Smartlink and paddle CW?

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Hi,
I am proud owner of a 6600M (no extra Maestro) and love it. Got N1MM+ all integrated and started to play with SO2R as well. So far so good.

I travel a lot and love CW. I do not have a Maestro, but would still use a paddle remotely.  I know that SmartSDR cannot relay the side tone.  Is there still an option to run a real paddle with a small WinKeyer box at the remote client?  Lets assume I would be ok with a 100ms+ latency of sidetone or I would listen to the client's winkeyer's box's side tone instead. I guess I would have to get the WinKeyer COM port remoted somehow. Anyone done that?

Thanks
Andy
KU7T 
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Andy - KU7T

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Posted 7 months ago

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Kari Gustafsson SM0HRP, Elmer

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Hi Andy, 
 I do this way: http://remotedxandcontestblog.sm0hrp.se/2018/02/04/how-to-add-remote-contest-capability-to-flex-6000...
I have 30 ms latency and I work all my contests remote without a remote PC. 
73s Kari  
(Edited)
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Andy - KU7T

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Kari,
I was reading your blog but I do not understand.  Questions:

Do you essentially remote the COM port for winkeyer from remote to shack computer?
If so, how is the shack end hooked up to the Flex?
How does this integrate into contest software like N1MM+?
Does this require VPN?

Thanks
Andy
KU7T
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Andy - KU7T

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Just FYI, I am going to try out WKRemote (http://www.hamcrafters2.com/WKremoteX.html) and will report back here when I got it running...

Andy
KU7T
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Kari Gustafsson SM0HRP, Elmer

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Hi Andy, it is very simple. I should do a schematic :)
At the remote radio end I have no PC (to risky in my opinion) only the remote rig 1258 MKII radio box. This box has CW keyer output that I connect to the FlexRadio front panel CW key input . It has also a Audio input that I connect to the FlexRadio front panel Audio output. At home base I have the Remote rig control box which is connected with a USB cable to my PC with N1MM or WriteLog. The control box automatically creates virtual COM Ports for CW keying with Winkeyer emualation (at the radio end) that I choose in the N1MM configurator for CW keying.
So when I do N1MM or WL CW keying at my home base PC the remoterig radio box keyes the FlexRadio. At the same time the audio output from the FlexRadio is routed back to the Remoterig control box at home base and I can hear the CW side tones. This works very well and is 100 % rock solid.
No VPN is required. Just regular internet. SmartLink can be used. The bandwidth required is about 300 kbit/s depending on the audio quality of the remote rig audio (there different compression levels).
With the remote rig boxes comes two COM ports that you may use to control RS-232 devices as well. Rotors, wattmeters etc. You van attach your Morse key paddle to the remote rig control box and get local sidetone as well as keying the Flex remotely.
So this is the only way today to get local CW side tone when doing remote contest CW.
I hope this explains my easy set up. Many flex users have adopted this in remote CW I know.
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Varistor

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This approach seems to defeat the purpose of SmartLink and adds complexity- now you are using both RR and SmartLink.

IMHO, all radio vendors have a rather narrow view of what remote access means. They may provide basic access to the radio, but ignore the bigger picture of access to the entire station. If you have one antenna per band life is somewhat easy. Otherwise one solution for access to the radio, another for station automation and control (RX antenna management, stack management, 4SQ direction selection, rotators control, etc.), yet another for environmental controls (temp, humidity, etc.)...it's one big mess.
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Kari Gustafsson SM0HRP, Elmer

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Well I do not see it defeats SmartLink since it used to connect to the radio and it’s DAX and CAT Ports wherever you may be. To be able to remotely connect to everything the vendors need to agree on one communication protocol and GUI. Now with Ethernet becoming standard Mor and more vendors concerto to this instead of e g RS-232. I see FlexRadio being a major driver forward in this field with radios, amplifiers, tuners and antenna switches.
But I agree with your views in the legacy radio world. - there you have a list of standards to keep up to and even try to get them to be compatible with each other. Which of course is a difficult task if not impossible.
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Matt NQ6N

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I have begun using Ria's SoftEther script and have been getting 20ms RTT much of the time to my remote station.  There is not really any noticeable lag when keying CW remotely (using the Flex virtual Winkeyer).

The main deficiencies of this approach are 1) there is no sidetone generated by SmartSDR for the virtual WinKeyer so one cannot year the transmitted keying and 2) It is not possible to connect paddles to the remote operating position. 

I'm actually working on writing software to address both of these deficiencies, but I am also secretly hoping that Flex releases an updated SmartSDR with both features built in before I finish my code.  It's all working in the Python version but I decided to port it to c# so that I could use the FlexAPI library, and in doing that I am needing to figure out a better way of generating the on-off keyed audio sine wave.  If anyone is aware of a way to do this with low latency in c# I'd be most appreciative. 

73,
Matt NQ6N
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Kari Gustafsson SM0HRP, Elmer

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Great Matt! What script is this? I did not know there is one :) 
Look forward to the new software. Sorry I cannot help with c#...:( 
Cannot one make an adapater/mixer to the Maestro keyer input that accepts CW paddel input and DTR CW keying from PC? If we sent a man to the moon...
73s Kari  
(Edited)
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W5AP

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Kari,   I also have the remote rig (RRC-1258 MkII boxes) which I was going to sell, until I read your hookup for remote CW keying of the Flex 6600M using a Maestro remotely over the NET.  So I would like to know how you hookup the rrc boxes?  A schematic would of course be great.  I already have port forwarding set up with my router.  But things like - how do you connect the 15 pin acc jacks and 9 pin rs-232 cables that were used with the K3 and K3 mini.    

Thanks es 73, Jim - W5AP
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Kari Gustafsson SM0HRP, Elmer

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Hi JIm, I made it even more simpler. From the RRC radio CW keyer output (paddle output)  I connected it to the FlexRadio front panel CW key input . It ́s audio input I connected to the FlexRadio front panel Audio output. Then use the ethernet ("connect button" of RRC control status window) to make the SIP connection between the RRC boxes so that  the Flex Radio CW sidetone is routed back to RRC Speaker output. . And I use VSP COM1 of RRC control box and tie it to the DTR CW keying.
All settings are on my remotecontect blog. Voila!  


(Edited)
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Charlie Rubenstein KB8CR

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The RemoteRig Control box generates a local sidetone which is available at it's SPKR output, and mutes the VoIP audio while sending (and a short period after), so that you aren't distracted by the radio's sidetone being delayed in the case of higher latency. I use the RemoteRig boxes quite a bit to run my IC7100 (in Ohio) from my Florida QTH. Works very well. I haven't purchased my Flex just yet, but plan to get one after Dayton (Xenia actually now).
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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You can connect a key directly to a Maestro, get local sidetone and connect to the radio via SmartLink.  The Maestro has a built-in hardware WinKeyer for this purpose.
(Edited)
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Charlie Rubenstein KB8CR

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True, but I'm scraping to get a 6300.....Don't think I can pull off a Maestro too right now :-) I'll be operating with the SmartLink software on a PC.
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Matt NQ6N

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I've written a program to connect a WinKeyer's' output to the remote operating position PC for keying remotely with local side tone. If anyone would like to use this program as an alpha or beta tester, please email me at matt@nq6n.com for a download link.  I'm still polishing a few things but it seems to work quite nicely and there is barely any noticeable latency.  
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Charlie Rubenstein KB8CR

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Well, I 'scraped' together a bit more money, and bought a 6400 at Dayton. :-)  I'm still looking towards a paddle CW solution over internet remote (other than keeping the remoterig boxes for cw keying only). Without a Maestro. If SSDR allowed for a hardware WinkeyUSB to be connected to the laptop running the client and sent the CW to the radio ,that would be ideal. I don't know if it allows that. Local sidetone can be generated in the hardware keyer itself at the operating position.  I know there are alot of CW purists running Flex who would appreciate that. 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Look at Matt NQ6N, his work on just this, he is looking for people to give his software a try,,,winkey on PC
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Charlie Rubenstein KB8CR

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Matt sent me the link to the application. I currently don't have a WinkeyUSB to try with it. My Flex gets delivered this week, and for now will use the RemoteRig boxes I had from my Icom 7100 to do remote keying with paddles, until I (or FRS) figure out a better way. 

Charlie
(Edited)
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BD8SZ

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Thx, It's a good method.