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Boomset Upgrade – Arlan RadioSport RS60CF Headset 27 - May - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Dayton Hamvention, Hamvention, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, K9ZW Uses.
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RadioSport RS60CF Headset

RadioSport RS60CF Headset

One item I noticed at the Dayton Hamvention but was unable to buy there was the Arlan Communications RadioSport RS60CF Headset and related listen only headphones.

Several manufacturers were using the listen only version to demonstrate their radios.

I’d also recently read Stu K6TU’s account of how much he liked his new RS60CF.

Alas a search of the Hara from end to end didn’t find anyone selling the RadioSport headsets.

But they are featured on line:


These are in the same price range as a moderate to good basic aviation boomset, putting a a setup in the $350 price range.

Initial impression out of the box is these are above expectations and hugely comfortable.

I’ll post a report after I get some hours in using the RS60CFs.



FlexRadio Systems Banquet 2013 – Highlights 21 - May - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, Hamvention, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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I enjoyed the 2013 FlexRadio Systems banquet though the Dayton Grand needs taking to task for not measuring up.  Over 180 hams attended!

Announced was the end of Flex-5000 series – see other article I just posted.

We’re told a new PowerSDR version 2.7.x expected over summer.  PowerSDR development will continue.

Flex-6000 roll out will ship 6700′s ahead of 6500′s, with a voluntary Beta-Software program available.  The 6700 firmware/software is a few weeks ahead of the reduced set of the 6500.

Annual Subscriptions for Beta-Software will start with the release of a non-Beta software package, expected to be some weeks (not many months) aftr the Beta-Software gooes live.

Demonstrated remote access to a Flex-6700 with a Windows Tablet by handing it around for all 180 of us to have a chance to play with it!

InnovAntennas developing an optimised Log Periodic to work with the Flex-6000 Series and it’s enhanced reception capabilities.  They also will have some optimized antennas for exploiting the diversity reception capabilities of the 6700.

The Flex-6500 and Flex-6700/6700R are SDR “Radio Server Appliances” in the new lingo.

FlexRadio Systems is moving towards being a software house that happens to also provide “Radio Server Appliances.”

The gap between the PowerSDR Flex-3000 and the SmartSDR Flex-6500 will eventually be filled with a new SmartSDR radio below the Flex-6500/6700 in both ultimate capabilities and pricing.  This new radio won’t start development until the 6700/6500 are released and established.

SmartSDR is only one GUI/HMI offering and is not the meat of the high value software.   Other GUI/HMI programs are highly likely over time.

API developer licensing will be available and some 3rd party development is underway under NDAs.

Expect a hardware Remote Station I/O Manager Device to work with SmartSDR – a way to hook your headset, PTT and key to your remote tablet/pad device.  FlexRadio Systems did not put a timeline on this accessory.

Expect SmartSDR apps for more than Windows devices – iPod and Android were mentioned.

Initial Beta-Group Flex-6700/6500 software will expect a direct connect to the SmartSDR computer, later upgrades will allow remoting within a workspace and eventually full remoting should be possible.

There is substantial professional interest in the Flex-6700R for other than Amateur Radio useage.

The data time-stamping from the GPSDO option will open up a lot of opportunities to combine data streams.

These topics will be fleshed out and discussed over the new few months.



Dayton 2013 – Saturday Report 18 - May - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Dayton Hamvention, FlexRadio Systems, Hamvention, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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Continues to be an interesting Hamvention.

Tonight was the FlexRadio Systems Dayton Hamvention Dinner where I heard much more about the new series.

During the day I attended some of the Forums and did a bit of a Flea Market walk.

As I have promised to do a Radio Club Meeting presentation Monday night, my main Dayton recap will wait until after that presentation.

Tonight it is off to get some sleep before the seven hour drive home tomorrow.

More on my Dayton observations soon!



Dayton 2013 – Friday Report 17 - May - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Dayton Hamvention, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, Hamvention, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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Been an interesting Hamvention so far.

There are some new products – the IC-7100 successor to the IC-7000 and the TS-990 was being shown.

Interestingly the Kenwood was somehow locked up and the floor team didn’t have a way to reboot it.

My first focus was a visit with Julius at W2IHY where I was having a very serious look at the new line of switch gear.  I’ve always admired the quality of his gear and this new range of products doesn’t disappoint.  http://w2ihy.com will fill you in on the new gear.  I already have a lot of his audio gear and will be adding some of the new line.

A visit at Hilberling found that they fully up and running for the USA market.  Never intended to be “everyman’s transceiver” they have delivered over $1million of these new “uber-radios” so far.

Long chat at FlexRadio Systems and one has to admire their willingness to trickle out radios even while the eagerness and requests to ship are so huge.  It was hard to get up close with the crowd, but i did get some time on their Flex-6700 simulators.  Tim W4TME was kind enough to give me a guided tour of the inside of the visual Flex-6700 – and I obliged by pretending I knew what all that stuff was (actually it is pretty neat and straight forward.)  FlexRadio Systems has put the Flex-5000A on end-of-life status with a when stock is sold, they are all sold noted on their website.  Flex-5000A critical components have become unavailable and it was fairly easy to see their was a product line overlap (a fully loaded Flex-5000A was within five hundred dollars of the new Flex-6500).

Very nicely the FlexRadio Systems team explained to me that when my radio is ready to ship, it will be ready.  Tomorrow is the FlexRadio Systems Dayton Hamvention Dinner where I hope to hear much more.

Over at Alpha the long awaited Alpha-4040 Tuner was being shown in working form.  The tuner looks well worth the wait.  The touchscreen display is awesome!

I was really taken with the dual port VNA (Vector Network Analyzer) at Array Solutions.  This “black box” connects to your PC to create a full test lab doing much more than I can recollect.  Jay (Array Solution’s owner) showed me how to do a TDR (Time Division Reflectometry) examination of a feedline and antenna system (including the VNA even measuring a human hand touching an antenna element), how to do a full in depth coil measurement, and a bunch of stuff I am going to have to brush up on.  This look like my next test gear addition.

The Japanese LUSO tower people took the time to explain their very cool crank-up towers.  Really amazingly serious amateur radio gear.

I was surprised at a couple vendors living the past.  Some of the big name rotor/rotor-controller folk have amazing new technology (Green Heron Engineering is a personal favorite, and they sold me one of their new station control modules) and other are promising to catch up to market norms by adding computer control to their rotor-controllers in perhaps a year….

TenTec was showing off their latest and a new Model 506 “Rebel” QRP transceiver I hadn’t seen before.  Apparently this new radio has the guts of an Arduino running the show – very cool!

More tomorrow!



Is that Dayton on the Horizon? 30 - January - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Dayton Hamvention, Hamvention, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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Looking ahead fifteen weeks, Dayton 2013 is coming around.

Always makes sense when travel a fair distance to get one’s ducks lined up early, so reservations are being made.

Working to ballance a couple events our small group would like to attend – the the FlexRadio Dinner, the Collins Collector Dinner and one of the Contest or DX Dinners.

I make this one of two anual events where I meet up with the eldest of thre three family branches, so that is truly a highlight to look forward for.

This year George W9EVT is panning to be my navigator for Dayton 2013.  Doing Dayton with George W9EVT is real pleasure as he knows and is friends with so many interesting hams – the wort that are doing neat things.

I’ve also invited my youngest son, Vic KC9NWB to come along.  He will have to decide if he can cut some classes to make Dayton.

Links for this year are:

The Dayton Hamvention Website: http://hamvention.org/
The DX Dinner Webpage: http://www.swodxaevents.org/
The Collins Collectors Group Website: http://www.collinsradio.org/
FlexRadio Systems Website: http://flexradio.com/
The Contest Dinner Website: http://www.contestdinner.com/

Hope to see you there!



Flex-Radio 6000 Series 18 - May - 2012

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Dayton Hamvention, Flex-6000, Hamvention, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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The big Dayton buzz before the show even opens is the new Flex-Radio Flex-6000 series “Game Changer” radios.

Downloadable brochure at http://flexradio.com

Also a write up in the online store area under “signature radios.”

Two transceiver models (4 slice 6500 and 8 slice 6700) and a 8 slice receiver 6700R.

Looks very promising!




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