What about remote control?


I have gotten this question a number of times, mainly because we have a web based interface.  The FCC requires that you have remote control capability that is available all the time.  If the repeater is not located local to you where you can touch it you have to have the ability to disable it remotely.

The internet is not a reliable source of remote control so you have to have something that is more reliable and typically it is a packet radio link or DTMF remote control.

We have taken this into consideration in the design of the Open Repeater Project.  Here are some of the things in the design we have done to help with low speed control links like packet radio.  If there is internet connectivity we still use these same techniques but it will function much quicker.

  1. We use a micro service architecture.  I know, to most that sounds like jibberish, so here it is in a nutshell.  In the old fashion web pages, you make a request to a web server and it sends you everything you need, graphics, text, data, etc.  And it sends it every time you click on something.  That is a lot of data to send over a packet radio link.  In our design, we use EXTJS which is a web 3.0 technology that only transfers the data, not the images or graphics, every time you update or need new information.  You can change tabs and navigate the entire user interface without any data going back and forth.Plus, we have designed the application to be internet aware, if you have internet access on the device where the web browser is located, everything needed comes from a high speed internet site and only the data will ever traverse the low speed link.  There is a fall back in the case that the device with a web browser does not have internet access.
  2. We are developing a user shell that will be used in place of the unix shell.  Most people are not familiar with Unix and we wanted to remove the barrier of not knowing unix.  A Typical shell interface is low bandwidth and can work well over packet data.  By creating our own shell, we can take advantage of the low bandwidth but make it user friendly.
  3. We are building in DTMF remote control capabilities as well so that if the receiver of the repeater is working you can remote control it that way as well.

We have considered low bandwidth in all of the design.  Even the graphs that show performance information (if you choose to use them) only need minimal data and work well over a low speed link.

In addition, if you only have a low speed link but really would like to get all of the rich meta data from the repeater, we are building in the ability to bulk report data via slow link to our IOTDataEngine site.

The IOTDataEngine was a private cloud data project that we are opening up to the public soon, so the information would be reported once a day from the repeater to IOTDataEngine and you can design your own graphs and reports as much as you want without the need for the bandwidth to transfer the data.