Monthly Archives: April 2019

Playing Well With Others – It’s part of the Radio Amateur’s Creed, but is it Part of Your Personal Creed?

Playing Well With Others – It’s part of the Radio Amateur’s Creed, but is it Part of Your Personal Creed?

Our hobby is about communications – more exactly “cooperative communications.” If we are a Contestor, a DXer, an Awards Chaser we’re looking to make each radio contact a cooperative one so we get our return reports, confirmations and are logged. We may be looking to cooperate towards exchanging online, LoTW or QSL Card confirmations of our cooperative contact.

If we are a rag chewer we look to achieve that cooperation get a two-way dialogue going, sustained and perhaps even end up with an agreement to schedule another contact.

Any which way, when we key up a radio we’re looking to share a communication event with at least one other ham.
Continue reading

A simple Flex-6600M Station – a K9ZW backup Station

My simple Flex-6600M station at work[/caption]I’ve long wanted some HF capabilities at my work QTH. Now I have a simple station up and running.

Work had donated the use of a 56 ft tower to a now defunct local radio club a few years back, and as part of that club being absorbed by another radio club I personally acquired the associated repeater and the incomplete HF capabilities.

The club had put up a Cushcraft R-7000 40m-10m vertical on top of the tower above the repeater antenna.

I now have it fed with LMR-400, interrupted by a commercial grade lightening suppressor, into a small workshop area I personally have had set aside for many years.

Since I am on a commercial business site, the lightening and grounding provisions are quality, and all the work was done to commercial standards by a communications/automation electrical contractor work uses. Looks pretty impressive for an amateur station.

In the end I needed to supply a power supply, the Flex-6600M, and Rigrunner (4005) for power distribution, power cables and a ground strap.

Here is snapshot of the simple station:

The radio is setup for SmartLink, so I can now access it along with the old home QTH station (while it is still running) giving me some choices.



Configuration and Complexity Fatigue – Why Amateur Radio needs to have Simple Options

Configuration and Complexity Fatigue – Why Amateur Radio needs to have Simple Options

Last night I spend close to an hour on the phone taking the generalities of FT8 with someone who is a VERY qualified engineer. It was my take away that his extremely complex and involved work left him with a desire to not have to repeat working through similar levels of complexity in our hobby.

Continue reading

Using your Mac with SmartSDR v3.0 – Another Great Option

I work back and forth between Windows and MacOS machines, and appreciate Don’s work to create clients for my Flex-6000 I can use from my iMac.

dogparkSDR Version 1.16 Beta 2 and MacLoggerDX Version 6.23 Beta 62 have been posted.

Both program include support for Flex radios with SmartSDR V1 and V2 firmware, and preliminary support for radios loaded with V3 (multiFLEX ) firmware.

Both programs should run as before with V1 and V2 radios.

Support for V3 (multiFLEX) in both programs is preliminary – so – expect bugs :)

Thanks to Ed Gonzalez, Eric Wachsmann (and others) at FlexRadio for their support!

While we are waiting for xDAX for V3, you can still interface dogparkSDR to WSJT-X and other digital programs directly through Loopback

See the dogparkSDR online help for details.

73 de VE3VRW Don Agro

I’ll be looking to download his latest shortly!


Link to Don’s website where you can download both packages is:



For Contesting will FT8 give way to a new contest mode (FT4)?

Just as FT8 is an evolutionary mode considering the large amount of experience from JT9 and JT65, it looks that FT8 (for the purposes for of contesting) may be displaced a new mode.

Joe (K1JT), Steve (K9AN), and Bill (G4WJS) are moving their latest development to a larger group of testers, aiming for widespread testing by the end of April.

Though bits of information have come my way from a couple sources, I do not think the development team was making a general public announcement, so I’m going to apologize for a teaser post until they give a green light for wider PR efforts.

I am quite grateful that the FT8 continues to advance digital mode amateur radio with efforts on many fronts.

Check in at for any announcements.

— Update — just learned that the FT4 mode was made at least semi-public in recent presentations, and the mode is intended to challenge the QSO rate of RTTY contesting.

—- Update I added more in eth comments, but the pdf the development team released has a lot of information with the proposed test mock-contests!



We are all Kings in the Ham hobby

Interestingly our hobby has a number of self-anointed scoundrels who imagine themselves as Ham Kings.

Hams who imagine themselves King….hmm?

Often we thing of these folks usually as distorted personalities fed by economic success in commerce who in twisted logic believe that success anointed them in every aspect of their life, or weasels who have found a way to become a gatekeeper in some aspect of a hobby.

Reality is we ALL are Kings in this Hobby!

Continue reading