Arduino control over Ham radio

This is not my idea, but I finally got around to setting up and testing it so I can show you what I did and why.  When I got my ham licence I got myself a decent radio, a Yaesu ft-60r.  That wasn’t cheap, but I trust it’ll be good for quite a while and is of a good quality.  What I eventually also got was a Baofeng UV-5RV2+ but this I got as a receive only radio.  I have no intention of breaking it or making any hardware modifications, but I just don’t intend to use it as a radio to talk on.  Some people think they create a ton of interference when they transmit, but mostly there’s a dislike of cheap radios because it’s a lower barrier to entry.  That’s not the point here.  The point here is long range control of a system with minimal hardware.

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If you need to control something over a long distance (~2 miles away) you might choose to use wifi and the internet.  This is a reasonable choice and by far the cheapest, but it requires internet at both locations.  You might choose cellular radio modems, but those are expensive and you have to pay for a service to make them work.  You might even choose some purpose built radio modems, but those are usually unreasonably expensive and a lot of trouble to use.  I have a simple control scheme that requires no special hardware at the sending end and a cheap, small receiver using mostly commodity hardware.

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My initial setup uses a Ramsey TT7 decoder kit and an arduino pro mini.  The decoder kit has a logic chip that decodes what button is pressed and triggers one output, but the arduino can do that in software and not require as many pins.  My modification to the kit was to piggyback a header that exposes power, ground, the binary decoded key and the latch signal that is enabled when the data on the bus is good.  The code I have is simple and is an example that can be modified for basically any use.  The initial idea was an RF remote control for a DSLR setting the photos to be taken, focus or not, number of photos and time between them, or video start and end (or set duration).  I still like this idea, but I don’t have a camera to use like that so I’ll have some other eventual use.

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