I may be too old for Ham Radio. I don't believe I did this.

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  • Updated 4 years ago

Twice today, while calling someone using JT mode, I heard this horrible tree shredder like noise coming from the radio. Couldn't figure out what I had done. I'm religious about keeping the side air vents clean. But the noise was loud and frightening. After that first noise episode, all other transmissions were quiet and normal sounding.

I really panicked the second time it happened till I realized, ....duh I had moved my leg and bumped  the paper shredder under my desk which just coincidentally had the same cycle time as a minute of JT transmission.

Don't get old fellow Flexonians...it really sucks!

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Posted 4 years ago

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Ken - NM9P

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Oh Man...That's funny! Literally laughing out loud here.

I have had a few times where age-induced fatigue would cause me to nod-off while waiting for my chance to jump into a CW pileup...only to be awakened by a string of dah-dah-dah's in my headphones because my sleepy fingers laid on the keyer paddle.  Then a few minutes later...another dozing and rude awakening....  After six times I decided that the DXpedition could wait because I needed to go to bed!
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Ken - NM9P

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Why did I buy the 6500?  
Well...I started SDR with a 1500 and fell "in love" with SDR.  (Yes, I know we are supposed to "love" people and "use" things.  Not the other way around....so perhaps I should say, I am EXTREMELY HAPPY with SDR.)

I was thinking about moving up to a Flex-5000, which at the time was my "dream" radio, when I saw the ad for the upcoming 6700/6500 "game changer."  Three or four weeks after receiving the 1500, in January 2013, my wife agreed that I should order a 6500.  (I really wanted a 6700, but negotiations and $$$ can only go so far!)

I wanted once in my life to have a top-line, high performance rig. My last one was a Kenwood TS-850SAT that I had for 20 years.
The selling points for me were:
1) absolutely crunch-proof receiver.
2) unparalleled transmit audio
3) fabulous receive audio
4) brick-wall filtering.
5) a panadapter that can't be beat - including extremely wide-band display.
6) a panafall that moves with the tuning, unlike on PSDR.
7) The concept of the major SDR "guts in the rig" rather than needing a high-power computer to do the crunching.
8) ethernet connectivity, with remote-ability in the future.
9) stunning CW performance capability due to fast internal processing and brick-wall filtering.
10) best in the industry service.
11) being on the "cutting edge" of amateur radio technology.
12) having a rig that would "grow" with me, not one that was becoming obsolete as soon as I purchased it.

I have joked with my wife, Dee, (N9FYE)  is that in my mid-life crisis, I was too poor to buy a sports car, and she (and my "boss") wouldn't let me have a mistress, so I bought a 6500!
When my dad left me a few bucks at his passing, what didn't go to finance my pension, and a family vacation, part of it helped finance the 6500 and tower/LP antenna.

This will likely be the rig and antenna I will retire with, albeit in a different location in 6-10 years.

I have had no regrets...Is it perfect?  Not yet.  But every new software update has brought me enhanced performance, additional features, and more fun.  I look forward to many more to come.

My wish-list for modifications, enhancements and new features is long and creative, like many others.  I have seen some of them already come to fruition.  Others will wait.  perhaps until v.4.0 even.  But every few months, it is Christmas all over again.  That has been part of my enjoyment.

I'm enjoying my 6500!

Ken - NM9P
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Michael Coslo

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Well, Ken, I happilty admit I like SDR better than I like people.

So I know what you mean.
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Mark - WS7M

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Nice write up Ken...

I think I fell in love with SDR for real.

I have been in/out of ham radio over the years. I've built my own gear and bought gear. I never had a wide frequency display and having one now for just four months or so I can't even imagine going back.

I don't have a great station. Limited antenna and I desperately want a tower/beam some day. I see my 6500 as the start of the process. I think the only way I will get a tower/beam will be on some land other than my own, away from the big city so to speak. For that I see remote operation being very much needed and I plan to use the 6500 to learn the process.

I like SDR so much that I bought myself a subscription to RemoteHamRadio to see what it was like to have a killer station with a BIG antenna. These stations are pretty amazing. Expert 1.3 amps, 200 foot towers, stacked arrays.

The few times I've operated one DX falls like you are the only station on the air almost. You get reports of HUGE signals.

While that is all cool I really miss the SDR. With the RHR stations I can't see the band. Plus they are not mine. Fun to play with but half the fun for me is building my own station.

So I'm waiting for life to stabilize a bit and I might consider a small plot of land where I can build a brick building and put up a big tower with a beam. In the building will go a 6000 series and I'll have really nice internet setup to the place. It might still not be a BIG station but it will be mine and RFI will be history because the thing will be miles away from my home.

Actually I currently have my 6500 on a shelf to the side of the desk. The amp is there too so at my monitors I've got a key, a mic and a footswitch. I've even considered moving the rig closer to the antenna and handling everything remote (about 100 feet away) just to get practice in how it needs to be setup.

So that is my goal. Someday, someway it will happen.
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Ken - NM9P

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BTW... I don't know how this post wound up in this thread...I had intended to post it in the "Why did I buy anFlex Radio" thread.

I guess I MAY be getting too old for this after all!
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Both the OP and you Ken made me laugh!
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Norm - W7CK

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While we're confessing...

I spent over an hour trouble shooting a problem where WSPR was unable to change bands on my Flex.  The previous day, it worked just fine.  I stopped and stared all associated applications. I restarted all the hardware, I removed apps, reloaded them, reconfigured them.  Nothing worked.  WSPR could transmit, receive, upload to the WSPR web site.  I could see myself on the WSPR map and folks were copying me.  The WSPR program on my computer just couldn't change the frequency to a different band.

I was sitting there perplexed and thought well, I'm just going to have to change bands manually by using SmartSDR.    I moused over to the "A" slice, typed in the new frequency and nothing!  I immediately remembered that I had locked slice "A" so that I wouldn't accidentally change the frequency by bumping the FlexControl.  Gotta laugh!

Geez - and I'm not really all that old yet!

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Ken - NM9P

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I have been there, done that, got the T-shirt!
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Gary L. Robinson

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I agree!! Getting OLD does suck big time!  I laughed when I read About the paper shredding noise - BUT I have done numerous versions of the same thing hihi  Thanks for letting me know I am not alone  :-)

--Gary WB8ROL
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Michael Coslo

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Well Bill, I've been doing stuff like that since I was in my 20's!

And I'll bet the noise blanker didn't even fix the problem, did it?
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Mark - WS7M

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A suggestion... Move the paper shredder! Not only does it sound like a tree shredder... it might actually be making some noise on your radio when you actually hit it!

Anyway funny story... We all have them... One of the best ever in my opinion was sitting in my bosses home office where he had two phone lines. As we talked he decided he wanted to call someone so he picked up his phone, dialed the number while he talked to me and his other line rang. So he said "dang it..." hung up and found no one was there.

So he hung up and redialed the first guy again he was trying to call. His second line rang again and he said "G...d damn it!" Hung up and answered.

He did this three times before he realized he was dialing his own second line number and he wasn't even that old yet!!!

The comment above about liking SDR better that liking people... I kind of get that... Personally I get along with computers better than I do anyone else. I also get along with cats way better than people. Guess I'm just not meant to be a people person!
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Kevin Va3KGS

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Sorry to here that you guys are getting OLDr.  With having a FSDR radio, I have been rejuvenated.  All that I was told years back about what signals are to look like, (noise, hash, harmonics, Russian woodpeckers (There gone now)), Wow, life is great, and will be better when that new add-on gets released this month!!


Kevin, Va3kgs