Working FT-8 with WSJT-X and a smartphone

Working FT-8 is usually really easy thanks to WSJT-X.

It doesn’t need to much actions from the operator… just double click and wait and all the QSO will be done more or less automatically.

This way of automatize the QSO may be sometimes a little bit boring as you don’t have to do many things but it also has some benefits.

I was looking for a way to practice some hamradio when I was not at home… I have tested several things but all of them required quite a lot of equipment and complex operations, a computer or whatever.

So, my target was to find a way to do something from my smartphone.

Remoterig has an android software that you can use, even for voice communications… it is not too bad but it is not the best to call a DX when you are on a public place like a supermarket, in an airport… anyway, digital communications came to my mind.

The first step is to make everything work locally:

Raspberry Pi with Raspbian and WSJT-X.

Once my radio is connected to the Raspberry Pi and it is possible to do QSOs, it is time to do it remotelly.

In the Raspberry Pi, install the realvnc-vnc-server package.

In my smartphone I installed also the VNC Viewer app.

Now I can connect my mobile to the VNC server in the Raspberry Pi.

To switch on and off the Raspberry Pi and the radio remotely I am using a RemoteRig WebSwitch and the Android app. It is a very basic app, not very fancy but it does what it is expected to do.

That’s all, just one additional comment to this configuration:

I don’t recommend to expose directly the VNC server in your home network to the Internet.

How to connect securely and configure a VPN to connect from the Internet to my home network so I can connect via VNC to my Raspberry Pi is out of the scope of this post 🙂

So, today I am able to do digital communications with my Smartphone, wherever I am, connecting via VPN to a Raspberry Pi at home.

It is great to feel the hamradio is situations that it would not be possible!

The following is a screenshot of my smartphone:

Enjoy!

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