Monthly Archives: June 2020

Further work on the ZeroFive Flagpole Antenna

Here is the setup:

  • ZeroFive 30ft extra heavy duty flagpole vertical antenna
  • 38 #14 solid direct burial grade radials 30 ft long, soldered to the radial ring.
  • 3/8 inch copper tube radial ring, bonded to the antenna with a #14 solid wire
  • Array Solutions AS-302N 3K lightning protection/static dissipation
  • one eight foot ground rod (you can see the feed is protected in a flexible conduit)
  • 275 ft of Hardline to the shack
  • 2 ft of Belden 9713F final whip from antenna to Array Solutions device
  • 12 ft of Belden 9713F final whip to an internal Flex-6700 antenna tuner in the shack

I’m running 30m digital as I type the Flagpole Vertical.  In use for 30m the ATU bypasses as the match is 1.05:1 which with the long feedline disappears to a very level coupling.

Business end of the antenna

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Non-Radio – the Moto Guzzi Ambassador

Moto Guzzi

The 1970 Moto Guzzi Ambassador is a really nice “RestorMod” bike.  Basically the folks who did the restoration used a keen sense of style to update finishes in a really neat retro-bike.

I drove a number of Moto Guzzis but never owned one.  An Ambassador was always a favorite.  Perhaps someday I’ll add a V7 Sport and V1000 Convert to round out my Moto Guzzi collection.

Things done at restoration/modification of this 1970 Ambassador include:

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Putting the Island on the Rack

We made a trip to our Washington Island QTH after respecting the resident islanders’ request for occasional residents to not visit during Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” order.

That order was lifted several weeks back, but we’re always safety minded so our first return waited a bit longer.

One of my many weekend projects was to assemble a rack to move the station to.

Unlike the main QTH racks very little will be attached to the Island rack, rather it will be on shelves. My idea is to make it easier to move gear around and to love the whole rack to another location if everything was not all screwed in.

Rack as initially set up. Box on the floor beside it.

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More than One Flex-6000 on a Network – Configuring your Ports

It took me a while to get my head around this one, as I had been using identical ports with several Flex-6000 radios – but with one big caveat:  In my past usage only one radio per site was powered up at the same time.

It didn’t work when I wanted to leave more than one radio running at my main QTH.

Obviously my configuration was creating conflicts, as basically I’d considered each radio to be interchangeable without properly setting them up to be simultaneous with each other.

Time to do some research and ask for some guidance.

Quick executive summary for those readers who need results right away:

  1. Assign a different pair of external ports for each radio through each radio’s SmartLink setup. The internal port pairs remain UDP 4993 and TCP 4994 for every radio.  

  2. Usually you will want to assign your radios a static internal network IP address, but it is best to do this through a MAC address binding in “Static Lease” (also called “DHCP Reservation”) at your router.

  3. Then create separate Port Forwarding rules for each radio‘s pair of ports in your Router, using your SmartLink configured external and internal pairs with their protocols and your router configured Static Lease IP address.

Internally your radios use UDP 4993 and TCP 4994.  This Port Address pair is the same for each Flex-6000.

But what you use Internally can be translated/mapped to a different External Port Address.

Externally your radio can use whatever port number you configured them for, once it is translated.

FlexRadio Systems Notes on Port Forwarding (courtesy FRS Dan N7HQ)

The translation/mapping is called “Port Forwarding” and basically hooks an external port to an internal port.  Think of the old fashion telephone operator where they physically plugged your call to the recipient’s phone.

A port is configured to communicate with a protocol.  Think modulation or mode if you are thinking radios.

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Non-Radio – the Big Citroen DSuper5 (DS21)

Another ongoing car project – a 1973/74 Citroen DSuper5 (registration paperwork shows 1973 but serial numbers indicate 1974) sedan that I bought in late 2017 from Canada.

The car was mechanically up to stuff having been doted over by one of Quebec’s best Citroen mechanics, but the interior was getting tired as was the paintwork.

Here is the car in pre-shipment photographs:

European Glassed-In Turning Headlights

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Flex-6000 SD Card Protection Improvement – Time to Update is Now

All patched up with v3.1.12 and v2.6.2

Update ALL your FlexRadio Systems radios/Maestros to 3.1.12 (or 2.6.2 if you are a version 2 user) or higher when future versions are released.

Big SD-card protection against possible corruption improvement with these releases.

Quick background – earlier versions had a code issue where they hammered too hard on specific locations (I guess called “cells” in FlexRadio SD card parlance, which I think is “bad sectors”) eventually leading to electro-mechanical SD card corruption.

General release 3.1.12 and 2.6.2 fix the code.
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