Going Mobile

QRV Mount Rumney
Mobile test run at Mount Rumney. not a bad view!

For a long time it has been a goal to take my own station portable to work HF. This week I finally achieved that goal.

It’s taken me a long time to get there, with the project starting in 2006 when I purchased a portable aluminium mast for the car that can be assembled as high as 12m (39.3 feet). With the help of Bruce (ex VK7MBD) a custom tow bar mount was made, allowing the assembly and raising of the mast to be possible by 1 person. After this, things went quiet on that project as a result of my hiatus from the hobby.

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Rig Control with RUMlogNG

My workspace for my radio gear is pretty limited, therefore space is at a premium. The Toshiba Tecra M2 which I used as my station computer for many years finally reached the end of its life, with none of the major operating systems supporting non-PAE chipsets. Not ready to purchase a laptop just for radio operations, I was hoping that I could use a more contemporary platform for operations – an iPad.

A quick search around and I came across RUMlogNG, which is easily the best logging interface I have seen in a ham radio iPad app that is modestly priced.

RUMlogNG Logging Page

One of the more interesting features was that basic interaction with your radio was possible (reading of frequency, mode), with the suggestion to use one of Pignology’s Piglets. Reading the specifications of the piglet, it became apparent that what it was doing was taking the serial CAT interface of the rig control, and making it accessible over wifi network to connected devices by streaming the serial data out of a TCP port.

Armed with this information, went looking for alternative ways to connect serial interfaces to RUMlog, and happened across this forum post, talking about an app called remserial. After attaching a Serial to USB Converter to a Raspberry Pi, I was able to run the below command as root:

pi@raspberrypi ~/remserial-1.4 $ ./remserial  -p 7373 -s "9600 raw" /dev/ttyUSB0

The app did not crash when I tried this, so I assumed it was running, and then configured RUMlogNG to connect to the Raspberry Pi on port 7373. Success! RUMlog did not throw any errors and back on the logging screen, I saw that frequency and mode was being updated off the radio.

Rig Control with RUMlog