Date   
Re: AE7EU Top Level PCB Mod

Terence Taylor
 

Well, I certainly would be interested in buying one....

On 1/11/2018 6:21 PM, Diver Martin wrote:
Hi David,

No reason the teensy couldn't be put on headers.  If I end up selling this particular PCB, the kit form would be SMT pre-done, all the through-hole to be done by the end user (Which isn't a huge amount - Headers, Front panel, uBitx connectors, inductors, and the teensy32).  If I don't end up selling it (i.e. there isn't much demand to make it worth the time), I'd open source the entire design leaving it to anyone else to fabricate & sell, or modify and use for their own purposes.

Re: AE7EU Top Level PCB Mod

M Garza <mgarza896@...>
 

Same here!

On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 9:51 AM, Terence Taylor <n6mon@...> wrote:
Well, I certainly would be interested in buying one....


On 1/11/2018 6:21 PM, Diver Martin wrote:
Hi David,

No reason the teensy couldn't be put on headers.  If I end up selling this particular PCB, the kit form would be SMT pre-done, all the through-hole to be done by the end user (Which isn't a huge amount - Headers, Front panel, uBitx connectors, inductors, and the teensy32).  If I don't end up selling it (i.e. there isn't much demand to make it worth the time), I'd open source the entire design leaving it to anyone else to fabricate & sell, or modify and use for their own purposes.






Re: Bitx40/Raduino - no power out

Vic WA4THR
 

Some further information and tests: I adjusted RV1 (the blue pot next to the PA, not RV136) and can adjust the transmit current drawn by the rig from 1.7a (fully CCW) down to 0.31a (roughly centered, with no further drop when fully CW). There is no change in current draw with or without modulation, but I can pick up my signal in a nearby receiver and the audio sounds clean when I speak into the mic. There is no change whether on an antenna or a dummy load (although I can no longer hear the rig if on a dummy load). The supply voltage (14v) is present on the heat sink tab of the PA and the other pins measure 0 and 3.9v when transmitting. I tried two different electret elements, and the results were identical.

I also tried adjusting R136 (silver pot) to both extremes from its center position and can see no different while transmitting, with or without modulation. Any idea what might be wrong here or suggestions as to how to proceed? The rig seems to be receiving fine.

=Vic=

Re: AE7EU Top Level PCB Mod

Diver Martin <diver.martin@...>
 

$1million dollars!  

<haha>

When I have a better price point, I'll post.  Right now, the base cost is $11 / PCB, no parts.  I'm guessing $100 in parts & Assembly, but it's a SWAG.

On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 7:53 AM, M Garza <mgarza896@...> wrote:
Same here!

On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 9:51 AM, Terence Taylor <n6mon@...> wrote:
Well, I certainly would be interested in buying one....


On 1/11/2018 6:21 PM, Diver Martin wrote:
Hi David,

No reason the teensy couldn't be put on headers.  If I end up selling this particular PCB, the kit form would be SMT pre-done, all the through-hole to be done by the end user (Which isn't a huge amount - Headers, Front panel, uBitx connectors, inductors, and the teensy32).  If I don't end up selling it (i.e. there isn't much demand to make it worth the time), I'd open source the entire design leaving it to anyone else to fabricate & sell, or modify and use for their own purposes.









--
Martin Held - AE7EU
http://ae7eu.com/
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If there aren't any questions, then what is there to learn?

Re: AE7EU Top Level PCB Mod

Art Olson
 

Count me in for one
Art N2AJO 

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 12, 2018, at 10:53 AM, M Garza <mgarza896@...> wrote:

Same here!

On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 9:51 AM, Terence Taylor <n6mon@...> wrote:
Well, I certainly would be interested in buying one....


On 1/11/2018 6:21 PM, Diver Martin wrote:
Hi David,

No reason the teensy couldn't be put on headers.  If I end up selling this particular PCB, the kit form would be SMT pre-done, all the through-hole to be done by the end user (Which isn't a huge amount - Headers, Front panel, uBitx connectors, inductors, and the teensy32).  If I don't end up selling it (i.e. there isn't much demand to make it worth the time), I'd open source the entire design leaving it to anyone else to fabricate & sell, or modify and use for their own purposes.






Re: AE7EU Top Level PCB Mod

Rick Price
 

Haven't even received my uBitz yet, still waiting, but want one of these.  So far it looks great! 
 
Rick KN4AIE



From: BITX20@groups.io [mailto:BITX20@groups.io] On Behalf Of Art Olson
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 11:34 AM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] AE7EU Top Level PCB Mod

Count me in for one
Art N2AJO 

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 12, 2018, at 10:53 AM, M Garza <mgarza896@...> wrote:

Same here!

On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 9:51 AM, Terence Taylor <n6mon@...> wrote:
Well, I certainly would be interested in buying one....


On 1/11/2018 6:21 PM, Diver Martin wrote:
Hi David,

No reason the teensy couldn't be put on headers.  If I end up selling this particular PCB, the kit form would be SMT pre-done, all the through-hole to be done by the end user (Which isn't a huge amount - Headers, Front panel, uBitx connectors, inductors, and the teensy32).  If I don't end up selling it (i.e. there isn't much demand to make it worth the time), I'd open source the entire design leaving it to anyone else to fabricate & sell, or modify and use for their own purposes.






Re: Bitx40/Raduino - no power out

Jerry Gaffke
 

The quiescent drain current through the IRF510 should be set to something around 100ma.
You can measure it directly by putting a meter in line with the 12v supply into the separate power input connector for the IRF510.
If that's around 100ma, then the IRF510 is probably working fine, and there is not much point in messing with RV1.

Setting RV1 fully CCW is a good way to fry the IRF510 is seconds, maybe less.
With 1.7a at 12v for the DC quiescent drain current, that poor little TO220 package for the IRF510 is dissipating 1.7a*12v = 20.4 Watts.
And that TO220 package has very poor heat transfer, the IRF510 silicon die must have been smoking hot.
So set RV1 fully clockwise, turn on power, press PTT, then adjust RV1 slowly slowly in the CCW direction till you see 100ma.
The drain current will be zero through about half the travel, then suddenly shoot up as you rotate RV1, so be careful.

Here's my old post regarding what I saw when probing my Bitx40 transmitter with a scope:
    https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/22764
You should be able to do most of that with a simple diode RF probe (google it), though a good 10mhz+ scope is better.

And maybe commiserate WA1MAD, who is having similar trouble:
    https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/38802
    https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/38747
    
Perhaps we can keep this problem under this one forum thread from here on out
so it's possible to follow the conversation.

Jerry


On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 07:54 am, Vic WA4THR wrote:
I adjusted RV1 ... and can adjust the transmit current drawn by the rig from 1.7a (fully CCW)

PCB Test Points?

Michael Monteith
 

   I wonder if extra pads could be added to future boards to install test points?  That might make it easier to have strategic test points to check levels and have a common reference point.  Instead trying to specify which end of a capacitor, coil, etc to test from.   Then people could install these:
PCB Test Point Pins

   If you didn't install the pins at least you have a labeled reference point.  That would help in maybe establishing a stable troubleshooting and testing guide if one gets written.  Having not to manage holding meter leads and scope probes to small components with the chance of slipping would make them valuable too.  It would be nice to clip your scope probes on and have hands free to adjust knobs etc.

 73, Michael
KM4OLT

Re: PCB Test Points?

Gordon Gibby
 

"  I wonder if extra pads could be added to future boards to install test points?  That might make it easier to have strategic test points to check levels and have a common reference point.  Instead trying to specify which end of a capacitor, coil, etc to test from.   "


Those are great ideas!   But what *I* hope most is that 


1.  Ashhar F. doesn't get frustrated with dealing with newbie builders and give up!

2.  Doesn't have any catastrophe that fails his company (a group I was with once, was embezzeled!)

3.  Is able to wisely choose staffing and inventory levels so they don't go broke because of ups and downs in demand for his product(s)

4.  People will realize they are purchasing NEW stuff from a FLEDGLING company that simply doesn't have the intricate customer management and pipeline process reporting that huge corporations have --- and they are in a foreign country and dependent on other companies to ship their product.....so you KNOW you're taking a bit of a gamble when you purchase (less if yoiu chooose DHL) --- they've been VERY upfront that their demand outstripped their expectations and they are basically out of stock and behind the 8 ball on shipping....


Now....if Ashhar ever gets crazy enough to put out an improved printed circuit board (I'm still hoping to eventually be able to buy Raduinos again!)  he might be able to shoehorn in:


a)  a limiting resistor so people can't turn the BIAS VOLTAGE to the sky and fry their devices

b)  a bit of insulating tape over some of the Raduino leads that fly about and have crunched a few boards by making unwanted contact with +12

c)  maybe diode protection for the base of the vulnerable transistor at least in the Bitx40 and maybe in the uBitx if my suggestion turns out to be innocuous

d)  built-in diodes/cap at a few key points so people could measure the RF voltage at a marked test point when they don't have an oscilloscope --- 

e)  changes as we've found to reduce "pops" etc.

f)  change the mic amp gain to be a bit higher


And wiser people than me might point out just a few other improvements that wouldn't use up all his real estate and destroy his impressive design!!!!


Gordon




From: BITX20@groups.io <BITX20@groups.io> on behalf of Michael Monteith via Groups.Io <michael_r_monteith@...>
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 12:26 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: [BITX20] PCB Test Points?
 
   I wonder if extra pads could be added to future boards to install test points?  That might make it easier to have strategic test points to check levels and have a common reference point.  Instead trying to specify which end of a capacitor, coil, etc to test from.   Then people could install these:
PCB Test Point Pins

   If you didn't install the pins at least you have a labeled reference point.  That would help in maybe establishing a stable troubleshooting and testing guide if one gets written.  Having not to manage holding meter leads and scope probes to small components with the chance of slipping would make them valuable too.  It would be nice to clip your scope probes on and have hands free to adjust knobs etc.

 73, Michael
KM4OLT

Re: PCB Test Points?

Paul Smith
 

Well put Gordon
I feel for Ashhar and what he must be facing given overwhelming demand and a barrage of comms regarding product and distribution concerns.
Business startups are never easy and involve a heck of a lot of juggling and balancing...ask me, I'm in one ! He hasn't had the benefit of an initial low demand to cut his teeth on but has had to jump straight into scaling up. Never easy, and even harder in an environment where venture caps and angel investors are likely hard to come by. 
Fair to say that he had no idea that his great design would fly off the shelves so fast. So we should give him some breathing room...he will deliver as expected, even if it takes a while longer than most 1st world consumers are accustomed to.

Paul ZS2OE

Re: PCB Test Points?

Paul Smith
 

Michael, apologies...a little off topic and comments not in any way directed at you !
73, Paul ZS2OE

Re: PCB Test Points?

K9HZ <bill@...>
 

Interesting discussion.  Hans Summer built the test gear into his QCX transceiver and thats been a huge hit.  Just a little extra programming and allowances for traces to be read by the micro.  Might just be the wave of the future. 


Dr. William J. Schmidt - K9HZ J68HZ 8P6HK ZF2HZ PJ4/K9HZ VP5/K9HZ PJ2/K9HZ

 

Owner - Operator

Big Signal Ranch – K9ZC

Staunton, Illinois

 

Owner – Operator

Villa Grand Piton - J68HZ

Soufriere, St. Lucia W.I.

Rent it: www.VillaGrandPiton.com


email:  bill@...

 


On Jan 12, 2018, at 11:49 AM, Gordon Gibby <ggibby@...> wrote:

"  I wonder if extra pads could be added to future boards to install test points?  That might make it easier to have strategic test points to check levels and have a common reference point.  Instead trying to specify which end of a capacitor, coil, etc to test from.   "


Those are great ideas!   But what *I* hope most is that 


1.  Ashhar F. doesn't get frustrated with dealing with newbie builders and give up!

2.  Doesn't have any catastrophe that fails his company (a group I was with once, was embezzeled!)

3.  Is able to wisely choose staffing and inventory levels so they don't go broke because of ups and downs in demand for his product(s)

4.  People will realize they are purchasing NEW stuff from a FLEDGLING company that simply doesn't have the intricate customer management and pipeline process reporting that huge corporations have --- and they are in a foreign country and dependent on other companies to ship their product.....so you KNOW you're taking a bit of a gamble when you purchase (less if yoiu chooose DHL) --- they've been VERY upfront that their demand outstripped their expectations and they are basically out of stock and behind the 8 ball on shipping....


Now....if Ashhar ever gets crazy enough to put out an improved printed circuit board (I'm still hoping to eventually be able to buy Raduinos again!)  he might be able to shoehorn in:


a)  a limiting resistor so people can't turn the BIAS VOLTAGE to the sky and fry their devices

b)  a bit of insulating tape over some of the Raduino leads that fly about and have crunched a few boards by making unwanted contact with +12

c)  maybe diode protection for the base of the vulnerable transistor at least in the Bitx40 and maybe in the uBitx if my suggestion turns out to be innocuous

d)  built-in diodes/cap at a few key points so people could measure the RF voltage at a marked test point when they don't have an oscilloscope --- 

e)  changes as we've found to reduce "pops" etc.

f)  change the mic amp gain to be a bit higher


And wiser people than me might point out just a few other improvements that wouldn't use up all his real estate and destroy his impressive design!!!!


Gordon




From: BITX20@groups.io <BITX20@groups.io> on behalf of Michael Monteith via Groups.Io <michael_r_monteith@...>
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 12:26 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: [BITX20] PCB Test Points?
 
   I wonder if extra pads could be added to future boards to install test points?  That might make it easier to have strategic test points to check levels and have a common reference point.  Instead trying to specify which end of a capacitor, coil, etc to test from.   Then people could install these:
PCB Test Point Pins

   If you didn't install the pins at least you have a labeled reference point.  That would help in maybe establishing a stable troubleshooting and testing guide if one gets written.  Having not to manage holding meter leads and scope probes to small components with the chance of slipping would make them valuable too.  It would be nice to clip your scope probes on and have hands free to adjust knobs etc.

 73, Michael
KM4OLT

Re: PCB Test Points?

Jack Purdum
 

Every once in a while I like to put my old econ hat on again. In this case, my question is: Why hasn't someone in the EU taken on a sublicense/distribution role for the µBITX? The same for the Pacific Rim. I get embarrassed when I need to charge $13 to mail a $5 PCB to someone. I would much rather have a distributor in the EU or the UK take on that role. Clearly, with the µBITX there likely is a reason of which I'm not aware as it sure seems like a no-brainer to me.

I could be dead wrong on this, but I think Farhan is a little like me in one respect: I sold my software company because I got so involved in day-to-day operations I no longer has time for what I really liked to do: develop software. I think Farhan would rather be bathed in solder smoke than figuring out what type of container is less likely to result in crushed toroids. Some entrepreneur(s) in each of the major markets might try to approach Farhan along those lines. Personally, I'd like to see that happen for a bunch of reasons, not the least of which is that Farhan could devote more time to his major area of comparative advantage: hardware design. We'd all win with that!

Jack, W8TEE



From: Paul Smith <paulsmi55@...>
To: BITX20@groups.io
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 1:16 PM
Subject: Re: [BITX20] PCB Test Points?

Well put Gordon
I feel for Ashhar and what he must be facing given overwhelming demand and a barrage of comms regarding product and distribution concerns.
Business startups are never easy and involve a heck of a lot of juggling and balancing...ask me, I'm in one ! He hasn't had the benefit of an initial low demand to cut his teeth on but has had to jump straight into scaling up. Never easy, and even harder in an environment where venture caps and angel investors are likely hard to come by. 
Fair to say that he had no idea that his great design would fly off the shelves so fast. So we should give him some breathing room...he will deliver as expected, even if it takes a while longer than most 1st world consumers are accustomed to.

Paul ZS2OE


Re: UBITX Help #ubitx

Jim Richard
 

Well, I checked everything again and think the power connections on the back of the audio pot was too close to the audio header and may have touched something.  I repositioned the pot and all is well again.  Still getting nothing but birdies and some Am broadcast feed through on receive. Current draw is fine and transmit puts out a solid 7 watts. Making progress, Thanks! 

Re: PCB Test Points?

Arv Evans
 

Michael   KM4OLT

A possibly better approach seems to be on the horizon from several fledgling ham
radio kit designers.  QRP-Labs has included digital voltmeter capability in the QCX
transceiver that can be configured to monitor strategic points.  Enhancement of that
built-in-test-equipment may be the new future of ham radio kits.  This requires a
significant number of digital and analog inputs to the micro-controller.  This may
force migration to something like the Arduino Mega-2560 board with its 50-plus
inputs and outputs, and a small price increase to support that action.  The larger
processor would also increase amount of memory available for software to support
testing and additional features.

Of course that does not help if the control system is the problem.  For this your idea
of returning to documented test points may be a good idea.  Maybe it would suffice
to silk-screen test points as being connections to specific parts of installed components.
That would point to appropriate places to test without the cost and real-estate
requirement of adding hardware for connection pins and pads.

Arv  K7HKL
_._


On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 10:26 AM, Michael Monteith via Groups.Io <michael_r_monteith@...> wrote:
   I wonder if extra pads could be added to future boards to install test points?  That might make it easier to have strategic test points to check levels and have a common reference point.  Instead trying to specify which end of a capacitor, coil, etc to test from.   Then people could install these:
PCB Test Point Pins

   If you didn't install the pins at least you have a labeled reference point.  That would help in maybe establishing a stable troubleshooting and testing guide if one gets written.  Having not to manage holding meter leads and scope probes to small components with the chance of slipping would make them valuable too.  It would be nice to clip your scope probes on and have hands free to adjust knobs etc.

 73, Michael
KM4OLT


CW conditioning adapter pcb #ubitx

Ken wa4mnt
 

QRPGuys is offering a small pcb only that addresses the cw issues with mechanical contacts and the inputs of the uBITx, identified here in the forum . Details can be found at http://qrpguys.com/ubitx-cw-conditioning-adapter

73,

ken - wa4mnt
www.qrpguys.com

Re: PCB Test Points?

Jerry Gaffke
 

Test points might best be on the backside, plenty of room for silkscreen legends there.

Self test has been suggested in the past:
    https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/21500

Jerry


On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 11:09 am, Arv Evans wrote:
Enhancement of that
built-in-test-equipment may be the new future of ham radio kits.

Re: AE7EU Top Level PCB Mod

Mike Woods
 

Martin

In examining your circuit more carefully, I wonder if you could explain how the AGC works?  The mixer chip appears to be unbalanced by a DC signal from the AGC circuit (derived from the volume control input). However,  I don’t understand why you are injecting this into the IF output of the transformer and why the input from the antenna is taken to the LO input.  It looks like a design idea that could be used more widely on Bitx designs and won’t require track cutting ...

Mike ZL1AXG


On Thu, 11 Jan 2018 at 7:42 PM, Diver Martin <diver.martin@...> wrote:
So, I've finally got a rough draft of what I'm thinking for my uBitx top PCB mod.  Features at this point are:

No modifications required to uBitx board itself (not to say a 470uF anti-pop mod might be bad, or other things couldn't be done)
ATU: 7-inductor, 8-capacitor with Hi-Z/Lo-Z switch.
Selectable Power output (two power input connectors)
Brain transplant:  Teensy3.2 96MHz ARM processor
All connections on side edges - no wiring to enclosure
Front panel with pushbutton switches
DSP Audio (Via Teensy32, would require headphones or amplified speakers)
Solderless AGC modification (Attenuator at the front end switched in during RX)
Realtime clock (via Teensy32)
Linear amplifier control (just a reed relay on a 3.5mm header, sorry, not an RCA, but you could easily change it...)
Top side only construction (would make assembly cost lower)

BoM cost:  Probably way higher than it should be.  Needs optimization, and I still need to enter in costs.
Complexity:  Probably way more than it should be.
Layout:  An ugly mess of routing.  I can't say I like it, but the constraints I put on myself made it really hard to route.  There's lots of open areas to cross with lots of signals going all different directions.

Picture of the layout and schematic PDF attached, along with a 3D view.

I think the one modification that I still need to consider is a microphone preamp.  But, I have no flippin' clue where on the PCB I'd put the gain control knob!  Might have to be an internal potentiometer....

--
Martin Held - AE7EU
http://ae7eu.com/
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If there aren't any questions, then what is there to learn?

Re: PCB Test Points?

Arv Evans
 

Yes!


On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 12:37 PM, Jerry Gaffke via Groups.Io <jgaffke@...> wrote:
Test points might best be on the backside, plenty of room for silkscreen legends there.

Self test has been suggested in the past:
    https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/21500

Jerry

On Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 11:09 am, Arv Evans wrote:
Enhancement of that
built-in-test-equipment may be the new future of ham radio kits.


preorder question #ubitx

Xcott Craver
 

Hi,

The site still has a Buy page listing 109 as the price.  Is HFsignals still accepting orders at this price?  I understand everything's on preorder now, but I want to make sure that an order placed today will "go somewhere."

Thanks, Xcott K2CAJ