SmartSDR V3.0 Frequently Asked Questions
SmartSDR is the term used to describe the software that powers the FLEX-6000 series radios. SmartSDR v3.0 is the next major release of SmartSDR for all FLEX-6000 series radios.
The main feature in this release is called multiFLEXTM. multiFLEX allows a FLEX-6000 series radio to have two clients connected simultaneously (PC, Maestro™, iPad®, or iPhone®). For more details go to flexradio.com/multiFLEX
multiFLEX is a unique feature offering to FlexRadio transceivers that affords the operator the following benefits:
- The ability to use multiple clients simultaneously at one location
- Reduced station costs for contesters
- Enhances remote operation capabilities
- Allow the radio to be remotely shared with a second user
- New Band Settings menu/panel that allows a user to visually set certain settings per-band ( power levels, TX Inhibit, ACC/TX1/TX2/TX3 Enabled, RCA/ACC TX Request Enable and HWALC)
- TX/MIC Profile Changes - all settings are now saved on-the-fly (as settings are changed).
- Various performance improvements and bug fixes
SmartSDR v3.0 is expected to be available by mid April 2019.
If you purchased your radio or SmartSDR v2 on or after Oct. 1, 2018 no additional payment is required. If you purchased a FLEX-6000 series radio prior to Oct. 1, 2018 there is a $199 fee (U.S.) to upgrade to this latest major version release. All subsequent point releases (v3.x) are available at no additional expense.
SmartSDR v3 comes with multiFLEX allowing a mix of up to two devices (PC, Maestro™, iPad®, or iPhone®) to connect to the radio simultaneously and in both cases can use all the resources of the radio.
multiFLEX can have two users connected simultaneously. This may also occur using a SmartLink connection. If both parties wish to connect to the radio over SmartLink remote they will need to share a single login.
Download the latest software from our website and follow the installation procedure. The radio will automatically acquire the license if it is connected to the internet. Please note, if your radio is directly connected to your PC then it does not have an internet connection. For best results, connect your radio to your home router.
No, this is an optional one time purchase for all SmartSDR v3.x versions. Should you not find the features in SmartSDR v3 to be of value, you can continue using your current version or purchase at anytime during the release cycle when a point release provides you something of interest/value. Your current version of SmartSDR will continue to operate in perpetuity.
This is not necessary, you may purchase and install SmartSDR v3 as a direct upgrade from version 1, and you will also automatically get all of the additional features release in v2 over the last 18 months with no additional charge.
Yes, we will be releasing SmartSDR v2.5 later in 2019. SmartSDR v2.5 will be a maintenance release which will include a number of performance improvements and bug fixes.
Yes. One of the key benefits of this feature is to allow Multi-Single contesting with one radio. By using SmartLink remote, the operators do not need to be physically present with the radio. This also cuts the radio requirement in half for Multi-2 and Multi-Multi contest stations!
No, not at this time.
No, not at this time. In the initial release of multiFLEX the clients will act independently giving the impression of two completely separate radios. This means that tuning a VFO on Maestro will not tune the VFO on SmartSDR on Windows.
Given that each radio only has one transmitter it is not possible for two users to transmit at the same time. Transmit priority is given on a first one wins basis. Each radio has a number of specific number antennas that the radio can support simultaneously. This is the number of Spectral Capture Units (SCUs) in the radio. There is one SCU in the FLEX-6300, FLEX-6400 and FLEX-6500 and two in the FLEX-6600 and FLEX-6700. If you have two operators on a single-SCU radio, they would each need to use the same antenna, but could use different bands (provided the antenna works on both bands). For the dual-SCU radios, each operator can be on a different antenna -- or they could share antennas. For example, on a FLEX-6600 or FLEX-6700, operator one could be listening on 20m (beam on ANT1) and transmitting on 40m (dipole), while operator two is doing the opposite (listening on 40m and transmitting on 20m). If you have a single antenna that is wide-banded, for example a Tennadyne T10, and say a beverage, both operators could have the T10 as their transmit and receive antenna (single SCU) or one/both could transmit on the T10 and listen on the beverage.
Yes, users do not need to be physically present with the radio to access it. With SmartLink remote the two users can be anywhere as long as there is a network to support it.
multiFLEX will allow two operators to connect to the radio simultaneously. The two operators will be able to split the resources available on the radio. For a FLEX-6400, since there are two panadapters and two receivers available, each operator can have access to one panadapter and one receiver. On the FLEX-6700, for example, the operators will be able to split the eight receivers and panadapters between the two operators. So if one operator wants to work DX on two bands, using two total panadapters and a receiver on the DX station on each band and a receiver in the pile-up, he would use two panadapters and four receivers. This would leave up to six panadapters and four receivers for the second operator. In a bulleted format: Operator 1: 2 Panadapters, 4 receivers Operator 2: 6 Panadapters, 4 receivers These panadapters and receivers can be placed on the same or different antennas, depending on whether the radio has one or two SCUs. The radio resources break down as follows: FLEX-6300, FLEX-6400: 2 panadapters, 2 receivers (one antenna at a time) FLEX-6500: 4 panadapters, 4 receivers (one antenna at a time) FLEX-6600: 4 panadapters, 4 receivers (two antennas at a time) FLEX-6700: 8 panadapters, 8 receivers (two antennas at a time)
Limited Edition owners were entitled to a free upgrade of v2 of SmartSDR. V3 is the first paid release for Limited Edition owners.
Yes. With multiFLEX you can mix and match any SmartSDR client including SmartSDR for Windows, SmartSDR for Maestro, SmartSDR for M models and SmartSDR for iOS.
No. Each client will call the first Slice opened Slice A. Then Slice B, etc. The radio model determines how many Slice (receiver) resources are available (6700: 8, 6500/6600/6600M: 4, 6400/6300: 2) When no more resources (Slices, Panadapters, DAX Channels, etc) are available, the client will indicate this to the user by disabling the button to open more of that resource.
No. Since each Slice is unique and specific to each client, they are handled independently.
See answer about CAT/DAX support below. First, understand the Station Name concept. This is key to how CAT and DAX work with multiFLEX.
Each SmartSDR client will have an associated Station name. On a PC for example, the Station Name will default to PC. The Station Name can easily be changed to something else more descriptive by the operator. The Station Name will be used as a means to identify which client you want to associate with for other applications like SmartSDR CAT and DAX. This gives the appropriate context to run the radio in the presence of multiple operators.
The transmitter operates on a “first come, first served” basis. So the first client to transmit gets control of the transmitter until they un-key. When your client is transmitting, you will see the familiar TX indicator in the lower right on SmartSDR for Windows. When a client other than your own is transmitting, an indicator such as the one shown in the screenshot below with inverted colors will be show to draw attention to the fact that the radio is in transmit mode by another client. You can hover over the indicator to get information about which Station is transmitting. It looks like this when your client is transmitting: It looks like this when a different client is transmitting:
The TX indicator will return to say TX Ready in the lower right as shown in the screenshot above.
Yes. The PowerGenius XL is an ideal amplifier to use with SmartSDR with multiFLEX. The integration showing the power output directly in the display and the ability to instantly switch to barefoot all from the SmartSDR screen makes it a breeze to operate. Other amplifiers will also work with multiFLEX provided that they can switch in an appropriate time (~10ms) or an appropriate delay is added to compensate for any switching delays (as would be customary for typical operation).
Yes. SmartSDR CAT and DAX will allow the operator to bind to a particular Station to help identify which SmartSDR GUI client to follow (e.g. SmartSDR for Windows, SmartSDR for Maestro, etc.)
Most likely, yes. Many of our API developers have already been working prior to launch to support SmartSDR v3.0 in their software. Please check with the individual developer of your program of interest to find out where they are in that process for details. 3rd party applications that depend on SmartSDR CAT will work at launch.
Yes. USB Cables will work with multiFLEX. The settings are generally related to the radio, depending on the source selection. Some sources may not be as useful in a multiple client scenario since more than one client could impact the USB Cable band/frequency (e.g. Active Slice). When a source is used, like a particular RX Antenna, the last Slice using that antenna to change frequency will trigger the USB Cable to update (last one wins).
You can expect the bandwidth to be about the same as it was in SmartSDR v2 for the same number of resources (Panadapters, Slices, DAX channels, etc.). Obviously, with more than one client available, it may mean that more of those resources are in use at any given time.
Given your buddies permission, absolutely! Note that the licensing is enforced on the radio side, so anyone with permission and access to a v3 licensed radio can try it.
Each FLEX-6000 Series radio comes from the factory with a license of the current major version of SmartSDR (ie v1, v2, v3). Subsequent point releases are included at no additional cost to the owner (ie v2.1, 2.2, 2.3). When the next major version is released it will be an optional paid upgrade. Should the user choose not to upgrade, their current version will continue to work in perpetuity. A user may also skip versions should they choose. A user can upgrade from v1 to v3 with a single purchase.
Yes. Switching between SmartSDR versions is an easy process. Due to the changes to the database in v3, you will want to do a factory reset and import your saved settings if you do choose to downgrade from v3.