Tips for Remote Ham Rig Operation

Finally getting back to this project after a month of inactivity. I had one setback – the computer I was using for the remote rig host, a laptop, had some problems. I set it up and was able to access remotely using TeamViewer but after a day or two the laptop would die. It went to a pure blue screen and was locked until I came back to cycle power. I have now replaced it with a nice little mATX computer that is setup more as a server. It will automatically reboot after power outages, which the laptop could not do.

Using TeamViewer 6, I have been able to configure the remote station using Ham Radio Deluxe. The Host computer has TeamViewer installed as a Service under Windows XP. When you install it, you must configure it for incoming remote access, and you must check the box in General Options, to allow it to “Interact with the Desktop.” Not sure what exactly that means, but if you do not check it, when the PC starts, TeamViwer will NOT start until a user logs in to the machine. That really defeats the purpose of the remote setup.

For audio, I have settled on Skype. TeamViewer audio was just not reliable and robust. Sound quality varied drastically. Skype is free and has proven to have very clean audio. It does take some fiddling to configure it with your station, but they provide a Test call that will help. You can setup Skype to automatically answer incoming calls. When you place a call to the remote station, you will need to mute your mic, or suffer problems with management of the duplex audio. This will have to be dealt with in more detail later, but for now I am only receiving the audio and have no need to send audio to the remote station

Following these tips, I now have a well configured receive-only station. I will be testing it for reliability over the next couple weeks. Now it is finally time to get serious about transmitting from the remote location. Should be fun.


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