Re: Equipment Planning Question #elmer
Alan - W6WN
A lot of great suggestions were offered above for third-party Remoting solutions, but all involve some level of complexity to setup. Here are my suggestions:
2. If you want remote access to reach two meter repeaters, why wait for a radio? Sign up on Echolink.com now and download the desktop and phone apps. It's free. Get yourself a decent headset that will plug into your PC or laptop. I use a Logitech H390 USB headset that costs all of $18, including shipping, and gets great sound reports. Search for the W6EK repeater in the Echolink app and hop on. Join us for the weekly SFARC Net on Thursdays, and the Elmer Net every other Wednesday. Easy Peasy!
3. Now you've bought yourself some time to do your research on rigs and control methods and make your selection. I see you currently have a Technician class license. I recommend you think about what you would like to own once you get your General or Extra-class license and buy accordingly, with an eye towards expanded band privileges.
4. Once you're ready, order your new receiver(s) and get a modest single- or dual-band vertical antenna. Good, dual-band verticals under 6' tall can be had for less than $100 and are hardly noticeable. Install it on your roof as high as you can (or wherever your spouse will let you), and run a few feet of good cable into the house. That way, you can set up a base station, close by, in your own home, and then experiment with remoting into it, starting with a laptop right next to your rig, so you can see what's going on at both ends.
5. Once you perfect that, move your laptop to to the living room and make it work from there.
6. Then you can think about moving the whole affair to your preferred remote location. There, you can put in an even bigger antenna if you like. I have a Diamond X510 dual-bander that's about 17' tall at my house. With the 50-watt 2730, it gets out just fine, and I can hit repeaters all up and down the Sacramento Valley, as well as into Amador and Placer County. The 2730 moves back and forth between my home and car as needed. (My car has a dual-band mag-mounted antenna that also moves to different cars as needed :)