Computer and Audio Racks for Amateur Radio

As I start moving my main station from the QTH we are selling to our new QTH 12 miles west, I’ve wanted to put my Flex-6700 Station into a rack.

I’ve not found an all-in-one information resource on how to do a cost effective rack design.

So I’m going to hammer the keys with the tidbits I have picked up and hopefully these notes will be helpful for someone else.

Continue reading

Assembling a Receive Preamp for a Yaesu DR-1X Repeater

Yaesu DR-1X repeater installations I’ve been able to look at have mostly had an added Receive Preamp added to help the RX side of the DR-1X better match the TX side.

Dave N9JDZ assembled the Preamp in use at the Washington Island WI9DX 2m repeater, and pointed me in the right direction to assemble one for the 2m repeater I am sponsoring.

The preamp module


Continue reading

K9ZW’s Mid-February Flex-6000 Software List Update

My list of Flex-6000 software has been updated to reflect what I presently using.

Added a list of what I am testing as well.

Hope you find this useful!



Winter Station Casualty and Preparations for another K9ZW Back-Up Station, and my new 2m Repeater

Seems the weather has done some damage to the remote station at my old home.  Once the weather breaks I’ll have a chance to dig out the snow around the tower connection box and see if I can jumper past what appears to be a dysfunctional remote Antenna Switch.

I’ve had this particular Array Solutions RatPAK6N switch in use for years, but from the in the shack testing it isn’t working correctly.  With weather that have been everything from -25F to 50F, raining, sleeting and now snowing again it may have nothing more than a connection problem.

Continue reading

K9ZW new QTH winter interim plans

Winter has overtaken plans to have a temporary station up and running at the new QTH.  When lows are -28F I’m not going to get any quality antenna work done outside.

The new workshop/radio room is close to being ready to start setting this up.

I’ve brought the SteppIR CrankIR back from the Washington Island QTH but am doubtful that the weather extremes wouldn’t damage the antenna.  Subzero temperatures covered in an inch of ice, while being wind-whipped relentlessly is pretty extreme for this type of antenna.

We have so much wildlife at the new QTH that I need to give that some thought too.  Here is an example of some of the fourteen deer in the yard yesterday.

Some of the fourteen deer in the yard Feb 9th 2019

I do have a long unused GAP Titian DX stored in the backyard at the old house, which could be rescued from storage and set up temporarily.

Or a dipole could be hoisted given a fair day of weather.

Presently I am remoting to the Flex-6700 station at the old house, as the tower & station will first come down early spring.






Withering Lows – Another Radio Club Bites the Dust

Currently I’m part of a small group helping the remnants of 70+ year old radio club “merge” into another club.

The exact details of why this had to happen mostly sound like bitterness when retold except for a couple standout observations:

First without regular infusions of new blood a club will die.  Parents need to encourage their children and their children’s friends to join the hobby, and join the club to make a go of it.

Second is if members lose trust in the leadership a club is done for. If the leadership is seen as self-serving and given a pass rather than held accountable by the members the cancer is too great to cure.

Third a club needs bench strength. Without enough willing talent to take on club roles when someone in leadership is transferred away or becomes ill, it’s done.

Fourth there is a critical membership mass below which their is no long term durability to a club.   Maybe a bridge group can make it some years with just enough players to fill out the hands, but a club needs leaders, players, learners and camp followers all to carry on.

Fifth the member’s needs have to be all about participating rather than “having somebody serve them.” If the members are all “take” and low on the “give” part of the equation there really isn’t even a club there anymore.

Sixth is that fixation on money, assets, gear and other stuff is foolishness that misses the real reason a club happens – it’s all about the people.  It is only the folks involved that matter.

My observations is that to survive a club can’t violate too many of these six precepts, at least not for the long run.  YMMV in your specific club, but if you get these things right the club is going to do much better at being around for the next generation.