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RHR Remote Ham Radio

Ron K2RAS Member ✭✭
edited June 2021 in Third-Party Software

I presently have a 6500 and SteppIR antenna but may be moving to an HOA restricted location. Would those with recent experience please provide their opinion of the RHR system? Have the lag issues been resolved for contesting and/or digital modes? Are your preferred sites always available, or are the sites congested? Finally, if you had to do it over again, would you choose this or another service?

Thanks, Ron K2RAS


  • John K3MA
    John K3MA Member ✭✭
    edited March 2021

    I would suggest you download the RCForb client software from www.remotehams.com

    This is not the same as RHR.

    Install it and look around. There are many remote stations that allow you to listen and several that will also allow you to transmit. There are even a couple club type station that require membership.

    In general the stations are not multi-yagi with multi-towers but there are many decent stations and you might find it meets your needs. You can't beat the cost and the interface is easy to use and require relatively little internet bandwidth. You have nothing to loose.

    I know this does not answer your original question but it might be new information for you so I thought it worth posting.

    John K3MA

  • Hi Ron, My disclaimer, I have used RHR since early year 2014, and had my own remote site on it since late 2014. I liked it that much!

    Since you currently use a Flex, you already are well prepared to use the RHR system, which is based on Flex radios. I use RHR nearly every day from my HOA restricted condo.

    I'm not sure how much "lag" matters to you. I don't see any more lag than when I operate to remote Flex radios not on the RHR system. In digital modes like FT8, "lag" really doesn't matter. For contesting, I have operated many contests CW and RTTY. I would say there is perceptible lag, but not enough to stop the contest operating.

    The "preferred" sites are really only congested during a major contest, or when a rare DXpedition is on the air. And there are almost always other bands available (many stations are divided into multiple band-sites) and other sites available if you can't wait until the contest is over, or until a DXer is done snagging the station.

    If I had it to do over again, I would have joined sooner. I don't know of any other service with such a range of good stations and reliability/availability. And when I get tired of maintaining my own station, I expect I will go 100% RHR and enjoy the freedom from maintenance worries.

    Mark K6UFO

  • John K3MA
    John K3MA Member ✭✭

    FYI there is a competitor to RHR.

    John K3MA

  • Ron K2RAS
    Ron K2RAS Member ✭✭

    Thanks for the comments. Any follow-up information is also appreciated.

    Ron K2RAS

  • K6JV
    K6JV Member ✭✭

    I have been a member of RHR since 2015 when they started using Elecraft K30s. (whole network has converted to Flex now).

    The stations are impressive and customer support is excellent.

    With a Maestro it is as you are sitting in front of the radio, though not much of a challenge working DX when operating from Maine on the Atlantic Ocean with a kilowatt and 4 over 4 over 4 😀

    I only occasionally use the stations now as I have my Flex6400 installed remotely at a local repeater site and OCF antenna at 150 feet.

  • Ignacy
    Ignacy Member ✭✭

    Does anybody have any info on lag time with Flex at RHR?

    Ignacy NO9E

  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭

    Late to the party here...

    I joined RHR also back in 2015. The service is good. The people are great. My only issue is that that service can be quite expensive. I do get that stations are high end with big towers etc. So I would expect this service to cost a little but it can really add up.

    So you pay $999 a year just for the privilege of using all the stations. There is I believe a $99 plan that includes only the lower end stations. I find these stations are busy due to the lower cost, they attract more people.

    The big power stations are very nice. A few times I've used one to reach some good DX and you get pretty much right in because you have 1500w and a big, high beam in a great area. One DX called me at almost 40 hour.

    Generally speaking the web consoles work well. Supposedly those of us with SmartSDR can run their network connect stuff in Google Chrome then use our local SmartSDR to mostly control the station. I've only been able to get that to work once. Most of the time the panadapter just never paints.

    I'm a CW op and I purchased their remote DX keyer interface and it works but like we face when trying to remote our Flex radios, remote keying is difficult. But the keyboard interface does work well.

    Hooking up FT8 is possible but it is complex. You have a number of pieces that need to be connected just right for FT8 to work. They have a video on how to do it which makes it look simple, but in my experience it is not.

    So back to price. Most of you can do this math too but here was my take on it:

    Since I have a flex radio, PGXL etc I wouldn't probably want anything less than the high end stations. For that you will pay a flat rate of $999 per year. Then you can pay anywhere from 0.05 per minute all the way up to 0.99 per minute of op time.

    So a very active ham, operating like 4 days a week for like 5 hours a shot, the RHR stations will cost you:

    $2,020 for use of high end

    $1610 for medium

    $1051 for low-end

    That is per year including the $999. So you do two years of RHR and you could buy your own Flex.

    An active ham might do like 3 days a week at 3 hours a shot. This costs:

    $1460 for high end

    $1275 for medium

    $1022 for low end

    Again including the $999.

    The vast majority of us might use less so you can consider the numbers above and just reduce them.

    Now if you don't want the super high end you can reduce this a lot by going with the $99 per year plan and the above numbers drop quickly.

    So the financial side is worth considering. For me, I like to build things and you don't get that with RHR. But yes they have antennas I can never hope to have. So it is a real balance to figure out if it is right for you.

    I wish I could find a good place, like a 2 hour drive away to fully remote my current station on land where I could put up better antennas. I'd choose that route now over RHR. Another 5-7 years of my life and I'd probably choose RHR for the hands off maintenance side.

    But for those of you looking at RHR. It works. It works very well, but it is expensive.

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