Post 1.6 experiences

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well I have run 1.6 during my hunts for K5P and VP8STI now and can say I am thoroughly pleased with the new package.

Last night chasing VP8STI he was on 40/30 and I couldn't hear them via the auroral south pole path which was being messed up by a high Kp of 4.

So I lay in wait on 20/17 but set up 4 receivers on possible places he might appear with appropriate splits in place.

As his daylight appeared he moved to 20m and I heard him calling on 20 SSB - one click moved the TX focus - Bamm in the log!

Same on K5P .. big pileup - find a hole and bamm in the log!

I love the new DAX - no issues apart from one problem where the DAX driver seemed corrupt and would not load ... I reloaded 1.6 and that disappeared. 

I suspect this is related to closing the Surface Pro 3 while DAX is still running - so I now consciously close DAX before closing the SP3 - no more issues.

I also found the new DAX much easier to set up FLdigi etc and used that to good effect chasing 3D2AG as well .

The only other issue I have found is using FRStack - in that zooming on a band to a certain level seems not to be saved and when I went back the zoom level reset itself - that might be me not understanding the persistence around that!

Again the Flex has proven itself as an awesome DX tool - seeing the band - multiple slices on multiple bands is a must when chasing slots and the Flex does an awesome job.

I even found myself wishing I might just want a 6700 sometime .. just might :)

For now the 6500 does a super job and as I have a second I will be able to run two stations side by side.

This broadband antenna requirement is leading me to some thinking around antennas.

I purchased a 10 element LPD from EAntennas (59+) and will see how that goes but being able to see across multiple bands might mean some kind of switching / duplexing is needed!

thanks FRS team - 1.6 is a clear winner!

Now can I have my Maestro so I can ditch that FC and this will be a killer :)

Cheers

Simon ZL4PLM   
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Simon Lewis

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Posted 4 years ago

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Ken - NM9P

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I love my Tennadyne T-11 LP. I just wish it covered down to 30 or 40 meters! That would be awesome! But expensive.
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Mark - WS7M

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Dang Simon... You should do a write up or a youtube video showing us simple folks how you setup the rig and splits based on your guesses.  I could really use that kind of knowledge.

Right now I'm just looking for the massive band splatter to see where they might be and then once there I start expanding and looking for them.

Ken, if you want to go to 40 how about shipping me your T-11... I'll protect it for you and give it a great home in the dry air of Colorado while your massive 40m Log Period is installed!!!  :-)
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Ken - NM9P

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Ha ha ha! Perhaps when I retire... If I can. The way the market is going it may be a long wait!
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Simon Lewis

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yeah I will Mark - now I have them logged :)

this was an ATNO for me - same with K5P and 3D2 and VP8

the Flex has scored some great DX already for me - no way I would go back to a rig I can't 'see' the band on a big screen!

I also worked 3D2 on 6m and K5P on 10m .. the 6500 is great for weak signals too !

that APF makes weak signals leap out from the headphones and I can hardly see them on the trace !

logged K5P on 10m in the same way!

A big LPD covering 30/40 be nice .. any suggestions??

  
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Mark - WS7M

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Ken... what is this you speak of "retire"?  Now you have me curious... I was raised to work until I drop... sigh...

I have a dream... (speaking of MLK)

My dream is to have a small piece of land with a house where I can put up a tower with a LP on it.

I started a post about dreams and decided since I'd recently been swatted down about off topic posts that I would not post it.  But in that dream post I actually would seriously consider remote mounting my Flex radio assuming the following:

1) really good internet
2) ease of access when there are problems
3) good place with not many other TX going on

I considered if there were people out there that would consider a lease.  IE I get a small piece of their land for a tower and building for radio/equip, they get to use the equipment when I'm not and get the lease payments.

This dream continues into monster beams, expert 2k amps hardlines, etc and then I pull my wallet out and it evaporates into thin air.  Just like the money I do make!

<sigh>
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Wow, great antenna Simon, you are going to love the Flex with that. Nothing to setup as far as duplexers or anything like that. I use a 10 to 30m log and it is a thing of beauty to see the whole spectrum. With so much aluminum up there you can pick up 80m with clarity. Sometimes I TX on a G5RV for 80m and listen on the logperiodic.

As far as working the split. With the Flex is almost easy. In the case of VP8STI, I was amaze, I worked them on CW on my first call. It was as simple as setting up SDR-Bridge with 2 panadapters. One at 48K dedicated to VP8STI (they go too fast for me to decode at 35 wpm). Another one at 192k decoding all the people calling them. I took a few minutes to see how the OP was working the pile up and send my call right after I hear the UP from them, right a bit above the frec where the last successful caller was.

I send a bit slower, about 27, so my call 8P9EH, which is a handful in CW can be decoded easily. 

I got it on my first try.



And that was that. ATNO in just 1 try.

K5P was a bit tougher. I finally managed them on 17m phone.

As far as working the Phone pile up.... I used this new technique last night...



I have 1 slice on the DX and 6 spread in 2k increments on the pile up. I move the towards the right side of my head set. I look at where they move the panadapter when they reply to their call sign and I click on the TX (red button) and send my call one time on that frequency.

/RANT_ON
But, man... what a disappointment a lot of the operators!! Very few listen. They do not care that the DX is calling a specific call sign, they just keep sending their call non-stop. It is an embarrassment for the hobby in general. So many people TX on the DX frequency... and the frequency police are even worst.... Tunning, QRMrs, people that start calling CQ on the DX frec. Nets that start regardless just because somehow the feel the frec belongs to them.... oh well.
/RANT_OFF
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Walt - KZ1F

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Not to mention the jammers and the freq police, who are their own, very special, type of jammers "up up up you moron, he's working split you idiot" that is 14 syllables that walks right over the dx.

I think expeditions should watch their own spots and as soon as they appear, move to a different freq. That would solve three problems; jammers police, and shooting game in a zoo (as Burt properly calls it.
(Edited)
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Simon Lewis

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Salvador - what antenna are you using ??
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Klm 7 element logperiodic. Continuous coverage 10m to 30m.it can hear in 40, 80 and 160. And I can tune it on 6m.

M2 bought the design. They call it 10-30LP&7. The original klm also had the option to add an 8th element for 40m. Which also adds gain to the other bands.

Mine is a bit low at 30ft, would be great at 45 or 60ft.

www.m2inc.com
(Edited)
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Simon Lewis

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coo I like!

I would def want 30-40

but that's a BIG antenna for the roaring 40s

:)

I shall have a look at the M2 page
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Mark - WS7M

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I have messed up and transmitted on the DX freq.  It wasn't intentional I just forgot to move the TX over to the other slice.  Took a freq police saying  WS7M up 3 or whatever for me to get my mistake.

It happens.  This is not saying all the people doing it are making an  honest mistake but not everyone is an idiot or evil.  Sure there are a few.

I don't have a LP antenna.  I have a simple end fed wire at 50 feet.  I have my 1K SPE amp and with my coax loss on 20m if I belt 600w out the amp I think 520 is getting to the antenna and probably even more is lost in the matching network.  So I'm guessing about 500 gets to the wire.

I like CW for the reason that it is a little of an equalizer.  The difference between a 1.5kw CW signal and my 500w CW signal is pretty much 2 s-units.  Add in a beam and maybe you get 3 s units.  But even with my lousy setup if I use the 6500 to my advantage, don't transmit on the DX freq (oops) and use a little patience I have gotten through when the conditions are right.

It seems to me that on some DX the op is very busy working call after call.  If you just fine the right time and sneak in a call it is almost like they are relieved to hear a call in the clear.  I also have a nice sounding CW call so that helps.  I think it does grab a little interest sometimes.

I don't do much SSB.  Just a little here and there but one day there was a nice German station on and I wanted to work him.  He had quite a pile up going so I sat and waited and sent my call a few times.  I think I was almost in when this guy came on from w9 land at 90 over.  Just blasted everyone off the band.  

Even the DX was very excited to have such a strong signal and made numerous comments on what a signal. Well I know we hams love to talk but this old w9 guy started a regular QSO with the guy talking about this radio and that and how if you did this to that radio it would perform as well as some other radio.  He spoke for 20 minutes!

The DX was nice and said well I want to work a few others before I shutdown but very nice signal, thanks again, 73.  The w9 comes and and once again just went on and on and on about antenna and how he'd looked on QRZ and if the DX station just did this or that they'd see a huge difference in the signal.

I was getting angry and a few others patiently waiting were in the same boat.  When finally the w9 signed off a guy jumped in and said, sir, next time you want a general QSO make a schedule now please shut the hell up and let the rest of us have a shot at this guy!

The w9 didn't come back luckily as it probably would have been another 20 minute lecture.  But I swear that w9 had to be running 10kw... he was SO MUCH LOUDER than anything else around it was shocking.

Anyway technique is more than 1/2 the battle in trying to work a DX.  When you have limited antennas and power it can really make a difference.
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Walt - KZ1F

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I am all for giving credit, where credit is due. Sometimes, not always or, lets face it, not often, its the radio (does not matter the manufacturer), sometimes the operator, and sometimes, Burt is correct, its the zoo keepers. I consider spotters part of the zoo keepers staff. And most times it is simply Lady Gaga...er...Luck.
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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To your opening admission Mark, a simple "split" would suffice vs a 14 sylable rant about lids
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Walt - KZ1F

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Sal, I could add one else to mine to get 30 (or 40)? I have the m2 17-30lp7!
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Mark - WS7M

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Agreed Walt and I completely forgot about the spots.  I ride the fence on that because I'm all about technology and using it to better anything whether it is hobby (or service as Burt would have it) or whatever.

Is posting spots on the net truly like shooting animals in a zoo?  I can't really say.  I see Burt's point but I also think it is a cool way to operate.

I guess I figure that nothing we say or do or even Burt says or does will change the fact that DX spotting exists and people will use it to find and work that DX.  So why not be a part of it?

Now if animals were really getting bloodied then yes... I'd say the point is valid.  In this case we are consuming a few extra amps of power and cluttering a particular part of the frequency spectrum.  So whats the harm?

Who knows... maybe our signals are getting "out there" and some alien DX is listening and saying... jeesh those Earth hams are just wrong... let's go wipe out the planet!   
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Simon Lewis

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Walt - did seem to be a 40m add on on the M2 site
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Simon Lewis

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"posting spots on the net truly like shooting animals in a zoo" - well Mark my view is that it was written by someone who does not chase DX else they would know that simply seeing a spot means nothing. I see spots for DX I'd like .. but simply tuning on that spot doesn't mean I will have propagation, make the pileup, be skilled enough to beat the pile etc - I can use tools like spots to help, but does not mean I am shooting fish in a barrel. There's a VK5 that cuts himself up about DXing, contesting, technology in radio. It's a loosing battle. Not going to change. if it's not your bag you move on, same as DSTAR holds no interest, or collecting old boat anchors, or AM nets.

On a side note spots are very valuable. Because they provide records of what's worked/heard and that data can be mined for scientific or historical means.

BTW

Download and use FRstack

I had the same problem TXing on the DX freq.

Now using FRstack I set it to automatically assign TX focus to the new slice!

No more TXing on the DX freq :)

I don't like having to use 3rd party apps to cover what I believe to be a deficiency in SSDR but heck that helps. And same for band stacks - another major hole in SSDR and something that almost every current HF radio sold will offer.   

Quite a useful tool!

Cheers

Simon
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Mark - W3II

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FRStack only tracks slice properties as Band Stack / Memories not the SmartSDR Pan or Waveform display settings. Use SmartSDR Global Profiles to snapshot SmartSDR program settings w/ default slices.
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Simon Lewis

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i did wonder!
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Ken - NM9P

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I finally got the VP8 last night on 17 meters. It was lotw #99 on that band! I haven't gotten through to the other two yet.
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KF4HR

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I decided to stick with V1.5.1 for awhile mainly to see what issues surface.  With the possible exception of not having to double power cycle my 6700 in the mornings (which really isn't that big of a deal), I haven't seen a convincing reason why I need to upgrade to v1.6, as v1.5.1 is working fine for me... but I eventually will do the upgrade after the dust settles.
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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Or, wait for 1.6.18 and forgo all the rough edges.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I haven't found problems on 1.6.17 but i don't have 45+ profiles and don't use the tuner... ;)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Simon, 

Ahead of getting your new antenna I leave you this image here:



That is the Flex receiving in 160, 80, 40, 30, 20, 17 and 12, while transmitting on 15m with a 500W tone. Same radio! Amazing technology.