Summary of HF Remote Setup and Operation
Instructions for installing and configuring all of the software and hardware required for operating your HF station remotely using the internet have been described in detail on other pages of this website. The following as an operator’s ‘quick’ guide for HF operations:
On your Home Computer
1. Make certain HRD Remote Server has been started; it will then start whenever your computer restarts. HRD should not be running on your home computer when you are using HRD on your remote computer.
2. PstRotatorAz, Skype, and LogMeIn Hamachi² should be configured to start whenever your computer restarts. All three of these programs must be running on your home computer when you operate HF remote from your remote computer.
3. Connect the Picaxe board to your computer, the DTS-4/6 and necessary control relays, and 12VDC supply.
4. Connect the Signalink USB (or other interface) to your computer and radio and leave it on at all times.
5. Your radio must turned on in order for HRD running on your remote computer to connect. You may leave your radio on at all times or turn on your radio using a relay controlled by the W0JEC Station Control/DST program. Another alternative is to use HRD to turn your radio on and off. HRD is able to turn off most modern radios and leave them in a state that allows HRD to turn them back on remotely from your remote computer — see the HRD operators manual for details.
On Your Remote Computer
1. PstRotatorAz and Skype may be configured to start whenever your remote computer restarts or you can start them when you want to operate HF remote from your remote computer. Open Skype and call your home computer to establish an audio connection to your radio. Skype on your home computer must be configured to automatically answer when you place the call.
2. Start HRD and connect to your radio. If you used HRD to turn off your radio previously, initiating the connection will turn your radio on. Otherwise, your radio must be left on at all times so HRD can connect.
3. Last, start the W0JEC Station-DTS Control program. If you have connectivity to your home computer through the W0JEC Server on your home computer, your Picaxe chip will report that a serial connection has been made and you should see the “Serial Communications OK” message.
When all software has been properly configured on both your home and remote computers, the Picaxe microcontroller will turn on and off station accessories and operate your antenna switch. HRD will control your radio and Skype will provide an audio pathway for send and receive audio. PstRotatorAz will operate your antenna rotator. Life is good!
Shutting down the station is simply a matter of exiting HRD (and instructing the software to turn off your radio), exiting the W0JEC Station-DTS Control program, exiting PstRotatorAz, and hanging up and closing Skype. When you disconnect the serial connection to the Picaxe microcontroller, it will automatically ground all antennas and turn off all station accessories.
Important Note for Users of the Previous Version of the W0JEC
station and antenna software.
There is no longer a need to install virtual ports and use the HRD Serial Client software for communication with the Picaxe microcontroller on your home computer. The latest version of the W0JEC software includes a ‘built-in’ TCP client and W0JEC Server is provided as a TCP server for your home computer. Download and install the latest version of the software for greatly simplified startup and operation. There is no change to the Picaxe microcontroller programming or the hardware schematic.