We welcomed our second child, a daughter, into the family last week. Since she is our second, the time in the hospital was more about making sure she was healthy than us learning all the ropes. So, I had some undisturbed time to read on the Internet with a sleeping baby on my chest…and wish I could remote control my station.
Having been party to the discussion surrounding remoting a local contest station (K4VV), I had seen enough traffic about different VOIP options to start with Mumble for the audio stream. I set up a Mumble server on my Linux server at the house, and then setup the Mumble client on my hamshack computer. I ran a 1/8-inch TRS cable from the rear-apron line-out port of the K3 into the line input of one of my sound cards on the computer. I put a free Mumble client on my iPhone and viola! It worked out of the box.
I have been using Pignology’s HamLog on my phone for quick logging of one-off QSOs and goofing off with its vast array of tools. HamLog also has the ability to remote control a rig using Pignology’s hardware. Since, I’m really not in a good position to drop $300 on a box I’ll use a couple of times per year, I reasoned that there might be an alternative. Enter the socat utility:
root@tula:~# socat /dev/ttyUSB1,raw,echo=0 tcp-listen:7373,fork
Freakin magic. I used HamLog to connect to a “Remote PigTail” and it mostly works. The frequency display does not seem to work and HamLog loses the connection if the phone falls asleep. But, it is functional. Another interesting wrinkle is that when my shack PC screensaver comes on, it mutes the audio stream piped into Mumble. But, those are all minor irritations at this point considering the trivial amount of effort that went into getting a remote control going…