This post is a continuation of the previous post dealing with remote operation. To configure a truly remote operation one would need some way to turn equipment “ON” and “OFF” from afar. West Mountain Radio has engineered a solution for this. The RIGrunner 4005i seem to fit the bill. It’s an IP-based power distribution panel that allows the user to remotely switch DC power to multiple accessories through the use of a built-in webserver. It allows for monitoring and control of five outputs. I found this item advertised in a recent copy of CQ magazine. I’d heard this was possible but the West Mountain folks seem to have it packaged into a unit ready for mainstream use. The price is a little salty, about as much as a current tablet computer or netbook. The price will deter many folks but for those who are dedicated to remote ops, I think it’ll be a winner. This is definitlely a product designed for a niche market. However, one thing the West Mountain has been good at has been engineering various products that are well-made for a variety of specialty applications–whether it be digimode operation, rig control, or DC power distribution options.
I have a RIGblaster Pro that I used with an older ham radio and it’s worked very well for rig control and digimodes. With my new Flex-5k I don’t need these external peripherals but there are many hams out there that still use radios that cannot simply be interfaced to computers and soundcards by simple plug-n-play USB cables and the like. So, I hope this doesn’t come off like an add for WMR (since I’ve purchased all my own components over the years). I hope this might be of interest and provide options to further enhance remote operations to those who are away from home or cannot have a station in their home.