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Author Topic: Seriously - Why buy a Flex 6700?  (Read 37085 times)
WA6MJE
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Posts: 71




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« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2012, 07:44:35 PM »

I am probably going to buy one.  I just want to wait until a few of them are in the hands of early adopters, so I can read what they say about them.  Why buy? 

I have been a ham for 55 years.  Certain changes over the years were "game changers" that got me to dig into my wallet.  My first rigs were home brewed from old TV tubes, and re-purposed resistors and "condensers."  Being able to buy a store bought receiver and transmitter was a game changer.  They had features I could not really build out of junk parts.  So I bought a set.  Then, they came up with transceivers, one small box got rid of a half a garage of equipment.  So I bought one.  Then they invented transistors, which allowed a smaller, cooler better running transceiver.  An then integrated circuits, DSP, and amazing features.  So I had to upgrade and buy one.  This is about five decades of "game changers". 

Over the last decade I got to move into digital modes.  Along the way, I lost a competitive edge when I moved into communities where I had to hide antennas, and could no longer have directional antennas up high.  Digital modes were a "game changer" for me, since low power, and compromised antenna could still be overcome by the efficiency of digital modes.

So now I see the Flex 6700 as another game changer, but not for the reasons in their brochure.  I mostly like to work DX.  I do not really rag chew.  If you examine the work flow of finding DX, it is more of a factor of "finding" a station, than it is a factor of having more power, or a better receiver.  Most rigs can reach anywhere in the world, and spending $10,000 on a rig helps some, but is not really a game changer over the performance of a lower priced rig. 

Most of the hours looking for DX is spent dialing from one end of a band to the other, stopping, listening, moving, stopping etc. a very tedious inefficient work flow. When I started with PSK31 I noticed how efficient it was to just watch 10 to 20 stations at time and not have to touch a dial.  Then when I did JT-65 HF I noticed the same thing.  All the stations were in one waterfall, and I could just watch.  And then software like JT Alert could read the call sign, look at my log, and call me over to the computer if an interesting DX station showed up.  So I can do radio all day and all night, without physically sitting at the transceiver, and dialing from one end of the band to the other, and back, over and over and over.

So now, I am learning that with a wide bandwidth panadapter, I can watch more of the band at a time.  It is more of an efficient workflow for DX.  My big dream is to pick one or two bands that are open near the MUF, and then set up a SDR receiver "slice" to monitor CW with CW Skimmer, and PSK 31, and JT65, and maybe one or more of the digital modes at the same time.  Let the software do all the work of incessant vigilance. Just let me know when something interesting shows up, alert me, and then I will take over.  My "fun" is in engineering an integrated system of hardware, software, stealth antennas that will work together as whole to be the most competitive DX hunting machine I can get under the antenna limitations I have to live with.  This station I have planned in my mind, is, for me, a real game changer. The Flex 6500 or 6700 is probably the only choice that will allow me to watch 4 or 8 slices simultaneously.  AND, with the thin client, I do not even need to stay in my home.  I can have the alerts sent to me by text, whip out a tablet computer and see what is going on, make the contact, log it, and continue about my day from anywhere.

At my age, this will probably be my last new rig, in five decades of having new life emerge from an old hobby I had since age 13.  I cannot wait until 2013 to see how the hype of the Flex 6700 pans out, and I expect that it will at least to some degree be enough of a benefit in terms of managing the work flow of stalking DX stations across digital realms. 

I love shopping for rigs (and all forms of technology), and read about new technology for fun.  None of the new rigs over the last few years, nor the ones on the horizon such as the Kenwood 990 motivate me to open my wallet.  BUT, the new Flex does, and a few months after the first rigs hit the market I expect I will hit the buy button.

So that is my long winded post about why I want to buy the Flex.
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W6UV
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Posts: 536




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« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2012, 10:03:24 PM »

So I can do radio all day and all night, without physically sitting at the transceiver, and dialing from one end of the band to the other, and back, over and over and over.

It probably won't be too long before someone writes an application that does it all. Then we'll be able to turn everything on, walk away, and have the software do everything. It'll monitor the bands, worked any needed DX, send out confirmations, and then finally apply for DXCC with no operator intervention. A complete turn-key solution.

No more manually tuning the bands, hunting down elusive DX during the wee hours of the morning, perfecting your pileup techniques, etc., because the software will do it all for you. All you'll have to do is click a button on your computer screen and wait for the DXCC certificate to arrive in the mail, followed a few months later by your #1 Honor Roll certificate.

And after this is perfected, we can go on to design a hunting robot that'll roam the woods, locate and kill a deer, dress the meat, and deliver it to the freezer all by itself. Ditto for fishing.
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W6UV
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Posts: 536




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« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2012, 01:04:44 PM »

In the meant time on transmit, you will use your 13.8 volt CB PA built into your Flexradio wonder box that will  destroy everyone other hams noise floor. Thats the marvels of technology progression. 2 steps forward and 5 backwards.

I was surprised when I read the Flex-6000 series brochure. It's almost like Flex spent all of their time on the receiver design and the transmitter was a distant afterthought. Most of their competitors in that price range ($6K - $10K) use 50 volt PA designs.

I wonder if the Flex-6000 PA will support a 100% duty cycle?
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 901




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« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2012, 06:32:30 AM »

Weren't these supposed to be shipping by now???  Roll Eyes
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W6UV
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Posts: 536




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« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2012, 08:10:35 AM »

Weren't these supposed to be shipping by now???  Roll Eyes

Depending on who you believe, they were supposed to start shipping in late Q3 or Q4 of this year. If you go to the Flex web site today, you'll see the following:

"FLEX-6000 Signature Series SDRs which are ordered now from our On-Line Store are slated for delivery in the 2nd quarter of 2013."

Whether this means that first shipments have slipped out to Q2 2013 or just orders received now is open to interpretation as the web site does not make this clear. If they mean that first shipments have slipped to Q2, then we may not be seeing them until as late as June 2013.
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 901




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« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2012, 08:41:12 AM »

I have no dog in this fight, but it seems silly to be taking orders for a "radio" 1 year in advance. I have to wonder if they even have a working prototype on hand?

Pete
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20547




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« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2012, 09:30:59 AM »

I have no dog in this fight, but it seems silly to be taking orders for a "radio" 1 year in advance. I have to wonder if they even have a working prototype on hand?

Pete

I understand they do.  But going from prototype to production via required de-bugging and FCC Certification can take a long time.  If they want to sell it into the EU market, it will require CE Mark, which has been updated to include a long list of RoHS requirements (contained within the CE Declaration).

I like the way Apple operates: Keep new products a closely guarded secret until they're already mass produced, then leak the information shortly before the stores are stocked, and let it loose.  Seems to work really well for them and they maintain a high level of credibility.

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W6UV
Member

Posts: 536




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« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2012, 10:26:24 AM »

I have no dog in this fight, but it seems silly to be taking orders for a "radio" 1 year in advance. I have to wonder if they even have a working prototype on hand?

They must have working prototypes in their development lab, but they certainly have not shown one at any of the hamfests they've attended. All they've shown so far is an open box in a plexiglass case and a mock-up of the control software that runs on a Windows PC. They have not shown any working hardware.

One wonders what effect on sales of their current products the Flex-6000 announcement has had. Shades of the Osborne Effect! The lower priced rigs (1500, 3000) probably won't be affected much, but the 5000A might see reduced sales as people wait for the 6000 series.
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 901




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« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2012, 04:31:28 PM »

I have no dog in this fight, but it seems silly to be taking orders for a "radio" 1 year in advance. I have to wonder if they even have a working prototype on hand?

They must have working prototypes in their development lab, but they certainly have not shown one at any of the hamfests they've attended. All they've shown so far is an open box in a plexiglass case and a mock-up of the control software that runs on a Windows PC. They have not shown any working hardware.

One wonders what effect on sales of their current products the Flex-6000 announcement has had. Shades of the Osborne Effect! The lower priced rigs (1500, 3000) probably won't be affected much, but the 5000A might see reduced sales as people wait for the 6000 series.

I guess so, but it would seem to dampen any enthusiasm for existing product lines.

Pete
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1626




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« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2012, 05:54:13 AM »

Weren't these supposed to be shipping by now???  Roll Eyes

Previous Flexradio promises have been S L O W to arrive. Sometimes they don't arrive at all.  Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ
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W6UV
Member

Posts: 536




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« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2012, 08:49:55 AM »

Previous Flexradio promises have been S L O W to arrive. Sometimes they don't arrive at all.  Cheesy

Stan,

I'm surprised you don't have a Flex-6000 on order yet as this year's must-have fashion item, a Flexradio jacket monogrammed with your call sign, is part of the deal. If you can't actually have the rig yet, you can still look spiffy in your new jacket.  Tongue
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1626




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« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2012, 09:57:42 AM »



I'm surprised you don't have a Flex-6000 on order yet as this year's must-have fashion item, a Flexradio jacket monogrammed with your call sign, is part of the deal. If you can't actually have the rig yet, you can still look spiffy in your new jacket.  Tongue

I already look pretty spiffy in my Kenwood Jacket (30 years old), my White Yaesu Hat and Icom T-Shirt (Icom on the front and AES on the back) and of course my DX Engineering boxer shorts.

ZZ Tops famous
song Sharp Dressed Ham comes to mind...  Grin

And believe it or not I did not have to put a $1K plus down payment to get any of it.  Wink

Stan K9IUQ
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W6UV
Member

Posts: 536




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« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2012, 10:43:21 AM »

And believe it or not I did not have to put a $1K plus down payment to get any of it.  Wink

One nice think about vaporware rigs is that they're not putting out spurs on 160M.
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WD4ELG
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Posts: 863




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« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2012, 04:40:38 PM »

Stan I am jealous!  All I have is a DX Engineering hat.  No shirts, no jackets, nothing.  I have their rigs, I guess they don't want me looking shart.  Sad
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K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1626




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« Reply #44 on: November 10, 2012, 05:05:45 AM »

Stan I am jealous!

They come a calling just as fast as they can
Cuz DX is crazy 'bout a sharp dressed HAM

Stan K9IUQ  Smiley
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 05:08:16 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
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