5 June 2023 – Node-RED for radio amateurs by Mike Richards, G4WNC

| May 18, 2023

Mike’s presentation

Node-RED is a visual programming language that is very powerful but surprisingly easy to use. The language has matured over recent years and has the potential to be a valuable tool for radio amateurs. In this talk, Mike will provide an introduction to Node-RED programming techniques. He will conclude with a live demonstration to show just how easy it can be to add extra facilities to your rig.

About Mike

Mike has been involved in radio and electronics since his childhood days. Following a 42-year career with BT, Mike—who was first licensed as G8HHA—turned to computing in the early 70s where he experimented with radio data links between his Compukit UK101 and a friend’s TRS-80. That spurred him on to get his Full licence, G4WNC, where he has maintained an interest in digital modes. Mike’s writing career began some 25 years ago when he took over the PW RTTY column from Ron Ham and has been writing reviews and regular columns for many radio magazines including RadCom. His latest endeavour has been the well-received book NanoVNA Explained for radio amateurs, published by the RSGB.

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Find out more

RadCom Articles: 

Mike has written supporting Node-RED articles for the July and August issues. These include detailed tutorials for the examples shown in this presentation. Part 1 (July issue) includes an explanation of why you might want to use Node-RED and how to install the application. Following this you can learn how to control smart plugs and control relays. Part 2 (August issue) will cover the Node-RED dashboard and show how it can be used as the control centre for projects. Practical examples of dashboard applications including a rig control system using Hamlib or FLRIG will be included.

Main Node-RED websitehttps://nodered.org
This is the most useful site for Node-RED information. Here you will find installation instructions along with excellent tutorials and more than 4,000 flows that can be downloaded and modified. The flows used in Mike’s presentation are also available via the Flows menu on this site. Just search for G4WNC and you will find them all. Mike strongly recommends completing at least the first two tutorials, so you are familiar with the Inject and Debug nodes.

Node-RED for Amateur radio on groups.io: https://groups.io/g/nodered-hamradio
This group is dedicated to supporting radio amateurs with Node-RED and is packed with downloadable flows that you can use or modify. The site offers specialised Node-RED support and is particularly good for Flex radio owners.

Robot-Electronics: https://www.robot-electronics.co.uk
This company produces an excellent range of Ethernet and Wi-Fi accessible relay boards. They are particularly well constructed and offer comprehensive control facilities. For the demo, Mike used their ESP32LR20 two relay board.

G4WNC website: https://g4wnc.com
Here you’ll find links to Mike’s range of Raspberry Pi pre-configured SD cards. He will be launching a Node-RED version very soon.

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