Information about setting up a remotely controlled Amateur Radio station



To see a basic remotely controlled FT-450D station which is less confusing than that below, click on this image. Then, if interested, come back to this page which gives information about setting up a remotely controlled Amateur Radio station.





This  remote  radio  system,  operated  via  a  cable  Internet  connection  at  the  Control  End  and  a  wireless  Internet  connection  at  the  Radio  End, uses  the  'RemoteRig'  configuration  shown  below.

A  desktop  PC  at  the  Control  End  which  uses  the  program  Ham  Radio  Deluxe (HRD)  controls  the  Amateur  Radio  station  which  is  about  150  klms  away  on  our  property  is  the  South  Australian  Bush.



The home Qth from where the station is remotely controlled. It's 150 klms away, located on our Bush property.

This system uses a Wireless Internet connection (4G, 2.4Ghz) at the Radio End.


SignaLink USB used at the Control End for digital modes.  Wifi Remote Rig and IC-7600 at the Radio End.


Remote radio location is out in the middle of nowhere. 10klms from nearest town but within reach of Wifi Internet.



The  Swedish  made  RemoteRig  system  enables  various  configurations  to  be  employed  so  that  you  can  operate  remotely.  ie.  there  are  a  variety  of  ways  of  going  about  it.

If  interested,  have  a  look  at  their  configuration  page  to  see  which  would  suit  you  best.  click here.

External  Internet  (mobile  phone)  antennas  are  needed  at  our  property  to  receive  the  Internet  signals  from  the  nearest  town,  ten  kilometres  away.  The  property  at  the  radio  end  is  fairly  isolated  so  the  background  noise  level  on  the  radio  is  strength  zero.  Since  the  radio  station  at  the  property  is  unattended,  an  SMS  Relay  switch  is  used  to  turn  the  radio  and  wifi  RemoteRig  on  and  off  when  I'm  at  home,  150  klms  away.  In  my  case,  the  relay  switch  and  wi-fi  modem  are  connected  to  a  12  volt  battery  and  left  turned  on  all  the  time.  { Rik, VK3EQ, who uses the same NightHawk modem, was kindly telling me that if you download the latest software for this modem, then you don't need to leave the battery in the modem. You can use a separate power supply for it and switch the power to the modem on when about to operate remotely, and then turn it off again when finished. Apparently this modem draws about 170 or 180mA. This is what Rik has done with his RemoteRig system and IC7000. He was saying he needed to find this solution to the problem of the modem not always staying turned on when using the inbuilt battery. - I haven't had this problem with mine though - so far. Rik was also saying that you can use an Ethernet cable between the modem and the RemoteRig RRC. }  One  of  the  radios,  the  IC7600,  draws  around  3  amps  on  receive,  so  the  SMS  switch  is  used  to  turn  on  both  the  radio  and  RemoteRig  when  operating  and  then  afterwards,  switch  them  off  again.  This  particular  SMS  switch  has  4  separate  switches.  By  using  your  'smart'  mobile  phone,  the  SMS  switch  is  turned  on  or  off  when  you  send  the  appropriate  SMS  message  to  the  number  of  the  Sim  card  within  the  SMS  switch.  A  few  seconds  later,  an  SMS  message  is  then  sent  back  to  you  to  let  you  know  that  the  relay  switch  has  been  turned  on  or  off,  as  the  case  may  be.  This  SMS  relay  switch  was  very  expensive - about $600 Aus. It  works  on  the  3G  network.

Also,  with  most  modern  radios,  within  the  menu  settings,  you  can  find  the  'Time  Out  Timer'  or  'TOT'.  For  remote  operating,  I  understand  that  this  should  be  set  to  3  minutes.  This  is  a  safety  feature  for  remote  operating  (eg.  in  the  event  of  losing  Internet  connection)  whereby  the  transmitter  having  been  turned  on  for  3  minutes  will  automatically  switch  off  -  from  transmit  to  receive.

SMS Relay switch and SMS text sent to and received from the switch - click to see a larger image.


12 Volt Relays to turn the radios and wifi RemoteRigs on and off.  NightHawk, Netgear wifi modem at the radio end.

The  wireless  Internet  antenna  and  the  SMS  switch  external  antenna  at  the  Radio  End.

(You  could  probably  use  a  single  antenna  with  a  'splitter.')

The following only applies when using a wireless Internet connection at the radio end. When I replaced my wifi router at the radio end with a new one because I had had it for a few years and it had deteriorated and was no longer usable, I ran into a problem which I thought was unsolvable.

Nowadays, most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use a function called 'CGN' on their wireless Internet connections. This means that the wireless IP address is no longer public and therefore, when, at the control end, trying to find the remote modem at the radio end (using a dynamic website address), this RemoteRig system will not work. This caused a lot of problems whereby I had to cease remote operating for about a year, when as luck would have it, a fellow Ham here in Adelaide, Matt, VK5HZ, who is a network technician, sent me an email to say that he had helped VK3SSB who, not long ago had the same problem. The following applies for my Service Provider here in Adelaide, South Australia, which is 'Telstra'. It would probably be a little different for your Provider if you live outside of VK. If using a wireless Internet connection at the radio end, you will probably need to look into this matter to resolve the problem of CGN. For more information about CGN, click here.  In my case, I had to ask Telstra to switch off the CGN function on my account (according to the SIM number used in the modem). However, they would not do that unless you have a business account with them, whereby you need to supply them with an Australian Business Number (ABN). I am retired and have been so for about 5 years now, so there is no way that I could obtain an ABN. Here in VK5 with Telstra, it is a matter of getting access to a special 'APN' called telstra.extranet  which is enabled on the Telstra end of your account (Sim card numbered account) and then set up in my wifi modem at the radio end. The code needed to be put on my account is 'GPTEXB3'. I am hoping that this information will be useful for Amateurs here in Australia and possibly overseas. I am currently looking into the matter of an ABN and trying to overcome this, one way or another. Will update this page when this remote system is up and running again.

The  radios  shown  are  the  IC-7600  and  IC-7300.  It  may  look  confusing  but  of  course  only  one  remote  radio  is  used  at  a  time.  The  SMS  relay  switch  has  4  separate  switches.  Individual  30A,  12V  relays  are  connected  in  series  with  the  SMS  relay  switches  to  turn  each  radio  and  wifi  RemoteRig  on  and  off.  When  the  wifi  RemoteRigs  on  first  turned  on,  they  automatically  connect  to  the  modem  and  soon  become  reachable  (usually within  a  minute  or  so)  from  the  control  end  by  use  of  their  dynamic website addresses.  If  you  intend  to  use  this  system  and  are  using  only  one  radio,  then  use  the  free  RemoteRig's  dynamic  address.  Every  thing  here  is  powered  by  the  large  lead  acid,  deep  cycle  battery  (670AH)  as  seen  above.  I  approached  the  setting  up  of  the  RemoteRig  system  in  a  leisurely  fashion.  I  tend  to  do  things  in  a  hurry  and  I  know  what  it's  like  to  put  pressure  on  yourself  to  finish  something  and  then  when  things  don't  work  out,  you  feel  frustrated.  Firstly,  I  printed  off  the  instruction  manual.  There  are  over  200  pages.  I  read  the  manual  over  a  long  period  of  time  and  only  did  the  work  when  I  felt  inclined.  I  kept  coming  back  to  it  after  reading  more  of  the  manual.  For  me  at  least,  perseverance  has  been  the  key  to  achieving  a  desired  result  and  setting  up  a  remote  radio  installation  was  no  different.  I  would  like  to  say  that  I  am  no  expert  with  this  mode  of  operating.  Like  most,  I  have  learned  by  trial  and  error.  With  a  reliable  Internet  connection,  remote  stations  like  this  can  be  operated  from  just  about  anywhere  in  the  world.  The  faster  your  Internet  speed,  the  better  the  operation  of  the  radio - less  lag  time.  Power  Line  Interference  at  my  home  Qth  is  often  strength  nine  but  the  background  noise  level  on  the  remote  radios  is  close  to  strength  zero.  This  is  one  of  the  greatest  benefits  of  remote  operating.  There  is  plenty  of  room  for  antennas  at  the  radio  location  too.  I  should  think  that  you  could  do  this  sort  of  thing  with  a  satellite  Internet  connection  too  and  the  military  would  have  more  sophisticated  systems.  You  may  like  to  download  and  print  this  PDF  -  Remote Control Your HF Rig via the Internet By ... - ARRLIf  you  are  an  ARRL  member,  you  might  be  interested  in  this  page  -   As mentioned, another VK station using the Remote Rig system is VK3SSB. Here is his page.

I  don't  know  much  about  the  technical  aspects  of  the  Internet  at  all.  I  just  decided  to  give  this  sort  of  thing  a  go  and  eventually  was  able  to  operate  remotely,  before  the  CGN  problem  which  is  being  addressed.  Under  taking  some  thing  like  this  is  a  learning  experience  which  takes  time.  Persistence  is  needed.  I  tend  to  do  things  quickly  but  I  learnt  that  it  wasn't  a  good  strategy  for  me  in  this  case  as  it  became  frustrating.  If  you  find  yourself  coming  up  against  a  brick  wall,  you  may  need  to  give  it  away  for  a  while  and  come  back  to  it  later.  In  doing  it  slowly,  it  may  or  may  not  become  apparent  to  you  that  things  just  seem  to  fall  into  place.  Good  luck.


August 2018

After having sent my Internet Service Provider - Telstra - a kind letter via snail mail, not email, explaining my situation, they agreed to switch off the CGN function on my radio end, wireless router account (the Sim number account within the router) and I am more than happy to say that this remote system is now working again. For VK Amateurs, the address I sent the letter to is: 'Telstra. Locked Bag 20026, Melbourne. VIC. 3001.' I have more work to do to set it up properly, but the system is in working order and I am looking forward, very much to getting back on air. I had a fall back position which I intended to use if I had to acquire an Australian Business Number (ABN). My niece and husband both have businesses and they were both happy for me to use a wireless broadband plan which I could have taken out in their name but used the modem and paid them regularly, each month, of course. Either of them could have used their ABN to have the CGN function switched off. Perhaps you may need to do something similar.


Sept. 2018

The system is working well now. The 4G modem in use now at the radio end is very reliable and receive and transmit on SSB works very well. The old 3G modem which was previously in use, was no where near as reliable. This does not mean that 3G wont work for you. You may have a better 3G modem than I had, for example.


To see the settings in my Control Remote Rig device, click here. To see the settings in my Radio Remote Rig device, click here. The settings used may be helpful to you.

Also, the APN which my ISP, Telstra put into my wifi router remotely via the Internet can be seen here. They turned off the CGN function at their end too.


Kevin at Ham Radio Deluxe has been very helpful with configuring their program. I would especially like to thank 'Matt', VK5HZ, without whose help the CGN problem would not have been overcome.


 You may also be interested in this remote camera which is located near the radios.

The Internet has absolutely revolutionized and transformed our lives and Amateur Radio. Remotely controlling a Ham Radio station via the Internet is often desirable nowadays because of electromagnetic interference to radios in the cities due to power lines, TV's and many other sources. The 2 videos below show my setup using the Remote Rig system and Ham Radio Deluxe. The radio station is about 100 miles away from home out in the Bush, in the middle of nowhere, and about 10 miles away from the nearest town. The station is unattended and runs on solar power. A wireless 4G Internet connection is used between the property where the station is located and the town. A fibre optic Internet cable is used from home here in Adelaide to the town of Morgan in the Riverland district. These 2 videos were recorded on my mobile phone. The 4 minute video on the left shows the reception from the IC-7300 remote radio, and the 10 minute video shows the reception from the IC-7600 remote radio.






This video was made in 2011, before remotely controled. It shows the solar system and runs for 7 minutes.























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