Monthly Archives: June 2021

That didn’t take long (someone read my review) of the Flex-TGXL at eHam

Joe KK4Q was the first to let me know that he saw my messing around with an eHam review at 6:49am June 29th 2021:

I just read your review of your new flex tuner,,, if you want it to work better, you should put it AFTER the flex amp, not between the 6700 and the amp. Joe KK4Q

Not certain my motivation, but I have long wondered if anyone actually read eHam reviews. Maybe not an excuse to mess about. Here is the review as I entered it:

My original eHam review while being posted.

(Just in case it doesn’t jump out at you, your antenna coupler/tuner is wired after the amplifier, which is fed from the transceiver (which is sometimes called an exciter in this use), which is not the way I described it in the review).

I wasn’t certain I would get a “hey you” email this quick, as my supposition is that eHam readers mostly barely skim-read reviews.  I was wrong on that.

By the way, the actual shack cabling is conventional, though the PGXL being heavy and as the only 240vac physically is low in the racks and the tuner higher but below the Flex-6700.



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Updating a Friend’s Flex-6400 and Maestro – Updates Takes a While!

Tom K0TTC’s gear next to my Island QTH’s rack

Tom K0TTC brought his Flex-6400 and Maestro to my Island shack so we could update software/firmware to the current SmartSDR 3.2.39 from 3.1.1x (I think it was .16 or .19).

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A bit of Solo Field Day – Island Operations from WI-001L

While doing other Island Shack chores, ran a bit of FT8 Field Day just to say I did something for 2021’s Field Day.

Took me a bit to remember how to set up WSJT for Field Day. Worked the treat once I remembered that in Settings–> Advanced is where the Field Day mode setting is hiding.

A rainy weekend on the island, which dashed my interest in trying some different antenna setups.



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FlexRadio 4o3a TGXL Tuner Genius Has Arrived! (Unboxing)

UPS delivered a long awaited addition to the K9ZW ham shack, arriving of course on the only day I was out of town.

I removed what I thought was the inner box from the big generic shipping box filled with packing beans, a box that UPS had roughed up a bit in transit. Final unboxing was deferred to Saturday June 19th 20201 as I wanted to put this tuner into use for some weekend work.

First a few unboxing photos:

Outer Box of the 4o3a packaging

Opened – inner box, quick start notes and of course more packing beans

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Is Ham Radio going PC/SJW?

Recently I noticed email signature blocks (I’ve edited these to depersonalize and remove companies from them) that had an extra pronoun line I didn’t understand:

Senior [function] Engineer
[Company Name]


[function] Engineer
[Company Name]

Started seeing this a while back and now the practice seems to be spreading.

Since I am a bit oblivious to what this She/Her/Hers and He/Him/His stuff is all about, it was time for some reading and research.

Seems that Political Correctness (PC) and Social Justice Warrior (SJW) norms are expecting young people to lay out their sexually preferences in every communication!

Weird and one asks “Why?”

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Thinking Ahead – When to Put Your Radios Away in preparation for Troubled Times

Another in the Thinking Ahead series started with

Considering “When to Put Your Radios Away in preparation for Troubled Times” one has to recognize that it is the nail standing proud that gets the next hammer blow.

If the situation is such that being on the air can cause trouble for you, it is time to put your radios away.

RDF (Radio Direction Finding) is a mature technology that will pin point your transmitter in situations where their are consequences for being on the air.  The military had Ground Surveillance Radar operators (GSR) who basically had a radar strapped to their chest to look for the enemy.  Well the enemy figured out how to ID the GSR operator and shoot them.  It was said that in the Vietnam War a GSR operator battle lifespan was measured in a few days.

So (surviving) GSR operators learned to displace themselves from their antenna, which seemed to work for a while, until the enemy got wise to the ruse.

RDF of receivers is also a reality.  In countries with TV license taxes their governments include the use of RDF in how they track down unlicensed TV receivers.  The way this work is receivers do emit coherent energy, which can be sensed.
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