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Reviews For: RemoteShack

Category: Interfaces, Radio to computer, amp, rotor, coax switch, internet

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Review Summary For : RemoteShack
Reviews: 29MSRP: 500
Remote xcvr control using only a cell phone
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WA0CQG Rating: 2013-05-15
Great Product & Support Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have the RBC-212 remote base controller, the CPI-1 cordless phone interface, and the 40 Amp 12vdc relay kit and am using it all with a Yaesu FT-897D. I have all three modes of control set up: Skype via the Internet through a iMac, Telco line control via VONAGE, and local control using a Panasonic cordless phone throughout the house. Performance on all is great!

What has been the best is the support of John Troy at REMOTESHACK.COM who always seems to be there to help with simple, stupid, or hard questions.

In general, my recommendation to potential buyers is: read the web site files, read the documents supplied with the gear, look for cockpit errors, and call John for coaching as needed. All commands are done by DTMF so my cordless phone and iPhone work great and I like SKYPE when away because I can avoid using minutes on my data plan.

I spoke of cockpit errors and I will use a recent case to support this. I could get the RBC-212 to connect and respond but there no longer was any voice annunciation to tell me what frequency or mode the radio was using. I was sure the RBC was broken. I was in panic that I had broken something. But it was not broken and through phone support John Troy found the problem: i had inadvertently set the volume via software to at off or close so I could not hear the voice. It turned out to be simple -- thanks to outstanding customer support.

I use the 40-amp relay kit to turn the FT-897D on when I connect. But there are times when I am home and want to use the radio directly and without RBC control. I needed a manual power on switch and with the help of John -- and two diodes and a toggle switch I added the function.

One last thing. MFJ and promise "plug-and-play" set-up. As most of us know from computer manufacturer promises, this really turns out to be "plug-and-pray" instead. But not the case with the RBC-212. If you order it for a particular radio AND with the cable set for that radio, you can have it working in five minutes. Then, take the plastic laminated cheat card and practice and learn the commands while sitting in from of the radio. Next, go in the field and remotely control your station -- AND ENJOY!
WB7UVH Rating: 2013-03-28
Great way to remote Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Remote Shack provides a very simple way to work remotely. John has been very helpful and responsive. None the less, I rated Remote Shack a 4. It is advertised as plug and play, however with Icoms and my rural location, a bit more was required.

1.Tried with land line but the tones weren't detected properly so it was recommended I go with internet phone service. It would not work with Ooma. I switched to Vonnage with DSL and it works fine.

2.I was using a Blackberry (quit laughing) and have since switched to a Motorola RAZR (Droid) and it performs much better. Bigger keys if nothing else.

3.It was originally set up with an Icom IC-706MKII. It was necessary for me to send the Remote Shack and the radio back to John so that he could tweak the firmware.

4.I wanted to switch to an IC-735. Unfortunately, the communication rate of the IC-735 is too slow for Remote Shack.

5.So next up was an IC-718 which I did need to send back to John for firmware tweaking. It works fine and I am very pleased with the results. He has upgraded the firmware to provide muting after the first tone is sent. This is definitely an improvement.

6.I use an MFJ Mic Switch to make it easier to go from the headset to the Remote Shack when I need to.

So, if you want very simple way to work HF remotely, this is a good solution. I would recommend talking with John first about your rig to determine if you will need to send it back to him for any required firmware changes. I use an Able Planet headset with the Droid.
W5ZZT Rating: 2013-02-22
Now working for me. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have written reviews for the remoteshack before and was less than satisfied. I am glad to report that with the great customer service provided by John at remoteshack I am finally able to enjoy the system.

The key to the system is to understand what it will and will not do. Most importantly you need to understand that a direct cell call may not always work due to the way some networks handle the normal static of a HF signal. In the city I live I can use the system from a normal cell call with no issues. I can also do this a couple hundred miles from my home city. Some cell signals outside that area use some kind of DSP processing taking out all the static including weak signals. When this happens the connection cannot be effectively used.

Late last year John suggested using Skype so having unlimited data on my plan I gave it a try. While it worked some of the time the throughput could not keep up and the audio was lost. I set the unit aside and didn't use it until I received another from John a couple of months later. I could not believe he continued to work on a solution for my issue. His latest suggestion was to use the FREE magicjack app that is available for my iphone and also for android phones. It does use your data plan so be careful if you do not have an unlimited plan as I do with Sprint. This solution worked great!

So now, in most cases, I can make a regular cell call and it works perfectly with my iphone. If I have a problem anywhere with the DSP issue I use the magicjack app and it works just as good. I now regularly use the system and I must say the software is flawless! Sure there are new things I would like to see but it works just fine as it's implemented.

I rated the product a 4 because some of you may not have unlimited data on your cell phone. In my case I could have given it a 5 as I always have a way to make it work but I chose a 4 rating overall.

I have tried several solutions to a remote base installation and don't think you will find a better system around. Just understand the limitations, as I now do, and you should be happy.

I use it with my TS-2000 and it even turns the radio power on and off. I have had many QSO's with great audio reports.

N8BI Rating: 2012-12-16
A Great Product and Customer Service Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased RemoteShack at Dayton 2011 but unfortunately a lightening strike took out the Radio I was planning to use. Over a year later I obtained another transceiver not on the approved list. I called John for Technical Support who without hesitation worked me through the changes as though I had just purchased RemoteShack. The result, using a second phone number in my Shack with Skype on my Laptop and iPhone 5 I have operated my station remotely while cruising in the South Atantic, driving around downtown, or at the office. Being able to use 5 over 5 on 20 and other large antennas mobile or portable is a treat! Adds a new dimension. I look forward to future RemoteShack products and John's great customer support!
W9PMZ Rating: 2012-12-13
Getting Rid of the car HF antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
It is just too much effor to have a monsterously large HF antenna on the car. And with winter approaching the car needs to be garaged here in the midwest.

Enter RemoteShack.

I ordered the RemoteShack on Thanksgiving via eBay and I received it the following Tuesday. It was a real pleasure that all of the cables were made, except the remote relay connection.

Installation on the IC-706MKIIG was pretty straight forward. I initially conneceted to a Magic Jack. There maybe an issue with the Magic Jack and the ring pulse width, but adding a phone in parallel to the line corrected the problem.

"Enter your passcode" and the radio and the Remote Shack were up and running. A command cheat sheet is included.

It was even easier to install the lines for interfacing to Skype. So now I have two options to connect to my rig at home, via a traditional land line or via a PC and Skype.

I initally connected a DC relay got out of the junk box to implement a relay to turn on and off the DC power to the rig and to the antenna tuner. I have since purchased a DC solid state relay from eBay. Delivery on the SSR was from China and came pretty quick. The SSR relay draws less control current and no kerchuck when the relay engages.

I now can use the rig while on the road or at work with little effort.

I cannot wait to try the new mic product that will be shortly available.

p.s. - The custormer support is fantastic! Very responsive and at a level one can understad to rapidly resolve issues.
KJ6MOG Rating: 2012-09-27
Great Product Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased my RemoteShack a few months back and WOW what a great addition. Anytime I need to get on the air I just call my phone at home and within seconds I’m monitoring my favorite frequency. Just press ‘1’ to transmit and “0” gets you back to receive. Enter frequencies, scanning, setting filters. It has it all. The unit is a solid design with attention to the details during remote operation. I have received may complements on my signal quality on transmit and when using a headset for rreceive, it’s like I am kicking back in front of the radio. It works great with my iphone on AT&T and my Droid work phone on Verizon. At first I had my concerns about connecting it up, but the RemoteShack comes with everything you need and in minutes I was on the air! I’m not kidding. Minutes! I took me a short time to learn the DTMF commands, but soon I was a pro at getting the unit to do whatever I needed. I have used the RemoteShack for long qso’s on HF and VHF when away from my rig and this product just works over and over again. I would recommend product to anyone wanting to remote control their station.
K4YMB Rating: 2012-08-28
I am happy with the RBS 212 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My name is “Cactus”, K4YMB, I have been a Ham since 1958. I have built many remote systems for commercial broadcast, Ham repeaters and the list goes on and on. Many of my systems used DTMF formats. The base controller ( RBS-212 ) is by far the best thought out and functional unit of its kind I have ever had the pleasure working with. I purchased my 212 at the Huntsville, Alabama HamFest last week and once I got back home I had the unit working with NO problems in about 30 minutes. I tried it on my Kenwood TS 2000 and also on one of my 1996 radios, a TS 870.. The little girl in the 212 tells me just what I need to know… on or off, frequency, linear on or off, mode and there are dozens more of controllable functions right at your finger tips. And I might add; she is fast to react.. You can go from transmit to receive almost as fast as you can using PTT. Once in the transmit mode, just hit 1 to transmit and 0 to receive.. It is just that simple. One of the many well thought out features is the “WATCH-DOG” or maybe I should say “WATCH- GIRL”… If for any reason you lose control VIA of your Cell Phone, she will shut ALL controlled equipment off in either 1.5 or 3 minutes. (the WATCH-GIRL time is controllable by you ) . This is a very good safe guard feature. If you do not respond to her in 3 minutes she will say is a sweet little voice, “ are you still there”???? If you are there, just hits the star key and she will say,” OK”… if not, the whole system will shut down in 30 seconds. But the RBS 212 will stay alive and will be up for you to try to reestablish your control.

I use a dedicated Magic-Jack Plus for my control phone line. It seems to work very well. One thing I have noticed with one of my Cell phones ( LG-221C ) and that is it has NOISE CANCELLING and the back ground noise on the receiver mutes the darn phone receiver. When there is voice, it is okay, but weak signals don’t make it through.. My other cell phones work very well thou… If anyone knows of a way to TURN OFF the noise cancelling on this phone; please email me. ….

Just playing around, I have had several of my ham friends over the southeast call my Magic-Jack Plus number and use the system.. They all can make it work very well and I might add, the transmit audio is excellent …

The bottom line is I am very happy with my RBS-212 ….

I can just see it now… A country song played on WSM entitled, “ I fell in love with the little girl in my RBS 212” !!!!

With that, very good 73s


WA3QCV Rating: 2012-08-13
Great Setup! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is a Great setup. I use mine on 75 and 40 meters when I'm on the road Camping in my motorhome and late nights on the way home from work. I use it with a Icom 706 MKIIG setup just for use with the Remote Shack.

Give it a Try!

73 Tim WA3QCV
N9ZU Rating: 2012-06-16
Super Product! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've been looking for something simple and effective as the RemoteShack to link me back to my home station when I travel. The product is extremely easy to install and use. The DTMF menus are well designed and you will have them memorized before you know it. I use my RemoteShack with my backup rig (Yaesu FT-450AT) and it works flawlessly. The remote turn on/off feature is great as the radio does not need to stay on 24 hrs. Also, it's great to know the customer service behind this product is top notch. John is very focused on making sure every client is 100% satisfied. Make you sure you speak with him prior to ordering as he has many suggestions on how the product can be used.
AA4EE Rating: 2012-06-04
a fabulous device! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
we go to our summer home each year in Rochester, NY. Because of layout of the condo in NY, and the noise in the receiver, operation from NY is all but useless. I purchased the RBC-212 for use at home QTH in FT. Lauderdale, with Kenwood 480. I have been using the unit for one month- and it works perfectly! I chat with friend on 40 at 7AM, then switch to 20 at 8! The hookup is simple, and the operation easier! (and for dummies like me, if I screw up- which does not happen too often- the system does reset). that feature alone is a lifesaver- I will not return to Florida for months! It works- and I am back on the air!
bob, aa4ee