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Author Topic: Remote radio alternatives - comments?  (Read 11985 times)
K0IZ
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Posts: 737




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« on: June 23, 2010, 07:20:46 AM »

I am in the early stages of setting up a remote radio station using a K3.  As I continue to learn about the technology, it seems to me that there are several methods to achieve this goal, including audio.  Any comments or experiences that anyone would like to share would be most appreciated:

1.  Pc to Pc.  For several reasons I don't want to use a PC at the radio end.   So have eliminated this alternative.
2.  Serial server at radio.  Like N8LP's setup.  I have a serial server, and control of radio should be straightforward (using TRX Mgr and COM redirection at operator end).  Audio over internet is a question mark without a PC.  Possibly ATA interface unit plus hybrid phone interface (which might be expensive).
3.  RemoteRigo RRC1258 units.  I believe these are serial servers with built in VoIP.  Stereo version coming, which I would like.  Claimed low latency, which would be good.   However problem while traveling, since it cannot be used just with software, but would require RemoteRig client unit, wall wart, and some kind of ethernet connection (which might be difficult in hotel, etc or with WiFi).  If a software alternative were available for operator end, I think this could be the best alternative.
4.  GlenTek Controller and audio interface.  Appears to be a serial server with some additional features, plus telephone phone patch.  Would require ATA interface unit for audio over internet, and possibly some concern about latency.  Can be operated with only software at operator end, a definite advantage.  This would seem to be a more customized equivalent to the serial server  alternative (#2 above), and handles the phone interace.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 07:54:54 AM by John Raydo » Logged
K5DN
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2010, 07:41:42 PM »

I am also working on a remote station, but my requirements are different since my remote is a low-band station out in the country, to be operated from home.  The biggest problem at this point is getting decent internet service.

But one useful "lesson learned" has to do with running voip software on the PC.  I spent months trying to figure out why I was getting poor audio with IPsound, skype, and others.  Turns out my PC had high "DPC latency".  If you're not already familiar with this problem, google it and find the DPC latency checker called dpclat.  Your PC needs to have less than around 200us latency to run voip well.  In some cases, different audio drivers or different sound cards can fix this.  It has little to do with computer speed.  In all cases that I know of, you have to have a pc at both ends to do this; but I may have missed something.

On your option 4, it does not appear to me that the Glentek equipment does voip.  The ATA interface does not get you voice over internet.  So you would need a phone line, or a computer at both ends with voip software.
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K0IZ
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2010, 04:44:36 AM »

Bob, I appreciate your comments.  I'll look into the latency problem.  Re VoIP, the Glentek info talks about using with Voip, connecting their R2T (Radio 2 Telephone) to an ATA, which would in turn connect to router.  At the operator end, I was thinking of softphone type software. 

If I used my option 2, serial server and VoIP via ATA, one more uncertainty of my relates to the ATA.  Per N8LP, he has a hybrid telephone interface connected to his router, which has a builtin ATA.  His is an expensive commercial job.  I could come up with a homebrew phone patch to connect to the phone jack on the ATA, but what I don't know is, does it need to have auto answer (or is the ATA always on, waiting for "call").  I was assuming I could "dial" the ata from the softphone by entering my IP address, thus didn't need a VoIP service. 

John.
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K0IZ
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2010, 07:51:32 AM »

Update to my original post:  RemoteRig has announced "PC-Client"  software and USB adapter that will work on the operator end with a PC or laptop.  No need for RRC1258 at that end.  Assuming it works as promised (software in Beta now), that would be great for traveling with laptops.  I am now strongly leaning towards the RemoteRig solution with RRC1258 at radio, RRC1258 at my desk PC, and PC-Client for laptop.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 07:53:54 AM by John Raydo » Logged
K0IZ
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2010, 01:20:24 PM »

Further update:  My remote station has been working for a week now.  System includes a Digi TS4 4-port serial server.  I use one port to control LP Remote board to turn on/off stuff and monitor readings.  Second port controls Elecraft K3.  I really like the serial server method, MUCH better than trying to use a PC.  However I do use a PC just for Skype audio.  It's an older PC with just Skype.  At client end, software is TRX Manager, LP Remote, and Skype.  Everything works great.
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NK5G
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 10:09:19 AM »

What's cool is that remote station operating the the newest thing to experiment with as there are lots of possibilities.

So far I have found that your standard remote software (I use LogMeIn) and Skype are the way to go. I use it with my laptop and my iPhone.
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