V3 and the Average Ham

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  • Updated 7 months ago
For many many years, I have requested Flex to add, CW auto-tune, and the ability to have EIBI Database listing with on-screen identifier to allow easier shortwave searching and listening.   However, like years past, my requests have been filed in the circular file cabinet.  V3 is only for extreme contesters and possibly a husband and wife team.  So, unless they stop updating V2, most of us hams will experience no real feature upgrade by purchasing V3.  In my opinion, this is sad because most hams grew-up enjoying listening to shortwave stations and still enjoy tuning around to listen.  It is also sad because most of the honest, truthful news and events are being sent out via shortwave.  If your a cw operator, the auto-tune feature is a nice feature that allows the predetermined cw pitch to be tuned without having to fumble with the tuning knob.  So, maybe next year, what do you think?
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Joseph Rodick

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  • that Flex dosn't care about the average ham.

Posted 7 months ago

  • 4
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John W9KXQ

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Joe, I am pretty straight forward regarding your post!  I would suggest you sell your Flex!  I can't speak for most hams as you have, however, I can speak for myself, I am not a "shortwave" listener, although as a kid, before I got my ham license in 1961, I did do shortwave listening.  I did not buy a FlexRadio to listen to shortwave.  It is a lot of money to spend on a shortwave RECEIVER, I spent my money for a top of the line Transceiver, that only gets better as we are served up the upgrades.  Did your requests fall in to the "circular file cabinet"?  I doubt it, but if every Flex owner sent in just one "upgrade" request, and Flex honored it, they would not be able to stay in business due to many request for unnecessary "add-ons"!  If this post comes off snarky, then you get my message.
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Burt Fisher

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Rather than respect his opinion, typical reaction of biased Flex owners, "sell your Flex." 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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John is speaking for himself,,this is not typical.
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John W9KXQ

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Bill Thank you!  Burt, I don't think I disrespected Joseph's opinion, but rather offered a solution to someone who does not speak for me.  When you bolster your opinion by saying "most hams" you usually have no clue as to what my opinion is, because you didn't asked, but rather made an assumption based on?? I am a biased Flex owner, a biased Icom  owner, a biased Kenwood owner, and a biased Yaesu owner, I purchased each of these products, but I don't assume to know what "most hams" think about my purchases, I am the only one that can voice "my opinion" about my equipment without asking first, what my opinion.  I think the horse is dead here!
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Bill -VA3WTB

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John, I understand why you may not like the idea of someone grouping you and the rest of us together, thinking that this is how we must think. I have learned a long time ago not to give somone advice to sell their Flex over a comment they make. Dispite what comments some people make, they still must think a Flex is about the best thing going still, or they wouldn't still have one.

This is an open forum with all kinds of comments, ideas, and opinions witch we may not all agree on.
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IW7DMH, Enzo

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Hi Joseph,

although Burt answer is a triumph of cynicism it is the right one.
Out there you'll find other full featured direct sampling rigs with all the bell and whistels for average hams. For sure great contesters will be happy with Flex but consider they aren't the average ham.
During the last week we did a comparison between Flex-6300 ans Expert PRO2 configuring a very basic CW-SO2R contest station.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHeg6tu9yq4
Results are quite interesting for people that would like to enjoy ham radio without study again for "Software Engineering Degree". Of course this is only one aspect but there are others.
In Italy we say "Ho preso una cantonata" talking about hearthbreak, but never mind.
Anyway Don't blame me, I am still believers in Flex technology but with more healthy sense of criticism than five years ago.

73' iw7dmh

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Burt Fisher

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John W9KXQ, where did I say, "most hams?"
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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Hi Joseph! I do not agree with your proposition that V3 is mainly for contesters, although I can certainly see its usage in big contest stations. I think the majority of usage will be ham clubs, families who have more than one ham or the ham who travels a bunch.  I am an alpha user and I use it more and more because I sit in my living room and play FT8 with my laptop and I don't have to waddle down to the shack and turn off SSDR from my shack computer (like I used to have to do every night because I forgot to shut it down)!
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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I will also enjoy getting bug fixes for the next months!
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James Lee

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I may be missing some nuance in your post Joe, but one of the many great things about using a Flex radio is that you are looking directly at the CW waveform of some signal right there on your screen!  I just "mouse over" and one left click puts my receiver dead on the center of that signal.  I have my 6500 set for 500 Hz side tone and I keep the Receive EQ slider on 500 Hz with others mostly down; that is supposed to make APF work better (?) and it sure seems to.

I do the above steps every morning at 0630 during a CW net on 40 meters so it is a habit that is easier than falling off a log.  I also own the remarkable K3 transceiver and in fact have an entire "Elecraft Station" sitting here, both amps and the P3 too, as my Official Back Up Rig (HI HI).  The K3 has the CW Auto-Tune feature you wish that Flex would have--I gotta' tell you that I have found it annoying as hell and really pretty useless on the K3.

Been on the air for 61 years now.   Love my Flex 6500.  Not so happy about having to pay annual upgrade fee now, but what the hell it's worth it.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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Hi James.... just to be clear, there is no annual upgrade fee.  The version you have will run forever.  

However, if you want to upgrade, you can purchase the next version which, like the previous version, has no annual upgrade fee.  It is 100% optional.

73, Mike
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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Plus its not an annual mark release schedule so you are getting more than a year for the upgrade fee.
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KF4HR

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I question whether your post summarizes the average ham, but your points are well taken.  An CW auto-tune feature would be nice, well... for hams that enjoy CW of course.  Many have suggested ideas they wish to see implemented into SSDR, particularly improvement to the noise reduction features, band edge markers, and on and on.  I doubt FRS puts customer ideas in the circular file.  My guess is, FRS spends its programming efforts implementing software changes which they deem as most useful to the majority (and to keep ahead of competition).   

I am not a Contester (extreme or otherwise) but I am looking forward to V3 mainly for the Multi-Client feature.  Having the ability to have two synchronized Clients would be a welcome feature in my shack, not so much for contesting but rather to aid my normal operating conditions around the house.  

Licensed for over 50 years I also grew up short wave listening using a Regenerative Receiver kit.  It's a safe bet that most new hams are not starting out in the hobby via SWL anymore.  For better or worse, times have changed.  
(Edited)
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Zack Schindler - N8FNR

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I created band edge markers by making permanent TNF's. My display looks like this.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I did mine as well like this,,then one day I made a few more for some noise I was having, I then selected,,delete all TNF,,,  it did, including the ones I saved as permanent ones..I had to re set them all over againg.

It would be nice if when chosing that option it leaves the permanent ones alone...
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Zack Schindler - N8FNR

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Just export your profile once in a while. Then if you do a reset you can import it back and everything restored.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Joseph, you never know. Each main update has a center peace feature, this one coming is about multi client as the main event. There will be information coming out soon that outlines everything in this update and how we can all apply it to our station operating.

Here is an example, I have a couple elderly people use my radio each week a few hours using remote and Smart Link. The remote from a retirment home. When one of them are on my radio I sometimes wish I could use it as well when they are using my station. With Multi client, it would be possible for both of us to use my radio at the same time and never know each one of us are even there untill I see the radio transmit and I know it's not me pushing the PTT.

Keep in mind that V3 will live for about 2 years with many up dates over that time, about 5 per year. that is what they have been averaging. Many updates will likely have to do with multi client but there could be other features introduced as well.

But your not alone, many of us have put in idea request and they never saw the light of day. Heck even the CEO of Flex Radio has feature wants that fail to make it to the top. Even he gets voted down, lol Gerald said...

I too have wants and changes and I may never see them either, but what could I do?

Also keep in mind that Flex is not a hobby for employees, its their living. So they have to decide what is best for the company knowing that does not make everyone happy.

For short wave listening, may I suggest after finding a station you like, save it under memory channels. That way you can always click back to it when you want to.


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Robert-KP4Y

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Joe, I agree with you in that most Flex users don’t care about Multiflex in V3. Yes, they should have used that precious development time to clean up V2, especially the broken QSK operation, see “no fuss QSK” post for details. Shame!

73,
Robert-KP4Y
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Neil D Friedman N3DF

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I care.
(Edited)
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Ted VE3TRQ

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I guess I’m pretty much an “average”, although perhaps newer, ham. I do a lot of digital, and some phone, on all bands, including VHF and UHF. I have a 6600M, and am REALLY looking forward to having SSDR v.3!

Having v.3 means I can leave my “M” front end connected to the radio, while running digital modes on my Mac (with or without a GUI interface up). Not only that, since I mostly run digital modes with no GUI, I can fire up my iPad or MacBook anywhere, in the house or elsewhere, and talk to someone, or maybe even complete a few digital QSOs with the MacBook, all the while still collecting WSPR or FT8/JT65/JT9 spots and logging them on the Mac associated with the shack. And if I’m also sounding on FSQ, I can continue to collect information about who is available on the FSQ watering hole I’m sitting on - all at the same time.

Having v.3 means not having to kill off everything else just to do something different! Now all we need is one full connection per slice :-)
(Edited)
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Jim Gilliam

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The comments posted remind me of those  betting on a horse race...everyone has his/her favorite.
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k3Tim

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Betting on a horse race, one has to pony up and in the end one and only one opinion is correct. Here multiple opinions may be correct depending in the use case. 
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Robert-KP4Y

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I don’t doubt Multiflex has some value, but should it have been a priority? How many of you praising FRS prioritization of Multiflex know that our FRS radios have one of the worst latency performance in the market. How about improving the DSP algorithms to reduce latency? Also, like someone mentioned, how about improving noise reduction features including adding the beam steering capacity to diversity, like in the Flex 5000? And, my favority, how about fixing the QSK implementation? You see it’s just a matter of priorities? It seems line FRS just went for the low haging fruit.


BTW, please save me the speech about selling my Flex if I feel so disappointed with FRS. I think we can be more mature than that and last time I looked, we were still living in a capatilist/democratic society. Good bless the USA...Thus, cool aid drinker, I spent my money however I want and critize companies not meeting my expectation however I like!


73,

Robert-KP4Y
(Edited)
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I0JBL - Luc

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I agree with Joseph because our Flexs are still without basic functions that other SDR
radios of competing brand offer on the market. 
Some example. It is to much ask to a built in rtty decoder? Is to much ask for a voice keyer? 
Is too much to ask for example to work togheter with Mestro and with the shack PC? 
Is to much ask for a NR and an NB worthy of that name that have a minimum of efficiency? 
Sometimes we have the feeling as a Porsche owner with a beautyful car that complain because his car is without the wheels and the dealer answer is the proposal of a Ferrari but still without the wheels. 
But we discuss about these issue thousand times. 
We are OMs who believed in a project following a path.
Sometimes we feel as member a secret sect. 
The answer "if it doesn't look good on you, sell it" is not exactly the answer what a Flex Radio customer expects. 
Good DX
Luc I0JBL

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Johan / SE3X

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Very much look forward to Multiflex .. Can't wait to upgrade and will happily spend my 250 USD.  And yes, that's about where it will be in my country with added VAT and lousy exchange rate.
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Doug

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Oh my goodness I hope the bands improve soon looks to me like we all have too much idle time(.)(.)