From Far Far Away – Working Remote with the TenTec Omni VII 27 - August - 2007Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW Operations.
The new TenTec 588 Omni VII is one of the few radios that allow direct connection to the Internet via a built-in Ethernet connectivity.
First efforts to work two different Omni VIIs remotely have been partially rewarding and part frustrating.
Starting with a friend’s Omni VII we found we had to work through some fairly in depth Router configurations. His home network is large and has evolved through several different Internet sources and overall configurations, making the actual pathways less intuitive than expected.
The Onmi VII’s connectivity focuses on having a Static IP address for the network, a on-network static IP address for the Omni VII itself and a group of UDP Ports that have been Port Forwarded & otherwise unfettered for remote use. None of this is beyond a ham’s ability if they choose to dig into it, but we did need some professional help due to the complex configuration at the remote local network.
I was able to connect to my friend’s Omni VII fairly quickly, and had very good receive audio, but my transmit audio was rougher that the voice of an old-style Country & Western Singer after two bottles of ‘shine and half a carton of best cigs…. “Gravel” be thy name! Certainly unsatisfactory.
Time to start working in earnest on setup. Initially I was using a Heil Pro Set Media Pro boomset that Bob Heil recommended for the application. When I am having troubles configuring a bit of technology I have found it useful to eliminate variables caused my new gear until I get the software under control and switched to the Logitech Premium USB 350 HeadsetI have been using for Echolink/EchoMac and iChat.
I expect to return to the more comfortable and “radio amateur like” Heil boomset once I get the system working correctly.
The computer is an older Dell Desktop Pent-IV box running XP Home that has been running my digital station for the past several years. Connectivity is better than 2 Mbps up/down both ends.
Working with TenTec’s Gary N4CJX we decided I should connect to one of TenTec’s own Omni VII setups and check things out. Working with Gary N4CJX I was able to greatly improve the situation, but a latency and rumble still occur.
The culprit has every sign of being the old Dell box. I am using the on-board audio on a rather modest computer that I really had never used for voice audio work in the past. So the next step is to try it with a decent remote computer.
All in all the SWL side was excellent, and the final TX Audio acceptable, but below my personal standards of acceptability. Expecting that the next round of tweaks, including substituting a “real computer” with a “real sound-card” and lots of RAM will make a difference.
Expect further reports!