Remote SDR project – 2020

ANAN 100D "Remote" SDR project

During the COVID pandemic of 2020 I had the opportunity to develop and implement a proof of concept "Remote" SDR station, albeit on my 900sqm residential house block.

Early in 2020 I purchased a second hand ANAN 100D SDRadio with a view to setting up and testing the components required to run a remote station. The final outcome would be to one day shift the setup to a much better RF location than the current residential location.

System components

  • 19 inch rack mount enclosure
  • 12 volt 20A Power supply
  • Automatic antenna tuner
  • Antenna switch
  • Relays for switching power and antennas
  • Component control software
  • Raspberry Pi computer
  • LAN connection
  • SDR operating software (logging etc)
  • Data and CW connections
6 meter flag pole mast on our garden shed supporting Bushcomm dipole

Development

With most of the components ordered and available I commenced construction. The installation would be made in the garden shed where my antennas were mounted directly above on a 6 meter flagpole. Antennas consist of a Bushcomm SWC-100S hf broadband 3.5 to 30MHz dipole and a quarter wave 28MHz vertical.

The radio is an Apache ANAN 100D 100w 1.8 - 50MHz, shown here upside down to facilitate the additional cooling provided by an old PC CPU fan and heat sink.

ANAN-100D with PC cooling fan

The 19inch rack mount cabinet was attached to the wall of the metal shed. Earthing was provided by a 1.8 meter copper earth stake directly beneath the rack mount cabinet.

A 240 volt AC supply and LAN cabling had previously existed to the garden shed. This view shows the 19inch Rack mount cabinet, ATU, antenna switch and UPS.

Rackmount cabinet, UPS, Antenna switch and ATU
Raspberry Pi relay wiring diagram
OZ2KI 4 port antenna switch kit
Remote antenna switch LDG AT-200 auto tuner 50ohm dummy load integrated into an old manual antenna switch behind the antenna switch

Node-Red SDR control panel was gradually developed and added to as functionality was needed.

UPS monitoring was added but is of minimal value at this stage. A better approach will be to record individual power outage dates and UPS runtimes.

Node-Red SDR control panel
  • Cheap temperature sensors were wired in to provide the cabinet and radio temperature.
  • A UPS was also procured to stop indadvertant Raspberry Pi shutdowns. A bit of research allowed the UPS to be interrogated and various parameters displayed. Credit to Philipp Häfelfinger
  • The 8 relay module was wired to the Pi and various Node-Red flows tested to find the most appropriate method and suitable display option.

SDR Console (G4ELI) software enables control of the ANAN 100D over the Local Area Network. (Wide Area Network access still to be investigated using SDR Console Server)

SDR Console by G4ELI in FT8 mode

A licence was also purchased for Ham Radio Deluxe which includes logbook and data programs. My previous free version of this software would no longer connect to LoTW and again, it was time for me to put back a few dollars into the amateur radio community whilst I have the money to do so.

A copy of Virtual Audio Cable created by Eugene (Evgenii) Muzychenko was purchased to allow audio to be piped between my shack PC and the ANAN radio over IP.

Issues and opportunities

The ANAN 100D was unable to be keyed remotely in CW mode. I eventually came upon the following web site of Enzo IW7DMH and the Remote Keying project. Enzo had developed for the ANAN. As I already had a Raspberry Pi controlling my relays I was able to employ another GPIO output via an opto coupler to key the radio.

My serial to USB adapter is on Port 3 of the shack PC, the serial output is converted to IP and resolved on the remote end by a small program running on the Raspberry Pi.

Note: I needed to install the following depencencies before it would run correctly.

#be sure you have already installed nmap on your PI
# check ncat is installed
# check python-dev is installed
# check wiringpi is installed
# check python-rpi.gpio is installed
# check you are referencing the correct wiringpi gpio pin (not GPIO pin numbers or physical pin number

The ANAN configuration is shown below. The final setup is not without its problems and testing continues to iron out issues with the radio/LAN locking up which is possibly due to stray RF.

 

Amateur Radio