KY6R FT8 Station Design

While watching some videos on FT8, some had mentioned the heating of the KX3. Luckily, I have the latest Elecraft heatsink, but then it dawned on me – I have the KAT-100 in a closet in a box. VOILA! The KAT-100 has a massive heat sink, and I also have a big gaping hole on my station desk where the ACOM-1500 used to be and where the SPE Expert 1.3K now sits and takes up far less space.

I also have a large very nice monitor screen on the wall that is unused – mainly because on my high power station I simply never look at the P3 panadapter output on the big LCD monitor, but also – it causes hash because the monitor is close to the antenna coax coming into the shack.

My $500 ASUS laptop that has 8 GB RAM and 1 TB disk actually has a CD ROM drive, SD drive, 4 USB ports and oh yeah, and SVGA port! It’s the most versatile laptop and even sports a very nice 15″ high res screen. But it has HDMI too and just works so well in the shack or wherever I give presentations – which believe me – requires such flexibility.

Using FT8 means its not something you listen to – but something you watch, which is a very different “sensory experience” than using CW and SSB – which is audible and (for me) not a visual thing. This means I can now use the KAT-100 to mitigate the heat sink issue for a digital “continuous duty” mode, and it also means that I can use the large screen monitor for FT8 – which screams for a nice display.

I will do what Mike, KJ4Z did and use the Tinkerboard as a remote entry point – when I want to play this station from work on my Smart Phone, but when I am in the shack, I’ll want to watch the “big TV”, sip a nice beer, and watch my computer make QSO’s for me.

With FT8, the only thing missing is a beer serving robot!

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