By Adrian Jarrett-K6KY
After hearing a presentation on WSJT, JT65 and JT9 HF modes, I ordered a new interface cable for my Signalink USB and eagerly awaited its arrival.
I downloaded the WSJT-X program and set up the Signalink with a TS2000 and enjoyed a couple of Qs. Then I realized why I had abandoned WSJT some time ago; it is so, so slow. Not only that, but spending evenings in the Attic Shack was a bit antisocial to the rest of the family; there had to be a better way. WSJT-X can control a rig to set frequency appropriate for the mode in use, in a selected band, and so I used a serial link to the TS2000 for frequency control. The signalink controlled the TX/RX changeover.
I spent half a Saturday trying to set up a Windows remote desktop, which looked very easy from the help files, but I could not get it to work. In my search for online help, I found a PC Magazine article on remote desktops. They recommended TeamViewer. For private use it is available for free; a good price. I downloaded the program from www.teamviewer.com onto a couple of Windows PCs fired it up on the ‘to be controlled’ PC that was connected to the Signalink and the TS2000, also known as the local PC.
The Teamviewer panel gives each computer an ID and password. The local PC ID and password is entered into the remote PC and presto, after hitting ‘connect…’ you see the local PC desktop on the remote PC.
Then it is as easy as if you were sitting at the local PC in front of your rig, but a bit more sociable and closer to the blender for Margaritas.
A few words of warning: If you set up remote control for your rig be sure to check that the power levels and antenna VSWR are acceptable on any band you may switch to. The WSJT-X has a limited rig interface and does not provide feedback on actual parameters that the rig is operating with. Of course, you could set up a webcam so you can see your rig controls.
You can run any program via the remote desktop. I use Clock from F6CTE to sync to UTC as required by WSJT and I use FLDIGI for other digimodes. Both work just fine via the remote desktop. I also use the TeamViewer app on my iPhone, so I can even work digimodes on the go. What’s next; how about a Skype interface for SSB? Another warning; keep the volume on the rig turned off. Household occupants get a little edgy with WSJT or PSK warbling around in the background for hours on end.