It is NOT for bickering, do that somewhere else please. If you can define (in a brief manner) what is good and what is not so good about V3 please do so. Try to keep it in the Pro and Con
format. Also tell us whether you have stayed with V3 or reverted back to V2. Please try to keep it short without personal feelings. This is again meant to be a productive thread for prospective buyers and Flex alike. Your help is appreciated. YES some of this information has been stated throughout the community BUT we all need it in one place, Thanks again.
I upgraded to v3 because I wanted the ability to leave the “M” front panel connected while using the radio from other computers, Windows, Mac and iPad.
In the mean time, the ability to (relatively) easily go back and forth means I don’t need to sweat it :-) I’ll just stay on 2.4.9 until everything is ready to move to v3.
I would have stayed with v3 except for the fact I cannot run the Mac with it until xDax / xCat / dogParkSDR / MacLoggerDX are modified/upgraded to work with v3. As soon as they are, I will go back to v3.
Con: As far as I know, it does not offer any additional features for the "general population".
I've stayed with 2.xx until such time as additional feature are added, not related to a multi-client operating mode. I should note, I am 110% satisfied with 2.xx so this is not a complaint.
When V3.0 was first announced, I was disappointed also. But from several insightful posts of alpha team members, there’s very likely more to come in V3.x, i.e., the mirror function letting us use SSDR and M/Maestro simultaneously on the same slice/signal. I’m quite sure that has broad appeal to the masses, and if/when it happens, even in a limited way, I for one will bite and and gladly pay up!
To me the major “plus” of V3 is what’s potentially the next step!Howard
I just watched a video on the Expert MB-1 SDR and boy is that thing amazing. May be putting the flex on the back burner.
The simple fact is, whatever Flex' process for figuring out improvements is, it consistently leaves out the things I want. Some of this is basic DXing functionality that makes it hard for me to recommend Flex to my DXing friends. All of it are things I have asked for, off and on, since V1. I do great things with this radio, but I have to fight it too often.
For instance, we need basic VFO emulation. The first two slices need to have all of the A=B, A swap B, A is set to B, B is set to A kind of function that every other radio has. When I do a right click to bring the second slice "nearby" the other slice, it picks an arbitrary, always wrong offset. There should be a "DX Mode" where the other slice drops in at a useful-to-DXing offset from the one visible in the panadapter
For another, we need what PowerSDR had -- the ability to set filter widths to our own custom settings. This is more than a nice to have when the DX is moving up by a fixed offset in a pileup that does not happen to match our settings.
Heck, I sometimes want to turn the panadapter off. No such animal. That can be hard on remoting.
None of what I want appears hard. What I see, however, is that it never makes the cut. I guess Flex sells to no DXers???
I don't like that third party software is breaking in V3 for no obvious reason. I don't like how poorly Flex' ethernet interface is documented. I, at least, can't make sense out of it. I desperately wish they would have a telnet interface that closely emulated the USB one. Then, I could do what I have done for the few little tools I have written -- look at Kenwood's documentation.
PowerSDR was not only free, it was more responsive to my needs. This has been true for too many years now.
The features are not really all about contesting, there are lots of comments from none contesters finding lots of ways to use the features, Being able to have a clien running at both ends at the same time is huge.
This is simply the first install of V3, they will be refining it in the future with point updates.
And it sets Flex way ahead of competition, that's a good thing.
From what I have read, the auto save is causing a problem for many.
At this time we can't hear the audio from each client connected.
PRO: I do like the new feature where I can use both the front panel and the SDR software. I set the radio on an area I want to monitor and I can "keep an ear on it" even when I am in my upstairs office when I'm not in the shack.
PRO: I would imagine, but do not know for certain, that 3.x has some architectural enhancements that are laying the groundwork for additional improvements that would be problematic within the 2.x framework.
1. Ability to run the M front AND use SSDR for digital and other modes, very nice.
2. Setting of drive by band matrix, however this is negated by a con below
1. The over writing of Profiles with no notice or confirmation, not a fan of this at all.
2. Lack of V3 support of 3rd party software
I do have some software compatibility issues but its to be expected as it will take a few months for 3rd parties to update their software.
PROS: New Multi feature has many interesting features I am exploring.
CONS: Initially I had no complaints. 1. However, I have had one incident where the radio reverted to the select radio screen for no apparent reason. I have to say this happened once with 2.4.9 also, so maybe not an issue. 2. The one thing that is important is that when using a cw message stored on the F keys, there is no sidetone when the message is transmitting. Not sure why I cannot get the sidetone to run with messages. Strange, since when sending with my key paddle, I do hear the sidetone. 3. Still not WBNB, NB, ANF, these really need to be addressed. Everyday features need to be addressed, sooner than later.
My 2Cents, and still very happy with my decision to buy a Flex.
Pros: None for my operation
Cons: Now we will need two different softwares each with their own updates and bug fixes. It would be much better to offer an annual $ 99 license fee and keep us all on the same software. Two softwares will cuase loads of more software support and a great deal of customer support time. I think most of us would pay $99 to keep our rigs current. The extra revenue might help Flex address some of the older unresolved software issues people mention.
Multi-Flex allows me to leave the rig running, monitoring FT8, CW SKimmer, WSPR, or other modes, while at the same time I can log in from my laptop, iPad, or office computer down the road or in the next room and continue to make contacts remotely.
I like the TX Band Settings pull-down. It brings a lot of those settings into view at the same time. I have even grown to like the "save on the fly" for the TX Profiles.
They have refined the "auto-start" linkage with DAX and CAT so that it works much more smoothly.
They have lowered the bandwidth requirements for remote audio. I am now able to remote to my office, even running two slices, with my home stations marginal uplink speeds of only 700 kbps. BIG DIFFERENCE in remote performance at my station!
They have added several commands to the FlexControl Knob menu.
They reconfigured and tweaked the standard filter choices in the RX control panel and on the Slice Flag Pull-downs.
The filter drag icon that appears at the bottom of the panadapter with a "mouse over" now slides the filter width in accordance with the slice tuning step. (but unfortunately not so with the icon on the RX Control Panel). Still, a net plus.
They corrected the errors that crept in to V.2.4.9 (and these will be back-ported into V.2.5)
I am neutral as to the "save-on-the-fly" for Mic Profiles. I have gotten used to it, but would rather have a way to turn auto-save ON/OFF. However. I don't adjust my Mic Profiles much. Rather than constantly changing the parameters on the Mic Profiles I simply have programmed several different profiles. If I want one with more punch, I don't change settings, I change Mic Profiles. So when I get a new mic, I will program my standard set - Rag Chew, DX, Contest, and "Really Punchy" and save them. Then I switch between profiles rather than constantly turning PROC ON or UP, for example.
I would like to see some refinements in the Global Profile operation. For example, some say simply to use Global Profiles to save your RX EQ memories. But since I gadfly about the bands and operate many different modes at random, sometimes at the same time on different slices, changing Global Profiles not a solution. It does not allow a fast switch from SSB to CW when following a DX station from band to band and mode to mode and back. it is a clunky way to run a multi-mode station. I see Global Profiles as a way to change major configurations - i.e. from casual mode to Contest Mode; From HF mode to VHF/UHF Transverter mode; From audio modes to four-band simultaneous FT8 monitoring mode; From home station to remote operation mode; from NM9P's favorite power user setup to my wife's occasional basic operation mode; From Barefoot Mode, to Amplifier in line, or a different profile for different amplifiers, etc.
I could say "They haven't fixed a couple of my pet-peves yet."
For example, I am still waiting for mode-specific RX EQ memories.
Mirror Mode (the ability to use the Maestro or Front Panel to control the slices that are in use by SSDR) is not included yet. But if I waited to upgrade until it was included, I would miss a lot of good time with the functions that it DOES have.
There could be some additional tweaking of the CW TX/RX timing/muting. Though this is not a show-stopper for me. (I am aware that others differ, so we don't need to argue about it.)
I think that there is still a need to revisit the DSP "Science Experiment" -- especially for ANF, NR, & NB. But I have been pleased with either their function so far, or the work-arounds I use (TNF is a quick way to get a notch, when zoomed, you can visually move it to the right place and drag it to a new one of the carrier drifts. It is powerful and does not distort the audio like almost every other ANF I have tried, even on PowerSDR.)
I am aware that there are some functions in some 3rd party software that do not/will not work until the 3rd party developers make the required changes. I don't use those programs myself, so I cannot comment much about them. I have another bunch that I DO use. And have had no problems with them yet.
However, none of these CONs would keep me from upgrading, even if I were not an alpha team tester. There was enough to get me interested.
This is some of my experience gleaned from several months testing before the official release.
I do not intend to diminish or denigrate anyone else's Pros & Cons. It is simply my experience and opinion. Your station may vary.
Ken - NM9P
Multi Client (aka: Multi Flex). Lets my app use unused panadapter(s) and waterfalls while running SSDR or the front panel on my M model 6600.
Con: DSP functions, ANF, NB, etc. along with several other basic features that have had issues since v1.x, still need improving.
The above Con's are the main reason I have not upgraded to v3. Instead, I will wait to see if they.finally receive the attention they have long needed since v1.x , when v2.50 comes out later this year. And hopefully, both v2.50 and v3.x will contain those improvements. Once they do, I'll buy v3.x.
Until then, I'll stay with v2.49, warts and all.
- I can now run my Maestro and 6600M at the same time so it seems like I have two radios. Very nice.
- My 6600m and Maestro are both less than a year old and here I had to pay $200 to upgrade them. What's next, a hardware upgrade for ten times that much? New software eventually begets new hardware.
- I think Flex filters are very good, but I would like some attention paid to improving CW reception. For example, get rid of ringing and maybe include something so by pushing a button you can zero beat a station.
PwrSDR & V1/V2/V3 CON: Until FLEX makes "SSB DSP NR/ANL" functional/usable (just parrot Icom/Kwood/Yasue) I will not buy any version of SmartSDR or upgrade beyond the 6300 that sits in a box. Fix the users (owners) biggest complaints, FIRST!
V1/V2/V3 CON: Flex has no scaled down "newbie mode" to help overcome a newbies monumental learning curve.Let the newbie learn in increments - when they are ready to move into MORE.
FLEX CON: No 'Newbie" forum to tutor newbies into setup to first OPs (in all modes) [FLEX get some of the pompous guru's who worship all things FLEX to create PPT & HOW-TOO video's. Then FLEX by 're-titling' these items create a newbie 1,2,3,4... library. You want to sell - then TEACH, how can you loose?
PRO: V3 adds more value to my radio needs. Multiple clients is great. A major step forward.
CON: I see none expect some intial bug fixes as usual.
I guess I am so much fascinated with the remote radio operation that Flex so easily provides compared to the competition that I do not care of all the other issues not yet being fixed as some point out. And honestly, they have never stopped me from really enjoying ham radio they way I now do.
Yes I am spoiled with good antennas on a rural remote island with only S1-2 noise on 160-80 meters. Three towers and a fully equipped SO2R station. Guess this makes me a little bit biased.
Keep up the good work Flex!
Happy Easter to you all.
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