IC-7851

       

Home Qth.

 

Remote Radio Location. 100 miles away.

The Video above runs 10 minutes and shows the reception of my Remotely Controlled via the Internet, Solar Powered Amateur Radio Station which is in the Australian Bush and about 100 miles away from home.

Updated. 15th Sept., 2021.   Rob Norman. VK5SW.

Wherever there is a reliable, fast Internet Connection, wireless or static, even in Outback VK, You may be able to remotely control Your Amateur Radio Station.

Whether it's drones, underwater unmanned vehicles (UUV), robotics of all kinds, robotic army tanks for example, satellites, space craft, radar systems or you name it, Remote Control has been for a long time now and always will be an ever increasing part of our lives. Remote Control and Virtual Reality enables us to see and interact from various perspectives. It's a new Frontier. An example is 'Surgical Theatre,' which saves lives. I think that RC and VR will replace Armed Forces Personnel from interacting within Hostile Environments. Wars will increasingly be fought from a distance. As we extend our reach into the Universe, remotely controlling equipment in space will become ever more vital. Thanks to the people who have developed the Internet, Remotely Controlling and Operating Amateur Radio Stations Worldwide is a reality nowadays too. My Remotely Controlled Amateur Radio Station is located on our property, out in the middle of nowhere in the South Australian Bush, about 10 miles or so from the nearest town and about 100 miles away from home, from where the Radios are Remotely Controlled. The Radio Station is Unattended, Solar Powered and turned on remotely when about to operate and then turned off again remotely when closing down. Other wise, if left on all the time, the battery would soon become depleted and unusable. A 4G Wireless Internet Connection is used between the property and the town and a Fibre Optic Cable Internet Connection between home and the town.

Hopefully the information here may help You to achieve Remote Control of Your Amateur Radio Station too.

As an alternative to remotely controlling your own AR station, you can pay money online to remotely operate Amateur Radio stations

via the Internet which are located mostly in the USA. All the work has been done for You. If interested, Click on this website link  RemoteHamRadio.  It opens in a new window.

 

To see a basic remotely controlled FT-450D station, click on this image. The page, 'Remote Green Shed,' will then open in a new window. Having read it, if interested, come back to this page which gives more information. This setup like the one below, uses the 'Remote Rig' system.

 

These  remote  radio  systems  are  operated  via  a  cable  Internet  connection  at  the  Control  End  and  a  wireless  Internet  connection  at  the  Radio  End  and  use  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  100  miles  away  on  our  property  in  the  South  Australian  Bush. 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.

                 

The home Qth from where the station is remotely controlled. The Radio Station is 100 miles away, located on our Bush property.

My system shown here uses a Wireless Internet connection (4G, 2.4Ghz) at the Radio End on the property.

External  Internet  (mobile  phone)  antennas  are  needed  at  our  property  to  receive  the  Internet  signals  from  the  nearest  town,  ten  miles  away.  The  property  at  the  Radio  End  is  fairly  isolated  so  the  background  noise  level  on  the  radios  is  strength  zero.  Since  the  Radio  Station  at  the  property  is  unattended,  an  SMS  Relay  switch  is  used  to  turn  both  the  radio  and  wifi  RemoteRig  on  via  the  12V  relays  when  I'm  at  home, 100  miles  away.  In  my  case,  the  SMS  relay  switch  and  Netgear  M1,  4G  wi-fi  modem  are  connected  to  a  12  volt  battery  and  left  turned  on  all  the  time.  One  of  my  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  both  of   them  off  again  to  prevent  drainage  of  the  battery.  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.  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.

If  You  want  to  use  a  Wireless  Internet  Connection  at  the  Radio  End  as  my  system  does,  then  You  will  need  to  address  the  CGN  Problem.  Otherwise,  You  wont  be  able  to  connect  to  Your  Radio.  Click  Here.

A screenshot of the Ham Radio Deluxe program.

When using this system, You are basically sitting in front of the control panel of Your Remote Radio from where the various parameters can be accessed and adjusted.

 

 

 Two  Radios  are  shown  but  only  one  is  used  at  a  time.  IC-7600  and  IC-7300.  When  the  wifi  RemoteRigs  are  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. 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, depending  on  static  and  over  the  horizon  radar.  This  is  one  of  the  greatest  benefits  of  remote  operating.  In my case, 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.

The Lead Acid Battery shown above worked faultlessly for 12 years but I decided to replace it with 800AH of Lithium Ion Batteries in May, 2021 as shown above. The lead acid battery needed topping up with distilled water every month or so but the Lithium Ion batteries need no attention paid to them. The supplier told me that they can be depleted by 100% and bounce back easily. Also, they hold their voltage til way down low.

On the right. The home Qth from where the solar powered Amateur Radio station is remotely controlled via the Internet. Click for larger image.

 You may also be interested in this Remotely Controlled $100 Camera which is located near the radios, positioned behind a window in the shed. If interested, click on the picture. The page will open in a new window.

Click 

To view feedback from fellow Hams about this Remote Control Amateur Radio system, click here. The page opens in a new window.

As mentioned above, an alternative to remotely controlling your own AR station, you can pay money online to remotely operate Amateur Radio stations

via the Internet which are located mostly in the USA. If interested, Click on this website link  RemoteHamRadio  It opens in a new window.

 

Graham, VK4GRA rang me recently informing me of his simpler way of running his radio remotely using the Raspberry Pi.

With his permission, I have inserted his email here as this method of remotely controlling Your radio is easier to achieve than that shown above.

Raspberry Pi.

 

https://youtu.be/wZ41N6kpjV4  This is the location of the video above.

Rob, Hopefully you will find a link to a you tube video by Jason KM4ACK that describes  how to use the  application called "RealVnc" for remote access using a raspberry pi computer.

Do not be concerned about the raspberry pi computer as the "RealVnc" app is a cross platform , meaning it can run of many different computers.

To get remote control for your computer ( the one that is controlling your remote radio) requires "RealVnc server" to be running on that computer.

Follow the video step by step which includes creating a cloud account  with Real VNC and then logging your remote computer to that cloud account.

The next task is to download the "Real Vnc Viewer" ( the client Application) on the local device, be it a laptop ,mobile phone, Tablet etc, as long as the device has

access to the internet. Once installed use the "Real Vnc", log onto the cloud account. There will be some user names and passwords that have to be supplied, but once 
logged on to the remote terminal, you should be on your way.

Please note:
The current  free version of VNC does not support the transfer of audio to and from the computer. For this task I use another application
called "Mumble". The setup of the Mumble system is also described by Jason KM4ACK in another you tube video.

I have tried the Real VNC system using both fixed internet and mobile phone internet with great success. This means that as long

as you have internet conductivity, both ends ,the system works. ( And yes Telstra is my normal internet provider.)

If the you tube link fails, search you tube for " KM4ACK VNC".

73 - Graham Cotterell, VK4GRA.