As I wrote in this post last December, one of my goals for the year 2018 was setting up my own remote station.
I recently acquired a couple of Remoterig RRC-1258MkII and I’m currently working on trying to set things up for a clean and fine operation.
At the moment, I’m still working with everything locally in my rental appartment, but the first results are already coming.
The following SOTA chases made today were worked remotely from our living room, while the radio RX/TX remained in the shack placed in a corner of our bedroom.
I fear my transmission was not clean and nice in all or most of the cases and I want to apologize for that, as well as thank you for the good ears and patience, but this is not being a straightforward set up and it’s giving me a lot of hard work trying different configurations, not only on router and Remoterigs IP, Netmasks, Gateways, DNS servers, ISP and so on, in which I’m not much of an expert, but also the hardware,
1- connecting everything to the main router of the appartment, set up which seemed to work OK,
2- then connecting everything to a netway Router I bought recently and I’ve configured to work as a Repeater catching the internet through wifi from my main router and then serving it to the Remoterigs through RJ-45. This set-up also seems to work OK and it’s like I did all my SOTA chases today.
3- connecting the Control Remoterig through CAT5 cable to the main Router and the Radio Remoterig to the netway Repeater. This set-up, which is the one I really need to make things work as I’m willing to right now is the one I can’t get to work.
4- connecting the Control Remoterig to the netway Repeater and the Radio Remoterig to the main Router through CAT5 cable. This set-up also seems to work OK.
No need to say how happy my xyl feels these days at me with all the CAT5 Ethernet cables I’m often extending from the main router to the Remoterigs, one in the living room and the other in the bedroom.
Any of the experts reading this forum has any idea on why configurations 1, 2 and 4 are working and the number 3 is not?
With configuration #3 I can’t get the Control to speak to the Radio, so I can’t even swich the IC-706 on.
How is the repeater configured? Are you using the same subnet (i.e. IP address range) across the whole network. If so make sure you have only ONE device acting as the DHCP server giving out the IP addresses. Better still give both of your remote rig devices fixed IP addresses that are in the same subnet range but NOT in the range of addresses that the DHCP server gives out.
If the repeater is set up to have it’s own VLAN using a different subnet range or even subnet mask, you will likely have problems.
If you are using DHCP address allocation and you have two DHCP server functions running on the same network, you will get some really weird problems!
If all of the above makes no sense to you send me screenshots of the configuration panels of your repeater router and main router via a private message on this forum.
I have used wifi repeaters with varing degrees of success a few years ago and at that time it appeared that not all repeaters were compatable with all routers - indeed it seemed to depend on having similar chipsets in the router and repeater. Hopefully protocols have improved - when we had building work done on the house CAT 5 was placed in the appropriate areas so now the data hungry devices are plugged in - with no trainlng leads! I would check how the repeater and router are configured and perhaps try the repeater with a different device. Good Luck!
Thanks, Andy for the report. By the time I made QSO with you I had already found that I was having RFI problems and so I chased you in QRP.
On QRP everything seems to go fine.
However, RFI is not worrying me now because the RF source will be 18 Km away of here when the whole thing will be working as it’s suppossed to be with the radio in the village QTH and I’ll see how things go then regarding RFI.
What it’s a blocking problem now is that the netway router is not working when I connect to it the Radio Remoterig to simulate the final configuration I want to have with the radio in the village QTH and the control in the apartment in Pamplona.
This will be the final configuration:
Thanks Ed, for your reply and kind offer of help.
At the moment I have configured everything with fixed IPs
I’ve been talking to a couple of EA colleagues and they suggested me to open the ports of the repeater. This is something I’ve never done before and I have no idea how it will be like, but I’m going to connect my PC to this netway repeater and see if I find a way to “open the ports”, whatever that is.
I’ll let you know.
Opening ports through a gateway or router is removing blocks that are in to keep your network secure from the Internet. In the case of your repeater it is not connecting directly to the Internet itself - it is either connecting to your WiFi or in the remote location to your neighbours WiFi and therefore will go through a router (with a built-in firewall) before you get to the Internet. therefore both sides of your repeater are in a Local LAN and hence no firewall or blocking of ports are required, so as your friends have said removing that in your current test set-up makes sense.
However the fact that you say that when installed in your “village QTH” you will be going through you neighbours router might give you a problem that you will need to open ports on his router before the traffic from your appartment will get through. Is you friend aware of this? He may not be happy with you asking his to remove part of his firewall security.
At present all of your testing is taking place across your own WLAN in your appartment. Once you start to link via the Internet, thing will get a little more complex to set-up.
Actually before worrying too much, check your Remoterig RRC-1258MkII documentation. If they use ports 21, 80, 443 or 8080 in TCP you’re possibly OK as those ports have to be opened for web browsers to work.
No inbound ports need to be opened for a web browser to work. A web server yes.
Guru @EA2IF , it’s not a big issue opening ports. Some security how-to’s aimed at networking beginners make out that opening ports will lead to the end of the world! I have a number of ports open on my home router and a number of computers that sit on the internet with no firewall at all. The home router has had ports open for 12 years without issue. In fact I’m using such an open port now to pseudo-VPN from my hotel in Czech Republic to the SOTA reflector.
I got my remote base setup working about 2 weeks ago. Had the TS480 head at work and heard Mike 2E0YYY on 40m. Didn’t call as I was at “work”…
My remote site is about 350 km away. So a bit further then 18 km. You will need to open up a minimum of 3 ports on the remote site, two for the VoIP and one for the control data. And if needed another two ports need to be mapped for the web page in the RRC and Telnet. It’s in the manual:
port number Protocol function
13000 UDP SIP
13001 UDP RTP audio
13002 UDP DATA channel control commands
80 TCP WEB interface
23 TCP Telnet Interface
RemoteRig also run a DDNS that is very reliable and fast.
Need any help just ask. Email would be best and I can remote log in via teamviewer if it gets to hard.
I’m happy to inform you that the problem has been solved and I have now the remote station working under the desired configuration (#3).
Note: I see now that in my original post I swapped #3 and #4. Configuration #4 worked well and it was #3 the one which wasn’t working. I’ll edit and correct my original post now.
There were 2 things I was missing:
1- It was necessary to find out the real IP address of the repeater, as I had written on the Remoterig Control\Radio settings\Sip contact (Radio RRC IP/hostname) the IP of the Remoterig Radio, which is the other party the Control was suppossed to talk to, but this was not correct and there must be written the actual IP of the repeater device.
2- Open the ports of the repeater device and readdress the traffic towards the IP of the Remoterig Radio connected to it.
I would have never solved this problem on my own, but it was easily possible with the kind an unvaluable great help of Iñaki EA2CIA.
Thanks a lot, Iñaki.
Now I’ll spend some few days working Remote like this with everything in the appartment and hopefully I’ll be able to migrate with the Radio part to the village QTH soon.
So, here are the news:
The testing done with everything local in the appartment was OK, so I contacted a local internet supplier. They started his internet supply last Saturday morning and my dream project for 2018 became reality, my remote station ready.
This is what I’ve finally got installed, which varied slightly with respect to what I had initially planned.
The main purpose for this first stage is to be able to chase activators in North-America, so I have my rig connected to my TH5-DX yagi beamming North-West and unable to rotate it at the moment. Propagation conditions have been very poor these last few days and I haven’t been able to hear any NA activator yet, despite having stalked to some of them, e.g. N1ZF, KX0R, K9EZ…
Well, I’ll keep trying.
Who will be the first SOTA activator to be worked by EA2IF/Remote?
P.D. thanks to Rick EA4ZK, Ignacio EA2BD and Iñaki EA2CIA for their help and support.
If you had been listening on 20 metres yesterday afternoon, (1500-1600 UTC) the band was FULL of US and Canadian stations. I could “just” hear N3ICE at my noise level but with your beam, I’m sure Jill would have been readable for you. (home stations from the US and Canada were 5-9 plus even on my wire loop).
If you can, it may be worth listening over your remote station around that time today - before the solar winds hit.
Thank you Ed,
Unfortunately, I can’t be QRV that early during the week working days and now, after the change to winter time last weekend, it’s too dark when I get back home after work (about 17h30 utc). When I’m home during the lunch break (around 13h to 14h utc), I’m afraid it’s too early.
However, tomorrow will be a holiday and I hope to be able to be QRV at the right times.
We’ve got a winner…
And the winner is of course from HB → Bruno @HB9CBR was just chased on 20m CW a few minutes ago with my remote station (yagi beaming to North-America) while he was activating HB/SG-037.
Fortunately, the RFI problems I experienced under one of the different configurations tested at the appartment, don’t seem to take place now that everything is in it’s final place.
Regarding the power supply, yes, I do use the same power supply for the IC-706 radio and the Remoterig Radio. Also in the appartment I use one one single power supply for the IC-706 control pannel and the Remoterig Control.
Thanks again for your great help and I assure you I’m enjoying remote operation.