With the imminent shipment of production FlexRadio 6700 radios, I asked the good folks at FlexRadio for the “ok” to start discussing performance and real world experience with the radio. The reason for the “ok” will become clear below but that’s the extent of it – I’m not paid by FlexRadio Systems and the company doesn’t get to “ok” what I write.
I am one of the FlexRadio 6700 alpha testers – these are my revelations.
About 18 months ago, my phone rang and there was Gerald Youngblood, President and CEO of FlexRadio Systems. After some pleasantries and chatting about ham topics, Gerald asked if I’d be willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to enable us to discuss future product plans. In my day job as a Venture Capitalist, I NEVER sign NDA agreements – there are good reasons given the number of business plans I see and at the end of the day, professional reputation and integrity are more important than any legal agreement. Information stays confidential because of people, not because of paper! Despite my normal reluctance to sign NDAs, and with radio products a LONG way from my investment activities, I readily agreed.
A couple of days later, NDA signed, Gerald, together with Greg Jurrens (FlexRadio VP of Sales & Marketing) and I started a series of long conference calls and email discussions about the next step in the evolution of FlexRadio products – the 6000 series.
As an engineer, business guy, oh and of course a very active Ham, this was heady stuff – getting in at the concept stage of a new radio was a rare opportunity. As an unpaid consultant, my reward was to see the 6000 series develop from a clean sheet of paper, through development to product.
I also got to be one of the alpha testers of the FlexRadio 6700 providing feedback on usability, the UI and real world testing.
In the next posts I’ll describe my experiences with the radio from the alpha units, the demonstration station at the 2013 International DX Convention at Visalia, through to getting one of the first production units that have been shipped.