Another VHF contest. Again not too motivated to operate but brought the special event call DM60UEA (60 years of Amateur Radio in Angermünde) onto the air on 2 m & 70 cm. Made about 250 QSOs, people had difficulties with the call even if we were CQing. Oh well …
I spent most of the time not on the radio but rather programming NODERED. I had set up a Raspberry Pi as a NODERED server and now programmed a few dashboards to make it possible to remotely rotate all our antennas just using a web browser. We’ve been able to rotate computer-based using the superb PSTRotator software for over 10 years already. Drawback was: only one connection at a time making coordinating between operators almost impossible and inconvenient (starting/stopping software, trying to avoid blocking each other). Furthermore PSTRotator only works on Windows and my approach to the remote setup is to make it OS independent, i.e. being able to control everything no matter if using a Windows computer, a Mac, a tablet or even a smartphone.
Available stuff from other hams was a useful start (there’s a very active NODERED Ham Radio group on the groups.io forums). I had to reverse engineer a few things as there were no existing flows for our use case (our rotators are network connected and use TCP/IP instead of the more common serial interface for remote control). But after I recognized how all that stuff works it was no problem to implement. Likewise for our NETIO power controllers. I found flows to control the Elecraft KPA500 and KAT500 as well so connected both with their serial interfaces to the RPi, too. The KPA500 flow still has some potential for optimization (a few ideas in my head already, hi) but it will do as is for the moment.
As always lots more ideas for additional stuff, lets see when I’ll have time again to dig a little deeper. 😉 Here are a few screenshots of the dashboards available now: