SoftEther for use as VPN for Smart SDR

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RE.::  http://www.softether.org/

SoftEther Virtual VPN for Remote Operation

Dear Friends:

I have been meaning to send this out for a while, although I wanted to wait to make sure that the system works well.  I use SoftEther Virtual VPN for successful remote operation without having to use LogMeIn, Team Viewer, GoToMyPC, or alike...I have not been using it for X-Mit, however, as I have lost connection here and there...I just have not had the time to address the issue...However, this is NOT a difficult issue to resolve...Smart SDR offers no difference or greater difficulty in terms of connection issues during X-Mit than with other radios or other CAT-Software programs such as HRD.  The typical connection issues one would experience during X-Mit with Ham Radio Deluxe-6 or other versions when transmitting remotely with a Yaesu, Icom, or other radio, is no different than with the Flex-6700.  I typically have used a dedicated remote port for PTT which will cease operation when and if the net-connection is lost thus solving the problem.  In the event of a real problem of transmitter lock-up, I also have the ability to shut down the power supply to the radio remotely via the net using an RS-232 remote controlled Ambery Power Control System:  http://www.Ambery.com/prreposwphco.html, which also has Telephone Touch-Tone Control.  Ambery power systems also have Browser/IE-Explorer control/accessibility as well which can be accessed through a remote computer via LogMeIn or directly with Port Forwarding through your router.  Ambery systems are fairly inexpensive.  They sold for about $150 on eBay when I last purchased an Ambery a couple of years ago.  The Ambery systems provide four or eight (depends upon which version) 115 VAC power ports or "sockets" to be controlled via RS-232 or Telephone Touch-Tone Control with a PIN number just like your old answering machine.  There is a two-port version as well.  Get the models that have Telephone Touch-Tone Control for the extra insurance.  My station also has an Array Solutions PowerMaster Watt Meter with RS-232 remote control and visualization of parameters.  Similarly, the SPE 1K-FA Linear has similar capability with Ambery remote power control.  My station also has TX relay interruption capability to the SPE linear.  The addition of IP-Web Cameras allow for visualization of the station during remote operation as well.  So, there is quite a bit of redundant safety in my station. 

CW, of course, is now easily sent with the new Flex updates which afford us CW transmit via the keyboard.  SoftEther VPN software requires no dedicated server...It is a Virtual Server which runs on W7, Vista, XP, and W8.  It requires little programming knowledge.  No alteration of my W7-Pro operating system was necessary.  Most importantly is the fact that SoftEther is free of charge.  Initially, it took me an hour or so to get the hang of the use of SoftEther.  However, the software is easy to set-up and is quite intuitive.  It will bring you step-by-setp through the set-up process after installation.  Since SoftEther was written in Japan, the English grammar in some parts of the manual leaves a bit to be desired.  Never-the-less, the instructions are clear and easily understood.  If you mess-up, just uninstall and start again...No need to reboot.  On some of my computers upon which I initially installed SoftEther, I was not able to get the pan-adapter properly visualized, although SmartSDR was finding the radio; radio control & CAT operation were working; and remote audio was present.  So, I knew that I was on the right track.  I have since installed SoftEther on my "Flex-Ready Computer" purchased from http://www.AbrohamNealSoftware.com/ upon which SoftEther has worked very well without any modification or changes to W7 required.  I did add an extra port, however, to the router and the software.  SoftEther will automatically find the best port of several already programmed/installed into the software.  You may have to open ports in your router.  SoftEther has options which will "Tunnel" through your Windows Fire Wall without requiring even basic knowledge of Windows Operating Systems or Fire Wall security and  management.  So, I believe it to be a simple, easy-to-use package.  As I said, If you mess up, just uninstall and start again...

[1.  The following is a screen shot of my Abroham Neal Flex-Ready Computer Desktop running W7-Pro being which is to be used as the SoftEther VPN Server.  This is an i7 8-Core fast computer with lots of memory.  However, SoftEther also worked just fine on my Vaio Laptop which is already getting up there in age.  In this screen shot, SoftEther Server has already been installed, configured, and activated; it is now on-line.  You can simplify the window with an option which will eliminate a bit of the clutter from your Desktop while still being able to visualize the software's operation and on-line status:]




[...The next screen shots below show (2) The Client Computer with SoftEther Client installed and configured, but not yet activated...Notice that the ServerPing-Pro Gadget, in my Windows-7 Side Bar on the left side does not Ping the various addresses at home as SoftEther Client has not been activated.  The LEDs are thus red in colour.  Another screen shot (3) below shows the Client software to have been activated.  Notice that the ServerPing-Pro Gadget in the W7 Side Bar now shows
that it Pings the various addresses in the home network/LAN.  The Client computer has now joined my home LAN.  Another screen shot (4) 
shows that SmartSDR has been started.  Notice that SmartSDR easily finds the Flex-6700 transceiver.  It is high-lighted and ready for use.  The last screen shot (5) shows that the radio is up and running after "Connect" has been clicked.  The picture illustrates poor graphics quality in the water-fall because it was taken remotely via LogMeIn from home.  At the client site, however, the graphics are quite clear and crisp...]



[2.  Immediately below is a screen shot of the Client Computer's Desktop where SoftEther VPN Client software has been configured, but not yet activated or connected.  Again, note the ServerPing Pro Gadget running in my W-7 Side Bar on the left side which "pings" various addresses on the home LAN.  The LEDs are mostly red indicating that the Client software is NOT YET activated and that the Client Computer has not yet joined my home LAN.  The few LEDs which are green in colour in the gadget just happen to be pinging local addresses at work in our local office LAN which are also active.  However, these are NOT from my home LAN...]



[3.  After SoftEther Client has been activated or connected, notice that the W-7 Side Bar Gadget, ServerPing, is now finding most of the addresses as illustrated by the LEDs which are now mostly green in colour indicating that the Client Computer at my office has joined my home LAN after SoftEther Client has Tunneled through to my home network/LAN...]



[4.  Now that ServerPing Gadget shows me that I am properly connected to my home LAN via SoftEther VPN Client by showing green LEDs, I then start SmartSDR.  As you can see, SmartSDR has found  the Flex radio which is now high-lighted and ready for use...]   



[5.  Here, in this screen shot "Connect" has been clicked and the radio is now up & running.  As noted above, the poor quality of the water-fall graphics is because the screen shot was taken remotely via LogMeIn and the computer's memory was being taxed above its ability to keep up with all of the demands of the VPN, SDR, various background processes & services, AND LogMeIn.  My client computer in the office is a slow 2-core old desktop computer without much memory.  Graphics are nice and crisp at the client computer when not over taxed with the addition of LogMeIn...]

Let me know how it goes, my friends...de W3DCB Daniel...

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W3DCB

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  • Enjoy all!

Posted 3 years ago

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Doug K0DV

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There is a lot of information posted on this subject on the web site.  SoftEther VPN is terrific. .  Check out http://tinyurl.com/pmsft55
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W3DCB

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I guess I am a big dummy!  Hi Hi...What is it "they" say?  A dollar short and a day late?  Sometimes with chronic illness, it seems that the entire world goes by and I am playing catch-up...Have been hospitalized for several months at a time several times over past two years for multiple major surgeries...de W3DCB Daniel
(Edited)
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W3DCB

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Thanks, I did not realize...I have been using SoftEther (and several other virtual VPN equiv.) for a long time.  SoftEther works better than my standard Windows Server VPN via my Dell-710 servers running Windows Server 2008.  Over the past year-plus, I have seen multiple posts/questions arising regarding the use of VPN for remote access.  I did not see a definitive reply, however, to those who were posing the questions.  It could be b/c of chronic illness; I am sometimes out of commission for weeks at a time during which I might have missed an entire thread on the subject.  Sorry if it is redundant...Some may get something out of it any way.
Take care...de W3DCB Daniel
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Doug K0DV

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Not to worry Daniel, your information was, indeed, valuable.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Just yesterday I installed soft Ethernet server on my shack computer and the client at the office and I had limited success with remote from the office. I never got a better network signal reading than two or three yellow bars on the rig, probably due to slow upload speeds at the shack that are limited to about 765 Kbps. I only have 3Mbps DSL via ATT. It is 6Mbps at the office win about 1.2 Mbps upload. If I am going to enjoy remote, I am going to need to upgrade my DSL service at the shack a bit.

Even the performance I got required several adjustments:
Remove the waterfall from the display,
Shrink the width of the display by about half,
Turn FPS down to about 10 in the display control menu,
Turn off DAX and make sure a DAX channel is not selected in the receive panel,
Only use one slice and one pan.

With these parameters adjusted, I could let it run I. The background for about an hour without any significant dropouts while I was doing other things.

So there is hope, even for someone slightly computer challenged like me....

It would be better if I could get Parallels Access running on my shack computer. It might take less network overhead.

Ken - NM9P
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W3DCB

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Eventually, I decided that LogMeIn or TeamViewer is not so bad for remote operations of the Flex-6700 until Smart SDR 2.0 is released.  Sometimes our office Ethernet has quite a bit of traffic.  So, sometimes performance from my work location can be poor just b/c of all of the traffic.  However, it is the other software of which I want and need direct control via VPN Tunnel, i.e., Power Master watt meter view and control via RS-232; SPE 1K-FA linear control & monitoring of parameters via RS-232; SteppIR antenna control box via RS-232, etc.  In the end, I find myself using LogMeIn for the Flex-6700 waterfall, etc., and the VPN for the accessories.  I use two Moxa 16-Port LAN to RS-232 Servers. I found the second Moxa server on eBay for about $125.oo.  I purchased the first directly from a Moxa distributor...I regretted that purchase related to cost, especially after finding several used on eBay for so little!  Today, there is one listed for $69.oo!  I may purchase it just to offer to fellow hams so that it doesn't get away!  de W3DCB  Daniel