Continuing to be happy and satisfied!

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  • Updated 2 years ago
I was first licensed in about 1972.   As a code only novice I was fascinated that with my Hustler 4BTV on the roof, a very few radials and 50 watts with a few crystals for 40m novice area that I could talk to so many people.  Even France!

But I always wanted more.

I wanted more privileges so I upgraded to General.  But with new privileges comes new requirements.  I needed a better radio.  My father helped me to buy the Kenwood R599, T599 combo.  Pretty cool combination of rigs except my T-599 regularly needed work on the finals as they seemed to love to oscillate.  For Christmas one year I got a Heathkit SB-200 linear.  I almost killed myself several times working on that thing.

I graduated from high school and went off to college with nothing more than a 2 meter rig in my small truck.  For the next 10 years that was all I had.  I missed HF.

I moved up to Seattle and starting making ok money so one day I drove across town to a radio supply store and came home with a new Kenwood.  I don't even remember the model but it was all solid state.

I lived in the foot hills with 90 foot trees so I put antennas up on the trees.  Loggers were a dime a dozen in the area so for $100 and a six pack they'd scale these tall trees and mount the antennas.

I put up a V dipole.  I could work 40, 20 and 15.  I was of software programmer by trade but I found myself hating to be tied to my operating position.  I kept trying to figure out ways to run my stuff remotely.  

In 1992 I moved back to CA.  Once again I sold all HF gear and when I got back to CA it took me a couple of years but I bought another Kenwood and another 4BTV.  That worked pretty well.  I had a very small lot so no big antennas.

Then the Kochina computer radio came out from Ten Tec.  I ordered one the day it was announced.  It was very cool.  Much of it I could run remotely but I had to write a lot of software to do so.  I got the interfaces for controlling the Kenwood but it was very clunky.  Quite often it just didn't work.

In 2004 I moved to Colorado.  Once again I sold everything and took a break.  In 2015 I found out about FlexRadio and started first with a 1500.  I had that about a month and went for the 6300.  Then I upgraded to the 6500.  I had a few bumps but I remain with the 6500.

Now today I can literally run my entire shack remotely.  I can power cycle my Flex.  I can turn my SPE amp on and off.  I have an automatic tuner and SSDR works remote and the iPhone and iPad app work great.

I guess the point of this long post is that I have slowly learned several things about my interest in this hobby:

1) I like to wire things up.  For me a lot of the fun is stringing the antenna, setting things up and wiring them up.

2) I don't like to have to go to my operating position to use my stuff.  As it sits today, thanks to FRS I can run my stuff from almost anywhere in the world.

This makes me very happy.

This morning I re-strung my 80 meter loop to install pulleys for better wind tolerance.

After that I got my laptop and sat outside on my back deck.  Since it was still fairly early I fired up FT8 on 20m with about 300w.   I worked in succession:

Germany - report: -6
Netherlands - report -9
Scotland - report -2
Indonesia - report -5

What makes this so cool to me is I was sitting outside, at my patio table with my laptop talking to the world.  I could have been at work, or at my buddies house in Denver.  Really just about anywhere I have an internet connection I can use my stuff!

FT8 is easier to use when I'm on my own LAN but I have a raspberry Pi VPN.  I can use that to get DAX and SmartCAT to work remote.  So I can do FT8 remote.  Just a few more steps.

But the other night I sat in an empty pizza hut waiting for some people and brought up SSDR iOS.  I worked to stations both of which gave me 20 over reports on 40m using my new 80m loop and 80 watts.

Anyway I am satisfied!  This in my opinion is the perfect radio and the perfect setup for me.  Never been much of a knobs guy.  Software Defined Radio is the way to go.  Add in all this remote stuff and it is super super cool.

My new 80meter loop is proving out well.  I can't believe I wasted time on other antennas.  Obviously a focused beam is the best but I can't do that.   The 80 meter look is virtually invisible and it simply works.  The FT8 QSOs above prove that!

Earlier this morning I got a 15 over report from Iowa.  I've gotten 20 over reports at both coasts.  

So I am happy.

For anyone that is considering a FlexRadio.  If any of the following interests you:

1) I like to operate at my operating position
2) I like to operate out on my patio
3) I like to run my stuff while I travel
4) I like to run my stuff while at my office (if you can get away with it and not get fired)
5) I'm retired... I just want the best

Then FRS is for you.   Like anything in life it takes time to set things up and get them working but once you get it done, there are house of enjoyment.  With FRS you get to enjoy just about where ever you are!
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Mark WS7M

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Posted 2 years ago

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David Livingston

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I really enjoy my Flex 6700!!! My first contact this morning was to KH2JU in Guam this morning..12:53 UTC. This was on an OCF dipole at 100'. I also setup RMS Express (Winlink) in both Telnet and HF (peer to peer) in 30 minutes this morning. I could only imagine how long this might take on radios without DAX and CAT.

My first contact in GU:

Danilo I Pobre, KH2JU
PO BOX 22061 GMF

K4CAE - Columbia, SC

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mikeatthebeach .

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FT8 Works Great !  
249 Countries with Flex !

73 Mike
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Rich McCabe

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"Then the Kochina computer radio came out from Ten Tec."


Are you talking about the Pegasus?  Kachina was a differnt radio.
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Mark WS7M

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Yep you are right.  Not sure why Kochina was stuck in my mind.  It was a Pegasus...