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New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests

from KL1A on April 28, 2013
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New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests

by KL1A

In this article I would like to share my personal experiences on the use of the remotely controlled amateur radio stations. This subject is not new, and was referred to repeatedly in some amateur radio information sources, as well as discussed in many forums on the Internet. So I will not be original here.

Perhaps one of the pioneers in the field of remote control in amateur radio were W4MQ and W7DXX, who began to conduct various experiments many years ago. By the way, W4MQ Internet Remote Base (HAM Radio Internet Remote Control Pioneer) received the ARRL Technical Innovation Award.

I observed the construction details and configuration of a remote control radio station for the first time on Nodir's EY8MM WEB site, where he described the setup and configuration of his radio remote control system. Before, that I only saw some short notes in different amateur radio sources.

My own story started at the time when my good HAM friend from Iceland Thor TF4M decided to equip his super station by remotely controlled system and shared the idea with me. We discussed the type of equipment to be used and the principles of construction and project implementation. In order to participate in this project I decided to purchase the RemoteRig "RRC1258mkII" modem for further TF4M's station tests.In spring of 2012, Thor received the necessary equipment. Later that summer I also received the same equipment from Sweden to start testing the remote.

For a couple of weeks, Thor was "conjuring" his super station setup to get it linked to the Internet and to start project implementation. With the help of the radio amateurs from Sweden he gradually began to install hardware according to the configuration developed earlier. At the beginning the results were not great primarily because of the relatively weak internet channel. From my side, I connected my modem device and fine tuned it. In order to do so, it was necessary to keep in mind many factors including the configuration of the communication equipment and antenna switching. So it took quite a long time to achieve the desired result. I didn't have any experience before with such a technology so I used common sense while working on this project.

The basic Thor's Setup was as follows:

- Two RemoteRig "RRC1258mkII" Modems.
- The Elecraft "K3/Twin" (later Thor got Elecraft K3/0 which was designed specifically for radio station remote control).
-Antennas relay switches

My new RRC1258mkII Control Unit from RemoteRig.com (Photo by KL1A)

My first Remote Radio QSO was held on July 4, 2012 with callsign TF/KL1A.
* I will not discuss about legal aspects of the remote radio station control in this article. I can only say from the outset that Thor paid attention to strict adherence to the Rules and Radio Regulations. He has investigated very carefully the legal aspects of our operations to make sure we did not violate any law.

When the first part of the project was successfully implemented, even at the lowest Internet speed connection, we started the second part of it. It was about configuration and complete control of the station using the transceiver ELECRAFT "K3/0." The difficulty was to fine tune settings of both transceiver and modem. Weak internet channel added to the difficulty of the task. Second testing of the project was performed on August 12, 2012 with the call sign TF4M/KL1A. As a result, 220 QSO were conducted in a time frame of less than one hour.

New "Remote Control Ham Radio (RHR) Cluster" Project

At various stages of the project we continued to consult with HAM's. We shared ideas and discussed the details. Among HAMs helping us were two wonderful persons from the USA who were obsessed with the same idea, Ray W2RE and Lee WW2DX. The guys were working on same issue but at more serious business level, and they were looking for someone who could have performed beta testing for them. I offered my help and was testing their project during the next 6 months.

Their energy and enthusiasm is amazing, constantly at work implementing new ideas, solutions and pushing forward. This speed has always fascinated me.
These guys' energy was amazing. They were constantly at work. New solutions were immediately implemented and put into practice. This speed has always fascinated me.

KL1A/W2 modest Remote Setup (Photo by KL1A)

How it looks:

Below I would like to focus on the description of the W2RE & WW2DX stations. Here, perhaps, the term "Remote Control Ham Radio (RHR) Cluster" is used for the first time and I would like to claim Copyright.

The flagship of the "Remote Control Ham Radio (RHR) Cluster" is W2RE Big Gun Contest station:

W2RE Big Gun Contest Station (Photo by W2RE)

Here are the station descriptions from their website:

QTH: Summit, NY.USA.
Nestled at 2100ASL in the Northern Catskill Mountains, this Contest QTH currently has 24 antennas including the following:

Elecraft K3 with Expert 1KFA 1KW Amplifier and 4 Towers
6m -- 5 element Yagi
10m -- 5/5/5 Stacks + 7 Element Mono bander @ 100'
15m -- 5/5/5 Stacks
20m -- 4/4 Stacks + 5 Element Mono bander @ 100'
40m -- 3 ele 40M yagi
80m -- Full size 4 Square
160m -- 3 Sloper EU/SA/JA -- 4 Square being built
WARC -- Dipole @ 100'
This QTH will provide you with 1KW output on all bands 6-160m. This QTH has drastic drop offs in all directions. One of the biggest advantages of this QTH is the non-existent noise floor! This QTH has already set records and won CQWW and ARRLDX contests.

Other "Remote Control Ham Radio Cluster" stations:

QTH: Blueberry Hill NY. USA.
Located in the Hudson Valley, this QTH is at 1200ASL with drastic drop offs to JA and SA and beautiful takeoff angles in all other directions. This QTH has won #1 US ARRL and CQWW contests and consists of the following equipment:

Elecraft K3 with Expert 1KFA 1KW Amplifier
6-20m -- 4 element SteppIR with 6 elements on 6m.
40m -- 2 element F12 Magnum 240
80m -- INV V -- 4 Square in Spring
160m -- Inverted L

QTH: Windham Mountain, NY. USA.
Located in the Catskill Mountains, this QTH is at 1800ASL with drastic drop offs to JA and EU. This QTH hits the very LOW angles as the terrain drops off 1500' in less than a mile.

Elecraft K3 with Expert 1K-FA 1.2KW Amplifier
6m -- 6 Element HyGain
10-20m -- Force 12 Yagi + WARC.
30m -- High Dipole
40m -- 2 element F12 Magnum 240
80m -- 1/4 Wave Full Size Vertical
160m -- Inverted L

QTH: QUAKERHILL, NY. USA.
Located in Southern Dutchess County NY, this QTH has beautiful take off to EU and SA.

Elecraft K3 with Elecraft KPA500 Amplifier
6m -- M2 6M7 @ 77'
10m -- 4 Full Size Elements 2X Arrays 2/2/4 WRTC Antenna @ 73'
15m -- 2 Full Size Elements 2X Arrays 2/2/4 WRTC Antenna @ 73'
20m -- 2 Full Size Elements 2X Arrays 2/2/4 WRTC Antenna @ 73'
40m -- Cushcraft 40-2CD 2 Element Yagi @ 85'
80m -- 4 Square in a swamp
160m -- INV L also in a swamp

The team is currently working on fifth "Remote Control Ham Radio (RHR) Cluster" site as well as three other sites along the Eastern seaboard.

It is impossible for one person to build a network of stations of this level. This type of project would require a team of enthusiasts obsessed and completely dedicated to the idea. The expenses were beyond imagination. On top of the expenses, team efforts should be acknowledged. I have worked from various US Contest Stations before (K1LZ and K1TTT), but the results achieved while working from this Super stations "cluster" were really amazing.

Dream Team

Remote Ham Radio was founded by Ray Higgins (W2RE) and Lee Imber (WW2DX) in 2012. Before RHR Ray and Lee owned and operated Hudson Valley towers, Inc. a tower and antenna installation and service company that built and maintained over 75 tower and antenna installations in the Northeastern United States. In the commercial sector they have done contract work for government agencies NASA and The Department of Homeland Security.

Ray W2RE has years of experience building, maintaining and designing winning contest stations. Lee WW2DX has experience in design, development and engineering new leading edge network and infrastructure technology. Their experienced team has brought Station Remote to the next level.

WEB RHR console was designed and developed by WW1X and WW2DX

The proprietary web console was designed and developed by the RHR team, WW1X and WW2DX to provide the best remote ham experience in the world. There is simply nothing like it. Countless hours of coding, testing, design and experimentation has produced one of the most elegant operating experiences in the world.

Right Choice

Daily discussions of configuration issues over Skype quickly yielded in positive results. After a couple of weeks I was able to work on HF despite the distance between me and Remote site of more than 6000km. The configuration was very similar to that of Thor TF4M. Based on the previous Elecraft K3 settings, it was easy to reconfigure the RRC modem for the new project. Some additional tweaks and basic configuration was also done.

It was especially difficult to achieve stable system operation in CW Mode.
Any small failure on the Internet distorted the quality of the transmitted signal. Sometimes, CW was just unrecognizable. It took about two weeks to adjust CW. I have used a slightly different method of manipulation in CW Mode (my "Know-How"™). With the new configurations CW operation is now perfect as you will read below during CQWWCW.

In addition, I have tried different types of CAT Applications. It was not difficult to make basic configuration based on two ELECRAFT "K3" transceivers , but it was much more complicated to manage mixed type configuration i.e. Application, Internet, K3, In addition, applications are usually based on the traditional operating system such as "Windows", but very few HAMs use a configuration under Mac OSX, which I was working in.

I would like to stress that during the project for the first time Lee WW2DX and I managed to connect Mac OSX and "RRC1258mkII" Modem without connecting to the Internet through a cable. Connection has been done by Wi-Fi.

CAT and Applications

Perhaps the best solution allowing to participate in such project with the MAC under OSX is the DX logging software "RUMlog". It's freeware Application, powerful and allowing to write scripts to control the transceiver remotely. It is also possible to write CW macros. Not an ideal solution, but it is better then nothing.

"RUMLog" Application on MAC Book Pro under OSX (Photo by KL1A)

Being on a trip to the South of Germany, I have tested my Mac OSX / RUMlog + RRC1258mkII with unstable Internet connection via LAN-Repeater. I made a few hundred QSO's during this test. SSB signal quality was very decent, but CW sometimes had small problems with the quality. But for such a poor internet connection this can be neglected.

The next stage of the project was the testing of the configuration with N1MM Log and CAT Controlling Application "TRX-manager" under Windows OS (Windows-XP). I didn't have any problems with this configuration.

The best solution for the Remote Control in my case was N4PY CAT Controlling Application. I would like to express my special thanks to Thor TF4M and to Carl N4PY for help in purchasing and using this very nice Application.

For me, N4PY program was optimal in configuration with LogiTech Mouse, SONY VAIO under "Windows- XP", and Log "Win-Test". I was able to make more than 16,000 QSO via remote control using my call sign KL1A/W2. First in Germany then in Austria and again at the end of the project in Egypt.

Daily operation of W2RE / WW2DX "Remote Ham Radio (RHR) Cluster" showed that the system is stable, flexible and robust.

From time to time I used the Griffin PowerMate 3D Mouse. Very usefull for CAT Remote Control. (Photo by KL1A)

In the Contest

"CQWWDX" CW Contest 2012 was certainly a particular challenge for the entire system. Perhaps it was the most dramatic moment during the whole project.

The most interesting fact was that during the "CQWWDX" 2012 in CW there was nobody working from Zone-34. The huge territory was not represented at all. Although I was physically stationed in Zone-34, I used W2RE / WW2DX Stations located in about 8000km away from me. I came to Egypt and installed my small RHR Setup. It included VAIO notebook, RRC Modem, Heil Proset headset, keyer and Power Supply. Internet Connection was provided by "Vodafone" by G3 USB Stick.

Participation in this Contest was unexpected for me. I did not plan on working in the Contest seriously and decided to only test the equipment at the RHR Blueberry Hill station. After about an hour of the Contest I went deep into the process and got carried away. Only after the competition was over did I realize that all the connections were carried out through the equipment located thousands of kilometers away. I did not feel this distance whatsoever, as if all the equipment was here, in my shack.

There were some surprises during the Contest when, for example, I was able to break a Pile-Up calling RI1ANF on the 160m. The Big Guns i.e. K3LR, K1LZ and even the W2RE M/S (SUMMIT) team were behind me. It was really amazing and unexpected.

In the entire time I operated the contest there was only one DX station I could not work JT5DX on 40m. My remote 2 el. Yagi, apparently, was not enough for such a long path QSO.

Overall, the Contest left me in a very positive mood.

I worked in a new and exotic category in this Contest called the "Extreme category". This category promotes technology in contesting. You can read more about it here: http://bit.ly/UUXjhs

My final claimed score: 1847 QSO (2.542.290 Points). That's not bad for the Remote Control Station in the distance of about 8000km with a poor internet connection with ~400ms latency.

DX never sleeps

Part of the project included working with the DX stations. Operating with "TRX-Manager" or N4PY Applications is somewhat different from Elecraft "K3/0", especially in case of "Split" operation. Sometimes it was difficult to recognize which frequency the DX station was listening. Manipulations with "Split" buttons were not easy and needed time. Nevertheless, after some exercise this problem can be ignored.

Below are examples of my 2012 DX achievements during the "beta" testing of W2RE/WW2DX "Remote Control Ham Radio (RHR) Cluster":

ZL9HR:
SSB 10 / 12 / 15 / 17 / 20 / 40
CW 10 / 12 / 15 / 17 / 20 / 30 / 40

VU7M:
CW 20

PT0S :
SSB 10 / 12 / 15 / 17 / 20 / 40 / 80
CW 10 / 12 / 15 / 17 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 80 / 160

CY9M:
SSB 40
CW 20 / 80

NH8S:
SSB 10 / 15 / 17 / 20 / 40 / 80
CW 12 / 15 / 17 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 80 / 160

5T0SP:
SSB 10 / 12 / 15 / 17 / 40 / 80
CW 15 / 17 / 40 / 80

Some positive aspects of working remotely (From RHR website)

Any General/Advanced/Extra Class licensed U.S. Amateur Radio Operator that may like to do one or more of the following:
Operate from a HOA restricted area.
Operate from an apartment building.
Experience "running" DX from the East Coast.
Extend your DXing/Contesting Toolbox
Open and close the bands
Experience operating from one of the largest contest stations in the U.S.
Operate from 2100's ASL with big stacks.
Listen and test your station using a remote transceiver.
Operate stacks, 80m and 160m 4 squares,
Don't want the expense of a tower installation.
Don't want the expense of a maintaining a station.
Can take your shack with you (portable)
You have more than one station to operate from!
Keep the XYL happy!

Remote Control Ham Radio (RHR) Cluster © has been successfully running since October 2012.

My final results from operating remote for 6 months: 210 DXCC and 16076 QSO with almost completing 5B DXCC (-10 DXCC on 80m Band).

Conclusion:

My special thanks to Thor TF4M, Ray W2RE and Lee WW2DX for this unique opportunity to be a member of their ambitious projects. It was really an exciting and unforgettable time in my HAM life.

Thanks to: WW1X, N4PY, N1MM, F5MZN, F6FVY, F6DEX, DL2RUM and to all who have helped throughout the project in its ultimate realization.

Thanks so much also to all radio amateurs who caused and who held all unforgettable QSOs from all over the world! All these QSO's (TF/KL1A, TF4M/KL1A, KL1A/2 and KL1A/W2) do not count for DXCC but they do count for the true spirit of Amateur Radio trough state of the art technology and its applications.

References:

TF4M : www.TF4M.com
Remote Ham Radio : www.remotehamradio.com
Sparky's Blog : www.CQDX.ru
EY8MM : www.ey8mm.com/articles/153-remote-control-of-hf-radio?catid=13%3A2010
ARRL : www.arrl.org
RemoteRig : www.remoterig.com

*If you need to learn more about the legal issues of the Remote Station Control, I suggest to read the article on Thor's WEB site:

1) Transnational Remote Operation:
http://tf4m.com/tfkl1a-remote-operation/
2) TF/KL1A Remote Operation:
http://tf4m.com/transnational-remote-operation/
Read also: The legal aspects of remote radio station control http://www.cqdx.ru/ham/ham_radio/the-legal-aspects-of-remote-radio-station-control/

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by KG4RUL on April 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
This is a lot like on-line, role playing gaming - The avatar with the blonde hair and rocking body actually belongs to an overweight, 45 year old, virgin, male who lives in the basement of his Mother's house and works in the food court of the mall.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K9MHZ on April 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
My goodness, what a nice station!

To be honest, I just don't get the remote control rage today. If I had a station like that, the last thing I'd want is to be away from it.

Great setup!

Best,

Brad,
K9MHZ with an attic dipole
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N1DVJ on April 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Oh, I don't know...

If I actually OWNED a station like that, I think it would be pretty neat that I could access it from a remote location. But yeah, I'd really want to stay there.
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K8QV on April 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
<<< I did not feel this distance whatsoever, as if all the equipment was here, in my shack. >>>

But it isn't. Sorry, but as with Echolink, I just don't get it.

Then again, I go fishing with light tackle and a rowboat - not a credit card and executive chef. I just couldn't bring myself to call that fishing.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K9FV on April 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"This is a lot like on-line, role playing gaming - The avatar with the blonde hair and rocking body actually belongs to an overweight, 45 year old, virgin, male who lives in the basement of his Mother's house and works in the food court of the mall"

Well, I can see that point, but then - a setup of this type requires a LOT more money invested and knowledge to put it together than sitting in a parent's basement.

I've looked at the idea of rigging up a remote station just to play with, but..... for some reason (lazy?), I've just not got around to it.

73 de Ken H>
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N6AJR on April 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I agree that there is a useful place available for this type of operation. If you live in a RF hole, like at the bottom of a valley, or in a restricted area, this would still allow a person to play radio. I dont know how this would work in a contest, but I am sure the contest folks could add a new remote class. so yes there is a place for remote use. I know folks here that can operate remote from their home using a cell phone as the remot device and their home station as the remote base (on 2 meters)> so yea, its an option.








 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K0IZ on April 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I have two homes, one in Colorado, where my station is, and one in Kansas City. Kansas City location is antenna restricted. So remote operation lets me operate from KC or anywhere else. My radio is K3. I use a serial server to connect to the radio, and to LP Remote board, which controls my station. I use Skype for audio, and LP Pan for panadapter (which I view using LogMeIn). Setup has been working for 2 1/2 years. I operated the CQ DX Contest and ARRL contest remotely, and won the CO QSO Party Phone contest in 2011, remotely. Great fun.
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K3ZL on April 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, very impressive, and OK if you are away on a trip and using YOUR OWN remote station with YOUR OWN antenna back home. QST ran an article last month about paying to use another person's remote super station. The writer talked about busting big pileups with one call. Very nice technology, but there should be no credit given for DXCC or any other award. BTW, under current rules it appears to be acceptable. I suggest that the DXCC committee should take a look at this.
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K1CJS on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
It's nice to:
a) have money enough to be able to afford a station like that.
b) have enough money to be able to pay the owner of such a station to play with a station like that.
c) have friends that will let you use a station like that.

All other poor slobs need not apply.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by G0VKT on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Yes it is clever, but I don't get it. I want to be hands on with the equipment. I would rather have a mediocre home station rather than remote access to a mega station.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N1DVJ on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
It's not so cut and dry with remote equipment any more.

It used to be remote meant a PC with software. But now with 'remote heads', it's possible to get a radio with a detacthable head and the link is transparent. You can have the control head on the bench. Or use a longer cable to stretch it to your LazyBoy recliner. Or network it to your couch upstairs in the living room. Or remote it to your cabin in the woods, if there's appropriate network support.

At what point does the distance between the head and the box start to make a difference?
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by AA4PB on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Great for the guy who builds and maintains the station. Great for the guy who wants to remotely operate his own station that he built. That's ham radio.

What I don't get is paying to operate someone else's "big gun" station - especially using their own call sign and then claiming personal credit for DXCC and other contests.

Soon we'll have Extra class ops who have never had their hands on a ham radio station - only accessed one from the GUI on their computer and paid the annual subscription.

According to the ARRL this is all very legal. Even operating the remote station using your own call sign and never even mentioning that this is not your station.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by AA4PB on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"At what point does the distance between the head and the box start to make a difference?"

IMHO the distance doesn't make any difference. What makes a difference is who owns, installed, and maintains the equipment. It's about the same as if I contracted a communications company to install and maintain a super station at my house for me so that all I had to learn to do is dial in a frequency and hit the PTT button at the correct time.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by SWL2002 on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
At this point, why not just use Skype to communicate and forget all the remote equipment? What's the point of having all that equipment only to operate it over the internet? All the fun and operating challenge is gone at that point anyhow.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K9MHZ on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by AA4PB on April 29, 2013
What I don't get is paying to operate someone else's "big gun" station<<<<<

Very well put. The definition of the Amateur Service is "advancing the radio art...." etc.

But, paying someone to use a big gun setup over the web. Hmmmmmm....
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K8QV on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I guess the Internet provides "New Horizons" for lots of stuff - telephones, mail, movies, diaries, journalism, etc.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K8QV on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"At what point does the distance between the head and the box start to make a difference?"


When you need the Internet to make it work.
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by AE5J on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
You will forgive me, maybe I'm getting jaded about all this, but here is a thought given the current state of contesting - in my humble opinion.

The real technical challenge would be to develop a multiplexing setup for the host connection that would allow any number of users to connect to the "super station" simultaneously via the internet. That way they could all work each other simultaneously and only one station would be required for the contest. The only problem I see is one of duty cycle from thousands of internet connected contest operators all keying up one multiplex-driven radio at the "super station" site. Anyway, problems aside, think of the revenue!

Sorry guys. Maybe I just need another cup of coffee.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N1DVJ on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"When you need the Internet to make it work."

Come on, get real. Don't just blast it because it's a technological marvel you don't like.

I'm serious.

If you use the internet (your local network part of it) to work from your basement to your living room, is that bad? Ok, how about from the shack over the garage to the main house? Or even how about from your workshop that's 200 yards from your house back to your living room.

Your internet phobia is showing...
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K8QV on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"Your internet phobia is showing..."

If you can't communicate to another ham without relying on the Internet, it kind of defeats the purpose of amateur radio. It certainly runs counter to the spirit of fair contesting/DXing.

And BTW, you know nothing about me so don't try to diagnose my phobias over the Internet. (See what I did there?)
 
It all comes down to you, the licensed operator.  
by AI2IA on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I have listened and read a lot about operating techniques. I have read reviews so many times.

Sooner or later it reaches the point where you toss all of that stuff aside and you ask yourself what you really want to do and how you really want to do it.

After all, ham radio is what you make it for yourself. You don't have to operate according to the glowing suggestions of experts. You don't have to set up your gear or antennas according to the advice of experts. It all comes down to you. Within the context of the rules, you are the ultimate decision maker of what you will use and how you will operate. The highest compliment you will ever receive is your own feeling of satisfaction.

It's good to listen to your inner ham self from time to time and be happy.
 
RE: It all comes down to you, the licensed operator.  
by KB6QXM on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Wow! This is the first time that I have to agree with AI2IA. Ham radio is what you make of it.

I like the idea of having the capability of doing that, but is the return worth the investment. I guess if you have a LOT of money to burn, great. Myself, I would rather put the money into a Lambo or another house and have a nice station at that QTH.

In my opinion, this whole contesting obsession pushed by our friends at the ARRL is gotten out of hand. I wish that they would restrict contests to a specific portion of the bands and leave us hams that want to rag chew and get to know other hams on a personal level versus 5/9 QRZ. I guess that is why they invented the WARC bands!

Do I like technology? Love it. It is how I make a living in the Silicon Valley. Would I personally put that much time or money into that setup? Nope, but like Ai2IA said, ham radio is what you make of it. So if you have the means and desire to do it. GO FOR IT!
 
There's enough spectrum for all of us.  
by AI2IA on April 29, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
In my opinion, contests have a place in ham radio. Rag chewing, beacons, experimenting, there's room for all of it.
For rag chewing it helps to go on the air in particular ways, such as going on forty meters between sunrise and noon or so on weekdays. Even going on 80 or 160 meters at odd times. It is easy to get on the air for contests. You just look them up.

We should not forget that we have a lot of spectrum space and also that we can choose our operating time, too! This is why it is so easy and good to just turn the big knob when someone is being obnoxious on the air. The same goes for data transmissions. There are ways to catch them, and there are ways around them, too!

It's a big place out there. It's okay for hams to do their thing out there as long as you can have your little movable corner. I think it is better not to get locked in to some one aspect, one spot on the dial, one mode of operation, or one power level, but even if others, sadly, box themselves in, you still have that wonderful flexibility in our spectrum space.

A final word - money. Expensive gear can be nice, but sometimes cheap, even crude gear can be fun and a rewarding challenge. So there is room to be yourself and make your ham experiences the way you want them. There is plenty of room to be content within your own limits and have patience with the operation of others.
This is why it all comes down to what you make it for yourself. This is why there is little excuse to complain.
 
RE: It all comes down to you, the licensed operator.  
by VR2BG on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
And in this case, I don't think KL1A is duly authorized to operate an amateur station in TF.

If you look at what TF4M says about the legal-side of things, he quotes an ARRL book.

What matters is TF telecom law/regulations & the reciprocal licensing agreement between K & TF (at http://treaties.un.org/pages/showDetails.aspx?objid=08000002800eff53 ).

When something totally irrelevant is put forward as justification for something - with no mention at all of having obtained the authorization required prior to operating - the only thing proved is perhaps suspicion is in order.

There might also be an extra complication if KL1A is not of K nationality.

A fundamental part of the amateur service is that both the operator & the station must be duly authorized. It would help everybody - from those who worked TF/KL1A & want to claim credit for DXCC, to KL1A who presumably would prefer not to lie if he sent in a contest entry (which usually includes a declaration that the operation was legal), to proponents of remote operations & everybody who may someday find it's the only way they can get on the air...

So please, show us PROPERLY how the operation from TF by KL1A was LEGAL.

73, ex-VR2BG/p.
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by KQ9J on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I use my local lan sometimes to remotely operate my upstairs shack on digital modes from the couch next to my wife. I also have plans to be able to access my shack from the internet and operate remotely, as many already do.

That being said, there is a key difference...I am using my OWN station and antennas.

If someone has a qso with me from a remotely controlled mega station that is fine...as long as he states that fact and doesn't try to pass it off as his own.

NO contest or DXCC credit should be allowed, except perhaps in the "Extreme" station contest category. DXCC never.

When the author mentioned his intent to claim copyright of the name of his setup, that showed me exactly where all this whizzbangery is headed.

It's not for me. It is a cheap imitation of real ham radio, available to those who want/can afford it. Fun to play with perhaps...like Echolink, the thrill would be gone very quickly.

It does have an "oh, cool!!!" factor that a geek such as I am can appreciate, though :)
 
RE: It all comes down to you, the licensed operator.  
by K9MHZ on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe it's just me, but I didn't see any gist in AI2IA's posts above.

I mean: "inner ham self"....that should satisfy the new age squishy, lefty thinkers out there. Sprinkle in a subtle: "money" bashing, and envy, entitlement types will be praising him. "It all boils down to doing what you want"....well OK, I think we've all got that figured out...I'm confused how that's supposed to be something that's profound.

Nothing but typical, meaningless new age drivel.

 
RE: It all comes down to you, the licensed operator.  
by KE7FD on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Wow! It almost beats a RockMite on a business trip.

Glen - KE7FD
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K9DXL on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Well goody goody for you, but to me ham radio is using my own humble station with my own antennas and my own ears to work stations day to day or in contests. I'll use the internet as a tool to look up a qth or see pictures of the op and his/her station, but but that's an enhancement, not a requirement to operate. The idea of paying to use another station to operate just seems wrong to me. (If I were going on a DX vacation and renting a home w/station that would be another matter.) But then, I'm old fashioned. I like to support mom and pop stores instead of the big box outfits, and I'd rather play Scrabble with friends than go gaming online with strangers.
 
I'll water it down for you.  
by AI2IA on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Ahoy, K9MHZ !
New Age baloney! In my post I said, "...within the context of the rules...."
Where do you get that I said everybody should do what they want?
It is simple - the amateur spectrum is broad enough for hams to explore and do new things, again within the context of the rules.
So, if some want to try their hand at remote operation, within the context of the rules, who can see anything wrong with that?
I would certainly give you elbow room on the air. Give me my little space, too!
This is called consideration for the interests of others.
New Age it is not.
 
RE: It all comes down to you, the licensed operator.  
by KE7FD on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Actually, this concept is pretty cool. There's probably situations when most hams would benefit from this type of operation even though not the typical setting. I can see where if someone had a medical condition that took then away from their shack and more or less bedridden, being able to use VOIP and remote control would allow a ham to still use his gear.

Glen - KE7FD
 
RE: I'll water it down for you.  
by K9MHZ on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
As I posted, Ray....we're already good with all of those excruciatingly obvious points of your sage advice.

The "inner ham self" psycho babble isn't going to resonate with an older group who've seen and heard it all through the years.

This isn't a Tony Robbins encounter group.

 
RE: It all comes down to you, the licensed operator.  
by K8QV on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"...new age squishy, lefty thinkers..."

You guys crack me up. Really.
 
RE: It all comes down to you, the licensed operator.  
by KQ9J on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
...new age squishy and lefty...hmmm... how anyone ever connected that to remote station operation is completely baffling, if not a bit frightening :)
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N9PSE on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I'm not going to get into the pros or cons of operating a remote station... but I will reply to the comments of those who say they only operate their own equipment and don't go for any of this remote operation stuff.

I've got news for you -- if you have a reasonably modern rig, you already operate remotely. You don't turn your own VFO, adjust your antenna match, or change bands, etc. You turn a rotary encoder on the front of your rig, the rig's computer reads those clicks, and adjusts the VFO for you. And what about automatic antenna tuners? You don't tweak the dials, you tell the tuner's computer to take care of that.

There isn't much, today, where you directly control a darn thing. Heck, you don't even step on a gas pedal in the car -- the car's computer reads the pedal position and sets the throttle for you.

It's one thing to argue over someone's certificates or contest standing using another ham's remote station (but only a little -- what about club stations with more capabilities than your home station?). But one can't besmirch remote operations simply on the fact that they are remote... because we all operate remotely to some extent. The difference is simply on how far we are physically distanced from the radio.

It's an impressive capability that required a lot of thought and effort to achieve. It's not for everyone, but there's plenty of room in this hobby for this, too. I like hanging my own antennas, operating portable ops, and being near my equipment. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate this setup... nor does it detract in any way from my own sense of accomplishment for what I've done.

Unless you're Bill Gates, there's always going to be somebody else with more money, toys, time, or any other resource that gives him an edge over you. So what... I'm too happy having fun with my own stuff to waste time worrying about what somebody else has.

One final point: Look at the Hubble Space Telescope, or any number of remote telescopes around the world that astronomers can access. It doesn't make them any less of an astronomer by using these facilities just because they didn't grind their own mirrors or build their own CCD imagers.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K8QV on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"I've got news for you -- if you have a reasonably modern rig, you already operate remotely. You don't turn your own VFO, adjust your antenna match, or change bands, etc. You turn a rotary encoder on the front of your rig, the rig's computer reads those clicks, and adjusts the VFO for you. And what about automatic antenna tuners? You don't tweak the dials, you tell the tuner's computer to take care of that."

That has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue at hand.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N9PSE on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe not, but I was making the observation for the benefit of those who say that if you operate remotely, you might as well use Skype or some other VOIP. The point is, no matter how trivially or how extensively, modern rigs are all operated remotely to some extent. Does it really matter if you turn the rotary encoder that is attached directly to the radio vs. using HRD to control your radio vs. a computer connected to the radio over the internet?

It wasn't meant to be an Earth shaking observation, just a point that computers and computer-controlled devices are a big part of our hobby, now. I see little difference in the ultimate outcome between a guy like me (who likes to have everything under his own roof and in his own hands) to the guy (or guys) who set things up at remote locations and connect to the shack via the internet. We're both getting on the air and expanding our knowledge in the parts of this hobby that interests us.

And even if someone else gets a DXCC or whatever paper rings your bell using such a set-up, it won't diminish my happiness one iota.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N1DVJ on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
There are always going to be 'purist', and as mentioned before, it always comes back to where you draw the line.

What? You don't have to neutralize the circuit? Hey, some glowbug people feel that way, but you don't normally hear them spouting about it.

So, what's real? Personally, I take my K2 camping with one of those car battery packs and a dipole I throw up in the trees, and a pad of paper. Is using a log on a computer cheating? Or spotting on the web?

And also, personally, I don't feel the 'big stations' are true to the flavor of field day. But then, that's just my opinion...

When I'm out with the radio, I'm out. The radio is my only link.

But as I said, that's just my opinion...
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K0RGR on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
OK, here's my squishy minded lefty opinion on this.

The world has changed since 1914, and even more so since 1945. We went through a postwar period where most Americans owned their own homes, and what they did in their own back yard was strictly their business.

To a great extent, that world has been extinct ever since local governments and cable TV companies figured out that they could get deed restrictions written that would eliminate those 'ugly' antennas and a lot of other things.

As a result, new hams for the last couple decades have had fits building a reasonably decent antenna without some HOA filing a lawsuit.

Back in the dim, dark days of the 1960's and 70's, ham club stations were very common, and they served as a refuge for the ham who did not have a home station. They also served as a social gathering place for local hams. But, for many reasons, most notably security and liability concerns, ham club stations have become relatively scarce.

Remote control opens up the possibility of making stations - modest ones anyway - available to be shared by multiple users. I'm really not talking about the 'commercial' remote ham stations out there. If you have the money to buy into that, great. But most average hams would be thrilled with 100 watts and a tribander somewhere that they could use. HRD works very well for this, and there are other affordable solutions.

Now, as usual, there are those who think using the Internet in any way is 'cheating'. I do think that remote stations should be in their own category for contests. But beyond that, anyone smart enough to make this work well would have to use a big hammer and give himself brain damage to make himself equal with most of us!

I'm all in favor of setting up more remote stations that we can share. I'm no more concerned about using a remote station than I am about using a high level repeater on a mountain somewhere. I don't own that, either unless I'm a member of that club, but I'm grateful to those who do and allow me to use it.

 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by AA4PB on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Operating remote is not an issue. Operating someone elses station using only your own call sign and taking personal credit for the contact is (or should be, in my opinion).
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N2EIK on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Well I have had some issues with remote operation in regards to DXCC and contesting. I first used remote over 5 years ago to do some casual operating while a few miles away from my shack. *yawn* I found it boring…but hey, that’s just my take. I can see where remote operation can be pretty cool for some people. So be it, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. My biggest issue is that remote operation is "legal" for DXCC with no limitation on distance between you and the remote station, except that you must at least be in the same DXCC entity. I was in a heated email discussion with W2RE about remote operation a few months before he made his intentions fully known. At one point he stated the DXCC issue and I swore I would burn my DXCC certificate if I can validate the claim. Well I did validate it, the league confirmed it and subsequently posted pictures of myself setting fire to my DXCC. I stand behind my words. I have not operated a single contest since.
MY perspective: So let me get this straight (and someone already posted this). I can pay $3k to$5k for the privilege to operate these big guns… and because my little pistol home station cant hear JA’s I can work them on some guys station in Seattle and use that for DXCC… THAT’S LEGAL? HUH? The JA really didn’t work ME, he worked some guys superstation in Seattle. How the hell is that fair to everyone else? The league and CQ need to keep up with technology and be fair across the board.

Now as far as KL1A winning the extreme category on CQWWDX, If I am reading the rules right (and please correct me if I did not) he broke the rules. The extreme rules clearly state you have to at least be in the same zone which he admits he is not (8000km). If I am right, KL1A should be disqualified. If I am incorrect, then accept my apologies but please explain to me where I am incorrect &#61514;
respectfully,
John Mazzone N2EIK
jmazzone@hvc.rr.com
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K3ZL on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
A friend of mine told me he "worked" England on UHF. I said, What-How? He said he used Echo Link. To me that is about the same as using a rented remote antenna and full gallon of power. If at some point I am living in a retirement home with no radio or antennas allowed, then I might be interested in this just to give me something to do. But no way would I ever claim DXCC credit.
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by NY7Q on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I have been in this game since 1953, and it seems to me, this article is a shining example of "HOW TO CHEAT"...IMHO
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by VR2BG on April 30, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
N2EIK said:

"Now as far as KL1A winning the extreme category on CQWWDX, If I am reading the rules right (and please correct me if I did not) he broke the rules. The extreme rules clearly state you have to at least be in the same zone which he admits he is not (8000km). If I am right, KL1A should be disqualified. If I am incorrect, then accept my apologies but please explain to me where I am incorrect."

You are incorrect.

The contest rule you were thinking of requires all transmitting stations to be located within the same CQ zone (Rule 3 at http://www.cqww.com/rules_xtreme.htm ).

Submitted entry (see http://www.cqww.com/logs_received_cw.htm ) was single-op assisted, not extreme as claimed (see http://lists.contesting.com/_3830/2012-11/msg02485.html ).

Extreme does require notification (Rule 5 at http://www.cqww.com/rules_xtreme.htm ).

For non-extreme category entries, only transmitter(s) & receiver(s) (presumably, both include antennas) need to be within 500m of each other (or within the property limits of the property limits of the station licensee's address, whichever is greater - see rule III(3) at http://www.cqww.com/rules.htm ).

73, ex-VR2BG/p.
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by W1JKA on May 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
For me Remote operation is the best part of the hobby,my high end station consist of an MFJ Cub,portable inverted Vee antenna,straight key and jump start battery.With this station I can operate from anywhere to anywhere especially during weekend QRP contest.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N1DVJ on May 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"I have been in this game since 1953, and it seems to me, this article is a shining example of "HOW TO CHEAT"...IMHO"

You know, I'd have to say that if it weren't for the 'easy access' of cell phones and things like VOIP to the 'common people', if someone came up with a high tech way of running a remote station like this, almost everyone here without exception would be gaga over what was done.

Ok, what's cheating? He not trying to hide anything. Is this like drivers who feel that if you can't drive standard without syncromesh, you shouldn't get a drivers license? Or at least have your license marked automatic only? Heck, you can get motorcycles with automatics for years now.
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N0AH on May 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
The station should get the credit, not the remote operator- I agree with remote set ups like this, but only as club stations with the club call getting the credit for the DX and contest scores- or, who ever might live there on site-
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N0AH on May 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Zones can be very, very,large and offer significant differencesin propagation- anyone could put remote RX antennas on one side of the zone, or the other, and beat the snought out of someone with it all on one lot- shows how contest rules for 21st century technology are "stupid" at times- like skimmers- please............one of many reason many of us have scuffed at the assisted vs non-assted catagories- but, I digress-
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by KF7Z on May 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
It is nice that there is plenty of room in this hobby for any operator to explore and participate in any way that they choose. Unless your motivation is to be at the top of the leader board for some award or another, who cares how the other fellow chooses to participate in the hobby? Do whatever you like, as long as no-one else is harmed, and let the other fellow do the same.
John K7KEY (until this month KF7Z)
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in  
by VE3TMT on May 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
As per N9PSE:

"I've got news for you -- if you have a reasonably modern rig, you already operate remotely. You don't turn your own VFO, adjust your antenna match, or change bands, etc. You turn a rotary encoder on the front of your rig, the rig's computer reads those clicks, and adjusts the VFO for you. And what about automatic antenna tuners? You don't tweak the dials, you tell the tuner's computer to take care of that."

I think you are grasping. What is being said, and I have to agree, is that it is the preference of some hams to actually sit in front of the equipment they are operating, not doing it remotely over the internet.

I agree with them 100%, I think remote operation takes the fun out of it.

Now given the chance to operate a contest from a big gun station would be another story. Sometimes my 100 measly little watts and low beam just don't get the job done.

73
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by TTOMAS59 on May 1, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I can only do ham radio at home. When I am driving a car I don't do ham since I enjoy driving. If I am traveling I don't do ham radio. If I am on a cruise ship I only want to do cruise ship activities. If I am out kayaking I don't feel like QRPing. If I did I would have stayed home. If I wanted to do ham radio I would have stayed home.

Make sense?
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in  
by N9PSE on May 2, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I agree, it is a stretch (it was meant to be) -- or at least exaggeration. However, most modern radios are computerized with very few controls that actually control anything -- which is what makes computer control so easy. I also prefer to sit with my equipment. But when I use HRD with the various add-ons (such as DM780) to change the settings on my rig -- I'm already using internet protocol. HRD makes use of IP to communicate between the various components, but all within one computer. As such, there's nothing that says the logging program couldn't be on one computer in your shack, while DM780 might be using another with data going over your home network using IP, while yet another sends control commands to the radio. So it's just a logical progression to extend this operation over a wider network.

There seemed to be several levels of conflicting opinions in this discussion. One was the idea of using someone else's big-gun shack to score points or earn countries. Another was along the lines of "if you operate remotely, you might as well use a cell phone or Skype." I understand the first. I don't understand the second. Objecting to remote operations solely on the basis of the technology used seems too much like the CW folks who objected to AM... AM folks who objected to SSB.... SSB folks who objected to digital... and so on.

It may not be my cup of tea, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate what was achieved by these folks. It's pretty impressive, but I'll stick to keeping my equipment all in one shack -- which is also my refuge from the stresses of the everyday world. When I want to escape, I'd rather do it in person than by remote control. Others have different preferences -- who am I to say which is better?
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by EI5DI on May 3, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
If you have to get on the internet before you
can get on the air, then, however you care to
describe what you're doing, it's not amateur
radio.

73,
Paul EI5DI



 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by W6MQI on May 3, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
---It's nice to:
a) have money enough to be able to afford a station like that.
b) have enough money to be able to pay the owner of such a station to play with a station like that.
c) have friends that will let you use a station like that.

All other poor slobs need not apply.---

Boy isn't this true! We have a station near by me with the same situation you talk about. They had all sorts of people come up and help put everything together they were given money, labor, and guess what? only three people are allowed to use the station what a bunch of crap! I have to laugh every time they post on the DX cluster (59 arm chair copy) YEA RIGHT. Us mere mortals can't even hear these stations they bloviate about. -Ego- I guess that's what it's is all about.
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by KC5CQD on May 4, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
In my opinion, this is the kind of thing that has ruined ham radio. Kind of like the people that operate CW with a "CW reader". Good grief.

I suppose I could understand this if the op lives in a highly restrictive community or a geographical locale that makes radio operating extremely difficult but.....then again.....aren't challenges part of the whole "Ham Radio Experience"? Isn't it one of the major aspects of our hobby to show that we can operate our stations no matter what the adversity?

And before anyone says, "Well your rig has a built-in computer and so you're doing the same thing"......I run a Swan 350, an FT-101ZD and a multitude of archaic QRP, CW only transceivers.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by WB0CJB on May 4, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I can see it if someone is unable to have a outside antenna and/or cannot afford to have their own equipment. But when do you reach the point of enough is enough?? To me its just a huge contest of who has the biggest, baddest station and who can hear a gnat fart on all bands. If someone beats another station by a couple of thousand points then the 2nd best guy will go out and drop more money on another tower, 2 more beams, another linear, and another location just to reclaim the top spot.Not to mention they want their audio to sound like a commercial broadcast station.Maybe trying to compensate for other inadequate areas???

Todays contests do have a place in ham radio, along with other areas like ragchewing, digital, and the like. But if you look at the contest calendars virtually every weekend is loaded with contests and some to the point of driving the casual operator off the air.Granted the WARC bands are for those who do not care to get into the contest. But many have older equipment that does not have WARC capability.

Nowadays the super contest stations literally ignore anyone who is already on the frequency and can tie up virtually an entire band when they operate in the US phone section and listen in the DX phone section, which happens to be the US CW/digital subband.

A never ending obsession to be number 1. Anyone want to make a bet on who the one will be first to put a super contest station on the moon? How about Mars???
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N1CX on May 5, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Guerilla marketing at it's finest... You think your going to read about remote contesting but it turns into a big commercial for selling ham radio airtime.

Can't wait to get slammed as incoherent because I voiced my opinion here by all their friends like they did on the remote forum.


 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K3ZL on May 5, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
("I can see it if someone is unable to have a outside antenna and/or cannot afford to have their own equipment".)

If they can't afford their own equipment or antenna, there is no way they will be able to afford a subscription to a remote station. That would be Thousands of dollars.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by N1DVJ on May 5, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
"If they can't afford their own equipment or antenna, there is no way they will be able to afford a subscription to a remote station. That would be Thousands of dollars."

That's why people buy timeshare condos... Could work the same for a remote station.

Hmm, business opportunity?
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K3ZL on May 7, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
The idea of remote pay-per-qso is for sure in the tradition and spirit of ham radio innovation. I just think it's not in the spirit of what DXCC is about. Thats my thought and I'm sticking to it. Now, gotta go rub two sticks together to start a fire.
 
How about a P5 remote station?  
by WB4M on May 8, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe good old Kim will let me set up a station in N.Korea and I can operate it from my house.
 
RE: How about a P5 remote station?  
by N1CX on May 9, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Someone needs to teach Dennis Rodman how to send CW

:)
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K9MHZ on May 9, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by KQ9J on April 30, 2013 ...new age squishy and lefty...hmmm... how anyone ever connected that to remote station operation is completely baffling, if not a bit frightening :)<<<<


Not even remotely close to what I wrote or implied. But, I get the impression you were more interested in tossing in a little more red meat, so it probably didn't matter anyway.
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by W2RS on May 16, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I am a DXer (Top of the Honor Roll, Mixed) but not a serious contester, so I will address DXing issues and leave contesting matters to the contesters.

DXCC Rule 9 says that the operator and receiver must be located within the same DXCC entity as the transmitter. Like some of the other DXCC rules, it is virtually unenforceable. Think, for example, about power limits.

At the end of the day, DXCC is a matter of individual conscience. Only you know how that plaque on your wall was earned. If someone else cheats, only he has to live with it.

73, Ray
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by NN3W on May 22, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
WB0CJB wrote:
>>>Todays contests do have a place in ham radio, along with other areas like ragchewing, digital, and the like. But if you look at the contest calendars virtually every weekend is loaded with contests and some to the point of driving the casual operator off the air.Granted the WARC bands are for those who do not care to get into the contest. But many have older equipment that does not have WARC capability. <<<

According to hornucopia.com, there were contests scheduled for last weekend, including:

The Day of YLs
UN DX Contest
EU PSK DX Contest
Aegean RTTY Contest
His Maj. King of Spain Contest, CW
Feld Hell Sprint
Baltic Contest
UA2 QSO Party
Run for the Bacon QRP Contest

Honestly, how much QRM do you think the "Day of the YLs" or the "Run for the Bacon QRP Contest" is going to generate???? According to the sponsor, there were 29 logs submitted in the April "Run for the Bacon QRP Contest" with the top entry yielding 33 QSOs.

These are not major events and have no more impact than a run-of-the-mill DXpedition or special event station.
 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by AG6QR on May 23, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
If you want to know where to draw the line, it seems like there's a very clear one that's crossed as soon as you use a commercial utility company to carry your signal along any part of the path between your antenna and you.

It's not whether things are done digitally or analog, it's whether you're turning over an essential portion of the communication link to a commercial communications company, whether it's a phone company, cable company, internet service provider, or what.

Remote operating isn't wrong, but it's different. Like the difference between a foot race and a bike race, they're both admirable competitions, but they don't need to be scored in the same way, or even held on the same course.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by W3TUA on May 27, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with some of the comments concerning the spirit behind the DXCC rules. My current situation while living in an apartment doesn't allow for a viable antenna. So, I took my Kenwood TS-480 and set up a remote internet base at a fellow ham's house 15 miles away. Now, I can work all the CW and SSB I want without drawing the watchful eye of the apartment managers.

While stationed in the military, I had enough contacts from my QTH in the Northeast to apply for DXCC, but decided to start over after moving back to Texas. I thought that if I had to start over for Worked All States then I should do the same for DXCC.

The points I do not agree with are those that state remote operation is not 'real radio'. In my application, the Internet is merely an extension of my microphone, CW key, and speaker output. I use no other automated devices to do the work that my ears and brain can do. All my CW is decoded in my head. I don't think others using assistive technologies are wrong and think that they are only trying to be innovative and advance the radio art. I, for one, prefer to keep a manual work ethic involved and derive much pleasure from it.

I've seen many changes and lots of exciting experimentation over 29 years in ham radio. The tradition mixed with the pioneer spirit still seems to be alive to me.
 
RE: New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by K3ZL on May 28, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Great comment on the remote station debate. I am one that is concerned about the "spirit of DXCC", and just want to make a few comments about your post.

First, I have emailed two people at ARRL in the awards department, and also, I emailed Steve Ford, WB8IMY, who wrote a very interesting article in QST (May, 2013 page 59) about "Dream sations" that are commercially run super ham stations with big antenns and big power. These $50,000 and higher stations are accessed remotely, but at a very big cost. Probably minimum of $3000 to $5000 for a subscription plus access fees based on time used.

From their responses to my emails, I have the feeling that ARRL doesn't have anything to gain by revisiting the DXCC rules for remote operations and DXCC. So, I expect there will be no changes which will make DXCC credit remain as is. My opinion only, just guessing.

The other thing I wanted to emphasize is that I was talking ONLY about these commercial super stations, and not remote stations such as yours. I may at some point have to build my own remote station as you have for similar reasons. I will be grateful that this alternative will allow me to keep a hand in ham radio.

In Steve's article (BTW, Steve was only reporting on this technology, he was not endorsing it) he described using one of these pay for QSO stations as being able to bust a pile up with a single call, and hear stations that cannot be heard with more modest antennas. That is the part that makes my case that this kind of "commercial" operation is not in the spirit of DXCC. What's next..DXCC by Echo Link?

 
New Horizons of Ham Radio: Remote Ham Radio in Contests  
by W2RS on June 6, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
If you are lucky enough to own a super-station (which I am not), and use it to work DX, that's entirely within the letter and spirit of DXCC. The same is true if you have a friend who has one and he lets you sign your call when you operate from his house, as long as his QTH is in the same DXCC entity as yours. Ditto if you belong to a club that has a super-station for members' use.

All of this has been true for many years. The new element is remote control. As I wrote in a previous comment, that is oovered in DXCC Rule 9.

Wull some people cheat? Sure, just as they always have. May they live with themselves in peace.

73, Ray
 
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