Author Topic: Remoting the K3  (Read 8116 times)

dd5fz

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Remoting the K3
« on: 2010-02-18, 13:11:56 »
Hi,

I am interested in remote controlling the Elecraft K3 and have a few questions...

1) Are the audio codecs mono or stereo? The K3 with a secondary RX produces two audio streams, so a purely mono codec would be a disadvantage.

2) Are there any plans to fully support the entire K3 remote protocol <http://www.elecraft.com/manual/K3_Programmer%27s_Ref_C9.pdf> to enable full control of the rig? The typical Kenwood protocol would only control a subset of the K3's functions.

3) If one needs to control several pieces of equipment, e.g. rig, rotor, PA, power meter, power supplies and antenna switches, simultaneously what might be the best way of doing this using the RRC-1258MkII & WEB-Switch 1216E?

4) Does anyone have any experience with digital modes using the FSK input (PSK31 & RTTY) and decoding the audio after it has been transported over the internet?

vy 73 de DD5FZ
« Last Edit: 2010-02-18, 16:16:22 by dd5fz »

sm2o

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #1 on: 2010-02-18, 21:14:11 »
Hi

1/Today it's only a mono codec.

2/ The remotrig boxes is transparent to the protocols in use. If you use Elecraft protocol both in radio and in PC it's just transfered as it is.

3/ If you use elecraft there is one RS232 port left which can be used for a PA or rotator

4/ Lot of people working PSK or RTTY with the Remoterig boxes, The Internet via is far better than the radio via so it's no problem.

73 de mike

dd5fz

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #2 on: 2010-02-19, 13:29:17 »
Thanks for the answers. 3 More questions:

1) Are there any plans for stereo codecs and/or boxes with more than two RS-232 ports?


2) Do you think that it would be feasible to sensibly to run two RemoteRig links over the same ADSL connection (Radio QTH: 6M down/500k up, Control QTH: 18M/1M, both with fastpath) simultaneously?

Something like this:
  • RRC-1258MkII #1
    • TX audio with 8k Lin16
    • RX audio (main) with 8k Lin16
    • Radio control
    • CW keying
    • FSK keying
    • PA control
  • RRC-1258MkII #2
    • RX audio (secondary) with 8k Lin16
    • Rotor control
    • ??? control
  • WEB-Switch 1216E (or similar)


3) Are there any (real) disadvantages when setting both RS-232 ports to transparent? I think not, but want to be sure.


sm2o

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #3 on: 2010-02-19, 23:10:47 »
Hi

1/ Not in the near future, production is order for several month already, but maybe later.

2/ Yes it's possible, 512kbit/s will handle two RRC even with Codec 2.

3/ I not sure what you mean ?

73 de mike

ve3qf

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #4 on: 2010-02-21, 20:44:35 »

Hi Mike
   I am also very interested in using the RemoteRig for my K3. It is unfortunate that the audio, at present, is "mono" and not "stereo". With the second receiver in the K3, it is very advantageus to have 2 audio streams with the main receiver audio going to the left speaker and the sub-receiver audio going to the right speaker or a mixture.
   Will stereo audio be available in the future? Is the hardware wired now for stereo? If not, will it be possible to add/modify in the future?
   I am just about ready to order now if stereo audio will be available in the future. Is there any indication when/if this might take place? I am willing to wait for this feature and, if possible, add it later.
   A second audio channel could also be useful to communicate with the remote station during setup or trouble shooting.

73
   Tony VE3QF

sm2o

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #5 on: 2010-02-21, 22:48:45 »
Hi

As people have start asking for stereo audio, we will consider replacing the mono codec with a stereo codec. But even if we make the change to morrow it takes several month before it will come out of production.
The existing hardware is not possible to update to stereo.

73 de mike

ve3qf

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #6 on: 2010-02-22, 18:43:40 »

Hi Mike
   Thank you for your prompt reply. I have given the stereo capability problem a little thought. I think this can be accomplished with an external box on each end. It all depends on what the maximum bandwidth of the audio hardware is. If there is enough bandwidth it would be a simple matter to shift the second channel above the first and mix them together for input at the server. At the terminal end, the main audio channel would pass through a low pass filter to one channel output and the second channel would pass through a high pass filter before processing and on to the second channel output.
   So, the big question is the bandwidth capability of the hardware. The requirement is for twice the maximum received audio frequency plus some margin for the high and low pass filters. The firmware would have to be able to handle this increased bandwidth. The ideal would be a 20KHz bandwidth but it could be squeezed into a 10KHz or less bandwidth.
   There may be commercial circuits to perform this task. I have not done a search.
   Let us know your thoughts on this.

73
   Tony VE3QF

sm2o

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #7 on: 2010-02-22, 19:30:42 »
Hi

Until we introduce a stereo codec I think the simpliest and cheapest way is to use two pair of Remoterig boxes.
The solution you describe might be possible but it need external boxes and software development within the RRC.
A  stereo codec is only cents more expensive than the mono codec.

73 de mike

ve3qf

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #8 on: 2010-02-23, 19:44:55 »

Hi Mike,

   Thanks for your reply. I'm sorry, I guess I did not make myself clear. I was not proposing that you make the boxes or make any changes to the existing 1258 Mk2. Those who have already purchased the RemoteRig and those that will for the next few months could have stereo reception with the addition of these simple boxes. It would be up to someone else to design them. There would be no need for any software changes. Only a few like me would like the capability.
   I don't fully understand the various speech qualities (0-11). Are 9, 10 and 11 capable of 12KHz bandwidth? If the capability is there then I am very interested in purchasing the RemoteRig.

FYI
   My basic idea for the second channel was to AM modulate a carrier near the high end of the audio passband and mix this with the main channel. At the terminal end this would pass through a high pass filter and be demodulated and filtered to produce the second channel. The main channel would be filtered through a low pass filter. Both channels would be fed to amplifiers. It should be possible to get 2 channels of about 40% of the available audio bandwidth. No expensive parts but lots of time!

   Thank you for your time Mike. I would be interested in your comments.

73
   Tony VE3QF

sm2o

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #9 on: 2010-02-24, 19:45:40 »
Hi

yes in the quality 9-11 ( 24 kHz sample rate) the codec handles up to 12 kHz bandwitdh
but there are a few analog components on the LF paths which filter the passband so you do not get a flat response from 300-12 000 Hz.

73 de mike

dd5fz

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #10 on: 2010-03-23, 08:28:57 »
Part of the charm of the remote rig solution, is that it reduces the number of boxes needed at the radio end. If there is enough demand, to make the development work worthwhile, I would prefer to see an implementation of 2 audio channels (stereo) within RemoteRig without the need for "extra" external hardware.

K3user

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #11 on: 2010-05-12, 08:03:31 »
Stereo is nice but not if you look GB's and bandwidth this needs.
You will quickly switch back to mono.
Other than that not many K3 users use the stereo feature any way.

K3User

sm0mdg

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #12 on: 2010-05-12, 20:53:03 »
I am using stereo audio with my K3 and have no problem with bandwidth, currently I am using IPSound for this. But this would not be limited to K3 users, anyone with a dual RX radio would benefit from dual channel sound.

73 de Björn,
SM0MDG
SE0X


K3user

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Re: Remoting the K3
« Reply #13 on: 2010-05-13, 05:54:46 »
Greetings to all K3 owners.

Just a short message to inform you all that my K3 works now remote with the remoterig MKII modems.

Here is the process I went trough in short:

Firstly I checked the comms settings in my K3: RS232 = 38K4
Than I tried connecting my K3 with a serial cable to Ham radio de luxe.
I noticed that Ham radio de Luxe wanted to connect with 8 data bits and 2 stop bits.
As such I setup up the Remoterig modem with the same settings.
I must admit I haven't tested the 8 data bits and 1 stop bit @ 9600 baud suggested in the remote rig documentation.

Serial:
The straight serial cables worked also on the radio side and on the PC side.
I use a USB to serial converter with my PC to run Ham radio de luxe.
I have used COM 2 on both modems.

Connecting PTT and Mic Audio:
I found the documentation a little confusing it would be better to show which side is the modem and the outside world.
I used standard Cat5 cable and soldered a connector for the speaker and the PTT which matches the radio.
I used 2 pair and took just random pairs. Than used to multi meter to beep out what is what.
Than jumpered red wires in the "IC Socket". That worked first time.

Speaker connection between modem and K3:
A stereo lead was used for to the speaker output of the K3 and that worked fine.

Speaker connection between modem and "Real Speakers" :
I could not find the information on how to connect the speaker on the NON radio end.
This may have been my mistake so I just assumed to connect a speaker.
When I tried plugging in a 8 Ohm speaker I heard nothing. So I tried a little audio amplifier
and this time it worked fine.

No Signalink interface was needed because the K3 has got internal Isolation transformers.

What went wrong:
I forgot to setup the right com port in the software. COMM2 Elecraft/Yeasu etc.
I did not see the option to connect with the radio in the software.
Later I changed this to Auto connect and it works fine now.

I did not hear much sound, but using a small amplifier works fine now.
I suppose I could have used the PC but instead I used this http://www.sureelectronics.net/goods.php?id=1075

What went right:
Pretty much everything else

Suggestions for mike on the modem end:

Instead of converting the mike you could also purchase a mike for the TS850 with the computer style connection.
In this way you could have a mike in both locations.
I am still looking where I can buy this mike but for the moment the adapter lead will work.

Time needed for all this:
2 hours to make the cables.
2 hours to read the documentation
0.5 hour experimenting and making some changes to my local network.
1 hour to get it all going after that.

I am impressed ....I knew nothing about remote rigs.

Now it is time for the most difficult part of this project:
A hill top location with big antenna tower and a fast internet connection.

I have no connection with Elecraft or with Remote rig.

I am very happy with this remote rig modem and it was much easier than I expected.
Ham radio de luxe is connected as if it is just a normal serial port. It does not realize it is connected via the internet :-)

Well done my compliments for developing such a handy product ;D
« Last Edit: 2010-05-13, 06:09:53 by K3user »