This little post is intended to essentially represent things that I painfully struggled to understand during my first two intensive weeks of using and figuring out the Flex 6400M, which I would like to say represents the finest radio I have ever seen or used. If there are any errors here I welcome being corrected as I am still a noob.
- If your computer is not connected to the radio and SDR is not installed on the computer yet, when you first fire up the radio it will go right into radio mode. However, once you have SDR installed on the computer, the rig instead goes into a menu that asks you to “connect.” Once you choose “connect” the latest SDR version saved on the radio will be shown, which you are supposed to select and “run.” Thus the rig acts like a computer and you are “running” the rig as though it was a computer to load its firmware to get it started. (Who knew?). If you want to run your radio from your PC instead of from the front panel, you can click on SmartSDR on your PC (it must be installed) instead of connecting on the radio and you can run your radio from the PC. Sounds simple but I didn’t figure this out for a week. Same, by the way, if you want to run your 6400M from your iPad with SmartSDR for IOS.
- Connect your radio’s ethernet port to your WiFi hub, not your computer. At least for me, this was the only way that the radio could connect to the internet to download new versions of SDR, register SDR, etc. It worked FB instantly once I connected it to the hub.
- When you are setting up WSJT-X (for you digital ops) the network must be set to “localhost: 5XXX” (usually 5102,3, or 4) not just “5XXX” without the “localhost:”. Don’t know why Mike’s excellent video just has him entering 5XXX. That didn’t work for me or several other people I corresponded with.
- You can use WSJT Alert to populate your Ham Radio Deluxe logbook with WSJT QSOs. If you use WSJT and HRD for logging, don't miss this great app!
- When you first power up the radio, if the speaker does not emit sound, go to MENU and select for the speaker to be on. You can manually select for the speaker to be on when headphones are plugged in, or off. My radio was shipped with the speaker selected to “off.” The fact of initially no speaker sound gave me some momentary angst when I uncrated the rig. (Didn't it work?)
- Use TX1 (RCA connector) for PTT for your linear. Do not use ALC (usually).
- IMPORTANT: once you get all your settings (SDR, DAX, etc.) for a mode, such as the digital modes, save it to PROFILES. That way, if you fool around with the settings and forget how you got a digital program or something working, instead of re-inventing the wheel, you can load the profile and voila, your settings are restored and you are back in business. This has saved me twice. Great feature.