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Author Topic: Flex 6400/6600 - New User Reports/Impressions?  (Read 66493 times)
K4JK
Member

Posts: 456




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« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2018, 11:22:32 AM »

Then they told everyone that they would stop putting new features in V1 and you had to cough up another $200 to upgrade. I got tired of waiting and didn't feel like forking over more money so I sold my 6500.

That's really the crux of my dissatisfaction with Flex--they go after the glitzy, shiny features few people use and neglect the meat and potatoes features the average ham wants and needs. I'm still on V1 because I don't see the need to pay $200 for remote features I neither want or need. I'd rather see them spend their development resources on things like better NB/NR, FSK, and lower latency than direct it all towards pandering to the superstation contester set.

BTW, what did you buy to replace your 6500?
Yes, the NB/NR are pain points for me too. As is the latency under narrow filtering.

I haven't bought anything yet to replace it, strictly speaking. I have had a IC-7300 for awhile that I am using as a primary for the time being. That and my TR-4. I haven't been operating that much lately so honestly the 7300 is all I really need for now.


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ex W4HFK
KD0ZV
Member

Posts: 62




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« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2018, 12:12:25 PM »

I too wish Flex would concentrate on the pure receiver performance issues and less on the contest and remote features. 
73 Dan KG0AQ

I am in the same boat. I am more a rag chewer than anything but do CW contest on occasion for fun.  I can't say many of the features that Flex has added in the 3 years owning one has benefited me. I could care less about remote access.

I would like to play with new features similar to what has/is being added to PowerSDR but if I am honest with myself, those kind of things have more entertainment value than usefulness for me.  My current 6500 does almost everything I need and does it well. I realize this does not apply to everyone.

I have had a 6600M on order since the first day after Dayton (5/22) and I see fellow hams either getting shipping notifications or taking delivery for orders placed on 5/19 to 5/23 depending on their model and options.

If I was going to complain about Flex it would be that they have great intentions but lack in follow through. Version 1.x software did not make it as far as they led everyone to believe it would before switching to the next paid version (2.x). And, I am not thrilled about putting down a $500 deposit for a radio that was supposed to ship "July August time frame" and here we are in February and I am waiting for a shipping notice after paying the final $4500 on it 2 1/2 weeks ago.

But that said, their support has been great. I don't know if this is reality, but I think I could call and talk to anyone at the company including the president. They listen to ideas and have even implemented a suggestion I had.  My experience with my Icom's and Yaesu has been nothing like this.

So in the end the pluses outweigh the minuses for me. By far.

My reason for upgrade was the second SCU. That is important to me and I could not afford a 6700. I would be lying if I said I do not get frustrated because I really do. But, currently there is not another radio I would rather own regardless of cost.

73,

Rich
kd0zv
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W6UV
Member

Posts: 1092




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« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2018, 01:27:08 PM »

But that said, their support has been great. I don't know if this is reality, but I think I could call and talk to anyone at the company including the president. They listen to ideas and have even implemented a suggestion I had.  My experience with my Icom's and Yaesu has been nothing like this.

That's a strong plus in favor of Flex (and Elecraft). I doubt there are any Yaecomwood engineers frequenting the support forums for their rigs, and your chances of ever meeting or chatting with the president of one of those companies is essentially zero. The president/founders of Flex and Elecraft attend the larger hamfests and I've met all of them over the years.
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N6YFM
Member

Posts: 831




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« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2018, 01:46:47 PM »

I am happy to see actual Flex users posting their experiences.
I am a software hack, and also rather patient myself.
You guys are giving me the feedback and details I need to "hit the purchase button"
with a little more confidence.  (Confidence that the choice is right in MY situation, Stan :-)  )
[No one Brand/Model car is the perfect choice for ALL your neighbors, right?]

Thanks for an informative thread and keep the replies coming as you unbox your new rigs.

Thx,

Neal
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KD0ZV
Member

Posts: 62




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« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2018, 02:20:54 PM »

That's a strong plus in favor of Flex (and Elecraft).

Yes, Elecraft is great company as well even though I have not had much contact since my K2 building days.

I am happy to see actual Flex users posting their experiences.
I am a software hack, and also rather patient myself.
You guys are giving me the feedback and details I need to "hit the purchase button"
with a little more confidence.  (Confidence that the choice is right in MY situation, Stan :-)  )
[No one Brand/Model car is the perfect choice for ALL your neighbors, right?]

Thanks for an informative thread and keep the replies coming as you unbox your new rigs.

Thx,

Neal

Neal, I don't think you would be disappointed. The problem is Flex has changed my operating style. I can now do things differently in a manner I really cant do with other radios. So I am stuck with them Smiley

Its nice to have 4 receivers running. Rag Chewing SSB on one while receiving three different FT8 WSJT instances on different bands.  See some rare DX on one WSJT instance and just click on them and the transmit slice switches automatically and you work them. Jump back to your SSB QSO to tell your buddies hey I just worked Tuvalu !

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W8MLS
Member

Posts: 32




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« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2018, 04:52:27 AM »

Quote
Yes, the NB/NR are pain points for me too. As is the latency under narrow filtering.

Flex has adjustable filter skirts that will allow you to decide how much latency you want to deal with.   Any SDR radio with tight skirts will have latency.   Level 0 is the tightest and level 3 is the widest    I have made a few CW contacts with my 6400 and have not noticed any issue with latency at all.   I have my CW setting on 1.

I have not done any real A/B tests on NB/NR yet with my 590 but will get back at some point with an update. 

So far I am pleased with the radio.
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KG0AQ
Member

Posts: 14




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« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2018, 01:52:08 PM »

Quote
Yes, the NB/NR are pain points for me too. As is the latency under narrow filtering.

Flex has adjustable filter skirts that will allow you to decide how much latency you want to deal with.   Any SDR radio with tight skirts will have latency.   Level 0 is the tightest and level 3 is the widest    I have made a few CW contacts with my 6400 and have not noticed any issue with latency at all.   I have my CW setting on 1.

I have not done any real A/B tests on NB/NR yet with my 590 but will get back at some point with an update. 

So far I am pleased with the radio.


I too have the 6400 and running it thru the ringer today on the WW CW contest. Latency is NOT an issue on CW. I have mine on filter level 1 and the skirts are tight with no latency issues noticed with my current operational setup. I am running 28 wpm and mowing them down. The preamps and AGC are fun to play with to get the best S/N ratio. i still have my Flex 5000 but think its going down the road soon.

My biggest challenge was getting all the third party programs all synced up. I currently have CW Skimmer, the entire DX labs Suite, WSJT, FRStack, DDutil, K9DUR Voice Keyer and SDR Bridge all running happily together.  This is the ultimate Ham Radio Transceiver setup! The overall dynamic range at close spacing is stunning!

73
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W8MLS
Member

Posts: 32




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« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2018, 03:29:15 PM »

Quote
My biggest challenge was getting all the third party programs all synced up. I currently have CW Skimmer, the entire DX labs Suite, WSJT, FRStack, DDutil, K9DUR Voice Keyer and SDR Bridge all running happily together.  This is the ultimate Ham Radio Transceiver setup! The overall dynamic range at close spacing is stunning!

I just loaded JT Alert http://hamapps.com/ .  It allows my WSJT-X qso's to log directly to DX Keeper log.   Check it out.  I think you will like it.  Also I am running WSJT-X natively on the pc using tcp socket.  It works great.

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KG0AQ
Member

Posts: 14




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« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2018, 05:50:26 PM »

Quote
I just loaded JT Alert http://hamapps.com/ .  It allows my WSJT-X qso's to log directly to DX Keeper log.   Check it out.  I think you will like it.  Also I am running WSJT-X natively on the pc using tcp socket.  It works great.

Mike,
I have been using JT-Alert since it came out. I also have it linked with DX Keeper. Great auto logging and time saver. Here is a snapshot of 2 weeks of work setting most of the third party apps up. It was all mind bending work but a great challenge. I justed worked Kosovo on 30 with two CW Skimmer screens one for RX and the other for TX. Enjoy your new 6400!

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KG0AQ
Member

Posts: 14




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« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2018, 07:52:45 PM »

Quote
Here is a snapshot of 2 weeks of work setting most of the third party apps up. It was all a mind bending experience but a great challenge.

I'll try one more time for an image link.  Hope it works this time?

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K0CWO
Member

Posts: 550




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« Reply #40 on: February 19, 2018, 05:11:56 AM »

A total of only 3 reviews in the review section of this site?  The 6400/6600 Flexers must be busy enjoying their new rigs!
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W6UV
Member

Posts: 1092




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« Reply #41 on: February 19, 2018, 11:34:09 PM »

I too have the 6400 and running it thru the ringer today on the WW CW contest. Latency is NOT an issue on CW. I have mine on filter level 1 and the skirts are tight with no latency issues noticed with my current operational setup. I am running 28 wpm and mowing them down. The preamps and AGC are fun to play with to get the best S/N ratio.

I too used a Flex in the ARRL DX contest this past weekend (my 6500). Under the crowded contest conditions on 20m it generally worked well, except when some strong locals showed up.

I heard a very strong station that appeared to have a signal that spanned 40 kHz. I could actually hear this station 20 kHz away from his transmit frequency well enough to copy his code. I tried the attenuator and backing down on the gain, but nothing I did completely stopped his signal leaking past the 6500's filters in a big way. It wasn't because he had a dirty signal (it was N6BV, and it's very unlikely his signal is that wide), but because he's only about 25 miles from me. Just to be sure, I looked at his signal on the waterfall of a web SDR receiver located on the opposite side of the country and his signal looked clean.

I'm not sure why I was seeing so much obvious filter blow-by, but suspect it's because I changed the CW filters more towards the low-latency end to reduce the ringing I'm hearing when they're set too far towards the sharp end. Even doing that shouldn't have let me copy a CW signal 20 kHz from where it was being sent. I wish I'd taken a screen shot, but didn't think of it until the contest was over.

This does not happen on my FTdx-5000.

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W6RZ
Member

Posts: 365




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« Reply #42 on: February 19, 2018, 11:55:05 PM »

Seems like ADC overload. Assuming N6BV is line of sight, a quick calculation would be:

1500 watts = 62 dBm
10 dBi of TX antenna gain
87 dB of path loss at 14 MHz
10 dBi of RX antenna gain

62 + 10 - 87 + 10 = -5 dBm
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KA4DPO
Member

Posts: 1320




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« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2018, 06:08:39 AM »

A total of only 3 reviews in the review section of this site?  The 6400/6600 Flexers must be busy enjoying their new rigs!

Either that, or the three or four people who actually have one are just too busy trying to make them work with all of the "third party software". Grin
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K9ZW
Member

Posts: 310


WWW

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« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2018, 08:51:32 AM »

A total of only 3 reviews in the review section of this site?  The 6400/6600 Flexers must be busy enjoying their new rigs!

Either that, or the three or four people who actually have one are just too busy trying to make them work with all of the "third party software". Grin

You will find a lot of user reports in the typical FlexRadio online hangouts.

The software complexity is "fake news" as nothing has changed from any prior FlexRadio System radio version. 

You build up the same sorts of software for other SDRs or for station automation, the same configuration process.

With that comes the ability to tailor your own personal station, and if you are so motivated even roll your own applications.

Not much different in the setup process from many years ago when I ran a TenTec Pegasus, but with awesome more upside capabilities.

Some useful pointers:

  • Take notes and do screen shots to capture your stations settings/configurations when you have them working.
  • Follow Install/Update directions, especially the recommendations to export your profiles (configurations) before changing software.
  • Take control of your system's operating system auto-update process, as it will cost you lost time and contacts if it runs on its own.
  • Backups mean you most like will never need them.
  • Checking your backups and restoration process means they are useful if you ever do.
  • Whenever possible change just one thing and get it running, rather than updating/changing everything.
  • If you really don't need an added software package, consider whether it is worth the time to get it up and running.
  • If you have a station running well the time to make changes is after a contest or DX event, not before/during.

In my station I have both a Flex-6600M and a PGXL amp running well, including remotely.  You can too!

73

Steve
K9ZW


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