K6HR Remote Transceiver Project 2015

After hearing a ham demonstrate his remote station on 80m HF one night, I wanted to build my own remote. I had some spare gear, why not put it back into good use! I quickly realized this was going to be great fun to research and assemble. First question...how would I control it?

While googling for remote control power strips I discovered the XYTRONICS Web Relay Dual. This device could be assigned an IP address and has a built-in Web server for configuration and remote relay activation via web browser. I needed the ability to power up and shutdown the PC and this would allow me to do it. Not only that, experimentation with the hardware showed a need to be able to power cycle the USB radio transceiver, as sometimes, it would 'hang-up' and require a power cycle to reset it. So, the Dual relay model was purchased for $84 on eBay. It was the smallest and most cost effective device I could find for this project. Each relay has both N.C. and N.O. contacts, and, voltage control inputs adding even more capability. As can be seen in the photo below, I just ran a pair of wires from the "N.O." contacts parallel to the PC reset switch. It works like a charm for power-up and shutdown! For the radio, I used the second relays "N.C." contacts so I could turn the power off/on when needed. This too worked perfectly. I then used velcro to mount the relay on the outside rear area of the PC.

Some of the components had to be secured so they would not move around in transit. To accomplish this I purchased a couple of 'vented' 1U steel rack shelves. These shelves have slots that allowed me to tie down the components using cable ties. After getting the ties as tight as possible the shelves were added to the rack. The top shelf would support the radio and the antenna tuner, and the bottom shelf would hold the heavier items, the mini PC and a 12VDC power supply. The case still had just enough room for the Buffalo AirStation N600 wireless router/bridge (below lower left) $29 on eBay. The idea was to require only two connections to the case, the antenna and the AC power mains. I installed a 1U rack panel on the rear of the rack that was prepunched for an SO-239, and mounted the antenna connector there.

Below: Left to Right Top Shelf: Flex Radio 1500 HF+6m Transceiver, MFJ-925 Mini Auto Antenna Tuner. Bottom Shelf: Mini PC w/Intel I7 CPU, Radio Shack 12VDC 3 amp power supply. This remote station is designed to operate via a wireless broadband connection. There's no need to leave the PC running 24/7. Only the 12V power supply, radio, antenna tuner, web relay, and wireless router remain powered on to provide access to the remote hardware via TeamViewer.

Click Here To View The Magnetic Loop Auto Tune Project