TS 480 Remote operation:
Four programs are used to accomplish the internet remote function:
VNC, a remote desktop program. www.vnc.com this is a free program and places the remote user “in front of the host” computer. The remote user can control all of the functions of the host and see the screen ….just like sitting in front of it.
VNC must be running in “Service” mode and has to be running on the host computer at all times. You may need to open a port in your router, if you use one, to allow VNC to get through. 5900 is the default.
Skype, the VOIP program that allows audio to be sent back and forth over the internet to and from the 480. www.skype.com this is also a free program.
ARHP-10 this is the Kenwood computer control program that allows a user to operate the 480 from a computer. This comes with the 480 and/or can be downloaded from Kenwood.
http://www.kenwood.com/i/products/info/amateur.html has the program and additional info about operating the 480 remotely.
EzDNS, this is a program that checks the IP address for the host computer and sends out an email when it changes. www.ezdns.com this program cost about $15.00. This is necessary unless the host computer has a fixed IP address. Most ISPs don’t provide fixed IP address unless you pay extra fees. The IP address of the host computer may change every few months or even daily depending on how the ISP operates. Without the current IP address it is not possible to connect to the host computer….its the “phone number….so to speak”.
I just started using a new free service…… www.dyndns.com “The Dynamic DNS service allows you to alias a dynamic IP address to a static hostname in any of the many domains we offer, allowing your computer to be more easily accessed from various locations on the Internet. We provide this service, for up to five (5) hostnames, free to the Internet community.”
Follow the links for “Home Solutions” .
This service allows you to just enter a domain name, that you select, such as firstname.lastname@example.org. Their service keeps track of the actual IP address.
Now for the actual hookup:
Connect 480 to host computer just as Kenwood says:
Received audio from the 480….
Take received audio output from the Data port on the body of the radio, pin 5. ….this plugs into the microphone input (generally a pink or red jack.) or Line in (generally a blue jack.) on the host computer sound card.
For some reason if you select the Line in port, it has to be re-selected each time on the host audio control panel. (software) Both work, but the line input does not amplify the audio quite as much and the level of the audio out from the 480 can be set a little higher.
This is set in the radio menu item # 47. This is further modified using the computers audio control Record setting panel, line input control or the mic input control.
Generally set the radio, #47, to 1 or 2 and the host audio control to about 30%.
This received audio is then sent over the internet using Skype VOIP program that is running on the host computer. Well, a remote user has to place a ”Skype” call to the host computer first. Set Skype on the host computer to “auto answer”.
The level of received “radio” audio that you actually hear coming from the remote computer is set using the Play audio control panel on the remote computer. The wave or overall volume setting controls how loud the received audio is at the remote computer.
Note: Mute the Microphone in the Play audio control panel to prevent feedback within the audio card.
Transmit audio to the 480….
The microphone or transmit audio going to the 480 comes from the host computer speaker output jack on the rear of the host computer. (generally a green jack.)
This audio arrives via the internet using Skype VOIP program, here again a remote caller must connect to the host computer first to establish the audio link.
The level of output from the host computer is set using the Playback audio control panel …the Wave slider and the overall volume slider control this. Start with about 25%~30%.
The “Mic Gain” control in the radio is set using menu item #46. The actual Mic gain control on the radio does not seem to control audio levels for audio sent it via the Data port.
One important item is to check the DTS box on the Setup panel within the ARHP-10 program. For some reason if RTS is checked ….no transmit audio is accepted thru the Data port. I spent hours figuring this out.
In this setup there are no isolation transformers nor Rig Blaster between the radio and the computer. Kenwood seems to have taken care of the hum problem within the 480. Also by using the Data in port you are not amplifying the audio input as much as if you had input the audio via the microphone connection. I think that helps.
The level of the audio going over the internet is set at the remote computer via the Record control panel, Microphone level slider. This device should be selected. The level will seem to set itself.
A word about the levels used to set the transmit audio…..unlike just sitting in front of your rig and only having the microphone gain and the processor control to set the transmit audio…now there is the remote computer sending audio over the internet using Skype and the host computer at the radio location too. All of the level controls in this chain control the amount and the quality of the audio transmission.
I suggest you find another ham in your local area (around the host location) to help with setting these levels. You just need someone that can hear your transmitted audio very clearly with out QSB and QRM.
Run tests with various settings …… it will be critical and take some “cutting and trying”.
There will be a point that is better and worse. Overdriving the rig is a problem.
This entire process of bringing up a remote base requires the help of others. You can’t monitor your transmitted audio yourself.
Note: the Data jack on the rear of the 480 requires a male 6 pin mini DIN connecter.
These may be hard to find…and harder to solder the wires to the little pins. An easy source for this plug and cable is to purchase a keyboard extension cable and cut off the female end. The cable is cheap and all that is needed is to identify the correct pins and solder on two 1/8” stereo audio plugs. I actually used a USB keyboard cable and an adapter from USB to 6 pin mini DIN.