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Remote AC power control of a Flex 6400

First - Sorry for these questions but I just got a Flex 6400 but it's installed in my Florida remote so I didn't even see it over here in San Diego. I am helping my ham host to set it up as he will be sharing the use of the radio, but as I don't have it over here I am assuming things without seeing what's the result.

As stated above, I just got a Flex 6400 and had my remote base host in Florida set it up. We are still struggling with SmartSDR (2.6.2 for now) and I have asked some questions in the SmartSDR section.

I have full remote control of the remote and one of the items is the ability to turn off the radio and disconnect the antennas (see my QRZ page for my TS-480SAT setup)

My question here is: If I switch off AC power to the Flex 6400, then turn it back ON, will we be able to turn the radio fully on via SmartSDR?

I assume that the radio's power switch doesn't fully turn off the radio (the manual explains the "cold boot" which is what would be doing), which is fine. But I need to know if once I reapply the AC power if I can regain control without having to physically push a button. Can't test this now as we are struggling with SmartSDR (just got it yesterday so it's "new")

Answers

  • KD0RCKD0RC Broomfield, COMember ✭✭✭

    Hi Bruno. There is an RCA jack on the back labeled REM ON. If you short the terminals, the rig will power up. Open the circuit and it will shut down. In my set up, I got a cheap ($20) 4 channel wifi controller model SANT-4CH from Amazon. I load an app to my phone and I can power on/off my Flex from anyplace that has cell service. I use one channel for the REM ON of the Flex, and the other three to switch among antennas. There is not a way for SmartSDR to perform this function.

    73,

    Len, KD0RC

  • BL7IBBL7IB Member ✭✭

    No if you have nothing connected to the remote on/off RCA jack

    I prefer a ‘safe shutdown’ for the software radio instead of power disconnection. As if you press the button off, it flash for a few seconds to save data to flash memory. Better use the remote on/off RCA jack

    If your remote have extra channel it is nice to have both warmboot coldboot

    Yet i test the following: While the external 13v8 DC is off, i short the remote power RCA jack, re-apply DC, the radio boot up normally

    73 de BL7iB

  • W4AFK BrunoW4AFK Bruno Member ✭✭

    Thanks to both of you :-)

    I see the challenge as the "soft-power-off" saves everything to flash, so just removing AC power could cause corruption issues.

    Noted for the rear panel RCA jack.

    Yes, I could setup a simple AC powered relay to do that. I use a Web Power Switch (IP managed AC power) so I can have a "wall wart" powering a simple SPST relay to remotely turn the radio on/off. Once OFF, I could remove AC power ... brainstorming a solution LOL

  • Larry BenoitLarry Benoit Member ✭✭

    If you don't have an AC relay handy , a the Digital Loggers AC/DC powered relay works well. Just plug into one of your remote controlled AC outlets and connect it to the 6400 with a mono RCA audio cable from your junk box. You'll need to enable enable "Remote On" in the SmartSDR Radio Setup form.

    https://www.digital-loggers.com/ac.html

    73,

    Larry KB1VFU

  • Mike-VA3MWMike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin

    Hi Bruno

    If you are running remote, but more than a 20 minute drive away, you may want to consider the following:

    WiFi web switches - there are lots of solutions. You will want these for: AC power of of DC power supply, Remote ON/OFF on the radio (the RCA jack), Remote PTT 'just in case you need to do a SmartLink re-registration.

    Add to the above anything that might need to be rebooted via a power cycle.

    Some sort of 'box -- on amazon' that will automatically reboot your modem/router should the internet go out. After all, isn't this the first thing your ISP says if your internet is out? Have your power cycled your modem?

    I would leave a local PC running that will auto startup in case of a power failure. This will allow you to update SmartSDR if you need to and even run very reliable digital operations on the local PC. You can use some sort of Remote Desktop to access it (AnyDesk, TeamView, Chrome remote desktop, etc). You will find this invaluable should you really need access to the network the radio is on to make software updates to the radio or to do changes on your router should that be required.

    Some sort of basic lightning protection. There are devices that ground antennas when the DC power is off to the radio.

    You have to be a bit paranoid if you are going to be away for more than a few days! :) Unless your brother in law can drive over and reboot stuff.

    I hope that helps a bit, Mike va3mw

  • W4AFK BrunoW4AFK Bruno Member ✭✭

    Mike ... I am 2682 miles away (San Diego home, remote in Palm Bay, Florida). Have a look at my QRZ page. My ham-host manages the few times when I need local support but he typically travels to Europe ~40% of the year. Once C-19 is under control he will start to travel again, hence brainstorming on how to handle that.

    My present remote is with a TS-480SAT and an ALS600S amp and I can remotely manage everything without the need for a local computer. I have antenna disconnects and multiple fail safe systems in place (auto-ping that auto-reboots the modem and router if it senses that I am no longer on-line, DynDNS as my cable modem is on DHCP, 220V power control for the amp, a camera to see the amp's front panel and lots more). If push comes to shove, my ham-0host or his son helps out. Lightning protection, auto disconnects of the center and shield to the radio, ground rods, surge suppressors, etc. I have been using this setup for over 8 years, which means MANY thunder storms, two hurricanes and more LOL.

    Check out my QRZ page.

    Note that I already use an IP managed Web power Switch and remotely control every outlet. I can use one of the outlets to toggle a SPST relay that will open/close the RCA jack connection.

    As for a local computer I can setup a small RaspberryPi computer, but it's Linux based. I like the RasbP as it's small. consumes little power, and is robust. I can place on the Intranet side of the router and port forward to it as I come in via a cable modem (I have FTTH 1Gbps U/D fiber over here). The key is finding out is I can use a Linux based device to perform the F/W update tasks.

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