FreqEZ – Features

Hardware

The FreqEZ Parts List contains components that were intentionally selected as being inexpensive and globally available. Using popular sources like Amazon, eBay, Mouser and DigiKey, hams should be able to purchase all of the FreqEZ components for less than $100 (US).

Software

FreqEZ is a pair of companion software applications that run on a Windows PC and a Raspberry Pi (RPi) single-board computer. The user interface and software configuration run on Windows; the remote antenna switching runs on a Raspberry Pi. These two companion programs communicate via Ethernet or WiFi using TCP.

The N1MM+ and DXLab Commander logging programs send UDP broadcast packets containing radio information that the FreqEZ Console receives and interprets according to the FreqEZ configuration settings. The Console creates command strings that are sent to the Raspberry Pi Controller, enabling any combination of up to 16 devices (i.e. antenna switches, band filters, receive antennas, transverters…). From DXLab Commander, that radio information is the transceiver frequency in the <Freq> field. From N1MM+, that radio information could be the transceiver frequency, or it could be the packet’s <Antenna> number field entered derived from the N1MM+ Antenna configuration table.

Key Features

  • Inexpensive, off-the-shelf, readily available hardware. No custom hardware required
  • No DIP switches, diodes, solder-bridges. All configuration is via software settings
  • Manual antenna selection with simple mouse clicks in the Windows Console
  • Automatic antenna selection from network-based UDP packets or hard-wired BCD inputs
    • In N1MM+ – use the antenna numbers from the Configurer >Antenna table
      • Supports the N1MM+ Keyboard Shortcut for multiple antennas per band by toggling <alt>+F9
    • In DXLab or N1MM+ – use the Rx radio frequency from the UDP RadioInfo packet
    • Auto-magic switching (no re-configuration) from N1MM’s antenna numbers to DXLab’s Frequencies
    • Hard-wired method, for logging programs that do not support UDP broadcasts
      • Connect to a transceiver’s BCD output jack
      • OR… use BCD outputs from a PC LPT parallel port (supported by some logging programs) {ugh!}
  • Versatile, software-based configuration can activate antennas in SO1V, SO2V and SO2R stations
  • The Windows Console and the Raspberry Pi Controller communicate via WiFi or wired Ethernet connections
    • The Raspberry Pi controller operates “headless” – can be located anywhere
  • FreqEZ controls 16 discrete single-pole double-throw (SPDT) outputs
    • 16 SPDT relays provide “dry contacts” that sink (ground) or source (+12 vdc) in any combination
    • FreqEZ can be optionally configured as four BCD outputs for antenna switches requiring BCD signals
  • PTT / Tx Inhibit line prevents FreqEZ from switching antennas while transmitting
  • Flexible, software-driven configuration for shack-specific customization