6700 + Maestro is a great combination

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  • Updated 2 years ago
Gush warning - With a few improvement areas

Setup: Flex 6700 + Maestro + QRO amp at 1500W + SteppIR aimed West from BC(older 3 element up 20M into oceania/Japan) + 17M (DX CW running on 20M and 15M).  Running beside an Icom 7300 into 1.5KW into TH7 up 30M and Icom 7600 into 1.5KW into old Mosley up 30M.

Running CW 24 WPM auto keyed by N1MM + CAT
Maestro: Single panadapter at maximum zoom (+/- 500hz full screen), Locked A VFO with RIT
6700: Single lever paddle into radio "Key" and headphones into radio "Phones" (see below) 

Purpose: Cross Canada special event stations lead-up (we were VE100VIMY/VE7) one week per province/territory then first week of April to the VIMY centenary in France as TM100VIMY. See VE100VIMY.CA

Wonders:  Being able to run with a 70Hz brick-wall filter with no ringing - And knob (not button or mouse) Filter Width control for instant single station isolation 
VISUAL pileup control - Able to see a lone station and quickly RIT fast enough to catch zone and suffix
NR that doesn't blur the audio
Sensitive ears
Transmit quality: 35W into 1.5KW with no filters (didn't have a 17M bandpass) that was clean beside two other stations
Convenience:  Rack mounted in a hard gator case with PS, grounding straps and 12V network switch
Better than using a 75A4 + CE 100V on FD (late '60s) - and that was sweet
Maestro sidetone volume control works well even when the phones are on the 6700
Panadapter:  Able to ACCURATELY SEE 20M + 17M + 15M at the same time and then zoom in to see +/- 500Hz.  Oh yes, also the VISUAL view of RIT position and pile-up distribution

OK, Now Suggestions:
Phones must be connected to radio to monitor:  A major problem when the "Radio Server" is more than a few metres from the operating station.  Suggest Smart CAT originate a "keying signal" to client (SSDR/Maestro/other) PLUS a TCP feed from the Server when keyed directly (aux or front panel - Recognizing WAN latency is a problem) - N1MM remote with Maestro will work in a contesting environment.
Diversity Reception:  On 160M and 80M noise was a major problem. (Noise abatement plan in progress - please no comments on noise control).  6700 2nd RX diversity for noise control is still missing - Was on the 5000 3 years ago
Panadaptor zoom:  The many ways to control zoom are slow - How about an optional/setup push switch default to panadapter width?

Side Comments:  The 7300 has a very wide transmit pattern extending many Mhz at around -60db from centre carrier - The 7600 was significantly better.  Also the 7300 is the first transmitter where the SUB-Harmonic is a problem.  I have heard it on 7.100 when transmitting on 14.200 SSB - also high phase noise
This is the first time (voice operators gang up on CW) I have had interference with the mixing of SSB on 21.200 and 14.175 wiping me out on 7.025
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Stan - VA7NF

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Posted 2 years ago

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