Remote Rig Configuration

Many have asked for more detail about setting up the Microbit Remote Rig RRC1258MKIIS units.  Jumpers inside must be configured and on the outside there are a lot of connectors to deal with.  Here are some pictures of the setup used at our two remote bases.  Use these pictures along with the Remote Rig manual to explain what is connected where.

The very first step is to install the jumpers.  Notice the orientation carefully because the manual is confusing on this.  The Ethernet connector is on the left.

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Next to set up is the “control” end where the TS-480 front panel will be located.  It’s very simple and clean with just a few cables.  The Kenwood extension cable is used between the front panel and the front of “control” Remote Rig.  That knob on the right controls CW sending speed.  Also notice the mini-USB connector at the lower left hand side.  That will be connected later for CAT control.

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The back end of the “control” Remote Rig has only a 12 volt power cable and the Ethernet connection to the router.

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Now we get into more of a mess on the “radio” end.  This is the end of the setup where the transceiver and antennas reside.  The backside is quite clean with only a 12 volt power cable and an Ethernet connection.  It’s the front side that looks like spaghetti.

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It’s still fairly possible to follow the cables in the picture below.

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CAT control was not hooked up yet in the above pictures.  In the two pictures below you can see both ends of the RS-232 cable connected to make CAT work.  First it’s plugged into the transceiver’s RS-232 port on the right.

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Remote Rig also provides independent data channels that can be used to control almost anything.  One is being used here at the “radio” end for CAT control.  Connect the other end of the cable to the correct RS-232 port on the Remote Rig.  I chose to use Com 2. At the control end a cable will need to be added between the computer and the Remote Rig to complete the CAT circuit.  The computer in this case is used only for CAT control and nothing to do with any remote control functions.  No RS-232 connector on newer computers?  No problem.  At the “control” end the Remote Rig has a USB port and a USB cable can be used between the pc and the Remote Rig.

Make an end-to-end test in the shack and when everything is working to your satisfaction the “radio” setup can be moved to the remote site.   Good luck.

 

 

 

 

 

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Second Remote Base Progress Report

We are in the process of building a remote base at a second location.  Installed and ready for testing are the transceiver, the tower, the antenna, the cabinet, electricity, and the winch for raising and lowering the tower.  All that remains is getting Internet installed.  The rusted off tower mount has been replaced with a roof mount and the tower has been standing since August 1.

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This remote base is designed to operate only the upper HF bands so the antenna is a 20 meter dipole.  A dipole at this height (50′) models very well for dx especially when it’s at the top of a hill.  This hill slopes away to the north and east.  Great for DX.

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Invisible to the eye is a 1:1 balun at the feedpoint.  LMR400 coax is attached and runs down the inside of the aluminum mast.  The dipole is made up of two 16′ crappie fishing poles with a thin wire taped to them.  No rotator is installed at this time.  The dipole is oriented north and south so it’s coverage pattern is east and west from Colorado.  That should cover a good deal of the globe.

The new roof mount is attached to the old concrete base with four half inch expansion bolts.  New holes had to be drilled into the concrete base with a hammer drill.  Here is a snapshot of the finished base.

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