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FR Logger / Download?
Last post by wd0cfc - Jul 07, 2024, 09:32 AM
How do i get fr logger?
Hardware Links / Some good hardware links
Last post by ws7m - Feb 19, 2024, 06:21 PM
Links to some good hardware.  The links may not all be valid.  Let me know if one does not work and I will try to keep this list up to date.  If you have items you would like to add, let me know and I'll get them added:

Radio Gear


Batteries & Chargers
Mobile / My best mobile setup - Yet!
Last post by ws7m - Feb 19, 2024, 02:30 PM
I own a 2016 Subaru Outback.  It is a smaller car with not as much room inside as one might think to house ham radio gear. 

As of Jan 2024 here is my mobile setup:

  • Icom 705 - Mounted to a pax seat bolt arm
  • Yaesu FTM-400 - 2/440 and APRS
  • GOOZEEZOO ATU-100 100w Tuner
  • Custom control box - Houses SSRs to control power to devices
  • Digital Loggers DIN Relay - In control box
  • RM Italy HLA 305 amp
  • Heated 12V LiFePO4 battery
  • Powerwerx DCDC-8A 14.5V, 8A Adjustable DC-to-DC Battery Charger for 12V LiFePO4 Batteries
  • NoCo Genius 10 110V charger
  • GRM-EM7 12 Volt DC Motorized Antenna Lift
  • Cellular, WiFi access point
  • Begali Adventurer CW paddle

  • 80-10m HamSticks with QD2 quick disconnects
  • 102 inch metal whip with QD2 quick disconnect

The IC705, while only 10w is small enough to fit nicely on the arm from the passenger seat bolt.  I've actually made many mobile CW contacts at 10w.

A simple throw of a switch and the HLA 305 amp comes online and can deliver up to 200W if needed.

The GeeZeeZoo tuner is small and fast and provides excellent easy tuning of the 102" whip.

Inside the control box is a relay timer that turns on 15 seconds after the car engine is turned on and that enables the Powerwerx DC-DC charger to keep the LifePO4 battery charged.

A console mounted switch panel enables power to various devices including the FTM-400, ICom and GeeZeeZoo tuner, Amplifier and WiFi access point.

The antenna lifter allows antennas to lay relatively flat for entering parking garages.  It is mag mounted to the Subaru roof with four sturdy magnets.  A console mounted switch raises and lowers the antenna.

An added benefit to this setup is it can be used fully remote when parked.  Enabling all the gear allows full access to the IC 705 and relay control of all the devices from my laptop.  So can be say inside of a camper with friends running my car mounted gear.

The reason for having the heated LifePO4 battery to power everything is so that I never run down my car battery.
Remote station / 2024 - Best devices and softwa...
Last post by ws7m - Feb 18, 2024, 11:36 PM
After much searching and learning, here is a list of great items for remote stations:


Amplifiers & Tuners

Control and communication



The gear listed above is certainly pricy and far from the cheapest route you can go. But in my experience the time, energy and cost of continuously going to/from your remote site can easily make you wish you had spent a little more.

The devices above have proven themselves with long up times, reliability and ease of use. They simply work!  The digital loggers devices have built in scripting that allows you to automatically restart things if networking goes down.

An avid remote radio user once told me, that the more things you have in your remote shack the more things you have that can go wrong.  That is certainly true, but if you follow that logic you would have just a radio and nothing else. In today's ham shack that is likely not enough.

So a modification to this theory or rule is to ensure that anything you add, can be remote controlled.  Provide a way for automatic power cycle and if possible provide a way that when turned off that device is bypassed.

Mac - What!? Why!?
I can hear it now.  The grumbling that you don't like Macs and you would never own one.  But here is the thing. Over 3+ years now I converted my ham shack to be Mac based and with the addition of the SmartSDR and SDR Control for Mac, the solution solidified into the most reliable setup I've ever had.

The Mac software packages are far superior to the Windows equivalents.  They work remote fantastically and are very full featured.  Each includes a RTTY and CW decoder and built in FT8/FT4 functionality as well as full remote CW.  In keeping with the KISS principle, the Mac software apps allow you to do more with less software.  So that means less to go wrong!

So why is the Raspberry Pi4 listed!?  It's not a mac?

It is listed because it works.  The raspberry Pi5 is a disaster in the making as they changed some of the fundamentals that many things depended upon.  But the Pi4 is a solid device and you can set it up for VNC which allows you to place the radio and computer together and connect to it remotely.

I still do not believe it approaches the Mac, SDR app, Flex solution in any way but it does work and works well.

An Ideal Remote
Here are the things that make an ideal remote station, again this is my opinion:

  • Flex 6400 or 6400
  • PGXL - Optional
  • TGXL - A great tuner with a built in 1x3 switch
  • DIN Relay - To control the various things

At home you would have a Mac, running SmartSDR Mac. As long as your networking is setup right you will be able to restart all the remote devices, connect and run all the remote devices from virtually anywhere in the world.

This is, in effect how my personal station works. It is setup pretty much like the above and I can run it from the office, from an airport, a coffee shop or even on my phone.

I put a DIN Relay, a WiFi access point, a 100w amp, and an IC-705 in my car.  When everything is alive I can run it from my laptop without even being in the car!

Go the route you wish on your remote setup. But if you are like me you will soon learn what works and what doesn't and with enough frustration you will move towards the things that work and stay way from the cheap things that do not work.
Flex Radio / FlexRadio - To "M" or not to "...
Last post by ws7m - Feb 18, 2024, 10:37 PM
This is my long time view of the flex radios with the Maestro attached and not.

I believe the M series versions of Flex Radios were introduced to complete a little better with knob radios like Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood and others.  Unfortunately, I believe the M to be a strap on solution.  It is not well thought out and really does not provide everything a knob user wants.

The Flex Radios are really best at being radio servers. The M add on which was really a Maestro, with a Windows Tablet, running a tablet version of SmartSDR was simply put: clunky.

I own both a Flex 6600 and an Icom 7610.  When it comes to knob radio, hands down the Icom 7610 wins.  First it powers on in seconds where as the Flex takes a minute plus. The knobs are nicely laid out and work well.  The Maestro... not so much.

So in my humble opinion if you want a knob radio.  Buy a knob radio.  If you like Flex and you really still want the knobs, buy the Flex 6400 or 6600 and by a new latest version separate Maestro.  This way you get the best of both worlds.  The Flex radio server can sit wherever you want it, and the Maestro can be your knobs.

Considering the issues Flex has had with the Windows tables, batteries and other issues in Maestro version 1 and 2, I would certainly wait to see what the 3rd generation looks like.  It was just announced in Jan 2024.

I welcome input on this topic.  This is, as I've said, my opinion.
Astronomy / New Seestar S50 Scope
Last post by ws7m - Feb 18, 2024, 10:23 PM
For my birthday in 2024, I decided to get a Seestar S50 smart telescope.  See: Seestar S50.

I had to wait days for clouds, snow, superbowl, you name it.  But finally on 02/17 I got a clear night and managed to take these: