The new 6000 series radios
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Posted Sunday, September 9, 2012 5:06 AM
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Howdy!

First time post to this forum.

I've been sitting on the fence regarding a Flex radio about a year now. Tim, W4TME has been kind enough to answer many questions in the past-thanks!

My questions have to do with the new Flex 6000 series radios that are promised Q1, 2013. When it was announced at the Dayton hamvention, I thought these would be released in Q4, 2012-I could be wrong about that. I understand the incredible engineering challenges that Flex has to bring this radio to market--I just feel bad for the folks that put a deposit down thinking they were going to get this radio by Christmas.

These radios are VERY expensive. 6500 is $4,300 and the 6700 is $7,500! I think I understand the value of direct digital conversions, etc., but is it all worth the cost? The 5000 seems to do a fine job with receiver dynamic range, 3rd order intercept point, etc...how much more can a ham really use? Why would I want 8 'slice receivers'? From what I'm reading--to get two diversity receivers, I must buy the 6700? I do see the value of two diversity receivers--but wow!

I've read through the 6000 series literature, and sifting through the glowing specs--I have failed to find how wide the 'receiver bandwidth' will be. Will it be an improvement over the 5000 which is 192 KHz(1500 is 48 KHz, 3000 is 96 KHz--something that I struggle to understand why they all can't be 192 KHz..)? Admittedly, the spectral display is one of the key items I like about SDR radios.

It could be that I just need to sit down and 'experience' one. I might change my mind, I suppose. Not sure how many folks are putting their $$$ down for one, but I find it very difficult to do so, as they haven't even demonstrated how the software will perform--or even looks like. Some of the specs on the radio aren't even published yet..

Am I missing something here? How does everybody feel about this?

Thanks in advance to Flex Radio to continue pushing the envelope on what is possible, and allowing this open conversation on your forum.

Regards,
Tim Samaras
WJ0G


Post #5999
Posted Monday, September 10, 2012 7:01 AM
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While the new 6000 series looks like a definite winner and not really a "guinea pig" radio, the 5000A is a fantastic radio in its own right, and will likely be as such for a long time to come. I had one and sold it in preparation for the (now on order) 6700. I thought about the "upgrade" for a long time and hesitated a bit, then just went ahead and "did the deed". I normally would not buy something that has not been proven for a reasonable time, but Flex has proven itself to be a most excellent company with which to do business; their engineering, quality, and support is among the best I have experienced in my sixty years on this earth.

Will there be bugs in the new radio and software? Maybe, but I doubt it, as it will have undergone some serious testing before the first customer unit leaves their facility.

Do I want the first or early serial number unit? Not necessarily, but the wait should be worthwhile. I type that as I continue to experience Flex Withdrawal while using an ICOM IC-7000 (an excellent radio in its own right, but nowhere near the quality/capability of a Flex).

Will I have (and post) a lot of questions about setup and operation of the 6700? Probably, but I expect the manual and Knowledge Base to cover most of them.
Post #6002
Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2012 10:00 AM
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W2TXB:

Thanks much for your reply. I've heard rumors that Flex in Dayton took 100s of pre-orders for the new radios. I'm actually on the fence as to what to do. It's not that I can't afford the 6500, and service fees of $200/month--it's how long can I wait? The Fall/Winter months are prime-time operating for me, and well...it's getting to be that time!

One option I have been considering is to buy a used 5000a(anybody have one for sale?), and use it until I can touch/feel the hardware/software. There are all kinds of rumors going around that the price will plummet on 5000a's but I'm not so sure about that. I know it has had an effect on used prices, so perhaps buying used might not be so bad.

I've done some looking around on the internet, and there are some folks out there that are quite negative about Flex in general, and try to rattle those who pre-order the new radios.

I'm not exactly sure what the investment capital is to design something like this from the ground up, but I'm guessing it's in the 7 figures. I can't blame Flex wanting to sell pre-orders--it's quite a big pressure on them to perform.

Hence the delay to Q1, 2013. I wouldn't be surprised if it slips to Q2.

....and if the radio really is a 'game changer'...I'll be kicking myself for not ordering by the August 5th deadline. They should reconsider another promotional 'window' this Fall when they demonstrate the beta version of the software--and what the radio can do.

Regards,
Tim Samaras
WJ0G


Post #6010
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 10:08 AM
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Interesting comments, There are many people on air that spend much of there time knocking Flex Radio. I have heard some claim they owned one and did not like it for some reason, than sold it and went back to there original radio that does not even hold a candle to a flex. I do not beleive them, makes no sense to me.

Keep in mind that the Flex 6000's out of the box will be a fairly basic platform at first. The fun time is when they add features and tweak things as time goes on. And all the software apps that will be coming along. The important thing is what this radio will be capable of, there is just nothing in ham radio that can compare.

I think many people are looking at the price of this technology thinking it is crazy expensive but would not even blink at a $12.000 Icom? In this price range what would we compare it to? I am using a Flex 3000 and it has performed very well.

Post #6170
Posted Saturday, December 1, 2012 12:59 AM
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7.500.- $ expensive ??? Take a look to the "Hilberling PT-800A". It´s a SDR based transceiver but works without a PC .... Price in the lowest level 13.900.- € (Maybe 15.000.- $).

Both rigs are not in "my" price level but i think the prices are o.K ....

Hilberling PT-8000A [url=http://hilberling.de/de/de_pdf/pt-8k_2012_pl_de.pdf][/url]


Call: DF5WW (Class A) ... OP: Juergen (Joe) .... Rig: Only QRP with Flex 1,5k and 2 x 25 m folded doublet with balance feedline for all bands (under the roof). Also a 10,3 m Quadloop for 10 and 6 ... feeded with ladderline too and also under the roof.
Post #6171
Posted Monday, December 3, 2012 11:02 AM
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Yes thats lots of money,,and makes my point even more. Here is an $18.000 radio with amplifiers and old fashioned roofing filters witch induce noise. And much of the radio is analogue to digital,,hummmm  This is no more SDR based than a K3 is. Some think a K3 is an SDR radio also, but it too has noisy roofing filters. The Flex radios use no roofing filters and are 99% digital from beginning to end. All filtering is done in a computer with software, thats SDR.

The Flex 6000 radios need no computer for heavy numbers crunching, they will have prossesor chips that will do the hard work in the hardware box. And they are a 100% digital from the antenna connector to transmit.That SDR. No need for roofing filters. It is too bad they stopped production of the Hilberling PT-8000A, it would have been interesting to see what come of it. 

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