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Using SmartLINK to remotely update a radio?

W4AFK Bruno
W4AFK Bruno Member ✭✭

I live in San Diego and operate my remote station which is in Florida. Just got a used 6400 w/SmartSDR license and I noted that SmartSDR 2.6.2 says that "You can't perform updates via SmartLINK at this time".

I wonder if SmartSDR v3 lets you perform remote firmware radio updates via SmartLINK? I can remotely "cold boot" the radio so having the ability to make updates would be very helpful.

Just got the radio yesterday in Florida (second hand) and have been working with my remote colleague to get it up and running. Finally got everything running and will be licensing 3.x.y in a couple of days.

We will be sharing the radio, however, not being able for me to push radio updates without being there on the LAN is a bummer.

BTW, ~100ms latency for this ~2680 miles link. I am on FTTH (1Gb/s U/D fiber) and the other end is on a dedicated Cable modem.


  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Hi Bruno, the update requires that the radio be keyed directly as "proof" that whoever is updating the radio is physically at the radio. The idea is to prevent hackers from causing any grief. To get around this, the solution for remotely turning the rig on and off using a WiFi Smart Controller (from my response to the other thread) can be expanded to key the radio remotely when the upgrade package requests it.


    Len, KD0RC

  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin

    It is a best practice to have a PC that you can access that is on the remote LAN with the radio so you can perform maintenance on the radio, like doing firmware updates. However, be cautioned that if doing a firmware update and something goes wrong, you may need human intervention to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Hi Bruno

    There are a number of reasons that having a remote PC is worth the time and investment. I have learned this after 15 years of running remote. For 2 of those years I tried it without a remote PC (non Flex solution) and it was painful.

    It allows for remote updates

    It makes it easier for others to use your remote station since you only have to configure one workstation. Not many.

    It reduces the amount of upstream bandwidth, and this gives you better overall performance.

    You can still run SmartSDR locally

    For Digital modes you would run WJSTx, etc. on the PC on the local network giving you much higher reliability in decoding signals. Too much audio is lost in the UDP packet stream when sending it over the WAN to your operating location.

    It gives you a much high up time and a more reliable station.


  • W4AFK Bruno
    W4AFK Bruno Member ✭✭

    Thanks for the feedback ... I now have a better understanding on the reason.

    I have a small "Raspberry Pi PC" and I will look to see if I can use that as my "remote" computer. I like it as its small,. no moving parts, consumes little power and does what's needed. What I need to learn about is IF I can use this Linux based mini computer to perform updates or if it needs to be a Windows or iOS PC.. For now, I have my host ham do it locally as it's in his radio shack. The issue is that he typically spends 40% of the year in Europe and when this C-19 is under control, he will be resuming his visits there, hence the reason why I asked.

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