SmartSDR Purchase?

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I am very sorry if this question sounds completely dumb and if it offends anyone, but I have been away from this hobby for an extended time and I was just trying to upgrade/update/bug fix my FLEX6700.  I just downloaded what I think is the latest version of SW (v2.4.9) and I am shocked to see that I need to buy it?  $200 for me to update my radio that I already paid many thousands of dollars for?  Am I just looking in the wrong place for the current update for this radio or is it now orphaned because I need to spend $200 for every SW update.  I think I am a little disappointed here...

Gary
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Gary Schulz

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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Jim Gilliam

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You can always study the mathematics of the FFT, learn to program for Windows which takes years, spend endless hours of debugging. Learn the mathematics of digital filters, the mathematics of digital modulation and demodulation, I could go on for hours. I find that price of 200 dollars is very generous. I don't know how they can do it for that.


Jim, K6QE

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Gary Schulz

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I was hoping to avoid sarcasm but having been in the consumer/industrial/enterprise wireless industry myself for quite some time it would appear to be rare to have to pay for new features and especially bug fixes.
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Joe N3HEE

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It happens all the time Gary.  Our IT shop pays hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for maintenance contracts with hardware and software vendors for support and software upgrades.  Two hundred dollars every couple of three years is dirt cheap for tech support and upgrades.  Far cheaper than buying a new radio every two or three years.  People naturally complain because they don't understand this model and it's not the norm in amateur radio.  Flex is making bug fixes, major improvements and adding user suggested features where other vendors (Elecraft, ICOM, etc) are making bug fixes and maybe some minor improvements.  Pay the $200 and enjoy your new radio !  :)
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Ernest - W4EG

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John N3HEE,
I ditto your comments! 
Call Flex and verify your date of purchase, they have a fantastic Customer Service.
Or Shell out the bucks and use the lower software versions. 
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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You can always use V1.9 for Free

V2 has many new features added that you need to pay for
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K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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And WHEN might we see V1.9? There's been no update to V1 since V2 came out.

Wasn't there talk of a V1.x release, rewritten based on V2 code, addressing known issues, to be released once V2 was stabilized?

Is this still the plan?
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Dave

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V1.11 is the last free version of SmartSDR.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Correct.  V1 is complete.  
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Dave

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I have been running 1.11.12 since Oct 2017 with no issues (knock on wood). But I mostly do CW and don't do remote. So I am happy with it.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Hi Gary

Yes, that is correct.  From the first time that SmartSDR was announced, this was going to be the plan for new versions.   However, you can continue to run V1 for as long as you wish as it will not expire.

V2 has a large number of improvements, include SmartLink for remote operating, DX spots on the waterfall and more that can be found in the SmartSDR readme files.

Mike
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Gary Schulz

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Interesting.  Mine is a "Signature Series" and I bought it while being wait listed before production... I guess the update to v2.x (cost or no cost) isn't automatically determined when you do the download based on S/N of the particular radio?
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Are there signatures on the bottom panel. If so, call Flex with. Ur serial number as V2 is free
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Ray Andrews, K9DUR, Elmer

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Gary,

Contact Flex support.  They should be able to verify your radio s/n & unlock the update.  When they were rolling out v2, there were several instances where an eligible radio was not in the database.

73, Ray, K9DUR
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Gary Schulz

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Thanks guys...  I have a "Signature Series" radio (not sure if that means anything) and I did pre-order it before it was available but I do not see any signatures anywhere on the radio.

What is strange here is long after I ordered it I found out that the radio did start to ship and after contacting Flex they appeared to have lost or somehow misplaced my order.  I honestly don't remember what the issue was but they did eventually send it to me.  Maybe something was lost in confusion here?
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Hi Gary

Sounds like a good time to have a phone chat with FRS, as the community won’t be able to sort out your status question for version 2 being included or not. You may be a special case perhaps having v2 included but not being supplied an actual limited edition unit with signatures? They could sort that out if it is the case.

I’ve found major version paid updates a good value -YMMV. I’ve got to check my notes as I may still be prepaid a future upgrade on my original 6700.

GL and 73

Steve
K9ZW
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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“Major” upgrades (whole digit left of the decimal) are available for purchase. They are not required to use your radio at whatever level (1, 2, 3...) you’re already at. Increments within a release (2.1, 2.2, 2.3.9, etc) continue to be at no charge. They may be applied at any time, provided you’re licensed for the major release version they apply to. You may download and use whichever 1.xx version you find most appropriate for your operating needs. The older versions are maintained on the Flex website.

Welcome back!
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Ray Andrews, K9DUR, Elmer

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Gary,

KY9LA said it in a nutshell.  SmartSDR v1.9 is still available and can be downloaded & installed on your 6700 at no cost.  SmartSDR v2.4.9 adds many new features which you may or may not want or need.  If you want the new features, you have to pay $200 for a license to use v2.4.9.  If you do not want the new features, you can continue to use v1.9 forever.  If there are some new features in v3 when it is released, pay the $200 & you will get all of the features added in v2 as well as the new features in v3.

73, Ray, K9DUR
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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KY6LA
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Gary Schulz

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Many thanks for the replies.  I will do my homework and decide which way is the best path forward based on my usage.

Gary
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Art - N4QNT

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Hello Gary, so the way it works now is, if you had a 1. somthing version with SSDR any update or patch download to 1.9.999 is free. It’s when Flex rolls out a major update like 2.0 which introduced Smart Link to create seamless remote operation with your Flex is when we have to swallow that $200 pill and for future .0 versions.. So the positive outlook for me is, ok I’m keeping a great company going and paying for Accountability! Great customer service and the best tech support hands down in the amateur radio business.
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KF4HR

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Gary, each major software upgrade beyond 1.x is an optional purchase (2.x, and up), at $200 a pop, but as noted above, your 6700 will work just fine using the 1.x software. 

The major feature added to 2.x is its ability to control the Flex 6xxx series rigs remotely, (and other smaller features were also added).  If the remote feature is not that important to you, you won't miss too much by staying with 1.x.

Another thought. The 2.x software has been out for awhile now.  You might want to consider just continuing to use your 1.x software (update to the latest 1.x version), then wait to see what new features 3.x brings.  There's no word on when (or even if) the 3.x software upgrade will be released, but with the sales of the 6400/M & 6600/M I suspect 3.x will be coming eventually.
(Edited)
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KF4HR

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Have some faith Superman! :)
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Johan Karlsson

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Very very much look forward to multi-client functionality in 3.0 .. For me a deal breaker for spending the $200 
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Burt Fisher

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KF4HR 2.x already does a lot so why a 3.x? I would get it if it has some of the following, be able to send digital modes without a computer, adjustable band segmentation, copy Morse code, be able to save voice recordings (what Elecraft already has) boot up that takes only 10 seconds.
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K1UO - Larry

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Got a point with that boot up time thingy Burt...  Now my new SS Amplifier is waiting those precious minutes for the radio to boot up ;-)
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Scott Russell - N1SER

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Burt, really those features should be added to v2 since some (except dig w/o pc) should already be in the current version. Let's hope they get added and no have to pay for an upgrade to get them.
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Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

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Seems to me that some people are missing the point.

The 6XXX series of Flex radios are 'radio servers' i.e. they are a computer driven radio and computers need operating systems. So think of your radio as a computer and then look at the price of Windows for a PC. If you want to upgrade to the latest version, you have to pay. Yes I know that Microsoft 'gave away' Windows 10 but that's a whole other discussion.

When you bought the 6700 it came with version 1x of SSDR. You were happy to pay the price for the radio and the included software.

Now, you are complaining that to upgrade to V2x of the software is going to cost $200. But by buying the software, you radio is going to be vastly improved. If you don't want to pay then don't, just download the latest version, 1.11 and carry on using the radio. It won't stop working because there will be no further releases of V1.

Incidentally there was a new version of V1 after v2 was released.

With regard to the boot time, it normally takes 60 seconds for my 6300 to boot and I understand that the 6500 & 6700 take similar times. OK, so X radio boots in 10 seconds. My last radio with knobs was an Icom 775DSP and it was ready to use in about 3 seconds. I can't see the problem with a 60 second boot time.

The Flex 6XXX radios are amazing, in nearly 60 years of being a Ham, I have never experienced such an amazing receiver and had such consistently good audio reports, usually unsolicited.

I spoke to Flex last week to buy a new radio, the service I got was second to none. Name one of the other manufacturers who have a discussion board like this one, where the owners son takes calls from a customer he's never met, where you get an email to tell you that your rather convoluted delivery requirements were being looked after? I felt like I was dealing with a company who's service values were stuck in the 60s (thank the powers that be) whilst selling equipment that is way out in front of the competition.

All I know is that in me, Flex have a customer for life, less the 60 seconds it takes for the radio to boot up!

Seems to me that some folks cannot stop having little niggles.

Please get a life. 

Tim
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Scott Russell - N1SER

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There are a lot versions from v2.4.9 to 5.0 so let's hope Flex will add some meat to v2.x and not little niggles.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Each version has a focal point in it, In version 2 it has been smart link remote,,no small feat. V3 is slated to see multi client, another first in ham radio.
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Andy - KU7T

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Bill,
If that is true it would be a great present for the holidays. Multi client would be a huge differentiator.

Andy
KU7T
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Yes it would, but there should be another v2 upgrade sometime, Won't be v3 for Christmas, I don't think. And we don't really know what multi client will look like yet.
(Edited)