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Author Topic: Finally heard a Flex 6700 on the air today  (Read 33907 times)
K5TED
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« on: August 09, 2013, 08:41:18 PM »

Was in QSO on 17m with Sam, a Flex5000 (former 3000 owner) owner in California, swapping station info, signal reports and discussing the Flex radios, and in particular the fact neither of us had heard the 6000 series on the air yet. Lo and behold, Jim, in Austin, Texas heard Sam, and dropped in on the frequency to demo his 6700. Of course, I couldn't hear him directly, being only 90 minutes south of Austin, but I happened to have been also listening to my own signal over the internet via a Global Tuners remote receiver (Icom R-75) in Ridgecrest, CA., so heard him right away. I stood by, listening while Sam in Cali got the rundown on the new Flex radio.

The Flex 6700 is a great sounding rig. Jim was happy with it, has had it for about 6 weeks now, and looking forward to the next software release and new functionality. He was running Smart SDR on a flea-power Atom media center PC, watching several different bands at once while in QSO. He mentioned he also uses a Microsoft Surface for Smart SDR control. Thin pipe is the way to go for sure. No more Quad core beast just to run the radio.
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SWL2002
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2013, 06:05:13 AM »

He was running Smart SDR on a flea-power Atom media center PC, watching several different bands at once while in QSO. He mentioned he also uses a Microsoft Surface for Smart SDR control. Thin pipe is the way to go for sure. No more Quad core beast just to run the radio.

Yeah, its the way to go alright.  Spend $7000 plus $200/yr on your thin pipe Flex 6700 versus $3000 for an ANAN100 thick pipe SDR that performs as well or better than the Flex.  That's a difference of $4000.  Is having a thin client SDR worth the $4000 price difference?  That is one HELL of a premium to pay for being able to use your old outdated PC or cheap low powered PC with the Flex.  You can buy a brand new EIGHT core PC beast for under $1000 and still be $3000 ahead of the game.  And the ANAN works NOW on all modes, unlike the Flex 6000.

I speak every day on the air with my buddy who does have a Flex 6700.  Unless he tells you its a Flex 6700 it sounds absolutely no different than any of the sub $2000 radios out there.  He is very disenchanted with it.  It is not the "game changer" that Flex Marketing said it would be.
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 2053




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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2013, 06:15:32 AM »

The Flex 6700 is a great sounding rig.

I heard a ham using a Flex 6500 on 17 meters the other day. He was doing what Flexers do best - telling the other guy how great his Flexradio was.

His audio was substandard - boomy like talking in a barrel. He bragged about his wonderful xmit equalizer. Good thing he was not working me as I tell the truth about xmit audio.  Cheesy Cheesy

If the 6000 series follows the lead of the Flex 5K it will have excellent SSB audio. My impression of the Flex 5K SSB audio was very positive, I tried many many microphones on my 5K and with a little EQ tweaking here and there they all sounded wonderful including several of my vintage mics.

Because of all the Flex mic EQ settings and xmit bandwidth settings a ham can make SSB sound really bad too. One must spend time setting up the audio properly.

SDR's can be wonderful on SSB. Unfortunately they suck on CW, FM and digital modes.

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 06:21:31 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
K9IUQ
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2013, 06:32:57 AM »

looking forward to the next software release and new functionality.

You hit the nail on the head. Your statement is part of the Flex Mantra.
In fact your statement sums up Smartsdr or any Flexradio software perfectly.

For Non Flexers I will decode the above quoted statement in simple non Flex spin language it means:

A lot of things ain't working right now and poor Flexers keep hoping it is going to get better in the next software release.  Wink

Stan K9IUQ
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K2GWK
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Posts: 529


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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2013, 11:27:42 AM »

He was running Smart SDR on a flea-power Atom media center PC, watching several different bands at once while in QSO. He mentioned he also uses a Microsoft Surface for Smart SDR control. Thin pipe is the way to go for sure. No more Quad core beast just to run the radio.

Yeah, its the way to go alright.  Spend $7000 plus $200/yr on your thin pipe Flex 6700 versus $3000 for an ANAN100 thick pipe SDR that performs as well or better than the Flex.  That's a difference of $4000.  Is having a thin client SDR worth the $4000 price difference?  That is one HELL of a premium to pay for being able to use your old outdated PC or cheap low powered PC with the Flex.  You can buy a brand new EIGHT core PC beast for under $1000 and still be $3000 ahead of the game.  And the ANAN works NOW on all modes, unlike the Flex 6000.

I speak every day on the air with my buddy who does have a Flex 6700.  Unless he tells you its a Flex 6700 it sounds absolutely no different than any of the sub $2000 radios out there.  He is very disenchanted with it.  It is not the "game changer" that Flex Marketing said it would be.


I don't have a Flex radio and don't intend on getting one but you are starting to sound like a broken record. Let him enjoy his Flex 6700 and stop pissing on his parade. If he can afford it and is enjoying his radio who the hell are you to judge. Being totally honest it almost sounds like you are jealous.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 11:29:49 AM by K2GWK » Logged

Guy
Lawn Guyland, New York

K2GWK Website
SWL2002
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Posts: 374




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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2013, 12:33:48 PM »

He was running Smart SDR on a flea-power Atom media center PC, watching several different bands at once while in QSO. He mentioned he also uses a Microsoft Surface for Smart SDR control. Thin pipe is the way to go for sure. No more Quad core beast just to run the radio.

Yeah, its the way to go alright.  Spend $7000 plus $200/yr on your thin pipe Flex 6700 versus $3000 for an ANAN100 thick pipe SDR that performs as well or better than the Flex.  That's a difference of $4000.  Is having a thin client SDR worth the $4000 price difference?  That is one HELL of a premium to pay for being able to use your old outdated PC or cheap low powered PC with the Flex.  You can buy a brand new EIGHT core PC beast for under $1000 and still be $3000 ahead of the game.  And the ANAN works NOW on all modes, unlike the Flex 6000.

I speak every day on the air with my buddy who does have a Flex 6700.  Unless he tells you its a Flex 6700 it sounds absolutely no different than any of the sub $2000 radios out there.  He is very disenchanted with it.  It is not the "game changer" that Flex Marketing said it would be.


I don't have a Flex radio and don't intend on getting one but you are starting to sound like a broken record. Let him enjoy his Flex 6700 and stop pissing on his parade. If he can afford it and is enjoying his radio who the hell are you to judge. Being totally honest it almost sounds like you are jealous.

Sounds more like YOU are projecting your radio envy on to me.  I do not care what guys spend their money on.  I am pointing out that a $4000 premium is a lot to pay for a thin client SDR.  If you bothered to read the thread creators message, he was saying that thin client is the way to go.  I am disagreeing with that statement and offering facts as to why.  If you do not like what I am saying, then please feel free to put me on ignore.
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AB4D
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2013, 01:07:32 PM »


Sounds more like YOU are projecting your radio envy on to me.  I do not care what guys spend their money on.  I am pointing out that a $4000 premium is a lot to pay for a thin client SDR.  If you bothered to read the thread creators message, he was saying that thin client is the way to go.  I am disagreeing with that statement and offering facts as to why.  If you do not like what I am saying, then please feel free to put me on ignore.

What facts did you provide regarding thin client SDR, besides the cost?  None that I can see.  You don't like Flex Radio we all get it.  Apparently, you don't have much money for ham radio, and you seem to be the most miserable Ham on the planet, because everything you post on eham has a negative tone or you whine about how much something costs.  Good grief, give it rest.  All you do spread hate and discontent, and try to argue with others.  Are you even a ham?
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SWL2002
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Posts: 374




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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2013, 01:34:56 PM »


Sounds more like YOU are projecting your radio envy on to me.  I do not care what guys spend their money on.  I am pointing out that a $4000 premium is a lot to pay for a thin client SDR.  If you bothered to read the thread creators message, he was saying that thin client is the way to go.  I am disagreeing with that statement and offering facts as to why.  If you do not like what I am saying, then please feel free to put me on ignore.

What facts did you provide regarding thin client SDR, besides the cost?  None that I can see.  You don't like Flex Radio we all get it.  Apparently, you don't have much money for ham radio, and you seem to be the most miserable Ham on the planet, because everything you post on eham has a negative tone or you whine about how much something costs.  Good grief, give it rest.  All you do spread hate and discontent, and try to argue with others.  Are you even a ham?

I have plenty of money, thank you.  I just don't spend it foolishly like some do.  I did not mind spending 15 grand on a new tower system and antennas as I just did this spring.  I will not be foolishly spending 7 grand on a half finished Flex radio, thats for sure!

Are you a Flex Radio Fan-boy?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 01:37:04 PM by SWL2002 » Logged
K9IUQ
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Posts: 2053




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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2013, 01:37:25 PM »


 You don't like Flex Radio we all get it.  Apparently, you don't have much money for ham radio, and you seem to be the most miserable Ham on the planet, because everything you post on eham has a negative tone or you whine about how much something costs.  Good grief, give it rest.  All you do spread hate and discontent, and try to argue with others.  Are you even a ham?

Why oh WHY do Flexers always attack the poster instead of debating the facts??? You do own a Flexradio right? Just because some of us have opinions different than yours - - Good grief, give it rest Flexers.  Smiley Flexers on eham do spread hate and discontent, attack posters and try to argue with non-believers. Go read the many nasty attacks I have had to endure from Flex owners.

What difference does it make if he is a ham or not? None. He is obviously intelligent and well versed on SDRs. His opinion is just as valid as yours or mine.

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 01:42:08 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
VA7DZ
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2013, 03:03:35 PM »

I suspect  that the FLex 6700 - as it exists today - is not a cost-effective radio for most hams.
In fact, it's more like a hardware container which may - or may not - be a game-changer if and when the software content is sufficiently developed.

As it stands today, it makes sense  for

1] operators on the bleeding edge of technology who want to help shape the next new thing and have the $$$ to play in this arena

2] competitive contesters who risk being left in the dust if they don't have one [8 rcvrs!  monitoring 8-bands simultaneously for openings and mults!]

3] Ops with way too much money who see it as a kind of status symbol.

It'll be interesting to see if and when W3LPL and K3LR get one...

Eric VA7DZ
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ZENKI
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Posts: 980




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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2013, 09:10:26 PM »

The real problem with the Flex6700 is that it has no killer features that sets it apart or makes it standout from the pack. Anything that the Flex6700 can do can be accomplished  with the many competing products on the market for much less money.

The Flexradio 6700 should have been released with a killer feature like beam steering or direction finding  to  wet hams appetite for this technology.
Once hams start  using an adaptive beam steering system they would  hardly look at the old technology radios.

SDR technology has not been proven in a multi multi contest station environment. It has yet to be seen if any SDR front end can cope with 5  or 6 transmitters
hitting the front end. Besides even the Flex6700 does not have the ergonomics required for  a contest radio. Lets be frank, the ergonomics on a PC driven radio
is lousy  when compared to a knobbed radio like a Icom 7800 or  Yaesu FT5000. Nothing matches the VFO tuning knob  with appropriate buttons around it for tuning, filter selection or band changing. PC SDR software is cumbersome except for watching a spectrum analyzer or waterfall display. While Flexradio users sing the praises of the Flexradio system and are convinced that knobbed radios will soon disappear, they are all wishful  dreamers that a PC driven radio is better than a  knobbed boxed radio. This same battle  was fought in the test equipment market and the winner was the box with knobs. Today most engineers prefer test equipment in a box with a front panel and screen. Most ham companies know this, and Flexradio is making a marketing mistake thinking that driven radios will dominate. The advantage of  PC drive solution like the Flex6700 has marginal benefit over  competing SDR solutions and the Flexradio solution will always be crippled because it uses a closed propriety architecture.

If the Flexradio was  delivered  package like the Icom 7800 it would have been a hit. In its current form it will be specialized tool that appeals to a wealthy minority whose discretionary  spending on  new toys  is not a problem. Those hams wanting a work horse radio wont be buying into a unproven experimental platform  that has very few distinguishing  features  that places it well ahead of the pack. The ADAT radio is a better packaged radio that has several distinguishing features that  are firsts in the ham radio market place. Flexradio should have gone down the path of the ADAT radio, but hey its their company and money.  To this date every  computer radio from the Kachina. Ten Tec and Flex 1000 and 5000 have become obsolete in record times. I am sure the same  fate is the destiny for the Flex6700.



I suspect  that the FLex 6700 - as it exists today - is not a cost-effective radio for most hams.
In fact, it's more like a hardware container which may - or may not - be a game-changer if and when the software content is sufficiently developed.

As it stands today, it makes sense  for

1] operators on the bleeding edge of technology who want to help shape the next new thing and have the $$$ to play in this arena

2] competitive contesters who risk being left in the dust if they don't have one [8 rcvrs!  monitoring 8-bands simultaneously for openings and mults!]

3] Ops with way too much money who see it as a kind of status symbol.

It'll be interesting to see if and when W3LPL and K3LR get one...

Eric VA7DZ
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W4HIJ
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Posts: 367




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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2013, 10:19:28 PM »

Again and again, all the Flex critics grabbing at straws to bash with.  I guess  because all the other myths they have tried to perpetrate over time have been roundly disproved that they have to latch on to the only thing they can find which is the price. Funny seems to me that all the so called "top of the line" radios are right up there about the same price range as the 6000 series with some being even more.  And of course, unless you're willing to pay top of the line pricing from the big three Japanese manufacturers you're going to get a crap receiver. If, like me, you don't have the money for 6000 series, get yourself a Flex 1500 or 3000 or maybe an Elecraft KX-3 or K-3. At least you'll be getting a decent RX instead of the crap the Japanese regularly pawn off on hams in their lower end radios. Every time I need a good laugh all I have to do is come here and look at some of the post of the Flex bashers. I swear it's so funny to read that I about fall out of my chair I laugh so hard!! You can't buy entertainment this good! Cheesy Cheesy
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 10:21:43 PM by W4HIJ » Logged
SWL2002
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Posts: 374




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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2013, 04:30:47 AM »

Again and again, all the Flex critics grabbing at straws to bash with.  I guess  because all the other myths they have tried to perpetrate over time have been roundly disproved that they have to latch on to the only thing they can find which is the price. Funny seems to me that all the so called "top of the line" radios are right up there about the same price range as the 6000 series with some being even more.  And of course, unless you're willing to pay top of the line pricing from the big three Japanese manufacturers you're going to get a crap receiver. If, like me, you don't have the money for 6000 series, get yourself a Flex 1500 or 3000 or maybe an Elecraft KX-3 or K-3. At least you'll be getting a decent RX instead of the crap the Japanese regularly pawn off on hams in their lower end radios. Every time I need a good laugh all I have to do is come here and look at some of the post of the Flex bashers. I swear it's so funny to read that I about fall out of my chair I laugh so hard!! You can't buy entertainment this good! Cheesy Cheesy
73,
Michael, W4HIJ

Only the price?  Pull your head out of the sand.  You are the one who is grasping at straws.  K9IUQ listed all of the software and firmware shortcomings of the Flex 6000 series at this point:

“NO panafall, Lack of radio settings NOT being saved, NO voice keyer, Greyed out unusable SmartSDR control panels, antenna switching actions that do not work, No AM mode, NO FM mode, inability to change xmit Bandwidth on phone, audio distortion products, DSP NOT optimized,audio compressor not adjustable, SmartSDR will hang if you ain't careful and jump thru hoops, NO ALC for amps, spectrum display will freeze if you ain't careful and jump thru hoops, ATU no work in CW mode, Flex recommends you have to reboot to start over for many problems, Yeah re-boot in the middle of a DX pileup let someone else work that DX, USB ports NO work, problems with Digital modes DIGU and DIGL, NO CW memory keyer, remote via internet no work, and the list goes on and and on and on and on..Whew.”

No, you only hear what you want to hear.  Forget the facts.

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K9IUQ
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2013, 04:53:42 AM »

K9IUQ listed all of the software and firmware shortcomings of the Flex 6000 series at this point:

“NO panafall, Lack of radio settings NOT being saved, NO voice keyer, Greyed out unusable SmartSDR control panels, antenna switching actions that do not work, No AM mode, NO FM mode, inability to change xmit Bandwidth on phone, audio distortion products, DSP NOT optimized,audio compressor not adjustable, SmartSDR will hang if you ain't careful and jump thru hoops, NO ALC for amps, spectrum display will freeze if you ain't careful and jump thru hoops, ATU no work in CW mode, Flex recommends you have to reboot to start over for many problems, Yeah re-boot in the middle of a DX pileup let someone else work that DX, USB ports NO work, problems with Digital modes DIGU and DIGL, NO CW memory keyer, remote via internet no work, and the list goes on and and on and on and on..Whew.”

CORRECTION. I did not list ALL the bugs/limitations only some of them. I got tired of writing. The list is too long..  Wink

Stan K9IUQ
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2013, 05:00:57 AM »

The real problem with the Flex6700 is that it has no killer features that sets it apart or makes it standout from the pack. Anything that the Flex6700 can do can be accomplished  with the many competing products on the market for much less money.

This whole post of Zenki's is very perceptive and right on the mark. Flexers should print this post and put it on their shack wall.

Contesters will never embrace a PC driven SDR. Why? Because contesters want to excel and Win .

8 RX slices means nothing, you only got 2 ears and the CW skimmer is better than 8 rx slices anyway. ooops, I forget CW sucks on SDR's and Flexers shun the Morse code......

Stan K9IUQ
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