Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 ... 14 15 16 17 18 [19]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Flex 6400/6600 - New User Reports/Impressions?  (Read 66569 times)
K0CWO
Member

Posts: 550




Ignore
« Reply #270 on: August 11, 2018, 01:45:59 PM »

Last 6400M review does not look confidence inspiring and does not bode well for customer service either. Only 6 reviews so far. Why so few?  Radio has been out for a while.  I’m really trying to like this rig but I don’t have much to go on here.
Logged
N8FNR
Member

Posts: 309




Ignore
« Reply #271 on: August 12, 2018, 07:38:23 AM »

Last 6400M review does not look confidence inspiring and does not bode well for customer service either. Only 6 reviews so far. Why so few?  Radio has been out for a while.  I’m really trying to like this rig but I don’t have much to go on here.

Did you know that if you buy a rig from them that you can return it within 30 days if you don't like it?

I have a 6400 (non-M) and it is a great rig. Sold my Flex-5000 to fund it. Have had zero issues with it.

This is the Flex community link. It is a great place to ask questions if you are thinking of buying one: https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio

Zack N8FNR
Logged
K0CWO
Member

Posts: 550




Ignore
« Reply #272 on: August 13, 2018, 09:08:26 AM »

Thanks for the link Zack.

BJ
k0cwo
Logged
N1FMV
Member

Posts: 111




Ignore
« Reply #273 on: August 15, 2018, 09:27:29 PM »

OK, so the old 6300 is now officially donated to a new ham. The 6400m is here and working. I got it since I was in the mood for some knobs. I learned a valuable lesson with the first Flex and that when it comes to audio take nothing for granted. Originally I had a pair of Behringer reference speakers as output and it was harsh and not easy to listen to for long periods of time. I replaced them with a pair of Klipsch 2.1 computer speakers and loved the way that sounded. Anyway now back to the 6400m. It is pretty user friendly with one notable exception. Why is the microphone conection in the rear? Seems counter-intuitive to me. Also it uses a 1/8 jack. Aren't most mikes either XLR or 1/4 plugs? I guess you can use a 1/8 to 1/4 adaptor but that seems like a bit of stress on the jack to me. Do owners run their mikes through a mixer before the Flex? On the 6300 I used to use a Heil Pr40 and foot switch. How would I hook that up to the 6400m? Also any reason there isn't a headphone jack (1/4 inch) on the front? Other than that I find the controls simple and well laid out. Now for my only real gripe, and this concerns the entire signature series line as it is a problem with SmartSDR and not the radios themselves. With all of Flex's software engineering skills why is that SmartSDR does not work with any screen readers? Non of the controls are accessible and SmartSDR is totally useless for screen reader users. Sure I work around this by using either JJ Radio on the PC or Dog Park on the Mac but for such a modern product I would think that SmartSDR would be built to modern accessibility standards.

Frank
Logged
K3GC
Member

Posts: 11




Ignore
« Reply #274 on: August 16, 2018, 09:04:52 AM »

I have been happily using my 6500 for several years now so here goes what is probably a totally stupid question.
What in the devil is a screen reader and why do I need one? Embarrassed
Logged
N1FMV
Member

Posts: 111




Ignore
« Reply #275 on: August 16, 2018, 10:17:52 AM »

Gene, a screen reader, in this context, is a piece of software either built into an operating system or an add-in that converts text on the screen to spoken words with synthesized speech. This is mainly used by blind or visually impaired persons to use their computers, cell phones, tablets, etc. Ever since the Americans with Disabilities act was signed into law as a civil rights act in 1990, Title 3 of that law requires private entities that provide products or services to the public to make their products and services accessible to disabled persons who are covered under ADA protections to the extent that is possible with current state of technology. In terms of accessing computers operating systems and software both Apple and Microsoft provide built in screen readers and accessibility guidelines for third party developers to make their software accessible. When it comes to third party software it is up to the developer to follow accessibility guidelines to make their software work properly with access solutions such as screen readers. Most commercial software packadges are fully compliant with the requirements of the law and work out of the box with current screen readers. Actually, the SmartCAT software is accessible to screen readers. Unfortunately, the SmartSDR is not in any way compliant at this time. Screen reader users navigate through the operating system and software packadges using their keyboard. As they do so the screen reader converts what they are focused on to spoken words. OK, so to answer your question as to if you need one, do you have a need to access your computer/phone/tablet without seeing the screen?
Luckily most companies, such as ICOM and Kenwood make their amateur radio software accessible to blind hams. In case you are wondering this computer uses an aftermarket screen reader made by Freedom Scientific, in addition to the built in Microsoft screen reader:
https://www.freedomscientific.com/Products/Blindness/JAWS

Regards,
Frank
Logged
K3GC
Member

Posts: 11




Ignore
« Reply #276 on: August 16, 2018, 07:19:16 PM »

Thanks,I feel somewhat less stupid - just a bit uniformed
Logged
N3HEE
Member

Posts: 587


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #277 on: August 21, 2018, 06:55:59 AM »

After many conversations with Flex owners, contesters and Flex sales people I am the owner of pre-owned certified Flex 6600M.  This radio replaces my K3 and TS-590SG combo for SO2R contesting. This is my one week report. The radio shipped the same day as ordered.  I ordered on Thursday and had it in my hands the following Monday.  Unfortunately the radio had a bad fan and kept shutting down every 2.5 minutes.  I opened a ticket with Flex support which was answered within minutes.  To make a long story short the radio was fixed within 48 hours without needing to send it back.  I found setup and configuration very straight forward.  It amazing how few cables are needed to do SO2R with the Flex.  Truly SO2R in a single box. My first observation was how quite the receiver is compared to the K3.   The second observation was how well the Flex noise reduction features worked.  Once I got AGCT, NR and APF working in concert weak signals were much easier to copy on the Flex compared to the K3.  In the past week I have started running the Flex through it's paces using it to make several CW, SSB and FT8 contacts.  I used it in the NAQP SSB contest and was very pleased with the N1MM integration which includes automatic audio switching via OTRSP protocol.  No external audio switching boxes and cabling are needed.  I also experiment with controlling the radio via SmartSDR on my shack PC and laptop.  The panadapters are simply the best I've ever seen or used.  I'm looking forward to working week DX on 160 meters this fall and winter.  So far I am very happy with the radio but is early in the game.  Time will tell how well the radio will stand up to the demands of contesting.  -Joe N3HEE
Logged

Joe
N3HEE
CW Academy Advisor (Level II)
KF7DS
Member

Posts: 314




Ignore
« Reply #278 on: September 05, 2018, 09:03:19 AM »

This thread has sure gone quiet...did everyone migrate to a new thread?
Logged
KM9R
Member

Posts: 23




Ignore
« Reply #279 on: September 10, 2018, 02:52:05 AM »

After many conversations with Flex owners, contesters and Flex sales people I am the owner of pre-owned certified Flex 6600M.  This radio replaces my K3 and TS-590SG combo for SO2R contesting. This is my one week report. The radio shipped the same day as ordered.  I ordered on Thursday and had it in my hands the following Monday.  Unfortunately the radio had a bad fan and kept shutting down every 2.5 minutes.  I opened a ticket with Flex support which was answered within minutes.  To make a long story short the radio was fixed within 48 hours without needing to send it back.  I found setup and configuration very straight forward.  It amazing how few cables are needed to do SO2R with the Flex.  Truly SO2R in a single box. My first observation was how quite the receiver is compared to the K3.   The second observation was how well the Flex noise reduction features worked.  Once I got AGCT, NR and APF working in concert weak signals were much easier to copy on the Flex compared to the K3.  In the past week I have started running the Flex through it's paces using it to make several CW, SSB and FT8 contacts.  I used it in the NAQP SSB contest and was very pleased with the N1MM integration which includes automatic audio switching via OTRSP protocol.  No external audio switching boxes and cabling are needed.  I also experiment with controlling the radio via SmartSDR on my shack PC and laptop.  The panadapters are simply the best I've ever seen or used.  I'm looking forward to working week DX on 160 meters this fall and winter.  So far I am very happy with the radio but is early in the game.  Time will tell how well the radio will stand up to the demands of contesting.  -Joe N3HEE

Hi Joe,

I visited your qrz page to find my answers but not enough info so replying to your post. I did see you stated that you are employing so2r on a small lot so your insight would provide some great feedback. I have very limited actual so2r experience but have direct experience in how vital it's use is.

You mentioned in on qrz that you were using stubs and band pass filters (external ? ) ( high power ? ). I was very interested in learning if you still need to use one or both with your 6600m ?  

I am in the process of building a new station with primary emphasis on domestic contests w/ a dx contest capability and more importantly so2r capability. I am a little more fortunate wrt property size and one antenna configuration will have the off band tower approximately 400 feet away from the run towers. I currently have a 6700 but was looking at an additional 6600 because of the better filtering. If that filtering proved insufficient , then I was gonna employ low power external filtering first and then high power external filtering if that proved to be insufficient for high power.

Was just curious what your known results were wrt filtering required for so2r with your new radio.

Thanks,
Mike 1502
Logged
K1ZH
Member

Posts: 17




Ignore
« Reply #280 on: September 10, 2018, 04:33:25 PM »

You mentioned in on qrz that you were using stubs and band pass filters (external ? ) ( high power ? ). I was very interested in learning if you still need to use one or both with your 6600m ?  

Mike,

I'm not sure what the goal of Flex was when they marketed the 6400 and 6600 radios as having "contest-grade" filters. That tactic seems to have given hams the notion that their new radios will operate (with impunity) in the near vicinity of other transmitting stations. That's just not so. These "contest-grade" receive-only filters are analogous to the roofing filters employed in most super-het radios except that they most certainly have a much wider bandwidth than a typical roofing filter.

The purpose of stubs and external band-pass filters is to reduce the typical multi-band interference (aka, splatter) caused by a transmitter. These external filters provide similar functionality as a duplexer in a repeater system, which is to reduce the power reaching the transmit-antenna that is outside of the transmitter's target frequency/bandwidth. Without these transmit-filters, the splatter of a local transmitter will over power all of the weak signals of interest received by a local receiver (i.e., desense).

Steve

« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 04:46:29 PM by K1ZH » Logged
KM9R
Member

Posts: 23




Ignore
« Reply #281 on: September 11, 2018, 04:46:39 AM »



Mike,

I'm not sure what the goal of Flex was when they marketed the 6400 and 6600 radios as having "contest-grade" filters. That tactic seems to have given hams the notion that their new radios will operate (with impunity) in the near vicinity of other transmitting stations. That's just not so. These "contest-grade" receive-only filters are analogous to the roofing filters employed in most super-het radios except that they most certainly have a much wider bandwidth than a typical roofing filter.

The purpose of stubs and external band-pass filters is to reduce the typical multi-band interference (aka, splatter) caused by a transmitter. These external filters provide similar functionality as a duplexer in a repeater system, which is to reduce the power reaching the transmit-antenna that is outside of the transmitter's target frequency/bandwidth. Without these transmit-filters, the splatter of a local transmitter will over power all of the weak signals of interest received by a local receiver (i.e., desense).

Steve



Hi Steve,

You are correct, the improved filtering that Flex promotes on the 6600 is in the receive chain vice filtering for the TX side that external filters address. The first flex I owned was their 6300 and then the 6700. Both did a great job wrt rejecting local commercial broadcast and I have seen video of both performing great in a close environment field day set up. Low power cross band interaction is of zero concern to me,

As many so2r ops know ( same goes for multi multi stations ) high power cross band is a different animal. I think bottom line , the best option is gonna be simply obtaining two sets of high power filters and stick with just the 6700. I think due to antenna separation and tower orientation , filtering will be zero concern for me at low power entries , however I think I might be asking too much from the rig at 1500w without including a good set of high power filters. External high power filters should also go a long way in keeping the neighbors happy as well.

Thanks Steve,
Mike
Logged
N3HEE
Member

Posts: 587


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #282 on: September 11, 2018, 08:32:40 AM »

Mike.  I run 100 watts max with my SO2R setup.  I still use external band pass filters and a coaxial stubs on 40 and 80 meters to help reduce transmitter related noise levels.  However, I have a major problem (especially on harmonically related bands, 40 & 20 is worst) with harmonics generated from household devices with switching power supplies such as wall warts. They will generate nasty second harmonics with very little (1 watt or less) transmitter power.  No amount of filtering will help get rid of that interference since it is being generated outside of my filters.  I have spent months tracking down these devices and replacing them with linear power supplies.  My close by neighbors probably also have offending devices.  So before you invest allot of money and time into setting up a SO2R station you should check to see how much of this type of interference that you have.  You can tell by listening to the second harmonic on your second radio while transmitting on the first radio at reduced power of 5 watts or less.  If it sounds and looks like very wide band nasty modulated raspy buzzing noise then you have issues to solve first.   -Joe
Logged

Joe
N3HEE
CW Academy Advisor (Level II)
KM9R
Member

Posts: 23




Ignore
« Reply #283 on: September 13, 2018, 12:01:36 PM »

Joe,

Thanks for the feedback. Sorry to hear about the external noise generators. Funny how public at large is overly concerned how we may generate interference but not so much wrt the spurious emissions they generate.

I have already done some testing of the area and did not detect any major offenders. At first look it appears to be fairly quiet. That was just with an end fed half wave though. Who know what will show up after putting up the yagis. Fingers crossed.
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 ... 14 15 16 17 18 [19]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!