|Logs & notes|
|Remote SDR access|
|Björn Malm Memorial Site "Voces de America Latina"|
|FCC AM Query|
|Perseus FMSCAN userlist|
|Solar Cycle Progression|
|Sunrise, sunset, dawn and dusk times around the World|
|Perseus Yahoo! Group|
|NORDX Yahoo! Group|
|MWoffsets Yahoo! Group|
|¡BAMLog! Bruce's AM Log|
|Dave's Radio Receiver Page|
Remote SDR listeningHow to listen to your remote SDR
Running remote is actually easier than you think.
Certainly some of you have used VPN at the job to connect to the company
It's just as easy to connect to your own remote computer. Instead of a VPN client from for example Cisco, you normally use another remote control software such as LogMeIn Pro.
Only a few of the software and other equipment listed below is needed for you to remotely use all functions of your SDR as well as remotely control the computer where your SDR is installed. When the software is in place and configured correctly, it is very easy to listen to your SDR over your network, LAN (Local Area Network) or wireless network (Wi-Fi), or from any computer with an internet connection with more or less high speed (broadband)!
Below, we let three well-known DX-ers present their installations. They have been DX-ing remote for several years. Their installations represent three different types of systems, from the simple base installation to the advanced suitable for several DX-ers. The basic installation should certainly not deter anyone from setting up a remote site.
A good example of a simple and straightforward installation is Anders Hultqvist's on Dalarö. Using LogMeIn he easily shifts between the three available SDRs, each of which is connected to its own unique antenna pointing at the area of interest.
A slightly more advanced installation is Bernt-Ivan Holmberg's at his parental home in Möklinta. He has supplemented the basic installation with remote control of the available antennas, three beverages and one T2FD, via a relay card. That way he will not bother with the relay board and additional programs to control the antenna selection.
The largest and most advanced installation is in Kongsfjord and is used by four Norwegian DX-ers. Such an installation must meet higher standards. Among other things, active splitters are used to eliminate attenuation as the antennas are shared by all four. Also higher demands on all devices so that no RF generated noise can enter the system.
In its basic form only two elements are needed, Internet connection and the remote software - LogMeIn Pro, which is by far the most common in these contexts.
|Internet connection. You need a fairly decent internet
connection, either via ADSL (preferably at least two Mb) or via a special mobile
broadband for rural areas (up to 3.1 Mbit / s) running on the old NMT frequency
of 450 MHz with Turbo 3G. If the base station is
far away, the range can be increased by using an
external, well-placed directional antenna at the
An example of a suitable provider is the one OJS proposes below, Net1 ( http://www.net1.se/ ). On their website there are coverage maps for Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and they claim to cover almost 95% of Sweden.
LogMeIn Pro. This program is used to remotely control the PC
and SDR from any computer, regardless of operating system and browser. All you
need is a reasonably high speed Internet connection, i.e. an ordinary broadband.
There are other programs like TeamViewer, etc, but LogMeIn Pro is easy, very reliable and as I said, completely independent of operating systems and browsers!
You can use the free version of LogMeIn, but then you are limited to only remote control of the application. Another program to transfer the sound will be necessary, such as Skype.
And now it's time to let Anders Hultkvist, Bernt-Ivan Holmberg and Odd-Jörgen Sagdahl each present their remote SDR installation.
Anders Hultqvist running his Dalarö site from Älvsjö.
1. I use LogMeIn Pro. It does not cost many dollars per year, but is very good, easy to install and easy to use. There is also a version available for Iphone and iTunes. But these have no sound facilities yet. But all other functions are there. That means that you can for example make a quick check of Medium Wave even if you sit on the train, and trigger a recording if it looks exciting.
2. The better the speed of the connection, the better "live" feeling. I'm now using ADSL with 2 Mbit / s connection. And it will do just fine. In the beginning there were only 0.5 Mb available on Dalarö and it actually also did a good job. But equally important is to have good PC on both sides with solid performance, otherwise it is easy to get "stuttering" in the transmission. RAM, processor, good sound card and a monitor with a quick refresh rate is a must. Maybe a monster gaming computer is preferable if you are allowed to dream?
|I often run with 1 x NetSDR and 2 x Perseus at the same time and
this gives no problem. Each Rx has its own, unique aerial /
antenna direction, so changing antennas is actually done by
changing the rx. Nor is it any problem to record on all three
receivers simultaneously in the highest sampling rate. The
computer is a Packard Bell with 64-bit Win7, Pentium Dual Core
E5300, 2.60 GHz and 8.0 GB of memory.
3. With LogMeIn Pro you control the remote computer as if you were sitting in front of it. The best way to understand how it works is to look at their website: https://secure.logmein.com/products/pro/
4. It is on the computer on Dalarö where everything happens.
I.e. listening, recording, playback. It is in practice impossible to transfer the huge amounts of data over a 2mb ADSL in real-time. But by using LogMeIn Pro, you can DX remotely from any location as long as you have an internet connection. That's the finesse!
5. I always transfer the recordings that look interesting to an external hard drive (which of course also are connected to the remote computer). This means that it is easy to transfer the recorded files to another computer if desired.
Something more to be added to make it as clear as day? I use neither VAC, control scripts or remote antenna switching. So it is very easy to start and run remotely. And this has worked well since 2008.
I have not bothered too much to look for other types of remote control of my antennas as I don't have the need. However, I am pretty sure that BIH know more about this.
(Regards, AHK, Anders Hultqvist)
Bernt-Ivan Holmberg running his Möklinta site from Sala.
I use the same program as AHK and
OJS, i.e. LogMeIn PRO. I think it costs about 400-500 SEK annually and then you
also get sound transfer.
The speed of my broadband between home and receiver QTH is Telia's ADSL 8 / 0.8. In reality, I have about 6 MBit down and from 0.6 to 0.7 up and everything is moving on pretty well. Sometimes you get long delays for the commands and the sound may “stutter” a bit. The solution is in such cases to log off and log on again to get a better line.
I always record to the computer's HD and when it becomes full, I travel the three miles to transfer the files to a portable HD, this is ideal when I also can get coffee at my parents.
I don't use the built-in sound card in the remote computer because I believe I can hear more from the weak disturbed recordings with my Edirol soundcard than with the built-in. Edirol makes the sound a bit sharper and clearer in combination with my headphones (AKG K240) and ears. It may differ for others but when you already have inferior sound quality in the DX recordings, you have to take care of every little improvement that is possible.
In the drivers for my sound card (Edirol UA25), there are only "speakers" and "analog connection". None of those audio streams can be used by the audio recorders I have tested so far (Adobe Audition, RecallPRO, Audacity, etc.). The option in the audio driver that is missing is a "Stereo Mix", "Mono Mix" or "What U Hear" slider / choice. Such exist in some sound card drivers but not in the Edirol drivers.
My simple solution was to take the sound card's "line out" and route the sound to my other computer's "line in" and record the audio there. I installed all equipment three years ago and at that time there was no I-Sound Recorder for Win7 (at least I did not find it then).
I-Sound Recorder seems to capture sound without
having to use any drivers. I will test the I-Sound Recorder in near future.
(I-Sound Recorder is the solution to such problems, see comment below from AHK)
Antenna changing was a hard nut to crack. I bought a Velleman relay card in a kit (8-channel relay card type K8056) that is controlled from the serial port on the QTH computer. I built it into a box and and also mounted BNC connectors. I had to solder in minicoax between the relays to get rid of the crosstalk. From the relay card there is only a 2-wire cable going to the computer's COM-port.
Nowadays Velleman uses USB connectors for the new card (K8090). http://www.vellemanusa.com/products/view/?id=525191
Another "must" with Perseus is in my
opinion StationList, Jurgen Bartels' add-on
"program. Works very smoothly, you can pre-set the demodulation of each step of
the NA_CA_LA frequencies (10 kHz steps). The beauty is that you can jump back
and forth in optional steps in the recording and go back and forth through files
and remain on the same selected QRG, these are very good features.
In his latest update of the program you are now able to click the "waterfall" to go to the desired frequency and time.
(Best regards, BIH, Bernt-Ivan Holmberg)
Comment from AHK ang Edirol soundcard:
I'm using I-Sound Recorder for Windows 7 to make MP3 files, and it works just fine on the remote computer. Then I add these mp3 files in my Dropbox, and presto, I have access to them even on my other computers for further processing.
Odd-Jörgen Sagdahl running his Kongsfjord site from Trondheim.
The Kongsfjord site is
also used by Bjarne Mjelde, Arnstein Bue and Tore Johnny Bråtveit.
We use LogMeIn Pro for controlling the computers. This software is very easy to install, and allows you to control the quality of the transmitted sound. If you are running on the lowest quality, a connection of 120 kbit / s can provide useful transfer. NOTE: This refers to "upload" speed of your Internet connection. "Download" speed is not as relevant as it is relatively little data transfer that way. We use Ice 450 MHz Internet connection (in Sweden http://www.net1.se/ ) with an external antenna. It usually works very well. The price is OK, and they only charge for the "download" exceeding the stipulated amount of data per month - that means that our service does not cost something no matter how much it is used.
According to Bjarne Mjeldes's
website (se link below) another
very useful software is used
coming from the same company,
Ignition, which lets you access
the remote site without using a
web browser. Ignition can be
installed on a USB memory stick
so any PC you have access to can
be used for access to the remote
site. Ignition is available not
only for Windows, but also
available as an Android app.
There is also an app available
for iPad/iPhone, named LogMeIn
Bjerne Mjelde has published some more information on his website, see Jan 06, 2013 at http://arcticdx.blogspot.se/ .
has prepared a document which in detail describes the setup of
the Kongsfjord site, hardware, software, control command to start and
check status, etc. Those who are really interested and are
determined to install such a site, can write a few lines to
OJS who will mail the document. Since the document
constantly is reworked due to changes and improvements in the
installation the document will not be published here according to OJS
Mauricio Molano Sánchez running his Aldea del Cano site from Salamanca
Operation. Not so hard - Not so easy"
When searching on the the web I found a link to the remote Perseus installation of Mauricio Molano Sanchez in Spain. The pdf-file describing his setup is in Spanish but it is quite easy to use the Google translator to get an idea of the different steps he uses. More information can be found at:
Aldea del Cano.html
Mauricio uses a very interesting software for controlling his PC - RS Somnífero.
RS Somnífero is a task manager for the computer that will allow you to carry out an action under the selected condition.
It has four different execution conditions. You will be able to carry out the action that you want at the Selected Hour, through a Countdown, by the CPU usage, or every an established time.
It has 13 different actions: Shutdown, Reboot, Log Off, Hibernate, Suspend, Lock WorkStation, Start the Screensaver, Make Screenshots, Turn off the Monitor, Hang up, Show messages, Execute programs or files and Close Opened Applications.
The whole configuration of the program is carried out from an only screen in a simple way for the user.
Now RS Somnífero has a setup option through internet.
You can also select the language and the style from the options window. For more information see: http://www.ricosoftware.net/en/index.php?pag=somnifero.php
For remote control of his Perseus Mauricio uses the wellknown software Teamviewer . He tried other communication software, but this one seemed like the best and it's free for private use. He installed the version "Teamviewer Host - For unattended servers": htttp://www.teamviewer.com/es/download/index.aspx
And how can you "hear" the audio from the remote radio?
Well, at first it was with SKYPE, but the reception was very irregular. At times good, sometimes bad, sometimes impossible. Reading on forums (mainly in the Yahoo group dedicated to PERSEUS) he found the solution: IP-Sound (from SM5VXC). It is a small program that establishes "streaming audio" between the two computers, and have multiple audio codecs with different characteristics, needed for bandwidth and therefore audio qualities. I use the codec "speex 16 kHz Mono" and it works really well ... if Teamviewer does not devour the entire bandwidth.
For controlling his ALA 1530+ Mauricio uses the Antenna Rotator System (ARS), which is the leader for computer control of any antenna rotor. The latest design is based on many years of experience and knowledge. ARS supports any kind of rotor (Azimuth or Azimuth & Elevation). The latest software is the ARS-USB and the software is created by EA4TX. For more information see http://www.ea4tx.com/index.htm and for ARS-USB http://www.ea4tx.com/products/ars-usb.htm
Arne Nilsson running his Gransel site from Sjulsmark
Having read and heard about remote control of SDR receivers and computers, I decided to go for it as well.
I have about one hour’s drive to my cabin, where all my equipment is installed: Antennas, receivers and computers. The heating is switched on all year around and has been so since 1982, so there will be no problem from that point of view. After retirement I have spent a considerable amount of time there, but we all know that the great openings on the bands occur when we are not listening!
My cabin is situated in a very rural part of Norrbotten, about a one hour’s drive from the Arctic Circle, so the QTH should be OK for DXing: The QRN level is low and no high voltage power lines in the vicinity. But on the negative side one has to be mentioned: No high speed broadband access is available, the only solution is mobile internet. Telia Sonera provides only 2G, so they are out of the question, Net 1 is the only one remaining and that is the solution I have chosen.
For remote control of the computer I am using LogMeInPro. It works well, easy to learn and it is a well known, mature product.
Setting up the system was not difficult.
|My biggest problem was
Net 1: During the set-up time they had
a network problem which manifested in loss of
internet and the modem did not set up a new
connection automatically. Since then, they have
fixed the problem and it has since worked
My modem is indoors, i.e. I have no external antenna for the connection to the base station.
The speed for up/download is mostly around 1/0,5 Mb/s which is a bit too low. Listening remote to my AFEDRI and SDR-Radio program results in some stuttering while Perseus works OK. I will add an external antenna and hopefully that will cure the problem.
For scheduled recording on the Perseus I use Mestor and it has worked perfectly from day one. For SDR-Radio I use the built scheduler and it too has worked OK.
Today I have only two antennas, so each receiver is connected permanently to one antenna. Hopefully I will still have the time to install one more antenna, and then the task of switching antennas will become essential!
For that purpose I have procured a Velleman USB card (from AHK!) that should be able to control the antenna switching as well as switching filters for the AFEDRI receiver. Luckily, the filters and antenna switch have been constructed with USB control in mind, so that should not be an issue.
The AFEDRI is power fed from the computer via the USB connector, Perseus + antenna and filter switches have their own analogue supplies and that helps keep noise to a minimum. In fact, although I have an external HD using its original switching PWR supply, I see no effects on the receivers! And that surprises me some! But, OK, the closest antenna feed point is 30m away from the house, the cables run on the ground and that helps reduce noise pick up.
In setting up my remote control, I had a lot of help from OJS and AHK! I strongly recommend OJS’s description on how he has solved the different issues!
Christoph Ratzer running his remote mountain site from near the festival city of Salzburg, Austria
Christoph Ratzer has built his
remote station in a 10 feet container located up
high in the mountains outside Salzburg. The
location is good, only in summer there is too
much static noise. There are only 3-4 farm
houses around his remote station, all on a hill
some 700 mt above normal.
|Read the full story at Christoph's own website: http://remotedx.wordpress.com|
Short description of the various elements used for remote access
gives you fast, easy access to
remote computers over the web. Transfer files, print remotely,
or keep machines up to date and secure wherever, whenever.
The software must be installed in both the local and remotely located computer.
The software can also run on a smart phone (using an app - iphone-4, etc.) if this is connected to a reasonably fast internet, such as a WiFi network.
|LogMeIn Ignition - Direct, one-click access lets you quickly control all your LogMeIn computers without a browser. Install it on your PC or put it on a USB drive, and access your computers wherever you go.|
Virtual Audio Cable (VAC) allows you to "redirect" sound
between programs running on your Windows PC. LogMeIn Pro normally only transfers
the remote computer's sound through the remote computer's sound card and it is
not a completely optimal solution. By using a software called VAC, the remote
computer's digital audio stream from your SDR can be transferred using LogMeIn
Pro and directed to your local computer taking advantage of a superior sound
card there. See
Virtual COM port - null-modem emulator. You need a virtual COM port (null-modem emulator) if any of the following software is used for scheduling recordings: TOTH Recorder, YaPs or StationList for communication with e.g. a Perseus. com0com software is often used and can be downloaded from www.sourceforge.net . Another option is to use VSPE (Virtual Serial Port Emulator) See http://www.eterlogic.com/Products.VSPE.html
If you plan to use the new Finnish Mestor software, note that it runs without using a virtual COM-port.
Control script. It is also necessary to establish some simple script to check the status of your remote controlled SDR and computer. Typical script is starting the necessary drivers and programs if the PC reboots to make sure everything is started in the right order, and scripts that daily reboot of critical software.
Remote control of the available antennas using USB- or network-controlled relay card module. If you plan to use more than one antenna it is necessary to use some form of software to control the selection of antennas via a relay card. There are only a few relay cards with a USB connection on the market, among others from Velleman. It is important to verify that you do not get cross talk between the antennas when the relays are mounted so tight as in the Vellaman cards. Additional shielding may be needed. (See comment below from BIH who has addressed just that).
Use analog power supply. Avoid switching power supplies. Opt instead for one or more analog power supplies that can provide all your equipment with clean power. Switching power supplies radiate lot’s of RF noise to the other users especially when every antenna goes to a splitter where all users are connected. Such RF noise has been noted on several expeditions and by changing to analog power supplies, the noise is gone.
Wellbrook AS 1030 Splitter is a passive
transformer splitter with a frequency range from 100 kHz to 30
MHz and is fed by a 12 dB gain broadband amplifier. This
amplifier and splitter combination provides an overall gain of 6
dB from 100 kHz to 10 MHz. Above 10 MHz the gain decreases with
frequency. The splitter has a single antenna input and four
outputs to allow up to four receivers to be connected with up to
25 dB isolation between the receivers. The unit is built Into
an ABS box fitted with BNC connectors.
Another supplier of splitters are Stridsberg Engineering,
http://www.stridsberg.com/prod01.htm.They have 4 or 8 port
splitters with amplifier that covers the range 500 kHz - 50 MHz.
These are also sold by
AFI 5030 receiver antenna feeder isolator reduces noise by isolating the antenna feeder from the receiver / mains earth. The AFI 5030 solves the problem of noise being coupled to the antenna / feeder due to mains borne interference. The AFI 5030 is most effective when used with long wire antennas and "Long Wire Baluns".
Andy Ikin at Wellbrook says that the AFI5030 is still in production, I have dropped the AS1030 from the web site, but I will still make them to order when I am not too busy.
|The VM8090 8-Channel USB Relay Card Module is a pre-assembled
board that allows you to control eight relay channels by your
computer USB port. Connect up to 16 Amps to each of the high
Comes complete with VDR noise suppressors, on-board push buttons can be used to test/operate all the relays. Header for external push button connection.
A DLL for own software development can be downloaded below. Test software completes the package.
Also available in self-assembly Electronic Kit format (Order Code K8090).
For more information, see http://www.vellemanusa.com/products/view/?id=525191
Web switch 1216H is a remote controlled switch
with 5 relay outputs (230V/16A) which can be controlled
independently via the built in home page from any network
connected device having a web browser(PC, Smart phone, etc).
The Web switch is fully standalone and is connected directly to the local network.
Supports both 10 and 100 Mbits Ethernet networks.
Setup via USB using a Windows PC and the Microbit Setup Manager software makes the initial setup of the network settings easy.
See all details at http://www.webswitch.se/
Guido Schotmans writes that he is using the
Devantech USB-RLY08 module that can be ordered
http://www.antratek.com/Relais.html. When ordering make
sure to choose the USB-RLY08.
It's cheap and works very good. You only have to build it into a box. All together costs still less than a Daiwa 4 way switch.
A fellow DXer modified the software so that it can be used over the internet. The exe file and manual can be downloaded here http://users.telenet.be/NAVTEX/RLY08/.
There is also a network version from Devantech.
|GSV-3000 Diamond 25A Supply|
|GSV-3000 Diamond 25A Supply Price ~ £ 200 -230
* Output voltage 1 - 15V DC 13.8V & Fixed
* Output current 25A continuous (CE protocol)
* Built-in cooling fan
* Supply 230V AC 50Hz
* Size 250 x 150 x 240mm
* Weight 9.5kg
|The GSV-3000 can be bought at:
LSG Communications: http://www.lsg.se/catalog/index.php?cPath=30
World Radio Communications: http://www.radioworld.co.uk/catalog/gsv3000-diamond-supply-p-499.html
Martin Lynch & Sons: http://www.hamradio.co.uk/acatalog/Accs_PowerSupplies.html
i-Sound Recorder for Windows 7 and Windows Vista|
i-Sound 7.0 is a next generation sound recorder for Windows. Newest version unleashes the power of Windows 7 and Windows Vista and ready to record streaming audio out-of-box.
i-Sound 7.0 includes all the features of its predecessor, but main feature is an ability to record audio from output device directly without using "Stereo Mix" input.
Yes, it's true! "Stereo Mix" is no longer required. You do not need to spend time searching right audio driver. You do not need enable "hidden" or "disabled" audio devices via Control Panel.
If you want use this software without limitations a registration fee of $29.95 is required.