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Author Topic: Mumbles setup as alternative to Skype for remote operation  (Read 31039 times)

Posts: 926

« on: January 28, 2014, 05:46:46 AM »

I have used Skype for three years with my remote operation.  It seemed with Skype that triggering my VOX was somewhat difficult if the radio audio was fairly high.  Apparently Skype must use some AGC.  Anyway several months ago I posted that problem here and someone suggested I try Mumble.  I did and think I like it better than Skype.  I tried a free server and decided to purchase, cost of about $11 for a year. 

There are many advance setup features to Mumble.  If anyone is using Mumble in a remote setup, take a look at my settings, which I show below, and give me your comments.   Thanks.   John.

PC at radio:
Transmit Continuous
Noise suppression at zero (off)
(I set the radio PC noise suppression at zero since that seemed to eliminate some low volume robotic sounds.)
Attenuate when other users talk, check box

Client PC:
Voice Activity (trigger)
Noise suppression at default (-30db)
Attenuate applications when you talk, check box


Posts: 926

« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2014, 08:53:50 AM »

Update to my first post on this topic:

I found while listening to a weak station with noise, that Mumble creates some noise artifacts.  OK when received station is talking, but when just "hiss", the artifacts are distracting.  Not loud but there.  I switched back to Skype and did not hear any such artifacts.  Hiss sounded like hiss. 

I liked certain features of Mumble, so if there is something in the setup that would eliminate the hiss artifacts, I might use Mumble.  Else back to Skype.

Any one with suggestions?

Posts: 233

« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2014, 09:56:34 PM »

Try IPSound.  Not as intuitive as Sykpe...but it works flawlessly for me.

Posts: 502


« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 07:29:16 AM »

I played around with IPSound this weekend.  I must say that, except for occasional pops and drops, it is far better sound quality than Skype and Mumbles.   Especially for CW !!  I am just running it over my home network with very low latency between remote laptop and shack server.  Any ideas on getting it to run smoother?

CW Academy Advisor (Level II)

Posts: 4

« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 09:48:48 AM »

At K4VV, we have three of the operating positions set up for either ISO (In Shack Operation) or RO (RO).  Remote operators have their choice of either Skype or Mumble.  The set up is not for casual operation, but rather, for contest operation.  Therefore, we need something that is dependable. 

When we first started the remote operations from K4VV we were using Skype 5.1.  It was flawless.  Remote operators in NH, CA, Hungary, Germany and Uruguay were able to run during contests and achieve hourly QSO rates of 170-190.

Then, about a year ago, we began having REAL problems with Skype.  It appeared that with each Skype version upgrade the problems grew worse.  It because unusable.

That is when, with the help of Chuck, AA0HW and QRQ CW experience, we changed over to Mumble.  Every remote operator said, "Wow!  After a while we began finding that Mumble was susceptible to increases in latency during periods of heavy internet traffic.  We have a Mumble server for each remote position at K4VV.  Tom-N9NC has discovered that it is possible to install a Mumble SERVER (called Murmur) at the station position, thus eliminating one leg of a connection.  The RO connects to which ever K4VV position he wants to use and Mumble goes DIRECTLY from his operating position to the K4VV position.

At the same time, I began investigating reasons Skype had become unusable.  When constructing a list of things that had changed in the past two years, I realized that the version of Skype had changed....from ver. 5.1 to 6.4 !  Echo suppression had been introduced which ruined CW.  Some kind of squelch had been introduced to reduce bandwidth.  When tuning a quiet band, the Skype audio would just disappear. 
I searched the Internet and found a site where I could download OLD SKYPE versions. 
I downloaded (any Version in the 5.1 range is good) and found our old Skype had returned!  I also loaded it (though probably didn't need to) on my home computers.  It worked PERFECTLY.  The audio reports were back to "glowing" and I was able to control the VOX as in the "old days."

We have a PTT feature on the remote operations for K4VV but it is seldom needed.

(After an hour or so of idleness, Mumble will develop a popping sound that resembles the sound of precipitation static.  This can be cured by going into Settings and hitting Apply.  During a contest, where the audio is in constant use, we have never had to do this.)

To repeat, we have both Skype (5.1) and Mumble (1.2.5) available for the three remotable positions at K4VV.  I hope this is some help to our other remoting friends.


Mike W0YR
K4VV Remote Contesting Project Manager

Posts: 926

« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2014, 05:38:01 PM »

Mike, I just downloaded the 5.1 version.  I deleted latest version on my client PC and radio PC and installed the 5.1.  My VOX is now working like it should.  I can trigger VOX even with receive audio high, something that caused a problem with the latest versions.  Really appreciate your comments.   John.

Posts: 926

« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2014, 06:43:29 PM »

New problem with Skype.  I was in the middle of operating and Skype took it upon itself to update my radio PC to version 6.1.  I went to on-line help to see how to turn off auto updates.  6.1 has a on/off option, but apparently 5.1 doesn't.  I had to remotely remove the new 6.1 and install the old 5.1 again.  Bummer it this happens frequently.
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