A popular feature found in Ham Radio Deluxe that is not found in many other ham radio software packages is the ability to operate your station via HRD’s built-in remote server software.
There are places, however, where you may not be able to operate your base system from remote. These places are, for example, your work environment where the computers you use are behind a firewall or router that are not under your direct control. Certain ports need to be available through the firewall and routers in order for you to connect remotely to your base station and these may be blocked in a corporate environment due to various reasons. Ham Radio Deluxe is evolving into a program that supports all the serial port-enabled devices that you control at your remote station.
For radio control you use the Ham Radio Deluxe Remote Server. For other devices such as keyers and rotators you use the Ham Radio Deluxe Serial Port server. Note that the Ham Radio Deluxe Remote Server is highly optimized or use with Ham Radio Deluxe and should be used to control the radio.
The Ham Radio Deluxe Serial Port Server enables a connection between Ham Radio Deluxe and serial port-enabled devices (keyers, rotators) connected to a remote computer that can be contacted via TCP/IP.
- Note: The process of setting up these remote servers is not something an inexperienced computer user should attempt. Find a friend who makes his living setting up and maintaining computer networks. Be kind to them and reward them so they will come again and help when something stops working.
The remote computer must be running Windows 7 or later.
A Windows service is installed on the remote service. This listens on a port (usually 7805) for incoming connections from Ham Radio Deluxe (the client). For more technical information see Ham Radio Deluxe Remote Server.
External IP Address
When setting up your remote server there is one important thing you need to take into consideration. If you plan to use the remote server and connect from within your home network, lets say between the shack and your laptop on the patio out back, there will be no problem. You will use the “localhost” or 127.0.0.1 address to connect from the remote computer to the host system.
However, if you are planning on connecting to your system via the internet from outside your home network you are going to have to know the exact internet IP address of the computer you are connecting to. This connection must be a full time connection.
ISPs assign a Dynamic IP Address to your computer system. For example, your dynamic IP address may be 188.8.131.52. This would be the address you would use to connect from your remote computer to your base system over the internet. The problem comes in when most ISPs change that address from time to time without you knowing it. Some change the IP address at random times, others change your IP address each time you disconnect and reconnect your modem to the internet while others change your IP address each day.
There are two solutions to this problem. The first is to contact your ISP and request a STATIC IP address for the system where the remote server is running, (your shack computer). This is usually inexpensive, around $5.00 or so a month added to your internet bill.
The second solution would be to use a service such as NO-IP, DYNDNS or any one of many such services which provide a free solution to the problem of not having a static IP address. These services monitor your IP address and track any changes while providing you with a constant connection through their DNS servers so any change in your IP address will not effect the address you use to connect to your remote system.If you are installing on a remote computer then the computer must have a static (non-changing) public IP address. If you have a public IP address which is not static, there are free public DNS options available on the Internet.
Internal IP Address
There is another IP address that also requires attention if you plan to run the HRD Remote server on a computer in your shack.
If you have only one computer in your shack and it is connected directly to the internet via a modem there isn't much problem. A problem arises if you have more than one computer in your house and they each connect to the internet through a router, wireless or hard wired.
When connected to the internet via a router, each computer connected to the router has it's own INTERNAL IP Address. Just like with your Internet IP address, this internal IP address can change depending on the sequence the different computers are booted up and access the router.
It is advised you set an internal STATIC IP address for the computer running HRD's Remote Server software. You will find instructions to do this in the next section of this documentation.
Make sure you open up ports 7805 (Ham Radio Deluxe Remote Server) and 7806 (Ham Radio Deluxe Serial Port server) for incoming TCP traffic. This will probably will need to be done on your router where your internet service enters your home. The port assignments can be changed in the configuration files.
In this example the remote station uses serial ports as follows:
- COM1 --> IC-7800,
- COM4 --> WinKey keyer,
- COM6 --> AlfaSpid rotator.
Two virtual null modem “cables” are installed (pure software, no hardware involved). Software such as "com0com" or VSPE is recommended;
In this example the “cables” map ports as follows:
- COM20 <-> COM21, and
- COM22 <-> COM23.
The local station connects as follows:
Remote port selected, TCP/IP connection made with the Ham Radio Deluxe Remote Server running on the remote computer (port 7805).
The Ham Radio Deluxe Remote Server connects to the IC-7800 using COM1.
The Ham Radio Deluxe Winkey interface connects to the Ham Radio Deluxe Serial Port client on the local computer using the COM20 <-> COM21 virtual cable.
The Ham Radio Deluxe Serial Port client connects to the Ham Radio Deluxe Serial Port server on the remote computer using TCP/IP (port 7806).
The Ham Radio Deluxe Serial Port server connects to the K1EL WinKey using COM4.
The Ham Radio Deluxe Rotator interface connects to the Ham Radio Deluxe Serial Port client on the local computer using the COM22 < - > COM23 virtual cable.
The Ham Radio Deluxe Serial Port client connects to the Ham Radio Deluxe Serial Port server on the remote computer using TCP/IP (port 7806).
The Ham Radio Deluxe Serial Port server connects to the AlfaSpid rotator using COM6.
Virtual Null Modem Software
Virtual COM port emulation software is recommended; examples of these are "com0com" and VSPE.
This is the same as a null modem cable except it is made using software. Each cable is allocated two COM ports.
You simply connect Ham Radio Deluxe to one end and the Ham Radio Deluxe Serial Port Client to the other.
Ham Radio Deluxe Remote Server
Gathering Necessary Information
It is very important to setup a static ip address, if you are going to use port forwarding. When you have port forwarding setup, your router forwards ports to an ip address that you specify. This will probably work when you initially set it up, but after restarting your computer it may get a different ip address. When this happens the ports will no longer be forwarded to your computer's ip address. So the port forwarding configuration will not work.
What is an IP Address?
IP addresses are four sets of numbers separated by periods that allow computers to identify each other. Every computer has at least one ip address, and two computers should never have the same ip address. If they do, neither of them will be able to connect to the internet.
Dynamic vs Static IPs
Most routers assign dynamic IP addresses by default. They do this because dynamic ip address networks require no configuration. The end user can simply plug their computer in, and their network will work. When ip addresses are assigned dynamically, the router is the one that assigns them. Every time a computer reboots it asks the router for an ip address. The router then hands it an ip address that has not already been handed out to another computer. This is important to note. When you set your computer to a static ip address, the router does not know that a computer is using that ip address. So the very same ip address may be handed to another computer later, and that will prevent both computers from connecting to the internet. So when you assign a static IP addresses, it's important to assign an IP address that will not be handed out to other computers by the dynamic IP address server. The dynamic IP address server is generally referred to as the DHCP server.
Setting up a Static IP for Windows
Supported versions of Microsoft Windows set up in a similar manner. If you can, print out these pages of instructions as you will have difficulty viewing them online while you preform the config task.
- 1. Open up the start menu, and look for the Search programs and files box.
- 2. Type cmd in the Search programs and files box, and press Enter on your keyboard. This will bring up a black command prompt window.
- 3. The command prompt may look different on your screen, but it doesn't really matter. Type ipconfig/all in that window, and then press the enter key. This will display a lot of information. If it scrolls off the top you may need to enlarge the window.
- 4. Record the following information:
- IP address ____.____.____.____
- Subnet Mask ____.____.____.____
- Default Gateway ____.____.____.____
- DNS Servers ____.____.____.____
You may not have three DNS Servers. Just leave the unused blank. We are only concerned with IPv4 entries, you can ignore the IPv6 stuff.
The name server entries are a bit complicated. Name Server is just another name for DNS (domain name server). Some router's act as a proxy between the actual name servers and your computer. You will know when this is the case, because the Default Gateway will list the same ip address as the Name Servers entry.
We need to have the correct Name Server IP addresses. If we do not, you will not be able to browse the web. There are a couple ways to get these. The first way is to log into your router's web interface, and look at your router's status page. On that page you should see an entry for DNS Servers, or Name Servers. Write down the ip addresses of your Name Servers.
Another way to get the correct Name Servers to use, is to give your ISP a call. They should know the ip addresses of your Name Servers right off. If they ask you why you need them, you can tell them you are trying to setup a static IP address on your computer.
- 5. Type exit in this window, then press the enter key to close it.
- 6. Once again open the start menu. This time click Control Panel.
- 7. Click on Network and Sharing Center.
- 8. Single click Change adapter settings on the left side of your screen.
- 9. You might have more than one Internet connection listed here. You will need to determine which adapter is your connection to the Internet if this is the case. If you have a choice of a wired or wireless connection, choose the wired connection.
- 10. You can either right click or double click on your network adapter and choose properties to open up the properties window of this internet connection.
- 11. Click on Internet Protocol Version 4(TCP/IPv4) and then the Properties button.
- 12. You will see the following screen:
- 13. Before you make any changes, write down the settings that you see on this page. If something goes wrong you can always change the settings back to what they were! You should see a dot in the Obtain an IP address automatically box. If you do not, your connection is already setup for a static ip. Just close all these windows and you are done.
Pick an ip address and enter it into the IP Address box. The ip address you choose should be very similar to the router's ip address. Only the last number of the ip address should be different. If the router's ip address is 192.168.1.1, I might choose 192.168.1.10. The ip address you choose should end with a number between 1 and 254, and should not be the same as the router's ip address. Every device that connects to your network needs to have it's own IP address.
Put the subnet mask we previously found in the subnet mask section. The default gateway should go into the Default gateway box. Enter the DNS Servers we previously found into the two DNS Server boxes. Click okay all the way out of this menu.
If you find that you can not pull up web pages, the problem is most likely the DNS numbers you entered. Give your ISP a call, and they will be able to tell you which DNS servers to use.
That's it you should be done! If you can't connect to the internet go back and change your configuration back to what it originally was.
The Ham Radio Deluxe Remote Server files are:
- Ham Radio DeluxeRemoteSvr.exe – the executable, and
- Ham Radio DeluxeRemoteSvr.cfg – configuration file.
To install the service select Remote Service from the Tools > Programs menu.
- 1. Press Ham Radio Deluxe Remote Server to select this server.
- 2. Press Install to install the service, and then press Start to start the service.
You can start the Windows Services applet (Start > Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services) to modify the properties of the service, for example disabling automatic startup.
Allow incoming connections on port 7805.
Press Configure to edit the file that contains the service configuration. Lines needing configuration are highlighted in the configuration file below. Each user who accesses the system must have a username and password. A pound sigh (#) as the first character of a line indicates the line is a comment and the # must be removed from the line before it is recognized by the software.
The contents of this file should be obvious. After changing the configuration, save the changes and you should restart the service.
One special note – to restrict a user’s ability to switch the radio to transmit there are now optional tokens added with the username and password to disable access to the TX and any Tune buttons. Add no_tx after the password.
In addition you will want to disable macros as a knowledgeable user can define a CAT command to enable TX. Add no_macros after the password.
The RESTART token enables the Restart button on the connection window. Restarting the service will close all COM ports opened by the service and drop all connections by Ham Radio Deluxe users.
This should only be allocated to yourself and your friends!
Connecting to a Remote Server
Connecting to the host computer from remote is almost like connecting to the radio while on the base computer system.
If you don’t already have it done, you will need to:
- 1. Install Ham Radio Deluxe, if you have not done so, on the computer you plan to use for the remote connection.
- 2. Once installed, run Ham Radio Deluxe.
- 3. When the Rig Connection screen appears, you will need to set this up EXACTLY as it appears on your HOST system, with ONE exception. Instead of entering a comport number you select REMOTE from the drop down box as indicated by the red arrow in the image below.
- 4. Press Connect and the Remote Connection window will display.
5 In the New Connection area of this window enter the IP address or the domain name of the HOST system. If you are working from inside your home through a router, enter the address of 127.0.0.1. The port is the default port of 7805. 6 Now you enter a valid user name and password that was configured in the Rig Control Configuration file. You can check the Save Settings box so next time you connect you just select the connection from the list on the left side of the display. The user name and password are not case sensitive. 7 To save these values make sure the Save settings option is checked [X]. 8 Press the Connect button. The display will change showing the Com Ports in the lower right half of the screen. 9 Select the com port from the drop down box that connects to the radio at the HOST location. You can also uncheck the box for the optional PTT COM port. 10 Press the OK button at the bottom of the window and the next screen you see should be the rig display from the remote server.
At this point if you have problems connecting to the host machine, you need to double check all your settings. Check to make sure the firewall or router are not blocking the ports required. If you are still having problems and can’t find the answer, feel free to contact HRD Customer support for help.
Load connection information from a file.
Save connection information to a file.
If the connection is successful you will see the confirmation window and the text Username / password authenticated. Select a remote COM port, then press ‘OK’ is displayed below the Connect button.
Now select the COM port, and then press OK to connect to the remote COM port and start the Ham Radio Deluxe radio display.
When the connection with the radio has been confirmed a Remote Connection display window shows you the data throughput and average round-trip time.
Use the Remote Connection window to show the status of the remote connection.
- Round-trip time: the time required to send a message from Ham Radio Deluxe to the remote server and get a response. This will be very similar to the value shown when you use Ping to interrogate a remote host. Typically values of 50 milliseconds or less are very usable.
- Refresh interval: the interval between refreshes of the selected Regularly Read options.
- Send frequency: when the frequency is updated over a link with a high round trip time (> 100ms) the performance will be less than optimal with Sync selected so if the round trip is high select Async, otherwise just select Sync. The disadvantage of using Async is an 'elastic band' effect while tuning by dragging Ham Radio Deluxe's small tuning marker.
- Regularly Read: the options that are regularly updated. If you are using a fast link - for example to a local station with a low round- trip time then you can safely select all options. The disadvantage of selecting options such as Buttons, Dropdowns, Sliders and Status Texts is that it may take a second or two before Ham Radio Deluxe detects that you are changing the frequency by dragging the tuning marker and the current refresh operation cannot be interrupted.
If you have a slow link - a round-trip time > 100 ms - then select only Meters. As this is a remote station it is unlikely that anyone else will be adjusting the radio's controls so you will not need to refresh buttons and dropdowns as you would with a locally connected radio.
The disadvantage of not selecting Buttons and Dropdowns is that inter-button dependencies will not be shown - for example you may have 4 AGC buttons Off, Fast, Medium and Slow, only one of which will be active at any one time. If Buttons is not enabled for regular refreshes then pressing Fast will not update the other AGC buttons. In this case you must press the small refresh button to the right of the Buttons check box.
To refresh all display options click Refresh All.
The following steps are recommended to solve problems using the remote server.
- 1. Run Ham Radio Deluxe on the remote computer to check that you can actually connect to your radio.
- 2. When you connect to the remote server make sure you have closed Ham Radio Deluxe on the remote computer. If you get the error “Access is Denied” then the COM port is held open by another program.