Category Archives: Flex-6000

Coming this weekend (Aug 15th, 2020) – SmartSDR for Mac

In a really nice addition to the SmartSDR ecosystem, Marcus Roskosch DL8MRE is releasing a native MacOS version of SmartSDR which should hit the Apple MacOS App store on August 15th 2020.

SmartSDR for MacOS

Link: https://roskosch.de/smartsdr-for-mac/

As a disclaimer, I have NOT participated or seen this software in pre-release, though with the high quality of Marcus DL8MRE past work and software releases, I am very excited about his new product.

Some really great features:

  • built in FT4/8
  • integrated CAT & DAX
  • built in Logbook with ADIF Export and a Call lookup tool
  • internal DX-Cluster
  • a Band-Map Tool
  • internal Spots on the panadapter
  • CWX and CW Macros,
  • Internal and external Audio device support
  • SmartLink integration
  • Full Firmware Updating capabilites for your Radio
  • Support for Country TURF Files
  • Will display all the panadapters and slices your Radio is capable of

While Marcus DL8MRE is closely affiliated by FlexRadio, he is a third party developer.  His products are considered officially supported and promoted, but they are not part of the basic SmartSDR for Windows product included when you buy a new Flex-6000 radio.

The new app does run $149.00 as a one-time cost.  Presently it will only be offered through Apple’s store.  I am uncertain if your SmartSDR for Mac purchase is per radio, per machine, or allows for some combination.  Nor is it clear you can install this on all your own MacOS machines?

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Follow up on a Flex-6700’s trip to the Mother Ship for repair

My backup Flex-6700 took a trip to Austin TX as it’s OLED had failed, and I wanted to have it get a full checkout.

As it was a non-urgent service need, it didn’t warrant priority handling, and once we determined it needed to come in for repairs I waited for a RMA to be issued.

FRS is managing their RMAs to keep things flowing, but to avoid having radios show up too far before their quarantine period.

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Radio making a trip to Austin – used Flex-6700 bench-check and display

A used Flex-6700 I bought a while back is headed back to the mother ship for a good checkout and because the OLED stopped working.

A little different process in the midst of this Virus, as FRS meters-out RMAs to first allow inbound a bit of precautionary quarantine time when it arrives to them.

As the repair is not critical and the bench-check precautionary, I’ve just kept using the radio. As 95% of the time I am physically either LAN-remote or WAN-remote, I never see the display most of the time.

And the bench-check often is something I would have done when I purchased a used radio, but I was busy and never arranged for a trip to FRS at purchase.

Of my Flex-6000 radios this is the first one to go in for something wrong with it. Others have gone in, but that has been for factory installed upgrades on the first 6700 I purchased (serial #11, unboxed June 21st, 2013).

I’ve had a lot more troubles with the PC end of the equation than the radios.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Flex-6600M vs Flex-6700 – some thoughts

In the FlexRadio community someone asked what a person would pick if their choices were a Flex-6600M vs Flex-6700?

I replied:

“Presently owning 6700s and a 6600M I am very biased to the 6700 platform. My 6600 is nice but the 6700s are appealing robust!

I unboxed my oldest 6700 June 21st 2013 (serial #11) and quickly as software rolled out it retired my 5000A.

If I had to shed radios, my original 6700 would be the last SDR I’d let go.

While I seldom run up all the slices in earnest it is pretty neat to fill your screens with the panafalls!”

On more reflection if I needed something that was grab-and-go, all-in-one the 6600M wins.

If I am operating remote the choice changes to the 6700 hands down.

“Horses for Courses” as they say.  And not a bad pick in the bunch either!

73

Steve
K9ZW

Flex-6000 SD Card Protection Improvement – Time to Update is Now

All patched up with v3.1.12 and v2.6.2

Update ALL your FlexRadio Systems radios/Maestros to 3.1.12 (or 2.6.2 if you are a version 2 user) or higher when future versions are released.

Big SD-card protection against possible corruption improvement with these releases.

Quick background – earlier versions had a code issue where they hammered too hard on specific locations (I guess called “cells” in FlexRadio SD card parlance, which I think is “bad sectors”) eventually leading to electro-mechanical SD card corruption.

General release 3.1.12 and 2.6.2 fix the code.
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REPOST: Background FT8 Remote via SmartLink and SmartSDR for Windows (June 6th, 2019)

REPOST of a June 6th 2019 Post. EDITS in BOLD with Brackets []

Background FT8 Remote via SmartLink and SmartSDR for Windows

If you spend long hours desk-bound like I do, your thoughts may also wander to the question “Could I make some QSOs during work? [EDIT With the immense amount of screen time working (we’re considered an essential business at work) while in isolation making any QSO is a treat.]

Back in SmartSDR v1 days I started with a Raspberry Pi VPN using a Maestro during lunch hours. Those phone (SSB) QSOs were pretty few.  Fist I had limited time and then if staff knew I was in the building they had things to bring to my attention, which is hard to manage when you are also in QSO!

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