Windows Gremlins - Alternatives?

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  • Updated 1 year ago
Since purchasing my Flex 6400 I have spent just about as much time chasing Windows-related gremlins than I have using the radio. I'm getting fed up. I lusted after a Flex since seeing my first one demo'd at a hamfest. Years later,  I finally sold enough equipment (and robbed the piggy bank) to buy one. When things are working I'm happy with my purchase -- then along comes a Microsoft update and I spend the next week sorting things out. I'm aware of the uninstall/reinstall recommendation for updates, but it's a pain.

Sorry for the's my question: has anyone come up with a Linux-based SmartSDR solution? I've seen some discussions in the past, but nothing specific. I regularly use the iOS client and my Maestro. I know there's a dogparkSDR for Mac.... which I plan to try... but how about Mint / or similar?
John / WB5NFC
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John Kenney

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Posted 2 years ago

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Michael Walker, Employee

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Steve has made this comment before, but I can share the highlights.    This is a common question.

All of the links (APIs) are available for someone to take the lead and build a Linux Client.  This is how the iOS and Apple OS clients were built   We do provide the tools to make that happen.   

What is interesting is why hasn't anyone from the Linux community done the same?  Surely there are some Hams who right software who also use a 6000 series radio?   

Here is my personal guess (nothing to do with FRS--my software support from a past career).  Once you write it, you then have to support it, and that can take a lot of time and effort.  I'm sure whoever writes this, might want to make some revenue for the mega man hours they put into it, so then you have to figure out how to license it and control your Intellectual Property.  That in itself is no small feat.    I suspect that this is where the slowdown on Linux has happened.  A few have dabbled with it, but making a prototype is a LONG way from releasing a final product.    Let's say some enterprising people actually do develop and deliver a product.  Would you pay $200 for it or expect it for free?    

BTW, don't kid yourself. All operating systems have issues once you get past web browsing, etc.  Apple, Windows, the 200 versions of Linux, etc.  :)  If you have used enough of them, you will understand what I mean.

The grass isn't greener on the other side, it is just different grass.  

Mike va3mw
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"So then you have to figure out how to license it and control your Intellectual Property."  That in itself is no small feat. 

That says it all for Linux.

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Michael Coslo

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Thanks Michael - and while the concept we get is that it is the Linux communities fault, there are other factors at play. 

I control what is bought at our club station. Members have seen me using my Flex Radio, and thought it was very interesting. 

But I find myself not reccomending my favorite radio in the world to our members because of Windows 10. The operating system has forced me into a "do not buy" recommendation. 

Fortunately, the new Flex's with a on radio display make it easier to recommend, but it's just food for thought, when some folks don't recomment it because of the frail Windows 10 peripheral. 

If I was a competent programmer, I would write the Linux version. But I'm not.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Ok so your steering them away from Flex? what are they buying instead?
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All I can say if people buying a Flexradio then having to sell the radio because of windows 10 I don't see much of that happening.

At least not where I go looking for used gear.

I tell people if you get along with the aggravation of computers in general then

 running a flexradio will should be really  easy for them.

Upfront people need to understand the computer or tough enough to handle the aggravation of it all.

We all get aggravated but I would never turn someone away from the idea of a flexradio..;)


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Michael Coslo

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Hi Bill. We bought a loaded K3S and panadapter for the one recent radio. Bought the external speaker for it - that was a mistake. Replaced that external speaker with a Kenwood speaker. After Elecraft's new amplifier is out a while we'll buy one of those to go along with it. A good CW radio, but if you don't use it every day the button pushing for menus is easily forgotten.

Jeffrey - the rub is that I put my name on the line with our purchases. And in a club environment there are plenty of people with an idea of what is the "right radio" that if we have some contests and Windows does an update,  kills the radio, and I'm not there to fix it pronto, they'll be looking to lynch me, because I didn't buy their favorite radio. Such is club politics.

Which is why I won't recommend a Signature series radio for them, despite them being my favorite radios.  Windows just makes them unreliable. I can fix them quickly, but I can't be at the station 24/7. 

At present, I am recommending the 6600M and the Power Genius after we see it's track record. Some others want an IC-7610, but thats a real step down,  and a few want us to run exclusively K3S's, which won't happen either. We'll see how it all shakes out.