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Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | FlexRadio FLEX-6700 Help

Show all reviews of the FlexRadio FLEX-6700

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N2RJ  Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2016 11:46  Send this review to a friend!
THE top radio, bar none.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had the rig for a little less than a month now.

Background: Doing a shack refresh, I was evaluating transceiver choices. I am coming from an Icom 756ProIII, purchased about 10 years ago. I could go with another Icom or I could go with a K3S or something else. I also have interest in doing SO2R contesting. I also wanted to do remote operation which I had done with Ham Radio Deluxe, RemAud and Skype.

My friend Dave, WO2X is the Flex "go to guy" in this area. He had brought a 6700 and Maestro to our club meeting (NJDXA). I was pretty impressed at what I saw. After a little while evaluating other options, and the Icom 7300 came to market, I thought I would go that direction. Then I realized it has some fundamental shortcomings, mostly in that it is an SDR that doesn't behave like one. I want a radio where I can skim the whole band with CW Skimmer and two independent receivers (at least). I didn't see the capability to have an I/Q output where I could do that. I felt that it boxed up the full capability inside of a case so that people would get SDR performance but not full SDR usability.

So I settled on the Flex. I chose the 6700 because I wanted to be able to do SO2R. Bob, N4HY gave a presentation at my contest club (FRC) and I was pretty much sold.

First impressions:

It is pretty small and light compared to my IC756 ProIII.
It looks like a cable TV DVR, which is not bad. I can keep it away from my focused operating position.
It eliminated nearly all of the cables from rig to other stuff.
SmartSDR was easy to setup but I had to get used to a different way of operating.
Stellar support from Flex, plenty of third party support and a great user community.
13.8 volts seemed a bit counter intuitive but I guess most hams already have that power in their shacks.

The receiver performance is pretty outstanding. I am hearing things which were barely a whisper before. WNB for chronic noise is also excellent.

But most of all, the usability is bar none. I can monitor JT65 on 6 meters while rag chewing on 40 and using CW skimmer on up to 4 bands. DAX gives a clean, digital signal path to digital mode software so you don't have noise issues like you do with some analog sound card interfaces. Operating CW is a breeze with Skimmer integration. Most DX is now point and click. SSB pileups are easy too with the panafall display.

And contesting is pretty much enhanced now with full support for N1MM+. I also experience absolutely zero issues with adjacent signals that I did on the ProIII. The receiver is excellent.

And finally, I can remote it via my iPhone with the SmartSDR App in the App store and get much of the functionality that I get from SmartSDR on the desktop.

Next I am hoping to get a legal limit amp or near legal limit amp to complement it.

I did not get the Maestro and to me the Maestro would actually not use the full capabilities of the radio. I am not really missing knobs and switches all that much. I got a FlexControl with it which is perfect. Most times I use the mouse to drag the slider anyway.  
Product is in production.
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