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Rocky Ridge Farm on Washington Island, WI – First Radio Activation 1 - September - 2014

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9ZW, K9ZW Operations, US Islands.
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Even though we have leased the farm for months, I first got around to setting up a portable station this weekend.  Usually when I am on Washington Island I have the luxury of guest operating from George W9EVT’s mega-shack, and even in this attempt George W9EVT saved the day helping me get on the air.

Equipment used was:

  • SteppIR CrankIR antenna with radial and 80m kits
  • FlexRadio System Flex-6300 transceiver
  • A Toshiba Laptop running Win7-Pro I borrowed from work
  • Power supply from my spares shelf
  • Cisco gigabit router
  • cables and power cords/distribution from my spares

This was our first use of the CrankIR and the Flex-6300, so we had a bit of a learning curve.  It was also a fresh install of SmartSDR, SmartCAT, DAX, and fldigi on the Toshiba which all had to be configured.

 

The SteppIR CrankIR Antenna

The SteppIR CrankIR Antenna


The working end

The working end


The Wires side of things

The Wires side of things


Logging on Cardboard

Logging on Cardboard


CrankIR Main Unit up close

CrankIR Main Unit up close


Rocky Ridge Farm Activated

Rocky Ridge Farm Activated

 

 

W9EVT saved the day...

W9EVT saved the day…

Pictures cannot convey the experience of doing a first time setup of the CrankIR – an easy task once you’ve done it, but a dickens the first time.  Winston KC9FVR helped the first setup and I don’t think I could have done it first time without my son’s participation.

I quickly discovered I had no audio out – I forgot to bring a headset or speakers, and ten Flex-6300 does not have an internal speaker, so my initial efforts were digital mode.

No joy there as my signal apparently wasn’t readable on PSK31 and without audio out the portable stup wasn’t going anywhere.

So the next day, hat in hand, I borrowed a headset from George W9EVT and switched to SSB.

Fairly quickly I was able to work a good number of stations on 20m and 15m phone, including several DX stations.

Found that the software juggling on the laptop was a pain, and ended up doing all the logging on the cardboard tabletop cover I used to have a mouse-ready surface.  Later I entered the QSOs into eQSL and I’ll import the adi log file into my main log later.

Mother Nature ended my activation early as it started to rain and the winds started whipping.  Knocking everything down went smoothly and with Labor Day still windy & rainy, further Rocky Ridge Farm activation will wait for another day.

Of course I have updated my gear checklist to include headphones and speakers for the next activation.

73

Steve

K9ZW

Flex-6700 testing at George W9EVT’s Hamshack – July 2013 9 - July - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, US Islands.
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Just a few pictures from my testing session at George W9EVt’s mega-shack on Washington Island, Wisconsin over the July 4th Holiday 2013.

Installing SmartSDR Preview Edition was a snap.

The Flex-6700 Powering Up (GPS hasn’t locked yet)

Example of the Panadapter in use (one slice)

I’ll have a write-up on my impression and comparison results this weekend coming.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Flex-6700 US Island Activation Hits Stormy Weather 8 - July - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, US Islands.
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Weather has interrupted  the testing with George W9EVT is hosting  on WI-001L Washington Island, and the internet we use.

Pictures and updates will have to wait until my return.

For now here is a video of from the German Ham Show:

As posted at the SmartSDR Yahoo Group list:

Hello to all,

Look http://youtu.be/Dg28LJvEzDA

73 to all
Michel F5OZF

Thank you Michel F5OZF

73

Steve
K9ZW

K9ZW Flex-6700 US Island Activation at WI-001L 4 - July - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, US Islands.
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As mentioned, George W9EVT is hosting us for a few days on WI-001L Washington Island to let me try the Flex-6700 in an exceptionally RF quiet location with his world class antenna farm.

Everything set up very quick and we’ve been working DX right from start.

I also ran a clean sweep of the 13 Colonies event, including the bonus WM3PEN station. I did do one QSO in the sweep on the IC-7800 as K2H was PSK and RTTY only, and I didn’t bring everything to put the Flex-6700 on digital.

I have filled in some band/mode holes and a couple DX QTHs I hadn’t worked at all.

Did a lot more listening, basically comparing against the IC-7800, with the Flex-6700 showing itself very well!

Will be on periodically for the next several days, depending on what days I need to be home and which I can be up there.

Catch you on the air!

73

Steve
K9ZW

With Flex-6700 Heading Off for US Island Activation 2 - July - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, US Islands.
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2 comments

George W9EVT is hosting us for a few days on WI-001L Washington Island to let me try the Flex-6700 in an exceptionally RF quiet location with his world class antenna farm.

Software on a thumb drive and radio in its shipping box we’re off for the couple hour drive, then 30 minutes ferry ride to Washington Island.

Will be on periodically for the next several days, depending on what days I need to be home and which I can be up there.

Catch you on the air!

73

Steve
K9ZW

Remote Updates to Ham Shack Firmware – Daily Uploads? 20 - April - 2013

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, US Islands.
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Quick stop at friend George W9EVT’s shack, to which I brought a thumbdrive of the latest firmware updates downloaded two days ago.

Loaded no sweat, only to find some of the updates have been updated in the last 48 hours!

The vastly improved internet infrastructure on Washington Island (US/CA Island WI-001L) made downloading the “latest latest” easy and a quick repeat brought things truly up to date – at least until the next firmware is released.

Very rough ferry ride out (I didn’t mind too much, but it wasn’t reasonable to read, so a quick kip substituted. Cold, but sunny (14F or -10c this morning early).

Hope to get some operating in tomorrow.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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