Friday, May 22, 2009

Remote part deux

Scott responded to my recent blog post on Remote control of the F5K. he kindly consented to publication of his thoughts and experience.

The iPhone thing is old news I should have guessed...if you can think it you can do it


Just wanted to thank you for including my experience in your post! I think a lot of people think remote operation is a lot harder than it really is. The fact is, it's not, and I GREATLY increase my operating time by being able to operate remote.

You mentioned using an iPhone... I'm already doing that too! Last month or two, Apple rolled out Skype on the iPhone, and it works great although the lag does increase a little bit. I assume this is from the slower processor. There is also 'RDP' and 'VNC' applications to control the rig. All three are free! If your iPhone is jailbroken (i.e. hacked to run unauthorized software), you can also install a program called 'Backgrounder', that will allow any application to run in the background while you switch to another application. This allows you to start your Skype connection, then flip over to VNC/RDP to control the rig. I planted my tomato plants this year while following a local 80M traffic net, followed by a DX pileup. Very cool!!

As far as my experienc with RDP and VNC goes... The SDR machine is the only Windows computer in the house. Everything else is Mac OSX. The only VNC mac client I've found is called "Chicken of the VNC", and no matter how I set it up, the screen updates about every 5-7 seconds, even when wired on my gigabit home network. It might be the mac's implementation of the VNC protocol; I hadn't tested it from any other hosts. But in my situation, Microsoft's RDP client far outpaces Chicken Of The VNC. I also used TightVNC when I tested it last. I whole-heartedly agree with you about the Microsoft Bloat, and this is one of the very rare times I favor an MS application! :)

73 and have a great weekend!
Scott, N5KRC

This makes applications like DDUTIL even more useful. WIth DDUTIL you can design a really remote-able station including beam pointing and antenna selection and amplifier control