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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | FlexRadio FLEX-6300 Help


Reviews Summary for FlexRadio FLEX-6300
FlexRadio FLEX-6300 Reviews: 35 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $2,499
Description: FLEX-6300 for the Serious Amateur

The FLEX-6300™ is for the amateur operator who wants to
experience the magic of software defined radio in the
highest performance 100W transceiver family available today.
The FLEX-6300 provides an entry point into multi-dimensional
amateur radio operations from CW to the latest digital
modes. Providing dual panadapters and waterfall displays,
as well as two full-performance slice receivers, the FLEX-
6300 opens up new operating capabilities at an affordable
price.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.flexradio.com/amateur-products/flex-6000-signature-series/flex-6300/
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WD8KND Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2016 14:44 Send this review to a friend
After 1 year in Operation  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I waited nearly 1 year to write this, so I do have many hours of operation under my belt. I've been a ham for almost 40 years now and I've had many new radios over that time. To mention just a couple. I owned a set of Drake twins and also a Kenwood TS950SDX. Neither of those radios were cheap. I told you all that to give you an idea of my experience as a ham.
The 6300 was my first SDR, and I was nervous about buying it. I did a lot of research and ended up buying the 6300 at Dayton. I got to sit with the engineers there, and ask lots of questions. So, I made my purchase then.
I can honestly say that this is one of the best radios that I have ever operated. The ability it has to get rid of interference and QRM is just amazing. Even when there is a signal that is right in your operating bandwidth, I am, most times, able to get rid of it.
The sensitivity of the receiver is great, and even with my meager antenna system I can usually pull out the weak ones. (I use a Hexbeam at 35 ft)
I am constantly told that my audio is outstanding. I use no outside compression or equalization, but only what the radio provides.
It is hard to go into each facet of the radio and explain some of the things you can do. I will say this though. This has been a great radio, and I don't think I could ever go back to a traditional style radio.
I love the fact that I can look at the entire band at one time, or 2 different bands. I like that I can look at individual signals and be able to break them down
I really have nothing negative to say about it. I guess if you wanted to, you could nit pick any radio.
I'm happy with mine. All my friends that I have shown it to have all been really impressed. If you thinking of buying one, what are you waiting for?

73
Bob
WD8KND
 
VE2DIY Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2016 09:37 Send this review to a friend
amazing  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've been using this radio since last summer and had a grand total of 0 problems (crash, defect, reinstall or other possible problems). It's reliable, got amazing sound quality compared to modern dsp radios (my icoms for example), it's easy and efficient to use. Digital modes are a breeze, audio in and out sound like the old analogue rigs. For home use I wouldn't go back, I now find knobs inefficient. I can run the radio from either my dedicated computer or my laptop around the house.

I've been running the smartsdr software on an microsoft surface pro 4 without any problems too. My desktop computer also used a 23" touchscreen and it's really fun to operate.

The radio for the new generation of ham operators.
 
F4HPX Rating: 5/5 Jan 21, 2016 08:08 Send this review to a friend
First SDR   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In fact I was waiting for IC-7300, but had not enough patience and bought Flex 6300 after seeing lot of reviews online.
This is my first SDR so difficult to compare, but I am happy with it till now. Licensed only 2 month ago so without much experience of course. I own FT-897D too that I am using when travelling and will use on VHF/UHF mainly.

Having worked half of my career in IT did not have any trouble to get used to it and very quickly found SmartSDR already a great piece of software (thus still and constantly evolving).
Mine was set for US market but Customer Service in Germany quickly provided necessary software update. So far so good, no any issues and once worked with SDR it's difficult to get back.
It is very convenient to see the signals before even you will get to hear them and up to 7MHz spectre bandwidth on this entry level radio is more than enough! But be prepared to use at least 2 computer screens to work with, in order to accomodate: SmartSDR, logging, and digital mode software - or, why not, a one big UHD one!

PA is seems to actually deliver more than 100W - looks like around 120W when indicating 100%.
I have to recheck that point also when using at lower power in digital modes.

Pretty easy to set and operate in digital modes using DAX interface (nothing else to buy, plug and play, but a minimum parameters to be set on the screen).
Remote work through LAN is great but it seems a bit sensitive on latency - I have WI-FI + CPL in the house and some issues from time to time with broken connection to the radio. When using network cable only everything is perfectly fine.

Flex provides software libraries so I plan to develop more tools for this radio.

There are already some good ones like Voicekeyer or CWKeyer made by K9DUR and also very interesting arduino controller by IW7DMH that I am building now - because yes sometimes knobs are missing although computer mouse can do the job of course.

Will write more info once my modest antenna system upgraded.

73, Thomas de F4HPX
 
K8DXX Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2015 11:39 Send this review to a friend
In a Class By Itself  Time owned: more than 12 months
There is no way that almost 100 year old technology (the super heterodyne receiver) can keep pace with the new. This is true no matter how many DSP chips, crystal filters or other "patches on the wineskin" suppliers may come up with. The Flex Signature 6000 receiver is unbelievably quiet. Temporarily switching from my 6300 to an FT-991 is startling because the superhet just creates and passes on so much noise. If an offending signal appears on your band scope, the Flex gives you multiple ways to make it go away (adjusting band pass skirts, auto and tunable notch filters, etc.). When it's gone, it's really gone!

On transmit, the difference is not quite so spectacular. My 6300 does provide a steady 100+ watts out PEP on 160 - 6. The equalizer, noise gate and 3 level speech processor appear to give a competitive edge on contacting 40 meter DX stations.

Yesterday, I was reminded what a great AM receiver/exciter the 6300 is. Selecting a few home rolled presets enabled me to enjoy 4 satisfying contacts on AM. Even the guys running Viking, Collins and WRL equipment commented how great the Flex's AM sounded.

Smart SDR software makes it relatively easy to interface your favorite supporting software programs to the radio, all without extra boxes and cables. I currently use HRD logging and digital features along with a classic S-Meter applet from Woodbox Radio.

I have successfully installed SSDR on a light duty networked PC attached to our family room's 80 inch video display and sound system. There's nothing like working DX from my recliner while using the big screen. What would it take to accomplish the same with a $15,000 knob and dial superhet radio?

The other great aspect of all Flex products is the company. True, Smart SDR is still evolving. An occasional annoying problem crops up. The Flex people have no problem publicly admitting there is a problem and then working behind the scenes for individual solutions.

When I consider the features, functionality and performance of the $2500 base 6300. even if you add $1000 for an I7 dual monitor PC like I did, price/performance wise the 6300 blows the competition away. Don't let the absence of dials and knobs concern you. I'd been a ham for 45 years before getting my Flex 5000 in 2010. Twenty minutes with keyboard and mouse was all it took.
 
GM0ELP Rating: 1/5 Dec 4, 2015 11:53 Send this review to a friend
An expensive mistake  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am a contester and operate 90% cw, 10% ssb. My other rig is an Elecraft K3 which fits my needs perfectly. I made the expensive mistake of listening to the hype surrounding Flex and purchased one on a whim. I cannot trust the operation of my Flex 6300 with its current firmware as it requires numerous soft resets to cure transmit problems due to temperature related bugs in the firmware (v1.5.1). The last 2 versions were meant to fix these transmit problems, but they currently still exist in random numbers of 6300s out there (including mine). Flex engineers claim to have sorted this firmware problem, but have elected not to issue the fix now for 5 weeks (over CQWW CW!), preferring to instead wait for "other firmware developments". IMHO this radio currently cannot be relied upon in any contest as it seems to progressively misbehave as temperature goes up until an inevitable soft reset is carried out. Take my advice and stay well away from this radio unless you are an SDR groupie and you think buttons are the devils spawn. The company expects me to downgrade to another firmware version in the meantime, but fails to recommend which firmware version. Other users have downgraded to the last firmware version they know as good. Unfortunately as a new user I have no idea what to do. The company think it reasonable that in the meantime I use a workaround which involves carrying out a soft reset every time I power up before operating the radio. If you can be bothered with this kind of attitude..fill your boots!
P.S. When it does work the rx is impressive, shame it just can't be relied upon when the going gets tough ie. real contesting.
 
LU8YE Rating: 2/5 Nov 2, 2015 11:43 Send this review to a friend
To think about...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
In our Club after researching and viewing reviews of several rigs, we decided to buy as new equipment a Flex 6300, thinking also about buying a second one as soon as posible to complete our multi two contest setup.
At the same time, two ham friends members from the Club buyed, each one, a 6300.
"Bangs for the bucks" were evident confronting with our first chioce: Elecraft K3 (We have three of them since about a year and with the last mods really do the job).
It was a dream that becomes very near to a nightmare at the point that we decided to wait for the next Flex 6300 adquisition.
Reasons? Only one of the Flexs is working ok, the second one: some time yes and some time not, having troubles to turn on or off very frecuently (you can have time to try at home but in a contest it is a serious problem). The third one of them does not started at all, blowing a fuse in the first start just right out of the box and must be send to factory ... (Not so bad if we do not consider that we are not at the turn of the corner in South America...)
We are sure that all the troubles could be avoided with a proper test after assembling at Flex factory, before "thinking the rigs are ok" and dispatching them far away.
Another one: asking a ham friend from other city in same country as us, we discovered that he is returning his new 6500 to service.
Seems that there is a little problem to solve...
When working, the rig is awesome... but seems itīs also awesome how easy it does not work.
Hey at Flex! Think about please.
Itīs a nice hardware and the concept that it envolves is great... only needs to take a little more care perhaps.

 
KK8ZZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2015 14:27 Send this review to a friend
Now with OS X software and remote control !  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Truly an amazing radio.. I'm a geezer licensed in 1967 and I'm amazed every day by all that this radio can do. Put a good pair of powered speakers on the audio output, and you'll be just astounded. Ham Radio NEVER sounded this good ! Now I find that DogPark Software is developing both control and pan adapter software for OSK iMacs... tried them and they work great ! Still in Beta, but Don seems to be working constantly on revisions and will soon be releasing a full version, priced very favorably....
 
K6VMV Rating: 5/5 Sep 1, 2015 14:38 Send this review to a friend
From a First Time User  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm 72 and I have been a ham since 1955. I'm apprehensive of "cutting edge" and I'm not familiar with networking, etc. One of the reasons ham radio has held my interest over all these years is that there is always something new to learn, a new challenge. I was intrigued with SDR radios. I read all the reviews I could find. I watched Youtube videos about Flex Radios. I printed the SmartSDR User's Guide. One of the most informative bits of information I found was KY6LA's pdf presentation "Modern Radios SDR 101", it's excellent. With sweaty palms, I decided to jump in and and bought a Flex 6300. The Smithsonian has been after me for years to donate my vintage desktop that I have brought back from the dead several times. I bought a desktop from Best Buy for just over $400 that had an intel i5 quad core processor and a decent graphics card. You don't need a top of the line "Gammer" computer. I was confused by what cable to buy for my mic. I sent an email to Flex and within one hour I had replies from Tim Ellison and Matt Youngblood both advising me to get the CC-1-XLR-Y-BAL because the 6300 mic connector is "Pseudo balanced and provides better RFI immunity". I upgraded my new desktop to Windows 10 before I slapped in the CD for SmartSDR. The program quickly loaded without a hitch. I followed the "Quick Start Guide", connected to the radio and the most beautiful sight appeared on my monitor - 20m in all its glory. I've been having a blast ever since. The radio is very user friendly. I've been working a lot of DX, both CW and SSB, and enjoying rag chewing. I've received several unsolicited reports on my "great audio". Fantastic receiver. Receive audio is very clear. My last radio was a Ten Tec Orion II. I can't provided a side by side comparison but I do believe the 6300 receiver is superior. Bottom line, if you're like me and not an engineer or tech savy, don't let that hold you back from taking advantage of the latest technology and radio design and having a lot of fun. 73, Ed, K6VMV
 
K2RWF Rating: 5/5 Jul 14, 2015 12:51 Send this review to a friend
Tremendous value for the money  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I do love cutting edge. And I am very familiar with computers and networking. This combination led me to a Flex 6300. I currently run SSDR v. 1.14.

I've got about 8 months of heavy use on this rig, and it's just tremendous. Made in the USA. Superb receive. PA is very rugged, a great feature to have for digi modes. QSK is silent and lighting quick. Onboard audio processing (expander/gate, compressor, and EQ) is endlessly configurable, and delivers great audio. FreeDV is baked right in. Did I mention how sensitive its receive is?

This box will easily deliver a full 100W for key down modes like RTTY and PSK, all day, no problem. Fans might get a little loud after a long digital session, but that's almost to be expected.

I routinely decode JT modes at 4-8dB lower than on my IC7100. This thing hears more than any HF radio I've ever played with.

The software is a constantly improving ecosystem, which I like. Each new revision adds added performance and capability.

Their online community resource is excellent. Active contributors aren't just limited to enthusiasts. Many of their lead engineers and upper level management actively participate in conversations, discuss ideas, help troubleshoot, and keep the community informed.

Remotely working this rig from your LAN/WAN is just amazing.

My only word of warning is that you absolutely have to be comfortable working with and debugging computer issues. If installing drivers, configuring COM ports, or configuring sound card devices sounds like a nightmare to you, you may wish to consider something else.

After playing with RTLSDR sticks for over 2 years, I knew I needed to have a panadapter as part of my HF setup. The Flex 6300 has yet to disappoint me.
 
GM4WCE Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2015 08:08 Send this review to a friend
A good solid performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
After 12 months I am still very happy with the 6300. To be able to "see" several megahertz of HF spectrum is amazing, although I tend to have the panafall just cover either the CW or SSB section of a band. I use the 6300 for CW, digimodes and SSB and it performs very well in each of these modes. DAX is good and helps to keep the place tidy as you do not need wires for audio in/out to the PC. The software is updated periodically, and installs with no issues. The 6300 has two receive slices which gives you similar functionality to dual receive analog rigs but at a lower price than a dual receive analog rig. I like to listen to the BC bands too, and the AM performance is very good. I use the 6300 with Ham Radio Deluxe with no problems.
 
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