The FPGA.  The chip that makes Software Defined Radio possible. 


When I became interested in the Flex 6300 a couple of years ago, I knew nothing about the FPGA concept. (And as I am not an Engineer or a Computer Science major). I still know little. That said, I went in search of a tutorial that would serve as an introduction to the FPGA and an explanation as to why it has opened up this new world in Ham radio.  There are many FPGA video tutorials out there.  And none are perfect for the Ham Op. But this one I found very useful. Maybe you will too?  Runs about 30 Min.

Multi-Source real time Information Viewing

I use multiple information devices that can take any “Live Stream feed from the Net and from all sources on Xfinity cable. I’ve done this for years to be able to see how other networks or news sources cover events Especially  “Live”.  Working in Broadcasting for many years I had access to many many feeds that the most can’t see simultaneously.  The 1994  OJ  Simpson white Bronco ride around LA on the 5 Freeway was my first home based  multi channel simultaneous watch.  That was PRE- Social Media, but me and some guys on CompuServe text-chatted during the “ride”. This was also PRE World Wide Web.   My most memorable moment:  As the LA Sun starting going low in the sky I mentioned to 2 other colleagues on a headset conference call:  “Those guys are going to have to roll filters soon.” (Meaning they would have to roll out their camera daylight filters and  White Balance OR go to Clear as the Color Temp of the Sky was rapidly going warm)  within 3 minutes of my saying that they rolled filters!!!!

This is my minimum set up for watching news, taking notes, fact-checking and Facetime/Skype conversations about election coverage.  It’s basically just 3 iPads/iphone  6+  and a 55′ Flat Screen DVR with RF headphones.

If you are a touch typist you can interact with others and keep up with real time events. It’s all meaningless information. But fun.

wa4d  News configurationation at home

Xfinti Cable/Modem:  Speed Test:  6 mbps UP/ 27 mbps Down

My Global Media List. ( yes it has a western slant)

DOMESTIC  Media       Washington POST, NY Times, Baltimore Sun, LA Times,  Foreign Affairs, the Best of the Left podcast,  Bloomberg,  The National Review, Wall Street Journal.  

International Media —  BBC, the Guardian, South China Morning Post  (Hong Kong English Language) Council on Foreign Relations,  DieWelt (german use the translate…it’s good)  the Moscow Times/English Version.

Fact Check & Social Media – PolitFact, FactCheck.ORG,  Twitter I do not use FaceBook.

If I could only read one Media site daily from each Category it would be:

#1)  DomesticThe Wall Street Journal.    (Paywall. IMHO Best Paper in the USA)

#2)  International —A tie between DieWelt (German) and  Israel Hayom (Pro am I)

I’m going to do a”Live” Google Feed/Hangout on Election Night and Tie in HamRadio. Drop me a note if you want to join the round table.

Cheers– Mike

Kenwood TS-990

990Ok I sold my FLEX 6300 w/AT. It took exactly one day to sell after posting it on the Flex Community site.  Sent it to Valencia Spain! Had it for 1 year and 1 month. Verdict?  Outstanding radio, fun to use, new operational model and a visual Blitzkrieg.  The Spectural Capture Units  (receivers)  boggled the mind. I learned alot about the SDR work-flow model and the new RF architecture that will fully displace the Super-Het model we’ve all used these many years.

That said, I missed the “Big Iron” Feel of a Full Boat Base Station radio. A “Knob Radio” in the vernacular.  The 990 puts the WOW back in Ham Radio for me. — I’ll do a Short Video on the FUN factor this spring and post.

Cheers, mike/wa4d