$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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
believe $199 is a very fair price to pay for State Of The Art
software that continues to be developed and improved.
title of the this thread is not accurate as there are NO annual
costs, I vote to close this thread.
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?
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.
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...
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.