Using Flex 6300 connectors is a joy. They are all very standard and well laid out. This is quite different from many traditional radios.
Hooking up a new ham radio is often challenging. Typically, there might be 10-20 connectors on the back, including many of those dreaded DIN connectors. FlexRadio has taken a more standardized approach with the Flex 6300 connectors.
The power button on the left turns the radio on or off when you hold it down for a second. When you power up, the firmware is configured and previous settings are read from memory. When you power off, settings are saved back into memory. About 30 seconds is required for the power cycle.
The microphone connection follows a standard format used by Yaesu and some Kenwood radios. This 8 pin “Foster” connector provides microphone audio, power for an electret mike, and control lines for changing frequencies if your microphone has that capability. I was able to use my Heil-to-Yaesu adapter cable to hook up a variety of microphones, including the line output from a mixer and my Heil Pro-Set Plus. Also my footswitch. Pretty neat. Of course, the radio comes with its own handheld mike if you want to use that. It actually sounds pretty good, too.
The phones and key jacks are standard 1/4 inch stereo. Morse code keying settings are in the software.
Flex 6300 Connectors on the back
The connectors on the back are standardized. Two SO-239 coaxial jacks for antennas and a straightforward screw terminal for ground fill the left half. In the middle is the power jack, which uses popular Anderson Power Pole format. These have been widely adopted in the amateur community as a means of providing inter-operable power connections across a variety of devices and power supplies. The 6300 comes with a six foot power cable with the Power Pole connectors attached.
You can use any PC powered speakers for audio output. I tried a few different sets until I found the one with the best sound.
For its accessory socket, FlexRadio avoids the hassle of DIN and other hard to wire connectors and just uses a female DB-15 jack. These are most well known as VGA connectors, and we all have extra VGA cables lying around. To make wiring really easy, just get a male DB-15 breakout box for five dollars. These contain 15 screw terminals – no soldering needed. The Accessory socket provides additional audio in and out,a variety of relays, and even a 5 volt DC source at 500 mA for external devices.
Finally, on the right side is a standard Ethernet port. This is perhaps the most important Flex 6300 connector. You use to hook up to a computer either directly or over the LAN.
There are other connectors, but the ones described are those that you really need to get started.