Operate an amateur radio station from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Month: October 2012

Remote Base via Smartphone

Pat, WA0TDA, holds a smartphone (Samsung Galaxy) running a remote control program.

WA0TDA, holds a smartphone (Samsung Galaxy) running a remote control program. The remote software is Team Viewer, which is available free for personal (non-commercial) use.

I have received queries about W4MQ software possibly being made for iPhone/iPad and Android as well as for Mac OS. No plans for such applications are in the works, but you can still operate as I did in this photo, using a smartphone (Android in this case, since it is a Samsung Galaxy).

How is it done?

The answer is in the use of third-party desktop remoting software like LogMeIn or TeamViewer. It works like this:

Install the W4MQ client software on a Windows computer along with the remote desktop software of your choice. An excellent article on the process of remote station operation may be found in the August 2012 QST on page 39. It is entitled “Remote Radio Control Made Easy” by John Raydo, K0IZ.

While John is running his home station remotely, the W4MQ software allows you to operate any HF station to which you have been granted access, no matter if it is your station or someone else’s. You can install the W4MQ host software if you want to operate your own home station.

Once you have your computer set up with the W4MQ software and the software for controlling your computer remotely, you can install the smartphone version of the computer control software on the smartphone or portable device of your choice. Pair the devices to assure that you can now control your Windows computer from your portable device.

Now you are ready to open the connection to your Windows computer and use the W4MQ software to connect to the station of your choice.

But you are not done yet! Next you must set up Skype accounts for your Windows computer (only if you are hosting your own station) and for your smartphone. I use WA0TDA2 for my computer and WA0TDA for my smartphone. Be sure each has the other’s contact information shared in Skype. Then you can call the computer via Skype and hear the audio as well as use Skype to sent the transmit audio. If you are using someone else’s remote, all you need is one Skype account, since you will be calling the remote station’s Skype. (Contact details must be shared in advance at the time the station’s owner grants you access and adds you to the user list.)

WA0TDA Remote Base HF Amateur Radio Station

Welcome to the WA0TDA remotely-controlled HF amateur radio station located in Woodbury, Minnesota USA in grid square EN34mv. 

The station consists of an Icom IC-7200 transceiver running up to 100 watts to a 200 foot double extended zepp antenna, commonly called a “W0OXB Special”.  It operates during the day and early evening hours in the USA Central Time Zone.

The radio is controlled for both transmit and receive via the free W4MQ rig control software.  Amateur Radio is a service licensed by the FCC in the United States and by the respective licensing agencies in other countries around the world. You must hold and amateur radio license to operate amateur radio transmitting equipment.

Connect with Echolink for HF receive only

Any USA-licensed amateur radio operator (Technician or above) or operator licensed at the corresponding level in another country may use Echolink to control the WA0TDA remote base station receiver. No special permission is needed from the owner of the station.  Simply use your Echolink application to search for WA0TDA-L, then connect.  The station is receive only – transmit via Echolink is disabled. You may control the stations’ frequency by typing it into the text box.  Typing the letters U or L change the sideband to USB or LSB.

No -L or -R connections are allowed – only users.