November 17, 2012 | In: Ham Radio

Remote Controlled Radio

A while back I set up my shack computer (a 6 year old Sony laptop, recently re-imaged) for remote control using LogMeIn. They have both a free version and a Pro version. I find that the free version is adequate for what I need (although LogMeIn’s marketing department is constantly trying to up-sell me on the pro version.) This software allows me to use a web browser on another computer to show and control the desktop of my shack machine.

Additionally, I’m using Ham Radio Deluxe for logging and station control. The current version works on the old laptop, but there’s not a lot of spare processing power when it is running. I have a control cable from the laptop to my IC-718 transceiver, and HRD can control power, mode, RF and audio gain, and any number of other parameters. HRD also has an integrated digital soundcard modes module.

Yesterday at my lunch I was wondering about a QSO (contact) I had logged over the weekend. I called up the LogMeIn website, logged in and then remoted into my shack machine. My rig was on, and HRD indicated that it was on the 20-meter PSK31 frequency. Just for grins I opened up the digital modes module and lo-and-behold there were some very clean PSK31 signals showing up on the waterfall. I will note that the waterfall display was a bit herky-jerky over the remote link, but the decoded-text window was very usable. Just as I was about to close it down, I saw a CQ from KA6JLT, Rob, in Reno, NV. I decided to answer him and we had a 100% copy QSO, albeit short as I had to get back to work. I was very pleased with the results, and will probably be doing more lunchtime PSK operating from my Tacoma office in the future.

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