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Author Topic: Flexradio FCC Certification for the 6000 Series? When?  (Read 8653 times)
K9IUQ
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Posts: 1757




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« on: January 23, 2013, 08:19:50 AM »

The rumors have been swirling and the spin is spinning about the new Flexradio 6000 series of Radios.

One recent post said "Have no facts or evidence to back me up but let me say a on the air wink says a  lot."

Another ham said Flexradio is doing the old "duck, dodge, and evade" dance that is so familiar to anyone who has watched the company for the last several years.

Why not let us deal in facts instead of the old wink  Wink

Before Flexradio can sell a Hamradio they must submit an application to the FCC for Certification or "Equipment Authorization." This is a Fact. Being the fact finder and truthful Ham that I am, I went to the FCC website and searched for any submission for Flexradio. I found none. I searched for new SDR submission. They were 300 plus submissions but none for a Series 6000 Flexradio. I did other searches but could find no evidence of Flexradio submitting the 6000 radio for Certification. Since some Hams here believe I am biased (hardly) or not truthful ( you always get the truth from K9IUQ) here is the search link for FCC Certification.

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/reports/GenericSearch.cfm

Please do your own snooping around and post what you find. If you find the Certification application, post the link please. Please, None of this winky BS.  Wink

Here is the question I have, and which I could not find the answer. How long does FCC Certification normally take? This would give us an indication if the Flexradio 6000 is likely to be released anytime soon..

Stan K9IUQ


« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 08:27:46 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
WD5GWY
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Posts: 393




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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 09:22:58 AM »

Thanks for your post Stan! I had thoughts of doing the very same thing. (searching the
FCC's website for certification applications)
  According to a post by a Flex employee on Facebook, they are focusing on bringing the
6000 Series radios to market and will be demo'ing working software and hardware at hamfests
in February. Possibly a live demo at the Richmond hamfest, if they can get an outside antenna.
  No mention of anything beyond that, other than the employees cannot give any details beyond
that due to directives from Gerald Youngblood. As I understand it, from that post on Facebook,
Gerald will be making announcements concerning the release etc. of the 6000 Series Radios
and not anyone else. So, those are the reasons for the vague responses I got when I and others
asked the questions we did on Facebook.
  I sincerely hope that they do follow thru and bring the radios to market within the latest time
table that is posted on their website. I know several people that have prepaid for radios will be
even more happy about that! I still would like to have one , if it lives up to all the hype they
have generated for the new rigs. But, I will wait and let someone else be first to test them out.
As I did by not putting up a deposit for a 6500 Signature Series radio........which I SERIOUSLY
 considered doing. But, finally decided that I really did not want to be a beta tester and did not
want to tie up that much money (even though I could have got my deposit and any additional funds refunded if I did not want to continue to wait) for an undetermined amount of time.
 Better to wait and let them sort out the problems which will surely come, and then jump in.
OR, pick up a nice used 3000 or 5000. (those should be selling at fairly good prices if the new
radios can meet the hype surrounding them)
james
WD5GWY
 
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NI0Z
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 11:13:18 AM »

Wink, wink, I have a 6000 series....  Oh wait, my glasses were smudged, it's only a 5000...  Lol, I get asked a lot as a flex user on the air about the new flex radios.  It would be too easy for me to wink and play with people.

Seriously though, Stan is dead on!

Is the new Kendwood certified yet, when was it submitted?  I am guessing some take longer than others, however, another point here is that Flex has no way of even knowing how long it will take, and if what Stan says pans out to them not even having submitted it, we could be a long ways off.

Remember that post I made about how wrong this all could go if Flex takes too long to produce?  A flood of refund requests, lower sales,own legacy radio products, loss of faith, these are events that have caused more than a few vendors to have to close their doors.  It's a dangerous slope they are operating on if they don't have a good chunk of money in the bank to keep them running until they can actually deliver.

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K9IUQ
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 11:39:05 AM »

Is the new Kendwood certified yet,

The Kenwood was Certified on 1-3-2013..

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/reports/ViewExhibitReport.cfm?mode=Exhibits&RequestTimeout=500&calledFromFrame=N&application_id=563193&fcc_id=%27K44412000%27

After reading these documents it looks like they Started the Certification process in July 2012.

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 11:43:10 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
K9IUQ
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Posts: 1757




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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 12:03:17 PM »

Remember that post I made about how wrong this all could go if Flex takes too long to produce? 

I also found this:

I'm not sure that any of Flex's radios have gone through equipment authorization process... At least not under the name Flex-radio, since there's no FCC Grantee by that name.  Gerald Youngblood does have a grantee id of ZD8 for Bronze Bear Communications

Stan K9IUQ
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NI0Z
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 01:39:48 PM »

Am I thinking right here that the Flex Radios are not directly FCC certified, but rather they claim compliance to part 97? Will the 6K series follow the same path?  If so, how do they get out of having to be certified on their transmitters with 100 watts?  Is it that their transmitter is borrowed and is FCC compliant?  Raises a lot of questions!
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1757




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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 01:49:36 PM »

Am I thinking right here that the Flex Radios are not directly FCC certified,

I believe every Radio I have owned had a FCC ID. On my Kenwood TS-590s the FCC ID is located below the serial # Tag on the back of the Radio. On my Icom 7000 the FCC ID tag is on the bottom of the radio.

Does your Flexradio 5000 have a FCC ID tag? I don't have one to check.  Cheesy Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ
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KB4QAA
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Posts: 2371




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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2013, 02:55:45 PM »

No, the FCC doesn't perform certifications, and hasn't in decades.

The FCC maintains a list of approved commercial testing labs who perform the testing and will work with the manufacturer to resolve design problems, if that is desired.  When the unit passes the testing the manufacturer submits the paper work to the FCC for review and approval.  Results are posted on line, as previously mentioned.
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K6JH
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2013, 03:55:46 PM »

I don't believe an FCC ID is required for an amateur band transceiver. For example, Elecraft has the Grantee Code "UTR", and the only product certified is their KPA500 amplifier, but not their transceivers.

JVC Kenwood (Grantee code "K44")applied for the TS990 because it apparently can function like a scanning receiver in the frequency range of 30-960MHz, which requires certification. And the certification can be done at any approved test lab, which can then submit the paperwork to the FCC. The TS590 on the other hand, only receives in the 6 meter ham band 50-54MHZ above 30MHz (at least I can't find it at the FCC site). Kenwood is perhaps a poor example, because they may submit through perhaps a half-dozen or a dozen different grantee codes, depending on the plant that actually did the approval work.

So I wouldn't read too much into the fact that "Flexradio" and their 1000, 1500, and 5000 transceivers don't show up in the FCCID database. Note also that the rules allow for a company to do the FCC ID testing, and market under another name.

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NI0Z
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 07:33:37 PM »

You know, I have been thinking about what will be and won't be unique about the Flex 6K series.

Supposedly it will top the receiver charts, nice, but only somewhat useful in many folks uses.  You need a great antenna and quiet instalalation to really leverage it.  There are many hams that do have stellar antennas, so I will go ahead and say its a plus.  This should give them an edge for I am guess as much as 12-18 months before someone equals or 1 ups them.  This is dependent also on when the radio actually gets released.

Slice receivers, this is a cool, not new, but certainly the way Flex proposes it will work, nobody else has that flexibility yet.  Timeout for a second.  The QS1R though can provide a 2M swath of bandwidth to the Software.  Wth some clever new code I believe the swath could be made selective.  Meaning I could get as many slices from anywhere in its available spectrum so long as their sum didn't exceed 2M.  I predict flex won't be able to claim and advantage for long here.  Oh, and did I mention that that rig is only $899.  Buy a used Flex 3000 or 5000 or Ny other radio for that matter and use it as some do here already for transmit and you have your IP served slices available for consumption.  I am thinking about just adding the QS1R to my Flex in the RX in/out loop.  Time back in.  I still think at present this has marginal value.  People have talked about all kinds of hypothetical use cases for the slices.  Keep in mind that most of them won't exist for quite some time if they even ever exist.  By that time there will be far cheaper options using more modern technology.  Bottom line for me, flex 6k offers no real meaningful value for the typical ham and only hypothetical value to the so called elite ham.

Transmit, correct me if I am wrong, I have not heard of any transmit improvements that will be introduced with the 6K.. Yes, no?

Others can help finish this line of thought, but personally, I am thinking I won't be too bad off with a 5K and QS1R..

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WD5GWY
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Posts: 393




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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 08:48:40 AM »

My el cheapo DVB-T stick along with an HF upconverter, can
make 2.8Mhz of spectrum visible. Not that I'm comparing it with
the QS1R, but, that is pretty good. It's just as has been mentioned
in another thread here, a toy. But, works surprisingly well.
  As for the 6000 Series Radios and their slice receivers, I have to admit
that at first glance when I read about them, I thought : How cool is that!!.
But, over time, I realized that while that is a neat feature, just what benefit
would it be to me? I do well using the dual receivers on my Yaesu FT-1000MPMKV !
And most of the time, I keep the second receiver off. It's just too annoying trying
to listen to two things at once.  And how would I ever listen to 8 receivers at one time!
I do like the fact that they can display such a huge swath of spectrum at one time.
I find that intriguing, but, given my style of operating, it is probably not such a big deal.
I would like to have a 6500 but, it would probably be hard to justify it to myself. (much
less the wife!! Although she knows that once I decide on buying something, I do it anyway)
  Overall, I don't have a serious need for such a high powered rig as the 6000 Series.
Certainly not with my less than fantastic antenna system. And I don't think I want to have
a radio like that networked and accessible to others.
  I guess, I'll keep using my Flex 1500 the MKV and some of my old boatanchor rigs!!!
But, should I win the lottery..............well then......all bets are off!!!!  Grin
  james
WD5GWY

 
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2013, 06:03:48 PM »

  Bottom line for me, flex 6k offers no real meaningful value for the typical ham and only hypothetical value to the so called elite ham.

Value and a $5000 plus hamradio can not be used in the same sentence.

IMO an elite ham is not someone with more $$ than sense. An Elite Ham is a competitive ham who strives to improve his abilitys and skills on the Ham Bands by Contesting or otherwise competing for the rare DX against other hams. A ham that wants to Win or be the best at all hamradio endeavors

Hams like W4ZV or W8JI and many other hams. These Elite competitive hams have so far shunned the Flexradio label for many reasons. Will the 6000 series change the minds of competitive hams? You will have to ask them. K9IUQ is not an Elite Ham, nor does he have deep unlimited pocket$.  Wink

Stan K9IUQ   Smiley
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NI0Z
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2013, 06:19:47 PM »

  Bottom line for me, flex 6k offers no real meaningful value for the typical ham and only hypothetical value to the so called elite ham.

Value and a $5000 plus hamradio can not be used in the same sentence.

IMO an elite ham is not someone with more $$ than sense. An Elite Ham is a competitive ham who strives to improve his abilitys and skills on the Ham Bands by Contesting or otherwise competing for the rare DX against other hams. A ham that wants to Win or be the best at all hamradio endeavors

Hams like W4ZV or W8JI and many other hams. These Elite competitive hams have so far shunned the Flexradio label for many reasons. Will the 6000 series change the minds of competitive hams? You will have to ask them. K9IUQ is not an Elite Ham, nor does he have deep unlimited pocket$.  Wink

Stan K9IUQ   Smiley

Sorry about that, lol, I wasn't referring to real top dog hams, I was talking about the ones that believe you can buy eliteness.  It will always take work, experience and ingenuity to be a real top ham!  While money surely can buy you some nice equipment, it's no sub for experience!
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N4OI
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Posts: 208




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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 03:55:57 AM »

[...]  I do like the fact that they can display such a huge swath of spectrum at one time.  I find that intriguing, but, given my style of operating, it is probably not such a big deal. [...]

I may be missing something here... and I tend to agree with WD5GWY's statement above.   I love my panadapter because, especially for CW, it allows me to see other station activity, pileups, openings and the like.  I would certainly not want to go back to "audio only."   Beyond the Flex 6000 context of this thread, many discussions around panadapter sound cards, PC power and specs seem to focus on a goal to get the widest spectrum display possible.   

But the widest view I ever find I want to display is the lower 60 KHz of the band.  Other than perhaps an indicator of general propagation conditions, how is the ability to show "huge swaths of spectrum" a plus for ham radio operation?  This inquiring ham wants to know.  Thanks!

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN N4OI   Grin
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ZENKI
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Posts: 934




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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2013, 04:08:34 AM »

Flexradio would have a "game changer" if they put a front panel on their new radio. Hams are not Luddites who hate new technology, its just that knobs and front panels are etched into every hams DNA.
Those who ignore this  reality will be limited to a niche market limited to hams who like being trendy. Hams on the other hand who generally buy 1 radio that lasts them for at least a  decade, will be looking fox a box
with a front panel and knobs.  The Flexradio could have easily match the new TS-990S if it had a front panel. Flex could have even used a touch screen PC to pull this off.

It would be nice if the FCC including transmitter IMD certification. All these labs already certify commercial HF SSB radios, they know how to do it. Ham transceivers should
adopt the same minimum IMD standards like the commercial marine radios.

The most disapointing thing  about the new Flexradio is the horrible cheap PA in the radio. For the price that they asking they could have included a decent high voltage FET  PA. It would have been
easy to include a DC DC converter that stepped up 13.8 volts to the require 50 to 100 volts for a low IMD FET PA. Totally disappointing really. The new Kenwoos TS990S looks like it will 3rd order IMD figure in the range
of -40db  3rd  order, for non class A radio thats impressive. Just a shame the new Kenwood has no IF output and a lousy uncalibrated S-meter.





  Bottom line for me, flex 6k offers no real meaningful value for the typical ham and only hypothetical value to the so called elite ham.

Value and a $5000 plus hamradio can not be used in the same sentence.

IMO an elite ham is not someone with more $$ than sense. An Elite Ham is a competitive ham who strives to improve his abilitys and skills on the Ham Bands by Contesting or otherwise competing for the rare DX against other hams. A ham that wants to Win or be the best at all hamradio endeavors

Hams like W4ZV or W8JI and many other hams. These Elite competitive hams have so far shunned the Flexradio label for many reasons. Will the 6000 series change the minds of competitive hams? You will have to ask them. K9IUQ is not an Elite Ham, nor does he have deep unlimited pocket$.  Wink

Stan K9IUQ   Smiley
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