A few people have asked recently how to get started on the SPARC Remote station. For those that may not know, a benefit of SPARC membership is the ability to use the club station remotely via your PC. This is done via the free RemoteHams software. You can always find information on how to get started on our Remote Station page but I will summarize it here too. The complete RemoteHams Getting Started Guide is available as a PDF. I highly recommend reading this before you get started.
Assuming you are a member of SPARC and are in the Tampa Bay area (we limit it to local members so people in Seattle for example don’t join just for the remote). The first step is to go to the remotehams.com website and create an account. It is important to use your callsign as your account name. After you register, download the software. Note this software is available for only Windows or an Android phone (the phone app has a nominal cost). If you have a Mac, use your favorite emulator (I did not write the software so I cannot change what it available). You can select the latest version 8 or version 9 client. Version 9 is beta but does include support for a straight key/paddle via an interface device. If you are interested in using a paddle for CW, ask Tom NY4I for more info on how to do this. Dean W8IM does this all the time with great success.
This is a great way for people that may not have their own HF station at home or have limited antennas. We have a great HF station capable of using 160 meters through 6 meters. You have access to an Elecraft K3, a fully controllable rotor and access to the Elecraft KPA1500 HF amplifier. Once you setup your headset and use the interface, it is quite easy to operate. Before you are allowed to transmit, we will ask that you get checked out the equipment. We want to make sure you know how to operate the station. We can arrange that at the station in person or even remotely depending upon your experience level.
The remote is woefully underutilized now so I hope this reminder stimulates some people to take advantage of it. One way to keep up on what is happening with the remote station is to connect to our RemoteHFStation email group. Send an email to SPARCRemoteHFStationfirstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe.