Accessing Radio-Box via VNC

The main drive has been to getting this radio rig to the point that it’s fully functional over a remote VNC link, rather than having to be bolted to one location to use.

One of the key features to get running properly was the VNC access and again, what was assumed to be straight forward, threw up a few challenges.

One thing I have learnt is that not all VNC packages are made equally! For a long time I’ve used and been more than happy with TightVNC. However, having thought that it would be the solution for remotely accessing SDRConsole on the radio server left me doubting.

It really struggled with screen resolutions and anything graphical. Bearing in mind the waterfall in SDRConsole is the the window to the radio world, not being able to view it in any form vaguely approaching real time meant other solutions had to be found.

Screenshot 2014-11-07 17.24.10

It worked fine with low refresh rate applications such as WSPR, where the redraw is after every 2 minutes, but throw a moving waterfall at it and things started to go very wrong.


After much experimentation Real VNC was found to be the best of the bunch

Screenshot 2014-11-13 12.29.16

Thanks to Andy (G7UHN) for the guidance in fine tuning the setup. I eventually shelled out for a licence which gave access to mirror driver features which greatly enhance the graphical effects and make the whole system workable. RealVNC just works out of the box and requires minimal setup.

Dare I say it’s much better than Tight VNC. It readily scales the remote display to the viewing window size, there is a much faster refresh/redraw of screen.

The main need is to be able to monitor the SDR waterfall to identify signals and potential QSO’s. To aid that I’ve set the native Radio-Box display to a minimalistic Windows XP option, which disables the Aero desktop within Windows 7. I’ve also gone for a blank background and set my Fonts to Clear Type and 125% scaling to aid readability over VNC. I’ve disabled as many visual enhancements and effects that I can find as well.