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Old June 10th 21, 06:37 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated,rec.radio.amateur.homebrew
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Posts: 77
Default [WB4SON] Owning a Flex-6600M is a mixed bag


WB4SON

///////////////////////////////////////////
Owning a Flex-6600M is a mixed bag

Posted: 10 Jun 2021 09:57 AM PDT
https://wb4son.com/wpblog/?p=4429


A lifetime ago (in other words the year before the pandemic,), I purchased
a FlexRadio Flex-6600M, along with a Maestro Control Console for remote
operation.¬* My first year of use was plagued with problems with things that
seemed basic to me; like the internal tuner simply didnt work (refused to
find solutions to situations that presented a 3:1 SWR).¬* The software was
flaky, often requiring cold boots, and it corrupted an internal flash card
several times.¬* While certain parts of the radio fascinated me, it was so
frustrating to use that I left it unused almost a year.¬* That was very
disappointing, as it was the only radio I was aware of that allowed for
remote CW (although CW on a Flex is VERY glitchy).

A couple of months ago, Flex introduced a new firmware upgrade that fixed
the tuner issue (after a year of complaints).¬* It now works flawlessly, and
appears to handle a 10:1 situation.¬* In many ways, the radio seemed more
stable, but after a few weeks of operation the radio would refuse to work
on power-up.¬* Flex service responded, saying the radio needed a cold reset
(a rather long process).¬* That restored operation, but it would fail again
after a few days.¬* A promised firmware update fixed that issue, and
introduced other problems, which is typical of FlexRadio a fix often
results in other broken things.

So here is my dilemma, I really like the Flex6600M it is a fantastically
versatile receiver (multi-receiver, actually), and it has the best Noise
Reduction Ive ever used on 80 meters.¬* I love being able to use it from an
iPad or iPhone, remotely.¬* And important to me, it is the only radio that I
know of that allows for remote CW operation (my Yaesu FTDX-101MP with LAN
adapter does not).¬* However, Flex software updates tend to be buggy, and it
appears that no one who understands a CW operator was involved in the
development of the software (no ability to adjust weight, for example, and
missing or shortened elements while in break-in).

The latest software update, to fix some latency issues, and hopefully to
resolve the need for cold-resets, dropped a couple days ago.¬* Updating the
Flex6600M was fairly simple.¬* Updating the remote Maestro Control Console
was a major pain in the backside.¬* The process took over four hours and
requited user responses at least three of the times it applied a partial
update.¬* Flex blames it on Microsoft.¬* That may be true, but sounds more
like a poor design choice up front to me.



I still love it, and use it every week to participate in a late night CW
contest.¬* Like many things in life, it is a mix of good and bad.¬* I just
with FlexRadio would get serious about their software development, and get
it to the point where it was two steps forward and zero steps back.



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Old June 11th 21, 11:51 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated,rec.radio.amateur.homebrew
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First recorded activity by RadioBanter: Aug 2018
Posts: 29
Default [WB4SON] Owning a Flex-6600M is a mixed bag

On 10/06/2021 18:37, WB4SON via rec.radio.amateur.moderated Admin wrote:

WB4SON

///////////////////////////////////////////
Owning a Flex-6600M is a mixed bag

Posted: 10 Jun 2021 09:57 AM PDT
https://wb4son.com/wpblog/?p=4429


A lifetime ago (in other words the year before the pandemic,), I
purchased a FlexRadio Flex-6600M, along with a Maestro Control Console
for remote operation.¬* My first year of use was plagued with problems
with things that seemed basic to me; like the internal tuner simply
didnt work (refused to find solutions to situations that presented a 3:1
SWR).¬* The software was flaky, often requiring cold boots, and it
corrupted an internal flash card several times.¬* While certain parts of
the radio fascinated me, it was so frustrating to use that I left it
unused almost a year.¬* That was very disappointing, as it was the only
radio I was aware of that allowed for remote CW (although CW on a Flex
is VERY glitchy).

A couple of months ago, Flex introduced a new firmware upgrade that
fixed the tuner issue (after a year of complaints).¬* It now works
flawlessly, and appears to handle a 10:1 situation.¬* In many ways, the
radio seemed more stable, but after a few weeks of operation the radio
would refuse to work on power-up.¬* Flex service responded, saying the
radio needed a cold reset (a rather long process).¬* That restored
operation, but it would fail again after a few days.¬* A promised
firmware update fixed that issue, and introduced other problems, which
is typical of FlexRadio¬* a fix often results in other broken things.

So here is my dilemma, I really like the Flex6600M¬* it is a
fantastically versatile receiver (multi-receiver, actually), and it has
the best Noise Reduction Ive ever used on 80 meters.¬* I love being able
to use it from an iPad or iPhone, remotely.¬* And important to me, it is
the only radio that I know of that allows for remote CW operation (my
Yaesu FTDX-101MP with LAN adapter does not).¬* However, Flex software
updates tend to be buggy, and it appears that no one who understands a
CW operator was involved in the development of the software (no ability
to adjust weight, for example, and missing or shortened elements while
in break-in).

The latest software update, to fix some latency issues, and hopefully to
resolve the need for cold-resets, dropped a couple days ago.¬* Updating
the Flex6600M was fairly simple.¬* Updating the remote Maestro Control
Console was a major pain in the backside.¬* The process took over four
hours and requited user responses at least three of the times it applied
a partial update.¬* Flex blames it on Microsoft.¬* That may be true, but
sounds more like a poor design choice up front to me.



I still love it, and use it every week to participate in a late night CW
contest.¬* Like many things in life, it is a mix of good and bad.¬* I just
with FlexRadio would get serious about their software development, and
get it to the point where it was two steps forward and zero steps back.


Question from a Linux only user : Is there any Linux software to
operate the FLEX-6600M ?
If not ,it is a pity that most manufactured SDR equipment only works
with proprietory software.

Frank , EI7KS



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