Monday, 28 February 2011

Remote radio operation.

I have dabbled with using my station remotely, using a remote desktop application, this allows you to control the 'base' or shack computer, as my TS-480 is connected to a laptop and can be used fully via Ham Radio Deluxe.

Sound duties are taken care of by using the existing hardware set-up used for data modes, the software used is Skype, freely available, and free to use between skype to skype accounts, one set up on each laptop, base and remote.

This does work, though I find that the connection is quite laggy, and the desktop image shown is not the clearest, also the audio on receive can be somewhat choppy at times.

Earlier this week I had a long and interesting qso with NZ5E, Terry, in Arkansas, he is using the same radio as me, but remotely, we talked a lot about a beach buggy he and his son have restored, it wasn't until after we said 73, that I realised that I hadn't asked him exactly how he was running his remote station.

Well today I happened across two local friends of mine on the air, G0VQY, Penn, in Brixham, and my radio club pal, G2DXU, Alan, in Torquay, they had been working some Stateside on 17m, and so I joined them, well by chance Terry, NZ5E returned Penn's CQ, and I was fortunate to get to ask Terry exactly what he was using to remotely control his station.

He was using the Microbit RRC-1258 system.

No computer connection is required, I think the next picture explains..

I am hoping as there is no 'video' connection, only audio and radio command that the bandwidth demand on the internet connection will less.

Also my thoughts are you could then use your home station when truly on the move, for example in the car ?!


  1. Hi Paul. I don't use HRD myself but I believe there is a way to use it for remote control where you run it on your local PC and it connects over the internet to a server that controls the radio. You probably still use Skype for the audio. Similar to what you describe but no extra hardware needed. It might be worth looking into.

  2. Paul i hope that you are not thinking of me as a killjoy but take a look at the BR68 booklet with your license, page 5 section b and from how i interpret it we here in the UK cannot remotely operate below 70Mhz.
    Would not want to see you drop yourself in it with Ofcom.


    Ken G3SDW

  3. Hi Ken,

    As I understood it, as a FL or Intermediate license holder the remote station is limited to 500 mW output, with no restriction to the full license holder.

    Section 10 - Unattended and remote control operation, would appear to detail this.

    I have taken this straight form the Ofcom site -

    And thanks Ken, you are right, I would not want to fall foul or even out with Ofcom !

  4. I have some of the remote rig boxes as my "shack" is now in the loft to save space. I operate "remotely" from anwyhere on my LAN. The bandwidth required is suprisingly low as the info from the body to the face plate is TTL not video. The IC-7000 uses a video link and therefore the RRC boxes won't work in face off mode.

  5. OK Paul, what i would suggest is t5hat you give Ofcom a call to clarify what the wording does actually mean were it says "consistent with the terms of this Licence".
    Get it from the horses mouth, just remember that the licence conditions over in the US are quite different to ours over here.