Monthly Archives: May 2019

Dealing with Amateur Radio Complexity

Also published at the FlexRadio Community in a thread at:

Some takeaways are that FRS does offer exceptional help with stuff (LAN/WAN) that perhaps are in our operating environment but are really not part of the product they sell us. I feel really good knowing that when one of my systems has a network fault that FRS has my back with their advice, resources and if needed their help.

If you are involved in a typical office network situation, maybe with some licensed software and a server rack, I’m going to guess you might share my experience of vendors drawing a line at what they sell you, and telling you to have your IT people sort out problems coming from your network hardware/configuration/operating-system/server/failing-gear/overload/rogue-AV/and so on….

One that has caught me out with my FlexRadios is my expectation and assumption that everything stays the same, only to find out that external factors (like incremental software updates in other software/OS/hardware, reboots, or seemingly minor failures elsewhere) were the culprit upsetting my radio experience.

Another takeaway is a personal tolerance for complexity. We are all not ready and willing if we are ready to deal with the same level of complexity in hobby systems.

I’ll put up with a lot more complexity issues if it is a problem needing solving that affects me economically or if I see it as a challenge while I have enough available time to work it through.

So my personal ROI (Return on Investment) is a mix of actual economics and intellectual/emotive satisfaction.

How that works for each of us is different.

In my own case my personal-ROI on complex HTs is upside down, and unless I am really bored the HTs sit on the shelf. As for walking through the typical HT 10 to 20 step programming sequences? I don’t think so. I’ve given HTs to other hams who love them while my personal-ROI evaluation said “get this nuisance out of my life.”

YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) really applies in a personal tolerance for complexity. It should and it won’t usually stay the same over time or during certain life situations.

If you are the sort who might buy a radio, or an antenna, or a kit, and then bail on using it because of complexity issues you might want to line up some help before you try a radio-server system like a Flex.



REPOST: Why I only do Independent Personal Emcomm….

REPOST from Nov 28th 2011

I’ve been asked why I limit my Emergency Communications involvement to little more than Personal Preparedness?

There are a whole raft of reasons:

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REPOST: Freecom, our Real Communications Friend in Time of Emergency?

REPOST from Feb. 2nd, 2009

When the chips are down, and full Emcomm is running, how will “we, the people” maintain communications?

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FlexRadio Community web host Problems

Hardware problems requiring replacement servers to be brought online.  Seems all sorted out.  

Appears that “Get Satisfaction” back end engine for the FlexRadio Community has internet problems.

Don’t know the reason(s) as reports suggest Get Satisfaction other communities are also affected.

Some topics briefly work then are redirected to page-not-found type errors.

Things will sort out. Perhaps it is just more time to be on the air!



Hamvention 2019 – What new happened?

Between work and the endless process of settling in after moving house, I couldn’t schedule attending Hamvention 2019. So what I’ve reporting is what I’ve gathered from friends who did attend.

The conjectures and ponderings are my own though.

Outside the Flea Market is down 8.5% from the number of vendors in 2018, and down to a bit over 2/3rds of the vendors is 2016).

Inside over 200 vendors appeared, but that again is a 4% drop in commercial vendors from 2018, and a 19% drop from 2016):

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The True Power of multiFlex SmartSDR

There is an excellent explanation of the true power of Multiflex by Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR, at the 2019 Hamvention here:

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