Date   
RigPi to PC Network connection using USB cable

WA8KHP -
 

Why did I want to connect the RigPi to a PC?  I needed CAT Control for my Apache-Labs SDR using PowerSDR software on the PC.  For Audio on the PC I used Mumble and on my Android phone/tablet I used Plumble to complete the RigPi connection.  This configuration also allowed me complete control of my digital software on the PC without changing anything.

Both the RigPi (Raspberry Pi computer) and a PC have USB A ports and cannot be directly connected without a special cable or cables.


The first thing you should be aware of is that there are several different kinds of USB-USB cables on the market. The one used to connect two PCs is called
“bridged” (or “USB networking cable”), because it has a small electronic circuit in the middle allowing the two PCs to talk to each other. There are A/A USB cables that, in spite of having two standard USB connectors at each end, don’t have a bridge chip and cannot be used to connect two PCs. In fact, if you use an A/A USB cable, you can burn the USB ports of your computers or even their power supplies. So, these A/A USB cables are completely useless. A/B USB cables are used to connect your computer to peripherals such as printers and scanners, so they also won’t meet your needs.


So how did I solve this network problem?  I used two, USB to Serial Port cables the have the FTDI chip set and connected these two cables together with a NULL Modem cable.  Beaware there are USB BRIDGE cables that do not ust FTDI chip sets and may cause problems.  This configuration became my BRIDGE CONNECTION.


I used two FTDI Serial TTL-232 USB Cable that cost $18 from Adafruit:

https://www.adafruit.com/?q=serial

I connected the two cables together using a Null Modem cable that cost $6:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QM8ZPZ4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I now have a RigPi to PC network connection using USB.

David – WA8KHP

Re: RigPi to PC Network connection using USB cable

Howard Nurse, W6HN
 

David, thanks for the helpful description of how you are using RigPi.  Your use is actually upside down from how I normally think about using RigPi, which goes to show we will have many new ideas and suggestions as folks start to use RigPi.  Here are some additional thoughts.

 

You mentioned a TCP connection between a PC and RigPi for remote rig control.  Your description of how you are using RigPi is mainly for remote access to your PC.  Since you are running your PC while accessing your station from another place, there might be other ways to accomplish your goal aside from RigPi. 

 

While only available for iOS users, CommCat Mobile and the Windows QSXer program (both free) with a $15/year VoIP subscription would also work without RigPi.  CommCat provides a more robust solution and also has a free VP add-on that connects to PowerSDR, etc.  CommCat and CommCat Mobile will also connect to RigPi through a TCP connection. (CommCat, QSXer and CommCat Mobile are my programs.)

 

Another Windows program, TRX Manager, has remote capabilities and I believe uses a browser interface for mobile devices.

 

You can install a Murmur VoIP server, used for Mumble and Plumble clients, on Windows computers.

 

Your description of the physical connections between your PC and RigPi causes me to wonder if a ready-made PC-to-USB solution from MFJ might be a possible product.

 

You asked about the need to use RigPi Audio with your 7600.  Your message below is one answer…use Mumble on your Windows computer to interface audio with RigPi.  I’m not clear on why you aren’t already using the digital audio output from your radio rather than the SignaLink, but if it is free, you could connect the radio’s digital audio source to RigPi.  RigPi can use any USB audio source, bypassing the need for the RigPi Audio board.  MFJ sells the RigPi base (RPi 3+, case) without the accessory boards.  If you are only interested in SSB and have a radio that provides digital audio out, there is no need to purchase the Keyer and Audio boards other than for other switching capabilities provided through the Keyer/Audio PTT connections.

 

I hope I covered all bases, David!  Thanks again for your input here on the forum.

 

73, Howard W6HN

 

From: RigPi@groups.io [mailto:RigPi@groups.io] On Behalf Of WA8KHP -
Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2019 7:50 AM
To: RigPi@groups.io
Subject: [RigPi] RigPi to PC Network connection using USB cable

 

Why did I want to connect the RigPi to a PC?  I needed CAT Control for my Apache-Labs SDR using PowerSDR software on the PC.  For Audio on the PC I used Mumble and on my Android phone/tablet I used Plumble to complete the RigPi connection.  This configuration also allowed me complete control of my digital software on the PC without changing anything.

Both the RigPi (Raspberry Pi computer) and a PC have USB A ports and cannot be directly connected without a special cable or cables.


The first thing you should be aware of is that there are several different kinds of USB-USB cables on the market. The one used to connect two PCs is called
“bridged” (or “USB networking cable”), because it has a small electronic circuit in the middle allowing the two PCs to talk to each other. There are A/A USB cables that, in spite of having two standard USB connectors at each end, don’t have a bridge chip and cannot be used to connect two PCs. In fact, if you use an A/A USB cable, you can burn the USB ports of your computers or even their power supplies. So, these A/A USB cables are completely useless. A/B USB cables are used to connect your computer to peripherals such as printers and scanners, so they also won’t meet your needs.


So how did I solve this network problem?  I used two, USB to Serial Port cables the have the FTDI chip set and connected these two cables together with a NULL Modem cable.  Beaware there are USB BRIDGE cables that do not ust FTDI chip sets and may cause problems.  This configuration became my BRIDGE CONNECTION.



I used two FTDI Serial TTL-232 USB Cable that cost $18 from Adafruit:

https://www.adafruit.com/?q=serial


I connected the two cables together using a Null Modem cable that cost $6:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QM8ZPZ4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I now have a RigPi to PC network connection using USB.

David – WA8KHP

Re: RigPi to PC Network connection using USB cable

WA8KHP -
 

Thanks Howard,

You gave me a couple new ideas which I will look into.  I am a little old fashion and don't believe in annual subscriptions for software if I can find a solid work around!

Remote access using TeamViewer and Skype is OK but not as clean as your RigPi and Mumble audio solution.  I do like TeamViewer for the Panadapter and Waterfall if I am searching on the bands.

I am not aware of any USB Bridge cables from MFJ for USB A to USB A connection.

I do have the complete MFJ-1234 on order and hope to get it soon!

In 2012 when I got active again in Amateur Radio I purchased the IC-7600.  The Club that I belonged to then recommended using the SignaLink for digital communications.  Not knowing any better then I configured it that way and have used this method on the IC-7600.  The IC-7600 is my working backup rig as I purchased the ANAN-100D in late 2013.  This is my main rig so my PC is always on.

Of course FLEX owners who have an Android phone/tablet will find your RigPi solution a must have since FLEX has not taken any interesting in developing a relation with Android developers for a remote solution.   Maybe at Dayton they will announce a solution?

73

David - WA8KHP

Prevent Windows from Turning Off USB Devices

WA8KHP -
 

To save power, Windows automatically shuts down the power to USB ports.  It surely saves power, but what if it is causing you problems with your auxiliary devices such as a Network connected RigPi or if you simply need a USB device that is always powered?

Power management is also a common cause of USB-connected device issues; if Windows is able to shut down your USB controller, it sometimes won’t be able to properly power it back up again, which will prevent some USB devices from working.

To prevent Windows from “managing” power to your USB controller or devices, follow these steps:

Prevent Windows from Turning Off USB Devices

https://helpdeskgeek.com/how-to/prevent-windows-from-powering-off-usb-device/

David - WA8KHP

 

VNC alternative

Jay Jackson <jjackson@...>
 

I use XRDP in place of Real VNC.  Then my Windows PC's can use the Windows Remote Desktop program. (XP, Windows 7,8+ &10)
I just purged realvnc-vnc-server.  Then installed tigervnc-standalone-server and xrdp.  It will setup the services and boot on startup.  Then reboot.
This may work for ISP's with restricted ports.  Since the Windows Remote Desktop (RDP) is commonly used, some ISP's may have the port (3389) open.

Jay KA9QIG

New 2019 MFJ catalog available

Manuel Maseda
 

The new 2019 MFJ catalog is now available for downloading or ordering on the MFJ website.  The MFJ-1234 is showcased on the cover.

Manuel W4SSB

Does RigPi support multiple operators attached at the same time?

Scott Bicknell
 

I have been sharing my station with RemoteHams for years and the multi op features are great and text chat between all the operators attached to the same station work great.

The downside of RemoteHams is having to have a Windows PC running all the time. 

I love the the idea of a Raspberry Pi as the server.

Re: Does RigPi support multiple operators attached at the same time?

Howard Nurse, W6HN
 

Hi Scott, and welcome to the RigPi Forum,

The answer is yes, indeed!  RigPi supports multiple operators, each of whom can control a shared or unique radio.  The only limits are the Raspberry Pi's resources, but I've tested with up to six simultaneous connections and the RPi does fine.  The RPi is like the little engine that could!

Since the RigPi interface is through a browser, no special software is needed and you can connect responsively with any device from cell phones, to tablets, laptops and desktop PC's, Mac OSX, Windows, iOS, Linux, Droid...

The VoIP server for two-way audio runs on the Raspberry Pi and it also supports multiple users and chatting between all users.  You can set up "channels" so one channel of users can use a radio at the same as another channel using a second radio.

RigPi uses an account system so each user can have their own account.  Each account can share a radio and rotor or a separate radio/rotor.  Accounts have security levels to restrict access when appropriate. Each account can have its own log or share a log, and each has its own spot source selection and filtering.

This is pretty cool stuff!

73, Howard W6HN

My RigPi has shipped

Manuel Maseda
 

Got notification today from MFJ that my RigPi has been shipped.

Manuel W4SSB

Re: My RigPi has shipped

WA8KHP -
 

Great, glad to see you are getting yours!

I just contacted MFJ and they said NO MFJ-1234 will be shipping before next week!

They also said that MFJ will NOT have any RigPi's at Dayton!

Glad to see you are getting yours.

David - WA8KHP

Re: My RigPi has shipped

Manuel Maseda
 

I ordered on the first day it was available on the MFJ website (4/11).

Manuel W4SSB

On May 15, 2019 11:53 AM, WA8KHP - <joepic9@...> wrote:
Great, glad to see you are getting yours!

I just contacted MFJ and they said NO MFJ-1234 will be shipping before next week!

They also said that MFJ will NOT have any RigPi's at Dayton!

Glad to see you are getting yours.

David - WA8KHP

Re: My RigPi has shipped

WA8KHP -
 

Excellent.

I ordered mine on 4/16 and was number 111 on the list for back order!

GigaParts had placed an order for 100 before me.

David - WA8KHP

Re: My RigPi has shipped

WA8KHP -
 

Don't believe what they tell you.  So the conversation that I had with MFJ was not accurate.

I just got an email from FedX saying MFJ had shipped my RigPi and it will be here on Friday 5/17!

David - WA8KHP

Re: My RigPi has shipped

Adam Hosa
 

So glad to hear that. In the last 6 months or so, Ive ordered several things from MFJ, and they were ALL on backorder. I have an order in for this, assuming if i get it it will be just before the peak of the next solar cycle...

Adam N1AH

RigPi CAT Control Logic

WA8KHP -
 

I have put together several flow charts on CAT Control.  I believe it will help everyone setting up a new RigPI.

DISCLAIMER

 

The following flow chart diagrams give some examples on connecting the RigPi to a PC and/or amateur radio transceivers for CAT CONTROL.  CAT Control is used to change the frequency on the radio, use the PTT and many more functions.  If you cannot establish reliable Cat Control the RigPi will not function.

I would appreciate any positive suggestions on improving these diagrams.  RigPi is like a Swiss army knife and allows for many different configurations to work successfully.

73

David – WA8KHP

Re: RigPi CAT Control Logic

Howard Nurse, W6HN
 

What a great idea, David!

I’m getting on a flight to Ohio in a few minutes, so I’ve only had a chance to take a quick look.

I’ve seen a few things, nothing serious.  Use /dev/ttyUSB0 format for ports.  I quick description at the top of each page telling what the chart is for.  I know the top box gives a clue.

See you at the Hamvention!

—Howard

Re: RigPi CAT Control Logic

WA8KHP -
 

Thanks Howard,

I believe in RigPi that is why I spent the time to create the CAT flow charts.  I am sure the support questions for CAT will be easier!

David  - WA8KHP

Re: RigPi CAT Control Logic

Scott Gordon
 

David,

Thanks, very well done!!

Scott Gordon
614-419-3077
http://facebook.com/gordonsweb

Re: My RigPi has shipped

denni43
 

Wow,

Thanks David - WA8KHP.

When I saw your post, I checked with GigaParts.

Sure enough, they had them in stock.

I ordered at 2:00 and it shipped by 4:00.... 

Should have it by Monday.....

Thanks all !!!!

DennisB W7IME

On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 9:38:03 AM PDT, Adam Hosa via Groups.Io <Ifone@...> wrote:


So glad to hear that. In the last 6 months or so, Ive ordered several things from MFJ, and they were ALL on backorder. I have an order in for this, assuming if i get it it will be just before the peak of the next solar cycle...

Adam N1AH

Re: My RigPi has shipped

Papi <papiflaps@...>
 

David: Are you sure they didn't say, "ALL the rigpis will be at Dayton next week!?  LOL Seems like they ought to have taken a few (hundred) of them there...