Wednesday, April 29, 2020

FlexRadio: Remote Control ON/OFF State

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FlexRadio makes controlling the ON/OFF state of their ham radio rigs simple.   Basically a "short" across the RCA jack on the back labeled REM ON will start the rig and an "open" will power the rig down.
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Here's how we did it for the FlexRadio 6400 (video below).

- From SmartSMR go to Setting / Radio Setup.... (I wish SmartSDR would just use CTRL R for this and similar for other menu commands).   In the screen make "Remote on: Enabled":
- Now you need some hardware.  Most hams will have plenty of the wire, wall warts, and connectors gathering dust that are in the diagram below.   However, two items may need to be purchased.  Don't worry; they're cheap:

     - This 120VAC outlet that can be controlled via your smart phone.  Cost from Amazon ~$10.
- A simple relay to "short/open" the REM ON labeled RCA jack on the back of the rig.  Cost for three was ~$8 from Amazon.

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You will need to download an app for your smart phone to control the AC outlet.  Then hook things up like this (click to enlarge image):

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Here's vid of the whole enchilada in action:
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It took us more time to document the project than to actually do it.   It's simple.  Hope to catch you on the air.   dit dit.
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Monday, April 13, 2020

3D Printed "Cootie" Key for CW/Morse Code

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CW or Morse Code is a way ham radio operators send messages with a simple tone of two durations.  It was a must before the days of wireless voice communications and still remains popular because it is a fun challenge.  Also, due to its efficiency messages can get through with limited power or in poor conditions.
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There are no shortage of morse code key designs, but in general they fall into a few categories that are discussed here.  We decided to DIY a "cootie" or "sideswiper" key and used our 3D printer to produce this design from Thingiverse.
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The result was surprisingly fantastic in both look and feel.   Now, to practice.


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Sunday, March 15, 2020

Icom IC7300: Memory External Keypad


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The Icom IC7300 is a fantastic and very popular ham radio HF rig.  One thing that we didn't care for is if you utilize the transmit memory functions for CW, phone, etc. half of the touch screen was dedicated to the memory location buttons.
The IC7300 has other features that are a much better use of the touch screen real estate than displaying the memory location buttons.  A few examples are...

Making the Band Scope larger:

Displaying the Audio Scope:

Or getting more information on how the rig is behaving:
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In a RTFM moment, I discovered that Icom had a simple circuit that allows the operator to use an external switch keypad to control the top four memory locations. 
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A search of our spare parts bin uncovered that all of the materials needed were "in stock".  We set the 3D printer on a mission to print a project box while the soldering iron connected everything up.   Soldering took about 10 minutes; the 3D print a few hours.  The end result is a nicely done external keypad for the memories.   We like it; we like it a lot!
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The project is cheap, easy, and useful.  73!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

ESP8266 Doorbell Sends SMS and Updates Google Sheet

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On-line shopping has changed the way goods are acquired.  For most packages it is not necessary to be around for the dropoff.  But... for the important stuff it is.  Those packages always seem to show up right when you are in the backyard for mere seconds causing that frustrating "Personal Signature Required for Delivery" note on the door.  This is our DIY effort to solve that problem.
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Needed:
     - ESP8266 (microcontroller with WiFi)
     - 1M ohm resistor
     - reed switch
     - IFTTT account (using the WebHook applet)
     - wire and stuff
     - fundamental knowledge on Arduino sketches (simple code edits).
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The connections are simple:

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And the rig will look something like this:
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A 1M ohm resister connected from 3.3V to the A0 [ADC] input on the ESP8266 keeps the A0 reading at maximum value.   The normally open reed switch is placed right on top of the coils that activate the doorbell.  These coils act like that electromagnet you build in grade school to ring the doorbell and cause the reed switch to close.  This drops the impedance to the 1M resistor and changes the ADC value on the A0 pin for detection of the doorbell.  Then the SMS is sent to your phone and a Google Drive Sheet is updated.
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The sketch you need to upload to the the ESP8266 looks like this:
```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
/*
 *  FEB2020
 *  Door Bell Monitoring
 *  WhiskeyTangoHotel.Com
 * 
 *  Build details at:
 *  http://www.whiskeytangohotel.com/2020/02/esp8266-doorbell-sends-sms-and-updates.html
 * 
 *  On Doorbell ring:
 *    Logs to Google Drive (as an appending spreadsheet)
 *    Sends SMS to cell phone
 * 
 *  ESP8266 uC
*/

// For the Wireless
#include <ESP8266WiFi.h>

// WiFi Connection Information
const char* ssid = "yourssid";    // PRIVATE: Enter your personal setup information.
const char* password = "yourwifipassword"; // PRIVATE: Enter your personal setup information.

// IFTTT Information for WebHook widget
String MAKER_SECRET_KEY = "yourIFTTTprivatekey";  // PRIVATE: Enter your personal setup information. Your IFTTT Webhook key here
String TRIGGER_NAME_google_drive = "googlebell";    // this is the Maker IFTTT trigger name for google drive spreadsheet logging
String TRIGGER_NAME_SMS = "doorbell";              // this is the Maker IFTTT trigger name to send SMS.
const char* host = "maker.ifttt.com";
String url_SMS;                      // url that gets built for the IFTTT Webhook sending SMS
String url_google_drive;            // url that gets built for the IFTTT Webhook logging to google drive spreadsheet
String Status ="**_Starting_on:";  // Status payload for Google Sheet.  We log all starts and reboots

// Define and set up some variables
int sensorValue = 0;  // reading from A0.  This pin detects the doorbell (ADC reading between 0-1024)

// Define pins
const int led = 2;     // Blue on board LED is on PIN2.  Active LOW.  Blinks it between reads
const int bell = A0;  // analog input for the doorbell transducer. 1MOhm on board in // with 1MOhm from the reed switch pickup

// Program control variables
int Seconds_dwell_after_detect = 8;  // Prevents logging flood and debounce.   Sensor reads, LED flashing, etc.
int logging = 1; // If 1 then SMS and log to cloud.  Any other value (0) turns it off.

void setup(){  // This is run once.
  pinMode(led, OUTPUT);  // set up the onbaord LED pin as an output.    
  Serial.begin(115200);  // turn on the serial monitor for debug

  // wait until serial port opens for native USB devices
  while (! Serial) {
    delay(10);
  }
 
  // Is the WiFi working?
  WiFi.begin(ssid, password);
  Serial.println("");
  // Wait for connection
  while (WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED) {
    Serial.print("Trying to connect to ");
    Serial.print(ssid);
    Serial.print(" on ");
    Serial.println(WiFi.localIP());
    for (int x = 0; x < 20; x++) { // 
      digitalWrite(led, !digitalRead(led));  // toggle state of the on board blue LED. Shows program is trying to WiFi connect
      //Serial.println("Server Start blink loop....");
      delay(5);   // Delay so short the LED looks like it is always on
    } // endfor WiFi blink connect
  }
  Serial.print("Connected to ");
  Serial.println(ssid);
  Serial.println(WiFi.localIP());

  for (int x = 0; x < 10; x++) { // 5 slow LED blinks to slow WIFI Connected.
  digitalWrite(led, !digitalRead(led));  // toggle state of the on board blue LED.
  Serial.println("WIFI is Connected....");
  delay(500);   } // endif for WIFI Connected blink


  // Use WiFiClient class to create TCP connections for WiFi logging
  WiFiClient client;
  const int httpPort = 80;
  if (!client.connect(host, httpPort)) {
    Serial.println("connection failed");  // Boo!!!
    return;
  }

  // Trigger the IFTTT Webhook Channel to update a Google sheet with the activity of the server starting/restarting
  // This can help log power outs, etc.  For first run we defined String Status for identify a startup condition.
  // Create the request for IFTTT google drive
  url_google_drive = "https://maker.ifttt.com/trigger/" + TRIGGER_NAME_google_drive + "/with/key/" + MAKER_SECRET_KEY + "?value1=" + String(Status);
  Serial.println (url_google_drive);
  Serial.println(" "); 
   
  // This sends the request to the IFTTT server
  client.print(String("POST ") + url_google_drive + " HTTP/1.1\r\n" +
  "Host: " + host + "\r\n" +
  "Connection: close\r\n\r\n"); 
  delay(500);  // Delay for web traffic; maybe not required. 

  // Read all the lines of the reply from server and print them to Serial
  while(client.available()){
     String line = client.readStringUntil('\r');    }

  String Status = "Payload_String_for_Google_Sheet";
}
 
void loop(){   // Loop forever or until the Dallas Cowboys win a Super Bowl
  // Read the A0 pin and post based on the delay values set above.
  // The blue onboard LED will fast blink while polling
  sensorValue = analogRead(bell);
  //Serial.println (sensorValue);   //debug only

  // Fast Blink Blue LED while waiting for doorbell press
  digitalWrite(led, !digitalRead(led));  // toggle state of the on board blue LED. Shows program is running
  Serial.println("Waiting for DoorBell....");
  delay(50);   

  // Use WiFiClient class to create TCP connections for IFTT
  WiFiClient client;
  const int httpPort = 80;
  if (!client.connect(host, httpPort)) {
    Serial.println("connection failed");
    return;
  }
 
  if (sensorValue < 200 || sensorValue > 300) {  //  A0 values between 200-300 are normal.  Increases (apprx doubles) when DB is pressed
      Serial.println("----------Doorbell Dectected----------");

      if (logging == 1) { // is logging turned on? Non "1" is for debug...  Typically would be set = 1
        Serial.println("***** Logging is ON *****");

        // Build the IFTTT Webhoo Channel for SMS url
        url_SMS = "https://maker.ifttt.com/trigger/" + TRIGGER_NAME_SMS + "/with/key/" + MAKER_SECRET_KEY;
        client.print(String("POST ") + url_SMS + " HTTP/1.1\r\n" +
        "Host: " + host + "\r\n" +
        "Connection: close\r\n\r\n");
        Serial.println(" ");
        Serial.println("SMS payload to IFTTT is:");
        Serial.println(url_SMS);   
        Serial.println(" ");  

        // This must be run before any IFTTT webhook
        const int httpPort = 80;
        if (!client.connect(host, httpPort)) {
          Serial.println("connection failed");
          return;
        }
           
        // Set up IFTTT Webhook Channel to update a Google sheet with the activity. 
        Status ="__Doorbell_on:";
        url_google_drive = "https://maker.ifttt.com/trigger/" + TRIGGER_NAME_google_drive + "/with/key/" + MAKER_SECRET_KEY + "?value1=" + String(Status);
        client.print(String("POST ") + url_google_drive + " HTTP/1.1\r\n" +
        "Host: " + host + "\r\n" +
        "Connection: close\r\n\r\n");
        Serial.println(" ");
        Serial.println("IFTTT url payload to Google Drive is:");
        Serial.println(url_google_drive);
        Serial.println(" ");
   
      } else {   // We are not sending to IFTTT.  Debug mode
         Serial.println("Logging is OFF.");
         Serial.println(" ");
      } // endif/else logging 
   
    for (int x = 0; x < Seconds_dwell_after_detect*2; x++) { // DoorBell dectected. Pause and LED flash for visual acknowledgement
      digitalWrite(led, !digitalRead(led));  // toggle state of the on board blue LED
      Serial.println("Doorbell dectected,  Now in BLINK Loop....");
      delay(500);   } // endfor DoorBell Dwell loop  
       
  }   // end doorbell A0 pressed
}  // end of endless loop
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That's it and thanks for stopping by!!!