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Remoted from 30th Country - Corsica TK/KY6LA

KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
edited April 2020 in SmartSDR for Windows

This week I remoted FROM my 30th Country – Corsica TK/KY6LA


I am blown away at how easy and seamless it has become to operated remote with Flex.


While technically my first DXpedition was to the USA in 1961, I really did not start DX operations until 1965.  I had a job in London UK but was offered an opportunity in India.  I built an old Army Surplus 40M AM Transceiver into the saddle bags of my motorcycle and off I went on a very long and a bit too exciting ride.  I literally worked DX while riding through more than 20 countries paying for ham licenses and import duties ($?$) along the way.   While it was fun it was also quite painful and sometimes very expensive to bail out my equipment from unscrupulous authorities.   


Over the next 40 years, I DXed From over 100 countries and collected over 45 call signs. It involved schlepping special padded suitcases and boxes of power supplies and cables.  Some times it was exciting like working 2M from Portugal to UK… Sometimes it was dangerous.. like Columbia where rebels{?} shot up our equipment… Sometimes it was scary.. like Austria in 1975 where we were busted for being Israeli or American Spies..(we were neither but had ‘scary’ radio equipment with us for a Bus Tracking project in Graz)   But I had a goal of DXing From 100 countries and with enough foreign business projects and clients picking up the tab, I was able to make it.


By 2005, DXing From Countries – been there done that.. BORING…Plus Airlines had become the enemy with huge baggage fees, lost and damaged luggage… Too many local civil servants were expecting “gifs” to issue licenses.  Advancing Age did not help….It was just not fun anymore.


So instead I built a big station in La Jolla, CA with an 85’ tower and SteppIR MonstIR and big amps… I bought literally every form of remote rig type device to see if I could remote my big station.. Mostly it was an expensive waste of money…  The devices were kludges at best, flackly and unreliable at worst.   You still had to drag a lot of boxes of equipment with you.. even though the intent was not to drag **** along…. Totally lacking in ease of use and just plain lacked elegance.


Fast Forward to 2011.. when Joe KC2TN and I made the first transcontinental QSO (La Jolla to NJ) while sitting together in Hara Arena in Dayton using iPads and Flex 5000…  Marcus soon followed with an iPad APP for the 6000  and then V2 SSDR with remote.


In the intervening years I have Remoted via La Jolla from 30 different countries.. many times I used a 4G Hotspot and local SIM to save costs.  No more large boxes of equipment.. No more “Gifts” to civil servants… No more baggage fees..  No more lost and broken equipment


My coolest QSO’s were from 150’ under the English channel riding the Eurostar back to Paris.  


My target is still to REMOTE FROM 100 countries.. but being effectively retired now I don’t have clients to pick up the entire tab for my travels anymore.  Plus advancing age and bicycle crashes are limiting somewhat what I can do.


Overall Flex has just made my traveling life so easy.. I am on the air all the time no matter where I am—such as on the beach in Corsica. I use a MS Surface Pro 6 for FT8 and an iPad Pro for SSB..


Thank you Flex for making my life easier.


  • Larry _ NY8T
    Larry _ NY8T Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Excellent Journey, I was able to make a remote QSO with you a couple years ago when you were in Greece to La Jolla to my qth in Michigan.
  • Ed W2MKM
    Ed W2MKM Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Superb and refreshing post Howard, thanks for reminding us what this endeavor is all about. Ed
    FISHULA X Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
      Howard. Please let me say thanks for laying the ground work for us younger hams. I'm 55 and been a ham a long time. Been into radio even longer. But It's guys like you that contribute the useful info to this wonderful hobby. I have more QSL cards from age 8 then I do now.  I would have never done it without guys like you that go out of there way to teach the real hobby. As there are quite a few appliance operators out there. Theory and involvement is where it's at.  73 Thank you and God Bless.
  • Steven WA8Y
    Steven WA8Y Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Enjoyed your post. Wow, what a cool ride you've had.. I've been remote ops for about 8 years. My QSOs from Barcelona last month were a topper for me. And it was just like my other remote ops, easy and straightforward at this point. And I was surprised I didn't notice any delay on my remote QSOs back into S51DX and ER4DX, or with stateside stations on 20 and 80 meters ( as transcontinental live news reports often suffer a 5 second delay). This is my best remote station so far with a Flex 6600, Maestro if I want it, RF-Kit amp (w/ 4 ant outputs), Quad band switching, rotator control, etc. I've done several contests from other states with little or no problems. Yes very fun.
  • Michael N3LI
    Michael N3LI Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Working reverse DXCC! 
  • Gene Duprey
    Gene Duprey Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Wow, Nice travel log Dxing.  I also am currently running remote, and have done so many times.  I agree, remote with Flex is pure simplicity.  It makes the Ham Radio experience 100 times more enjoyable.

    Gene, K1GD
  • James Whiteway
    edited June 2019
    Interesting story. Thanks for sharing.
  • Clay N9IO
    Clay N9IO Clay N9IO Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Great post Howard! Your's is like a modern Danny Weil story. I suspect your lifestyle and operating preference has been a boon to FRS as well. Thanks for your input on the community. Clay N9IO
  • Lawrence Gray
    Lawrence Gray Member
    edited June 2019
    Been in the Balkans for the last month. Remoted the 6500 from Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia, Solvenia, as well as Italy and Austria. Worked a treat, even with poor wireless. People who know my home audio couldn't tell I was operating remote. Larry, W1IZZ
  • Burch - K4QXX
    Burch - K4QXX Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Very cool Howard!  More than 80% of my hamming is remote using my 6700 and PGXL, although my remote locations are pretty boring.  Mostly from work.
  • W5AP
    W5AP Member
    edited June 2019
    Nice story Howard

    I used to travel a lot when working and operating from all over Europe with the CEPT agreement that made it possible. Used a FT-817 and did mainly PSK-31
    But now the ability to operate a Flex remotely is really nice

    So Howard and or others - how do you do it?   I've only used VNC or TeamViewer to start/stop my remote station and computer, then start WSJT-X (JT8) using my Iphone. So are you doing any CW or SSB while traveling? Using your Maestro?

    73, Jim - W5AP
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019
    I now use a MS Surface Pro 6 for Digital modes. Via Smart-link. I use iPad Pro via Parallels Access via DDUTIL to control my MonstIR, SPE 2K-FA and Rotor . I use My iPad Pro via SSDR/iOS for SSB. I have not voluntarily worked CW since 1958. I actually like the iPad + Surface combo because it’s like have dual monitors.

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