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Remote access to my rotor ...

Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
I am looking for an easy way to control my rotor remotely while using my K6TU Remote via VPN. My current way is to use one of many Remote Desktop programs such as Parallels Access and run PSTRotor on my shack computer. The problem is that this consumes too much valuable bandwidth and slows down my K6TU connection, which is already marginal. I am using a Yaesu G800DXA rotor with the E.R.C. Rotor-to-USB interface. Does someone know of a way to acces my rotor across the VPN, or run PSTRotor on my office computer with a simpler interface than a complete Remote Desktop solution? Are there inexpensive Ethernet to USB adapters that will allow me to access a USB serial device across the Internet as though it was local? Thanks. Ken - NM9P
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Answers

  • Ian1Ian1 Member
    edited May 1
    Ken

    Green Heron has a program that works with the Yaesu Rotor. I have the MDS RC1 and can only use it via TeamViewer to remote my station.

    Ian
  • Mark_WS7MMark_WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited January 2016
    Hi Ken, So using K6TU you are obviously on a tablet right? The solution I would take is this: Write a program that runs on your shack computer that can move the rotor and report its position. This program should open a network port and listen for connections and accept a simple command interface like: ? returns the current rotor direction ### points the rotor that direction Once you get it working you could add more features later. Then from your iPad you basically use a TelNet program to connect to your shack program and type in the commands. This would be a starting point. The issue is the USB interface. While there are devices that would allow you to port the USB over the LAN the problem is that you need to know exactly how to talk to the USB device and generally the packets are not easy to construct. I'll take a look at the info on that rotor to USB but does your rotor controller have an option for RS-232? If so then I would take the easy way out and get a TCP/IP serial server (www.moxa.com) that connects to the serial port of the rotor control. With this device in TCP server mode you just run a telnet session from your iPad (there are apps for it) and specify the IP and port and you are connected. From there you type in the RS-232 commands to move and query the rotor. Mark
  • Rob FisselRob Fissel Member
    edited June 23
    Ken,

    PSTRotator has the option to run a web server. I have the same setup with the ERC btw. Link here, and scroll down to Web Page Remote Control:

    http://www.qsl.net/yo3dmu/index_Page346.htm

    Works fine over a VPN as well. I use my iPhone to control the rotator while using K6TU remote on my iPad. If you already have a web server for some other service on your network under port 80, pick any other random port and port forward from your router to the computer running PSTRotator. Questions, let me know. 
  • Ali - 9K2WAAli - 9K2WA Member
    edited March 2017
    I am using GH Everywhere client in my remote notebook connected to my station PC via SoftEther VPN to control two 2800 Yaesu rotators and few switch boxes plus power on my Flex radios as well works great.

    image
  • Rob FisselRob Fissel Member
    edited January 2016
    EDIT: Also noticed you're looking for a way to run PSTRotator on your work computer. Set up TCP server setup. I run a full version of PSTRotator on my work computer over the VPN back to the shack, no issues. 
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Excellent on both counts.
    Yes, I am looking for a way to turn the antenna from the iPad via the VPN, and also a way to run PSTRotator from my remote laptop via VPN.  two different methods, depending upon where I am.

    I will read up on PSTRotator's web server.  This may be exactly what I am looking for.

    Thanks,

    Ken - NM9P
  • Rob FisselRob Fissel Member
    edited January 2016
    Nice, Ken. Like I said, Web Server works great to turn from my iPhone/iPad web browser. TCP server works well when I use PSTrotator at work. I set up PSTrotator at home on the shack computer as the TCP server, port forward as needed, and set up PSTrotator in TCP client mode at work. Just like I'm sitting in the shack!
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    I use this its probably your best bet.  wan based VCOM ports also a solution.
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    of course you need to spring for a rather pricey rotor controller.....
  • Rob FisselRob Fissel Member
    edited January 2016
    Chris - the ERC (easy rotor controller) is a super easy to build kit for around $80 USD that will easily integrate into most any rotator controller on the market. I'd highly recommend it. 
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    Thanks rob sorry for the misunderstanding I was referring to the Green Heron, I have been using ERC and PSrotator for years at K6LRG, probably one of the earliest remote stations out there..   ERC and PSR used together are a very good and cost effective rotor control solution.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I like it. I will try the TCP and web servers this evening. I have the ERC-DX which came fully assembled in an aluminum box and has a six pin DIN jack on one end and a USB jack on the other end. Cable included. It plugs right into the jack on the back of the Yaesu G800DXA. No fuss, no muss, no assembly required. Cost was about $106 US, shipped. Not bad. Some Other Yaesu models would need the retrofit kit or something. But I really like this rotor so far. Indeed PSTRotator makes it a really fine package.
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited January 2017
    On my iPad with K6TU I control my Yaesu rotor via DDUTIL and Parallels Access. DDUTIL is always running on my base PC to control my SteppIR and Amp. Basically once setup the antenna and amp are rarely touched so I can put the Remote Desktop in background.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    UPDATE:  I set up the web Server on PstRotatorAz and it works like a charm through the LAN and/or via the VPN connection.  I set up a bunch of preset keys for the web server and it seems to work really well with my iPhone.  I will try the TCP Server/Client later with my office laptop.  

    Thanks for all the input.  I had the solution all along and just didn't know it!  You learn something every day!  Great group!

    Ken - NM9P
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    FIne business!
  • WA6FXT MikeWA6FXT Mike Member
    edited June 2017
    I've asked FRS why don't they allow the use of USB to RS232 via the 6000 Series USB ports. Linux has well mannered USB com port drivers and Linux has methods of allowing the SmartCAT access to USB com, with good security I might add. This would allow the use of the 6000 Series radios AND control your accessories without having to run stuff on a local computer. Mike
  • Rob FisselRob Fissel Member
    edited January 2016
    Always love a happy ending, Ken!
  • Rob FisselRob Fissel Member
    edited January 2016
    Second, Mike. I'd even suggest you start an Idea thread on this topic. It'd be great if they could incorporate native amp/tuner function in for the more common amps/tuners, and even an auto drive feature - much like DDUtil. 
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    Hey Mike, would you elaborate on what you were saying about smartCat and Linux? I agree with what you said about USB to RS 232. I use that on Linux to control my kpa500 and kat500. I toyed withe the idea of porting smartCat to Linux but couldn't justify it.
  • WA6FXT MikeWA6FXT Mike Member
    edited September 2016
    Walt,
    My idea has FRS adding USB-RS232 (tty-usb) drivers to the on-board Linux system in 6000 Series radios. Then write a connection in SmartCAT that would allow connecting from the SmartSDR PC to the "Comm Port" or ports connected via the USB port on the radio. This method would allow either "Local" or "Remote" SmartSDR computers to control the station accessories (Amp, rotor, antenna switch, ...) to be controlled as if they were connected to SmartSDR PC's Comm Ports. Using HRD, DDUTIL, etc... on the SmartSDR PC normally.

    FRS would only need to maintain the USB-RS232 Linux drivers to SmartCAT interface. No hassles with trying to keep up to date on every new "Shack Accessory". Heck, once implemented, FRS could see about a USB-Parallel Port interface. (SmartPPORT?) Think of it... Your SmartSDR PC / Laptop only needing a network connection to control all those goodies. Mike
  • k0eook0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited June 2017
    I don't see it mentioned in the replies to your question Ken, but DDUtil has a very nice client you can turn on and run on your remote PC that controls the Steppir, Rotor and one of your amps running on your Radio room PC....  I use it with my 6500 and it works very well...
  • WA6FXT MikeWA6FXT Mike Member
    edited September 2016
    That assumes you have a PC running at your station 24/7.
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited January 2016
    If you are running remote you pretty well need a PC running 24/7 or you need a way to start the PC remotely BTW. I use DDUTIL to remotely control my rotor Amp and Steppir.
  • WA6FXT MikeWA6FXT Mike Member
    edited September 2016
    Not if the control is via comm ports attached the radio's USB Port. Then you only need the radio and accessories running.
  • IW7DMH, EnzoIW7DMH, Enzo Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hello Mike,

    it seems the solution you depicted is already available at least for the software component.
    Linux OS can use the ser2net (RFC2217 compliant) daemon to send the serial protocol over TCP-IP. On the other side you only need a Virtual Serial Port driver. I suppose the same SSDR-Cat could do the job.
    I did a test some months ago when Stu talked about the SoftEther VPN system.
    In the following video, starting form minute 3:26, I am configuring a virtual serial port that is remotely connected to my Prosistel rotator. N1MM control software works very well and isn't aware the virtual serial port is actually a remote-virtual-serial port.
    I think this could be the best solution but it requires that Flex designers would "open" their kernel to enable the ser2net daemon.

    73' Enzo
    iw7dmh






  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    I got to thinking about this. While I don't see that happening, I think that's a good thing. The rotor and amp should have independent programmatic interfaces but not owned by one device. That's the one problem I see with Maestro, its a dedicated interface. As well, beyond ddutil being Windows only it is also Flex only, again dedicated, single purpose applet. Contrast that to a dll, .so, jar to control the amp and another for the rotor. Anything can link to it.
  • Al_NN4ZZAl_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Peripheral controller

    Here is a solution that has been discussed before and seems like it would be a good one. 
    • There would be a network attached and dedicated micro-controller running at the radio location to control all peripherals
    • It would essentially be "ddutil in a box."    
    • It would have an embedded web server you could address locally or remotely to provide setup and runtime display information.  Also firmware updates would be supported via the web server. 
    • It would not be running Windows, only a basic OS, the DDUtil-like software, and web server. 
    • It would be remotely rebootable  (needs to be bullet proof and able to be recovered remotely)
    • It would connect to the radio via IP / ethernet and/or the accessory connector (I2C, etc)
    • It would have all of the needed I/O protocols and hardware connections (serial, parallel, BCD, CIV, etc) to drive tuners, band switches, amplifiers, antennas (SteppIR), etc
    • It would have USB ports where you could connect a FlexControl (in case you want to run a second one locally controlled by this software in addition to one controlled by SSDR if you are running on a PC)
    Eventually when all peripherals are network attached this controller would become obsolete but would not impact the 6xxx radio software since the only connection is via IP.  All of the DDUtil-like software is on the micro-controller. 

    See this idea for additional information on the approach.

    https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/band_data-3xef1?topic-reply-list%5Bsettings%5D%5Bfi...

    This would be a great project for a third party person or group but not trivial.  And it would have to be affordable (another challenge).  So it may never happen.....

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    6700 - HW.................... V 1.6.17.74
    SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V 1.6.17.156
    Win10





    connect to the radio 
  • WA6FXT MikeWA6FXT Mike Member
    edited September 2016
    Enzo, Yes, the driver exists in Linux; however, FRS needs to install the driver and ensure it cannot be subverted as a back door into the radio's Linux OS. Walt, My method doesn't put the shack device under radio control. As a Comm Port "virtually" connected to the SmartSDR PC, the controlling application is running via the SmartSDR PC. Mike
  • WA6FXT MikeWA6FXT Mike Member
    edited June 2017
    Al, Your solution is just another PCrunning 24/7 in the shack, outside the box. Think "Inside The Box". BTW - Maestro could be setup to control accessories, if it allowed third part apps to be run.
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    Well, maybe after they get done putting their name on a tcp/ip controlled Linear they will make an FRS rotor control that only talks to the 6000 and a tcp/ip controlled logging / contesting program that is directly controlled by the radio.

    I agree with Howard on this you really need a 24/7 computer running. A small mac-mini like fanless pc can be had for under $200. The one thing about ddutil is it's a Windows OS swiss army knife. One 'giant' applet that controls a whole multitude of devices specificly for Flex radios. As I was explaining, in my case, a jar for controlling a DCU-1 rotor controller. Simple common interface instantiating a DCU-1 specific implementation. Ditto for the Amp / ext tuner. In that way it can be useful as devices get swapped in and out and driven by anything running on any OS. But, that's me.

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