USB Over IP for Remote RF power & VSWR ??

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  • Updated 2 years ago
I've been mulling over remote RF power & VSWR solutions.  Since I have transverters and 1KW power amps on VHF/UHF, I've been looking for a way to watch power & VSWR over IP.

One method that seems plausible and potentially trustworthy is the use of Bird 5014 Directional Power Sensors fitted with Model 43 elements.  The 5014 has a USB interface.

So, .. I need some method of converting USB to IP and then resolving the IP to interface with Bird's (free!!) VPM3 monitoring software.  There would be 3 or 4 total sensors to transport over IP.

I've cursorily investigated some USB over IP solutions and find things ranging from http://www.amazon.com/SIIG-USB-over-1-Port-ID-DS0611-S1/dp/B00DQDSK0U  to http://www.digi.com/products/usb-and-serial-connectivity/usb-over-ip-hubs/anywhereusb

Has anyone else tried something like this?? 
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Mike - W8MM

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Posted 2 years ago

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K1UO - Larry

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Hi Mike,  An ideal solution would be the LP100A wattmeter using its rs232 port tied to a MOXA NPort 5110 serial port server unit at the remote end and use the LP100a VCP (virtual control panel) software on your home end PC!

73

Larry  K1UO

Shoot...  Just read your msg again.  not sure if the LP100 has UHF couplers or not..  VHF is no problem.

(Edited)
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Mike - W8MM

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Right, Larry's stuff is quite nice but only goes to 6 meters.
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Jim Gilliam

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Why not use software to support the USB on a local client computer and use some remote desktop software like Teamviewer to monitor?
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K1UO - Larry

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Jim is correct... Teamviewer is great for Remote monitoring, and or control, if you are using a PC at the remote end.  If trying to eliminate a PC at the remote then something like the Moxa is required.  USB over IP is usually a no go for remote monitoring.  You need an actual serial rs232 port on your wattmeter and one that can couple UHF as well as VHF frequencies.  On second thought the Array Solutions Powermaster may fit that bill.


  

(Edited)
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Mike - W8MM

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Well, ... I thought of that, but it requires yet another computer which will have its own set of issues and expenses.  I'd rather a more stand-alone style solution.

edit -- I will admit that a cheap Windoz box with 4 USB ports might require a whole lot less "inventing" than other ways to do it.

Sometimes, the perfect is the enemy of the good. ;~)
(Edited)
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Rob N4GA

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You could roll your own full custom if you have $19 and like a PHd:

https://store.particle.io/
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Mike - W8MM

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Hahaha
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Sergey, R5AU

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For remote ports purpose using this toy: http://www.silexeurope.com/en/home/products/usb-device-servers/sx-ds-4000u2.html


and US232R-100 - Premium USB - RS232 Serial Converter Cable

from here http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/Cables/USBRS232.htm

no issues recognized yet
(Edited)
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Mike - W8MM

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The Bird 5014 goes all the way to 2.4 GHz with appropriate Model 43 slugs.  There is also an equivalent RS-232 device that is the Bird 5010B.  They both cost the same and since USB seems more modern than RS-232 for transport of IP, that's why I gravitated to USB.
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K1DBO

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I've used a couple USB to IP converters and for the most part they work well.  Most, however, wont work with a sound card, some will work with a thumb drive, but all I've tried seem to work with simple devices like serial ports or devices that pretend to be serial ports.  I suspect the watt meter falls into the later category.  While something like the moxa serial port over IP might be attractive, that solution is usually more expensive than the USB over IP devices combined with a USB to serial port device.  

I'm currently using a four port IOGear USB to IP device that seems to work well.  I use it to control my KPA500 and KAT500 when operating remote.  But note that for me remote usually means inside the same house.  If I'm out of the house and remote I use RDP to find my way in... but that's a different topic. A "feature" of this device device it that it's externally powered from a 12v source.  It seems to deal nicely with the 13.8v that I feed it from my rigs power supply.    The normal UI client for the converter doesnt have an option for stealing a USB device that's already been connected to another computer.  But it does have a web interface that allows a reboot.  ...and that causes the devices to be released.

Note that there are cheap TCP to serial devices that might tempt you.  But only the expensive ones ($75/port) come with software that's anywhere near as good as you'd get with the more versatile USB to IP devices.