Monthly Archives: January 2021

Interesting Project – Teensy-Maestro for Flex-6000 radios by Len KD0RC

The TeensyMaestro by Len KD0RC is a Teensy (Arduino work-alike) based set of controls for the FlexRadio 6000 series. It provides knobs, buttons, display and a keyer. It is designed to augment SmartSDR (SSDR), not replace it.

The GitHub repository:

The FlexRadio Community Thread:

TeenseyMaestro #2 on the operating desk of of Dave Patton, W4WKU

From the TeenseyMaestro Readme File:


The TeensyMaestro is a Teensy (Arduino work-alike) based set of controls for the FlexRadio 6000 series. It provides knobs, buttons, display and a keyer. It is designed to augment SmartSDR (SSDR), not replace it. There are many functions that the TeensyMaestro cannot perform that still need to be done using SSDR or a real Maestro. The TeensyMaestro uses a USB cable for power and an ethernet cable to connect with the radio. All communication with the radio is via TCP/IP, not the USB cable. The primary design goal was to provide the most used controls in the form of knobs and buttons while retaining all the power and convenience of the computer-based SSDR. It uses the extensive TCP/IP Application Programming Interface (API) provided by FlexRadio. It also leverages the Flex Arduino library built by Enzo, IW7DMH. Without this library, the TeensyMaestro would not have been built. While the TeensyMaestro has a color touch screen, it does not display a panadapter or waterfall. It does show basic slice information in a similar way as the “flag” does in SSDR. The touch screen is a rudimentary resistive type, so it does not have cell phone like capabilities but provides some simple functions. There are no functions that rely solely on the touch screen; the physical controls cover all touch screen functions.

Using the Teensy.exe Loader to program the Teensy board

  1. Make sure the Teensy 4.1 is plugged in to a USB port

  2. Download the .hex file

  3. Download Teensy.exe if it is not already on your computer

  4. Run Teensy.exe

  5. Click File, Open HEX File

  6. Navigate to the file saved in step 2 and select it

  7. Click the Program button on the Teensy board to start the download

Interesting project and makes a lot of sense. I had done a sketch and pitch to FlexRadio Systems eight years ago on a commercial product that is much like this bench built project. Believe that my suggestions were premature and would have involved too large of a resource diversion from a project that eventually became the Maestro.

It is really neat to see Len KD0RC developing his project!



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Get going with Logbook of The World by Gary ZL2IFB/G4IFB

LoTW New User Guide Get going with Logbook of The World Version 1.01 by Gary ZL2IFB/G4IFB is worth checking out.


In Gary’s ZL2IFB’s words:

You may be wondering “Why does Logbook of The World exist? What is it for?” and “Should I bother with it?”

The answer is simple.

LoTW makes confirming contacts easier, quicker and cheaper than traditional QSL methods.

Follow this step-by-step guide to get started on LoTW.

Note: this guide is occasionally updated. The definitive current English version is available at

Please use and share that URL.

If you are new to LoTW this would be an awesome resource, and a good review for the rest of us.



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The Awesome QSL Drawings of Jeff K1NSS Heading to Print

K9ZW New QSL Card Proofs

Jeff K1NSS is a QSL card artist that you may enjoy checking out part of his portfolio at:

He had done designs for me back in 2015, most which never ended up being printed for a variety of reasons including moving and a need my end to be more focused on health.

I asked Jeff K1NSS to update the 2015 designs, and to create several new designs. All the updates are done and two of the three new designs are finished.

After reviewing several QSL printing services (I had previously had quotes from local printers) I’ve select QSL Concepts to print the first six cards. They are at:

QSL Concepts “Fab” VE7FBN got it right away that I had ready to print front/back artwork. While Canadian based QSL Concepts uses a USA based affiliate for cards being delivered stateside.

I was able to tag the cards into a pricing program focused on clubs, and anticipate the new cards arriving about ten business days down the road (might be sooner!).

This batch of card designs includes:

  • A retro boat-anchor voice card
  • Two new designs based on a concept I have to accommodate my FlexRadio operating conditions, one in B&W and one in color
  • A digital mode card
  • A Washington Island QTH card emphasizing my operations from George W9EVT’s monster-shack
  • A Washington Island card intended for guests at the W9EVT monster-shack which I will give to George W9EVT

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How a Tennadyne T-12HD arrives – prior to unboxing

The Tennadyne T-12HD I ordered is now all here. The boxes are nicely marked.

Mine came in two groups, a first group of five parcels and a follow up parcel with the truss kit.

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If you can’t be Civil you won’t be listened to – But you are Still my Buddy (Mostly)

Okay, this post is as much non-amateur radio as amateur radio, but I want to clear the air with my readership.

You folks matter.

You are my internet buddies, and guess what, I truly expect at times we will never 100% agree on much of anything.

But that is a-okay.  It would be pretty miserable if we all agreed all the time.  Actually that would be awful and it would be boring.

But we have to “disagree agreeably” or it simply won’t work.

In the recent political upheaval I have had friends go loopy, basically demanding reaffirmations of the beliefs they hold and unilaterally declaring that any other conclusion besides theirs has to be actively disavowed.  They basically expected a public affirmation of their views and an affirmation that I am a member of what they have decided is their “tribe.”

Kind of sad, as a few European and local friends basically demanded of me that if I didn’t start parroting their position on things political, that they tell me that my not joining up with them is evil – even calling me a Nazi because I wouldn’t echo their sentiments on their cue – and subsequently ruined decades old friendships in the process.

On the bands you can hear heated conversations – at time rowdy would be an understatement – as groups basically slag each other off.

On email I create a “folder & rule” that directs their emails to either deferred reading or a dead mailbox, dependent on how toxic they have become.  One group of amateur radio enthusiasts includes a particularly toxic drunk who rates a direct to my junk folder rule just on general principles.

Your mileage may vary, but here are my email guidelines:

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Some Assembly Required – Tennadyne T-12HD antenna arrives

Some Assembly Required – Tennadyne T-12HD antenna arrives

Five UPS parcels arrived, two long cardboard tubes, two long boxes and a square box, containing my new Tennadyne T-12 10-30HD Log Periodic antenna.  A sixth parcel with the truss kit is expected to arrive Friday.

This antenna is big enough that it will be a two person assembly job.

I had run a T-8 at my old home QTH, one that I purchased used and after a bit of lightening encounter replaced with a new T-8 a couple years back. That T-8 is going up at my island QTH, hopefully this summer, and is already on the island.

As previously posted, I changed antenna directions dismantling & putting the never installed very large RadioWavz Hexbeam into storage pending technical redesign/upgrades. That RadioWavz has gone radio silent not returning phone calls or emails also factored into my decision.

Having had excellent experience with the decade plus T-8 as my main antenna, another Tennadyne was high on my list to take the main position on the home Skyneedle tower. I’ve cut & pasted the basic claimed specifications:

  • Model    T12.10-30HD
  • Coverage in MHz    10 – 30
  • Boom Length    36 FT
  • Gain/dbd/dbi*    8.0/10.1
  • Longest Element    53 FT
  • Elements    12
  • WT.     115#
  • Turning Radius (ft)    27.6
  • Wind Load (sq.ft)    16.21

Some differences between the T-12HD and the T-8 which interested me:

* The T-12HD should tune 30m, which the smaller T-8 did not do very well at all.
* My Station should have a gain improvement of close to 3dB which is always appreciated for RX and can’t hurt on TX (or would allow running lower power) vs the old T-8 based station, plus any effect for being up another 20ft (6m)
* The T-12HD is a trussed-boom construction vs the untrussed T-8 (not certain if that is ultimately good or bad)

Here is a picture taken from the Tennadyne website of a T-12 (presume standard vs my new HD model) at another ham’s station:

Tennadyne T-12 (Tennadyne’s website photo)

There are some integration advantages for a LPDA (Log Periodic Dipole Array) antenna when running a Flex-6000 based station, as the LPDA tends to present an acceptable SWR to the radio or if running QRO the PGXL amp, when used within the LPDA’s design frequencies. Typically the ham band optimization matches other ham designs while respectively the non-ham band lower performance you would see from other non-actively tuned beam antenna designs is avoided or minimized.

I found both barefoot and running QRO with the T-8 was basically a no-tuner required situation, one that I hope the T-12HD matches.

Link to Tennadyne antennas:



[Edited on 15JAN21 to correct formatting and photo insertion problems with original posting, and capture that mine is arriving in six parcels rather than five parcels]

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