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TailScale: The Holy Grail of VPNs for Amateur Radio Remote Operation

Operating an Amateur Radio station remotely will require you to have some understanding of network fundamentals.   If you are the station owner, this may require knowledge of IP Addressing, protocols and perhaps port forwarding.    Depending on who supplies your Internet, their may be insurmountable issues. In this blog post, I'm going to explain the complexities of hosting a remote station, and a solution to solving the issues for 99% of the situations out there.   I've tested this solution in many scenarios, and I can say that it works pretty flawlessly. First, some basics.   If you understand  IP and routing, or just want to get to the info about TailScale, skip this part.  However, to many hams it remains a mystery. About IP and Routing Every Internet connection has an IP address.  Think of it as a unique address -- similar to your home address.    With that unique address, any other computer in the world can reach your router (your home.) There are two schemes in use today
Recent posts

Introducing CATMapper: A Windows Utility to Map VFO Functionality between Radios!

  Many types of remote solutions offer only an on-screen VFO (Icom, Yaesu, Flex applications come to mind.)   However, many of us own some type of HF radio that has CAT computer control. What if you could use the hardware VFO (tuning knobs) from an existing radio to control the VFO on a  virtual radio's control panel? I tested this concept out in ARRL DX SSB this year, using an Elecraft K3/0 Mini and the Flex SmartSDR! It worked quite well (despite some initial bugs). The program uses VE3NEA'S OmniRig application, which does the heavy lifting of all the CAT commands for various radios.   How does it work?   Simply ensure the radio you are controlling with, and the radio you want to control both have COM port connectivity.  Then, start CATMapper, go to the File menu, and choose "Configure..." from the menu.  In the OmniRig dialog, configure each radio (Rig1 and Rig2), specifying baud rates, etc.  I recommend a 150mS poll time for smooth operation. Once you press the OK

Automation in Amateur Radio: RS-232 for local and remote applications

 If you are a modern radio ham, you deal much with the RS-232 Serial standard. High-Frequency ham gear has had a computer interface since at least the 1990s.    The common name for this interface is Computer-Aided Transceiver -- CAT -- a term coined by Yaesu I believe.      Using the CAT interface, one can read or change the frequency of the radio, change bands, and adjust the majority of controls found on the faceplate of the radio. CAT is a "staple", and the minimum level of automation for both local and remote control of an amateur station.   Some modern radios use USB (The Universal Serial Bus) for CAT.   USB is bit harder to automate in remote situations, but not impossible. Beyond CAT control of the radio, there is control of other auxiliary components in the station -- amplifiers, rotators, antenna switches, and keying mechanisms for CW/PTT. RS-232 and the modern Windows computer In order to interface your radio or other peripheral to your PC, be it a laptop or desktop

About this blog

Hello, I'm Gerry, W1VE, among many other calls.   I've been an amateur radio operator for some 45 years.   My primary operating activities are HF (shortwave) radio, using morse code (CW), and participating in contests (Radiosport).    My vocation is software engineering.  Luckily, I've been able to combine my hobby with my vocation in interesting ways. For the past 10 years, I've been involved in a rapidly-advancing component of the hobby -- remote radio operation.   This means operating a radio in another part of the country or world using a remote connection -- typically the Internet. Why operate remotely?   That question has many answers.   Some people want to operate remotely because they live in an apartment or antenna-restricted location.   Others choose remote because they are interested in understanding propagation from different places on the globe. As a radiosport operator, I enjoy helping multi-operator teams working together to build winning teams and statio