Saturday 21 January 2023

Quisk Remote operation

The recent development of Quisk allows for remote operation of supported SDR radio's - that could be at the end of your garden using wifi or some completely remote station in another location.

The bandwidth requirement is around 55Kb/s, which is quite small for an ethernet operated SDR.

I run the Quisk remote 'server' on a Raspberry-Pi 3 hooked to a Hermes-Lite 2 (HL2) and another instance of Quisk as the Control Head (Client) running on a Windows laptop or PC.

The install and operation of Quisk is as described here... (upgrade your install(s) to the newest Quisk if not already done as old versions will not work for remote)

For remote operation, you must make sure both 'Server' and 'Client' versions of Quisk are the same and ideally the newest release.

The settings below are the same for a home network situation or a fully remote internet setup.

My setting of Quisk 'server' - I used a Raspberry Pi 3 as my remote 'server' as it is more than capable and cheap to run!   Click any image to SUPERSIZE!

Create a new radio of type Hermes, give it a useful name - I used HL2-Server, then Add as screenshot

Select the new radio, HL2-Server and on the Hardware tab, check the settings as in screenshot - adjust the hardware file path/python path according to your operating system

On the Remote tab, set a password for the remote client to add to the Control head/client setting

All other settings are pretty much standard and should be enough to get you going (see also the video linked below)

My Setting of Quisk 'Client' - I set this up on a Laptop or desk PC as the Control Head/Client

Create a new Radio of type Control Head and give it useful name - I used HL2-Client, then Add

Select the new radio HL2-Client and on Hardware tab select as screenshot, adjusting the path according to your operating system

On the Remote tab, add the IP address of your Quisk remote (HL2-Server/R-Pi) and enter the same password as you used for the Quisk Server

Once you have all the above setup, start the server and once it is connected to the radio, start the client and it should connect :-)

Here is a useful video on setting up an HL2 with Quisk for normal stand-alone operation.


Below is a rough schematic of how I plan to run a fully remote station when I can find a suitable site.

Click the image to go SUPERSIZE !

In the UK we need to have a way to power ON/OFF the whole operation independently of the internet.
I will use a GSM operated relay that only responds to SMS messages from approved/registered cell phones (mine!).  It ignores all other calls/messages.

Once the system is powered on, it supplies 5v power (from the 12v PSU) to the internet router and an ESP32 controlling an 8 way relay module.  These relays are used to independently power ON or OFF the various other equipments via a web browser interface.
Once the router has full booted (around 1.5 minutes) I can then connect to it from my PC and control the relays via a web browser.  I use a Wireguard VPN on the router and a Wireguard client software on  my Windows PC to establish a secure point-to-point VPN.
I then power up the Raspberry-Pi.  I can check it is up via VNC viewer on my PC.  Once the R-Pi has booted, I then start the radio, a Hermes-Lite 2.  Once the HL2 is booted, I start the Quisk server on the R-Pi.
The reason I will do it this way is that to power the whole station at once would lead to failure as some devices would not be ready at the correct time(s).
With the relay control, I can also gracefully signal the R-Pi to reboot or power-off.
I will also have the ESP32 relay control an antenna changeover relay or relays and a linear amplifier (not shown in the above diagram for simplicity).
My Quisk Remote internet router has a fixed public IP address but it may be possible to use a DDNS service if you can't get a fixed IP address for the remote station - I haven't tested using a DDNS service.
Using a point-to-point VPN means I don't have to open ports at the remote station.
If you are not using a VPN, you will need to port forward the below to the internal IP address of the Quisk/R-Pi server (potentially risky long term).
TCP 4585
UDP 4586 and 4587
If you are using Quisk remote on your own home internal network then you will not need to fuss with the above ports.
You will always need to add a secure password into the Quisk Server software and add the same password to the Quisk Client as well.

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