Updated Hamvention 2017 – FlexRadio Systems SmartSDR Product Launch Predictions!

Updated Hamvention 2017 – FlexRadio Systems SmartSDR Product Launch Predictions!

Okay here are my UPDATED (Monday  – and Wednesday – before) Hamvention 2017 new product predictions:

SmartSDR for Windows v2.0 will be shown, and anticipate at least a few weeks delay for public beta or a limited release .

SmartSDR for Windows v1.1x will also get an update, mostly to make upgrade/downgrade between v1.x and v2.x products possible and so everything else on the hamshack computer doesn’t breakdown when switching between versions.

The WAN Feature is being called SmartLink (TM) and will be shown at Hamvention.  The Multi-User/Simultaneous User GUI feature does not have an announced name and will NOT be shown at Hamvention.  A general release of SmartSDR Version 2.0 will first happen some point AFTER Hamvention – when it is ready.

SmartSDR for iOS v2.0 will follow suite with an implementation of the Widows v2.0 product and possibly will work with both SmartSDR v1.x and v2.x servers.

PowerGenius XL – a close to production configuration of the joint 4o3a/FlexRadio System solid state amp will be shown and a start of shipping date will be announced. I’m guessing beginning of Q3 (July) if product hasn’t already arrived & cleared customs.

TunerGenius XL – will be shown in preproduction form, and likely will be available at the same time as the amps. A version that can be added to the PowerGeniusXL is a possibility.

SmartSDR/4o3a Control Pad Software – hoping to see a significantly better integrated offering intended to run on a pad (iPad or WinBook type) alongside a Maestro or PC running SmartSDR

RotorGenius/StationGenius/AntennaGenius and other 4o3a products will likely have upgrades to work better with the SmartSDR/Flex-6000 product line. (NOTE:  Aa a reminder, all of the 4o3a gear works in a non-FRS station too.)

RadioSport iPod SmartSDR for iOS Dock – will be shown in a Mark II prototype. They showed an early prototype with a new headset design, so that may be a package at the Hamvention too.

DogPark may have/show their SmartSDR v2.x compatible DogparkSDR upgraded version

FlexRadio Systems SO2R box may reappear intended for the Flex-6500/6300 making those radios SO2R while the Flex-6700 as produced is already SO2R (actually SOnR).

EDIT:  A premature product datasheet release shows several new models of radio – Flex-6400, Flex-6400M, Flex-6600 and Flex-6600M.  The context didn’t give any insight into what these new models are and my guess is the Flex-6300 and Flex-6500 are being replaced, and that the “M” models are mobile optimized. Whether a new feature/price slot Flex-6×00 radio launches is doubtful beyond the 6400/6600 products.

Several Antennas will be shown optimized for the characteristics of the Flex-6000. Most will be based on the Log-Periodic or mixed Log/Yagi designs.

There will be discussion of a many-SCU (Spectral Capture Unit) radio (Flex-14000 with six or eight SCUs) or a way to slave several Flex-6700’s together to bring larger scale multi-antenna diversity to the shack.

Possible accessories – a single unit Ethernet-fiber-Ethernet network isolation box to electrically decouple a Flex-6000 but not require the ham to roll their own isolation doesn’t sound like it is being shown yet.

But some simpler Ethernet and SmartSDR/DDUtil aware antenna switches may be at the show.

Possibly we may hear of a 4-square or K9AY style SmartSDR aware receiving array.  There may be software to add-on around SmartSDR to manage things like Shared-Use Flex-6000 Stations, Logging/Spots, Digital Modes, maybe even slice-sharing for RX now that the time stamping of packets has started.

Thinking more software will be announced over the net after FRS clarifies its forward direction and timing.

What I don’t think we will see is a sub $800 SmartSDR unit (a Flex-1500 direct replacement) or a Maestro-II (see comments below, I have changed my prediction to that we will see new Maestro II launched) as some folk have suggested. Unlikely that we would see a Flex-6000 with a permanently attached Maestro front-plate (like the TenTec Pegasus -> Pegasus FP -> Jupiter metamorphous years ago) though there would be no reason to not have a removable faceplate unit (like the old Kenwood 2000 did).  Not very certain that we will see a “SmartSDR for Linux” given the costs of doing that port.

About ten four days from now we’ll know on how many guesses I am right, how many I blew, and what others thought of that I didn’t!

BTW FRS will likely announce the majority of its new products Thursday Evening at their Contesting/DX Banquet.


Steve K9ZW

5 thoughts on “Updated Hamvention 2017 – FlexRadio Systems SmartSDR Product Launch Predictions!

  1. Ken N2VIP says:

    As a new ‘Flex’er’ (got a refurbished 6300 last month) I don’t have any deep insights into the Flex ‘ecosystem’ but you seem to be predicting a recall ‘butt-load’ of new products – radios, antennas, tuners, etc… I’m not sure if you believe they will all be released or simply putting out everything possible to increase the odds that SOMETHING will be correct. (LOL)

    I think replacing the 6300/6500 seems likely, as for the M versions I wonder what you mean by ‘mobile-optimized’, please explain?

    • k9zw says:

      Hi Ken N2VIP

      While you are right that I am predicting a bumper-crop of FlexRadio Systems related products, which is awesome for FlexRadio System Flex-6000 owners!

      I could be way off on what the 6400 and 6600 are about – we will find out end of the week!

      As for the “M” there I am offering up conjecture based on the interest to take Flex-6000 on DXpeditions. It could well mean something else, and I’ve pondered if it might be “Master” for a radio with the ability to use additional units in a coordinated fashion?

      Or is it “remote” for a unit optimized for remote use?

      Or is it repackaged to take a Maestro as a face-plate?

      The list did not include a Flex-6700M nor a higher model than the Flex-6700 which adds intrigue!

      Again later this week we will learn what FRS has cooking!



  2. Better not be replacing the 6500. Mine is suppose to ship this week. I have asked them to tell me if I should have waited to order till after Friday. Will be really sad if they don’t reply to me and it turns out my radio is discontinued the day it ships.

    • k9zw says:

      Craig W6CAW,

      The FRS folk are really decent folk. I don’t think they will make you “sad” in the end!

      All best and 73


  3. k9zw says:

    I’m going to go out a bit on the Limb and predict an updated Maestro II.

    FRS seems to have not been shipping many, if any, Maestros for bit and lists the next in-stock date as September 2017.

    I’m also guessing that the Maestro II will be physically altered to act as the “faceplate” for the 6400M/6600M models. This may include a unified connector or just use an Ethernet lash-up.

    Often when firms depreciate an SKU they have an update ready to launch.



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