Your opinion on SW

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
Hi everyone, I' new here and I kindly ask your opinion as I just sold my FTDX-5000 in order to cross the bridge and use sdr technology. I purchased the "little" Elad FDM Duo and I'm very glad, but now I want a serious radio mainly for SSB and digital modes with some contest sometimes. next yar I want to learn CW. It's two weeks I read all posts here and on Anan forum. I also read many report and tests about the two radios I like, Anan 100d and Flex 6700. I'm in love of 6700, I created myself the opinion that everithing here is under control and it's a bolt-on equipment, no hassle, like when I installed my FTDX-5000, you power up and it's all...
Anyway what I undestood (but maybe im'm wrong) is that 6700 has a superior hardware, while 100d has a superior software. Consider the cost difference 6500-6700 and :
- I live in a little town, not in Arizona desert, here we have qrm, is useful a super preamp?
- 2m operation is important fom contest, but 6700 is not ready, missing power even for a PA
- Diversity is a dream
- 2 receivers, maybe useful...
This is the important point I don't understant, It's 2 years that every customer purchased a 6700
is waiting diversity and phaise noise canceler, a technology that flex knows very well becouse it's
present in Flex 5000. Why all are so glad and happy to see that instead Anan devoloped this
option without loosing so long time? I think this function is very very important for all customers that live in urban areas and justify alone to buy a 6700. But developers takes time and maybe in the next monthes will arrive sooner Flex 7000 than a SW that reaaly use the huge power 6700 can offer. SDR radios without a good software doesn't work, it's only electronic...
Good sense says to myself to buy an Anan 100d, becouse the software is reliable and complete with all the functions. Please give me a good reason to gamble with my money and beleave that in the next weeks 6700 will have the performances promised by the software developers to be comparable to the Anan SW. 6700 is in my dream since the presentation, I didn't espect so long time to complete a software for this wonderful machine. In Europe we have to pay this machine much more than US collegues and i see it as Ferrari with the wheels of a bike....
Am I wrong? I hope yes, but I will feel myself very stupid to have on my desk a 6700 with very close performances of a 6500 due to non complete SW dedicated for it.
Sorry... too long, but I wish to explain you the situation as I see it, to have a suggestion.
In other words, I'm ready to purchase a 6700, but is Flex Company ready to sell me a machine fully developed and ready to be put on the market?
Photo of Stefano - W2WTZ

Stefano - W2WTZ

  • 82 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
Photo of PERRLA, LLC - Agency

PERRLA, LLC - Agency

  • 9 Posts
  • 10 Reply Likes
If you can find a used Anan 100d, you can use it and then sell it for very little loss if/when the SmartSDR software catches up to your needs.

Best wishes,
Cliff (N4CCB)
Photo of Robert -- N5IKD

Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

  • 488 Posts
  • 152 Reply Likes
SmartSDR diversity already exists. The Noise Blanker is due out this month.
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1248 Posts
  • 649 Reply Likes

If what you see now with the Flex and the current version of SmartSDR fits your needs, then it is easy to support buying a Flex.  This applies to any purchase, if the feature set meets the expectations you are then good to go.

FRS does complicate things as the product is evolving, and while we are told what major features are planned, the date of release is not firm. 

Will FRS roll you a special?  Afraid they won't - their commitment to only release software that has passed their QC process is firm.  We all wait together.

If your must have includes what you have listed as absolutes, perhaps staying with your Flex-5000 is the way to go?

Some things like 2m with power do require add-on kit, and are unlikely to change.

As for FRS obsoleting the Flex-6x00 series that seems like you've picked up on the Flex-haters ramdom rants.  With SmartSDR 1.5 nearly here, SmartSDR 2.0 hopefully in the wings, and the Maestro hardware unit launching soon, the Flex-6x00 line seems pretty secure.

In the end pick what will work for you, what your purse can bear, what inspires you and what will make you enjoy our hobby!  It isn't much more complicated than that!

73

Steve K9ZW

Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3472 Posts
  • 1335 Reply Likes
Stephano

You are comparing several different things

Hardware: it is undoubted that the 6700 is superior and more reliable hardware than the ANAN. Flex 6700 has the lowest measured phase noise of any radio.

Support: Flex has perhaps the best customer service in the industry. With ANAN it's basically do it yourself

Software;

The ANAN uses a derivative of PowerSDR that was originally written by Flex. So clearly Flex knows how to write software for most of the features currently in the latest versions of PowerSDR The issue is that PowerSDR is more than 8 years old and has had a lot of time for features to mature

SmartSDR is less than 3 years old. Good software takes a long time to produce and debug. I would suggest to you that those features that have been fully implemented in SmartSDR clealrly outperform PowerSDR That said many features in SmartSDR are still being developed.

Diversity works for the 6700. It s not as sophisticated as the 5000 diversity yet but it works

2 Meters. a Compnay called Down East Microwave sells a 75W PA for the 6700 which seems to get rave ereviews

This month withe release of 1.5 you will also get SO2R, Full Duplex, DSTAR and perhaps the best NB in the industry. But as I said before good software takes time to develop and fully debug.

Yes it's like a Ferrari. BUT it already has very good wheels and every month or so it keeps on getting a better and faster set of tires.
Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Official Rep

  • 794 Posts
  • 1433 Reply Likes
Just to confirm and expand what Howard said.  The ANAN uses PowerSDR (TM - FlexRadio Systems).  I personally started development of what later became PowerSDR in 1999.  As a company FlexRadio invested for a dozen years in free development of PowerSDR which was later used by the open source community on the ANAN.  Apache Labs has no internally paid software developers to my knowledge.  It is all outside volunteer labor.  We developed the diversity software used in the ANAN originally for the FLEX-5000 five or six years ago.  The FLEX-6000 Series and SmartSDR is a long term and ever expanding platform.
Photo of David Decoons wo2x

David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

  • 1061 Posts
  • 214 Reply Likes

I had an Anan 200D and currently have the Flex 6000 series.


My biggest "gripe" with the Anan is the poor internal factory calibration. You need to use a calibrated signal source to calibrate the receive S meter. Also the transmit power calibration on the Anan is done at 100 watts. On some bands the power tracks sort of linear but on others such as 12 meters 100 watts is 89 watts out and when set to 10 watts I got 48 watts out!

The Flex on the other hand is factory calibrated and works fine right out of the box. Calibration is very linear right through the whole power range.

For me the SmartSDR software has matured to the point where it does just about everything I need here in the shack. Couple it with DDUtil and I have my station fully automated.

The one thing I do not have is Pure Signal but comparing the Flex 6500 at 100 watts to the Anan 200D at 100 watts with PS disabled shows the Flex to be lower IMD, well within acceptable range, so no need for it with the Flex.


Dave wo2x

Photo of Martin Ewing AA6E

Martin Ewing AA6E

  • 269 Posts
  • 55 Reply Likes
Calibration is something I've wondered about.  The 6x00 takes a fair amount of time on power-up telling me it is "calibrating".  What exactly is being calibrated?  Probably not power output!  I wonder what parameters can vary so much every day that we need another calibration cycle.  Or maybe there is not enough NVRAM to hold them?
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1406 Posts
  • 209 Reply Likes
Perhaps Flexradio could adopt Win10s new catch phrase. "Working on it ..." and use that instead of "Calibrating ..."
73, Jay - NO5J
Photo of Robert -- N5IKD

Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

  • 488 Posts
  • 152 Reply Likes
Arrgh !! Don't do that. I would prefer Win10 would give users an ounce of credit and tell us better information.
(Edited)
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1406 Posts
  • 209 Reply Likes
How about "Beep! ..."? We'd get posts like "well it Beeped like it always does" and "Is it supposed to Beep when I push the power button?" and 6300 owners might , "mine never Beeps when I power it on, should I ship it back for repairs? " The 6300s seem to be capable of powering up without extra communication. How about a a Countdown centered on the display, that ends in "Blast Off" or "Ignition".
73, Jay - NO5J
(Edited)
Photo of Stefano - W2WTZ

Stefano - W2WTZ

  • 82 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
Very interesting replies, thanks. I think that there are a minimum of basic functions that has to be released in the software when the radio goes into the market, then there is the normal slow but continuos improvement until it get obsolete. I think that pure signal, diversity and top quality noise reduction in a radio positioned in the price level of 6700 had to be included in the first SW release.

I have a Elad FDM Duo, still in development, but it costs much less than 6700 it's normal my expectations are lower. It has more sense to use my Elad waiting FRS completes the basic functions of 6700 or purchase now a 6500, whose HW seems to be well supported by the SW.
Anyway guys t's like Shelby releasing the first GT500 with 10 HP and then slowly slowly arriving to 500 HP.... sorry but I can't understand... motor is the heart of a car as the SW of a SDR.

I didn't know that a basic form of Diversity is already active. No resellers close to North Italy
have a 6700 as demonstration machine nor in stock. How can a customer understand how a Flex 6700 works in practice if the official resellers are not forced from FRS to have minimum one machine available?
I got more information on this forum in few hours than in two weeks contacting some resellers.
In Italy we pay the 6700 with an extra cost of about + 1400 USD respect what you pay the same radio in the States, I think that resellers should provide a higher level of service...

From your suggestions I understood I have to identify the keypoint of my expectations and choose the SDR that complies with them, but as it doesn't exist, also considering that SDR world imported some bad uses of programmers/information technology world, I have to accept some compromises and wait ( a PITA :).

I'm not aware, Gerald, about the rules of Open Source world, but I look to the results and the reality is that PowerSDR is more mature in less time for the Anan, and it's a pity for yr wonderful HW that after 2 years 6700 is still so far from the performances it could have. Now it's basically a 6500 with more slices and a little bit more. Maybe an extra effort focusing yr SW division on 6700 could complete the road map earlier, almost for the main functions. May I ask you when is planned to have pure signal, diversity and top quality noise reduction on 6700?

About 2m I prefer to continue using Davor Transverter, I just need few Khz band for contesting, and I have 60W output, but thank you for the information.

Thank you everyone for contribute, wonderful forum.



73' Stefano
IZ2WTZ
Photo of John n0snx

John n0snx

  • 229 Posts
  • 54 Reply Likes
I will echo all that David said.... I have been a FRS user for about 6 years... I have owned and used all the legacy radios... and I had an Anan 100D for about a year before FRS came out with the 6300... I bought a 6300 and was Blown away with the receiver...by far the best and quietest I have ever had....After the experience I had with the 6300(now my backup) I sold my Anan 100D and bought a 6500... Very pleased... software is coming along and its like getting a new radio with every upgrade of software.... I found the Anan to be a tinkerers radio... I am no tinkerer...  It is not as plug and play as the Flex 6xxx series...  I am just a SSB and Digital user... not a contester or SO2R... As far as my opinion the Flex 6xxx series is far superior even with the SSDR software not having all the bells and whistles of PSDR. But I am confident it will have in the future... As Howard and Gerald  said.... software development takes time....you have to keep in mind... PSDR was not all bells and whistles in the beginning....  SSDR is a new platform and has to be developed slowly to bring the best product out...
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3472 Posts
  • 1335 Reply Likes
Stephano

The 6700 already has diversity and the top quality Noise Reduction. This month with the release of V1.5 software it will also have the best in class Noise Blanker

You are wrong about PowerSDR being more mature in less time. PowerSDR was started by Flex in 1999 so it's almost 16 years of development. Open source volunteers modified the version of PowerSDR that Flex gave to the open source world about 3 years ago. It's. Is now what people use with ANAN. To the best of my knowledge ANAN has no software development team

The only thing on your list that you might think is lacking is Adaptive PreDistortion which ANAN calls pure. Signal. But as Dave pointed out the 6700 already has a cleaner signal than the ANAN. Unless your communications involves high fidelity SSB, Pure Signal does not buy you any extra performance. It's more of a nice to have feature rather than a need to have feature and Flex is planning to add it at a later date.

The Flex already also does a number of things such as Full Duplex, So2R in one box, DSTAR to name a few that were not in PowerSDR.

A lot of the price differential that you quoted for Italy vs the USA is due to the 22% VAT you pay in Italy.
Photo of Jon - KF2E

Jon - KF2E

  • 623 Posts
  • 180 Reply Likes
It's probably a stretch to say that Flex has been developing PowerSDR for the last couple of years.

That said, I believe SSDR is on the fast track. Maybe a little to much on the contest track but the fast track none the less.

Jon...kf2e
(Edited)
Photo of Stefano - W2WTZ

Stefano - W2WTZ

  • 82 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
Understood, thank you for sharing yr experience david an John, very useful yr report on practical differences between Anan and Flex. The good reasons I was serching for to go for a Flex.... :)
Elmer, the difference is VAT excluded...
The european resellers I contacted told me to make a bank tranfer and they will order for me the 6700. In other words, give me the money in advance, with YOUR money I purchase the 6700 from Flex and, without opening the package I will redirect it to you. And to have this very high level of service I have to pay 1400 USD more than you...
May be there are some duties for Europe, I don't know but, I repeat 1400 USD.....
Do you see a value added to this, considering they don't have a shop, technical assistance and don't participate to exhibitions to show the product and let future customer test it in real world?
Next week there is an exhibition in Montichiari, the biggest for Italian Hams, together with electronic.
I contacted two resellers asking if they were present. Do you believe the even didn't reply to myself? I hope to see something in Fair.
Considering the resellers don't make any marketing I hope in future FRS will give the possibility
to Europen customer to place the order directly or choose a local reseller if this gives a service.

Well now I have to find the way to purchase a 6700 or 6500, but I leave open the question about the rollout of the SW development.

Main interest in new SW functions is on NR more than NB. I wish to see in our environment how it works, considering that I live at 4th floor and the building roof isn't wide enough to install different antennas far away 1/2 lambda. Qrm on lower band is very high, the question is how better is a flex 6700 compared to 6500 in taking low signals reducing QRM? I had until 3 days ago, a FDTX-5000, really not bad. Elad Duo has a far superior audio quality, but the NR is less good compared to 5000 filters. Now I'm expectations on a Flex are higer. This to decide 6500/6700.

I've to read many posts on this subjet in this forum, very interesting.

Stefano
IZ2WTZ
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1241 Posts
  • 646 Reply Likes

The Euro price of a Flex-6700 was listed at 684 today by Woodenbox, which is within 2% of the current USA price - if both are considered before any taxes are applied. 

The addition of  VAT  (which I thought was 21% for you, but appears to be effectively around 11% if Woodenbox's Euro 7499 quote is accurate) does add costs for an EU based buyer, but please remember that sum is collected by the reseller and remitted to your government.  VAT makes every reseller a tax man, adding administrative and accounting costs but not revenue.

Anyway at todays rates a Flex-6700 is $7500 plus shipping and any applicable tax, where it appears your resellers are at $8350, the extra which is all tax.


73


Steve K9ZW

Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3472 Posts
  • 1335 Reply Likes
@Stophano

I am currently operating my 6700 in La Jolla California from my apartment in Paris. My station has a SteppIR MonstIR antenna at 28m. But it is on the side of a mountain about 1Km and 100M vertical down from 18 TV transmitters and 23 FM Stations and U.S. Navy secret stations. It is at least 10MW of RF Hell

The. 6700 Noise Reduction does an excellent job of cleaning up the noise. Much better than the K3, Ic7800, Kx3 andFlex5000 that i used here
Photo of Stefano - W2WTZ

Stefano - W2WTZ

  • 82 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
Thank for the info Steve, in Woodbox site on Flex page there is no price, I asked the price by mail last week without reply. Once more I got reply in real time on this forum... super!
I had a wrong information, sorry for shearing. Anyway it remains the problem to see into operation
SSDR on 6500 and 6700. I downloaded and installed it. I hoped in a demo session without the radio
connected but I'm not lucky, This weekend there is a Fair in Montichiari, Woodbox probably doesn't partecipate, last march Funk Electronic were present but with Anan, maybe I find something, otherwise I will take my decision on the paper. Unfortunately I couldn't go to Friedrichshafen.
Elmer, I apreciate yr report on NR becouse me too have in face a mountain with TV transmitters, broadcast FM 88-108 Mhz, Civil, regional, public health repeaters, but distance is about 10 km, that's why I'm so interested into the way a 6700 can reduce qrm and interferences.
I already got positive replies about pure signal so if the IMD is now clean it's ok.
My last question is about 6700 VHF receiver quality for contesting. Somewhere I read about
a missing preamplifier, but usually the pre is placed very close to the antenna not in the shack
with the possibility to exclude it due to huge power signals during contesting.
Is 6700 receiver ready for contesting, compared to a Kuhne or Davor Transverter?

Stefano
IZ2WTZ
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1241 Posts
  • 646 Reply Likes

Hi Stefano

On Woodbox I found the pricing by clicking the order button.  It was down the page a bit.  Prices with and without VAT ere there, but I wonder if they are correct, as again I thought your VAT was over 20%?

SmartSDR does not have a Demo version - so the best one can do is watch the Youtube Videos and perhaps get a  chance to have some on-air time with a friend who has a Flex-6x00

Many folks now contest with the Flex - and one would expect that to become more common once the Flex Maestro ships. 

You are correct about VHF-UHF preamps and hopefully one of the Flex users with transverters can speak to your comparison question about VHF/UHF contesting. 

There are quite a number of European Flex-6x00 users, perhaps your resellers could get one of them to show you their station?   To me that would be more important (getting some hands-on on-the-air experience with a radio I was considering, AND speaking to someone experienced operating in conditions similar to mine) than what I read on the internet.  Would be fun to do a visit so someone could show you their radio too!

GL and 73

Steve K9ZW


Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 2362 Posts
  • 535 Reply Likes
There Is no demo mode on SSDR, Here is Tim's reply from another post, resent.

 Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 3283 Posts
  •  
  •  940 Reply Likes

Official Response
Good question. The answer is no, there is not. SmartSDR for Windows is the "client" part of the radio client/server architecture. The FLEX-6000 is the server. Since both parts work together in tandem, the client will not operate with out a server to connect to. 

We may be able to emulate a server at some point in the future to allow for a demo mode, but right now is is not on the development horizon.
(Edited)
Photo of Stefano - W2WTZ

Stefano - W2WTZ

  • 82 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
It's a pity a demo version is not available. I downloaded the brochure of SW but it seems not updated. It says nothing about diversity, phase noise cencellation, NB, NR, whiche type of modulation decodes, on 2m can use tones and which, there is a auto notch, and so on.
Where is possible to find detailed informations about 6700+SW functions active and working in the last release?
Just received a mail from Woodbox, One month to have a 6700....
Nice idea to find someone so kind to allow a vistit to his station to see 6700 working in my area, I will ask for. Much better than looking youtube movies of old versions.
Could be an idea if Flex allows internet connection of one hour limited to RX to a 6500-6700 placed
on their site, as Elmer does from Paris. I'm sure it will be a lot apreciated from possible customers
and it's a zero cost opportunity.
The roll out SW evolution question for Gerald is still open.
I'm sure the SW department activity is under control so FRS should have an idea of timout.
Flex 6700 pre release I think is 3 years old, so the development process it's not at a very early stage.

Stefano
IZ2WTZ
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9012 Posts
  • 3409 Reply Likes
I downloaded the brochure of SW but it seems not updated. 

We keep the product web pages updated.
http://www.flexradio.com/amateur-products/flex-6000-signature-series/smartsdr/
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 2292 Posts
  • 527 Reply Likes
Stefano,I was there, it's all up to date, everything you want to know...
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3451 Posts
  • 1320 Reply Likes
@Stephano

What part of Italy are you In?

We will be in the south of France around Avignon and Toulon for 3 weeks starting September 12

If we can work out logistics we could get together so I could remote demo my 6700 in California for you. It might be a bit of a drive for you, but you could see and actually use it in real time action.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 2362 Posts
  • 535 Reply Likes
If you asking about release dates, there are none. A while back some people took Flex to task for being late on one release, so since then Flex will not commit to a time. But they do try to release about every 3 months or so. Keep in mind this radio is constantly developing, you just need to decide if you want to be part of it and work with all of us to help make it better. I am not trying to speak for Gerald, I'm sure he will see this post soon.
Photo of Lee

Lee, Elmer

  • 677 Posts
  • 285 Reply Likes
I have had 2 Anan's and 2 Flex radios.  Both work very well.  Your presumption that Anan is a stable hardware system is wrong.  There are now 3 versions of the radio that calls itself the 100D floating around.  Each version has different boards in it.  That is one reason I sold the 100D   I still own a 10 and it's a fine little radio.  The original concept of HPSDR was to develop a SDR prototyping system where different hardware and software could be tried.  It was designed under an open source concept.  What has happened as new Ideas are incorporated into the design, new boards are sometimes added or redesigned.  The system can be very volatile.  For example Phil Harmon one of the originals in HPSDR came up with a proof of concept a couple years ago whereby the FPGA in the radio would become less important and the actual calculating part of the radio would be moved to a computer with an advanced video card.  Video cards have things called cuda cores which are processing units that can be forced into something like a poor mans super computer.  A very exciting idea EXCEPT to get it to work you need a very high speed link between the radio and the computer/cuda cores.  The 1 gb ethernet is barely enough bandwidth.  I can easily see the need therefore for a 3gb pipe between the radio and the computer if this architecture is implemented.  Which of the Anan radios has a 3 gb ethernet port?  Which of the Anan software packages has a system which will run on a cuda core?  Yet this is exactly why HPSDR was created, to push the boundary of SDR.  The code happens only in so far as someone writes it voluntarily.  If they get bored or their left main coronary artery closes off and they head to the big shack in the sky, the project is dead unless someone else decides to pick up the gauntlet.  If the new author likes digital but hates SSB you will have a really good digital radio.  Anan came out with a 200D which has a really fancy FPGA. but of they move the radio out of the FPGA and onto some cuda cores that FPGA hardware and its cost is a waste of money and would have been better spent on cuda cores and high speed ethernet.

The point is your analysis in my opinion is either incomplete or uninformed, and its not your fault for that.  Getting all of this requires a deep dive into the land of HPSDR.   Because you own a Anan piece of hardware in no way implies you will have a piece of software or a particular system (cuda cores) that progresses into the future.  What do you think your 1gb ethernet radio will be worth, if the standard becomes 3gb?  I sold the 100D and turned it into a 6500 because I don't see stability in this business model.  It is my opinion Flex has a much more sustainable business model.  I fully expect at some point as technology progresses to desire to purchase a new radio with more advanced hardware.  Anan is not a particularly good contest radio.  Flex is actively engaged in becoming world class in that arena,  Anan is not particularly open to software changes because it is 100,000's lines of code.  Flex has a published API and there are about a dozen add on software packages that interface with the radio to enhance the operating experience.  If a package that uses the API is buggy you just turn it off.  It does not affect the operation of the radio.   Not too much happening on that front with Anan because it's hard to change a program with 100.000 + lines of code and not have it buggy as hell.  Flex has a waveform API and so can easily add new waveforms like FreeDV or DSTAR integrated directly into the radio.  Anan has none of that.  Flex is a server/client model and allows remote control.  I'm typing this in my office listening to my 6500 which is across the house 100 ft away.  That is built in to the nature of the radio.  Takes 3 minutes to install the software and turn it on.  To do that with Anan requires a lot of screwing around, but it can be done.  Flex has native digital software cables both serial and audio which allow programs like flexdigi to interface immediately, native to the software.  Anan requires 3rd party addons.  Several software packages like writelog and dxlab have developed or are developing native server/client interfaces with the Flex radios so your contest program or logging program talks directly to the radio using modern tcp/ip protocol instead of klugey 30 year old CAT although there are plenty of ways to interface CAT if needed.  Flex has its own client called SmartCAT to do that. 

This should give you a little clearer picture.  None the less the 100D/PSDR is an excellent radio just make sure you get the latest version.

73  W9OY
Photo of Stefano - W2WTZ

Stefano - W2WTZ

  • 82 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
Thank you Tim, that's what I was searching for. Bill I understand but, I'm only searching to understand the SW development time necessary to unleash almost the functions that justify the investment to purchase a 6700 instead of a cheaper 6500.
If FRS says 1 week it's ok as well as the reply is one year, still ok. I will buy a 6500 now and after one year, or the necessary time, I will sell it and I will purchase a 6700.

Bill, I have already taken the decision to go for a Flex, tomorrow I will decide which one...

Stefano
IZ2WTZ
Photo of Stefano - W2WTZ

Stefano - W2WTZ

  • 82 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
Lee, what an incredible deep analysis, thank you, I don't have deep knowledge in sdr technology.
I completely agree with you, I have choosen to became a Crestron programmer and not of other brands exactly for the same reasons. I've written that Anan has a more mature SW, not HW of course. The reasons are known, also explained by Gerald. I know Open Source has advantages and risks, but in this moment I think Anan makes a better use of the HW because the SW is more mature. But that is not enough for me, I got in these days so many informations, from this forum too, to understand it is not the machine for myself. I spend many hours in preparing professional audio equipment for the installation opening/closing them, updating firmware, connecting and configurating PCs to integrate all. When I go home I don't want to have a radio that has to be disassembled to move some jumpers for updating..... no please..... it's my free time, hassle free.
That's why my problem now is understanding which machine is for me, 6500 or 6700.
Crestron is American but has a superb service in Italy, with a show room, engineers for technical assistance, training. It's not a big company but it's absolutely fantastic.
FRS instead can't supply in Italy a similar service, so I'm trying to understand by myself.
My brother works for an italian reseller of an american producer and in this moment he is in the States to be trained to learn all about the product. It's not a big company but the method is winning.
They want that the seller is skilled, expert and knows how to make a demo, how to use the equipment,  in the interest of the customer.  
One just yesterday wrote me that 6500 and 6700 are the same, identical, only 6700 has 2 receivers... 

I think that FRS has a HW and SW department with different levels and SW one should grow up a little focusing that customer comes first not only on magazine advertisement.
An example, Lee: Elad SW can be downloaded and it works even without the Duo installed, to let the customer evaluate the software. They are customer oriented, but unfortunately I need a more performer sdr than Duo, even considering that two days ago I made in QRP South Argentina 14.500 km with that "little toy" that is not a toy. Yesterday Panama and Brasil, this evening Tobago, S. Elena.  
Too much QRM for Falkland  with a Flex I expect to complete the QSO instead.... 
That's why I searched and found precious informations here. Thank for yr historical informations too, very interesting.

Stefano
De Prà
Photo of Lee

Lee, Elmer

  • 677 Posts
  • 285 Reply Likes
Stefano

Sounds like great fun with the elad! How to think of the flex is the radio itself is a big data engine. The software is merely a saddle with which to ride the data engine. Asking for a preview experience is like climbing on a saddle with no motorcycle underneath. No motor no vroom vroom if you know what I mean. There are many youtube videos which give a sliver of the radio's behavior

73
Photo of Stefano - W2WTZ

Stefano - W2WTZ

  • 82 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
Yes Lee, I own a 883 .... :)
I didn't find any video of 6700 on 2m, just one in APRS.... :(
Probably none or very few are using 6700 on contesting, too recent radio.
Very often, as I do, 2m contesting is made in portable, on top of the hills, where whether
is unpredictable, and everyone feels better thinking 6700 at home...
Different for EME, where NF is so important, I hoped some guy more expert than myself
could give a report, but no problem.

Stefano
IZ2WTZ
Photo of Lee

Lee, Elmer

  • 677 Posts
  • 285 Reply Likes
Actually many are using Flex 6K rigs in VHF contests on the road

https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.qrz.com/j/k5gj/IMG_4148.jpg
Photo of Gopro

Gopro

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Hi Stefano,

Flex 6700:
almost 2 years on the market and still not finished, obviously has problems with software (and extra money for "perhaps" improved software), over 7K USD, and 5. on QST Magazine Product Reviews - NO thanks - better wait a little, and keep you money for something better - real SDR time and rigs are on the way.

73,
Bozidar
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1238 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes

@Bozidar

The entire idea of an SDR is that it will NEVER be "finished." 

The product will always be improving and evolving.  

It is trash-talk to say this is a "problem" when it is part of the program, openly and without qualification.

As always if the available feature set and the idea that your radio will keep improving meet your needs, it is a radio you should consider.

If you have to have a feature that isn't out yet, reconsider - wait or maybe something else will fit your needs better.

Right now with SmartSDR 1.4 in hand and SmartSDR 1.5 on the cusp of release, I can think of no radio you would have more fun with, and your Flex-6700  will still continue to improve.  That is a promise the knob-on-boxes crowd don't make, and FRS delivers. 

With over a dozen SmartSDR releases having been written about in the magazines and on the internet, it is important to know which version is the one your are parroting about.

In hardware days it was perhaps easier - your had a 32S-1, then 32S-1 and so on... perhaps we should write Flex-6700-1.4 for the radio here and now, because it is some much ahead of when I first opened the box for mine (#11).

I have had the chance to A/B both my Flex-6700 and my traveling Flex-6300 against a huge number of radios.  Some like the IC-7800 give near FRS performance in use, and others are so far behind that they don't compare. 

In both my stations I've pretty much settled to three rigs - my Flex-6000, a Collins S-Line type setup and a TenTec backup radio.  Everything else has ended up in my storage unit. 

Why?  Because these are the radios that are FUN for me, and in the case of the Flex-6000 (I have the 6700 at my home and the 6300 at my summer place) I can hear and work stations none of my other radios can work.  So again I have FUN through technology.

As for software update fees, that has been so well covered in other threads here that perhaps you can do some reading so you have the right information?

@ Stefano There are hundreds of community participants who can speak from actual hands-on experience with their Flex-6000 and SmartsSDR, seek their advice.  Take care to note the date of posts, as this community is like a diary - much is records of where we were and now we are much further than that point. 

Look to those who are using the rigs rather than the repeated complaints of those who are not using a Flex-6000 and seem to have an agenda.


73

Steve K9ZW




(Edited)
Photo of Burt Fisher

Burt Fisher

  • 1010 Posts
  • 365 Reply Likes
Bozidar you are right except we buyers were well informed what we were buying and made the choice to buy.
Photo of Lee

Lee, Elmer

  • 677 Posts
  • 285 Reply Likes
Like Sam and Dave used to say:  "Play it Steve"
Photo of David Decoons wo2x

David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

  • 1044 Posts
  • 209 Reply Likes
I would really like to know what "features" are not mature on the 6000 series but are mature on PowerSDR derivatives? I use SmartSDR every day. The included DAX and SmartSDR CAT allow interfacing to all of my equipment and software. The ease of setting up the station and operation are a major decision why I chose the Flex over my 200d.

The hardware build quality of the 6000 series is far superior to the Anan series of radios. The rx and tx calibration on the 6000 series is far superior to the Anan. Power output calibration on my 200d is a joke. Calibrate each band for 100=100 watts out. Then try to set the radio to 40. Not one band will be at 40 watts out. The lower bands such as 40 and 80 will be close but 12 meters is way off!

One reason the Anan series needs adaptive predistortion is the PA without it is not as clean as the 6000 series. What Warren did with APD is remarkable but is not needed for day to day operation.

The noise blanker and nr2 on PowerSDR mRX is fantastic. The soon to be released SmartSDR 1.5 will have improvements to both NB and NR that will make it a very useable radio and we will see how it stacks up to PowerSDR mRX.

Panadapter resolution on the 6000 series is a little better than the open source stuff.

I just don't see how someone can say the open source radios are so much better. The best thing for a potential buyer to do is compare features available on each platform and choose the radio that is right for you.

Should Sterfano buy a 6700 vs 6500? He would need to look at each additional feature available on the 6700 and determine if it justifies the cost difference. (True diversity rx, two spectral capture units vs one, 2 meter all mode rx with 0 dBm output, etc.)

So what is lacking on the 6700 that makes it an incomplete radio? In my book there is so much in it already that it is better than anything the big three have out now.

Dave wo2x
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 2362 Posts
  • 535 Reply Likes
Bozider, it is clear to everyone you have no clue as to what is involved in developing technology. But that's ok. You seem to think as some others do, that developing the Flex is easy stuff and that you write software, release it and be done with it, nope, it does not work that way. SSDR is an amazing feat, and a wonderful software. Oh and Flex is who brought SDR to ham radio.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 2362 Posts
  • 535 Reply Likes
Lol, never know.....
Photo of Gopro

Gopro

  • 30 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Hi Bill,

you know, for over 7K USD i am not interested to know how something hard or easy to manage is, but i expect mature and top notch product.
For so much, i don't wont to deal with some sort of Kick-starter company.
That what Flex have done in the past is, unfortunately, history - old glory.

By the way, almost all here  speaking about new product -Flex 6xxx series, which have over a 3 years now, and you, as technology expert, should know  what 3 years means in prospect of technology development!

That what Flex call      -SmartSDR for Windows Feature Highlights-
is nothing more than a simply wish list. From one serious firm is to expect, et least, timelines and not what they will to see in the future.

And one interesting thing - i was also interested to purchase one from Flex Signature radios, and that was the reason why i watch  here in the group from the beginning. When time goes by, i have realized that is to many complanes, mostly for software.
There is simply, to many people, which were not satisfied with software and many from them(users) were not in position to explain  how is possible so one discrepancy from superb hardware  and  so miserly software,
Answer was always, and all over again,  the same - will be done in the next software release.
In the mean time, just as i said, 3 years are gone and- you gess- the same qwestions und the same answer are remain - will be done in the future.
And all this  i have not heard somewhere on the net, but here, from you Flex users, in this group.
That was the sign that something definitely, is not OK, predominantly with  software.

73,
Bozidar
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1238 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes

If you are not interested in a Flex and don't have one now either, why are you here?

Your choice is good for you, but obviously you are in the company of hundreds of other who think otherwise. 

Your "facts" are not at all factual, and have nothing to do with where the radio is now, much less where it is going.

I think everyone needs to pick what part of the hobby interests them and where they have fun. 

You end up reading like a "Sock Puppet" or a "Troll" if all you have to say is negative things about a product you are not intending to own.

Would not be displeased if you refrained from wasting bandwidth until you had some first hand time, if not actual ownership, of a Flex-6000.  Repeating what "you heard on the internet" is a bore, and contributes nothing.

regards,

Steve K9ZW

Photo of Stefano - W2WTZ

Stefano - W2WTZ

  • 82 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
Come on David... you know very well that the SW is the weak point of 6700.
Really you can say it unleashes all the potentiality of 6700 HW?
After 3 years of developement, diversity is finished with top quality phase noise cancellation?
2m contest with 7 Dbm ouput requires an external little amplifier to drive a PA.
6500 and 6700 are very different machines, do you see so many differencies in the SW for 6500 and for 6700? The best has to came, I'm sure, but now?

Steve writes "SmartSDR 1.5 on the cusp of release",

Devid writes "The soon to be released SmartSDR 1.5 will have improvements to both NB and NR that will make it a very useable radio and we will see how it stacks up to PowerSDR mRX".

Here is the problem, have me to invest so much money on a machine not finished, with great expectations, where none, starting from FRS, knows what will be improved and when?
I repeat, this approach is for hams only, I don't beleive the SW development for commercial/military gives these no replies. Have you noted I asked to FRS a concrete replay and I had no reply?
This is a reply very clear. Steve and David, yours is a wish list only, unfortunately, dreams not supported by facts.

6500 is another matter, I see the SW much more corresponding to the HW, ok there are some improvements necessary on noise reduction, but I don't gamble with my money dreaming that my
wish list one day will became an upgrade. I don't wanto to be a beta tester.
In this moment 6700 has not the value for the money request if you evaluate it with facts and not dreams.
No, in my opinion 6700 in this moment is not competitive for that price, maybe it will be in one week or in one month or in one year, when will be released 1.5, but maybe in 1.6.... or 2.0 who knows...

So I have taken my decision and I thank you very much for your opinions, very useful.
This afternoon I purchased a 6500 that will arrive in few days.This machine is ready for the market in my opinion. When I will see a 6700 complete, I will sell my 6500 and I will buy a new 6700, very simple. Nothin is definitive.
I will test performance and operativity in 2m, superior noise canceler respect 6500 and if I will be convinced by facts and not promises, I will spend the difference to take at home a 6700 without thinking one minute.
Now I'm quite sure I will enjoy with my 6500 much more than FDTX-5000, sold, that was a very good radio indeed.

Gerald, I'm no more interested in yr reply.
Today I noted a little hidden bug in SW2 Elad Sw, I spoke by phone with the engineer, he will do a patch. This is Service Excellence.

p.s.
I liked a lot the picture of contest cars, Lee do you have more info?

Stefano
IZ2WTZ
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1238 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes

Congratulations!  I do hope you really enjoy the radio!

73

Steve K9ZW

Photo of Lee

Lee, Elmer

  • 677 Posts
  • 285 Reply Likes
Speaking of commercial and military usage and reliability, 2 stock flex 6700R's are flying on the international space station performing experiments daily. Zero Anans Icoms Kenwoods Elad's etc etc are flying up there.
When you get your radio and begin to understand the scope and possibilities of the software, I think you will be eating your words.



73 W9OY
(Edited)