Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

communicating with Digital Loggers Web Power Switch

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 speedster

speedster

    Vendor - Telescope Piers

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,020
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2018
  • Loc: Abilene, Texas

Posted 18 September 2023 - 08:19 PM

Setting up remote obs in the backyard and them moving to dark site when I'm confident of the reliability and recovery.  Everything running on home wifi network at the moment.  Web Power Switch has normal install with a static IP.  Put the IP in a web browser and the login page pops up.  If I'm 200 miles away and on a different LAN, I can communicate with the pier PC via TeamViewer just fine but if I type switch's IP into the browser URL field, I get a page timeout message.  As expected since that static IP means nothing on someone else's LAN.  How do I address that IP on my home LAN from another, different LAN?



#2 ssa2294

ssa2294

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 340
  • Joined: 29 Oct 2018

Posted 18 September 2023 - 10:03 PM

The short answer is you need a router in between the two LANs.

 

If you are 200 miles away, that does not sound like you are simply on a different LAN, but going across the internet then. If you can access the PC from Teamviewer, then within the Teamviewer session you should be able to access the same power switch without issue. If not then there is something more going on. Are you using just regular Teamviewer for remote desktop viewing, or is there some newer services TM offers I may not be aware of?


Edited by ssa2294, 18 September 2023 - 10:04 PM.


#3 csandfort

csandfort

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 94
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2014

Posted 18 September 2023 - 11:04 PM

If the remote pier PC is setup to obtain an IP address automatically try assigning the remote pier PC a static IP address. Then try to connect to the Web Power Switch.


Edited by csandfort, 18 September 2023 - 11:06 PM.


#4 speedster

speedster

    Vendor - Telescope Piers

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,020
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2018
  • Loc: Abilene, Texas

Posted 19 September 2023 - 01:12 AM

Yes, going across the internet.  This obs will eventually go about 200 miles south.  This weekend, I was about that far away at my son's house and tried connecting from his house to the obs.  Regular TeamViewer connected to the pier PC fine.  I can then start a browser on the  pier PC, type in the switch's IP and it connects fine but that doesn't help me because, if I reboot the PC via cutting power to its web switch outlet, I can't turn the outlet back on since the pier PC is now off.   So, I have to hit that switch IP without going through the pier PC.



#5 archer1960

archer1960

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,742
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Southern New England

Posted 19 September 2023 - 08:01 AM

You are probably going to need port forwarding set up on the internet-facing router where your obsy is. Have the port # that the power strip listens on be forwarded directly to the power strip.


  • EFT likes this

#6 Raginar

Raginar

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,184
  • Joined: 19 Oct 2010
  • Loc: Twin Cities

Posted 19 September 2023 - 10:53 AM

@speedster,

 

Look at getting a router on that network that supports setting up a private VPN.  That'll enable you to tunnel in without opening your network up to other issues.  

 

You can also run an IOT VPN server on a Pi or some other device.

 

The easy answer is to open the port(s) for the digilogger and use a dynamic IP site to give you a weblink you can use. Another option is to make sure your Teamviewer PC has a redundant supply and is set to power on after power loss.You can set the digilogger to set some ports to power on after power loss... which then will cause the PC to power on after power loss.

 

Here is the software I used to do this after I go nervous enough with lots of pings on my Digilogger open port.. Took a bit to get it running, but once you have it running it was flawless.  Just like being on the network.  

 

https://openvpn.net/...openvpn-to-use/

 

Here is a company that can help with getting you a URL to feed your dynamic IP (unless you have a static IP at your location). Not one I've used, but there's a few of them. They used to be free... might cost you a few bucks these days.

 

https://www.noip.com/


Edited by Raginar, 19 September 2023 - 11:55 AM.

  • gordtulloch and EFT like this

#7 MJB87

MJB87

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 6,159
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Talbot County, MD & Washington, DC

Posted 19 September 2023 - 10:56 AM

You will either need to use port forwarding -- not always possible these days depending upon your ISP -- or you can use a cloud-based service (e.g., CloudUIS) to access the device.



#8 rgsalinger

rgsalinger

    James Webb Space Telescope

  • *****
  • Posts: 16,113
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Carlsbad Ca

Posted 19 September 2023 - 11:34 AM

How do I address that IP on my home LAN from another, different LAN?

 

I use a port forwarding setup on my router. Each PC at our observatory (5) has a static IP address on the LAN. Each PC is set to boot up when power is applied. Each PC has a digital logger (or equivalent internet power switch) to control it. My observatory has a static IP address but you could use TeamViwer to figure out what your observatory address is if necessary. So, it's just a matter of opening up some ports on my router. 

 

A VPN is better but I don't know how to set that up. It's a future project. Incidentally, I use a separate PC to control the observatory - roof, LAN switch, weather system, etc. I have an emergency backup power supply that can be used to close the roof if necessary even if the mains lose power. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


  • Raginar likes this

#9 MJB87

MJB87

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 6,159
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Talbot County, MD & Washington, DC

Posted 19 September 2023 - 03:41 PM

I used to use this approach (port forwarding) but my last three ISPs no longer offer that possibility in IP4 due to CGNAT protocols.  (This means you share your WAN address with other customers.)



#10 Phil Sherman

Phil Sherman

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,988
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2010
  • Loc: Cleveland, Ohio

Posted 19 September 2023 - 04:00 PM

I've set up and run my personal remote observatories (yes, plural) for over ten years. You have a daunting task ahead of you that has at least three solutions. Two of them usually require lots of networking knowledge. Your current testing environment is lacking one significant component which you need to add to more closely simulate the remote environment. This is a router inside the observatory. All of the gear inside it should connect to the router with ethernet cables. This may also require adding an 8-port ethernet switch to the observatory's gear.

 

Your options are:

1. Team viewer into a computer in the observatory and control all of the observatory gear from that computer.

2. Set up port forwarding in the observatory router and use that to control the gear from the computer you're using.

3. VPN into the observatory router.

 

Option 1 will require the computer to be on 24x7. Option 2 might be able to be done on the ISP's router. If not, you can forward all incoming traffic from the ISP's router to your router for distribution to your gear using port forwarding. If your ISP uses dynamic IP addressing for the observatory, you'll also need to subscribe to a dynamic IP address server to maintain access to your observatory. Option 3 will make your computer appear to be part of the network inside the observatory. You can address all of the gear as if it's attached to the same network as your computer. The observatory lan segment you pick to use needs to be different than the one(s) you use at home if you use this method to access the observatory. The router you pick for the observatory also needs to support a VPN into it.

 

If you're planning on using Starlink as the remote observatory's ISP, you need to be aware that Starlink uses CGNAT (Carrier Grade Network Address Translation) which prohibits port forwarding. I don't believe that CGNAT effects Team Viewer but you should verify that. I don't use Starlink so I haven't fully investigated its effects on connectivity to a remote observatory.


Edited by Phil Sherman, 19 September 2023 - 04:06 PM.

  • archer1960 likes this

#11 gordtulloch

gordtulloch

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,331
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2005
  • Loc: Winnipeg Canada

Posted 20 September 2023 - 10:54 AM

@speedster,

 

Look at getting a router on that network that supports setting up a private VPN.  That'll enable you to tunnel in without opening your network up to other issues. 

This is excellent advice, don't open anything to the Internet if you can avoid it, I put an RPi FTP server on a port forward and within a day or two it was compromised, root kitted and scanning the nets on the hacker's behalf for more vulnerable computers. All it takes is one vulnerability in your server software or whatever you expose to expose your internal network. A VPN is a better solution.
 



#12 MJB87

MJB87

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 6,159
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Talbot County, MD & Washington, DC

Posted 20 September 2023 - 10:58 AM

Agreed. I no longer do port forwarding. My two primary locations are connected via a secure VPN tunnel.



#13 speedster

speedster

    Vendor - Telescope Piers

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,020
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2018
  • Loc: Abilene, Texas

Posted 20 September 2023 - 02:28 PM

Thanks for the great info!  I haven't kept up with network knowledge so I'm coming from the stone age of 25 years ago.  Is this as simple as buying a VPN router off Amazon, physically cabling PC and Power Switch to the router, subscribing to some free VPN service, and following some simple directions from the service?  

 

Currently, with the obs in my backyard, I add the router to my home LAN via directions that come with the router, like any other network device?

 

When I move the obs to the dark site, I connect the router to the site's modem and I can hit it from my house?

 

Maybe I'm too skeptical but it can't be that easy?


  • Raginar likes this

#14 rgsalinger

rgsalinger

    James Webb Space Telescope

  • *****
  • Posts: 16,113
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Carlsbad Ca

Posted 20 September 2023 - 08:25 PM

It's NOT.

 

What you want to do in a shared observatory is to use either TeamViewer or AnyDesk. Both of which offer free licenses and avoid the security issues inherent in port fowarding and the complexity setting up your own VPN and/or the cost of using a commercial VPN. You want to be imaging not monkeying with software.

 

As I have 3 systems in use 100 nights a year, I've been banned as "commericial" by both vendors and so PF was my easy peasy solution to remote access to all of them plus the other two systems at the observatory that I end up being the tech support guy for. At a commercial remote observatory, you shouldn't need much support but someone should be on site at least most of the time. 

 

You can't use TV or AD to access a digital logger so either you use Port Forwarding or use something other than a digital logger. I've been experimenting with a unit from KASA that gives me three internet accessible power ports. It's been pretty (not 100 percent) reliable and eliminates the need for PF or a VPN.

 

R-grds-Ross



#15 MJB87

MJB87

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 6,159
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Talbot County, MD & Washington, DC

Posted 21 September 2023 - 06:54 AM

I've settled on three MSNSwitch devices. Two of them (model UIS-622b, with two outlets) provide power to my mount and mount accessories on each of my two piers.  The third (EZ-72b, with a single outlet) provides power to an IR illuminator for interior security cameras at night, when the telescopes are not in use. All are connected via Ethernet to my LAN.

 

I can use the UIS cloud system to turn the devices on or off anywhere in the world, or manage them directly over my LAN when I am on the premises but not at the observatory, which is my typical use pattern.

 

I tried doing this with Wemo devices -- an unmitigated disaster and those devices are now in the trash. I have tested a Kasa device -- it did work, but I found the MSNSwitch devices easier to use.



#16 rgsalinger

rgsalinger

    James Webb Space Telescope

  • *****
  • Posts: 16,113
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Carlsbad Ca

Posted 21 September 2023 - 11:32 AM

Of course the nice thing about digital loggers is that you don't need for some vendor's "cloud system" to be available. I tried the MSN switches before settling on digital loggers. They simply were not reliable enough for my taste. There were multiple outages of their cloud and the switches themselves needed to be power cycled more than once. Now that was maybe 4 years ago and time marches on. (I still have one in the observatory closet.)

 

That's why I went for the 35 dollar KASA solution when I added our 5th pier. For that price I can't complain if there's an outage and the switch is daisy chained with one of my loggers so I can power cycle it if it gets in trouble. 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#17 Raginar

Raginar

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,184
  • Joined: 19 Oct 2010
  • Loc: Twin Cities

Posted 21 September 2023 - 01:30 PM

Thanks for the great info!  I haven't kept up with network knowledge so I'm coming from the stone age of 25 years ago.  Is this as simple as buying a VPN router off Amazon, physically cabling PC and Power Switch to the router, subscribing to some free VPN service, and following some simple directions from the service?  

 

Currently, with the obs in my backyard, I add the router to my home LAN via directions that come with the router, like any other network device?

 

When I move the obs to the dark site, I connect the router to the site's modem and I can hit it from my house?

 

Maybe I'm too skeptical but it can't be that easy?

That is how a VPN works.  It is non-trivial to setup... you'll need to watch videos/follow tutorials.  Some routers work better than others (dd-wrt routers do it best IMHO, that's an open source firmware available for some routers).



#18 Phil Sherman

Phil Sherman

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,988
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2010
  • Loc: Cleveland, Ohio

Posted 21 September 2023 - 08:05 PM

Thanks for the great info!  I haven't kept up with network knowledge so I'm coming from the stone age of 25 years ago.  Is this as simple as buying a VPN router off Amazon, physically cabling PC and Power Switch to the router, subscribing to some free VPN service, and following some simple directions from the service?  

 

Currently, with the obs in my backyard, I add the router to my home LAN via directions that come with the router, like any other network device?

 

When I move the obs to the dark site, I connect the router to the site's modem and I can hit it from my house?

 

Maybe I'm too skeptical but it can't be that easy?

It's not that easy. The ideal solution would be that the ISP's modem/router internally supports a VPN server and you have the authority to get into it and build all of the VPN files you'll need to connect to it. Unfortunately, that's most likely not going to happen. You'll have to port forward at least one port to the router you supply and use your router's VPN server as the connection device for the computer you're using at home or with you when you're traveling. ISPs are starting to use CGNAT with IPV4 addresses which prohibits port forwarding. You need to verify this with your ISP and verify if you can get a unique IPV6 address which would hopefully allow port forwarding. You might even be able to get a fixed IPV6 address which would eliminate using separate dynamic IP address software to keep up with the ISP's constantly changing your IP address.

 

The good news about this arrangement is that you can fully implement and test the VPN environment at home before you move the observatory to the dark site. The connection between your home router and the observatory router is the equivalent of the much longer internet connection to the remote site. I can almost guarantee that no matter how much setup work you do at home, there will be some additional work that you discover needs to be done as you set up your gear at the remote site. Plan on some extra time there to handle this.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics