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Author Topic: Flexradio "Game Changer" = Game Over for Flexradio PSDR  (Read 17662 times)
K9IUQ
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« on: May 18, 2012, 06:33:31 AM »

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« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 06:31:10 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
G6HVY
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 06:59:20 AM »

Not really. Even if there's never another update for PSDR from Flex, my Flex 1500 will carry on working just as well (and the best update for it lately hasn't been from Flex at all, but from DH1TW), and I'll carry on enjoying it just as much. I don't remember Yaesu updating my FT-817 once since I bought it... that's held its value nicely, although in bang per buck per year in operating pleasure, I've long since had my money's worth. I don't expect my Flex to be a slouch here either; it's not predicated on what Flex themselves do next.

There's clearly a market for low-end HF SDR, and frankly I'd be happier if Flex either went the full open source route or cleared out and left it to someone else. A decent framework for experimentation in the art of wireless supported by a lively commercial, semi-commercial and amateur hardware scene, would do the hobby the world of good.



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N9RO
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2012, 07:09:01 AM »

Such a large commitment fee for a product that has NO delivery date makes me question the company financial situation?   I am very liberal when it comes to wasting money on technology but even I would avoid this deal.  
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 07:24:22 AM by N9RO » Logged

Real techies don't use knobs.
KE5JPP
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2012, 09:36:46 AM »

Not really. Even if there's never another update for PSDR from Flex, my Flex 1500 will carry on working just as well (and the best update for it lately hasn't been from Flex at all, but from DH1TW), and I'll carry on enjoying it just as much.

Until you reach the point where you have to upgrade your OS or get a new computer with a new OS and your Flex hardware no longer works with the new OS.  This happened with the Flex SDR-1000 and Windows 7 64 bit.   I have a Yaesu rig that is almost 40 years old and it is still usable and it works when I turn it on.  I bet you'll only find a computer that will work with your Flex-1500 in some museum 40 years from now.

People buy SDRs with the expectation that the software will be kept up to date.  Either Flex will start charging for upgrades of PowerSDR beyond version 2.0 or PowerSDR development will languish in favor of their new 6000 series software (SmartSDR) with its pay to play model.

Gene
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2012, 12:27:08 PM »

News update: A bunch of guys are already trying to dump their 5000 and 3000 rigs of the various radio swap sites since the 6000 series announcement.

Gene
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G6HVY
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2012, 06:09:41 AM »

I'm not worried about not being able to run Win7 - my computers already have emulators for just about everything from LEO onwards and I ran Windows 1.1 quite recently for another project in a VM.

I much enjoy using my FT-101ZD as well (which reminds me, I have to fit the FM board I just acquired. No software updates here!), and will be even happier once I've got my 19 set back on the air. I think that's one of the best bits of the hobby; I can use the very first production transceiver alongside the very latest, and thoroughly appreciate both.

R
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 08:55:47 AM »

There's a YouTube video of the Flex-6000 and their SmartSDR software posted to the Yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/flexradio6000series/

In it the Flex rep admits that the SmartSDR Windows client is just a mock up, so it will be a while before SmartSDR windows client is ready.  He also confirms that SmartSDR will be closed source as was surmised.  Hopefully by the time the Flex 6000 starts shipping at the end of the year.  I wonder how much of the hardware that they showed at the Hamvention is a mock up?

Gene
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K0OD
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 09:55:02 AM »

So far the Flex-6000 series is what they used to call a Potemkin Village, a fake facade. The elegantly clean GUI shown at Dayton is fantasy. Something out of Hollywood's Industrial Light and Magic. I'm not even considering ordering until they get some units running on the air. 

The Kenwood-990 at the show was even less impressive given the time they've had to get something running. Kenwood has said they'll have specs in about 60 days. And the Alinco rep seemed to know nothing about the SDR he was hawking at Dayton.

Amid what we've seen of the 6000s so far, I doubt we'll see a flood of old Flexes coming to market in 2012.
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N9RO
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 10:01:09 AM »

Nice catch Gene.  Such little info on the software is telling. 

Tim, N9RO
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K0OD
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2012, 10:10:15 AM »

You skipped right over this...

"The Kenwood-990 at the show was even less impressive given the time they've had to get something running. Kenwood has said they'll have specs in about 60 days. And the Alinco rep seemed to know nothing about the SDR he was hawking at Dayton."

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KE5JPP
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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2012, 10:13:51 AM »

You skipped right over this...

"The Kenwood-990 at the show was even less impressive given the time they've had to get something running. Kenwood has said they'll have specs in about 60 days. And the Alinco rep seemed to know nothing about the SDR he was hawking at Dayton."



I heard the basically glued a picture to the front of the Kenwood as a mock up.   Grin

Gene
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N9RO
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2012, 10:19:09 AM »

Quote
You skipped right over this...

"The Kenwood-990 at the show was even less impressive given the time they've had to get something running. Kenwood has said they'll have specs in about 60 days. And the Alinco rep seemed to know nothing about the SDR he was hawking at Dayton."

I no longer waste time on legacy knob superhet radios, but that is just me.  I believe the Alinco is only a receiver? 

Tim, N9RO
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Real techies don't use knobs.
K0OD
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2012, 11:34:02 AM »

This Dayton video says the Alinco is a transceiver. They haven't even decided whether it will have a tuner.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZiOXdGmGeQ

Notice that nobody likes all the knobs and clutter on the Kenwood-990 but most people want to tune with knobs. And everyone hates menus. Interesting to see how radio manufacturers deal with these dilemmas. 
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ZENKI
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2012, 01:47:05 AM »

In the test instrument world, this same experiment was tried. The boxes was the ultimate winner. PC control is offered as an ancillary  option not the only way to drive the test instrument.
In many ways we need to develop a interface standard like GPIB for ham transceivers, that way any manufacturer or anyone  else who cares to write software to control  the device has a universal standard platform. If we had a interface standard like GPIB a remote control front panel for something like the new Flexradio could easily become a reality.

Unfortunately ham radios require physical knobs and buttons for the best man machine interface. Anyone who thinks they can change this aspect of the hobby  just does not get it. Even the most advanced aircraft like Airbus still has knobs and buttons for the radios, and that says it all on such an advanced aircraft!

Knobs and buttons these days are cheaper and much easier to implement than radios from yesteryear. There is no real excuse or reason not to have them, economics  is so irrelevant to the argument. While its a free market and Flexradio can play the game as they see fit, they dooming themselves too fast obsolescence. If you want to see how software, knobs and hardware should work together look  at the avionics on airplanes and on modern medical equipment. Our thinking in regards too knobs and ergonomics in the ham radio market place is backward and stone age, even by those who claim to be on the forefront in the technology war   for the best interface.

Quote
You skipped right over this...

"The Kenwood-990 at the show was even less impressive given the time they've had to get something running. Kenwood has said they'll have specs in about 60 days. And the Alinco rep seemed to know nothing about the SDR he was hawking at Dayton."

I no longer waste time on legacy knob superhet radios, but that is just me.  I believe the Alinco is only a receiver? 

Tim, N9RO

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N9RO
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2012, 06:54:25 AM »

Quote
Unfortunately ham radios require physical knobs and buttons for the best man machine interface. Anyone who thinks they can change this aspect of the hobby  just does not get it. Even the most advanced aircraft like Airbus still has knobs and buttons for the radios, and that says it all on such an advanced aircraft!

Knobs are still around but it's very clear they're considered vestigial holdouts and it's just a matter of time before they're gone.

73,
Tim, N9RO
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Real techies don't use knobs.
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