Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Remote confusion

It seems that some people are a little bit confused by the calls used when someone operates an Internet remote control station. When I use F/G4ILO they think, quite understandably, that I am on holiday in France. When told that I am in England and operating the station by remote control some people wonder why I am using the F prefix. But the rules state that you must use the same call that you would use if you were actually sat in the remote shack and operating normally. The fact that I have a very long microphone cable and am in a different country makes no difference. Imagine the confusion if someone from a DX location operated a remote control station in Europe using just their normal call! It really makes sense when you think about it.

I'm a little confused myself by this, though for a different reason. I'm enjoying this remote control operating so much I'm starting to wonder what is the point of having all this expensive equipment here. I listen to what I can hear through my headphones from F4JRC, then I listen to what I can hear on the same frequency through the terrible noise on my attic dipole here, and I wonder why I persevere. I could sell most of my gear and pay for a few years subscription to use a remote like HB9AZT.

Every QSO I have had has been so enjoyable, too, because hardly anyone has contacted a remotely controlled station before and they want to know all about it. The two stations I contacted tonight were interesting in their own right, too. First I worked Roberto, PD5X, who had outstanding audio - and it's a testimony to both the TS-2000 and Skype that I could tell it was outstanding in my remote headphones. He was using an IC-7700, a PR40 professional mic and a W2IHY audio equalizer. Then I contacted someone with possibly the longest call ever: PA/DL1GGL/MM. Ludwig was on a 28ft boat just north of the Netherlands running 80W into the mainstay. I never make interesting contacts like that using my own gear!

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