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Remote Control
for the
Ham Radio Station
Operate your station from anywhere
Don Steinbach
AE6PM
Santa Clara County Amateur Radio Association
March 10, 2014
AE6PM
3/3/2014
1
Why Remote?
• Zoning restrictions
• Condo or Apartment living
– Unfriendly HOA or landlord
• Poor antenna location
– Small lot, obstructions
– High noise level
• Dual residency / Vacation home
– Maintain local contacts/nets
• Convenience
– Get equipment out of the house
– Travel with minimum equipment
• Combine resources
– Partner with others for “Super Station”
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3/3/2014
2
My Motivation
• Desire to operate my SF Bay area station while on
travel
– Operate from Butte, Phoenix, Pacific Grove,
San Diego and ??
• High noise level on 40-meters in Butte, MT
– Magnetic loop is very effective, but received signal
levels are marginal
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3/3/2014
3
Objectives
• Keep primary station equipment in Saratoga
– Transmitter, receiver, power supplies, antennas
• Operate the primary station from any remote
location
– Laptop computer and headset
• Use the internet for communication between
locations
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3/3/2014
4
Literature Search
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Remote Operating for Amateur Radio (ARRL book)
VoIP: Internet Linking for Radio Amateurs (ARRL book)
Remote Radio Control Made Easy (QST Aug 2012)
Remote-Controlled HF Operation over the Internet (QST
Nov 2001)
Remote Control of Accessories via the Internet (QST Apr
2013)
A Ham Radio Public Utility HF Station (QST Nov 2002)
K7RLD Remote Ham Operation (Internet)
Internet Remoting Toolkit (Internet W4MQ)
Tools & Techniques for Remote Operation (K6TU
presentation)
How To: Wake on LAN/Wake on WAN (Internet
smallnetbuilder.com)
AE6PM
3/3/2014
5
Cost: Make or Buy
• Commercial off the Shelf (COTS)
– Can be expensive
• RemoteRig ~ $490
• Web-controlled power strip ~ $150
– Definitely consider internet operability if buying a
new radio
• Build It Yourself
– Low cost ~ $50
– Implement with purchased and/or homebuilt
hardware
– Simple circuits -- not difficult to design or build
AE6PM
3/3/2014
6
Design Requirements
• Needs
– Ability to turn station power on and off remotely
– Transceiver capable of computer control (CAT)
– PC to control the transceiver
– Ability to operate the PC remotely
– Audio connection to/from the transceiver
• Wants
– Ability to turn the PC on and off
– Monitor station dc power, rf power, swr, etc
– Ability to switch antennas
AE6PM
3/3/2014
7
Design Requirements
• Deferred/Don’t Care
– CW Operation
• Has been done by others – requires some
more research
• Possible latency issues
– Antenna rotator control
• I don’t have a rotatable antenna
– “Wake on LAN”
• My PC BIOS doesn’t support
• Review of literature indicates this could be
another giant time sink
AE6PM
3/3/2014
8
Architecture
HOST
CLIENT
Complete Station
PC and Headset
Software:
Skype
LogMeIn
Ham Radio
Deluxe
Software:
Skype
Audio
Audio
Data
Control
Power
AE6PM
3/3/2014
Antennas
9
Host (Station) Hardware
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Transceiver (Exists)
Power Supply (Exists)
PC (Exists/modify)
PC/Radio Audio IFU (Build)
DTMF Controller (Build or buy)
Telco Isolator (Build)
Remote Power Controller (Build)
Station Control Unit (Optional/Modify)
WaveNode™ (Optional/Buy)
Network TV Camera (Optional/Buy)
Answering Machine (Exists)
AE6PM
3/3/2014
10
Host (Station) Software
• PC Control
– LogMeIn
• Transceiver Control
– Ham Radio Deluxe
• Audio
– Skype
• Station Monitoring
– WaveNode
• Antenna Switching
– WaveNode
AE6PM
3/3/2014
11
PC/Radio Audio IFU
Provides DC isolation and level adjustment for audio
channels between transceiver and PC
AE6PM
3/3/2014
12
PC/Radio Audio IFU
FT-847
DATA I/O
Audio from radio
J1
C1
T1
tip
ring
shell
R1
..
....
8
Audio to radio
7
J2
Rx Level
T2
..
..
..
R2
Tx Level
J1-J3 1/8" stereo jack
J4 8-pin(m) mic conector
R1,R2 10k AB Type W
R3 470K
AE6PM
3/3/2014
shell
PC MIC
R3
C2
RIG MIC
PC
tip
ring
tip
ring
shell
PC LINE
J3
..
..
C1,C2
T1,T2 Midcom 671-9373 600:600
Enclosure Radio Shack 270-1893
13
PC (EeePC)
Added connections for controlling power switching
Found a schematic on
the Internet.
AE6PM
3/3/2014
14
DTMF Controller (Decoder)
Decodes DTMF tones from telephone line and
provides 16 independent logic-level outputs
DCI2 kit from Ramsey
AE6PM
3/3/2014
15
Telco Isolator
Provides AC and DC isolation from the telephone line
Added to resolve polarity issue with
DTMF Controller connection
AE6PM
3/3/2014
16
Telco Isolator
RING
(Grn)
C1
T1
To DTMF Controller
Telephone Line
TIP
(Red)
..
..
C1 2 uF 300V mylar
T1 Midcom 671-9372 600:600
AE6PM
3/3/2014
17
Remote Power Controller
Provides opto-isolated switch closure to PC for
power control and relay drive for AC power switching
AE6PM
3/3/2014
18
Remote Power Controller
+5V
10K
#8*
OFF
10
3
11
Orn
IC1: 7404
IC2: ULN2803
K1: Aromat TQ2E-L2-12v
K2: Tyco PCLH=202D1S
6
+9V
17
2
10
IC1A
IC2A
2,9
AC Power Strip
..
+9V
+5V
K1
3,8
AC Power Control
4,7
DC12 DTMF Controller
10K
14
#7*
Grn
5
5
+5SW
13
IC1B
10
12 1
7
..
IC2B
K2
1N4006
ON
9 18
1
..
+5V
IC3
10K
..
..
#6*
Blu
2
7
..
Yel
..
4
1
5
..
6
..
2.93V O.C.
+9V (Unreg)
IC4: 555 Timer
2
9
7
+
8
Reset
V+
Threshold
Trigger
IC4
Output
Control
3
120
+5SW
Power Control Timer
2
6
4
5
..
Discharge
1
10K
Gnd
Blk
PC Power Control
10K
19
10M
#5*
(Modified)
..
..
+9V
Wht
EeePC
+
Red
220
+5SW
Was D*
Red
IC3: 4N27
..
3
1N4733
Gnd
1/35
18
1
.01
..
Yel
..
..
20
+5V (Regulated)
+5V
* 74HC154 Output
10K
#4* 11
Brn
AE6PM
3/3/2014
N.C.
19
Remote Power Controller
Remote Power Controller
+5V
AC Power
Control
#8*
OFF
10
3
11
Orn
6
+9V
10K
IC1: 7404
IC2: ULN2803
K1: Aromat TQ2E-L2-12v
K2: Tyco PCLH=202D1S
17
2
IC1A
IC2A
2,9
AC Power Strip
..
+9V
+5V
K1
10
3,8
4,7
DC12 DTMF Controller
10K
+5SW
14
#7*
Grn
5
5
13
IC1B
7
12 1
..
IC2B
1
..
+5V
IC3
10K
..
..
#6*
Blu
IC3: 4N27
..
3
2
7
..
220
AE6PM
3/3/2014
ON
10
9 18
K2
1N4006
+5SW
..
..
Yel
4
+
Red
1
5
6
EeePC
(Modified)
2.93V O.C.
20
..
10K
6
+9V
10K
IC1: 7404
IC2: ULN2803
K1: Aromat TQ2E-L2-12v
K2: Tyco PCLH=202D1S
OFF
10
17
2
K1
Remote Power Controller
#8*
3
11
Orn
10
IC1A
IC2A
AC Power Strip
..
+9V
+5V
2,9
3,8
4,7
+5SW
14
#7*
Grn
5
13
7
IC1B
ON
10
12 1
..
IC2B
9 18
1
..
+5V
IC3
10K
..
..
2
7
..
Yel
..
4
+
1
+5SW
5
6
..
..
..
19
+9V (Unreg)
IC4: 555 Timer
10M
10K
#5*
2.93V O.C.
10K
+9V
Wht
(Modified)
Red
220
Was D*
Red
EeePC
6
2
9
7
+
4
8
Reset
V+
Threshold
Trigger
Discharge
IC4
Output
Control
3
5
120
+5SW
2
#6*
Blu
IC3: 4N27
..
3
..
AE6PM
3/3/2014
K2
1N4006
..
1
PC Power
Control
DC12 DTMF Controller
10K
5
1N4733
21
DC12 DTMF
+5V
IC3
10K
IC3: 4N27
..
3
..
Remote Power Controller
..
#6*
Blu
2
7
..
Yel
..
4
+
1
+5SW
5
..
6
..
..
..
19
+9V (Unreg)
IC4: 555 Timer
#5*
6
2
9
7
+
Gnd
Blk
8
Reset
V+
Threshold
Trigger
Output
Control
3
120
+5SW
2
10K
4
IC4
5
..
Discharge
1
10M
Wht
2.93V O.C.
10K
+9V
Power
Control
Timer
(Modified)
Red
220
Was D*
Red
EeePC
1N4733
Gnd
1/35
18
1
.01
..
Yel
..
..
20
+5V (Regulated)
+5V
* 74HC154 Output
10K
#4* 11
AE6PM
3/3/2014
Brn
N.C.
22
Station Control Unit
Provides for antenna switching among other things
Power supply board provides ±24V for existing remote antenna switch.
Relay board is a kit from qkits.com.
AE6PM
3/3/2014
23
Station Control Unit
D1
tip
18 vac
+24
QK74 RELAY BOARD
C1
2
1
3
C2
To Remote Antenna Switch
DC Coupler
ANTENNA
Relay 1
+24
-24
-24
Relay 2
D2
C1, C2 220 uF 50V
D1, D2 1N4003
+12
ULN2003
WaveNode
Logic Out 1
Logic Out 2
Logic Out 3
Logic Out 4
AE6PM
3/3/2014
2
Relay 1
Red
3
4
Blk
Grn
5
Wht
Relay 2
Relay 3
Relay 4
24
Host System Interconnect Diagram
Telephone
Line
Telc o
Is olator
74HC154
TTL
Ans wering
Mac hine
AC Hous e
Power
DTMF
Controller
(DCI2)
Power
Strip
+9 Vdc
+5 Vdc
Power
Module
Remote
Power
Controller
Opto
Is olator
TV
Alway s on
Switc hed AC power on/off
Relay
On/off
Switc hed
Power
Module
Wireles s
LAN
EeePC 1000
Computer
USB
Spk r
Power
Module
DC Power
Supply
Mic
Wav eNode
AE6PM
3/3/2014
Station
USB
USB/SER
25
Host System Interconnect Diagram
T elephone
Line
T elco
Isolator
T TL
74HC154
A nswering
Machine
A C House
P ower
DTMF
Controller
(DCI2)
P ower
S trip
+9 V dc
+5 V dc
P ower
Module
Remote
P ower
Controller
Opto
Isolator
P ort 8091
T V Camera
A lways on
S witched A C power on/of f
R e la y
W ireless
Router
On/off
S witched
P ower
Module
Cable
Modem
W ireless
LA N
E eePC 1000
Computer
USB
S pkr
P ower
Module
DC P ower
S upply
Mic
W aveNode
S tation
Control
USB
USB /SE R
CAT
AE6PM
3/3/2014
26
Internet
Host System Interconnect Diagram
USB
S pkr
DC P ower
S upply
P ower
Module
Mic
W aveNode
S tation
Control
USB
USB /SE R
CAT
Data I/O
DC
Coupler
HF Ant
FT -847 Tran sceiver
P ower
S ensor
2
P C Mic
P C Line
B uilt or
modified
Remote
A ntenna
S witch
1
Rig Mic
P C/Radio
A udio IFU
3
Dummy Loa d
Remote Control Interconnect Diagram
AE6PM 6/3/2013
Revised 3/2/2014
Remote control intercon nect.tcw
AE6PM
3/3/2014
27
WaveNode™
Displays RF power, SWR, DC voltage and current plus several
diagnostic displays. From WaveNode in Campbell, CA.
Sensors connect to the box.
Box connects to the PC via
USB port.
WaveNode WN-2(d)
I use the Logic Outputs to
change antennas.
AE6PM
3/3/2014
28
TV Camera (Webcam)
Airsight XC36A handy for looking around the station and for
troubleshooting PC problems
Access directly from the internet. E.g., http://192.168.0.106:8092
I purchased two of
these. The first died in
a few days – the
second is still working.
AE6PM
3/3/2014
29
TV Picture
Screen shot of the network TV camera operating
AE6PM
3/3/2014
30
Issues & Answers
• Ham Radio Deluxe is no longer free
– Last free version (5.24.38) works fine
– TRX Manager might be an option (QST Feb 2006 p 62)
• LogMeIn is no longer free ($98/yr)
– Consider GoToMyPC ($9.95/mo/PC)
– Consider TightVNC (free)
– Consider RealVNC ($30?)
– Consider NetMeeting (Caution – See QST Nov 2002)
– Consider Windows Remote Desktop (May require OS
upgrade)
– Try HRD in Server mode?
AE6PM
3/3/2014
31
Issues & Answers
•Host PC waiting for keyboard input was a major pain in the
beginning
–Skype, Norton, Microsoft
Skype
AE6PM
3/3/2014
Norton
32
Issues & Answers
•
•
Automatic updates need to be turned off
– Microsoft and Antivirus (e.g. Norton)
Sleep and Hibernation must be set to NEVER
– Can’t connect to a PC that’s asleep or hibernating
• ISP fiddling around can knock cable modem offline
– Keep their phone number handy (1-800-945-2288)
• ISP fiddling around can knock range extender offline (?)
– Leave a key with someone (power cycle to restore)
•
•
ISP changing WAN address disrupts TV camera
– Use www.whatsmyip.com from host PC to find new address
Need better protection from in-house phone dialing
– Add “combination lock” to enable DTMF Decoder
AE6PM
3/3/2014
33
Operation
STARTUP
• Start client computer (VGN-FS940)
• Launch Skype on client computer
• Call host telephone number
– Send DTMF 5 then 6 to power-up host computer
– Not required if host computer was left in standby
• Launch LogMeIn on client computer
– [email protected]/remoteops/mp6ea0491
• Call host telephone number
– Send DTMF 5 then 7 to turn on host switched ac power
• Launch WaveNode on host computer
• Launch Ham Radio Deluxe on host computer
AE6PM
3/3/2014
34
Operation
SHUTDOWN
• Close HRD on host computer
• Close WaveNode on host computer
• Call host telephone number
– Send DTMF 5 then 8 to turn off host switched ac power
• Close Skype on client computer
• Select Start/Shutdown/Standby on host computer
– Leaves host computer in standby mode
• Immediately disconnect LogMeIn on host computer
– So that program is not running when host computer tries to
shut down
AE6PM
3/3/2014
35
Operation
AE6PM
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36