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Author Topic: Remote Control of a Base Station by RF Links  (Read 6358 times)
W6DOM
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Posts: 12




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« on: February 13, 2008, 08:23:58 PM »

There are some good programs for PC Control of HF & VHf/Uhf Transceivers including some that link vie the Internet.  I'm looking for a way to do the same using RF Link(s) as the Transceiver site has no  phone line possibility (top of a distant hill).  
  Ideally the Control Unit would have a PC running a Internet remote PC control program , say, like PCAnywhere and the digital control program for the remote transceiver, like my IC-706MK2G and a RF link.  This unit could be moved anywhere needed, say like for EMCOM application as long as within the RF range.
  The Slave Unit at the remote site would have a RF link, a PC running the same software as the Control Unit and a transceiver like a IC-706MK@G.

  Has anyone heard of any such system in operation or have thoughts on how to fabricate such a system?

Will
W6DOM----since1948
haasent@cox.net
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2008, 10:51:39 PM »

The first, and likely the major problem, is bandwidth.  RF links, unless your are talking microwave frequencies and sophisticated data modems, are not up to the task.
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W6DOM
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2008, 10:39:49 AM »

Thanks for the feedback!  You are right about the bandwidth being a critical factor.  But if remote control programs like PCAnywhere can operate on dial-up internet ISP conditions, doesn't this indicate that only voice phone-line bandwidth is needed?

Also
  Looks like 2 RF links would be required: one from the Control Unit & one from the Slave Unit.  Any comments?
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2008, 05:08:04 PM »

Realize that a dial-up connection is usually 56K, significantly more than an HF, RF link can support, for instance.  Then there is the matter of bandwidth required for voice, or are you only operating digital modes?

Of course, if you move up in frequency, you possibly could make it work.  A possible choice would be D-STAR at 1.2GHz.
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W6DOM
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2008, 08:41:30 PM »

The system should be able to handle both voice and digital data but not both at the same time.  Guess I need to look into D-Star.  Thanks for the ideas!

Will
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KA1MDA
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2008, 10:20:42 AM »

You might look into giving regular off-the-shelf 802G wi-fi equipment a try. You can buy a pair of wireless access points and a pair of 24 dBi parabolic antennas for under $300 - much cheaper than D-star! Set these up as a point to point network. I have heard of some LP FM radio stations which use this type of set-up over 2 to 4 mile hops as studio to transmitter links.

A number of years ago, I did some limited experimenting at home just for the heck of it. I used wireless WiFi for rig control. My Kenwood TS-2000X was connected to my desktop computer. I had my old laptop computer connected to the desktop computer via 802B WiFi. Using Microsoft's Netmeeting software, I launched and operated Kenwood's remote control software (resident on the desktop)from the laptop. Receiver audio was streamed live to the laptop as I tuned through the bands.

I did not try transmitting, as I did not have a mic for the laptop- but had no problem placing the rig into transmit mode using the remote control software.

I recently built a new audio interface and got a new laptop with built-in 802G. I am hoping to try experimenting with this setup again in the future, this time getting full RX/TX going.

Something you might want to give a try. If you are already running a network or WiFi at home, you could try all this out and see how it works for virtually no $$$$ investment.

73, de Tom, KA1MDA
www.ka1mda.org
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K0JEG
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2008, 10:52:43 AM »

How distant are we talking here? There are many microwave solutions, and even some more esoteric solutions, like free-space optics (http://www.freespaceoptics.org/freespaceoptics/default.cfm) that may work for what you want to do.

There are a few problems I would have using 2.4GHz these days, as the band is getting more and more crowded every day. I've been looking at 900MHz data radios to tie in several APRS digipeaters, and 5GHz is usually open as well.

I've also been following the D-star yahoo mailing list, and apparently there is a "dongle" available that will allow a PC to connect to a d-star network. I have no idea if there is any sort of an SDR available, but I'm sure there are people working on it.
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K0JEG
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2008, 10:55:14 AM »

Sorry about the spam in the FSO link... Helps to read before copy/paste.

Anyway, there's a good Wiki article.
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WA3GIN
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2008, 03:37:07 PM »

I've been using 28.8Kbps for Internet Remote. Using Net Mtg. for VOIP and PC Anywhere or REAL VNC for the connection security. The radios are Kenwood TS2000 and TS480.  I also use 802.11G for link between house and barn,  about 1,000. Works great at 54Mbps.  For RACES we use EVDO and lap tops to link to base stations owned by the county.  

73,
dave
wa3gin
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KD4PQF
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2008, 05:44:23 PM »

watch this video it may help.

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v252187NkBSxmeN
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N1EDU
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2008, 03:54:24 AM »

If you only require something simple like VHF FM, have you given thought to one of the Kenwood TM units?  The TMV71A is frequency agile, remote control.  Then of course there is the ID requirements of any linking.  It is simple, but could meet limited needs.  

Set it up in cross band repeat, with the ability to move frequencies & power output/ tone etc parameters, and shut off linking, etc.

There was a good article in QST back awhile about folks using 802 gear for 20 + miles in West Virginia I think.  

Good luck - keep us posted.
Dave
N1EDU
NH
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WB5ITT
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Posts: 100




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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2008, 09:15:25 AM »

Depending on the HF rmt rig, an older ACC Shackmaster 100 would do the job....or a LinkComm RLC rptr controller will work with most any modern radio (so does the RCx10 series from AH6LE)...you have some limitations but for voice they work fine...CW would probably need some modifications or using a high freq keying tone on the link freq with a decoder at the other end (like 3825 or 2600Hz) to cause the CW key function to work remotely...other digitals modes would use analog tones over the link to the remote radio, if that will work...Been running HF via RF links for 20+ years....some folks act as if this is something NEW...hardly.
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