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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | FlexRadio FLEX-6300 Help

Reviews Summary for FlexRadio FLEX-6300
FlexRadio FLEX-6300 Reviews: 50 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
Product is in production.
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KH6DAN Rating: 5/5 Apr 12, 2016 07:59 Send this review to a friend
FLEX keeps improving  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
While doing some research on the internet I noticed the popularity of SDR transceivers increasing. I've been on HF since 2007 and have owned an Icom 706 and a couple of Kenwood (TS-530S, TS2000, TS-480 HX). I took a chance and bought a Flex-3000 on eBay.

Using a SDR for me was opening up a completely new dimension. It's comparable to driving a stick shift car, and then going to an automatic over night. The Flex-3000 software (PowerSDR) does require a desktop/laptop with some muscle. The computer should not be clogged up with numerous software programs, and it has to have a fire wire port. Provide all this and you are good to go. Once I started using the Flex, I only kept my other radios for "backup" purposes. SDR has totally changed my operating.

5 years later, I notice that Flex has a program to turn in your older Flex for the newer Flex 6XXX series. I thought their offer for my old Flex (as a trade in) was fair so I decided to order the Flex-6300. It's a total gas. The rig and software (SmartSDR) connects to your computer, or router (LAN) and uses your desktop/wireless laptop to control the rig. I do not use the mic that came with the rig, as I use my computer headphones/mic. This inclusiveness has now left me spoiled as everything is done through the desktop. I's great that Amateur radio is actually catching up to the 21st century. SDRs are not for everyone. Some folks are staying with their tube radios, where the audio quality still can't be matched. My audio reports for my TS-530S have always been the best. To each his own. The Flex-6000 allows you the chance to get right on frequency, and to experiment with the different settings with the software. The system is not perfect, however. There is a great support community on the Flex web site that has helped me some some fairly simple issues. For example. Out of the box I could not get the rig to talk to my router/desktop. Turned out to be my ESET security firewall. I just configured it to let the radio through and wham. Also, there seems to be an issue with transit audio on SSB that makes an echo sound. We are still working to figure this one out.

The folks at Flex were very helpful during the sale. It's only been about a month. So, I have not had to contact them directly for support. Been just using their online support system.

What did I do with the Flex-3000? Well ... I haven't sent it back to flex just yet. Give me time. 73 KH6DAN
VA3MW Rating: 5/5 Mar 31, 2016 21:14 Send this review to a friend
Amazing radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had just about every series of Flex radio up to the 6300. I have also used most current HF rig by every vender (ok, I have a radio problem). While all radios do a darn good job, the 6000 series take it one step further.

SmartSDR has the ability to process weak signals noise so much better than your 'normal' radio. SmartSDR and a 6000 series also includes Controlled Envelope SSB, something that is not found in any other radio. That makes your 100 watts sound more like 200 watts. You can read about it here: Watching the waterfall on SSB transmitting stations, I can now tell who is using a Flex radio. There is that much difference.

Lastly, the service is second to none. Do you think any of the big 3 will actually talk to you on the phone if you have an issue? Flex will actually connect directly to your computer if you want them to should you have any issues. With an SDR radio, you also get a new feature functionality every few months. The big 3 can't touch that. Now, with the addition of the Maestro, your experience only gets better.
Lastly, you don't need to spend a lot on a computer to support it. Any new $300 box from Costco will easily run SmartSDR.
G3RCE Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2016 06:16 Send this review to a friend
Brilliant performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was p'd off by the earlier review.
SDR is so much more interesting, especially as the new radios incorporate knobs as well as displays and pc connectivity.
the one thing I find outstanding about the 6300, Elad FDM duo and the Sunsdr2pro is the almost magic clarity of reception of very weak signals which one can't hear on noisy Icoms etc.
One can do so much more with the modern sdr radio.
that's all I have to say.
Enjoy the enormous flexibility of the new Flex 6000 series.
K7SHL Rating: 5/5 Mar 20, 2016 21:56 Send this review to a friend
Great and Getting Better  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have a Flex 6300 and am now selling my Icom 7600 as I can't see myself going back to a traditional transceiver. The Flex is a very good radio and is only getting better. I disagree with the prior reviewer. Unlike traditional box radios, this SDR can and is continually being improved and that is not a negative, but a good thing. However, even as-is with smartdsr 1.6.21 version software, it is an amazing unit. There are more things to come, but I see nothing to complain about, at least for the non-contester user, and I've heard good things from those who use the 6300 or the 6700 for contesting. There are no perfect radios, and some hams unfortunately get a lemon unit, but that is the exception and not the rule. SDR is the future of ham radio and I'm happy to be getting in on it now.
W2NER Rating: 1/5 Mar 19, 2016 09:45 Send this review to a friend
Nothing but headaches   Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had both the 6300 and 6500 and I will NEVER buy another one. Sick of all the excuses, delays, revisions, broken deadlines promises. You should not release a product for sale unless it's ready for prime time. Save your money and go get a real radio. I but a Kenwood TS-990S so its not a money thing for me. The company needs to learn how to run a business and not rely on the community to fund their projects and research. Don't put equipment on your web site for sale at full price unless you can deliver! Equipment is good but nothing more then that. If you want a SDR, buy an ANAN
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?

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.
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