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In a few weeks I'm hoping to set up a solid state linear amplifier at a remote shack that I've set up at the house of a friend who lives in a rural area. I've been connecting to this shack remotely using the SmartLink protocol offered by FlexRadio, and made about a hundred QSOs with this setup. Because I won't be physically there during operating at power most of the time, I want to be very certain everything is set up properly, I've debugged any RF-in-shack issues, and generally made sure I'm not going to cause any problems for my friend. I've been heavily using the radio right now at 100W with no issues reported for at least several weeks. I plan to run SSB primarily at 600W.

I've already performed an RF evaluation per AARL guidance, and because the TX antenna is a 50' high dipole quite far away from the dwelling, I'm not concerned about RF exposure either controlled or uncontrolled, even if I were to run at full power assuming I keep to the 80,40, and 10 meter bands.

With RF exposure evaluated and not a primary worry, my main concern is causing unwanted interference or electrical problems at higher power.

Currently my plan:

  • Perform and document RF exposure station evaluation (already done)
  • Use only TX antennas rated for QRO (already done)
  • Only run a maximum of 600 watts
  • Verify all SWRs are less than 2:1 untuned
  • Perform 600 watt tune ups and operate on the air for an hour at 600W on a few different bands to make sure the home network, cable tv, etc are all working properly and nothing is burning
  • Place a 1500 watt rated common mode choke on my transmit antenna (or verify that the transmit antenna already has one, which I think it does)
  • Disable TX on any antennas with wiring near the ground (currently just a vertical), as well as any antennas, or baluns, not rated for 1500 watts
  • Triple check all TX antennas have insulators and are securely roped to their anchor points
  • Verify my ground system with a voltmeter

Can anyone opine what other things tend to go wrong with QRO setups or things I should check for?

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    $\begingroup$ If relevant to the location, will the installation be lightning-proof without your friend having to rush round disconnecting cables? Will the antennas and masts be hurricane-proof without lowering anything? $\endgroup$ – Graham Nye Sep 8 at 21:24
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    $\begingroup$ I assume you are planning to setup a remove transmitter/transceiver AND a linear amplifier at the remote site. Also, have you considered how you are doing remote control of the system -- that is, via Internet and is it available at the site and so on. $\endgroup$ – K7PEH Sep 8 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ @GrahamNye - Yes, the antennas are relatively low compared to surrounding objects, and I have an antenna disconnector in-line with the setup. $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Gilbert Sep 10 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ @K7PEH Great question - using FlexRadio which comes with a great remote solution called SmartLink. Updated the question to provide this clarification. $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Gilbert Sep 10 at 14:02

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