Category Archives: FlexRadio Systems

REPOST: Background FT8 Remote via SmartLink and SmartSDR for Windows (June 6th, 2019)

REPOST of a June 6th 2019 Post. EDITS in BOLD with Brackets []

Background FT8 Remote via SmartLink and SmartSDR for Windows

If you spend long hours desk-bound like I do, your thoughts may also wander to the question “Could I make some QSOs during work? [EDIT With the immense amount of screen time working (we’re considered an essential business at work) while in isolation making any QSO is a treat.]

Back in SmartSDR v1 days I started with a Raspberry Pi VPN using a Maestro during lunch hours. Those phone (SSB) QSOs were pretty few.  Fist I had limited time and then if staff knew I was in the building they had things to bring to my attention, which is hard to manage when you are also in QSO!

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Alpha 4040 Automatic Antenna Tuner, Kessler AT-AUTO, and 4o3a Tuner Genius – A Group of Stillborn Projects?

Alpha 4040 QRO Antenna Tuner Rendition (Exterior)

Alpha 4040 QRO Antenna Tuner Rendition (Exterior)

The original Alpha was working on a new Mega-Antenna Tuner, and the various successor owners of the Alpha IP (Intellectual Property) have occasionally mentioned the tuner online, but it has been years since any updates or a prototype was shown.  Last update in 2017 said the unit’s development was too immature to make it to even Beta-Testing.

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Getting confused when a Maestro Operator hasn’t read the manual

At the FlexRadio Community forums often posts are placed by users who may have glossed-over the user manuals, and because the community is  not curated inaccuracies persist with sometimes humoresque results.

In a recent post about the Maestro the poster missed the part that you need to ADD add battery of your choice to operate more than a a brief moment disconnected from the mains power.  The question also confused the differences in internal battery management between the two versions of the Maestro.

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Node Red for your Remote Station

I’ve been watching closely the efforts of several FlexRadio Community member’s station automation via Node Red.

Node Red is a pretty slick programming setup that these folks are using to interface to their remote stations. It originated with the IBM’s Emerging Technology Services group and is now an independent open source project. The main Node Red website is

VA3MW Node Red Example from Oct 2019

There is tons of stuff you can do with Node Red.

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FlexRadio Innovations – Integral FT8 and Contesting

Jeff KE9V attended the W9DXCC 2019 event and reported on his web diary:


Gerald, K5SDR took a little extra time to show me the new (not yet released) iOS software that permitted him to make FT8 contacts on his iPad via his station in Texas. It wasn’t just a session running in a window on the iPad, it’s an actual application with a modified user interface to take advantage of the iPad format. He told me the software is ready to go but since Apple is imminently updating iOS to version 13, they want to wait and shakedown the new app with it before it’s released.

Speaking of Flex, every contester who spoke and that I casually bumped into were all FlexRadio users. I guess I’ve missed that transition. You can argue all you want and point to Rob Sherwood’s receiver data but all the big dogs are still running Flex whether you realize it or not.


Not certain if the FT8 integration is a FRS project or a partner project. Jeff KE9V is better briefed than I am at this stage.

I’m certainly eager to have an all-in-one client solution!




S-Meters – Comfortable Lies or Accuracy? – The Whisper of Sweet Nothings

In the FlexRadio Community a poster complained that his Flex-6700 reported S-2/3 noise most of the time.

He wanted his radio to “Whisper Sweet Nothings” report S-0 if disconnected from an antenna – basically setting aside the noise the sensitive Flex-6700 was actually hearing.

He never disclosed if his feedline and antenna switches were still in line, if they were grounded when antennas were deselected, or whatever other RF his radio was experiencing.

He also didn’t tell the community if he had his Flex-6700 narrowed down to a specific frequency, opened wide in a wide band receiver configuration, or how his radio was configured.

“He” is actually several posters who have some been part of this discussion before, some new to FlexRadio, and all who hadn’t looked for older threads on the issue.

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