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Remote Control of Networked Station Equipment

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As described in my QST article, all that is needed to remotely control a radio station is to have serial ports on each piece of equipment, a TCP/IP Router, Lantronix Embedded Serial Device Servers and a little custom hardware for interfacing/integration.  Remote control is accomplished by "converting" the serial port on the radio, the rotator, etc. to a TCP port which can be accessed over any network connection, whether it be a LAN, wireless LAN, direct dialin or Internet connection..  Using the Serial Device Servers allows the remote hardware to work sort of like a network printer, except that I now have a "network TS-850", a "network monitor/control panel", a "network rotator", etc.

Above is a diagram of my original setup. Below is a diagram showing my current setup.  The ISDN LanModems of my original setup have been replaced with a Linksys Wireless Access Point at the home end and a D-Link VoIP enabled router at the remote end. The audio is now handled with a hybrid/phone interface to the D-Link box. Measured quality is excellent and latency low. The audio at the home side can be handled with another D-Link, a Cisco ATA-186 or Sipura SPA-1000 or SPA-2000 phone IP interface, but I am using a new program from SIPphone ( called Gizmo that lets my laptop act as a phone for dialing into the remote. SIPphone also provides the gateway to allow dialing into and connecting to the remote router, but unlike the other VoIP providers like Vonage, SIPphone does not charge for connections between IP phones. They also don't lock the router to their service or require a hardware license. I have also replaced the EECI boards from the original setup with a new board of my own design called LP-Remote.

This method remote control works fine with all the pieces of equipment I have tried, but a caveat is in order. While it appears that the system works well with ICOM radios and older Kenwoods, there is some question about whether it will work with Yaesu radios. Yaesu implements its protocol differently than the others. Any device or rig that requires a response before it will accept the next command will suffer if the latency of the connection is high. If TRX-Manager is the controlling software, unselecting "dual control" may be necessary.
A help guide is under construction with details on all aspects of the N8LP Remote system, as well as setups other than those shown in the above diagram... please refer to N8LP Remote Help.

It is my aim to make the combination of TRX-Manager and the "LP" programs the single best way to control a remote base station, whether over a LAN (controlling basement station from family room, for example) or WAN (controlling big DX station in the country from a condo, for example).  It is also becoming feasible to use various forms of wireless networking to control your station remotely.

In summary, a complete remote station can be set up with the following components...


Broadband modem
Computer running...
TRX-Manager or other logging/control program
Lantronix Com Port Redirector for connection to remote serial ports
SIPphone Gizmo freeware for audio connection to remote
LP-Remote for control of remote relays/analog inputs/digital inputs/temp/frequency/etc.
Other programs to access other remote devices like rotator, linear, SteppIR, etc.


Broadband modem
D-Link DVG-1402S router/IP phone adapter
Lantronix servers for connecting device serial ports
LP-Remote control board
Audio hybrid/phone interface

Larry N8LP

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