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A cost effective Web Relay control

2

Comments

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited January 2019
    Hi Larry

    I have one, but I am going to sell it to anyone who wants it in Canada.  I really liked it, but it was overkill and for most customers, I would not call it simple.  

    I was not able to find a simple web interface to turning this on and off.  Is there one?  

    I also tried the IOS app that someone wrote, but it could not find the switch.

    If you can share some tips, I am interested and I might then actually install it at my remote station.

    Mike

  • Larry Benoit
    Larry Benoit Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    Hi Mike,

    No software required -- I just log into the DLI web interface with any browser. 

    image

    73,
    Larry KB1VFU
  • Larry Benoit
    Larry Benoit Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    Another useful tool for remote station control is an Ethernet to Serial converter.  The device enables remote control of any equipment with a serial interface (RS-232) and related software.  Many remote control apps include power cycling among other functions. 

    I use a USR N540 four-port Ethernet to Serial converter to remotely control an Elecraft KPA500, SteppIR SDA-100 and Green Heron RT-21.  Any remote control app that employs a serial interface will work remotely with one of these devices via port forwarding. I run DX Lab Suite, which acquires band data from my Flex 6600 via the web and supplies the data to PSTRotator and WSJT-X. 

    The USR N-540 (about $120) combined with the DLI Web Power Switches provide full remote control of my station with no computer running in the shack. 


    https://www.usriot.com/products/4-ports-serial-to-ethernet-converter.html

    73,
    Larry KB1VFU


  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited January 2019
    Hi Larry

    Yep, I saw that screen.  It doesn't work too well on an iPhone.

    Don't get me wrong, it is a great device.  It is overkill for most of our new remote operators as  most struggle with that level of detail.

    Mike

  • Larry Benoit
    Larry Benoit Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    Mike,

    I suppose at first blush it appears to be complicated, but after initial configuration of the fixed IP address and local port number, you just plug in the equipment to the labeled outlets and turn them on and off. No Raspberry PI, no local control software -- nothing else needed. It seems fairly simple to me. 

    I access my DLI switches with Firefox or Chrome on my Samsung Note 8 or Windows 10 tablets. Both work well, but the browsers will complain about security if you don't use the https protocol for remote logins.  

    73,
    Larry KB1VFU


  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited January 2019
    Hi John

    I get it... seriously.   

    A  large part of customers who want to move into remote operating need super simple, so that is the perspective we are coming from.  Even handling a port forward is stressful for them as they are afraid of breaking something by logging into a router. 

    For others, the Digital Logger device is awesome.  It would be nice if it had an admin interface and a user interface as well.  I have talked to Digital Logger on the phone about this and also talked with them about have a few dry contacts on this device as well to handle things like remote/soft power down and up.  Since all their relays are driven by a UN2309 (guessing at the chip number), it is an easy hack to drag a few TTL levels out and do it externally to the switch.

    Mike   


  • mlstutler
    mlstutler Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    It looks to me like this case might work.  

    https://www.pishop.us/product/highpi-raspberry-pi-b23-case-black/
  • mlstutler
    mlstutler Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Anyone who is interested in an enclosure for the Raspberry Pi and the relay board.   This case will fit:

    https://www.pishop.us/product/highpi-raspberry-pi-b23-case-black/









  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited January 2019
    wow! that is awesome.
  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2019
    Now there's a surprise - cheaper in Canada! $6.95 (V1000 version with some lettering, but who cares?)
  • mlstutler
    mlstutler Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    There is on caveat.   The screws that came  with the relay board are too long.   I had to cut them down.  I installed just the 2 spacers on the opposite side of the header pin.  I installed the screws with the head at the top and just let enough of the **** to fit out the bottom of the pi,  then cut it off.  
  • Steve - AK0M
    Steve - AK0M Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I have my Pi and relay board up and running but not yet wired into my station, but am already looking to the future to add more relay outputs. I am finding that Pi relay boards beyond 4 channels do not seem to be very common, and the board used in this solution is not stackable.

    I came across these, which look very interesting... 8 relays per board, and stackable. Does anyone have any experience with these?:

    https://www.sequentmicrosystems.com/
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mbeffa/raspberry-pi-mega-io-expansion-card

    Or suggestions for alternate relay expansion options?

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited February 2019
    Hi Steve... you can easily expand beyond 4, but you will have to follow their wiring format on the RemoteQTH server page.  I have 16 relays and I use about 6 of them now.

    Here are the relays and the GPIO ports they are tied to.

    https://remoteqth.com/wiki/index.php?page=Web+relay

    image
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited February 2019
    I went to go look at Sequent Microsystems manual, but it seems I am not able to get to them, even if you register.  
  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2019
    These boards work very well.  You simply need to buy jumper wires and wire the Pi pins to them.  You need to supply +5V/Gnd from the Pi as well.  I use two of them.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CXQS63R/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2019
    It is simple if you use a Raspberry Pi to have it send commands to the DLI devices so there is no need to use that screen.

    I wrote my own very simple web software for my Pi and ensured the web interface is very simple and it works very well on phone or computer:

    image
  • EduardoCarvalho
    EduardoCarvalho Member ✭✭
    edited February 2019
    Mark, what are you using for secure logon to your pi remotely? Or do you access it via VPN only? Eduardo, KC8R
  • Mark WS7M
    Mark WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited February 2019
    I have fairly secure login built into the web app.  Certainly it is not unbreakable but even with hackers poking at it now for close to 3 years no one has gotten in.

    The key in my case is a rotating password.  It changes each and every day to something totally new based on a formula only I know.  It also changes when I log out so the next login is different.

    Its an easy formula to figure out when logging in but not obvious to a hacker.  But sure it can be busted.  

    Mark
  • EduardoCarvalho
    EduardoCarvalho Member ✭✭
    edited February 2019
    Thanks for the feedback Mark. I was looking into hosting a site but decided not to because it needed to create a bunch of security around it. Sounds like you have a slick solution. Eduardo, KC8R
  • Mark WS7M
    Mark WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited February 2019
    Eduardo,  My site is written in php which makes this pretty easy to do.  When connected to the site the php code that generates the output page computes the new needed password.

    The password is sent via form submit from the user back to the server.  At this point in time is probably the most vulnerable as that is free text at the moment.  But with a little work I could encrypt it or even convert the site to SSL.

    Then if the password is correct at the server site a session is opened that has an expiration of  I think 60 minutes.   When that session expires or the user logs out the expiration code that is run changes the required password again.

    The only time the password is seen is during the initial login.  The session data is stored in a database on the server and never sent to the client.   Commands executed first check if the requester matches the current logged in requester in the session table.  If so the command executes, otherwise the code reverts back to the login page which changes the password.

    The current logged in user can continue to issue commands as their session is still value.  When they finally logout the password is changed again.

    It is based a little on time and it is not an overly complex password but it changes each time to fail login and each time you logout or the session expires.
  • Tom W3FRG
    Tom W3FRG Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    Mike,

    An additional source for remote controls you might like to consider is Snaptekk, http://www.snaptekk.com/

    I have been using their remote 4 port antenna switch with great success.
    While they have it currently rated at 1Kw, its been running full legal power here w/o issue.

    Tom W3FRG
  • Steve - AK0M
    Steve - AK0M Member ✭✭
    edited February 2019
    What are you using to power the relays for the PI solution? 8 or more relays can drive the +5V current requirement up.... Do you have a separate +5V supply for the relays? Or do you power the whole assembly from one heavier duty supply? Recommendations for suppy?
  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2019
    12V to 5V 2 amp converter for the Pi and it also powers the relay boards.
  • Warren Merkel
    Warren Merkel Member
    edited May 2019
    I'm currently developing a web remoteable antenna switcher based on the ESP32 processor that could be used for any number of control situations.  It will be able to run logic on various input sources including CAT and CI-V via RS-232 (two of them) and Flex API via it's WiFi interface.  

    The output boards (up to 4 in series) add 16 channels each, and should be able to be separated by over 1000 feet from the controller via shielded CAT5. It has switch inputs for "front panel" operations, and will automatically relax the relays when a power sense input is dropped.  Here are a few 3D models of the current dev boards going out to fab this week.

    Controller board (ESP32 processor daughter board not shown)
     

    Relay output board


    I do have an earlier prototype board (8 channel) up and running using serial connectivity via CAT Cables.  Oh yeah, it has support for an OLED display (for now)

    I plan to kit it up as it is all through-hole so it is possible to be built with normal tools.  No time line yet.  Still lots of coding yet to do before Alpha testing.

    Warren, KD4Z

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited April 2019
    That is so awesome!  I'm working (slowly) on trying to control all my devices in 1 Node-Red window instead of having 3 or 4 open.  I would be interested if a Node Red front end could also communicate with it. 

    Nice job!!

    Mike va3mw
  • Lionel
    Lionel Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I looked at their site this afternoon but it looked like they didn’t any products currently available for sale.
  • Charlie_KB8CR
    Charlie_KB8CR Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    I have bit simpler (?) need. I have a 6400 and a 3000 mounted in the rack below my shack. I have routed MIC, PTT, IAMBIC KEY, and SPKR lines from the shack to the rack. (There are 9 conductors currently). I would like to be able to switch all nine lines from one radio to the other with a web relay that I can access from a browser. Rather than switch each relay individually, could I just tie 9 of the control lines of the relay board together and switch 9 of the relays all at once from one GPIO line? Maybe use another GPIO to switch the RCA to turn the 6400 on/off. I was looking at a 16 channel relay board. https://www.amazon.com/SainSmart-101-70-103-16-Channel-Relay-Module/dp/B0057OC66U/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_bdcrb_top?ie=UTF8

     I know nothing about Rpi's yet.  Is there a GUI way to do this?

    Thanks,

    Charlie KB8CR
  • Lasse Moell
    Lasse Moell Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    There are numerous webcontrolled switches avaiable. They seem all to use the ESP8266 chip, one that comes to mind is Shelly, and there are other on ebay for $10-20 dollar. The all conatin a webserver and one or more relays. Connection to LAN is by WiFi. https://shelly.cloud/shelly1-open-source/ If you want a more ham-focused solution Remoterig (www.remoterig.com) do offer a webswitch with 5 relays, a built in web-server plus a possibility to control your rotator, all from a webpage. Cost a lot more but very nice. So either you do dive into the linux swamp and try get RemoteQTH to do what you need, or go cheap and simple, or maybe try the excusive stuff. Your call :)

  • Charlie_KB8CR
    Charlie_KB8CR Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    I think I've found a relay.....Denkovi 8channel USB relay, they have a Windows application that has a graphical interface. (and it will work with additional boards added if necessary in the future)

    Charlie KB8CR
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited May 2019
    If you need just a web relay, I highly recommend that KMTronic https://www.kmtronic.com/lan-ethernet-ip-8-channels-web-relay-board.html

    It has never let me down on  my remote HF station and has a simple web interface.  The owner of the company is very responsive to emails.  It will also interface to PSTRotatorAZ and you can then easily setup the situation you may wish.

    It is also very well packages and not just an open board.

    Mike va3mw

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