First Remote Ops Experience

I had the radio all set up for remote control and receive audio. No transmit yet  – gotta “walk” first. I also have to setup the runaway-transmitter shutoff before I try remote transmit. Here is the setup I am using:

Elecraft K2 Transceiver

Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) rig-control software

RealVNC and WINDOWS Remote Desktop for the computer remoting

Skype for audio

I connected using VNC (I used RealVNC but there are many flavors of VNC). I entered the password and up popped the screen on my remote PC. It was a little slow (noticeable latency) but good enough for a test. I started up Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) and I now had control of the rig. Next I initiated a Skype call between my Client location and the Rig location. For about an hour, I tested this setup and it seemed to work. I was able to change bands, modes, and manually tune the rig. This was a good start but after about an hour it stopped working. I could no longer log in to the PC at the rig location. It turns out that the laptop I use for rig control had suffered the infamous WINDOWS Blue Screen of Death.

During my initial test I also tried using WINDOWS Remote Desktop, after a friend told me it is faster than RealVNC. That was correct. To my surprise, the latency was much lower using Remote Desktop than when I used RealVNC.

Some other things to try:

I have read that HRD has a server mode that can be used for remote operation. I will have to try that but for now I like being able to access all the features of the PC from my Client location.

Apparently WINDOWS Remote Desktop and some other Remote Desktop applications now include audio and some include video. I gave a quick try but was unable to get audio to work between a WINDOWS XP and a WINDOWS 7 PC using WINDOWS Remote Desktop. Apparently there are some known issues – nothing like trying to get two different Micrsoft Operating systems to talk to each other. I’ll give it another try.


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