Reestablishment Utility a possibility?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 12 months ago
This morning I’m waiting for the speakers to start at a trade show, and have found I cannot remote into my main station.

Pretty certain what’s gone amiss, but it looks like I cannot correct the issues remotely.

Clever folks have been using remote access software and WiFi aware power switches to handle some of the issues. But none of that works if it isn’t implemented and up & running. In my case the station pc is not on, making remote access that bit more difficult.

Would it be possible to incorporate right in the Flex-6x00 ecosystem a reestablishment utility? A utility that an owner could access, provided they had the right credentials?

Security is a manageable issue - there are lots of techniques in use that could be considered.

The utility could be quite simple, perhaps including opportunities to:

Reboot the radio
Reconnect to smartlink
Force transmit inhibit
Read an error condition
Read radio operating status
Report information on other user(s) active

If the connectivity were worked out to add a secondary source of access beyond smartlink it would be even better.

Net benefit is I’d be making QSOs remote from Omaha rather than burning bandwidth thinking out loud about utilities.

73

Steve
K9ZW
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1566 Posts
  • 771 Reply Likes

Posted 12 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Michael Walker

Michael Walker, Employee

  • 1047 Posts
  • 310 Reply Likes
Steve

This has been well discussed by FRS internally.    Let me comment on this from my past experience in a different (non-ham radio/FRS) market.  Yes, the market does need a plug and play design.

The question that we are not able to solve is what would the community pay for such a solution?  Can it be engineered, produced, supported (that is a big) and be profitable?  It would also have to be a hardware device, lan based and be able to handle internet security.

I know on my remote station, I can do most of that, such as:

  • Automatically reboot the Modem if no internet
  • Remote power cycle the 12DC power
  • Softpower down the 6600
  • AC power cycle the PC
  • Plus -- all the remote access things like accessing my PC next to the radio

One of the biggest challenges is post sales supportability, meaning if what happens ... if.   Some of the biggest expense is the tooling to make this a nice looking box/utility.

This has to be accounted for in the product design and life cycle.  

What would the market support for a retail price?

Mike va3mw

p.s.  I know some enterprising hams have posted some cost effective solutions.  Maybe someone wants to take the lead and market something as a garage industry.
(Edited)
Photo of Steven Linley

Steven Linley

  • 400 Posts
  • 67 Reply Likes
Mike, how are you rebootng your modem?
Photo of Michael Walker

Michael Walker, Employee

  • 1047 Posts
  • 310 Reply Likes
You an buy an Digitial IO Loggers web switch and that will do it for you.  You can find them on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Web-Power-Switch-Pro-Model/dp/B0765NCB2L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=154047654....  If you are in the US, this is about the closest plug and play solution.  Lots of Hams use this.

However, they are  hugely expensive in Canada, so I use a Raspberry PI and a script that runs every 20 minutes to check.  I couldn't justify the $360 +HST Canadian cost.
Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1566 Posts
  • 771 Reply Likes
Station accessories in the 2-5% of total station investment tend to be easy acquisitions. Easier to justify and fund at that sort of level.

Capabilities vs cost become more an issue if costs become more significant.

73

Steve
K9ZW
Photo of John - K3MA

John - K3MA

  • 379 Posts
  • 127 Reply Likes
To expand on what Mike said.  You need to run a script on the Digital Loggers device that check for a ping on a internet address.  Something like Google and if it does not get a response then it reboot the specified plugs.  Usually the one with the Modem and Router.
Photo of Steven Linley

Steven Linley

  • 400 Posts
  • 67 Reply Likes
You can make your PC reboot when power is (removed and) Restored. This is an option in your Bios.
Photo of W7KHZ

W7KHZ

  • 10 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Steve, its apparent that we won't get what we need. I have had to get USB controlled relay boards for the two radios we have and run a small app on external computers to reset/restart the radios, accessible via Teamviewer, to the remote on/off RCA jack. Its kind of pointless to try and control a device that is connected to the radio or Smartlink if the radio is lost in lala land. The "brute force" approach seems to work much better for now.
Photo of Michael Walker

Michael Walker, Employee

  • 1047 Posts
  • 310 Reply Likes
Not to be lost in a reply, this is about the best solution available today:

https://www.amazon.com/Web-Power-Switch-Pro-Model/dp/B0765NCB2L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=154047654...

Mike 
Photo of Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

  • 170 Posts
  • 73 Reply Likes
Surely, if your service is down then everything will be down and anything connected to or dependent on the flow of data from the remote location, by whatever means will not work.

Just a thought....
Photo of Michael Walker

Michael Walker, Employee

  • 1047 Posts
  • 310 Reply Likes
I have had  many internet failures while transmitting unfortunately.  Full HF power sometimes can have ill effects on the modem if you are not choked correctly.  Every time, the transmitter has stopped transmitting.  

Mike