so I must getting ripped off. more than Spanish market right? Oh my, is there some radio amateur charity foundation out there to help me pay for my radio and my costly software upgrade? Also let me know if there is a charity fund for not so rich people so I can buy some golf clubs and pay for course fees, oh yeah. I use to have a boat, and had to sell it, Is there a charity to help me fund a new boat, come on.

Taking off that hat, sounds kinda silly doesn't it. I don't drink (too heavily), I don't smoke, cigarettes are very expensive here in Canada and I have family members spending well over $400 a month just smoking alone. That is over $5000 a year, that is just plain crazy I tell them. Quit smoking, reward yourself, go on a nice vacation with that money. So I think I can spend $303 dollars every couple years to upgrade my radio.


(Edited)
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Craig Williams

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I want an airplane.
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Mark - WS7M

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Craig.  I want one too.  Specifically a CirrusJet or Eclipse EA550!  Still waiting for a call that it's at the airport waiting for me to take possession!
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Michael Coslo

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And I see that version 3 software  still doesn't include my demand for a built in smoker so I can cook a Brisket in it! 
(Edited)
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KC2QMA_John

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I have been saying for years how great it would be to have a built in Coffee maker in my radio.


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Ken Hansen

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Wait! Do you mean when folks say their radio comes from a smoker, they mean a meat smoker?!?! THAT explains the discoloration and smell... now I get it.
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Ken Hansen

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Coffee maker makes sense, my computer has a cup holder!
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Ken Hansen

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€242 = $272 US, so in Spain it is about 36% higher than US. Spain 'enjoys' a 21% VAT, so $200 US price + 21% Spain VAT = €215 euros. You are upset about €27 euros over the US price? I suspect that 13.5% premium you pay in Spain has to do with conversion fees to turn your euro-bucks into greenbacks to pay bills in the US.
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Mark NS9N

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I am really amazed that this forum has come to this level. When you purchased your Flex Radio, if you read alll the information available, you knew what you were buying into.

In the end, if you don’t like the radio or the company’s policies, sell it and move on.

Sorry but I have owned both a 6500, 6600, and a Maestro. All have been great products but when I did not need the Maestro, I sold it. Same for the 6500. Point is, if you don’t like something you have purchased, sell it .

Life it too short to read ongoing blogs about what people like and don’t like and how someone wants to change how a company works.

If you don’t like your Flex radio sell it and buy something you think you will like better. But let’s get this forum back to helping solve technical issues and learning from others.
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Michael Coslo

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One of the things I have always wondered about is the experience of people who may have years of operating legacy radios, them moving to the Flex Platform. 

The concept of buying a radio with baked in features, versus one that is flexible and can be upgraded or modified easily is probably shocking to many people.

But Flex's model of incremental updates, followed by major for pay ones is about as good a model as I can think of. Free lifetime updates doesn't work. Subscription models that brick your radio if you stop paying don't work. 

And 200 dollars every couple years really is chump change. It is a sensible price for the market Flex intends to serve. 

There are many radios out there, and if a person is really strapped for money, a couple hundred dollars at a Hamfest can pick you up a legacy radio that will never cost a cent more. 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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The idea of Flex charging for for major up grade makes them accountable. They are charged with keeping everything up to date, and It is up to Flex to invent features that will sell.

If all the major up grades were free, then Flex could simply do an upgrade when ever and include almost anything to very little, because it's free.

I have considered all the software radios on the market to day and have looked at the updates they have had to date. Some are open source and some are locked to a company, like SSDR. This includes Anan, Icom, Sun SDR, and others. In this group there has been no cost to the customer, but upgrades are not many if any. Anan has the most updates, but they have been over a year getting the latest version working correctly, and still working on it. By the way, Anan does not invest in software, they don't have any.  It is a group working on software, nothing to do with Anan. They are using PSDR created by Gerald and have since modified the software a lot.

But back to the point, Flex has much credibility because of the charge for major upgrades, they are accountable to us, customers. They must create updates to improve the radio performance and to make the radio more fun to use.

That is what having to pay for upgrades does.
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EA4AYW

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I do not agree with your answer.
When I buy the flex, it's because I liked it and I still like it, what we are talking about here is that from the first flex flex decides to charge for the software. and this is what we do not agree with.
that already the flex radios are not cheap, as to have to pay for software and others every year.
At this rate after 10 years, I can already buy my second flex, if I do not pay for the updates.
the exorbitant price they are charging is not reasonable.
I do not say that they do not charge, but a reasonable price, not 200 $ more Taxes.
this is an outrage for most amateur radio.
and I no longer say to those who have 2 or 3 or more flex radios
because the amount is multiplied by each radio that you have and want to update.

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Ken Hansen

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"that already the flex radios are not cheap, as to have to pay for software and others every year."

No, you don't have to pay for software every year (or every other year, or ever). You bought the radio and have a permanent license to use the software it shipped with forever. This is just like a radio from any of the 'big three' radio manufacturers - you buy a radio and it is feature-locked for life.

You have the OPTION, if you DESIRE, to UPGRADE your radio for a nominal fee, but it is not forced on anyone.

You want Flex to offer continual major improvements after the sale at no additional cost, and (based on a previous comment in this thread) you want Flex to offer their products in your country at lower prices to offset local 21.5% VAT? That doesn't seem like a successful business model.
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Michael Coslo

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I fear that this subject has been beaten to death, other than it's entertainment value. Some people demand free stuff, and some understand that if a company is obliged to support people forever, for nothing, that a company providing all this largess will not be in business very long.

It is an old trope to suggest that a dissatisfied person go elsewhere to be happy, but very few people here want a different update schedule,a subscription,  or mind paying for major updates in order to help keep Flex financially solvent.  But I don't know of any other solution. If a person doesn't want to pay for the major updates, but wants the major updates, it kind of makes their path forward pretty obvious. 

These are exceptionally good radios. And I have firsthand experience with other really good radios to make that as a statement of fact. If you want an exceptionally good radio, you have to pay for that quality.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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EA4AYW, So there you have it, your objections have been heard, how ever the policy of Flex is not likely to change. You are not considering that for Flex, this is not a hobby, it is a business, their lively hood. They pay employees. Perhaps you have know idea how expensive working on SSDR software is, my guess is you don't. None of us do.

You continue to suggest that there is a mandatory software fee each year. This is not true and very misleading, I would suggest you stop saying that so as not to confuse others.

For me? it will cost me over $300.00 to upgrade here in Canada, much more then almost all of you. It is the same for anything I buy from the states.

So, It sounds like you need to make a choice, of witch I can not help you with.

This thread seems un helpful any longer.

Good luck
Bill
VA3WTB
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EA4AYW

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I remind you that if there were $ 200 plus taxes every two years, it would not be bad.
but less than 1 year ago came v2, and now v3.
and this is not two years.
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EA4AYW

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"""But back to the point, Flex has much credibility because of the charge for major upgrades, they are accountable to us, customers. They must create updates to improve the radio performance and to make the radio more fun to use."""

 ============================================================

responding to this comment, remember that flex is charging us part of something new, is charging us for their deficiencies in the software and for their errors.
which should not be like that.
they should not camouflage among so many words the true novelties of each version.
since in this v3, they do not seem appropriate.
and then see a list of errors corrected from previous versions.
that you do not realize truth.
85% are errors that are corrected in the new version and the remaining 15% is something new, that in the case of V2, it was not bad, but it works with problems, but in v3 it does not work for the majority.

I remember a problem that is very frequent and that flex does not solve once and for all.
remember when windows does some software update and suddenly when you start the smartsdr, a DAX error jumps.
to the evidence I refer.
they took out a procedure that drives us crazy, because it never works, but they have never corrected so that this problem does not happen again.
and this problem is not new.
is from the origins of smartsdr.
what do you think.
and like this problem many more.

Another, in v1, the smart sdr could work perfectly with the vox in any condition.
Well in v2, the vox stops working if you have the dax panel control active.
SHIT
monumental
and they still have not solved it.
and if you want, I keep saying things.
so you can see that we are like lambs that the shepherd, in this case flex takes us where he wants.
enough now.
stop


Photo of Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

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EA4AYW - you are complaining about paying taxes levied by the country you live in. Where you live has nothing to do with FRS. You live where you live because that is where you choose to live. 

I am a Scotsman but I choose to live in France - the reasons don't matter, it is my choice.

Therefore if I want to buy SSDR V3 it will cost me 200.00 plus 19% French VAT - which works out at 238.00. BUT it is my choice whether or not to buy.

Your second point, if I have multiple Flex radios, why should I pay for software for each radio?

I'll answer the question with another one.

I have a car, my wife has a car, my 2 children have a car each. So that is 4 cars in my family. In France, as in most other countries, to drive my car I MUST have insurance and fuel. My wife and children also have to buy insurance and fuel for their cars.

Do you complain that you have to buy 4 lots of insurance and 4 lots of fuel?

Of course you may complain but if you don't buy insurance for each car, then you run the risk of all sorts of penalties if you are caught or God forbid cause an accident. If you don't buy fuel, then eventually your car is not going to be driven anywhere.. 

There is however a difference with your Flex Radio - you don't NEED to buy software because your radio will still work with whatever version of SSDR it came with. You WANT to buy the new version because you think it will be of benefit to YOU. 

I can only afford (or want) 1 radio so for me the choice is simple: buy the software or not.

If you want 'free' software, sell your 6XXX radio and buy a Flex 5000 or a 1500. The software is open source and KE9NS seems to be doing an amazing job building more and more usability into PowerSDR.

To make help me make that decision, I will read the release notes from FRS and I will watch the postings in here about what it does or does not do. Then I will decide, again, it is MY choice.

Tim
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EA4AYW

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I must remember that the cost of a Flex Radio with sdr technology is much cheaper than a normal station.
and that its strong is the software.
precisely for that reason, flex would have to take another business model.
if they want to charge annually for each update, lower the price of their stations. instead of a flex 6700 it costs 7744 € to put it at an affordable price, and you'll see how more people would gladly pay for their updates.

The problem and we all know what it is, that if you do not update to the new big version, you do not correct the problems of the old versions.
and we all know and do not be fools, that flex is dumped in the new versions, and not in constantly updating the old versions.
so in one way or another you are being forced in a certain way to update to the latest version.

I know I will not change the opinion of those who are in favor of paying for the software.
I do not intend it.
Whoever wants to pay for it.
I'll see if I pay for the new versions or not.

As you said before is a BUSINESS, but for FLEX, not for users.
for us it is a great expense.
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EA4AYW

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yes sir, and you already pay when you buy a flex 6700, or a 6500, or a 6600.
you do not believe
in comparison with the rest of radios.

I repeat that it is my opinion, and it is so respectable with yours.
and I'm sure that flex will not take them into account, nor mine, nor those of many flex users.
and will continue with its policy of charging for important updates the $ 200 plus taxes at the moment.
if he does not propose to upload it in the near future
and surely the majority will agree.
but we already know what there is.

that nobody is offended, it is simply my opinion that I had to express it publicly, because I am already afraid that everyone will play with us as if we were fools.
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Matt (K0KB)

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You just flat out lie to fit your agenda. SSDR v2 came out in July 2017. V3 still isn’t out but by the time it does it will be nearly 2 years.
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EA4AYW

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Right, Bill, I do not rectify it every year.
but if it is every year and a half approximately.

because the first official version v2.0.14 RC (2017-07-14)
were on this date.

This is not two years that I know.
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EA4AYW

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hi Tim,
I'm sorry that you take this the way I do not want you to take it.
but anyway.
You are very wrong with the 4 cars and the 4 insurance.
Yes indeed, I have more than one car, more than one motorcycle, and more than 1 insurance.
The difference is that to be able to use a car.
it is MANDATORY, to have insurance and it is MANDATORY, to put gasoline, since otherwise the car does not work.
It is not an optional thing.
as you well say, because in case of not having insurance, we are talking about a crime that can cost us dearly.
It is true that you have the decision of not having insurance, but you risk going to jail if you hit someone.
therefore it is not an option, it is an obligation.
and as for gasoline, it is an obligation, too, because if you do not throw gasoline the car does not work.
therefore it is not comparable.

I understand that flex have a model of nogocio.
and it is very respectable as my opinions.
and I understand that flex copper for your software annually or every two years.
But for people who have more than one flex station, what you should do is, if the station is of the same indicative, only charge a license for all the flex radios you have.
and not charge license for each radio.
this would be more fair.

It is true that I am not complaining here about the country in which I live.
it's my choice and nobody else's.
Like any of you.

What I am saying is that the cost of the license is not $ 200.
the cost that we have to pay is $ 200 plus taxes.
Be of the country that they are.
nothing more.
It benefits flex or the state.
We pay $ 200 plus taxes, and it's the reality.

Tim do not make mistakes, I'm not going to sell my radio, and you should not go into that controversy.
I like my radio and if I have it, it's because I want to.
and not because of having to pay for software, I'm going to get rid of it, as long as I manage to keep my version updated and to correct faults in the version I purchased.
not forcing to change the version.

As it is well said, in the thread.
The version change is optional.
as it is optional that I of my opinion.
like it or not.
My comment is as respectable as yours.
and that of many people who think about it and who do not express it.

Do not take it personally, it's just a criticism out loud.
a greeting.
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EA4AYW

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Matt, I have not lied in any case.
I said that the first version 2 that went on sale was 2017-07-14, as you can see.
Please, I suggest you read my comment well.
I have not said that the v3 has come out either
a greeting.

PS: do not try to put in my mouth what I did not say.
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Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

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I do understand what you are saying about the taxes benefiting the country and not Flex. What I am saying is that FRS have no control over whether or not such taxes are levied. If you live in Texas, same state as Flex, then you will pay 6% state tax for any you buy from Flex. Simple fact of life and you wouldn't expect it to be any different.

What I take issue with is that you are complaining about having to pay the tax. I have great sympathy with that point of view. I don't see why I should pay the French Government VAT for a product which was not written/manufactured in France but that is the way that it is and no amount of complaining will get us anywhere. 

So, we agree that the imposition of taxes is something we have to accept.

So, other than that do you think that 200.00 is a reasonable sum to pay for what, hopefully, will be an enhancement to you radio?

Tim

PS, I do not take offence at your reply, and I hope you don't take offence at my original posting or reply. I think that at base level, we actually agree!
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Matt (K0KB)

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You said it.

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KC2QMA_John

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Some of those taxes are why the other countries have universal Healthcare for all of it citizens!

We just use our taxes in the USA to start wars all over the world while ignoring the needs of our own people.

(Edited)
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Having lived in several countries abroad, I’m feeling pretty okay with the USA system. There are lots of axis of differentiation to weigh of course.

I’m also good with FRS present system of charging for major version upgrades, on a per radio basis.

In the end it is FRS’s call how they wanted to structure their program as well. We certainly cannot imagine that beyond the buy or not decision that we have any real say in whatever policy they have picked.

As there is no annual fee of any sort, no subscription payment, there is no compulsion to spend any money to keep a Flex-6000 going. The premise of this thread comes from a misstatement.

As for what exchange rate, what taxes and final costs either a radio or an upgrade costs, FRS has been pretty transparent and fair in not letting costs of individual circumstances be spread among all buyers. If getting your radio in country-x requires a local dealer, local taxes, transport costs, special certification and other added business/transaction costs you need to pay those. It is marketplace socialism to expect those costs to be equalized by building them into everyone else’s purchases.

As most of us posting here have a Flex-6000 and some several units, their program is working well enough that we have bought in. Makes the drama-queen grinding kind of pointless?

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Ken Hansen

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KC2QMA_John - please, no politics, this is an international community.
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KC2QMA_John

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Please read all prior comments from other users before commenting.

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EA4AYW

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Hi Tim.
First of all, no, I'm not offended by the exchange of opinions either.
which are very free to do.
I honestly would tell you to change the procedure.

instead of charging $ 200 each year or every 2 years as it seems to be, what I would propose is a subscription as if it were to a magazine.
and obviously more economical for the user.
Surely flex would have more users.
or in another way, instead of their radios costing what they cost.
I would lower the amount of said radios at much more affordable prices and then if I charge $ 200 for the software.

What I do not see viable is that the radios do not come down in price.
and that the software costs what it costs.

and I do not say that you do not have to invest the software, because to the tests I am sending you that without the software, the flex stations could not work as they are now.

But make it a little easier for people to have these fantastic radios without having to go bankrupt.

since the market of the flex is not that of the radio amateurs if not the military one.
so that it is the government that pays and the one that subsidizes.
and not our pockets.
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KC2QMA_John

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1.There are NO annual software fees.

2.You can upgrade at any time and even skip over versions and still only pay $199 usd.

3. As Mark said “If you don’t like your Flex radio sell it and buy something you think you will like better”

4. With a Flexradio the radio just keeps getting better. In fact if you own one of the older radio that run PowerSDR the software is still getting update years after the radios have been discontinued. You cant say that about any of the traditional radios. Even the Icom IC7300 will only get a few Bug fixes/Updates and then that's it.

I believe $199 is a very fair price to pay for State Of The Art software that continues to be developed and improved.

Because the title of the this thread is not accurate as there are NO annual costs, I vote to close this thread.

(Edited)
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EA4AYW

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So it seems normal to you not having spent a year of the update to V2, which is already the v3 and you have to pay again; I repeat that they are not $ 200.
They are $ 200 plus taxes.
It is true that nobody forces you, but it is not logical.
and the one that has more than 1 Flex radio, you think it's logical that you have to pay $ 200 plus taxes for each radio.
I assure you that it has no logic.

and I did not say that I do not like flex.
I love Flex, what I do not like is the new policy that has taken to charge for the software such a high amount.
when half of what is added in the new versions, they are errors that solve from the old versions.
and add something new to open our eyes.
which in version 2 was more or less acceptable.
but in version 3, it is not admissible.
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KC2QMA_John

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When V3 comes out I will wait for feedback from other users and if it looks like it has features that interest me I will upgrade, If not I may just wait for V4, Then I get all the items from V3 and still only have to pay $199 for V4. So to me this sounds very fair.

As far as Taxes go, That is imposed by each country's government so you can not blame FlexRadio for that.

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KC2QMA_John

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FRS will gauge it’s software development based on customer demand.

So what does that mean, It means if a large amount of people upgrade to V3 then they will know that they are delivering what the customer wants and are on the correct path.


Now on the other hand if they see a poor or unenthusiastic response to V3 FRS will know that they have to deliver more of what the customer wants in future versions to get more users to upgrade their software.

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Lance Rasmussen

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I've lost count the number of times I've bought software products and if the upgrades came out less than a year from purchase, I had to pay. The usual standard is 30 days from new release. And some will go 60 or 90 in a means to promote a free upgrade. So expectations of getting a year is unrealistic.
That being said - I've also purchased software that had an extra fee or was promoted with a software maintenance that accommodated free upgrades and updates up to 1 year after purchase.
Point being - Flex, like all companies, is free to set their policies and pricing as they wish. You dont like - use your pocketbook to let them know and not buy Flex. Otherwise - if you dont want the upgrade, dont buy it. If you do, buy it. YOU have the freedom of choice.
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EA4AYW

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I want to make it clear that I am not blaming Flex for the taxes of each country, because we already know that it has nothing to do with it.

What I mean is that having to pay $ 200 for the software, users do not cost $ 200, if not $ 200 plus taxes.
nothing more.
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EA4AYW

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If this is so, it would seem right to me.
As I have seen the news of the V3, apparently not so necessary to pay for them.
unless you are a season of contests, or have a lot of money.

I particularly the v3, I will not buy it.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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It is too bad that you can't find anything good to say about Flex products. Much of what you said is simply incorrect and misinformed. I wish I had the energy to correct them one by one but there are to many of them.

You mentioned your interested in Sun SDR? I just checked them out,,wow $6.999.00 US for the cheap one, and that's much more here in Canada. Another 35% And you think Flex is expensive?
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FRED W9TB

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I just have one thing to say to you people crying about the cost of V3. If you can't afford the hobby get out of it.
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Kevin

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Pretty ugly.
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Johan / SE3X

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Agree with you Kevin. Unneccesary and rude. Could use stronger words, but refuse to lower myself to that level. 
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Lawrence Gray

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Fred,
Amateur radio has a long history as a hobby that could be enjoyed with a minimum of expense.  Hams have a history of building gear, antennas, etc out of collected "stuff" and getting on the air.  The discussion about the $200 upgrade charge has little to do with being able to afford the hobby and more to do with the individual's perception of the value received from the upgrade.  The comment telling people to "...get out of the hobby..."   is  inappropriate and contrary to the spirit of amateur radio.  Shame on you.
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EA4AYW

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Hi.
If I mentioned the sun SDR, it is not necessary to have the top of range, with the lower version is more than enough and its price starts at € 1500 and other includes 144 (VHF) which flex only includes it in version 6700 and if We talk about price this version costs more than the SUN SDR.
and the advantage of sun sdr, is that it does not charge for its updates.
Eye, I do not like sun sdr, I'm flex.
and my policy is against having to pay so much money for the updates.
if you pay 10 updates it is as if you had paid a flex 6400 or a 6300.
you believe that waste is logical.
when the news of the version 3 for the majority does not serve them.
and I repeat this in my hand update or not.
but this is not the case we are dealing with.
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EA4AYW

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I'm sorry to tell you, you're not understanding anything.
nobody is crying for the v3.
what is being discussed is that flex should not charge so much for these versions, when the biggest update that these versions have are bug fixes that originated in older versions.
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EA4AYW

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Strongly agree Lawrence
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Matt (K0KB)

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On what entitled socialist planet is remote access and multi user a bug fix?
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Michael Coslo

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The same one that makes people try to turn every topic into politics. 

Most Respectfully, knock it off - we don't need that sort of BS. Can this thread be closed now? Looks like with it's degeneration, it is pointless.
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Ken - NM9P

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Flex began with a $199/yr maintenance fee and nixed that within the first year in favor of the current system. I seriously doubt they will go back to an annual fee. If I had been on the old plan, I would have paid an additional $800 by now. As it is, I have upgraded one time to V.2 and as an Alpha Tester have paid for V.3-Alpha. ... half of what the old system would have been.

In addition, under the current system, upgrades are totally optional. If you skip one, or two, or more upgrades, the next one only costs $199. No retrograde fees are added.

In my book that is a great deal. Considering the original price of my 6500, it has been well worth the cost.
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Johan / SE3X

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Second that! if Flex would change back to a maintenance fee instead of current system, send me an e-mail .. I will have a 6700 for sale immediately!
(Edited)
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EA4AYW

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What you are proposing is called censorship.
and my friend, that has long since been eradicated.
If you do not like what you read, please do not read it.
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Ken Hansen

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Curious, if I had a R1 license for my radio and skipped R2 of SSDR, if I choose to upgrade to R3 of SSDR, I get all the R2 upgrades as well, right?
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Ken - NM9P

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Yes. If you don’t buy V.2 and go straight to V.3, it only costs you the fee for V.3. At present, all the upgrades build upon one another....
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James Whiteway

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I hate to dog pile on the subject. But, then again, why not? It's entertaining if nothing else.
There's a huge difference between "UPGRADE" and "UPDATE", that a few seem to overlook. I see an upgradebas a bug fix and enhancement release. Which for the most part from what I've seen from FRS, doesn't cost anything between UPGRADES.
(aka full version(
UPGRADES on the other hand, add FEATURES that were not in the previous version. That is what one can decide if the new FEATURE(S) are worth the $199.00 to them or not. Keep what you have and your radio will continue to work. Upgrade and then get new features and in some cases, new eye candy as well.
Bug fixes as stated many times already are FREE.
The only time I could see where it might not is if the code base had to be overhauled like it was from v1 to v2 for remote operating. Other than that, it's all good.
James
WD5GWY
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KC2QMA_John

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I agree James that's why I suggested to close this thread days ago.

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Kevin

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So it's like this? I am tired of reading what everyone else thinks but I can't avoid the temptation of reading so, instead of me ignoring the thread:


I want all of you to kindly stop sharing your thoughts.

There appears to be at least 46 people interested in this thread. Interesting that threads like this generate so much interest and participation.

I'm really not trying to be sarcastic. It's just the way I'm interpreting some of these comments. Someone else mentioned that at least there's some entertainment value here. I agree. It's interesting to hear what others are thinking about the current situation. Maybe even FRS will rethink things. Maybe others will reconsider their stance when they hear other people's opinions. After all, "community" is in the URL and a community is comprised of all types and opinions. 

When people get disinterested and the disinterested stop telling everyone how disinterested they are the thread will probably fade away for a while.

If we didn't keep beating dead horses how will they ever get better?

Or not.

73,
Kev K4VD

edit: thread, not threat (fingers)
(Edited)
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Clay N9IO

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Yessir it's like that all right.
These threads sure do detail on occasion.
Hmm.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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It is simple there is no annual SmartSDR fees. Zero. Zip. Nada.



Only costs are for major updates, at the user’s discretion.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Michael Coslo

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The floggings shall continue until morale improves.
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EA4AYW

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Kev
Never better said.


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HCampbell WB4IVF

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Since the made up worries keep recycling themselves, something that happens in open forums not curated, here is another meme:

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Bill -VA3WTB

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Complaining about a topic going on too long?
Some of you are still posting remarks keeping it alive. As I just did I suppose.

If I had authority, I would have allowed the thread to run it's natural life, answer the question or comment, then close the threat.
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EA4AYW

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live the censorship. Thankfully we live in a country with democracy and not dictatorship.
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FISHULA X

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 All I have to say is, the Flex 6300 has had the best RX then any other radio I have owned including 2 Flex 5000As.  And I have owned many many others I live in a very noisy area .If it was not for the WNB wide band noise blanker, I could not enjoy my hobby. I have been through many options. None of them worked with this crazy power line noise that shoots me an S9 constantly on 75 meters. When I use the WNB at 75 percent, it drops my noise level to S5. I can hear my friends. I think It's worth every penny. I don't think I would still be on HF if it wasn't for WNB. Plus I can take my laptop anyplace in the world and enjoy my hobby.  So in short, as long as Flex can keep that noise away, I am a Flexer for life. Thank you Flex for the best RX on the planet. Just my opinion.
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David Warnberg

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Sorry but your assumption is incorrect... to keep your radio current (updates to the software release that came with the radio) is FREE...

You want enhancements?  More features?  That will cost you 200.00 ONCE for those new features, then free for all updates to that release...

Wash, rinse, repeat... 

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Ken Hansen

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Reminder - this is an older thread, which Was kicked back to life earlier today.

My 6300 is at release 2.5.1 of SSDR - I don't need MultiFlex, yet, so no need to write a check to Flex yet I enjoy updates to the features I bought with SSDR 2.x a year or so ago.
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KF4HR

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The other issue is that the resale value of the radio drops by $200 the minute a new version comes out.

From what I've seen, owners of Flex transceivers that have upgraded to v3.x typically increase their sales price a bit.   

I can't imagine a Subscription Service would go over very well with those who prefer to continue to run an older version of SSDR.  Why force people to pay for something they may not want or need?

You always have to option to skip a couple of SSDR major upgrades, then buy an upgrade and catch up, which results in $100 per upgrade.

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Ken Hansen

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If a Flex owner skipped SSDR 2.X and then bought SSDR 3.X, that SSDR 3X upgrade includes every bit of the SSDR 2.X upgrade.

Such a person would have every option offered by Flex, their radio would be 'current' if/when offered for sale.

Personally, I don't have a need to upgrade to 3.X, I'll more likely than not upgrade to a Flex 6400 before I update the software on my 6300, but that's what best suits my personal operating style and budget.
(Edited)
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FISHULA X

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 I have the best radio I have ever owned, This is my 4th Flex and my first 6000 series. I just don't understand why all the long drawn out Hub Bub?  Flex gives you the option to buy or not to buy. Then they even show release notes so you know exactly what your getting with the update. Remember, Flex is made in the USA. And If you have an issue, you can call them and they actually call you back, unless you are a lid. I am quite sure they get many many phone calls with issues that can be solved by just reading the manual or instructions. The Flex 6000 series is a complex unit and some old timers have issues with technology. It's true and you know it, Now not all do, but lots do. Let be serious. Some questions in these forums are downright head shaking.. 
 And I been inside all of my Flex radios. I clean the fans and give them a general look about.
 All I see is quality. Is this not what we want?? I sure do. I am a very happy Flex owner and any way  you look at it. with Flex and SSDR. It saves you money. You only need one radio, and you can take your Maestro or laptop and use it anyplace you want that has internet. So, we only need one radio at home, I used to need one at my place of business plus another antenna, another power supply. So in my opinion. When Flex has an upgrade and you see that you need it or don't need it simply by reading the release notes, then don''t buy it.   Nobody is forced. And on the used market guys do look for the latest and the greatest. But I have the greatest and I am very happy. This is just my opinion. I love Flex radio and that is that.
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