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 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 11 12 ... 19 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Flex 6400/6600 - New User Reports/Impressions?  (Read 65663 times)
KZ1F
Member

Posts: 5




Ignore
« Reply #90 on: March 22, 2018, 07:48:12 AM »

There is one review for the 6400 and it is not all that good so now I'm beginning to wonder.  If Flex really did start shipping these rigs at the beginning of February, where are all of the reviews? 
"Conclusion: You must be a patient person to use Flex products. Software is ever changing and requires time to develop. This radio is an absolute keeper! To me the bottom line of any transceiver is the receiver and transmitter performance...The 6400 is TOP NOTCH! I can wait for the enhancements and remember the key to Flex products...they keep getting better with each software release."

I understand the goodness aspect and I am sure that the Flex 6400 is a good rig but I am not patient, and I don't want to be hostage to a companies software releases to make my rig do what it should have done out of the box.  It's like they make you a beta tester.  That's OK if you have the disposition for that sort of thing, I sure don't. Grin

I think your conclusion is spot on. One does have to be patient. From a purely technical perspective the radios are really good. Being an SDR the pudding, so to speak, is in the software. This is where they become more problematic. Although, specifically the 6600M seems to be having QC issues. One new owner received a dud, it was sent back and replaced with another dud. Others have worked fine out of the box. Software has been an issue plaguing them since the 6000s came out. The advantage of the FRS philosophy is they ship early, before the radio is fully cooked. Consequently, the user experiences new functionality over the course of it's life (version 1 is functionally complete and the 6300/6500 are out of production). The downside of constantly adding new features is there are always new bugs created and others regressed. If one compares the UX of the 6000 series to, say, TS-990s or ic-7610 the flex UX is that of very early Windows programs. I am completely impressed with the 990s front panel. I wouldn't own one though. Consider too, the 6600M has 4 slices (VFOs) of which only 2 are visible on the front panel.
Logged
W1BG
Member

Posts: 72




Ignore
« Reply #91 on: April 08, 2018, 06:20:07 PM »

At this point it would be very helpful for the Sherwood Report to come out on these new Flex radios to either confirm they're good as some claim or else to help silence all the dang bloviating about them. I got frustrated with mine (6600M) and returned it while I could still get a full refund. In their defense, the check for the full amount came quickly, sooner than the 10 days I was told to expect.  I ended up getting a 7610 and am sure glad I did.

73 - Bill
 W1BG
Logged

The Pay-TV Industry may not hold the patent on poor customer service, but Comcast in particular has made an art form of it.
W6RZ
Member

Posts: 363




Ignore
« Reply #92 on: April 09, 2018, 01:07:08 AM »

At this point it would be very helpful for the Sherwood Report to come out on these new Flex radios to either confirm they're good as some claim or else to help silence all the dang bloviating about them. I got frustrated with mine (6600M) and returned it while I could still get a full refund. In their defense, the check for the full amount came quickly, sooner than the 10 days I was told to expect.  I ended up getting a 7610 and am sure glad I did.

73 - Bill
 W1BG

The Sherwood test numbers are all about strong signal handling capability. If you're a contester with stacked monobanders at 130 feet, they are important. If you're a casual operator with a dipole at 6 feet, they are almost meaningless.

For the vast majority of operators, any receiver produced after 1960 will hear as well as anything on the top of the Sherwood list.
Logged
N1EU
Member

Posts: 0


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #93 on: April 09, 2018, 05:23:18 AM »

If you're a contester with stacked monobanders at 130 feet, they are important. If you're a casual operator with a dipole at 6 feet, they are almost meaningless.

For the vast majority of operators, any receiver produced after 1960 will hear as well as anything on the top of the Sherwood list.
So if I'm trying to complete a casual qso with a weak dx station using my 100W and dipole and a strong signal opens up 2KHz below me and my receiver just crumbles, that's NOT an issue for me?

Sorry, I'm not buying that Rob Sherwood's testing isn't of general significance to average operators.

73 - Barry N1EU
Logged
KA4DPO
Member

Posts: 1317




Ignore
« Reply #94 on: April 09, 2018, 10:36:45 AM »

If you're a contester with stacked monobanders at 130 feet, they are important. If you're a casual operator with a dipole at 6 feet, they are almost meaningless.

For the vast majority of operators, any receiver produced after 1960 will hear as well as anything on the top of the Sherwood list.
So if I'm trying to complete a casual qso with a weak dx station using my 100W and dipole and a strong signal opens up 2KHz below me and my receiver just crumbles, that's NOT an issue for me?

Sorry, I'm not buying that Rob Sherwood's testing isn't of general significance to average operators.

73 - Barry N1EU

Having operated in the 60's we would do what we have always done, QSY to a quieter spot away from the QRM.  I can assure you that no matter what receiver you are running a really strong signal 2 KHZ away is going to cause problems unless you are operating CW. Wink
Logged
K7JQ
Member

Posts: 1282




Ignore
« Reply #95 on: April 09, 2018, 01:50:46 PM »

If you're a contester with stacked monobanders at 130 feet, they are important. If you're a casual operator with a dipole at 6 feet, they are almost meaningless.

For the vast majority of operators, any receiver produced after 1960 will hear as well as anything on the top of the Sherwood list.
So if I'm trying to complete a casual qso with a weak dx station using my 100W and dipole and a strong signal opens up 2KHz below me and my receiver just crumbles, that's NOT an issue for me?

Sorry, I'm not buying that Rob Sherwood's testing isn't of general significance to average operators.

73 - Barry N1EU

Having operated in the 60's we would do what we have always done, QSY to a quieter spot away from the QRM.  I can assure you that no matter what receiver you are running a really strong signal 2 KHZ away is going to cause problems unless you are operating CW. Wink


I have to agree with DPO. I've yet to see a receiver that will brick wall a strong 3 KHz (+ on peaks) wide SSB signal that's 2 KHz next to you. CW?...different story. Try a major SSB contest...bonkers. You can only filter so much before the desired signal is unintelligible. Not to say that Sherwood numbers aren't beneficial, but sometimes they're just splitting hairs in the real world.

73,   Bob K7JQ 
Logged
W6RZ
Member

Posts: 363




Ignore
« Reply #96 on: April 09, 2018, 07:40:53 PM »

So if I'm trying to complete a casual qso with a weak dx station using my 100W and dipole and a strong signal opens up 2KHz below me and my receiver just crumbles, that's NOT an issue for me?

Sorry, I'm not buying that Rob Sherwood's testing isn't of general significance to average operators.

73 - Barry N1EU

For interference from 3rd order IMD products, you need two (or more) strong signals opening up. And the two signals have to be spaced so that one of the IMD products falls in your passband (for example, one 2 kHz away and the other 4 kHz away). If you're using a narrow CW filter, the spacing has to be fairly precise.

You end up with some probability function of this happening. During a contest, the probability is high. During a typical operating session, the probability will be low.

The probability is further modified by station performance. If the Internet is a good judge (maybe not), the average station is using a vertical, G5RV or an EFHW. Not exactly the highest performance antennas.

Finally, most small stations are using digital modes like FT8 where most folks (not all) are running low power and there really aren't huge interfering signals.
Logged
JBIRD
Member

Posts: 103




Ignore
« Reply #97 on: April 11, 2018, 09:33:27 AM »

In the spirit of the thread title, I'll post my impressions.

Background - I'm not a contester, I enjoy interesting dx and special event stations. I'm learning cw. I've been a ham for a little over two years. My (now) back up rig is an ftdx3000 with an sdrplay to console v3 with omnirig for cat. My new radio (a couple of weeks now) is the 6600 and a 17" laptop running ssdr, slice master, hrd and frstack.

I added the panadapter action to the 3000 within a month of getting that rig. Seeing the signals in addition to hearing them is major. The reason for interest in an sdr radio stems from that use with the 3000. The flex attracted me as you can have multiple panadapters to audit several bands at once and I'm not relegated to the shack (like to operate in the living room when with the xyl, on the back porch, back yard under the shady tree etc). The easy lan hook up is nice.

My main concern was (is a little still) that the radio is a computer and computers seem to have problems from time to time. My laptop is newer so couldn't run win 7 as drivers weren't available for some of the components. Running win 10 pro.......

Impressions:

After a few hours of operating and getting things set up as I like, I'm glad I bought the rig. I did have to put a wifi extender in service and using it to create a subnet with only the rig and the laptop on it. Only go through the comcrap router/modem to lookup calls etc., working solid.

Favorably impressed with the noise and qrm mitigation features and how they're invoked. I used the tracking notch filter on an slightly overlapping signal last night working south america. Easy to apply and effective, didn't really need to use bandpass reduction or shifting. I also use the tnf's as markers on frequencies in use (can tell when a new signal pops up on a crowded band).

Qso reports of good audio; I'm using a logitech gaming wireless headset. So won't need a high end headset......gotta save a buck somewhere..... ;-).

I have 3 panadapters on the main screen for 80, 40 and 20 and using the 4th in a separate window to see what's happening on 17, 15 etc. If nothing going on on the upper bands, will break 80 in half over two panadapters if I'm working 80.

With the convenience of lan operation, I able to be on the bands a lot more. I'll have the laptop setup in the living room while watching tv and can keep an eye on things. If I see something interesting (fairly easy to see someone calling cq), I can check it out.

I wouldn't recommend this system to someone starting out but for someone with hf experience, I would recommend it. It can be a little daunting at first otherwise.

I'll be retiring in a few months and will likely move to Northern Fl (SW Fl now). Running barefoot  usually 75w or qrp. May look at a 4-500w amp down the road. I'll have a better location for antennas as I'm using the dipole mystery antenna at 25' inv V now. Will probably stay with that mounted higher, add a vertical and receiving antenna.

I'll be happy to answer questions if any.

73

Jim

Logged
KA4DPO
Member

Posts: 1317




Ignore
« Reply #98 on: April 15, 2018, 09:25:27 AM »

Looks like they have really lowered the price on the Flex 6400M.  I checked their website a couple of days ago and it said " Your price, $300.00"  Sweet, only three skins for knobbed SDR.

In reality, by the time you add an internal tuner and a few niceties the price is about $3500.00 out the door which is competitive with the IC-7610, but is it really?  I am not convinced that one S unit of RMDR (claimed) over the competition is worth all of the stuff you don't get.  I don't see the 6400M competing with the IC-7610, I see it as competing with the IC-7300. 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 09:33:08 AM by KA4DPO » Logged
VE3WGO
Member

Posts: 445




Ignore
« Reply #99 on: April 15, 2018, 11:05:03 AM »

....  I don't see the 6400M competing with the IC-7610, I see it as competing with the IC-7300. 

Oh, I agree with you, but you're probably going to open up a major hailstorm of opinions with that.  But it's true that the 6400 has only one receiver, while the 6600 has two.  So your comparison is technically valid.  The 7300 and 6400 are similar in that they have a single receiver front end, while the 7610 and 6600 have two.  Never mind how many sub-bands or "slices" the DSP splits it into...  the 7610 and 6600 can have two separate and independent receive preselectors operating at the same time...

As far as comments on Rob Sherwood's results go, I find it a relevant to know what the receiver will do when a big signal comes on a band.  But the odds of it being very near to my frequency are randomly low however, unless we happen just by chance to be chasing the exact same DX or contester at the same time.  Other than that, it makes no sense to me to dwell on the radio's 2 kHz dynamic range.  I would however, want to know the 20 kHz or maybe 100 kHz dynamic range because that reflects my more likely scenario.

Why hasn't Sherwood (or QST) shown any test data in his table yet for the 6400 or 6600?   My guess is that he has tested them already, and the results were perhaps not as good as hoped so maybe Flex is fixing something.  I say this because he already had test results for the IC-7610 less than a month of it coming onto the US market.  The published test results of all these new radios are highly anticipated, and are becoming highly controversial these days, so they need to be carefully presented, or the wrath of brand devotees will be unbearable for him.

73, Ed


Logged
W6RZ
Member

Posts: 363




Ignore
« Reply #100 on: April 15, 2018, 11:34:38 AM »

I say this because he already had test results for the IC-7610 less than a month of it coming onto the US market.

That's because he bought an IC-7610 for himself. For other rigs, someone has to provide a test sample to him.

If you subscribe to the IC-7610 or IC-7300 group, you'll see plenty of e-mails from NC0B. He seems pretty open about his findings and I would never attribute any funny business to him. He is not a Flex fan.
Logged
K5FM
Member

Posts: 7




Ignore
« Reply #101 on: April 15, 2018, 11:40:26 AM »

How's this for a screen presentation:



Just my lowly old F6300 doing what it does best - working DX.



Very nice John !

Bob
K6UJ



I have owned the IC7300 and IC7600 in conjunction with my Flex 6500. The Icom displays are tiny with dismal resolution, I can expand the  Flex panadapter and separate CW stations that are only 20HZ apart. Anyone that cannot see that the Flex display is in  a different universe needs to quit spending money on radios and pay for a eye exam.
Logged
VE3WGO
Member

Posts: 445




Ignore
« Reply #102 on: April 15, 2018, 11:59:06 AM »

9M0W and 3D2EU are 60 Hz apart (not 20 as you said), according to the scale in AE5X's screen grab above.

Anyway, the IC-7300 and 7610 can both scan this same 5 kHz sweep bandwidth as well, at 30 frames per second.  The 7300 has 10.4 Hz per pixel, the 7610 has 6.25 Hz per pixel, so no problem to see this same presentation.

And your point is.....?

73, Ed


disclaimer...  I own several different brands of HF radios, so I am not stuck on any particular brand.  I own none of the radios mentioned here, but I might someday.
Logged
VE3WGO
Member

Posts: 445




Ignore
« Reply #103 on: April 15, 2018, 02:02:35 PM »

I get it... the Flex 6400 spec sheet says it can expand the display sweep to 5 KHz with 5.85 Hz resolution; the 6600 can sweep down to 1.4 kHz to show 1.6 Hz resolution.   No specs listed in the Flex website for display signal resolution of the previous 6300/6500/6700 generation.

IC-7610 has 6.25 Hz resolution.

Human ears can just barely detect a 4 Hz difference at a CW tone of 700 Hz (0.6% commonly stated), so maybe it doesn't matter so much.  Both tones would be inside a 25 Hz bandpass filter anyway, so there are limits to what really matters.

If we need to split hairs, the new Flex radios will help, but we might not be able to hear the difference that the radio can display.

73, Ed
Logged
KX2T
Member

Posts: 1068




Ignore
« Reply #104 on: April 15, 2018, 04:49:19 PM »

I think the differences between the Flex and the Icom SDR radio's is the UI user interface, some like point and click mouse and full computer control and some like knob style radio's but it all depends on what your own personal preferences are. The IC7300 brought about one thing to the SDR market which is a huge yake up call to all the rest of the manufactures out there and that is SDR radio's will sell and disrupt what used to be a close horse race, now you see the SDR rigs leading the charge. Flex had a huge part of bringing SDR technology to our market but when Icom brought out the 7300 it totally blew away even Icom's expectations and forced Flex to bring out knob styled versions of there black box radio's.
The problem still exists that the UI on the Flex knob style rigs is not as smooth or as sex as what I com has been delivering for many many years which is very easy to use user interface, they have had decades of refining this and making it very easy for almost anyone to just turn on and play radio plus most don't even open up there manuals cause when you look at the radio forums on the net you see newbies always asking questions instead of RTFM (reading the frigging manual) but with Flex you have to sit down and really read it and for most that is too time consuming.
There still seems to be that continental divide between Flex and knob styled radio's, Flex was hopping to meet that need but from what I have been hearing they still have the UI problem which still makes there radio's more fun for computer style geeks plus if you want remote control that is another area that Flex kills it but to be honest for me I want a good performing radio and when I play radio I want to be in front of it but that is me.
The other area is the big screen fish finder which Icom made useful even back when the introduced the IC781 but modern day Icom's have still have a very nice display, Flex uses your computer in there newer designs which makes the computer a useful tool in bringing you an excellent Fish finder experience but here again this is a side feature to me but if that is more important to you the Flex display is very very detailed as far as the spectrum display, remind those again it a spectrum display NOT a Spectrum Analyzer.
This has been a pet peeve since Icom first introduced any form of live spectrum display, and I feel that most RF technically orientated folks will agree neither radio has a $1500 to $2000 spectrum analyzer built into your $2K-$4K radio, anyone thinking its anywhere close to being a stand alone spectrum analyzer like ones that are calibrated test instruments should re think that one.
The funny thing here mentioned above is Rob Sherwoods list, that has taken that man years of dedicated time to develop but if you go to DJ0IP's site you see more of the Lab tests and user test drives by Rob himself, these are far more interesting than the RX table plus give you more meat and potato's with some gravy on top lab numbers beside just the 3Rd order numbers, his own personal comments on how he found the radio to operate as well. If you also go to his site and read the different posts about what seem to be important in today's rigs you will find that there are at least 20 very good radio's on his RX list which will work extremely well at any QTH and more than a few that are south of the $1500 budget mark. I find his in depth personal lab and user reviews very helpful and chock full of info.
Bottom Line is both of these companies are forward thinking but IMO the Flex UI has to be improved a wee bit, Icom has the UI fine tuned they have been doing that since the first IC781 hit the streets.
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 11 12 ... 19 Next   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!