Because I work 40 hours per week, I only chase after work (~5:15 PM) and on weekends. I decided to look for a way to remotely operate my KX3 station – where an Internet connection is available. A web search brought me to RemoteTX. net. The list of radios that had been remoted included the KX2 but not the KX3 so I contacted Marcus, AK7MG, who hosts the website. He was actually working on the KX3 and K3(S) interfaces but at that time had not completed them. He asked if I was interested in trying out the current interface and, of course, I said “Yes”. He owns a KX2 and, thus, could not validate his interface for the KX3. Although he had other people trying the KX3 interface, some things such as his remote power-up circuit had not been verified. The power-up requirement for the KX3 differs from that of the KX2. Working with Marcus, we discovered that powering-up the KX3 requires 9V rather than the 5V as originally thought. I use a 9V battery and since power-up only requires a 1 second pulse; it should last a very long time. What was not initially available was remote CW operation which was my principle interest. Marcus and I kicked around some ideas and eventually he came up with an excellent solution which works quite well. Now I can remotely operate my KX3 on CW or phone using either my iPhone or iPad. The website details other options. Voice operation requires either Apple AirPods or a headset as the microphone and speaker on those devices are so close.
Marcus has done a great job on his website (RemoteTx.net) with detailed explanations, diagrams and links to required accessories. He has been very helpful, responsive and accommodating.
What equipment does remoting require and what does it cost? At the station end the requirements are: Raspberry Pi 3B/3B+ with a 16 GB micro SD card & power adapter running RemoteTx software (free download), a sound card dongle for the Raspberry Pi, the Elecraft control cable that comes with the radio, a small relay for remote power-up, a couple TRRS cables for audio in/out (I used a pair from Elecraft), a TRRS splitter (to permit both MIC audio in and remote power-up), a TRRS cable for power-up (one end goes into the splitter and the other end is cut off and wired to the relay / battery) and a few interconnect wires to connect the relay to the Raspberry Pi. All of these items are available on Amazon.com for under $75 US. Wiring up the power-up circuit requires only basic soldering skills. You will also need a RemoteTx service subscription which costs $40 for 6 months or $70 per year. Initially, you will need to configure your Raspberry Pi to the RemoteTx Cloud using an Ethernet connection but afterwards it can be re-configured to operate via WiFi which is what I did.
Currently, interfaces are available for the Elecraft KX2, KX3 and K3(S), the Icom 7100 (HF only), 7200 and 7300. Interfaces for the Yaesu FT-991a, Kenwood TS-480 and TS-590 are in development.
I was neither encouraged nor compensated for this review. I just hope that it helps some other “working stiffs” such as myself to get in a little more chasing.
73 de Derek, WF4I
Pleasant Garden, NC