Some products in the electronics world are amazingly complex and after taking a good amount of time to understand and set-up, they work. In the past 24 hours or so I was VERY happy to see just how seemingly simple to set-up and use the remote station platform called RCForb really is.
I certainly am no Electrical Engineer or Software Guru. I have been a ham for 10 years and have worked the digital side of ham radio for maybe 5 – 6 years. So – my caveat is that some of this MAY seem simple because I have been through it before, have made my mistakes, and know what not to do and what TO do. I am also pure Polish, so… smile.
Here is a link to the THREE components of this magic that I am running:
NOTE: You have to be a licensed ham to use all the capabilities of the system. To prove that, they require that you upload an OFFICIAL COPY of your FCC license. There are other types of copies you can obtain from the FCC. The Official Copy can be tough to obtain, but is free! To get it you will need to go the FCC.gov’s ULS database and use your FRN number and password to request it. If you can’t find those and or forgot them – you can reset your password easily. For the FRN number you need to contact their support people through their website – or call, etc.. Given the amount of requests they must get I think they respond pretty quickly. “Grumpy Guss” probably won’t agree. He’s “that guy” that will grouse about anything… My scientific sample is based on one personal interaction years ago…
Now – you can control OTHER’s ham radios with TWO pieces of software from the website above. You need the SERVER software (third piece) if you want to control your own and optionally allow others to also control your hardware.
There was an article in the recent version of QST magazine about this system that got me interested. The article was quite good. I was able to read the article, find and download the software, install it on my PC and Android smartphone, register for the system, upload my license, configure all components to at least acceptable functionality for my needs – all without any material amount of time reading manuals.
I found menus straight forward. Another caveat. I do run Ham Radio Deluxe on my PC and run a RTL-SDR radio with various software. Because of that, many of the setting requirements made sense to me and I was able to pretty much breeze through the process.
I wrote this blog post for a couple of reasons. One is to give credit to the creators of the system. The other is to give them some free advertising for their fine product(s). Mission accomplished! I now am able to listen to our ham radio base station literally from anywhere in the world. For me, this is likely to be in the living room, bedroom and maybe while out mowing the golf course.
Good luck with the system. I saw and downloaded the manuals and fully intend to read through those (in typical male fashion) now that the installation is complete and functional.
Until next time – stay radio active!
Jon E. Kreski – AB9NN