Category: WebDX

Connect a K3/0/10/100 WITHOUT a Remoterig


As of July 2017, the requirement to connect to RHR with a RF based K3 no longer requires the RemoteRig (RRC) interface. This KB article will walk you through connecting a K3/0/10/100  to RHR without the need for a RRC. The end result is allowing your K3 to control the RHR site K3 (VFO control, band change, mode change, etc) while using the extremely efficient and low latency WebDX technology for audio.

 

Prerequisites:

  • Elecraft K3/0/10/100 (Baud rate set to 38400)
  • Mac or PC
  • RHR Desktop App
  • FTDI based USB to Serial Adapter (DB9)
  • Google Chrome Web Browser
  • Optional: DXmate (Only needed for local hardware CW key/Paddle/PTT)

Overview:

Operate RHR with your K3/0/10/100 for a local “mirror” of the site K3. You can control every aspect of the site K3 but with the following limitations:

  1. No MENU access
  2. No CW DVR memory recording (Use WebDX Macros)

Operation with SSB/CW/Digital would be performed using browser based WebDX. This setup makes for a very simple and clean operating experience.

Getting Started:

  1. Log into RHR console.
  2. Open the RHR Desktop App
  3. Plug in the FTDI USB to Serial Adapter
    1. You may be prompted from the RHR App that a new device was found.
      1. If you are successful in receiving the pop up, simply select “K3”
      2. If no pop up is detected, click the GREEN + sign at the top right of the app and select K3/0/10/100/Mini
      3. Click on the device in the RHR App to expand the device.
      4. Select the COM port that was assigned to the USB device. Please note: You may need to open your operating systems “device manager” to see what com port was assigned to the K3.
  4. You’re done adding the K3!
  5. From inside the RHR console, simple select a station as normal and POWER ON the K3 itself, you DO NOT power on from the console..After a few seconds you will connect and your K3 will be connected to the remote site.
  6. To disconnect, simply POWER OFF the K3.
  7. If you want to add Straight Key/Paddle support you will need a DXmate.
  8. Good DXing!

 

Troubleshooting

There are a number of circumstances when things may not work properly. One of the most common is when the K3’s USB cable is unplugged from either the K3 itself or from the PC end WHILE the RHR App is running. This will cause a number of issues. If your K3+RHR App connection becomes unusable or you may be seeing the WAIT_ _ _ message try these steps.

 

  1. Open the RHR app.
  2. Expand the K3 device
  3. At the bottom there is a RED REMOVE, click “REMOVE”.
  4. Close the RHR Desktop App.
  5. Unplug the USB cable from the PC.
  6. Open the RHR Desktop App.
  7. Plug the USB cable back into the PC, you should be prompted that the app has found a dxmate or K3, choose K3.
  8. Select a site in the console and power on the K3.This should resolve 99% of the issues.

WSJT Digital Modes with WebDX on Mac


This document will layout the process to operate WSJT (and in theory any digital mode) using WebDX ONLY.

What can I do with WSJT?

Weak Signal Joe Taylor (WSJT) is software written by Nobel Prize recipient K1JT designed to decode extremely weak (-30db below the noise) signals. There are a number of “modes” that are designed for different types of propagation.

JT65A – 60 second sequences – This mode is very popular on HF, 6M and EME for long distance contacts.

MSK144 – New high speed meteor scatter – Very popular and very effective real time 6M meteor scatter, good up to 1500 miles.

JT9* – New modes which are gaining popularity.

 

Prerequisites:

  1. Lets start with making sure your mac has the time synced properly. If this is not already set you should always set this up.
    1. Open System Preferences then go to Date & Time. If your have the little security lock locked at the bottom, click to unlock, enter your mac password. Once unlocked make sure you have the “Set date and time automatically” checked. Good, now your mac’s clock will always be extremely accurate.
    2. Download, purchase and install the LoopBack digital audio cable software. When you purchase the software you will be emailed a serial number to unlock the software, I highly recommend that you save this information in a safe place.
      1. Open the LoopBack App.
      2. Rename the first device to “WebDX RX” and set the appropriate options.
    3. Click the + sign at the bottom left and create a second device and name it WebDX TX.
    4. Setup WSJT. This step is a little more involved, take your time and you will be fine.To do: <create video tutorial>
      1. From the Readme file located in the installer.

There are some system matters you must deal with first. Open a Terminal window
by going to Applications->Utilities and clicking on Terminal.

Along with this ReadMe file there is a file: sysctl.conf. Drag this file to your Desktop.

WSJT-X makes use of a block of memory which is shared between different parts of
the code. The normal allocation of shared memory on a Mac is insufficient and this
has to be increased. You can check the current allocation on your Mac by typing:

sysctl -a | grep sysv.shm

If your shmmax is already at least 33554432 (32 MB) then you can close the Terminal
window and skip the next steps and go to (NEXT).

Now move this file into place for the system to use by typing: (Note this assumes that
you really did drag this file to your Desktop as required earlier.)

sudo cp $HOME/Desktop/sysctl.conf /etc/
sudo chmod 664 /etc/sysctl.conf
sudo chown root:wheel /etc/sysctl.conf

and then reboot your Mac. This is necessary to install the changes.

You are now finished with system changes. You should make certain that NO error messages
have been produced during these steps. You can now close the Terminal window. It will
not be necessary to repeat this procedure again, even when you download an updated
version of WSJT-X.

NEXT:

Drag the WSJT-X app to your preferred location, such as Applications.

You need to configure your sound card. Visit Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI
Setup and select your sound card and then set Format to be “48000Hz 2ch-16bit” for
input and output.

Now double-click on the WSJT-X app and two windows will appear. Select Preferences
under the WSJT-X Menu and fill in various station details on the General panel.
I recommend checking the 4 boxes under the Display heading and the first 4 boxes under
the Behaviour heading.

5. Open Chrome and log into the RHR console. Once logged in go to Settings -> Set Mic and Speakers


Once set, click done and then refresh the console screen. The refresh is needed in order for Chrome to use the newly selected Mic device (WebDX TX). As a note, you can switch the output device on the fly without a refresh.

6. Open WSJT. Once open, click WSJT-X then Preferences. We need to set the General and audio tabs. **Note: Be sure to change the “My Grid” field when operating RHR stations. The grid square of the RHR station is clearly shown in the station tab.

 

 

7. Connect to a RHR site. Here are a few things you should do once connected.

  • Set CMP (compression) to 0 – You don’t want compression on TX.
  • Set Radio mode to USB
  • Open the BW to full 4Khz
  • Set AGC-F or AGC-OFF for full dynamic range (if AGC-OFF selected we cut the RX audio level down by 50%)
  • Make sure NB/NR are off
  • Setting the RX audio level is important. You will want to adjust the RX volume and the audio slider in WSJT so the audio level is 30db (see screenshot below).
  • Click the VOX button so it lights up YELLOW, VOX will now be enabled. The VOX badge is located just below the BLUE POWER ON button.

 

9. At this point you should start to see traces in the panadapter on RX and you should be able to TX as well!

 

10. Logging with RHR Logger (Also useful for LOTW). When logging with the built in RHR Logger, above the “NOTES” field is a mode pull down menu. Pull this menu down and select “DATA” for the mode. When you enter contacts into the logger they will be uploaded as DATA and will match in LOTW. Also note the signal report is not used for log checking so you can simply leave those fields default 59. Here is a confirmed LOTW contact.

 

*** This is new territory, please report any bugs, corrections or additions to support so this article can be updated.

WSJT Digital Modes with WebDX on Windows

This document will layout the process to operate WSJT (and in theory any digital mode) using WebDX ONLY.

What can I do with WSJT?

Weak Signal Joe Taylor (WSJT) is software written by Nobel Prize recipient K1JT designed to decode extremely weak (-30db below the noise) signals. There are a number of “modes” that are designed for different types of propagation.

JT65A – 60 second sequences – This mode is very popular on HF, 6M and EME for long distance contacts.

MSK144 – New high speed meteor scatter – Very popular and very effective real time 6M meteor scatter, good up to 1500 miles.

  • Change log:
    • 5/14/17 – Corrected the Audio Level setting for WSJT-X, should be 30db not 0 (WSJT10).

*** THIS IS ALPHA *** EXPECT BUGS *** THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS ***

Prerequisites:

Known Issues:

1. No CAT Control (not needed).

  1. Install Virtual Audio Cables

Once you have your purchased version of the software (which they email you a download link after purchase) you must install the software. Once installed, run the Virtual Audio Cable Control Panel.

a. Create 2 cables.

 

Cable 1 (Highlighted in blue).

 

Cable 2 (highlighted in blue)

 

Make sure all the settings match, the 2nd cable has Mic and Line selected.

2. Windows playback devices. Right click on the speaker in your task bar (down by the clock) and select “Playback Devices”.

Set the “Line 1” device as the “default device” by selecting the device and then clicking the “Set Default” button at the bottom. Once set you will see the GREEN check mark.

4. Install Thinking man NTP time sync tool.

5. Open WSJT-x.

a. First thing once you open is to set your callsign and grid square. Remember that when operating RHR that you will have to change the GRID when connection to different stations. You may at times need to change the callsign, HH2AA FK93 for instance from Haiti.

b. Lets set the Radio tab settings. VOX method needs to be set. You will also want to set Rig to NONE.

c. Lets set the audio devices.

d. When you hit OK you will be presented with the WSJT operating screen. Make sure the mode is set to JT65.

6. Set WebDX Audio Devices:

 

7. Connect to a RHR site. Here are a few things you should do once connected.

  • Set CMP (compression) to 0 – You don’t want compression on TX.
  • Set Radio mode to USB
  • Open the BW to full 4Khz
  • Set AGC-F or AGC-OFF for full dynamic Range (When AGC-OFF is selected we cut the RX audio down by 50%)
  • Make sure NB/NR are off
  • Setting the RX audio level is important. You will want to adjust the RX volume and the audio slider in WSJT so the audio level is 30db with no signals present (See screenshot below).
  • Click the VOX badge which is located just below the BLUE POWER ON BUTTON, once you click it the badge will turn YELLOW showing that VOX is ENABLED.

 

8. At this point you should start to see traces in the panadapter and TX should be working as well!

 

9.  Logging with RHR Logger (Also useful for LOTW). When logging with the built in RHR Logger, above the “NOTES” field is a mode pull down menu. Pull this menu down and select “DATA” for the mode. When you enter contacts into he logger they will be uploaded as DATA and will match in LOTW. Also note the signal report is not used for log checking so you can simply leave this fields default 59. Here is a confirmed LOTW contact.

*** This is new territory, please report any bugs, corrections or additions to support so this article can be updated.

Getting Your Microphone/Speakers to Work using WebDX

The WebDX console has a built in Audio Test Tool which helps you in configuring your sound devices.

 

 

 

If you continue to have problems hearing the radio’s RX audio from the browser be sure to disable any Chrome Extentions that you may have enabled.

Changing Your Microphone Selection

Chrome will now remember your microphone selection and won’t ask you each time you conenct to the RHR service. If you decide to change your microhone follow these steps.

1. in Chrome go to chrome://settings/

2. Click “Advanced Settings”

4. For the DXMate for instance, you would choose “USB CODEC” under the Microphone settings.

 

5. Now return to the RHR console and “REFRESH” your browser page, this will reload the new microphone setting and now your new Mic will be selected.

Resetting your microphone settings

  1. In google chrome visit this page chrome://settings/

  1. Click “Show advanced settings” at the bottom.
  2. Click “Content Settings” under Privacy.
  3. Click “Manage Excepetions” under the Microphone Settings.
  4. Delete the entried in the box by clicking on the “X” at the right side when you hover the mouse over the item.

WebDX Bandwidth Requirements

RemoteHamRadio’s WebDX technology requries very little bandwidth, typically 40-200kbit/s. This translates to DSL, Cablemodem, Fiber, 3G and 4G cell networks will all work sufficiently.

Powering On a Radio

 

 

Small update to console “Power On” Button
The RHR development team has pushed a number of code changes to the production servers. The majority of the changes will not be noticeable to users and are designed to improve performance and reliability of the service.  However, there will be two changes to the console that will be new for users. This change will effect both RemoteRig users as well as WebDX users.

1. New Unified Console

The PremiumDX and RemoteDX stations are now combined into one “unified console” display.

The `top row of stations are the PremiumDX stations` and the `bottom row are RemoteDX stations`.

As a `RemoteDX subscriber` you will be able to access the “GREEN” stations on the `bottom row`. You will notice the `PremiumDX stations to be “GREYED” out`.

2. New method for powering on the radio. 
The first noticeable item will be the removal of the green “power on button”.
 
The second noticeable item will the “Config RRC” button has been replaced with a multifunction power button.
This “multifunction” power button has three options.
  1. Power On  This option operates the exact same way as the previous  “power on” button”. When this button is pressed you will be asked for permission to access your microphone when using WebDX.
  2. Power On (No Mic)
    This option is the same as above but you will NOT be asked for permission to access your microphone. This option will only be used for operators who only use CW with WebDX and do not have a microphone connected to their computers.
  3. Power On With K3
    This option replaced the original “Config RRC” button. Users with a K3 + RRC will use this option to connect to sites using the K3 + RRC.
Whichever option you choose will be “remembered” the next time you use the console with the same browser.
Thats it!
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you can email us at support@remotehamradio.com