QO-100 TX/RX Dashboard

I’ve now completed the GQRX Receive and Icom IC-705 Transmit dashboard in Node Red. It was a fun project to put together and needed some javascript coding to get the functionality I wanted but, I got there in the end.

M0AWS QO-100 GQRX/IC-705 control dashboard

The dashboard looks fairly simple but, there is a lot behind the scenes to get it to this stage.

On the left is the Icom IC-705 transmit control panel. It shows the transmit frequency, power output and SWR reading. The SWR is so that I can check that the input into the 2.4Ghz transverter doesn’t have any connectivity issues. The “S0” will actually display the S Meter reading when the IC-705 is being used as a normal transceiver rather than being in QO-100 Duplex mode as shown above where the GQRX app and Funcube Dongle SDR are being used as the receiver.

The GQRX side of the dashboard shows the downlink frequency which tracks the uplink frequency of the VFO on the IC-705. This will ensure that the Funcube Dongle Pro+ SDR receiver will always be on the correct downlink frequency relative to the uplink frequency, thus I should always be able to hear my own signal coming from the QO-100 satellite.

Once taken out of QO-100 mode the two radios can be used independently on any of the HAM bands and can be switched using the buttons on the dashboard.

I also coded in a simple memory facility where a frequency can be stored in Node Red and recalled later on both the transmit and receive sides.

Looking at the dashboard it all looks simple and straight forward however, if you look at the Node Red flow it becomes obvious that this isn’t the case.

QO-100 Dashboard Flow in the Node Red Editor (Click for larger image)

There’s a lot to the flow to get the information from the receiver and transmitter so that it can be presented on the dashboard. There’s also some code to convert between Rigctl protocol used by the GQRX application and XMLRPC used by the IC-705 via FLRig and WFview. I had to also code around a bug in the Node Red XMLRPC node whereby you have to add 0.1 onto the VFO frequency for it to be passed onto the radio otherwise the information is never sent. This was a real pain of a bug to find but, with a little experimentation I found the problem and managed to code around it. The strange thing about this is that the 0.1 added onto the frequency isn’t actually passed onto the radio via the XMLRPC node, it just has to have that on input otherwise it doesn’t work at all. A very strange bug and hopefully one that will be fixed by the node developer in future releases.

All that is left to do now is add the temperature sensors dashboard to complete the dashboard. These haven’t arrived yet and so I’ve not been able to create the necessary flow to collect the data from them.

Hopefully this coming week the weather will improve and I’ll start getting the dish antenna up and the get the receive side working.

UPDATE: Further development of my QO-100 Dashboard has taken place, you can read all about it here.

More soon …