Monthly Archives: December 2012

Looking into 2013 for K9ZW Operations

On the theme I posed about what are your amateur radio 2013 plans, a couple items that are on mine:

Use-it-or-lose-it – Plan is to put every bit of gear on the air during 2013, or weed it out (sell/gift/landfill…). Unbuilt/unrestored projects are the exception. Presently I have two vintage stations and a couple other transceivers to put some air time on.

Build It before Buying More – No more new kits until everything on the shelf is built and troubleshooting is finished. Would only make an exception for a unique or limited time opportunity. Current inventory of kits is an almost complete QRPometer, a small solid state Amp, a complex LED clock and a couple Nixie-Tube clocks.

Review, Repair and Upgrade Process – Time to pull our the TDR, Megaohmer and Meters and check over every bit of the station. Time to re-waterproof outside connections and finish the lightening protection upgrades. There is a vertical antenna that needs to get on the air by being wired in. Time to swap rotors for the rebuilt one and send the old one out for overhaul.

Get some new Hams started or Help Hams upgrade – I’ve been busy enough that I’ve used it as an excuse to drop my Hamcram, Elmering and VEing efforts. Time to right that omission and help others get started or uprgaded.

Learn the New Flex-6000 – When that radio shows I need to set aside a significant amount of time to learn it inside & out! No point in having a high performance radio and not knowing how to use it.

Put a little backbone into making CW QSOs – As a with-code Novice (KB9GPN) who upgraded through to Extra I have no excuse for the paltry ten or so CW QSOs being my total morse effort in over twenty years. This one is ALL up to me putting a bit of effort in and being brave enough to get on the air with my weak CW skills the way they are. Without that practice K9ZW is not going anywhere with CW.

So there you have it – six simple easy targets that will hugely enrich what I can put into Amateur Radio and what I might gain from being a participant.

The unwritten seventh goal is to basically do what I have been doing all along – get on the air, make contacts, spend some time contesting, some time chasing DX, some time on Digital Modes, some time Rag Chewing, some time writing for this blog, and some time regularly checking into nets – especially the 160m net.

YMMV (Your Milage Might Vary) if you made the mistake of trying to adopt my goals, rather than correctly setting your own goals.

Now to get at it….



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Flex-Radio releases a YouTube Video of SmartSDR running on a Flex-6700

You can see the new SmartSDR running on a Flex-6700 at filmed at K5FRS, the Flex-Radio in-house club station:

This thing looks so cool! Check out the panadapter and how you can see “way into” the signals!

Flex-Radio is saying “soon, but not until it is ready” on deliveries. That’s ok by me as I do want to put such a bundle of technology to good use when it arrives.

After re-watching the video it is certainly going to be a technologist’s feast of features, capabilities and options with the new series. Very cool!



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Forward Ponderings – What are Your 2013 Amateur Radio Goals?

What do you in mind for yourself for Amateur Radio in 2013?

What projects?

What different/new gear?

Any travel operations?

Any personal targets for contests, QSOs, nets, good rag chew contacts, Volunteer Exam participation, Club participation or??

I’ll have a short series on what I’ve got planned for the K9ZW Shack and my operations for 2013 that will start posting in the next few days.



Christmas Wishes from K9ZW

Wishing each and everyone of you a Very Merry Christmas, with all the blessings of the season.

Radio was on last night with an excellent 160m roundtable with Steve N9LOH, Mike KD9TZ, Bill WB8AGR and Bob W9RCK.  An excellent mix of discussing family, church, digital modes, future plans and all of the great things we share in a roundtable discussion.  Was so caught up in catching up with everyone, and learning a bit too, that in no time at all an easy hour of multi-way QSOs had sped by – thank you gents!

As I type this quick note I’ve already been this morning to see eight friends to share a pre-Christmas cup of coffee and good wishes, made the first of my visits to friends who with health & winter weather are somewhat “shut ins” taking a good friend a supply of organic fruit (he is on a health kick, good man!), and now I am typing as I look out into a day filled with light snow with that lovely Holiday Feel.

Will have to decide if we will attend service tonight or in the morning – the weather will guide us on that.

All the best to each of you, may your radio and life endeavors meet with success, and bless you,



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Interesting Article – “What’s all this Multiple Bandscope Stuff, Anyhow?” by Roger W3SZ

A tip of the hat to Jeff KE9V for bringing attention to the Cheese Bits ham radio club newsletter – and the first first issue I looked at from Jeff’s suggestion turns out ot have a nice article on ”What’s all this Multiple ”What’s all this Multiple Bandscope Stuff, Anyhow?” by Roger W3SZ.

Cheese Bits - Vol 53 No 12 HeadersCheese Bits - Vol 53 No 12 Header

Cheese Bits –  Click on Image for Archive Link

The article starts on page three:

I couldn’t agree more with Roger W3SZ on using multiple bandscopes, though I am not on many of the bands he covers.

Same idea in regards to the “slices” featured with the upcoming Flex-6000 series.

A thank you to Jeff KE9V for the great suggestion.

Complements on a nice write up – well done Roger W3SZ, and well done Cheese Bits!



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K9ZW 2012 Radio Year Wind-Down

Only a few more weeks left in 2012 and K9ZW is in too few logs for the year.  Operating time has come in bursts, varying with work load and free time.  Afraid I’ve only put few couple thousand QSOs in the log this year – a pretty weak showing.

With the station upgraded to the Expert SPE 1KW Amp and the Palstar AT-Auto Tuner, the present Flex-5000A based station will be pretty much it for daily operations until the Flex-6000’s are out.

The present station set up here is:

Main Station

  • Radio – Flex-5000A RX2/ATU version and FlexControl
  • Amp – SPE Expert 1KW
  • Amp Interface – AmpKeyer Unit
  • Tuner – Palstar AT-Auto
  • Computer – Dell WinXP box with a commercial serial port expansion unit
  • Monitors – Dual Dell 22in flat screens
  • Rotor Control – Green Heron
  • Rotor – Ham-IV
  • Tower – TriEx-54
  • Watt/SWR Meter – PowerMaster by Array Solutions
  • Antenna Switch – RtaPak-6N by Array Solutions
  • Keyer/Trainer – Bengali CW-Machine
  • Key – Kent Iambic
  • Microphone – Yaesu MD-200A8X
  • 160-40m Antenna – W9INN Half-Sloper
  • 20-10m Antenna – Tennadyne T-8
  • 6m-1.3gHz Antenna – Tennadyne T-28c
  • Frequency Reference/Source – Ex-Cellular Phone Repeater unit (commercial)
  • Most Coax – Bury-Flex
  • Jumpers – Mostly SuperFlex factory units
  • Power Supplies – several TenTec/Astron

Vintage Station

  • Colins S-Line setup (32S1/75S1/30L1/PowerSupply/Speaker/Station-Control)
  • Swan 200/PowerSupply w/Dentron GLA-1000 & SuperTuner
  • Several Boat Anchor receivers

Then there is some spare gear (I am convinced gear “breeds” in the dark….) – enough to put together a replacement station (mostly TenTec).

A couple VHF/UHF rigs and HT’s mostly rounds out the inventory, unless one includes some of those unplanned additions like the older TenTec Paragon II and some other old rigs that just showed up to stay…..

Should keep me busy for a good long time….