As my Flex Radio 6300 heads into its fifth year, I thought it was time for my Flex 6300 upgrade of the firmware and software to the latest version.
During 2017, my older ICOM 756 Pro II passed away. After checking out some options, I selected the basic Flex 6300 as my new main transceiver. Since I spend most of my time listening on a variety of diversity receivers, I had never done a Flex 6300 upgrade before now. But, with the new solar cycle underway, my time for a change had arrived.
As you know, we call it software defined radio for a reason. With some changes to software and firmware, older rigs can adopt new capabilities and features. Flex Radio enabled my leap forward from Version 1.12 to Version 3.3 for $200 just after Christmas.
Although the basic performance has not changed, the Flex 6300 upgrade to Version 3 provides some new features, including SmartLink and multiFlex. SmartLink lets me access my radio from anywhere on the network, local or Internet. I can also provide permission for other folks to use my radio when I am not active.
multiFlex is similar, but different. With multiFlex, I can set up two different operating position for the one radio. My basic 6300 has two “slices”, or different radio’s which share the hardware. Normally, I use this for listening to two bands at the same time. But with multiFlex, I can share the radio across two completely different operating positions.
My plan is to configure my Radio Room computer to run voice modes, mainly SSB. Then, I will configure my electronics Lab computer to run Digital Modes, mainly FT8. Both operating positions will share the same radio, antenna and logging program.
Flex 6300 Upgrade – How It Worked
I always get nervous when I update firmware in a radio. Fear of bricking it, I guess. But the upgrade process from Flex Radio was painless. I just run the SmartSDR Version 3.3 setup program on the Radio Room computer. It quickly found the radio and upgraded the firmware in about 5-10 minutes.
But, now I had to purchase a new license. That process was mainly automated. But, unfortunately, it took some hours and a help desk ticket before the Flex server was able to confirm the new license in the radio. All done now, and it works well.