Setting up a Remote Station – Part 5 Setup continued

Rather than continually editing part 4, I’ve decided to move to separate posts.

A lot has happened since I last posted and a lot of progress has been made. I’m nearly at the point where I am ready to start testing the system in the home shack.

From my log:

  • I’ve realised that the Shelly 2.5 Wifi Switch won’t work after all. It needs to be powered by at least 30V DC and the two relays have one side connected to the 0V line. I need them to be independent. I’ll probably implement a couple of switched outputs using the GPIO lines on the Pi.

  • I configured the OpenVPN client on the router to connect to my home’s OpenVPN server.

  • I put a SIM card in the router and set up the failover rules so that the failover order is:

    • My Home LAN (will be changed to the Host LAN at the final location)
    • Any WAN connection that might be plugged in
    • 4G modem
  • This works, though I had to change the process by which the router detects the need to failover, and then "fail-back". The router detects the need to failover by pinging an address periodically. I set a different target for each interface.

  • The VPN connects OK, but I can’t route traffic.

    • I needed to "push" a route to the home LAN to the OpenVPN client, and add static routing statements to the home LAN’s router.
    • I also needed to add additional firewall rules on the OpenVPN server

I now had a major brain fade and managed to screw up the configuration of the Pi, so I needed to start again from scratch. Thank heavens for ansible and the fact that Home Assistant takes regular back-ups.

  • I set up an Home Assistant automation to detect when the UPs went on to battery and use this to kick off the automation that shuts the radio (if it’s on)
  • With this in place, and knowing I’d be away for a few days, I decided to see how long the UPS would power the system and whether it would recover atomically when the power returns. I disconnected the mains and went away
  • When I came back, everything had functioned correctly and the UPS had enough energy to power the system for 5h30m. More than enough.

Still to do

  • Sort out the relay switching for the radio power
  • Finalise the Node-Red dashboard
  • Add temperature/humidity sensors for inside and outside the cabinet
  • Install a Real Time Clock on the Pi

Author: Gareth Howell

IT Professional, radio amateur, scout leader and beer drinker. I enjoy helping small business use their limited IT budgets to best effect