Category Archives: K9ZW Shack

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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Gifted an awesome Station Sign, Lost Shoveling Mulch, and Antennas Still Need Assembly

LED station sign made by N6JSX

Actually two but this is the illuminated one, as the other is a raw carving of my callsign into a piece of “purple heart” wood.  I’ll post a picture of that CNC carved sign when I my finish work is done.

Dale N6JSX has some new toys, 3D engravers, printers and and CNC hobbyist level gear, and is making a lot of items for relatives.

Much appreciated and looks rather cool on my operating desk!  THANKS DALE N6JSX!!


My hiatus from blogging is not complete, as I am 75% through spreading 36 yards of mulch which is around 500 garden center sized bags.  Had a bulk delivery which the XYL claims is more about being able to use the skidsteer and lawn tractors than the savings (in bulk my cost was about 30% of buying it in bags, though the savings would be less if I waited for a garden center sale.)

A lot of Garden Mulch

A lot of Garden Mulch!  Right in front of the Radio Room, so I can’t ignore it either!

I do have a couple drafts that will be finished up and posted while I am still shoveling and of course involved in the important project that I need to do.


The Antennas still need to be assembled, as the mulch was a very overdue “honey do” that threatened to interfere with radio activities if I put it off any longer.

I think the T-28 will be easy but the T-12HD really need a set of helping hands.  Any volunteers?



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The K9ZW Station Notes WordPress Raspberry Pi in place

Following on my post (make sure you read the comments if you want to do a project like this) at: and

Once I’d replaced the boot SD Card with a very inexpensive SSD drive and SATA to USB adapter, my WordPress Raspberry Pi is “in production.”  I repurposed a Raspberry Pi 4B for the project.

As it is running headless (no direct attached display, keyboard or mouse) as a sort of ultra minimalistic server, it would have been wasteful to have used the Raspberry Pi 400 all-but-monitor-in-one Pi I originally purchased for the project.

Here is what the setup looks like:


Raspberry Pi 4 with the external SSD and adapter

The WordPress is available to all the home network as a local resource and renders quite well despite minimal resources.  Here is what the early theme looked like from a couple random devices.

WordPress instance as opened from another Raspberry Pi

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More on the K9ZW Station Notes Raspberry Pi SSD vs SD Card

Following on to my post (make sure you read the comments if you want to do a project like this) at:

I’ve replaced the boot SD Card with a very inexpensive SSD drive and SATA to USB adapter.

The storage I/O improvement is stunning.

Winston KC9FVR tested and graphed the improvement. The axis is logarithmic which tends to visually understate the improvement. So yes, the SSD is about 70-times faster than the SD Card.

The running configuration is WorkPi with Dogfish SSD vs the supplied Patriot SD card or in the second graph a Thinkpad we had at hand.  

The Raspberry Pi 400 that just arrived was also tested.  

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A Shack Resource – Dissident Pi project: Configuring a Raspberry Pi as a WordPress Server – by Super_neet

I am going to build have built a internal network resource to help me document my shack’s build, configurations and design.

My design parameters are to be independent both hardware and software from the rest of the shack and home network.

There seems to be two web trends about doing this that are 180 degrees in opposition.

One is to put your sites/projects/data onto hosts or into the cloud, where arguably control is shared. You also need to have external internet access and bluntly avoid getting caught up in any sort of deplatforming campaign. Like where would I be if my underground cable was damaged or if my K9ZW call sign was blacklisted as the net crowd decided “K9” was derogatory to dogs?

The other is to use very inexpensive equipment to roll your own, which the preponderance of control is retained.

Be 100% clear that if you attach things to the world wide web, your control at that point onwards is compromised.
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K9ZW Main Home Rack Progress

Spent some workshop time on the last Saturday in January 2021 getting the main K9ZW Home QTH FlexRadio Rack up and running.

The FlexRadio setup had been usable barefoot but  operated from other power supplies, routers and gear not actually on the rack itself.  I refused to take a picture of the rats-nest of layered cabling that had been in use.

Main K9ZW Home QTH FlexRadio Rack

I’d been putting off wiring everything to essentially make everything work. So today I got out my Andersen PowerPole tools, made cables, did software updates and got the whole lot working right. Walking you from the top down:

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