The D4C team has found much success contesting from a remote shack, sitting on a rugged mountain in 35mph sustained winds, on a small island off the coast of West Africa.You’ve gotta be good to pull that off. So when they decided to upgrade their equipment at their Sao Vincente station, they needed the best in performance and the best in possibility. High quality with high scalability. Then add in the physical demands of working in a remote shack on an island mountain top.
It was a clear choice according to Marco Rinaldi, IK2LFF, a core member of the D4C team. Their equipment was outdated and their possibilities limited. FlexRadio was the perfect solution. They chose to upgrade for CQWW SSB 19. After a small learning curve, a lot of great support from the FlexRadio team and some strong leadership, the contest was a huge success. The team is planning on adding more Flex technology to their arsenal in the future. Check out the interview with Marco Rinaldi, IK2LFF, a core member of the unbelievably cool D4C Monteverde contest team.
Q: How did you get into ham radio?
A: I got my license as IK2LFF in 1987 at age 17. My uncle passed this passion onto me and it’s remained in my blood ever since. I’m addicted to contesting and always looking for the best in class solution, in ham radio and in life.
Q: What made the D4C team decide to switch technology and why did you choose FlexRadio?
A: The previous technology we were using was outdated. The choice to use Flex was due to the great flexibility, scalability and easy setup in a complex ecosystem like a top contest station.
Q: What were the biggest advantages you noticed using FlexRadios to contest?
A: Flexibility, easy to set up, scalability, outstanding performance and reliability and last but not least the very high level of support received from the Flex tech team, before, during and after the setup.
Q: What were the biggest benefits of operating with a FlexRadio in general?
A: It’s SDR and you can rely on a system designed for ham radio and made by ham radio operators. It makes a difference. FlexRadio is a proper company with great technology and proper customer services.
Q: What were the hardest parts of the transition?
A: Using this system is quite different than the usual radios, it offers great advantages, but you must know how to use it. The operators are not used to running this system and the core team had to train them to get the best results.
Q: Are you planning on adding any more Flex equipment?
A: Sure, many of our team members already bought a Flex after the last contest and we aim to add more FLEX 6000s and Maestros to operate as runner and inband.
Q: How long did it take the team to feel as comfortable with FlexRadio as they did with their previous equipment?
A: As said before you need to use it to understand the beauty of it. On average, a skilled operator can start enjoying the Flex in half day operation, max.
Q: If my team is thinking about upgrading our gear, what would you tell us about FlexRadio?
A: Just do it! Takes half the time to set up. Half the cables and external stuff. Ready to operate at the top level. It’s scalable, you can replicate your configuration easily, it works with all other possible hardware and software and if you have an issue Flex is there to support you, always. And it’s also remote! With FlexRadio, you don’t need to be a tech engineer, you just need passion and some patience in the beginning.
To learn more about the D4C team’s success in the 2019 CQ WW Contest read the following: CQWW SSB 19 and the FLEX-ible story