Remote Hamming

Success! I am sitting here at breakfast about 35 miles from home drinking a coffee. I fired up the laptop and connected remotely to my home network. Once I started HRD and MMTTY I tuned up 20M and found TF3PPN, Jon in Iceland calling CQ on RTTY. With a single call I was able to have my first remote DX contact logged.

Now the details as I have tried this once before. The main problem I faced was that of a good Internet connection. Currently I have a USB Verizon modem that seems to do an adequate job, as long as I get a stable connection. At home I am running Real VNC on my ham radio PC as well as Skype. Due to the networking requirements I had to give my ham PC a static LAN IP address and open ports 5800 and 5900 in order to use the client.

When I am on the road I start Skype and the Real VNC client after making a wireless connection. My desktop of my ham PC comes to the screen and I have nearly full access to my ham radio. While things are still in a “test” mode I am using Ham Radio Deluxe for rig control and MMTTY for my RTTY work.

Skype is running on my ham PC, while the microphone is on my web cam, which is pointed at the face of the radio in order to read frequencies. While not necessary I figured this would be an easy way to get the sound to Skype without having to modify my current setup.

The previous remote QSO I had was a few years back while on BART as I departed Walnut Creek I had a domestic QSO. While I don’t plan to do any (or much) contesting remotely, this will give me another option while I am mobile. I am looking to pick up a CT-58 CAT cable for the Yaesu FT-857D as well as an interface cable for digital modes. This way I can attempt modes like RTTY and PSK31 while on the road (well parked at work).

Stay tuned for more details and success stories as this is looking like it will be a great chance to try something a bit different.


Guess I must give Greg in SoCal some props for reintroducing me to Skype this last week. I knew it existed and had used it previous when I hosted my radio show, allowing people to “call in” to the show. It seems this new version is much improved and with the Logitech 9000, it makes for a very solid package.

Greg and I talked Tuesday and Wednesday and I was taken back with the clarity of the picture. Very little delay or lag when talking to him. Of course he had a few issues when he was on his game PC, his image was a bit degraded and there were some latency issues. Nothing that really cased too many issues and most of them cleared up within seconds.

I got my parents in San Diego to install it on the Mac laptop yesterday. Now they are somewhat behind the technology curve. Facebook is a completely new experience for my mom, while dad is pretty much up to terms when it comes to technology. So thankfully they had no problems installing and using the application.

This will now give them the chance to see their grandson more often. That is if I can tear him away from “Mars.” No, not the planet, the video game. You might know it as MarioKart for the Nintendo Wii. That is what is calls Mario. Regardless he likes being in front of the camera and although he wanted to get back to his game, he did say hello and talk to his grandparents.

Now to get my sister connected and using Skype. If you use the application, e-mail me and I’ll look at adding you.