Your opinion on SW

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  • Updated 5 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?
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Stefano - W2WTZ

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Posted 5 years ago

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Dear Steve,

I have got that this community liberal is and open, also for different speaks, maybe i was wrong.
Anyway, i can understand you, is not  always pleasant to hear the truth.

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Do you have a call sign? Are you a even Ham Radio Operator? If so, please identify yourself.

Or do you just like to make anonymous posts full of outdated blatantly wrong information.?

From your anonymous postings it is pretty obvious that you do not own a Flex radio and have no idea whatsoever about the current state of the art of SmartSDR. You rather seem to enjoy positing total misinformation with the obvious attempt at confusing potential customers.

Your most recent rant contained no valid facts whatsoever. And you continually choose to ignore true facts when they are presented to you

If the Flex software were anywhere as terrible as you claim. How come there are 2 Flex radios on the international,Space Station? Pretty obvious that even the Russians think they are great radios to let them on their space station.

If you want to continue your rants, at least identify yourself and give us all a list of your actual SDR experience so that we can judge for ourselves if you actually might know what you are talking about.

If you refuse to identify yourself, I would suggest to everyone that you are a troll who is getting gratification by trying. To elicit responses to blatantly wrong information and I would suggest to everyone that they ignore you in the future.
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Stefano - W2WTZ

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Lee, my words are referred to the incomplete SW for 6700, not about 6500.
I'm quite sure I will enjoy with 6500 and I know myself, I will change it to a 6700,
but not now, the SW is not ready and FRS has not any idea when it will be.
Perhaps I will receive my 6500 tomorrow afternoon.... :)))))
I'm glad to hear that 6700 is onboard ISS. FRS has one more good reason to complete the SW
in this century.

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Stan - VA7NF

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@Stefano  I own the first 6700 into Canada (seen it through all the versions of SSDR); I also would like the noise blanker capability using two antennae.  Version 1.5, due this month, has the single SCA noise suppression software which FRS says works very well.  With that base perhaps work on the 6700 dual SCA may follow.

Diversity reception on the 6700 is very nice.  I find on CW, using good headphones, I can separate signals on the same frequency because they "appear" in my head in different positions and the brain can separate them by location.  This does not happen on a single SCA radio (6300/6500) as the 6700 is the only one that can run with two antennae.

Re 2M.  The base radio has up to 10dbm signal on the XVTR port.  DEMI has produced a 2M75LDPA amplifier and low noise preamplifier designed just for the 6700.  It connects to the XVTR port and produces a clean 75W output.  They also have a 40W version.  I frequently listen to 5 local repeaters with a slice on each.

I know there are developments on the 5000 dual receiver that I would like to see but overall the 6700 build quality and signal quality is exceptional.  The pain of initial price happens once but the pleasure of quality continues. 

73 Stan VA7NF  55 years in the hobby

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Lee, Elmer

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Why would you say the software is incomplete? Each version is entirely complete. My radio has always completely worked from the day I bought it. I bought my 6300 and worked 275 countreis and 6 band dxcc in 6 months on cw with a vertical antenna. I don't think I could have done that with crippled software. I was one of 430 north american hams who worked Iran on 30 m and it was entirely due to the superiority of the flex software. It allowed me to be able to see exactly where iran was listening. I tried this with my Anan and the Anan panadapter was inadequate to the task compared to SSDR. You mention elad fixed a bug you discovered. I guess that means the elad software was incomplete.

The feature of SDR is new or improved features can be rapidly added without the need to buy a new radio. That is called added value not incomplete. What you suggest is like saying a star athlete that over time becomes a better athelete was somehow deficient when he was merely a star athelete. A bizaare point of view imho

73. W9OY
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Stan - VA7NF

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@Lee - The comment re Incomplete applies more to the 6700 than the other versions.  There is the promise (opportunity) in the dual SCA hardware that, other than simple diversity, is in the future.

I am NOT disappointed in my 6700 choice as it is one excellent radio and I agree with your comments on the Rx and panadapter usage. 

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Stefano - W2WTZ

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First of all my evaluation are on the paper because it was impossible find a 6700 to test into operation. Lee you force an interpretation of my words that is yours, not mine. I quote Stan reply, the main important function in my opinion is missing, phase noise reducer. Stan is sure 1.5 is this month, myself not. FRS too. Stan wrote "perhaps" and here is the problem. Another one is an output of 7Dbm that means 0,05W. You need external box to solve the problem you cannot drive a PA. For the 6700 cost and level FRS considers the Top, not acceptable. For 1000  $ more than 6500 I should have taken another decision Lee and please don't confuse missing of base functions for a top class radio with improvements. Any radio or SW can have some bug, development and little hidden minor bug solving is normal and also very positive. Perfection doesn't exists. Lack of functions present instead on Flex 5000 is not acceptable for that price. Missing of communication with customers that spend thousand of $, not only one as Elad, is not acceptable. Hope to have explained enough my point of view, it's personal Lee, I'm not God, only the owner of my money. If most of the owners of 6700 should have waited a more complete SW before purchasing 6700, one year ago you already had a noise reducer better than 5000, a pure signal to further improve the perfection and who knows what else.

Lee, I understood yr point of view but I disagree. Monday I made 12176 km QRB with Tierra del Fuego in QRP with Elad. Antenna is self build simple dipole 40m.
This means Elad is perfect? I don't think.
You are satisfied of the money spent? Good for you, only this is important.

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Stefano - W2WTZ

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I quote once more Stan. Maybe he has a better english than myself.... :)
Lee 3 years for porting a function well known from FRS programmers,
present on old 5000 but not on top performance and price 6700 is the problem.
If it needs 5 years to complete, no problem, but they should present and sell
6700 5 years later.

I hope for you and other buyers that trusted so much in FRS SW department that 1.5 will contains functions missing.
Imagine if not.... FRS didn't say anything. I like surprises inside chocolate Easter Eggs only.
If they don't take on a commitment I simply sit down at river side and I wait.

I repeat once more: my evaluation is on 6700, not 6500, I have nothing against FRS or 6700, I'm a new customer and a fan, I hope FRS will create the conditions to allow me to sell my 6500 and buy a 6700. 

6500 new owner (tomorrow)
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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You are hopefully a Flex owner by now.

I just wanted to comment on the issue of the software for the 6700 being "done" or "not done" -- The state of Smart SDR is always a big topic of discussion around here.  What features it has, what features is SHOULD have, which features should be developed sooner, which can wait.

The practical problem in developing software for the 6000 series is that so much is possible.  And, among the vast number of possibilities, it's hard to make decisions about which features should be implemented now and which should be implemented later. Different customers value very different features.  So, depending on what you, personally, think is important good old PowerSDR might look "more complete" to you than SmartSDR.. or PowerSDR might look completely lacking.

Look at, for example, connectivity. The 6000 series with SmartSDR provides built-in digital audio handling for digital operation (DAX).  It provides the ability to remote audio and control across the LAN, so your radio can be in your study while you are in the back garden making a QSO with your laptop via WiFi.   PowerSDR can't do any of these things.

Therefore, faced with a long list of features that customers are screaming for, what does a development team do?  In the real world, you prioritize based on the number of customer requests for a particular feature, how building one feature can help you build others, and how can you appeal to the broadest range of customers possible to maximize your sales possibilities. This means you develop a lot of features, but probably don't develop any one given feature to its maximum potential.  Which ALSO turns out to be smart because this allows you to get user feedback on each feature, and then update it based on that feedback.

I think that's what you see happening in the SmartSDR world. So, the 6700 has *some* diversity support... but doesn't have *ultimate* diversity support.  It doesn't do beam steering, for example. We've had NB and NR support forever, but it hasn't been the greatest.

So... each user has to decide "is there enough in the radio TODAY that justifies my investment TODAY?"  If the answer is yes, you buy it.  If the answer is no, you wait.

I hope you enjoy your 6500... and I hope you have a chance to play with Howard's 6700 and try out the diversity as it exists today to see if what's there today is enough to please you.

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I have been following your discussion, and see that you ordered a 6500. I will be very interested to hear your opinions of the radio once you have some time with it. My impression, having owned the Flex 3000 and Flex 1500, and watching the various threads, is that the overwhelming majority of problems arise because of Windows, not from any inherent flaw in the design of the radios.

Please share your experiences with us.

[ many thanks to those who shared their knowledge of both the ANAN and Flex systems ! ]

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Stefano - W2WTZ

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6500 arriver yesterday!!! Of course immediately installed :))

I appreciate yr point of view, balanced, not like a soccer club supporter...
In my point of thinking, the SW upgrade priority is what allows us to receive
better weak signals or like in this moment within a contest in 40m, weak signals close
to big signals. Also important is to reduce QRM, QRN and local QRM.
The reseller told me that top seller is 6500, then 6300, then maestro orders, then 6700.
If the problem is the price, 6300 should be a top seller, instead 6500 sells more.
So why not 6700? Because most of customers, not only me, consider this machine an HW masterpiece whose SW doesn't allow to to use its possible performances, referred to the price of course.

I confirm PC instability, but it's normal, after installation all was ok, then I made some modifications to the USB and audio connections and I could't no more connect 6500.
It's my fault, I have installed Edad FDM Duo too and tried to connect to PC analog and then USB microphones. I also have connected a TS2000 with TNC for Winlink2000 with a 232 two port extra board. 
I made a mess by myself, disinstalled following instruction on Flex support, reinstalled and now works. A legacy radio will be always more reliable, but SDR advantages are so superior...
In this moment I have Elad Duo with SW2 software and SmartSDR working together.
First impression on Flexi SW UI is great, clean, everything is where I expect it should be.
I tuned a weak station in the middle of the contest and confirm that the audio quality and audio
and intelligibility is a little, but very very little better on Flex, quite the same.
Pls consider I have to learn SmartSDR, I hope there are adjustments, parameters, tricks, functions I don't know that will increase the performance. In this moment, considering the price of 1150€ for Elad, even with 5W, I think to have done a good choice to choose a 6500.
I also purchased a book on SDR and start reading some suggestion on this forum.
With FTDX 5000 I'm sure I should have had much worst audio quality but a little better intelligibility,
but it's only my opinion, pls SDR fanatics don't shoot me.
To give a serious report I have to learn very well the SW as first priority.
Machine quality construction very good, but encoder of Flexcontrol has the shaft that has air gap.
KX3 vfo or TS2000 has better mechanic precision.
For QSO I will use 6500 with AKG-271.
Evaluation of audio was made with output line to a mixer and then to a professional Anchor amplified loudspeaker.

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Very interesting reports

The secret with the Flex on weak signals is learning how to adjust ACG-T

When you have had time to practice with your 6500

Could you please do a detailed comparison of all your different radios and publish it here. Under a different topic heafding

I am sure everyone would be very interested in reading your results.
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Stefano - W2WTZ

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No problem Elmer, I will do. Unfortunately I had to sell FTDX-5000 to buy to 6500, so I can compare with Elad FDM Duo, 817, 857, TS2000, but with my friend's halp we will compare with Flex 5000 and maybe kenwood 590 too.The correct way to impartially evaluate a radio is to make
a benchmark with another in the same conditions in the same moment.
Laboratory tests are very interesting, but like HiFi equipments, laboratory tests are completed with listening impressions, we should do the same. What is important in a Qso, Dx, DX Expedition or Contest is to understand the informations that the correspondand gives to us.
All the rest is less important in a radio.Yesterday evening I improved the Flex receiving quality
following some suggestion I read in this forum about AGC-T and putting pream -10.
In Elad you cannot switch off the preamp, so I inserted ATT, but I got better audio from Flex on big
signals and much less background noise.
I will open a new thread when ready, this was only to ask suggestions and point of view in order
to choose Anan or Flex SDR and once more I apreciated a lot 100% of posts, very important to collect informations and to open my mind. I have SDR very limited experience only 3 monthes
with Elad. Using it I undestood SDR is my way, even if not perfect, but this technology can only grow
while legacy radios have arrived to their technological limit.
I compared a 4500€ Yaesu 5000 to a 1150€ Elad and I sold the 5000..........
Sherwood in the tables writes fantastic accurate laboratory tests, but in practise I made listening benchmark in all the conditions for 3 monthes...... no story.
Now where I wish stronger improvements from SDR is in noise reduction, becouse it hiddens the signal I want to hear and interests myself. First step I ask to Flex is to port the actual technology of PowerSDR on SSDR, it should not be so difficult, maybe they have to rewrite SW and routines, but nothin new to invent.
Second step is to develop better algorithms and here will be necessary efforts, investments and
years. I hope the technolgies invented for military use will arrive to hams and commercial in future,
so a company that produces equipment for military and professional use gives better guarantee of improvements. But this is a field where open source could be of great help, why should be impossible a bridge with Flex?

Ok stopping dreaming..... I will prepare a video to share, but I will need time becouse I have to learn SSDR before.

As Ari group in the official section IQ2CU in February we will move from legacy radios to SDR
for 2m contesting in portable on hills but this will be another matter.

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Bill -VA3WTB

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Stefano, Time to put PSDR to rest, Smart SDR can and will do much more than can be done in PSDR.
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Stefano - W2WTZ

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Bill I cross my fingers you are right, the problem is "will"...
As UI, SSDR is much much better, like my imac, everything is where you expect to find and
resizeble windows are very nice. Panadapter+waterfall resolution seems lower than Elad SW2 and
colors have less possibility to be customized. In Elad SW I can see on waterfall very well very weak signals, but I just finishet to print User Manual, 160 pages to study.
I have to exit asap from this state of deep ignorance :)
Zooming and scaling in SSDR is 1000 times better than Elad, where you have a chart with numbers to edit. Graphics environment too (pushbutton, windows, menus) is another planet on SSDR, beautiful and friendly usable.