Page updated: 25 February, 2013 12:05
The Handiham Remote Base stations 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".
- Download and install the free SKYPE application. The download site
- We recommend that you choose the newest version of Skype at this time.
- 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.
- 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
- Be sure to read all of the instructions for using SKYPE, as well
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
- Once you have your SKYPE name, you may contact me, Pat, firstname.lastname@example.org
for a TS-480 software password. In that same 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.
- Once you are added as a contact by the Remote Base administrator, the Handiham Remote Base
and W0ZSW remote base appear in your
- 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:
Special Note for Blind Users of Skype During Initial
Setup with Web Transceiver
- Skype will ask you if Web Transceiver can use Skype. Please
- In Skype, you may elect to go to the TOOLS >
OPTIONS > ADVANCED > Manage other programs access
to Skype and then choose the Web Transceiver (webxcvr.exe). This
will allow the W4MQ software to automatically call the remote base on
Skype without you having to first log on with the W4MQ interface and
then manually call the remote base via Skype.
- If you experience runtime errors when set up as
advised above, you may need to choose IRB Sound. For more information,
see Known Issues.
Here are special instructions for the
authorization of Skype for blind users:
- Make sure Skype is running and that you are logged in.
- When Web Transceiver has loaded, Skype will be prompting for
authorization to Grant or Deny access to WebXcvr.exe
- Launch Web Transceiver
- Press ALT+TAB to the Skype application
- 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.
- 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
- The prompt will be as follows: “webxcvr.exe wants to use Skype”
- Now that you know what is prompting for access, tab around until you
hear Allow Access and activate the button with Spacebar or ENTER.
- You are ready to Use Skype with Web Transceiver.
- Press ALT+TAB until you hear the remote control software come into
- 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.
- 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. The station will timeout and disconnect
SKYPE automatically in most cases.
- 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.
- Optional: If you have already installed the W4MQ software, you can opt to
allow it to access SKYPE. In order to allow this, SKYPE must be told
that it is okay for the web transceiver software to initiate its own Skype
call. The advantage is that you don't have to first log in with the
W4MQ software and then make the Skype call manually to the host computer for
your audio. The disadvantage is that sometimes the W4MQ software returns a
runtime error with this arrangement.
To implement this option, simply select SKYPE as your audio
choice in the W4MQ software pull down menu. Then return to SKYPE.
In SKYPE, you may elect to go to the TOOLS > OPTIONS > ADVANCED
> Manage other programs access to SKYPE and then choose the Web
Transceiver (webxcvr.exe). Click OK.
This will allow the W4MQ software to automatically call the remote base on
SKYPE without you having to first log on with the W4MQ interface and then
manually call the remote base via SKYPE.
- Now that you have SKYPE installed, please return to the W4MQ software