Okay here is what I’ve gotten right/wrong in my 2017 new product predictions:
Partially correct – (Some of) SmartSDR for Windows v2.0 will be shown, and anticipate at least a few weeks delay for public beta or a limited release (later June ) . 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.
Correct but too obvious to be a winning prediction – SmartSDR for iOS v2.0 will follow suite with an implementation of the Windows v2.0 product and possibly will work with both SmartSDR v1.x and v2.x servers.
Got this wrong – 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.
Nailed it YES – 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.
Partially correct as YES it was shown, but more it will be included for preorders and other 2017 orders – TunerGenius S
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 pair & controlled from the PowerGeniusXL is happening is a possibility.
Sort of Right, as they are working to do this – 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
Sort or Right, but not Shown – 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.)
YES but not Ready for orders – though a headset to work for this use is ready – 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.
Couldn’t Find them, but was “told it is in the works” – DogPark may have/show their SmartSDR v2.x compatible DogparkSDR upgraded version
No, got this wrong – replaced by other developments – 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).
Yes on new models to replace the old Flex-6300/6500, come in server and with faceplate (not removable) configurations and have more options. – 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.
Didn’t Find them, but keep hearing these are “in the works” – 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.
No got this half wrong – Table talk only unless you are Uncle Sam as FRS does this for them but at a very non-Ham price point, but a ham version could be readied for the right price – 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.
Didn’t Find Them – 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.
Couldn’t Find them, but was “told it is in the works” – But some simpler Ethernet and SmartSDR/DDUtil aware antenna switches may be at the show.
Couldn’t Find them, but was “told it is in the works” – 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.
Heard confirmations, but not really a firm commitment – Thinking more software will be announced over the net after FRS clarifies its forward direction and timing.
No I got this one Wrong – Maestro II as the M models have integral faceplates and production delays were technical – 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.
One thing I really missed was the Emotive Outbursts from FlexRadio Owners who somehow (one or many of these):
- Never Imagined New/Improved Hardware could happen.
- Feel FRS owes them forever upgrades/support at no cost.
- Feel FRS owed them to protect their purchase price by artificially pricing higher than mark for new radio models.
- Somehow think that they would be better at running FRS for no obvious reason that they can share.
- Forget they several dozen SmartSDR releases since the first version widely shared, claiming SmartSDR has been stagnant since 2013.
- Attribute successful/better/more-advanced actions/communications/prices/features to other SDR manufacturers where they either are limited instances or simple are not reality.
- Don’t even own a Flex-6000 but feel they are experienced in operating one.
- Feel their Flex-5000, Flex-3000, Flex-1500, Flex SDR-1000 were the penultimate SDR and nothing newer is any good.
- Haven’t seen the new products in the flesh, but know all about them.
- Say FRS taking reservations and deposits is BAD, but other manufacturers doing the same – some without even a price commitment – is somehow OK.
A lot of these folk need to get on the air more, or at least read the spec sheets…. more on this phenomena in a later post.
I’ll also have a Dayton Wrap-Up from my view point in a couple days. Put on cover 700 miles (1100 KM) today driving home and running George W9EVT to the Washington Island ferry dock, so off to catch up on chores.