OpenVPN Help

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  • Updated 7 months ago
I got my Flex 6300 in last week and quickly fell in love with the radio. I’m trying to get it setup for remote operation so I can access the Flex from my iPhone while out and about with the iOS app. I have OpenVPN running on a raspberry pi and when my iPhone is connected to the vpn I can browse my home network just as you would guess I could. On the iOS app, it will never find the 6300 to connect to it unless I specify the IP address specifically...that’s no problem. It will even connect to the 6300, but I get no spectrum analyzer, no waterfall, no audio from the 6300 on the app. I have connected to the 6300 with SmartSDR for Windows on my home network on both my Surface tablet as well as my shack PC. But the Surface when on an outside network connected to the OpenVPN will never find the 6300 as being available to connect to it. I’m attaching a screenshot of what my iOS app looks like when trying to connect to it via the OpenVPN.

With OpenVPN do you have to specifically open certain ports for it to work? Everything else I’ve tried such as VNC & simple kings and accessing a web server that sits on my home network work just fine when connected to the OpenVPN. Since I’m on the OpenVPN, I shouldn’t have to forward any ports on my home routers firewall should I? I did forward the ports on it to allow access to my OpenVPN and that part is working fine. I’m just stumped as to what is tripping up my connection to the Flex
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Chris Knight

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  • confused

Posted 7 months ago

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Mark Thomas

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Chris,

Regarding the IOS App and OpenVPN: provided you enter your radio LAN IP, it should work, and clearly it is at least partly communicating with the radio base. It works for me and others. Maybe there is an OpenVPN setting or something else about the raspberry pi affecting the forwarded traffic, as you suggest. Is the IOS App working properly for you when you are using home WiFi and on the same LAN subnet, with no OpenVPN involved?

Regarding SmartSDR on the Surface: That will not currently work via OpenVPN, unless you jump through hoops to forward LAN broadcasts via VPN, or remotely spoof or relay the home radio beacons. SmartSDR intentionally does not have the option to permit you to enter the radio's IP address, even if you know the IP and can reach it reliably.

I sure wish FRS would add the feature to SmartSDR Windows/Maestro, that is already in the IOS App, to permit connecting to the radio base by IP address, as it would solve this nonsense for those of us who care.

-Mark Thomas KC3DRE
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Chris Knight

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Mark, thank you for the reply. I haven’t tried the iOS app on my home network as of yet. I will though and see if I can get it working there.

On the SmartSDR for Windows/Surface issue, I’m really disappointed. All this talk about remote operations with a Flex has left me disappointed on almost every front. To me “remote operations” isn’t just in the next room. I’m a “road warrior” traveling a lot for work each week. I wanted the Flex so I could still play Ham Radio when not at home, I didn’t want the Flex so I could sit on my couch at home and play Ham Radio. After buying the Flex, I find out that DAX doesn’t work via SmartLink, which totally kills digital modes...and I was told you could get it to work through VPN connection. Now you’re telling me that SmartSDR for Windows can’t even connect via OpenVPN, because we can’t tell the SmartSDR software what the IP of our Flex is??? This is turning into a $2,000 mistake for me...
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Mark Thomas

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Flex Radio does offer the SmartLink non-VPN-based feature for remotely connecting to your base radio via router port-forwarding. This has a benefit of set-up simplicity for those with less networking experience.

This unfortunately does not solve the problem for those of us with WAN and multi-subnet local environments, or who would simply prefer not to port-forward publicly accessible ports to our radios through our firewalls.

Please see this thread:

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/will-maestro-smartsdr-2-0-support-connecting-to-a-lan-connected-radio-that-is-not-on-the-same-subnet
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Chris Knight

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Mark, so with the proper port forwarding on my router, smartlink will allow DAX to work to my surface tablet?
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Mark Thomas

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SmartLink does not support DAX, or at least did not last I heard. My reference to port-forwarding was specific to how SmartSDR works, not a suggestion about DAX.
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Mike va3mw

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Chris

There is lots of vpn discussion in this community.

As the radio does L2 communications your vpn must be able to manage that on the same subnet.

Most road warriors run SoftEther for a vpn and it works very well.

Do a search for SoftEther. You’ll find Instructions on how to make it work.
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Chris Knight

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Mike, thank you for the suggestion. I will look into SoftEther
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Mike va3mw

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I use it everyday.
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Jim Gilliam

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I have OpenVPN on my Asus routers and it works very well on the PC. I loaded the OpenVPN app on my iPad and iPhone and made connection to my remote router. But, I got the error message that IOS does not support TAP and could not assign a remote LAN I/P address to the remoting IOS device. However L2TP works very well with an IOS device and, in order to use L2TP, I had to set up Softether on a computer at the remote site. This subject has been discussed at length on various threads.


Jim, K6E

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John - WA7UAR

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I expect/hope that Dax will be upgraded for the PC “soon” but there is an alternative for Flex users who run on Mac — the xDax third party app is giving Mac users a rewarding remote experience: https://dl3lsm.blogspot.ca/p/download...
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Mario - DL3LSM

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Hi John,

I appreciate your references to xCAT and xDAX but as it came up now several times I want to correct this. The released versions of xCAT and xDAX are not using SmartLink so you can use them either locally or remote via VPN. A xCAT version with SmartLink is in final testing here (you want to test it?) and I'll try to use xDAX via SmartLink as well (reduced to one RX stream to save bandwidth). 

So new things are coming but I do not have much time at the moment.

Thanks and 73
Mario, DL3LSM