SKYPE Setup

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Page updated: 25 March, 2014 06:53 Hours

Optional use of SKYPE for audio instead of IRB Sound. 

The Handiham Remote Base stations optionally use the free VoIP application SKYPE to port audio to and from the system. If you already have SKYPE installed on your computer, you may skip the steps that tell new users how to get and install SKYPE.  There are two stations for you to use. Your login for both stations will be your callsign and password, which is the same for whichever station you choose. There is some manual setup on our end, so it will take a while to get everything completed. We will send you an email when the setup that we need to do is complete. 

Important: We must have your SKYPE name when you apply for remote base access. Our two remote base stations have SKYPE names "Handiham Remote Base" and "W0ZSW Remote Base". 

  1. Download and install the free SKYPE application.  The download site is: 
    http://www.SKYPE.com/download/SKYPE/windows/
  2. We recommend that you choose the newest version of SKYPE at this time. 
  3. Got SKYPE downloaded?  Good, now we can proceed with the setup.  You do not need to buy any of the extra SKYPE features unless you want them.  The free basic version of SKYPE will work for the remote base. Let's get started. 
  4. You may wish to use your callsign as your SKYPE name, but this is not essential. A SKYPE name must be at least six characters. So, if you have a 2 by 3 callsign like WA0TDA, you can use it as-is. If you have a shorter callsign, you may have to use it and your name or some other combination of letters and numbers for a SKYPE name. Just pick something you will remember!  
  5. Be sure to read all of the instructions for using SKYPE, as well as the privacy policy. Store your SKYPE password in a safe place. 
  6. Does SKYPE for Windows offer keyboard navigation or screen reader functionality?

    Yes, this feature is turned on by going to Tools > Accessibility and selecting Extended Keyboard navigation or Screenreader mode.

  7. Once you have your SKYPE name, you may contact us at handiham@couragecenter.org.  In that email you should give me your SKYPE name. We need your SKYPE name in order to get it added to the allowed contacts list on our remote base server.  Once we get you added to the remote base contact list for each station, you will get messages when you open SKYPE, telling you that there is a contact request from Handiham remote base and from W0ZSW remote base.
  8. Once you are added as a contact by the Remote Base administrator, the Handiham Remote Base and W0ZSW remote base appear in your contacts: 
    SKYPE screenshot
  9. Connect to the remote base via SKYPE to find out if the settings are correct.  There may be no audio, as the radio may not be running. This is normal. Audio does not start until the radio is turned on. 

    If you are going to use SKYPE:

    Here are special instructions for the  authorization of SKYPE for blind users:

    1. Make sure SKYPE is running and that you are logged in.
    2. When Web Transceiver has loaded, SKYPE will be prompting for authorization to Grant or Deny access to WebXcvr.exe
    3. Launch Web Transceiver
    4. Press ALT+TAB to the SKYPE application
    5. If you tab around, you will find a button labeled Allow Access and another labeled  Deny Access.  Note that you won’t be able to read the message that SKYPE displays for which application is asking for Deny or Allow access.
    6. Use the JAWS cursor to read the prompt, never allow access without reading what SKYPE is asking. Alternatively, you might virtualize the window using JAWSKey+ALT+W which presents the contents of the window in text format.
    7. The prompt will be as follows: “webxcvr.exe wants to use SKYPE”
    8. Now that you know what is prompting for access, tab around until you hear Allow Access and activate the button with Spacebar or ENTER.
    9. You are ready to Use SKYPE with Web Transceiver.
    10. Press ALT+TAB until you hear the remote control software come into focus.



  10. If you have installed SKYPE for the first time, you probably should make a test call. You can use the test call feature on SKYPE by calling echo123. Once it answers, you will hear a British female voice telling you that you have reached the SKYPE call testing service. You can make a 20 second test message by speaking into your microphone. Since SKYPE in this mode is duplex, you need not press any extra keys to "transmit", just go ahead and speak.  At the end of 20 second, you will hear your voice played back. If the audio sounds okay, you are finished and you can disconnect. If not, you need to configure your sound card or other audio settings until you can successfully pass this test.
  11. Complete the test by disconnecting the remote base audio.  Always disconnect from the remote base in SKYPE when you are through using the station. Leaving the remote base audio connected in SKYPE will prevent other users from enjoying the station. 
  12. TIP: Delays and dropouts can happen because of bandwidth issues, but in some cases the apparent dropouts are caused by the fact that SKYPE does not provide a full duplex audio stream. SKYPE appears to use a form of VOX switching between transmit and receive, which can cause the receive audio to drop whenever the microphone picks up a noise. Fortunately that's not a problem on transmit, because the audio output of the TS-480 is muted. It is possible to reduce the VOX-induced receive audio dropouts by using earphones for listening (or by reducing the speaker volume), and by going into SKYPE Tools, Options, Audio Settings and unchecking the box that says "Let SKYPE adjust my audio settings". If that box is checked, SKYPE will crank up the mike gain when you're not talking, which aggravates the receive audio cutouts and can also make the transmit audio sound like it's going through a compressor.
Now that you have SKYPE installed, please return to the W4MQ software installation.

 

© 2014 

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute 
Handiham Program
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN  55422

612-775-2291
866-426-3442 Toll-Free
hamradio@couragecenter.org

www.handiham.org