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New K9ZW Custom QSL Cards by Jeff K1NSS 9 - February - 2014

Posted by k9zw in A Good Read series, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, K9ZW Operations, US Islands.
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Just finished today is the design phase of a trio of new QSL card designs commissioned from Jeff K1NSS.

I’ve segmented my operating QSOs recently into those where I’ve been on my new Flex-6700, those where I’ve been using vintage gear, and those made from my frequent visits on Washington Island.

Jeff K1NSS Eyeball QSO Card Designs for K9ZW

Jeff K1NSS Eyeball QSO Card Designs for K9ZW

Jeff K1NSS was brought to my attention as an illustrator and featured name in the K9YA Club Newsletter and by word of mouth.

We exchanged a few emails working out a strategy to a portfolio of designs, each with print and web versions, plus a coordinated Eyeball QSO Card.

Jeff has great talents suggesting viable themes and asking great questions to draw out what I was hoping for.

The Flex-6700 feature reflects the “magic decoder ring” that this piece of SDR equipment has brought to my operations. If you receive the full actual card there are “Easter Eggs” hidden in the design.

A “Voice of Steve” card seemed a natural to give a feel for the reverence of operating with vintage gear. I’ve gear spanning the WWII period onwards which I put to use when I can.

The third segmentation are those QSOs I make as a guest at the George Ulm W9EVT mega-shack at Greengate Farm on Washington Island, Wisconsin. The card gives tribute to this significant radio operation and also a way to highlight any other Washington Island QSO I make.

The reduced designs are the Eyeball QSO Cards illustrated. Eyeball QSO Cards is an Amateur’s way to say “calling card” and have taken the full card themes in a form adjusted for the purpose.

A highly rewarding experience, the process was a lot of fun! I spent more with Jeff than many of his projects, as I asked him to do not only the three designs, but also a WI9DX Washington Island DX Club version and a club member version of that card as well.

Oh and I asked him to do custom reverse sides to blend with the cards designs.

I’ll trickle some examples on the blog over the next few weeks.

Hope you like them as much as I do!

73

Steve
K9ZW

2013 Clean Sweep Plus for K9ZW Flex-6700 Operating from WI-001L 26 - August - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, K9ZW, K9ZW Operations, US Islands.
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As mentioned in K9ZW Flex-6700 US Island Activation at WI-001L while one Washington Island (US Islands WI-001L) with my new (serial number #11) FlexRadio Systems Flex-6700 I did run a clean sweep of The US. Original Colonies S/E Group’s 5th Annual “Fourth of July Week – The Original 13 Colonies Special Event” including the bonus WM3PEN station.

Today’s mail brought a hansom bit of wallpaper (certificate):

K9ZW Clean-Sweep plus Bonus for the 2013 The Original 13 Colonies Special Event

K9ZW Clean-Sweep plus Bonus for the 2013 The Original 13 Colonies Special Event

These fun-events are always one of the simple pleasures of ham radio.  One cannot say there was any noteworthy technical accomplishment in making the contacts, but one can say there is a prideful patriotic pleasure nonetheless!

I’d written about this particular event several years ago (Blog Post Link: Original 13 Colonies Independence Day Special Event), though each year past I always came up short a good number of stations.

I guess one neat thing is this is the first wallpaper the Flex-6700 was used for, its first US Island Activation, and the first wallpaper I’ve ever earned using a radio that isn’t really out yet (as I am one of the Preview Edition stations).

73

Steve
K9ZW

To do Field Day with the Flex-6700 or not? 20 - June - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, K9ZW Operations.
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Question at hand, with the new radio due in tomorrow do I take it to Field Day Saturday, not take it, or do I use it but as a 1D station from home?

Choices, choices…..

Tracking says I should be here before lunch tomorrow….

73

Steve
K9ZW

Rack Mount – Preparing for the FlexRadio Systems Flex-6700 15 - June - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, K9ZW Operations, K9ZW Shack.
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Search for a rack found either very rough gear, very dated gear (one which I will hopefully acquire for vintage gear later) or hugely expensive racks.

Bought an unused surplus odd comm’s rack – double-ended doghouse thing.  Wrong shape, but built like a tank.

Got my buddy Ray to cut in basically in half, moved wheels to the lower section, and reassemble with stiffeners.  Ray did this with a purposeful 2 inch set back on upper cube to make it more pleasing.

It is reinforced and now ready for gear

Lower will get shelves for amps, power supplies, and tuner.

Upper will get the Flex-6700, a rackable customer i7 Win7 computer, full W2IHY set up, Greenheron Rotor Control  and Array solutions PowerMaster SWR/Watts meter, Rb Frequency Reference, and Flex-5000 (possibly on top of the whole rack if I run out of room).

Looking at another rack I found for vintage/boatanchor gear (SP-600 and similar).

BTW the Collins S-Line Station will go on a desk – show-n-tell sort of thing.

Here is a sketch (click on it for a larger version):

K9ZW Main Rack

K9ZW Main Rack

Should work pretty good!

73

Steve
K9ZW

Photos from Raspberry Pi running fldigi 27 - March - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, K9ZW Operations.
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K9ZW Raspberry Pi running fldigi

Here is the overall setup. I don’t usually get to set computers up on the kitchen table.

fldigi running Feld Hellschreiber in transmit mode.

Haven’t put it on the air yet – still trying to resolve some of the artifacts from processor overloading.

This is the Raspberry Pi itself, cased in a Pi-Shell.

Lots of cables.

I picked a decent powered hub, and power the Raspberry Pi itself from the hub.

I tried a less costly hub and had keyboard issues wwwwwhhhhhhheeeeeerrrrrreeee it couldn’t read the keyboard and other random reboots.

I really needed the first book. I haven’t dug into the second one yet.

Here is the Raspbian Wheezy default desktop.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Upcoming CQ WPX SSB 23 - March - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, K9ZW Operations.
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Next weekend is the CQ WPX SSB contest, and I have a chace of putting in a better than average (for me) showing.

Basic contest information (just the info I need):

CQ WPX Contest Dates SSB: March 30-31, 2013
Starts: 0000 UTC Saturday Ends: 2359 UTC Sunday

http://www.cqwpx.com/

rules: http://www.cqwpx.com/rules.htm

Period of Operation: 48 hours. Single Operator stations may operate 36 of the 48 hours – off times must be a minimum of 60 minutes during which no QSO is logged.

Bands: Only the 1.8, 3.5, 7, 14, 21, and 28 MHz bands may be used.

Single Operator High (All Band or Single Band): QSO alerting assistance is not permitted. Total output power must not exceed 1500 watts.

Or

Single Operator Low (All Band or Single Band): QSO alerting assistance is not permitted. Total output power must not exceed 100 watts.

Single Operator Overlay Categories: Single Operator entrants above may also submit their log for one of the categories shown below by adding an additional line in the Cabrillo log file header called CATEGORY-OVERLAY. All Overlay entries are grouped into high power and low power in the results.

(a) Tribander/Single Element (TB-WIRES): During the contest an entrant shall use only one (1) tribander (any type, with a single feed line from the transmitter to the antenna) for 10, 15, and 20 meters and single-element antennas on 40, 80, and 160 meters.

Exchange: RS(T) report plus a progressive contact serial number starting with 001 for the first contact.

I have several Easter Weekend events at Church and with Family, but I do think I can squeeze in at least a 1/3 available hours effort. SOmewhat concerned that the time slots I have opne are not looking very productive for propagation.

Big thing to get ready is to get a Voice Keyer up and running. I was loosing my voice during the Wisconsin QSO party and was only only a bit more than 2 hours.

I’ll have to decide if I want to run 100w or high power, and if I want to run with assistance or without. Presently thinking Without, 100w power will be the choice.

I should quality for the TB-WIRES overlay endorsement.

Hope to catch you on the air next weekend!

73

Steve
K9ZW

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