Where do I pay for my 2.x upgrade?

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  • Updated 2 years ago
With all the grumbling about paying for upgrades I figured I'd lead the charge in supporting Flex Radio by offering to pay right now for my upgrade!!!

I had to sell my first flex 6500 due to family issues that suddenly cleared up and now I'm back with my 2nd 6500.  

As a software engineer I know exactly how much time and effort goes into software so I'm here to support Flex and I am looking forward to many cool 2.x releases.

Where do I pay?   Send me an invoice, a link, whatever...   I'll pay right now!

When I consider my lemon TS-520 I bought years ago that went back to Henry Radio a sum total of 10 times to never be fixed or replaced and at least 5 times I had to pay a service fee for them to check it out...  Each time it came home with the same issues.  I'd attempt to tune it and the entire rig would glitch and reset.  This into a 50 ohm dummy load.   It was far worse into any antenna.

So yes... I'll pay $199 for Flex to do what they are doing ANY DAY!

Mark - WS7M
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Mark - WS7M

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Posted 2 years ago

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Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I already paid mine 3 1/2 years ago when I ordered my 6500! It hurt less that way.
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Mark - WS7M

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Didn't know there was an option to pay at that time! 
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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There was such an option before the switch from "Annual Software Subscription" policy to the "Version Upgrade/update" policy, I describe in another post below.  I had forgotten that update credits had been removed from the store after the change.  

It makes sense, though...one less thing to track in the FRS store database.....

What do you do with someone who buys a rig and a couple extra "Upgrade credits"  and then sells the rig...?  I wouldn't want to keep track of all that.....
Photo of Lee - N2LEE

Lee - N2LEE

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Mark, please send your payment to flexradioupgrade2.0@N2LEE.com  LOL
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

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Went to paypal... selected that address, said: "nope... can't send money!  N2LEE only accepts Chocolate Cake for payment.  Didn't have any of those... so  well... 
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Lee - N2LEE

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We are accepting Cherry Pie or Milk Chocolate as substitution. :)
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Joe - KC2TN

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Love my Flex too Mark, but really, come on, no one really knows "exactly how much time and effort goes into software"! Developers and managers have been trying for years but still haven't figured it out! LOL Looking forward to future releases!
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Mark - WS7M

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I actually have a pretty good idea because I suffer the pain almost every day.  Still working here.

But if you ever asked me to guess a head of time, I'm still off by 200% !!!  LOL
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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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Mark,

This is the mature approach and thank you. First, there will never be a requirement for someone to upgrade for their radio to continue working. If someone doesn't need the new features then don't pay for them. Finally, about 80% of the Flex employees are software developers and they must be paid for their work. Thousands of hours go into each release plus there is no other ham radio manufacturer who offers continued software enhancements and support like Flex. I'm too am pleased to pay pay for upgrades that will make the hobby more fun for me.

73,

Mack
W4AX
Alpha Tester
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Mark - WS7M

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Agreed Mack.

A forum I'm part of has a couple guys that are ordering the new Anon radio and each is having to order a pretty powerful computer to make use of it.  I really like the architecture of the flex in that most of the work is done in the box.

Anyway... Have Tim or Dudley send me a payment link!
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Jim Gilliam

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If one has two 6500's and paid 200 dollars for the first upgrade at the time of sale, is it necessary to pay an additional 200 dollars for the second radio?


Jim, K6QE

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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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My assumption, based upon previous posts, is that this is a single radio price, not a multi-site license. Similar to getting a software/firmware update in your car. If you have two of the same car, you still get to pay twice.

But FRS will undoubtedly make these issues more clear when the release is ready. If they told us all right now, what would everybody talk about until then?
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KC2QMA_John

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Maybe full price for the first radio and 75% off each additional radio?

Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I haven't been in the Flex fold that long, but how did they handle this in the past? 
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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A bit of FRS Upgrade/update history -- as I remember it:  (as a user & Elmer...not an employee)

When the 6000 series was first introduced, the expected policy was that users would pay $199 per year as a "software maintenance fee" which would give the right to download new updates for a year.  The first year was free.  After the free year ended, if your fee was not paid, then you could not download and install updates.  if you skipped a year or two and wanted to begin receiving updates, then you would need to pay for another year.  (But not retroactively for the years skipped).  This was also a "per-rig fee.  not a multi-site license.    

Those who were part of the first wave of "early adopters" in the "Limited edition" who paid their $$$ up front before the rig was released, and took early delivery of the first units, were rewarded with an additional year's credit.  (I was in the "Second wave" of early adopters -- after the "Limited Edition" but before the actual release of V.1.0.  We were allowed to use the "pre-release"  as sort of "beta-testers" with the understanding that the early versions were not fully functional.  our reward was that our warranty did not start "counting down" until V.1.0 was released.  I am still fuzzy about whether or not there was going to be an additional year of updates for the 2nd wave-ers.  But I have already paid for one additional credit.  so I am not all that concerned at this point.... by the time V.3.000 rolls out I may be too senile to care....!)

But before the first year after initial V.1.0 was over, FRS decided that the Annual Software subscription" was not going to work as predicted -- some updates took longer than anticipated, the "roadmap" blew up, and there wold be no way to issue a specific number of equal quality updates every year, etc.

So they adopted the "Major Version: / "minor up[date" system (V.1.xxx,  V.2.xxx, V.3.xxx).  Updates within a version would be free, but Upgrades to a Major New Version would be a paid upgrade.  Those who paid in advance for additional years of Software Maintenance Fees would have those credits converted into Major Upgrade Credits.  At first, some folks groused about this until they realized that Major Upgrades were probably going to be more than a year apart (It has been 3 1/2 years since V.1.0 was released) and that this would actually a better deal for the user.  But it has reduced software fees for FRS.  Many people would already be in their third year of paid updates!

At all stages of the game, it has been my understanding that both systems were understood as per-rig fees, not multi-site.  Although there have been some who have lobbied for some sort of "multi-rig discount,"  there has been no policy statement from FRS that I know of.

Ken - NM9P
(Edited)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I have to time mine with card spend for mileage bonuses. I think the year recycled already but I'm not sure. ;)
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Dave -- W7IWW

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"Value" determination is an individual matter. For me, $200 for major software upgrade is a very fair value considering the extraordinary quality, functionality, and service provided be Flex over many years. Those who feel otherwise have no obligation to pay for something that does not meet their value criteria. Their radios will continue to have excellent functionality without further upgrades.
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Jim Gilliam

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We are not questioning the value, we are questioning the policy.


Jim, K6QE

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Michael Coslo

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Well, "We" is not all encompassing. I have zero problem with their version policy. I've received many free updates - probably 8 by now. That is 8 more than any other radio I have ever owned. So I'll happily pay a couple hundred. 

As with most software I use, when 2X comes out,  I will wait a few weeks to make certain that there are no infant bugs, than write out my check and install the software and be happy. 

The entire concept of the Software Defined Radio is radically different than legacy radios. The price for the performance is exceptional, and the potentials are great for software improvements. But the hump we desperately need to get over is the idea that everything has to be free, and free forever. Because there ae some folks out there who still want perennial updates for the earlier flex radios using PowerDSR.

I want Flex to remain in business. Which is why I understand I have to part with a few piasters to help ensure that. 
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Mark - WS7M

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I have yet to see a "policy" that didn't make some people unhappy.  I think that should be put into the definition:

Policy: a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by a government, party, business, or individual often that causes some people affected by the course or action unhappy.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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The policy is sound IMO and represents a way for the industry, in particular flex to adapt to new technologies and keep top talent on board to keep our radios cutting edge.  Take for instance a particular feature that would be in a superhet rig.  lets for the sake of argument... say a general coverage filter.  A manufacturer will charge several hundred dollars for that filter.  Flex on the other hand handles this feature through software.   All the same architectural work, scope, design, implementation and support exist, but as software development.  Why would you think it would be OK for a superhet manufacturer to charge for a feature like this at a considerable markup, and not a SDR architecture manufacturer?  in this case flex has extended the value so you could perhaps drop a couple hundred and you are covered for all added features for the duration of that version.  Thats a huge value.  It is however a new way to look at radio, but these are a new type of radio.  Those who realize this will be on board with it.  This architecture is not about the hardware.  its about the software.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Where do I pay?   Send me an invoice, a link, whatever...   I'll pay right now!

Thanks Mark for your enthusiasm.  Since 2.0 has not been released, we are not yet ready to start taking orders.  We are in the process of developing the infrastructure for licensing and part of that effort includes the mechanism for purchasing a license.

In regards to purchasing a 2.0 license for people who own multiple radios, we will most likely have some sort of "license pack" that can be purchased for some level of discount.  As I have indicated previously, the details are TBD and once we have them settled, we'll let you know.
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Kevin

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You're not going to tell my HR VP I joked about NDAs are you?

You guys are serious?
(Edited)
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Jay / NO5J

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I was under NDA my entire career. If you've never signed one, you might think they have no teeth. Try telling your next job interviewer you signed one and felt it was only a suggestion. See how that works out for you. Almost like the mythical blacklist. Plan for an extended unemployment career.

  SDRgadgets

#FlexRadio IRC chat

  73, Jay - NO5J

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Kevin

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I apologize to anyone I offended by making light of NDAs. As an act of contrition I will say three Hail CFO's and one Our CEO.

Sheesh. What a bunch.
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Jay / NO5J

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I forgive you my son!

  SDRgadgets

#FlexRadio IRC chat

  73, Jay - NO5J

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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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No offense taken. Just returning the leg pulling...with a word of clarification in case someone else might misunderstand!

Your penance, however is to delay downloading of v.2.0 by 15 minutes after you purchase it when it is available.....
(Edited)
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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I'm probably paying more than $200/yr just to keep my 'subscriptions' to QRZ.com, EQSL, RadioReference, HRD, NCJ, and who knows what else, going...not to mention what I pay to OORS and others for DX QSLs.  $200 for a major upgrade to SSDR looks like a bargain to me, and I'll be at the front of the line to pay up.
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Giulio

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Ok you are pricing something that doesn't exist at the moment and you don't know which will be the new features of the version 2. So I don't understand why we are still speaking about $200 if there is nothing ready and the sw upgrades are still unknown is it only a marketing operation to prepare the consumers to spend $200? We are pricing something that is still an idea.. Neither a project.
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Michael Coslo

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We are talking about it mainly because some people believe that they are entitled to free updates forever, and some of us don't think that's a good business plan. It isn't marketing at all, because Flex is pretty clear about upgrades within versions and upgrades that constitute a version change. 
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Kevin

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Been thinking on all this. If you give me something for free I'll take it and say thank you. But...

As I read it, some of the issues people have, and I can understand it, is that 1.x promises or expectations are not fully achieved. I can see those arguments but I think the counterargument is that there are things delivered by FRS in 1.x that were not part of the plan either.

I was not here for 1.0 code or whatever first hit the streets. I think my first was 1.6. I'm guessing those that were here for early code might feel that between 1.early and today there has been a lot of features added at no cost. Sure, a lot of bugs introduced and bugs fixed. I feel that way about 1.6 to now.

I have the feeling FRS is going to provide a 2.x product that is a significant step forward from 1.x but I also think and hope we'll see the same feature enhancement slope we saw in 1.x along with the bug fixes.

If I were to propose a cost model, I think I'd be willing to pay a certain amount a year for a subscription which includes support and any enhancements. If I decide not to pay for next year's subscription then I'm in stasis with the current version. Maybe get a bug fix for critical errors but expect no more enhancements. When I want to re-subscribe, I pay the initial new-subscriber fee and then fall back to an annual fee at regular prices.

This way I don't think 1.x to 2.x has to be some magical smartphone-style leap. In fact, I kind of dislike the giant-step-forward that 1.x to 2.x to x.x implies. I'd be happy (or less curmudgeonly anyway) if we just saw a constant stream of fixes and enhancements. 

I think I'm entitled to free bug fixes at a fixed initial purchase price. I think FRS is entitled to compensation for new or improved features.

Kev
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Giulio

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I will buy... Or i will sell(hi)
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Mike W1BFA in Maine

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Just a thought, what if all upgrades were provided during the warrantee period and following that you would pay an annual fee for for an extended warrantee with software or firmware updates as they become available? In that scenario you would have a known cost to budget for and Flexradio would have a known recurring revenue number to keep those great employees providing great support, software and engineering for the future. Win - Win situation to me. Radio is no damn good without those guys... Mike W1BFA
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Rick WN2C

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If I can buy a 'New Radio' for $200, I would buy it in a New York second. Let me know when and I will be ready to send my payment.