R e m o t e  R a d i o


Before my holiday in September 2015, I wanted to explore the idea of operating my station at home remotely. Initially I wanted to just keep in touch with a local net on 2m, but with some thought and testing, I now have full control of the radio so I can power on and off, change frequency, bands and modes. I can even operate safely whilst mobile using the built-in bluetooth system of the vehicle.

There are many ways in which you can set up remote radio. My way is very simple and is suitable for my needs. This is how I do it.

Simple method for fixed frequency operation:
Install Skype on your mobile phone, tablet, PC or Laptop and create a new account solely to be used for remote.

Create another new account on your home PC which is connected to your radio. This will have to be set up to automatically answer an incoming call and linked to the sound card or interface for the radio's audio.

You will have to refer to your radio's handbook to correctly set up some of the menus for data operation such as Data Vox, Data Vox Delay and Data Vox Gain. Below are menu settings for my FT-991 but all radio's are different and older models may not support data. 

Once Skype on the home PC has been configured and your radio set up to a sound card or interface, you will now be able to dial up your Skype account on your home PC from your mobile device and the call should be automatically answered and you willl hear the radio's audio. By talking into the mobile device, the radio should transmit as if you are using VOX. 

This is a very simple way of getting on air remotely to a fixed frequency. Once you get this far, you may want to start controlling your radio. 

I use a Yaesu FT-991, Ham Radio Deluxe, Commcat, Commcat Mobile App, Skype and an iPhone.

The FT-991 has a built in sound card so no other interface is required. The rig is connected to the computer by a single USB lead.

The menu options need to be configured for remote operating. For the FT-991, my settings are as follows-:

031 Cat Rate, 38400
060 PC Keying, RTS
071 Data PTT Select, RTS
072 Data Port Select, USB
109 SSB Out Level, 80
110 SSB PTT Select, RTS
111 SSB Port Select, USB
144 VOX Select, DATA
148 Data Vox Gain, 75
149 Data Vox Delay, 250ms

On the front panel function buttons selectable from the touch screen, turn the "VOX" on (D-VOX will appear above the S-meter) and adjust "DT Gain" to 40

Next is to connect the FT-991 to the computer for CAT control by launching Ham Radio Deluxe. Once running, I then start CommCat which I configured to see Ham Radio Deluxe as the radio. CommCat will now read data from Ham Radio Deluxe.

Now it's time to launch and configure CommCat Mobile App on the iPhone. If all is well, the app will see the current radio status. Tap the AUDIO button and you will hear your radio's audio and if you speak, it will TX.