No more suspense. My new ham radio is the Flex 6300. A great replacement for my dead 756 Pro II.
In the end, my choice came down to the ICOM 7300 versus Flex Signature Series 6300. Both are great radio for hams and shortwave listeners. Both feature the latest software defined radio technology. But the Flex offers a bit more in display, control and interconnection, albeit at the expense of hooking up a computer. Not a big deal, though, since almost everyone connects a computer and radio together, these days.
Perhaps the key factor in my Flex choice was being able to use a mouse to control the radio on a large display, rather than tapping and touching the ICOM’s small TFT screen. Using SmartSDR software will let me get the most out of this new radio. The Yaesu FTdx3000 dropped from consideration because the company is still well behind in adopting SDR technology.
All three of my options rated 4.7 to 4.8 (out of five) in the popular user reviews on eham.net. I still have some small misgivings about going away from the traditional radio. But my experience with other SDR gear has been good, and I think the transition will be easy to the Signature Series FlexRadio.
Flex 6300 Computer Control and Display
My next series of articles will be about setting up the Flex 6300. At this point, though, I think it is time to have a completely dedicated computer for my SDR gear and related software. Using Kijiji, I found a bought a slightly used Lenovo i7 with a gaming video card. The extra memory and GPU in the gaming card will provide fast, dual displays. The Intel i7, with 64 bit Windows 10 and 8 GB of RAM will provide lots of horsepower for radio control and signal decoding. I just have to add a couple of used 20″ monitors and I will be good to go.
Buying a new ham radio also provides a great opportunity to rebuild the shack. Over the years, things get out of control at the back of the radio equipment. I have set up my operating table with two feet of space at the rear. So, it is reasonably easy to get in and out while rearranging cables. I am going to do a complete renovation. Also, I will need to build an additional shelf for the dual display computer monitors.