Radio Remote Control Via HTML5

It’s a common scene: a dedicated radio amateur wakes up early in the morning, ambles over to their shack, and sits in the glow of vacuum tubes as they call CQ DX, trying to contact hams in time zones across the world. It’s also a common scene for the same ham to sit in the comfort of their living room, sipping hot chocolate and remote-controlling their rig from a laptop. As you can imagine, this essentially involves a server running on a computer hooked up to the radio, which is connected via the internet to a client running on the laptop. [Olivier/ F4HTB] saw a way to improve the process by eliminating the client software and controlling the rig from a web browser.

[Oliver]’s software, aptly named Universal HamRadio Remote, runs a web server that hosts an HTML5 dashboard for controlling the radio. It also pipes audio back and forth (radio control wouldn’t be very useful if you couldn’t talk!), and can be run on a Raspberry Pi. Not only does this make setup easier, as there is no need to configure the client machine, but it also makes the radio accessible from nearly any modern device.

We’ve seen a similar (albeit expensive and closed-source) solution, the MFJ-1234, before, but it’s always refreshing to see the open-source community tackle a problem and make it their own. We can’t wait to see where the project goes next!

36 thoughts on “Radio Remote Control Via HTML5

  1. “[Olivier/ F4HTB] saw a way to improve the process by eliminating the client software and controlling the rig from a web browser.”

    The next step is to automate the process completely and have the computer call CQ DX, and respond to such calls, log the contacts, and email the contact with a call sign .pdf and signal report.
    Then, the Ham can look over the logs at their leisure.

    1. Even able to remotely control your rig can be a great benefit- for me to run coax etc into the house is not practical so the antennas and rigs live out the back and to have the ability to monitor and respond to what’s going on without having to sit by the rig all day would increase my opportunity to operate. It would also increase the opportunity to annoy everyone else in the house

      I’ll certainly be looking into implementing this .

    2. Yea, you’re right. The only way to enjoy this huge, diverse hobby is the way you enjoy it, thanks for the insight! Got any good opinions about “today’s youth” or the use of transistors?

  2. Unfortunately almost a necessity nowadays because the shortwave band are unusable in an urban environment thanks to crappy SMPSUs led lights PLT , ADSL, solar inverters and whatever pollutes the bands.
    It would be nice if all these institutes like CISPR etc start to take care of EMC limits that are actually protecting radio services instead of facilitating the next piece of junk to be placed on the market.

    1. My friend lives in Washington DC, and even though he is on the 10th floor of his apartment building, he can still work stations all over the world including China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, etc. If you know what you’re doing, and it sounds like you don’t, then operating in a noisy urban environment is a piece of cake.

      1. There are a lot of dishonest people in Washington DC but I’m pretty sure they have to follow the rules of Physics and electromagnetism. High urban noise increases noise floor … you can’t practically pull out a signal from below noise therefor you miss a bunch of signals in a high noise environment versus a lower noise environment. Working other stations is just that – imagine all the contacts missed because he was in a high noise environment! It’s not a piece of cake even if you know what you are doing

    1. This is great! I will try to find time to try it. I enjoy working at my cabin in the woods (which I connect to via wireguard VPN) as it is less noisy – but in the city I also live in an HOA which restricts antenna so I only have a stealth wire.

      I would love to leave my radio at the cabin – couple quick questions:

      a) I use an Yaesu FT991 with built in sound card that shows up as a USB modem – is that compatible?
      b) I already have a linux server for fldigi and others … not as convenient creating a dedicated Pi for one program
      c) Would this run in a VM you think?
      d) I get audio streaming to the webpage is fairly straight forward … but what about other direction? From remote PC to Pi to Radio … is there anything special to setup there? browser restrictions? Can i access from different (html5 compatible) devices and browsers?

      Thanks !

      1. Hi!

        a) I use an Yaesu FT991 with built in sound card that shows up as a USB modem – is that compatible?
        Yes if you can send audio when you transmit in all modes, not only digi mode.

        b) I already have a linux server for fldigi and others … not as convenient creating a dedicated Pi for one program
        You can git it on your server. If it’s not a raspiOS, you can have some error…

        c) Would this run in a VM you think?
        Yes.

        d) I get audio streaming to the webpage is fairly straight forward … but what about other direction? From remote PC to Pi to Radio … is there anything special to setup there?
        No special setup on webbrowser. New HTML5 API is usefull in the two way.

        browser restrictions?
        Yes, you must use ssl on http like https:// beacause the use of microphone is resticted on secure connection on new webbrosers.

        Can i access from different (html5 compatible) devices and browsers?
        Yes, i have try google chrome, firefox, edge, under windows, linux and android phone.

        73! F4HTB

  3. I haven’t really done much contesting but I see people posting on forums complaining about people who rent remote operated radios for contests.

    I don’t get it.

    It seems to me that if you used a remotely operated radio for your contact then the actual physical location of the radio is for all intents and purposes your qth. As long as that’s what you list then I can’t see how it is any different from someone who buys a store bought radio and connects it to a store bought antenna that they payed someone else to install, all directly in their home.

    OTOH, if the remotely operated radio is nearer to the contact than where you are controlling it from yet you try to take credit as though you contacted them all the way from where you are via radio.. there shouldn’t be any debate that is cheating.

    1. Hello dear friend OM,

      Yes … cheaters are cheaters … but it is not the tool that is in question but the one who uses it has bad ends.
      That’s why I don’t do contests …

      Sincerely, F4HTB

  4. What about hxxps://www.remotehamradio.com/ ? They have built a really interesting Web client. Other alternative that uses client and it is free, is hxxps://www.remotehams.com/, I tried once and it was pretty easy to set it up and the virtual com port also worked flawlessly with DxLog, CW worked just fine. I didn’t test anything else. For any other thing I think skype + anydesk can help. But a web based app, would be awesome, completely clientless solution. Remember that you still need to turn everything else on remotely but there are plenty of IoT’s for that. There are other interfaces as well for rotors, antenna switches and etc… About automation of QSOs, this is already possible on FT8. WSJT-z from a Polish HAM is available. But then, I don’t see a reason to be on the air anymore. Automation of QSO is no fun… Good luck and I hope you can make it. 73

    1. Hello,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.
      Regarding the functions I decided to switch to the hamlib in order to be able to integrate more easily into most of the TRXs.
      The next step is to allow advanced settings depending on what the connected station has.
      Regarding the rotors, I saw that the hamlib had a section to order them, but not being provided, I never used it. It would be quite simple to integrate it I think.
      I just found out which sites you mentioned above. I did not know at all that this existed … :)

      73 F4HTB

        1. Hi,
          For rig control i use hamlib.

          Remember that when you install hamlib with stable repo with apt-get you use hamlib 3.2.
          Unfortunatly in this version FT-891 dont appear.

          I just look in the git repo with the master branch.
          If you use git version, this will be work.

          Look at https://github.com/F4HTB/Universal_HamRadio_Remote_HTML5/wiki/Software-installation
          in the “Use last hamlib” section.

          If you have some problems, please let me know in a new issue.

          73 F4HTB

  5. is there a way to add authentication to the product? currently there is the cookie to remember the user.
    This would be great to protect a possible clubservice to memebers only.

    is there also a way to set automatically the frequency, mode and settings by a single caller url? the idea would be here to tune automatically this great gift of yours to the proper settings out of an websdr?

    is there a template to addapt the apperance? i noticed there is a set of images but to support the knowledge of existing equipment the addaption would great if allowed and possible

    how is the audio transported? i noticed some wss hooks but i’m not aware if this would work over vpn, high latency networks and protected networks via NAT

    please comment if possible. i like your creation alot, merci bien!

    73 de oe6rke

  6. Has anyone gotten this to work on an Icom 7300 as when I tried a few weeks ago, I could not for the life of me get it to connect through the USB connection for CAT and Audio.. Perhaps I missed something in the configuration?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  7. Hello,

    I find this project to be very interesting. I have designed a hamlib based remote system too.

    I use Raspberry Pi with my own shield to control the radio. At home I have a RPi that is connected to a panel that I’ve designed. I use Softether to get a VPN to connect with my remote station, it’s around 250 km from home :)

    Of course my system uses dedicated software on both sides. I would like to integrate your system with mine to get a solution with more flexibility.

    BR
    Ben – SM0KBW

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