Upgrading to v2.xx------ Yes or No

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  • Updated 6 months ago
  • (Edited)

Currently running the 6500 with version 1.11.12


I have be debating and whether to upgrade to v2.x for quite some time now but haven’t as of yet.

1.11.12 has been working great with no issues that I am aware of.

At this time I am not interested in working remotely (at least not now)

I have read all the release notes and have come to the conclusion that most of v2.xxx has been to accommodate the 6400/6600 rigs/maestro and/or fix issues within v2.x itself.

I also realize there is a bit of eye candy thrown in there for good measure.

So my question is—is it worth it to upgrade to v2.x IF I am not interested in working remotely OR eye candy?

It would be a no brainier if someone said “I just upgraded and man, I can’t believe the difference! The NB works better or the receiver works better etc. etc. etc.)

Regards,

Larry


 


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Larry Williamson

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Posted 6 months ago

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Photo of Rick - W5FCX

Rick - W5FCX

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I like the new S meter enhancements and the way it starts/stops CAT and DAX automatically, which was a pain before. I haven’t noticed any other major new features operationally, at least that I use.
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Johan / SE3X

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Never had the Ver 1 software. Came into the Flex family 6 months ago and immidiatelly upgraded my 6700 to V2. It was included with the radio, hence not much to think about. At same time upgraded my Maestro and never had a problem.

As a former IT professional I have always found it important to follow program/SW upgrades. There is a reason suppliers send out version upgrades and updates and I like to be in the forefront of the "train".

Not much of an answer to your specifik question .. more of a general comment on upgrading software.
(Edited)
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VE7ATJ

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Generally, the major enhancements to 2.x have been, as you said, focused on the remote operation and support of the new rigs.  However, there have been improvements to the overall operation of the rig and the stability of SSDR.  Some of these have been incorporated into the 1.x releases, but as Flex pointed out, 2.x is on a somewhat different code-base, and I believe that, as we move along further, changes will be included in 2.x which cannot be accommodated into the 1.x stream. 

The question of whether it is 'worth' the $200 upgrade fee is really up to you.  My thought was similar to Johan's in that I'm investing in the future of my flex 6500, rather than maintenance of the current one...
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Paul - K6HR

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Same here. I've been running v1.x and just upgraded last week. Although v1 worked fine, I came to realize it was money well spent, and I probably should have done it sooner!
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Rick WN2C

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I think it comes down to what you want to do with the radio. My suggestion is to look at the release notes for each new version that has come out and use that information to determine if any new features interest you or would make your operating better. I myself had a 6300 and traded up to a 6400M and am glad I did. When I had the 6300, I was using the last version 1.11 and it worked just fine but at the same time if there was a problem within the software Flex would have to fix it in that version.having said that, by looking at the post on here I don't believe many (or any) have had problems with it.

YMMV
73
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Here is something to consider, Flex has done lots of under the hood tweeks on each update. And not all of them are listed in the notes. They just call them under the hood...

The main thing is V1 has come to the end other than to fix something if needed.
But V2, you can take advantage of any new features planned, but if you stay with V1 and there is nothing wrong with that, you simply stay put. Ya I would spring for it.
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Mark WS7M

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Here are the non remote list of things I like:

  • S-meter improvements including showing peak
  • Pop out windows.  IE pans, CWX, radio paneles can be separated from the main window
  • Start/stop DAX automatically - When dax remains running it can eat up radio resources
  • CWX fixes.  Some things in CWX work better
  • Color fill on the panadapter
  • Split button makes doing TX/RX splits easier
  • Minimized slice flags show frequency readout
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roger na4rr

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I took advantage of the ICOM $200 rebate a couple of months ago and got 7300.  The noise reduction is head and shoulders better than the 6700.  I use the receiver in the 7300 on high noise days but keep the 6700 in line for xmit and panadapter.
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Rick - W5FCX

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Roger - any idea why the noise reduction is better in the 7300? Is it a hardware limitation of the 6700?
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WW1SS - Steve

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Do a search. It is all over the forum about the Flex noise mitigation or lack of it.
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Rick - W5FCX

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I’m aware of the problem - we all are. I’ll search for the solution. First time I’ve heard it’s solved by Flex.
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WW1SS - Steve

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It's not solved by flex. It is still a problem
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Larry Williamson

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Thanks for all the interesting replies. I have been wading through a lot of posts over the last few days looking for an answer to my question. The majority what I have read is that v2.xxx is mostly user conveniences along with fixes for the 6600 and maestro.

I am always playing with the WNB and ANF to attempt to reduce noise and not one time have I ever been successful. Maybe the WNB and ANF are considered “user conveniences”??

Makes me wonder if we have reached a point in technology where things like receiver performance just can’t be improved upon (until some new type of technology comes out).

How long has the 6700 been at the top of the list on the Sherwood reports? 4-5 years I bet, has the receiver been improved much over that time?

User conveniences are nice and a few of you have convinced me to upgrade.

Regards

Larry

(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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One thing I know is, The WNB does work, imagine a noise of S9 to 0 when the WNB is turned on? I have a terrible noise problem here sometimes that renders 40m unusable. There are some great video's showing how effective it works, but with the type of noise it is designed for.

Will there be a better receiver than direct sampling? who knows.
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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it works if you have the type of noise that the noise mitigation is designed to operate on.

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KM4CQG

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Larry

I am with you on this from what I have seen its just not worth upgrading.

There is nothing in the 2.0 version that would improve my Flex 6700 operation.

Ian
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Brian Morgan VK7RR/4

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I  disagree with comments that it is not worth upgrading from Ver. 1. I think that it is easy for us to be carried along by our past experiences and not "experiment" with updates to the software, or not experiment enough. My experience was that Ver. 2 resulted in many subtle improvements. When I bought my first Flex radio in the early days, a major selling point was that the software would be upgraded from time to time. This has occurred.
In all my years of owning Icom, Yaesu etc, I have never had an upgrade. Once you buy the radio, that is what you have for the life of the rig. With Flex, some of the more recent upgrades have come about because of feedback from users of features that they want to see. So into the future, why limit your ability to have the benefit of upgrades? 
I do use remote, but have done so since before Flex time. Yes, I now have a Maestro and I can quickly check conditions using my smartphone when away from the shack.
But in every day use in the shack, I think that Vers.2 outperforms 1. 
Finally, the cost of joining the Version 2 club is minimal in the scheme of things. I paid more than that for a length of heliax the other day.
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Mike W9OJ

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If you don't use remote you just have to decide if the cosmetic enhancements are worth $200.

73 de Mike W9OJ
(Edited)
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Rick - W5FCX

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Exactly. How $200 can be a barrier to anyone who can afford a Flex is a mystery.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Mike, what about the under the hood tweeks they do to improve performance, these are things that go unnoticed.
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Mike W9OJ

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What under the hood tweaks?
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Mark WS7M

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As a software developer for 40+ years people have always had a very hard time paying for software.  It certainly is getting better but ask yourself the question:

If you had a refrigerator, one of the new ones, perhaps a Samsung and Samsung came along and told you there was a new "software update" for your refrigerator that cost $200 and it would give you a certain set of features... how would you feel?

While not a perfect analogy the idea is the same.  People bought a box.  A Flex Radio Box and they don't realize that software is what drives the box and the subconscious thought of having to pay for a software upgrade sometimes is the block.
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KP2L

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I think that when version 2.3 comes out (soon) having spots on the panafall may be a game changer for you.  The other thing to think about is an upgrade is contributing to even further software development by Flex. And it does cost big money to pay and retain developers.  Nowhere else do you get a new radio every time a new version of the software comes out. Vers. 1.0 software will never get any better, and the capabilities of your radio will remain the same. 
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Bill Roberts

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My way of upgrading to 2.0 was to buy a new radio, a 6600.  I also don't have plans to operate remote.  The new panadaptor fill and S-meter are nice.  My previous main radio was a 6300.  Whether the improved audio rendering is the new hardware or in the new software, I don't know.  I do agree with the fellow IT professional (I'm now retired) that it's a wise investment to keep up with the latest software.  

I also feel it's the "right" thing to do.  Flex invests in their trouble ticket system, bug fixes, financially supporting this community, etc.  Asking people to subscribe to and support their effort and value to us with an extra $200 every few years is reasonable.  How many would easily part with $200 for a nice meal or attending a sporting event that's here today and gone tomorrow.  Software development and maintenance isn't free.  I'd upgrade.
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Delbert McCord

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What gave me pause with the upgrade was the requirement to have it phone home to verify me.  I purchased a 6400, still have not tried it, the 6300 is still working........ Hopefully in the fall I will try it out. 
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Rick WN2C

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So let me get this right...you bought a 6400 and it still sit in the box?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Delbert, that is a confusing remark, upgrading what? Call home? A new radio sitting for months? why?
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Mark WS7M

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First, SmartLink does use a "server".  But that is only if you use SmartLink.  If you startup SSDR and you are local to your radio, you bypass SmartLink and connect direct.

This is how it appears to me and seems to be the case in looking at my network activity.

So I don't get the phone-home analogy...   It does need to validate you have a valid license, that is a one time deal and as was mentioned in these forums many times the license data is stored in the radio, or at least that is what I thought.
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Rick WN2C

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All I can say on the whether to upgrade or not is... where else are you going to get a new radio for $200 ??
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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@Larry - you've posed a strictly personal question. 

If you are happy and all works like you expect & are happy with, leave things alone. 

You can always change versions.

Only additional consideration is if you would decide to sell your 6500 you can expect to either have to pay to upgrade to sell it, or to have to discount it for not being upgraded. 

If you might upgrade or change hardware anytime soon, you might prefer to enjoy the changes with version 2.x rather than paying for the version upgrade but never getting to use it when you sell your radio.

YMMV but personally in your shoes I'd upgrade, as I am always interested getting the best performance out of my radios. 

73

Steve K9ZW

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Larry Williamson

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After reading all the replies, I kind of agree with everyone. Therefore last night I upgrade!

I initially downloaded V2.2.8 but it would not update the radio. Next I downloaded V2.1.33 and it immediately upgraded the firmware.

I was expecting to need to key the radio as so many post describe, but never did at any point during the upgrade (weird).

Now I guess I can chat on the radio remotely while baling hay!

Again- thank you for all the replies

73

Larry
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Now get the latest upgrade and upgrade to that.
You only key the mic when setting up Smart Link for remote...
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Larry Williamson

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One more quick question--- If I want to use Smart Link remotely on any windows based PC/laptop—do I just need to download the same version of SmartSDR for Windows on my remote laptop?

Thank you
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WW1SS - Steve

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Yes
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Bill -VA3WTB

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As Steve said,,that is correct.
Larry, also one of the neat things about that is you can share your radio with a friend as well, all they need to do is the same thing, down load SSDR to a computer and you give them your log in info and they can use your radio.

I do that for a few elderly hams that have no way of using a radio, so they share mine at times, it is a nice thing to be able to do.
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Larry Williamson

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Thank you---Now I am getting a bit excited to try it out!  A few months back I did try to set up using Parallels Access/Teamviewer/Skype etc.. I Finally bagged it as I never did get it working dependably. Hopefully this process is a whole lot smoother. 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Very slick, When you register Smart L have your hand mic handy, it will ask you to key up for ID, and follow the promps, It just takes a few seconds.

Remember though, you won't need smart L for around the house connection
(Edited)
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Larry Williamson

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Currently I have the radio plugged into the PC with it (PC) on wifi, will this work to register Smart Link? I have read where you may need to physically connect the radio to the router, however I am not sure how this would work because then the radio would not be connected to the computer. Maybe I am getting confused!
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Larry, you would have the radio connected to your computer. On the first screen you see sellect SmartLinks Setup ,follow the promps. Your computer needs to be connect to the internet . If it is possible connect your computer to the net hard wired. but the wifi should work.. makes sense?
(Edited)
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Andy - KU7T

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I wonder if it would be feasible by FlexRadio to support a trail period of the software. I can imagine some users would like to try out v2 for a week before they would take it...

73
Andy
KU7T
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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This is something we considered, but un-licensing a radio is not trivial.