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Top ten ARRL DX SSB score

Placed 7th in the nation in the 2014 ARRL DX SSB contest in the Mulit-op/Single xmtr category. Best score ever nationally. Only the second DX contest entry with the 6500. Validates my opinion that the 6500 is, indeed, contest ready. Should only get better with time and refinement of SSDR.


  • Ian1Ian1 Member
    edited June 23

    I am waiting on my 6500 as well thanks for report. Did you use the flex control when contesting or can you do well without it?

  • Bob G   W1GLVBob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Fine job, Charles. Flex is doing a good job.
  • John n0snxJohn n0snx Member
    edited April 2015
    Congrats Charles....well done....FRS is the best !!!
  • Mike NN9DDMike NN9DD Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    Congrats Charles. I did my personal best this time out as well and finished first in single op low power category for the southeast division using my 6500. I too think it is well suited and with some adjustments and a few more tweaks will be right there with any rig. Mike N9DFD
  • Ernest - W4EGErnest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019

    Congratulation Charles K5UA.

    I am a member of the San Diego DX Club and we have many members that berate the Flex radio owners with the typical remarks that the Flex Radios is not ready for prime time. 

    Well, I am one that will be praising how well you did, placing 7th in the ARRL SSB contest.  I know that this will be discussed at the monthly meeting and I'll  be expecting the usual condemnation of the "BETA Radio" on the Yahoo sddxcnews group.

    We (SDDXC) operates (all) the ARRL and various other international contest.  Thank you for posting the results. 73's

  • Ernest - W4EGErnest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited January 2015
    I just checked my email from the group and found a believer!  AK6ZZ just put his K3 for sale! 
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    Very nice! I haven't gotten to run any contests for a few months, but took about seven two hour shifts on 40 SSB as W1AW/9 in Indiana two weeks ago. This is a nice rig to run splits, and the receiver is awesome.
  • edited March 2015
    Hi Ian, I use the Flex control for both SSB and CW contesting. It is useful in SSB contesting because stations are not typically on khz or half khz frequencies. The Flex knob is a classic way to tune these stations in, although some Flex users are so accustomed to the mouse wheel that they would prefer that to a knob. In CW, for me, the Flex knob is unequaled for fine tuning. I guess some users would still prefer the mouse wheel for CW tuning.....it all depends upon the ergonomic preference of the user. The 6000 series is F-l-e-x-i-b-l-e.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I agree, the FlexControl Knob offers precision that the mouse and mouse wheel will never have. I use mouse & key on RH and FlexControl Knob on LH. Now I am adding K6TU iPad control program on LH side also. Great combinations.
  • edited March 2015
    Sorry to hear that there are still detractors to the 6000 series. Maybe this contest result will be a positive data point for those contesters who are considering the 6000 series but are negatively impacted by what you described.
  • edited March 2015
    Good show Mike. Another positive data point for the 6000 series.
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Although I came first in San Diego Section ARRL SSB contest using Flex, Flex 6000 series still has a long way to go to improve workflow to the point where one can consistently win contests with it. Until someone WIns a major contest like WRTC no one will believe that Flex is a contest machine
  • edited January 2016
    And that's OK. Competition is tough enough already. : )
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited March 2017
    Way to go, Charles!  
  • Gerald-K5SDRGerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Charles, congratulations!  Thanks for posting your results to the Community.
  • Duane_AC5AADuane_AC5AA Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    Nice work, Charles.  We all know that the radio is important, but even more so is the operator, so congratulations!
  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    Top 3 positions on the 2014 WRTC were mostly Icom gear. Notable mention to 3rd position with 2 x IC756Pro3. I think the radio is important from the ergonomic point of view, in that reward Icoms are often very well designed. Interesting how radios with panadapters beat radios without. If you ask in the contest community the weapons of choice were for quite a long time FT1000 and now K3s, and then you go and pin them against each other in an equal antenna, location and propagation contest condition and the winner is Icom. 

    Winners K1A N6MJ / KL9A with IC7800 + IC7800  and WINTEST
    Runner-Ups W1L OM3BH / OM3GI K3 + IC7600 and WINTEST
    Third W1P DJ5MW / DL1IAO IC756-3 + IC756-3 and WINTEST

    (I know, resurrecting an old thread, but interesting info nonetheless)
  • Mark GriffinMark Griffin Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Charles, fine job on the contest score. I am a member of the Frankford Radio Club. There has never been much discussion regarding SDR's for contesting in our club. Most members use Kenwood, Yaesu or Elecraft. I personally have a K3. I am looking to purchase a 6500 in the future and see what she can do contest wise. Would love to talk to you sometime regarding your contest setup. Mark KB3Z
  • edited April 2015
    Hi Mark,

    Drop me an email with a contact number and I'd be happy to discuss the setup with you.  My email is on QRZ.com
  • Mark GriffinMark Griffin Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    Charles, I will do that this evening. Mark KB3Z
  • Ned K1NJNed K1NJ Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016

         Well, the -operators- were the winners. They were very experienced
    with the equipment that they used.
        Hopefully, skills prevailed.  I wonder how many hours were spent with
     those particular radios prior to the contest developing those skills.
     I don't know how many competitors there were, but I'll bet there were
     many radios from each manufacturer trailing the field as well.

    Ned,  K1NJ

  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    Well... not really Ned, an overwhelming majority favored the K3. Look at the numbers:


    I do agree that 99% is the skill of the competitors! But with identical conditions as far as antenna, location and propagation it is is quite telling that the top 3 teams had 5 Icom radios and 1 Elecraft.

    My point here is that making the Flex a competitive piece of gear for contest will come down to how to make it flexible for contest operation.... and that boils down to being able to customize to your hearts content in order to create a consistent setup.
    Many features, such as focus, are great, band stacking, integrated voice keyers, etc... will definitely add value.
    Maybe the really interesting advances will be in the area of accessories through the USB ports.... can't wait to hear anything from FRS on that regard.

    Otherwise, my personal opinion is that the 6000 series is already the best receiver you can get.

  • DH2IDDH2ID Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Have you tried the CMD micro? https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/behringer-cmd-micro-dj-midi-controller-for-use-with-flex-6000 I especially like the possibility to tune two slices for split operation and to change VFOs quickly.
  • Ian1Ian1 Member
    edited May 1
    I wonder if it's like Racing where the driver makes the most difference.

    Perhaps we need to view Contesting as an entire package rather then a singular device like the Radio.

    Just a thought
  • Ned K1NJNed K1NJ Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016

       Thanks for the additional info, Salvador.  It's also true that to a large extent,
    contesting drives much of today's market.  I don't think that idea has been
    lost on FRS.  There is a saying in the auto racing world, "Win on Sunday, sell
    on Monday".  The impact on FRS of picking up a significant portion of that
    market would be huge.

    "73 and good luck in the contest!"

    Ned,  K1NJ
    (Not a contester)

  • Duane_AC5AADuane_AC5AA Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    While the capability of the radio is important, the operator makes, by far, the crucial difference!
  • VE2MBTVE2MBT Member
    edited December 2016
    I use 3 dell 23 inches monitor but one of them is touch screen dedicated for the flex, it is lightning fast ... when you see signal on the pan adaptor, just double tap the screen and you are on it !!! So when multiple slices are "on" you change band or frrquency very very fast. Most of the time you don't have to retune or only little bit with the flex knob.
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited January 2017
    Practice, Practice, Practice + Skill + Simplified Efficient Workflow = Wins
  • k3Timk3Tim Member ✭✭
    edited May 23
    Patron to Chef after eating a great meal:  Chef that was a terrific, you must have a good oven.
    Patron to Photographer - You must have a good camera, that is a great picture.

    It would be an interesting contest that was setup so the operator skills made the biggest difference.

    Expanding on Ian's comments about racing,  As we know their are classes of cars that are tightly controlled and matched, hence the driver skill is hte key element.

    Contests should have referrers listening in and disqualify those who cheat, bad operating manners or poor signal quality.

    Congrats to folks posting their Contest achievements, I applaud you.

  • Douglas MaxwellDouglas Maxwell Mr Member ✭✭
    edited January 2016
    How does the Flex control work with regards to focus? I hate when I can't tune the rig because focus has passed back to my contesting software. If I switch the focus return feature off I hate having to constantly click back in the logging field after tuning. Seems very clunky.

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