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KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
In my world in San Diego and especially at the San Diego DX Club, you are considered to be rather subpar if you have not confirmed at least 320+ counties and earned multi band multi mode DXCC However the one thing that will get noticed is when you win contests. Right now Flex still has a serious credibility gap with the Contest Luddites in my world. Nobody used a Flex at WRTC. To my knowledge no one has posted a major score in a contest using a Flex. Until a Flex wins something major, Flex will continue to play second fiddle to K3 and other contest machines. So I am proposing tha people start posting contest results using Flex so that we can show the Luddites that it is possible to win a contest using a Flex To start this off here is a copy of my certificate where I won San Diego Section ARRL DX Contest 2013 using a Flex Hopefully lots of you people can post much more impressive results image

Completed · Last Updated



  • Chris DL5NAMChris DL5NAM Member
    edited April 3
    We know how good our Flex is, but a rig never win a contest! NEVER !

    It's the operator and his tools! Flex is only one tool.

    ... and showing all trophies here is like little kids in kindergarten: ... look here, my toy is bigger

    Sorry we not need this show here.
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 23
    You TOTALLY missed my point. It's not about individual bragging rights. Flex and especially it's mouse interface is considered to be second rate in the contest world because nobody can point to a major contest win using a flex. I was hoping that people would post contest results here so that I could show my Luddite "friends" in the Contest world that it's possible to win a contest using a Flex and the visual interface.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Not exactly what you are looking for, Howard, but for what it's worth...

    With my little FLEX-1500 I won 1st place in the 9th Region 2013 CQWPX SSB in the SO QRP category.  That same entry was also 4th place in the 9th region in SO LOW POWER "Tribander & Wires" category.  This was using only a wire dipole.  Not spectacular, but not bad for only 5 watts!  

    Now that I have my 6500 I haven't run any major contests this year, other than the 160 CW & SSB this past winter and lots of W1AW/p operations.  I even ran 40 Meter SSB as W1AW/9 in Indiana this Summer.  The 6500 is awesome running splits! 

    My T-11 is supposed to go up in late October / early November.  I hope to be on a few bigger contests with more impressive scores once I get the antennas up to **** and have mastered the N1MM+ logging program and CS SKimmer.  I am getting close, thanks to the W1AW/p operations.
  • edited June 23
    With the sole intention of showing it can be done...  Here is a sample...  all of these were done with a FlexRadio Systems radio and only one knob - the FlexControl by K6TD/K6TU.

    However, I agree with Chris - a good radio and a bad operator won't win a contest.  However, a great radio like the Flex makes it much more enjoyable and less fatiguing to put the operator effort into a serious entry!

    Stu K6TU



    FWIW, 2012 I broke the SCV section record and broke my own record again in 2013.  2014 I didn't enter the contest - still on vacation!


    And its not just RTTY...


    There are many contesters with FlexRadio whose achievements dwarf mine.

    It can be done - while workflow in a contest is everything, its not magic.  A little bit of thought and you are there!

    Note - not only were these all done on a FlexRadio, they were done 100% remote - my radio equipment and antennas are around 400 feet from the house - everything is remotely controlled.

    Last but not least...  every tri-athlete has one event in which they are generally weaker than the others - in my case its CW.  I am working to improve that skill and add some paper in a CW contest soon - its the operator not the radio after all!

    Stu K6TU

  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Impressive, Stu!  I played for about two hours on Sunday evening in the RTTY contest and worked about 30 stations with the 6500.  Just playng around knocking off a few contacts running FLDigi and my regular ACLog program.  I haven't gotten N1MM (regular or Plus) running on RTTY yet.  But the experience taught me that given a few spare hours I can get this stuff and be competitive on RTTY, something I have always shied away from until the 6500 entered my shack.  So I may be ready for the next one.  I even think I could handle running a frequency with splits on RTTY with this thing - something I NEVER would have even considered with my previous rig!  The 6000 series makes RTTY easy!  and it will get better when people start playing with the new API's.
  • edited August 2016
    One thing that makes RTTY a piece of cake on the 6000 is setting the filters so that they are narrow and on the center of the shift - in my case, I prefer LOW tones (generally a mark of 915 Hz) as it helps from keeping my ears from ringing at the end of a weekend contest.

    So I set up a profile in the K6TU Control iPad app called RTTY Lo - this has filters at 270 Hz, 300 HZ... wide - centered on 1 KHz.  I rarely use anything other than the 300 Hz.  I also set the TX filter to be the same bandwidth - this way, I can do my best to keep my signal as narrow as I can.

    This past weekend, I saw one miscreant (who will be nameless but he was a Zero-lander) who had a skirt on his signal 4 KHz wide - probably the worst I have ever seen in years - I'm pretty sure he was using a FT1000MP - and likely over driving both his rig and his amp.

    With narrow filters on the 6000, its very easy to tune with the FlexControl for search and pounce - just center the tones in the filter passband and tweak using MMTTY as appropriate.  When I run, I leave the FlexControl tuning RIT and tweak to get the signal centered in MMTTY or use AFC (and make sure NET is off!).

    In Phone contests, I trim the TX filter to 2.4 KHz, set from 250 Hz up - on RX, I regularly will trim down to 1.8 KHz if the QRM/splatter gets bad enough - still easy copy just takes some practice.


    Stu K6TU
  • Steve W6SDMSteve W6SDM Member ✭✭
    edited December 2014
    Okay, guys, since you've shown me yours, I'll show you mine.  Done with a Flex 3000 and Kenwood TL-922A amp, and a TH-7.

  • Bill-W9OLBill-W9OL Member
    edited October 2016
    I made about about  150 qsos , very part time in the last weekends contest, logging via MMTTY
    (As I couldn't get N1MM+ to connect to my F6500.)
    And I quit submitting scores, some 20 years ago.
    But I still pass out cw or rtty qsos at least part time in almost every weekend.

    As for mentioning the Flex Radio. Don't have to....score big, and the oppositions will find out for themselves what rig you used.IN A HURRY
    I agree, all else being equal, Give a top contester a different rig each weekend, and he will likely score a similar total for each test.
    Now give him different antennas...but that's a whole different matter.

  • Steve W6SDMSteve W6SDM Member ✭✭
    edited December 2014
    I belong to the Arizona Outlaws Contest Club.  There are several members with Flex radios.  Chris is right about operating skills being the determining factor in contest success.  It takes both tools and skills, and in the case of a contest, endurance.  One without the other won't work.

    Personally, being able to see where contacts are on the band is a huge advantage.  I can't imagine tuning in the blind when doing search and pounce.  The TNF is another huge advantage when you're holding a frequency that you've been on for a while and someone moves in close next to you.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Stu, that is essentially what I have learned to do for RTTY... 300 Hz RX & TX filters centered on 1500 Hz.  I use RIT/XIT on 1415 Hx so my filter stripes are centered.  

    If I am working a station who is running splits, I tune him with the "big knob"  and then use the XIT function for the Flex Control Knob to quickly throw my TX signal into a "hole" or onto the last station worked, whatever the pattern I detect the station is following.

    If I am "running" I lock down the TX frequency and use RIT to dig stations out of the pileup. 

    I have found it is as easy to to this for RTTY (and PSK31-type modes) as it is for CW, except my computer copies RTTY better than my ears copy CW!

    The only thing that cold be easier is if FRS could set up a separate RTTY mode that automatically centers the "sweet spot" frequency on the main slice indicator so that I didn't need to change RIT/XIT to get things to line up correctly with click-tune, and so clicking on a spot would land me in the right place!

    And you are right about some folks either not caring or not knowing enough to properly adjust their AFSK levels.  I saw someone trying to bust a W1AW/7 this weekend who had to be 5 KHz wide.  I never could tune him in to see who it was....  And I also saw an XE3 on CW apparently running audio-generated CW that was so wide he had at least 12 sub carriers spread out over 4 or 5 Khz sending his code all at the same time.  There were apparently three or 4 people sharing the same rig because that same signal came on frequency three different times with three different calls trying to bust a DXpedition pileup.  Although it was nasty, it was also a little intriguing to watch it on the panadapter.
  • edited August 2016

    I've trained myself in a contest to NOT use click tune when doing S&P - but instead to use the FlexControl and tune - using visual feedback to move.  For this I prefer running the FlexControl via DDutil and using the tuning acceleration mode that we developed together with K5FR during the development of the FC.

    This way, I can use a basic step of 10 Hz - plenty fine enough for RTTY or generally CW but get the ability to rapidly move up the band when I want.

    This way, I never have to move the window focus away from Writelog (my personal preference).  I use the K6TU Control ipad app to alter anything else I need on the radio.

    Click tune however is dynamite for DX chasing . I can click on the guy working the DX split or figure out the DX station pattern and click where I think he will be listening next.

    Stu K6TU
  • TomTom Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    I may have some relevant achievements to share with all of you:

    1. CQ WW SSB 2013 - final

    World #1 - Single-Op, All bands, High Power, Rookie overlay

    2.000 QSOs, 2.5 mil. points, 150 zones, 500 countries

    Flex 6700 was used as RX only, TX was FT-2000D. Was enough to reach world record in rookie overlay but was not enough for serious competition due to two main reasons:

    -technical difficulties about station automation that were not related directly to Flex

    -manual synchronization between RX/TX

    I realized last minute that I cannot use Voice keyer with Flex without using dedicated cabling or external hardware but still wanted to test RX capabilities of Flex.

    2. CQ WW SSB 2014 - preliminary

    World #1 - Single-Op, High power, Assisted, 160m

    Flex 6700 used as RX/TX in overcrowded (QRM) and noisy (QRN) environment with excellent results. Diversity was also used.

    Unfortunatelly, I lost my voice because no voice keying was available. I was hoping to set up voice keying through DAX but realized quality of my audio was not satisfactory for serious contesting (no equalizer and no processor in DAX mode).

    On the scale 0-5 I rate Flex 5 both for RX and TX. In terms of automation Flex deserves not more than 1. Speaking of EUR 7.500 all-digitall rig, its really pitty that you cannot have straightforward voice keying without using non-standard cabling or external hardware (again with non-standard cabling) which I refuse for such a rig. The alternative would be to pre-process audio files before importing to logger for which I didnt have right equipment.

    Bottom line - excellent, but....

    With the very best regards,

    Tom, 9A6TKS

  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    If you look at N1MM+ you can use voice keying from within the program.  
    I did in my latest CQWW SSB 2014.  One shortcoming was that I couldn't simply record from within the program.  

    I was able to record my call, exchange, and several other voice keyer files using Audacity from my studio mike and USB Mixer.  

    Then using Audacity I could Equalize and Compress the sound file before exporting it to a .WAV file for use in N1MM+.  It sounded 98% as good as my voice directly on the mike.  The "effects" tab in Audacity has a variety of apps that are helpful. I recommend drawing your Equalization curve and applied it first.  Then apply about 3-5 dB of compression.  There is an option in the Compression tab that lets you limit all peaks to 0 dB (unity gain).  This way, all of your various voice files are kept to the same level.

    From the setup routine in N1MM+ I could select which DAX channel to use for Audio out from the N1MM Voice Keyer.  It worked fine, but it took a little bit of effort to set it up.  

    If you don't want to go through this hassle, K9DUR has an excellent voice keyer program that will send recorded voice files through DAX channels.
    You must record your file and EQ & compress it if you want it to sound good, but it is another option as well.
  • George Molnar, KF2TGeorge Molnar, KF2T Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2019
    Flex 6500 was my "rig of choice" in 2013 Sweepstakes (1st Place, CW, Nevada Section, Low Power). Pretty sure I did it again this year with almost double the score! Both years one shy of a clean sweep. The Flex was very helpful; band conditions and activity at a glance, great filters and low-fatigue listening. Quick QSY and tuning. Easy interface to the logger, too.  A very very good contest radio!

  • Steve W6SDMSteve W6SDM Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    Ken, I haven't started the N1MM+ voice keyer setup yet but I intend to.  I also have a hardware voice keyer that works great - except the serial has to be done live.  I don't suppose this is any different with N1MM+ is it?
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    If you have the recorded, (EQ'ed and Compressed) audio files, N1MM+ will handle the PTT keying, which you can set up in the Config routines.  You also must select the proper DAX channel in the "soundboard" setup tab.  THere are two different routes to using audio in the N1MM+, one seemed to add unpredictable distortion and file slowdown (sounds like WOW or dragging of an old time LP record on a bad turntable).  THe other was crystal clear.  I am not in front of the rig/hamshack computer right now.  But I suggest you experiment to see what works for you.
    I will be back in the shack tonight and will take a more detailed look at it.

    It was really nice to use the internal voice keyer on N1MM+ during the contest.  It saved my voice, which is still recovering from a bout with Bronchitis!

    Ken - NM9P

    BTW.  It would be VERY nice if FRS would allow an option to take audio from an external source (Logger, or other program) and input it via DAX or other remote audio BEFORE the EQ and compressor routines.  That way I could simply record and go, without needing to run the Audacity EQ and Compression routines.  The compressor in SSDR is much more effective than the one in Audacity.
  • edited August 2016

    I think it will be quite a while before this happens.  Currently the equalizer, compressor etc are implemented further upstream from where the DAX and remote audio streams are injected into the data flow through the transmitter.

    While conceptually its "easy", in practice its not simple to loop the incoming sample stream back through the CODEC without impacting latency.  I had this discussion with Eric and he gave me the big picture.

    In the meantime, using an external voice processor whether software (like Audacity) or hardware is the only way to go.

    Several years ago I did put the time into capturing all the audio files necessary either with Writelog or N1MM+ to use the voice keyer for full automation.  Mine still sounds a little robotic and I've had people respond to my CQ, get the robo-TU response via the DVK and then not come back to me.  I only did this as a last-resort one year when I had lost my voice just before the SS Phone event - I only lost a couple of contacts and did get some compliments - to which I responded with a very raspy voice!

    I know from the receiving end that going from one voice (intonation, cadence, brightness etc) to a different one from the CQ call to the response can be quite off putting.  So getting the "look and feel" of the CQ to be as close to the regular voice response is seriously worth the effort!

    For most contests, I pre-record the CQ and that's it - especially in SS, this will keep your voice during the endless Sunday afternoon doldrums - I rarely use the auto-repeat but instead stay awake by pressing F1!

    Stu K6TU
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I thought that might be the case, but with their new networking audio codec, i am wondering if it might be possible.  Time will tell...

    In the mean time, I have worked pretty hard to get my EQ curve to sound very close to the way I have my EQ in SSDR.  After recording my CQ, CALL,  and Exchange, I run it through Audacity's Equalization function, then run it through about 3-5 dB of compression/leveling so that the levels are all consistent.  I have had others listen to them and they are pretty close, though there have been times when dumping my recorded call into the fray has not been quite as effective in busting a pileup as my voice directly on SSDR.  My guess is that the compressor is more effective in SSDR.  (Perhaps it is also that I am a little more relaxed and precise "live" than when I record my call for the voice keyer.)

    BTW... I am also a bit paranoid about using the 'loop' feature.  I have nightmares about falling asleep at the mike and running an endless CQ for a couple hours while I napped!  I have already caught myself nodding off and accidentally hitting the F5 key and sending my call out multiple times in the middle of a W1AW/p pileup.  Not cool!  Luckily my monitor was loud enough that it woke me up!

    Ken - NM9P
  • Steve Gw0geiSteve Gw0gei Member
    edited December 2014

    Top three finish in 1.8mhz rsgb cw contest - results just in - Only flex radio in the results table I think:-)  Can I get sponsored with a 6700 for next year now? ;-)


    happy xmas de Steve gw0gei

  • George Molnar, KF2TGeorge Molnar, KF2T Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2019
    Just a quickie update -- in the 2014 CW Sweepstakes, my Flex 6500 did help power a 2nd Nevada Section Win and 2nd Place Pacific Division (Class A). Yes, Virginia, Flex Radios win contests!

  • Mike - N1MDMike - N1MD Member ✭✭
    edited April 28
      CQWW WPX Contest, SSB  -- March 28, 29 2015image

    Call: N1MD
    Operator(s): N1MD
    Station: N1MD

    Class: SO(A)AB HP
    QTH: Putnam CT
    Operating Time (hrs): 12

     Band  QSOs
      160:    0
       80:   17
       40:    4
       20:  184
       15:  102
       10:   99
    Total:  406  Prefixes = 345  Total Score = 378,465

    Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club


    Rig: Flex-6700 with SmartSDR v. 1.4
    Antennae: M2 log periodic 10 thru 40 meters on 72 foot tower
              wire 1/2 wave dipole in sloper configuration for 80 meters
    Amplifier: Alpha 9500

  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2015
    I think i worked u in the contest.
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited January 2017

    Welcome to Contesting.

    With a little practice you might double ur score next year.

    BTW. This weekend I realized the best benefit of contesting which is to Stress test my station under adverse conditions. If anything is going to break it is going to break in a contest.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I know you feel that posting results is a wrong thing for you, the Flex is a very powerful tool in contesting as it appears. There are some that think Flex is not ready for prime time in contesting, showing results answers them. Keep posting I feel.
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    @Burt, you never cease to **** me up! You're on the Cape?
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Unless you submit your log in Cabrillo format to CQ WPX Contest, he could get away with a 59 001 for logging you.  Not the correct 57 001
  • Steve W6SDMSteve W6SDM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2015
    Plus, since Burt didn't submit a log, the poor guy could be penalized in some contests by an unconfirmed contact.
  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2017

    That was with the Flex 1500, Low Power and I was able to only do 1 day (15.9 hrs)

  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited April 2015
    #1 NA. #4 World. Very nice

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