Sunday, July 30, 2017

A new way to shop for a rig

When you buy a car, you probably test drive it first to make sure it's "all that". Wouldn't it be great if we could try out a radio before buying one, especially if we are unfamiliar with the particular brand in question?

Thanks to SDR and Flex's new SmartLink, it is now possible (details of actual implementation are being "actively worked on") to test drive a Flex 6xxx-series rig. Flex owners are currently using the latest version of SmartSDR (which contains SmartLink) to use their shack-based rig from Starbucks, work (uh-oh!) and other locations via a laptop or other mobile device.

Flex mentioned a few days ago that they are working toward a solution that will grant prospective buyers temporary credentials that would allow them to use their home computer to operate a Flex transceiver located at their home base in Austin or elsewhere.

For years Elecraft has made it possible for prospective K3 buyers to get in touch with local owners who are willing to show their rig and perhaps let the visitor operate it. It is now possible to take a giant step forward from that concept.

Like it or not, remote operation (now greatly simplified by SmartLink) is going to gain in popularity for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that this is a technical hobby comprised of many minds that are hard-wired to push the envelope. What Flex is doing today will be what other manufacturers will be doing a few short years down the road.

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