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Ethernet to serial device server for remote WAN operations

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Larry Benoit
Larry Benoit Member ✭✭
edited December 2016 in New Ideas

FYI, for those operators looking to remotely control an
amplifier, rotor or other RS-232 controlled device supported by DDUtil over the Internet (WAN) without the need for a PC at the station, an Ethernet to serial adapter is a viable option.  I’ve specifically tested a Startech RS232 over IP Ethernet Device Server (NETRS2321P) with an Elecraft KPA500.

Used in conjunction with OpenVPN and DDUtil through an Asus RT-ac68p router, I can operate a Flex 6500 over the Internet and separately control the KPA-500 through the Ethernet to serial server. This eliminates the need for a running PC at the station and the associated network overhead of a remote desktop session.

Installed on the remote computer, DDUtil recognizes a virtual port configured by VCom (virtual serial port manager provided with the Startech driver) to support the NETRS2321P device server.  DDUtil still recognizes Flex virtual ports created by SmartCAT on the remote computer, connects to the 6500 via OpenVPN and communicates with the KPA500 via the Ethernet to serial device server. The KPA500 remote functions perform correctly (on/off, remote/standby, direct band switching) and operating conditions are reported as expected (SWR, forward power, PA temp, and PA voltage).

I used a Lenovo V570 laptop (i5 CPU with Win 7/64) to perform the test.  Setup is reasonably easy, although you need to understand port forwarding to configure your router.  Also, I use a Digital Loggers Web Power Switch to control power for my equipment.

While I have only tested the device for short operating sessions, no problems have arisen. Startech also makes multi-port Ethernet to serial device servers (up to four ports), which I have not tested.  

73,

Larry KB1VFU

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