Who wins? Complaints or Praises?

  • 2
  • Praise
  • Updated 3 years ago
As a potential customer, I watch the threads closely to see how the users are feeling about their purchases. Unfortunately, I see lots of problems and complaints  and not nearly  enough  people posting praises.  I know you're out there, so, PLEASE, for the sake of us future users, let us know that things DO work well. 
Photo of Richard Adkins

Richard Adkins

  • 62 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Bob Craig, K8RC

Bob Craig, K8RC

  • 253 Posts
  • 101 Reply Likes
Since this is a support forum, you will see many more posts associated with a problem than with "I unboxed my radio and everything works".

The rest of us are generally busy communicating on the radio instead of the internet.

For the record: "I unboxed my radio and everything works". for quite some time now.

73, Bob
Photo of Don-KB6TSQ


  • 26 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Hi Richard,

I bought my Flex 6500 in October of 2013.  I use the radio more than I post.  You can see the band that you are working.  You can hook the radio directly to a computer or a wifi router to use the radio anywhere the wifi router's signal can reach.  If you buy an optional accessory (Maestro), I do not think you even need a computer.  Digital modes are a easy.  Logging programs are easily configured or linked to the radio.  White noise elimination with built in RX equalizer.  Great filters to eliminate adjacent signals.  Use Flex's try it promotion, I believe you will not be disappointed by the radio!

Photo of Jim Runge

Jim Runge

  • 91 Posts
  • 18 Reply Likes
I have replaced 2 ea Yaesu FTDX 9000s with 2 Flex 6500s.  Both of the Flex radios work great.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

  • 1775 Posts
  • 545 Reply Likes
I concur with Bob. I think that is the case in all Support Forums, the complaining always outnumbers the praising. But if you are inclined to compare, you should maybe check other manufacturers support forums, and see if they even exist. That in it of itself is a big plus in my book. 
Photo of Richard Adkins

Richard Adkins

  • 62 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Really, that's what I expected.  It's just that with an entire forum category dedicated to PRAISES. I'd love to see it used more often.  After seeing post after post of how this or that is giving technically savvy people challenges, it begins to get intimidating to me. I'm a General but, am NO techie, by far.

If all those happy users would take a moment each month to report their success it would offset the searches for help. I've been saving up and looking forward to buying a 6700 for ages. I am so excited about its arrival.  Seeing how many others are having great times would allay my concerns before making such a large purchase.
Photo of Michael Coslo

Michael Coslo

  • 947 Posts
  • 257 Reply Likes
Here's the deal as far as I can see. Any problem I've had with other radios just isn't fixed. I had a Kenwood D-700 that made a farting siren noise on transmit every so often on cold mornings. Others had the same problem. Kenwood fixed this problem by declaring it didn't exist. With legacy radios, you usually buy them, and that's what you get. I've had Icoms with pcboard trimmer caps that last until the warranty is up.

What you need to do, is read the problems, and see the answers and the results.
Photo of Kevin


  • 931 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
Read the recent thread "Disappointed, just simply disappointed." Good comments there. I'll quote my own:

Love my Flex. Love what it does. Love the fact I can complain about things that last year I didn't even know were possible. Love the potential. Love that it is getting me into new areas (C# programming).

Then select "PRAISE" near the top and read over some of those comments.

I think what you see in general conversations is some problems, some frustrations, some lack of knowledge or understanding, lots of learning, lots of AH HA! moments, lots of advice and lots of sharing.

Pretty close group I think. Pretty awesome radio without a doubt. And the company ain't so bad, I guess. ;)
Photo of Brian Morgan VK7RR/4

Brian Morgan VK7RR/4

  • 69 Posts
  • 13 Reply Likes
Richard, I have been a Flex user since the start. I had rigs with knobs before then. My experience with Flex has been most rewarding. Apart from a great product, it is evident to anyone who has any dealings with the people behind Flex that they are very much like your extended family, helpful when asked, interested in what you are achieving and prepared to go the extra yard for you.
When you talk about "complaining", I have to disagree with you. This forum is for people to share experiences and if we have a problem, assist each other to resolve it.

 I would interpret very few of the comments as criticisms. Most are requests for ideas or help. Sometimes, out of frustration they might be worded less felicitously than they might be but frustration will do that to most of us. And once the issue is resolved the "criticisms" disappear as a result of the heightened knowledge gained from solving the problem.

So I encourage you to read between the lines and you will quickly come to realise what a great facility we have in this Forum.

I will look for you using your new Flex, sometime soon.

Brian VK7RR/4
Photo of Rick - W5FCX

Rick - W5FCX

  • 262 Posts
  • 66 Reply Likes
The rare issue with SmartSDR is far outweighed by its unique and powerful capabilities.

If you're still on the sidelines, come on in... the water is fine !
Photo of Andrew O'Brien

Andrew O'Brien

  • 384 Posts
  • 44 Reply Likes
Read eHam reviews for the positive stuff. 
Photo of Larry - W8LLL

Larry - W8LLL

  • 487 Posts
  • 108 Reply Likes

And on top of what others just posted.

Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9185 Posts
  • 3532 Reply Likes
There is a well-known dynamic in psychology that complainers will out voice praises by a wide margin, so you should take this into account.
Photo of Michael Coslo

Michael Coslo

  • 947 Posts
  • 257 Reply Likes
I've also found that my highest praises have come to me via private email, and my problems exposed in public forums, to the world.... 8^)
Photo of Robbie - KI4TTZ

Robbie - KI4TTZ

  • 484 Posts
  • 78 Reply Likes
I've had a 6700 for a few years and LOVE IT.  I have never regretted my purchase.  
Photo of Jeffrey Kerber, N3VE

Jeffrey Kerber, N3VE

  • 131 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes

Richard, I have been a ham for 25 years and love working HF, before Flex you could not 'SEE' the band.  This makes all the difference.  Give it a try!

Jeff N3VE

Photo of W3DCB


  • 87 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
Most of us out here just quietly use our radios w/o problems w/o fanfair.  Actually, I've most often been puzzled regarding the many posts where users are asking for help with various difficulties which have never arisen for me.  I have rarely had a problem which I could not solve myself by carefully thinking it through as well as some good fashioned old trial & error.  I believe that all to often people tend to pull the alarm a bit soon before some simple trial & error.  It is likely the anonymity of the internet which encourages people to post first and think later...I will be roasted for that one!  Just wait for the attacks, LOL!  Moreover, people are rated, so-to-speak, and credited according to the number of posts on the community board.  It has become a badge of honor to initiate a maximum number of these threads...In truth, the Flex 6000 signature series is plug and play.  The radio simply works...
Photo of KF4HR


  • 733 Posts
  • 249 Reply Likes
Richard - I wouldn't give too much weight to the problems you read on this forum.  Issues do occasionally surface, but are many times these issues are not directly related to the Flex rig itself.  A perfect example is when you see FRS release a software update.  Some people have issues, but most quietly update their Flex and happily continue on.  On the rare times an issue does surface, rest assured  FRS has an excellent technical support team that responds quickly and stands behind their product 100%   Perhaps the reason you don't see more praise on this forum is most of the time we'd rather be on the air enjoying our Flex equipment, than writing praise about it. :) 

I own several pieces of high end ham gear.  I can tell you without reservation that if I could only own one rig, it would be my Flex-6700.  Take W8LLL's advice and give one a try.  You'll be glad you did.  
Photo of Marc-Andre


  • 36 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
So you say you are a potential buyer of Flex but you wait comment from other users to make your own opinion ?? humm weird to me... (sound like: go go cross the battlefield and if you dont fall i'll go me too ) if you are really serious you should buy one and try it by yourself, if you don't like it you will sell it about the same price you just paid within minutes.... You can't say that from ANY OTHER radio on the market today
Photo of Don


  • 25 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
hi Richard
many things around our Flex are now very well documented and accessible to all of us. I assure you it is very helpfull and instructive.

73, PE3DON
Photo of Roy Laufer

Roy Laufer

  • 439 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
... and this just in: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead!

There are just some things that we take for granted, and one of those things is the incredible power and versatility of SDR technology in general and the Flex Radio 6000 Series in particular.

Is it "perfect", heck no, but nothing that I am aware of is perfect.

There are problems, which are discussed here, and dreams for future capabilities.

Previous generations of radios had their feature set and limitations pre-ordained while they are being designed by their manufacturers.

There are features which the 6000 Series will develop in the future that haven't been thought of, even after they began shipping them to customers.

This is the most promising, yet never fully formed, radio that the industry has provided.

You can't please everyone, that's just human nature. Some have sold their radios and moved on. Some just use their radios and are too busy 'playing radio' to 'play computer' on this forum.

If you are looking for the past of this hobby, look elsewhere.

If you are looking for the future of this hobby, right here is an excellent vantage point.

The sky is the limit.

It would just get very boring reading and writing an endless stream of love letters (and we don't want anyone to get a swelled head).

We all may see a slightly different future feature set for our radios, but we all see them as  an aspect of the 6000 Series.

I think that few Hams have regretted their purchase.

Vy 73,
Photo of Rick Hadley - W0FG

Rick Hadley - W0FG

  • 598 Posts
  • 129 Reply Likes
In the three years I've had my 6500, I've been too busy working DX to complain.  I've completed single-band DXCC on all bands 40-10,DXCC on RTTY, finally made it over 300 total confirmed, made DXCC Challenge, and am well over half-way to my 1500 medallion, all barefoot with simple antennas.  I've installed every update as it came out, usually within hours of release, and never looked back.  Any bugs I've had have almost always been computer/network issues, not with SSDR. Flex makes working CW pileups a real joy.  If I was any happier, my face would break!  
Photo of Rick  WN2C

Rick WN2C

  • 291 Posts
  • 41 Reply Likes
I have one regret with my 6300 purchase *&!# ^!!

I should have bought the 6500!!!!
Otherwise I love my 6300 :)
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9181 Posts
  • 3529 Reply Likes
We can easily solve that "problem"  Contact Sales and inquire about a Trade-UP!

Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3687 Posts
  • 893 Reply Likes
To bad I can't do that here in Toronto..
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9181 Posts
  • 3529 Reply Likes
Bill, you may want to contact Angelo @ Radioworld and inquire if something like our Trade-UP! program is available.  It never hurts to ask.
Photo of mikeatthebeach .

mikeatthebeach .

  • 389 Posts
  • 72 Reply Likes
Started with 6300 then went to 6500 and finally 6700
with TradeUp Program

Got a IC-7851 almost new in Box & K3/P3 combo collecting Dust right now !
Wondered in Flex would take any of this stuff for the New Flex Amp ?
Photo of Steve - N5AC

Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

  • 1050 Posts
  • 1064 Reply Likes
The FlexRadio Amplifier (Power Genius XL) is not yet for sale, Mike, but when it is we will likely take most gear in trade as we have been doing.  The process is fast and painless and there are a lot of people taking advantage of it.
Photo of Ernest - W4EG

Ernest - W4EG

  • 215 Posts
  • 39 Reply Likes


I have been using SDR radios since the days of TenTec, Pegasus, and Kachina.

And as today I have owned all the model of radios Flex has manufactured; 1000/1500/3000 and currently the 6700LE Signature radio.

The new 6x000 series radios are super:  The Performance and operations; I can simply say "there is nothing out there to compare it to."

The operation is simple, the learning curve is modest, and you are not required to have a computer science degree.

Why do I appreciate this radio? Is simple; I don't have to tweak knobs! It's all done by software.

And it keeps getting better every time the software is updated.

Photo of Burch - K4QXX

Burch - K4QXX

  • 508 Posts
  • 120 Reply Likes
I have complained about a few issues with my flex radios over the years just like I have with Yaesu, Icom and Kenwood radios.  The difference is the flex keeps getting better and better where as the other radios stayed the same from the day I purchased them to the day I sold them.  If you are a potential buyer, even though I have had a couple of complaints in the past, I have owned every Flex radio except the 3000 since the beginning (1000, two 1500s, 5000 with the VHF/UHF and second receiver, 6300, 6500 and now the 6700).  I also have a Maestro and hopefully one day the new Flex amp. I couldn't even imagine even the thought of purchasing a non flex radio as this point. 
Photo of HB9CQK


  • 25 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Hi Richard

I can only recommend a FlexRadio Product, why? Here is a very recent example for you:

FlexRadio has just released a beta version of the SSDR software for Windows. I installed it knowing that there may be issues. I was confident that even if I ran into problems those would be taken care of by FlexRadio support. What happened? My 6700 locks up every couple of hours of operation. Is this an issue for me? Not really, I am totally relaxed. First of all FlexRadio support reacted almost immediately to my post here and secondly I can always downgrade to the previous version if I decide to do so. But what a radio this is! I am using it on eight (8) bands in parallel with the digital modes, do diversity on 6m, etc, etc.. Go for it, you will not regret it, just be prepared to spend some time upgrading, also to get new features.

73 and good DX, Frédéric, HB9CQK
Photo of Ken Gilcrest

Ken Gilcrest

  • 6 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Ok, I unboxed my radio several years ago and it has worked fine ever since then. 

FWIW: I was at a radio club meeting last night and someone said to me: you always complain about every radio you buy. And he is mostly right: I am very critical of radio equipment and almost always think that radios should have more features than they do and I often feel that most radios I buy arn't using current technology to provide truly innovative features..........BUT,  I just let his comment pass.  I was TEMPTED to argue that no, I don't complain about every radio I buy: I have never complained about my Flex 6700 or before that my Flex 1500. They have worked flawlessly and I am constantly amazed at how well they work, how innovative they are, how easy they are to use. I could almost say I am completely satisfied but by the nature of the Flex radio I am not completely satisfied because I am always waiting on the next firmware/software updates to see what new wonders they will contain.  I can't even imagine buying any other HF radio. It boggles my mind when I hear someone talking about buying anything else. 
Photo of Kevin


  • 931 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
The one area where I think a full-SDR radio would shine is for portable and emergency operations. The KX-3 does have a a definite advantage in this regard and I think it's a valid reason for buying something else.

I'd love to see a portable Flex. Something small enough to fit in the motorcycle bags and power efficient enough to give a day of operation off a reasonably sized battery. I don't see that as a focus for Flex (unfortunately) but I do see the KX-3 as an outstanding alternative.

Flex rules the roost but not the road I think.

Kev K4VD
Photo of Steve - N5AC

Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

  • 1050 Posts
  • 1064 Reply Likes
Kevin, it's interesting to look at how companies perceive themselves, their products and where they are headed.  There's little doubt that Elecraft's roots are in QRP and in spite of 100W radios they sell, they often return to their roots and continue to produce small, low-power radios that work well for QRP.   Traditionally, we (FlexRadio) have taken the approach that we want to provide the customer with the latest, best and most powerful technology available to provide a competitive edge as well as allow our customers to see and do more.  This is often not well aligned with low power objectives.  Having said this, we did work hard to provide low power operation on Maestro, but it's a different class of low power than the QRP rig in the Altoids can ;-)

You could make an argument that Elecraft is a QRP company with occasional excursions into high-performance/high-power (K3) and FlexRadio is a high-performance/high-power company with occasional excursions into QRP (FLEX-1500).  It's rarely safe to pigeon-hole any company, but there are trends and capabilities that change over time.
Photo of Rory - N6OIL

Rory - N6OIL

  • 301 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
Just buy it!! Richard I was on the fence for a long time, built a few SoftRocks was almost going to buy an K3 but I went for the 6500 and have been really glad I did. Yes I had some hardware issues with the radio which FRS stepped up and handled them like pros. Right now my biggest worry is something better will come out that will turn ham radio on it's head just like the Flex did, it's just sad that so many hams hang on to the old tech. But I think the IC-7300 did more good for the SDR hobby and opened people's mindset  to the fact that Flex builds a really great SDR radio. My prior radio, don't laugh but it was a Icom 718. The 6500 really made the 718 look like a kids toy as far as performance. I can hear and SEE so much now which is a awesome when contesting.

Ok I could ramble on and on but like others said try one on for size and if you can afford it try to get as much radio as you can.

Good luck Richard and let us know which way you go.

Photo of Norm - W7CK

Norm - W7CK

  • 753 Posts
  • 160 Reply Likes
I agree with the previous posts and if you read some of my previous posts, I am a classic offender.  Like others I have come to this forum to bring up or report issues that I have been experiencing or features I would like to see tomorrow.  Sometimes I've waited until my frustration level was a bit too high and I should have waited before posting.  Regrettably I may have painted a negative picture at times.  This is entirely my fault and I'll try to work on that. A large percentage of people come here to resolve issues and ask about features.  Naturally when reading down through the posts someone may get the idea that everyone is reporting problems therefore the product must not be that good.

I have been a ham since 1976 and have had lots of new equipment over the years.  I purchased my 6700 3 years ago and I have sold most of my other rigs since then.  I love my 6700 and wouldn't want to part with it.  This radio has brought a whole new level of enjoyment to this hobby for me.  Its not just the panadapter/waterfall because you can get that functionality with other rigs.  Its way more than that.  There are some very talented folks who have written software adding great features to the Flex line.  DDUtil, CW Skimmer, FRStack, IOS Clients and the list goes on.  Since its truly a SDR radio, it is hard to imagine what new features will one day become available.  Its difficult to wait for future software releases but at the same time it is really exciting to download and install them.  I don't know of very many other radios you can do that with.  At least not with the commitment, dedication and skill level that they have at Flex.

If anyone is on the fence about purchasing a Flex, I highly recommend trying to find someone that owns one and would be willing to invite you over and let you play with it for a while.  I'm in Phoenix and would be more than happy to do this.

Once again, I apologize if I've posted anything on this forum that would cause someone to question the quality of the Flex radios, its software, or my overall satisfaction I have with them.  The products are nothing short of stellar in my mind and I have no desire to jump ship!  I would like all mode squelch though.  Oops, bad habits are hard to break.

Norm - W7CK
Photo of Roy Laufer

Roy Laufer

  • 439 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
Perhaps FRS should set up a page listing owners interested in showing their radios to curious interested Hams?

I have offered an open invitation for those unaware of the great functionality of SDRs to come on down and test drive it.

Some have taken me up on the offer, others have politely declined (one still prefers his 30 year old pre-DSP equipment).
Photo of Michael Coslo

Michael Coslo

  • 947 Posts
  • 257 Reply Likes
Good luck with that. I've been wanting to get my club to try my radio at Field day, and I think they are afraid of the huge paradigm shift, because even though I am the manager they actively resist doing that. You can fly with the Flex by comparison to legacy radios. This year if they won't allow it, I might just do Field day by myself and my Flex Radio.
Photo of Roy Laufer

Roy Laufer

  • 439 Posts
  • 45 Reply Likes
You can drag a horse to water, but you cannot force him to drink. Either evolve or perish - that's how this all seems to work, in the end!
Photo of Greg - N8GD

Greg - N8GD

  • 229 Posts
  • 86 Reply Likes
I bought a Kenwood TS-990S, a fairly decent high-end HF transceiver, in April of 2013 after a lightning surge had wiped out all of my solid state rigs not quite a year earlier.  Almost 13 months later, I was interested in trying out a Flex-1500, but one week before the 2014 Dayton Hamvention, the Flex-6300 came out and I made the financial stretch to go from a $700 radio to a $2800 radio instead.  I have never been sorry for my purchase of the 6300.  The fact that, as another commenter stated, you can "see" the whole band makes it superb, in addition to its many other fine features and performance.  Yes, my TS-990S is a nice radio, and it has a panadapter built-in, but it can't compare in so many ways to the Flex-6300.  Unfortunately, my TS-990S sits, collecting dust, and I doubt I have turned it on or used it more than a half dozen times since I got the 6300 2-1/2 years ago!  (It's a pretty expensive paper weight.)  I bought the 990 as my "retirement" radio, but the 6300 has easily replaced and surpassed it.

So, go ahead, if you're thinking of getting a Flex radio.  With the 30 trial or even the offers of folks to let you try theirs out at their QTHes, its pretty much a no-brainer.  I'm sure that you will keep/buy one after you compare it to anything else available.

Is that praise enough?

Greg - N8GD
Photo of mikeatthebeach .

mikeatthebeach .

  • 383 Posts
  • 71 Reply Likes
I also have a Flex6700 
and have an almost new in then Box Paper Weight Icom IC-7851 that collects dust
along with my upgraded K3/P3 with the New Synth PLL Board

Seems the Flex is always being used 
Eight Bands at one Time
Uses CW Skimmer
WNB works great 

73 Mike
Photo of Richard Adkins

Richard Adkins

  • 62 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
I know I'll end up with the 6700 now.  The IC-7851 was my original choice then, my local Ham  club President, who has a TS-990s says, "No, no. Don't get those new SDR radios, get one like my TS-990s you'll never be sorry. "  Now, I've seen both models, IC-7851 and  the TS-990s described as paperweights. lol  

I should have known that there was lots of love out there and the 'complaints' I was reading weren't complaints but, people looking for advice, AND GETTING IT.  The Praise Forum doesn't get as much traffic because everyone is already too happy to take time out from USING their Flex's to say how happy they are here.  I can't blame them.  I look forward to having that feeling as well.  Now, all I have to do is figure out which antenna's to get. Such a simple question. hehe
Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 579 Posts
  • 149 Reply Likes
Absolutely work on the best antenna farm you can muster in your means.
That coupled with your 6K Flex will be a great experience for you.

My 6300 is a joy and I am very happy where I am in this.
What I particularly enjoy is beating out other ops in a DX pileup simply because I can "see" where to be above or below the pileup to work the DX as apposed to flying "blind" with that legacy rig. 

Also, in the few brief times that I have met Gerald and Steve at W9DXCC and Dayton all I can say is I like these guys and the direction they are heading with this.  Can't help but respect the knowledge base and caliber of programmers involved.
Photo of Clay N9IO

Clay N9IO

  • 579 Posts
  • 149 Reply Likes
One other thing, although I prefer CW and RTTY these days, on phone I get many unsolicited comments of "nice audio" from the DX ops.  Even worked "Gordo" once on a special event station he stopped long enough to say "you have some nice audio om".   I just run a 25 year old Heil DX4 cartridge in an old 1940 astatic head I found at a hamfest 35+ years ago mounted on a heil boom.  I may not be pretty but I do enjoy being told I sound good on the air, ha...! TU Flex