Will Maestro limit SSDR developement?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 4 months ago
Sitting here with that dangerous first cup of coffee and firing up the station I was thinking about Flexradio's direction of growth.  After having my 5000a for a long time and growing with that and PSDR and the subsequent KE9NS enhancements and also my 6500 with the skinny client I have mixed feelings.   I have seen that there are a bunch of folks with the M series radios who really enjoy the more "plug and play" aspect and I think Flex hit a good move there for many folks...   here's where my mind started to wander..  I understand the skinny client concept of SSDR but now it makes me wonder if tying SSDR to the tablet restrictions the Maestro and M models have, will that maybe limit what Flex might be able to do in the future for SSDR itself?  Will there be features Flex stays away from developing for the full Windows based client because they might not be capable of developing those things to also run on the Maestro with its limited processing power?  Will there someday be two classes of SSDR, one with advanced features that M model and Maestro folks cant have?

I was thinking about CW decoders, digital modes or basic logging etc that we now need half a dozen other programs running to manage.  My 5000 is gone now to simplify the station and interfaces but I still have a couple of desktops and the Maestro on the desk and with V3 I can farm out tasks around the network and it's a beautiful world but some days it seems a bit much to manage.    in comparison, I guess dipping finals and managing multiple DPDT knife switches while chasing DX and finding the damned pencil was pretty tricky too.  I need more coffee... it will be interesting.  I hear the only way to get the final version of a program is to kill the programmer...  Mike W1BFA
Photo of Mike  W1BFA in Maine

Mike W1BFA in Maine

  • 129 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes

Posted 4 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Ha Gei

Ha Gei

  • 86 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Mike,

i also have my doubts on that.  BEFORE we bought the Radio , last year at the German HAMRADIO fair we where promised all the bunch of questions we had , like better user management, more filtering , predistortion etc.  etc. 2 friendly guys from flex where telling us that all of that is short before release and will be in the 3.x Version of SSDR & Smartlink . Well ever since then we had one update which had none of these things covered. No Roadmap nothing to see for the future. 
No we have the radio and we are bound to sit here and wait for wonders. 

( But ..  on the other side, nothing is better on most other vendor driven SDR projects )



(Edited)
Photo of Robert Guertin

Robert Guertin

  • 24 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Flex I believe has taken on too much for the size of the company. The main focus right now is not amateur radio, the focus is on the recent government contract. Until this is running smoothly you will not see anything.
Photo of Mike  W1BFA in Maine

Mike W1BFA in Maine

  • 129 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
I agree...  I've had some regular knob radios along the way but,  as well as they work somehow it doesn't give me the full experience I get with Flex SDR.  I can see that as I get older I am going to be looking for that same experience in a simple package to manage with minimal upgrades and compatibility issues to fret about.

For now I will hope the Flex folks get Profiles and the tuner issues back on track and I just keep on playing.  If my 6500 walks away today and had had to buy something else I wouldn't fault it.  If you did the math I bet it has cost me less than a dollar an hour to own and operate a really fine and fun radio for the time its been here.  Cheap entertainment!  Mike

Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 4656 Posts
  • 1099 Reply Likes
Lets break all this down, to what we do know. I will take them one by one.

Mike, all good questions.
SSDR is is made to run on all the Flex 6000 devices. They all run the same software. But in the software because of the need for different drivers and operating consideration's for the M models all this has to be considered in SSDR. In doing it his way there is no need for say a version only for the 6600M. The needs for all radios are adressed in SSDR and each radio uses what it needs to perform properly. The M model radios are no more restricted than the none M models, They will do all the same things as the SSDR for Windows can do. But some things are done differently in some cases. Such as exporting profiles and importing. I see no reason for the meastro or the M model radios holding SSDR back related to future features.  Keep in mind, the Meastro is not a radio, it is only a control surface that needs the radio. So it should not effect future SSDR progress.

One of the great charms Flex 6000 radios have is how 3rd party software integrates with SSDR so easy. Software that is used for digital modes work as if it is actually part of SSDR. This is a much better solution than having the software built in to SSDR. The creator's of 3rd party software make great software and they keep enhancing them several times a year it they have time. If all this software was built into SSDR, Flex would need to keep improving it as well, adding new modes and features. Then because Flex only releases about four times a year, the wait for these enhancements would be that long. so why not let the 3rd party developers do it?

I am sure most of you are aware that the company is going threw a big growth development right now. Not only with the government work, witch Is nothing new, they have had contacts for years and still produced the new radios and a high end amp. But their ham radio sales are over the top. Records broken. As a result Flex is hiring many more people to shore up this demand.
Flex is still firstly dedicated to ham radio, that is their first love. The government work is a separate part of the business, but employees can still be shuffled around to help were it is needed. This government work will allow Flex to develop more technology for Flex ham radio products.
There is simply no evidence that government work will interfere with Flex production.
All these things we know from Flex employees sharing information with us here from time to time.

I am not a Flex employee, everything I mentioned here is information published by Flex.


Photo of Mike  W1BFA in Maine

Mike W1BFA in Maine

  • 129 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
I understand Bill...  my mind was wandering and I was hoping that SSDR wouldn't in some way be restricted in its development to not strand M and Maestro users.  I'm having a ball with V3's flexability. It's a hoot! Right now I have an SSDR session on each computer on different modes.  The old 6500 is earning its keep.  I'd love to add a 6700 here...  can you imagine what a tangled mess two 6xxx's would make?  :-) kind of a geometric progression of complexity.  One other thing I would like from Flex (in their spare time) would be a hacked up version of SSDR designed around SWLfeatures...  kinda like Darryl did with PSDR.   time for my chores!
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2334 Posts
  • 973 Reply Likes
I really doubt that it will hurt SSDR development. In fact it will help it. Features like multiflex are designed to bring the maestro console together with other ways of accessing the radios. However I doubt that you’ll see things that detract from “beautifully simple.”
Photo of John KB4DU

John KB4DU

  • 184 Posts
  • 46 Reply Likes
Ria, good to see you back.

I believe that SSDR is and will continue to be the main focus of the Flex development of the 6000 series. The Maestro and /M models are convenience/preference items for some users, but are not the main focus of the product.
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2334 Posts
  • 973 Reply Likes
Thanks John. I am around. I lurk. I just don't post as much.
Photo of Thomas NE7X

Thomas NE7X

  • 68 Posts
  • 12 Reply Likes
This thread really hits a nerve for me. When Flex came out with the M model radios, I was excited because I thought the M models being SDR would go head-to-head with all the other stand-alone transceivers which DID NOT required having the transceiver tethered to a Windows PC in order to get all the features the competitor transceivers have. I was wrong!  Having the M model transceiver in stand-along configuration, all I have a just a basic no-feature transceiver. Flex appears to do new enhancements for only the SmartSDR users. This makes me feel like a second class Flex user.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 4656 Posts
  • 1099 Reply Likes
Thomas, I have read before your disappointed with your radio. And it confuses me a bit.
If I hold a sheet up here showing all the features many other radios have and compare them with My Flex i see they are mostly even. Then If I consider my Flex has 4 receivers, Full duplex mode, great for setting your mic audio. Multi Flex,   Being able to use the M model to control another radio, AGC-T,  built in remote abilities,  using 3rd party software without cables natively, I may have missed some. This tips the scale to the flex.