Monthly Archives: February 2016

K9ZW Shacks Evolve – Proper Dummy Loads, Additional Metering, New Power Distribution, Specialized Headsets and more…

I knew that doing a new station build wasn’t for the faint of heart, and as usual I am loath to miss a chance for upgrading the home QTH station.

Here are a few of the recents adds:

Item                                                                       Home/Island

Alpha-9500 Amps                                                     X X
Rigrunner-4007U Metered Strips                         X X
4o3a Station Genius                                                 X
SP7IDX Hexbeam                                                         X
LMR-400DB Below Grade Feed                                X
LMR-400 Jumpers                                                       X
LMR-400UF Up Tower Feed                                     X
Polyphasers incl two custom multi-units                X
Collins DL-1 Dummy Load                                     X
Station Monitor                                                        X
Bengali Intrepid                                                       X
Alpha-4510                                                                X
Palstar AT-Auto w/Kessler Upgrades                     X
4o3a Antenna Genius Switches                            X X
Nueman BCM705 Microphone                                X
Shure SM5B Microphone                                     X
Behringer MX402A                                               X
Behringer MX602A                                                   X
Recording Grade Audio Shapers                        X X
Collins SM-2 Microphone                                        X
W7FG True Ladder Line Dipole                             X
Alpha-2000 Dummy Load                                  X
RadioSport RS22CR Classic                                   X
KD9SV BOG Beverage Amp & Switch                  X
WD1A Cable – BOG wire                                          X
K1FZ RBOG Reversible Beverage on Ground     X
Zero-Five Custom HD Flagpole Antennas       X X
CAT6eDB below grade control                               X
Radial Wire                                                             X X
Waters 334 Dummy Load                                        X
Helix 1/2 Prepared                                                    X
RG6DB for RBOG Feed                                            X
Tashjian TM-370 SkyNeedle                                   X
New Tower Base, Platform and Coax Arms         X
AlfaSpid Rotor                                                           X

On Order
Flex Maestro                                                            X X

There have also been massive deliveries of the needed connectors and other parts – whew!  I am sure glad I’ve not seen the costs all tallied in one spot – ouch!

All in all the order and assemble is fun other than the bills.  Now in spring the read work begins!




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Hamcation 2016 – Maestro Production Unit

Hamcation Orlando gave me my first look at a production Maestro.

W4TME Demonstrates the Maestro

W4TME Demonstrates the Maestro

The hands-on demo of the Maestro by Tim W4TME was a privilege as in two minutes Tim had me fully briefed.  Both that Tim is such an excellent and patient tutor, but also that the Maestro is just that well thought out!

With ease W4TME briefed Alison KC9MPL, my XYL, on what the Mastro will do now and with the upcoming software releases.

Great touch screen on the Maestro

Great touch screen on the Maestro

I especially liked the way the touch screen and menus have been done.

Not wanting to keep others from checking out the Maestro, I didn’t spend more time playing with it than that was needed to confirm that the production Maestro is yet another FRS “Game Changer!”

I’ve incorporated the Maestro in my operating plans while designing my new Island station, with an intent to do much operating from a Maestro-Mobile configuration other than the radio room.  Though I will have a conventional operating position for contesting, configuration and vintage gear operations, the main focus will be to have access to my station from anywhere on the property.

Was very pleased how enthused Alison was with the Maestro and the Maestro-Mobile idea.

All good things!




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Hamcation 2016 – News Reports to Follow

We’re at Orlando and had a great stop at Hamcation today.

A hands-on demo of the Maestro by Tim W4TME was really a plus.   Getting pretty excited for the general release.


FRS will have other positive news in a few days, which I’ll embargo so as to not steal their thunder.

Left behind a very cold Wisconsin…almost feel guilty leaving Winston KC9FVR watching the house, the weather is so nice here. But when we hear from eldest son Tom KC9JGD that it was -38F before adding in the wind at his Canadian QTH guess we don’t feel that guilty.

In in depth report when I get to a proper keyboard.



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