Date   

Re: uBITX v6 to WSJT-X running on Raspberry Pi 3B - "Target VFO unaccessible.." #ubitxv6 #wsjt-x #raspberrypi3b

Stephen KO4CVU
 

Andy,
As an epilogue to my story, I have been able to get WSJT-X v2.2.2 to work very nicely using the FT-857 radio selection. This evening, I received the USB External Stereo Sound Adapter (dongle) that Evan suggested. I connected it to my laptop and got both the audio and the CAT control working.  After the first 45 minutes of operation, I had reception reports of my transmissions from all over the continental U. S., Maui, Costa Rica, Iceland, Brazil, Norway, Scotland, the Canary Islands, Italy, and a club station at the German Antarctic Research Station. I am amazed at what this little uBITX v6 will do! Thank you, Evan and Reed for your help in getting me and my radio to this point ... and to Ashhar for coming up with this excellent radio.


UBITX Ver 6.1 building experience

robert pohorence
 

Here are my experiences with the assembly and testing a new UBITX Ver 6.1 Kit

Purchased from GIGAPARTS Huntsville, AL. late August 2020

Assembly issues:
-Volume control shaft does not stick out far enough through front panel, causing the volume control knob to rub against the cabinet.
- To many pins on the front black display connector, to line up the display to the front panel cutout you have to offset the display assembly off toward the volume control, leaving a blank connector pin toward the key jack.
- All the front panel connectors , Mic, audio, Key are not labeled.
-The three connectors do not protrude far enough through the front panel to allow fastening the ring nut to the front panel.

Powering up the Ubitx Ver 6 first time:
-Wired and soldered the 12vdc coax type power jack with a black and red #14 wire. Power supply used is a 10 amp, 13.8vdc.
- Connected an HF antenna to the BNC antenna connector.
- Tested all touch screen icons and all worked as they should. Software ver. 6.1 was displayed on the right lower corner of the display.
-Due to poor propagation I could only hear signals on the a few bands, the USB/LSB icons were confusing to me, as on 20 meters it didn’t matter if you touched the USB or the LSB audio remained the same! I have read that the Ubitx V6 automatically switches to LSB below 10MhZ.


Frequency Alignment.
-I used the YOUTUBE video by Ashhar Farhan here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6LGXhS4_O8
After the alignment I tuned to WWV at 10Mhz and at zero beat the readout displayed , and  was not happy with the actual freq display as  compared to my ICOM 7300. So I looked up a Local AM radio station frequency and set the display to the AM station frequency, used Menu and Set Frequency, zero beat the AM carrier, the Ubix  freq. display now  was right on the AM station frequency.

Receiver
- The Ver 6 receiver works very well and is very sensitive to weak signals, the lack of any AGC ,requires the user to continually adjust the volume control in order to maintain a reasonable level of audio.

Transmitter Power output CW and SSB:
Setup, Autek Research WM1 power meter and 50hm dummy load. The Autek Research Wattmeter has a 20-Watt range.
-CW Mode RF output power.
80 > 12Watts
40>7Watts
30> 7Watts
20> 6.5 Watts
17> 5Watts
15 >6 Watts
10> 3.5 Watts

I verified the above readings with a different Wattmeter of know accuracy and they are correct.
I noticed that the CW Side Tone was quite Load and is not adjustable, except by lowering the Volume control, which also lowers the incoming signal! A separate adjustment would be most welcomed.



SSB RF Output Power Using the original BAOFENG microphone.

As mentioned previously the Mic Connector was not extending through the front panel and I could only get ¼ to ½ turn on the circular nut.
When I pushed in the Baofeng mic jack into the connector the transmitter started Keying the transmitter intermittently, just moving the cable keyed the transmitter!! I had to remove the Circular nut on the mic connector to allow the Baofeng mic jack to go further into the connector and that corrected the intermittent keying of the transmitter.

The Autek Research wattmeter has a function that allows Average or Peak RF readings.

The SSB RF output into the DUMMY load on ALL BANDS was less than ONE-WATT OUTPUT. Even when the Autek was switched to Peak readings the readings were still one watt or less!

I have read that in this Group that low SSB output is common with the supplied Baofeng Mic.

A microphone that works with the UBITX V6 model in SSB mode that produces full SSB rf output would be most appreciated!

My Experience with the building and testing of the Ver 6 kit, is that the Receiver suffers from the lack of AGC, and the CW output power is not level across the ham bands, the CW Side Tone is very loud when working a weak CW station. SSB contacts will be very difficult using the stock BAOFENG microphone, as RF output on all Bands will be 1 watt or less.

Rob N8RT

--
Rob N8RT


Re: Just finished my first uBitx

Chris WB4ULK
 

I used a small scroll saw and aviation snips.


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

Arv Evans
 

Aaron K5ATG

I would not give up on your BITX.  There are now over 5000 of these units 
on-the-air and working properly.  This would indicate that the design is good.

Seems you have had a number of problems and have worked through them. 
This indicates that you have the skills and technical ability to make it work.

Sometimes individuals on this group may get a bit over-enthusiastic with 
offers to help, causing others with really good suggestions to get lost in 
the chatter.  There are several commonly encountered problems, but if 
your problem is a new one or something really unique, then suggestions 
of what worked for others may not be the answer you need.  

Some approaches to troubleshooting may be warranted.

1)  Document what you have done.

2)  Some places to go further might include:
a) Document what works and what does not work.
b) Modularize your troubleshooting approach.
c) Tell the group in detail what works and what does not work.
d) Evaluate group suggestions to see if each answer is applicable.
e) Make changes one-at-a-time and test each individually.
f ) Keep a log of what you have done and each result.

It seems that your final concern was about apparent lack of output power.
If this is true then you need a way to test output power into a 50 ohm 
dummy load.  Is your power meter accurate, and is it indicating any power 
output at all?  If you do not have a wattmeter, it is possible to use a 
diode probe (RF detector probe) to measure RF voltage across a non-inductive 
50 ohm resistance and calculate watts from the detector level.
If there is no RF output you can use the diode probe and the 
schematic to trace backwards until you find an RF signal.  That 
should point you toward the problem area.  

Another concern, especially for WSPR, is frequency alignment.  While uBITX units are calibrated at the manufacturer, WSPR requires much tighter frequency control than probably was done after factory completion and before shipping.  
The uBITX is different from older system designs where just comparing 
received signals with WWV was adequate.  In the uBITX designs there 
are 3 different digital oscillators (Si5351a chip) which interact with each 
other and need individual adjustment if you are going to use different 
modes.  If you want a few Hz accuracy then all the digital frequency 
synthesizer outputs must also be accurate within a few Hz.  

Thinking about steps that might be productive in troubleshooting:
  1. Does it receive CW signals?
  2. Can you hear WSPR signals on proper frequency tuning?
  3. Does it receive SSB signals?
  4. Are received SSB signals spot-on for frequency?
  5. Is received SSB clean or is it distorted?
  6. Measure RF output in CW mode and note output level.
  7. Measure RF output in SSB mode and note output level.
  8. ...and so on.
These are the steps I might use to evaluate a uBITX transceiver 
on my workbench.  Your steps may vary, depending on what 
specific problem(s) you are experiencing.  

While on-line assistance via this group can be helpful, I see that 
you are a member of the Mid-Del Amateur Radio Club .  That group 
may also have highly skilled members who could provide assistance.

Last resort might be to ask on the BITX20 group if someone might be 
willing to perform troubleshooting and repairs on your uBITX-V6 for 
free or for a modest fee.  Usually there will be someone who is willing 
to do this.  

Arv  K7HKL
_._




On Fri, Sep 4, 2020 at 11:29 AM Aaron K5ATG via groups.io <k5atg=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Ok I'm sorry but I'm going to be a bit grouchy. As some of you know I have been having one problem after another with my uBitX V6 since day one. It has been aggravating me badly. I am at the end of the line with this radio. I believe now that it will be regulated to being a $200 dust collector.  
I tried for a couple of months to make at least one QSO with it. But it wasn't transmitting so I brought it to this thread. I tried all of the suggestions of the wonderful people in this group. (I'm not aggravated or upset with anyone in this group or this group). I tried different power supplies, different coax cables, antennas and such with no luck. For the past two weeks, I have been fighting tooth and nail to get it set up to operate digital modes. That finally happened (Note: I switched over to Reeds sketch and it works, the radio control is great). This morning I spent the day running WSPR thinking that at least it may be transmitting even a few milliwatts, but absolutely nothing on 20, 30, 40. When I bought this rig I wasn't expecting a 7300 or a KX3, but I was expecting something a little better than a Michigan Mighty Might. I'm not saying that the uBitX is bad, I'm just saying that I got a rare bad unit. 
Perhaps I will have better luck homebrewing one. 
I don't have the funds to send it off to get fixed or to order a new one. I took the gamble and lost $200 and now I'm out of the game. 
Thank you guys for all of the help and advice that you have given me. 

--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

Evan Hand
 

Aaron,
You only need the 1n914 diodes IF you do not take the precautions of disconnecting the antenna when not in use or when a strong transmitter is near by.  If Q90 is dead, then you will need to replace it.

Q90 is a 2n3904 surface mount.  You can use a through-hole transistor, you will need to keep the leads short and be sure to connect to the board correctly.  Removing Q90 is tricky if you have not done SMD soldering before.  I gave up on trying to use just a soldering iron and bought a hot air SMD station to remove SMD components.  The other alternative is a product called Cip Quick.  It mixes with the solder that is there and lowers the temperature so that it stays molten longer.  I do not have any experience with that product.

Before pulling the transistor, measure the voltages on the three terminals.  I attached one of the tests that I did on one of my v4 boards.  It should be the same for the v6.
73
Evan
AC9TU


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

Aaron K5ATG
 

I would love to test it but I am having a run of bad luck with this stuff lately. 
I'm in MWC near city hall
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Re: Installing nextion 3.2P

Evan Hand
 

Gerard,
Glad that you are making progress.  Small steps forward are good!

I have found that you need to close the port in the Memory Manager software before you disconnect the USB cable.  If you do that every time, then the Manager can connect the next time you plug the uBITX in and open the port.  Otherwise, as you have found, you need to close the Memory Manager program and then reopen it.  I assume that is what you mean by reinstalling, as the Memory Manager is not an installed Windows program.  It is an exe program that needs to be run from the command line or the Windows file explorer.

As to calibration, Ashhar Farhan has a good video for the v6 calibration process.  The concept will work for all of the uBITX models, just the controls are different.  The one exception is the stock model 5 software goings into transmit mode to do the calibration.  That is not the case with the KD8CEC software. There are three major steps:
1 - Adjust the BFO to the low side of the SSB filter to maximize the zero beat capabilities (you need the low frequency to hear the cutoff).
2 - Calibrate the frequency
3 - Readjust the BFO to center the audio between 300 and 3000 Hz.

Here is the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6LGXhS4_O8

To do the BFO and calibration steps, I use the Yello Box menu system to get to the setup menu and make the adjustments.  That is a multistep process:
1 - you need to press the encoder to bring up the yellow menu box.
2 - rotate the encoder until you get to the setup? item
3 - press the encoder to turn on the setup extensions to the menu system
4 - press the encoder again to go back into the menu 
5 - rotate the encoder until you get to either the BFO or Calibration selection, depending on what you want to do.
6 - press the encoder to go into the calibration or tuning function.

It is still easier to do the initial settings using the built-in menu, rather than using the Memory Manager.  Once you have something that works, THEN use the management software to save it, and make adjustments going forward.

Above are the way that I do things, there are many ways to accomplish the calibration and alignment.  Verify that you have a tuned antenna with a low SWR when making the adjustments.
73
Evan
AC9TU


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

D C
 

Aaron,

I bought a uBitx 6.1 from a ham that said it works fine.  I dont have a license yet and no way to test it out.  Right now I am on quarantine because of covid-19 but would love for you to test it out, I live east of the city between okc and shawnee

don

On Fri, Sep 4, 2020 at 2:24 PM Aaron K5ATG via groups.io <k5atg=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Sent you an email
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

Aaron K5ATG
 

Sent you an email
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

D C
 

Aaron can you email me direct at drc11113@...

don

On Fri, Sep 4, 2020 at 2:13 PM Aaron K5ATG via groups.io <k5atg=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I remember doing the bias adjustment and for some reason, I did not record the results so I was probably upset. 

Should I go ahead and order the 1n919 diodes and the transistors (I do not recall what transistors are needed at the moment)?
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

Aaron K5ATG
 

I remember doing the bias adjustment and for some reason, I did not record the results so I was probably upset. 

Should I go ahead and order the 1n919 diodes and the transistors (I do not recall what transistors are needed at the moment)?
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

Evan Hand
 

Dennis,

I mean only 2 diodes, connected anode to cathode and cathode to anode.  That will limit the voltage to the base of Q90 to +/- .6 volts, more than enough for the receiver.  The K1 relay takes the diodes out of the circuit when the transmitter is engaged, so no distortion when transmitting.

0.6 volts on the input is way more than enough signal for the receiver.  Going to 4 diodes would raise the level up to where Q90 could be damaged again.  We are counting on the voltage drop across the cap to lower the voltage that the BE junction sees from the antenna with the diode limitation.  Should be enough to keep it happy.

Above are my thoughts, others may think differently.  I welcome any comments to help in my learning.
73
Evan
AC9TU


Re: Installing nextion 3.2P

Gerard
 

Evan,
I found files for 3.2-inch log-in.
I reloaded everything and Xloader again the HEX file. The screen seem OK.
My µBitx moaned like a newborn!
So far, it’s just a whistle at 1,500 Hz.
The encoder works too.
We’re taking small steps
We probably have to calibrate everything.
i will look into it.

A remark, as soon as we load a HEX file, the manager does not check
it more communicate (Even resetting the port, etc). It must be reinstalled. But that is not the most important.
cdt


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

Dennis C (WC8C)
 

Thanks Evan, it was pretty close to my 2 meter antenna at the time.

To be sure I understand, do you mean a total of 4 diodes? so that the line is constrained to be only +/- approx 1.3V
--
Dennis WC8C


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

Evan Hand
 

Dennis,
The problem you point out is common when the uBITX is left connected to an antenna that is located near another transmitter.  There is a fix to prevent this by using two back to back 1n914, 1n4148, or equal diodes in parrell to short out the receiving line to higher voltages than the 2 microvolts that is needed to hear signals.  This can be done at the K1 relay between pins 12 and 16.  At this time I have not ruled that out based on what Aaron has listed so far. 

Aaron,
You did not get back to us on the result of the bias adjustment to verify that the finals are OK.  Did they check out?

73
Evan
AC9TU


Re: A strong recommendation

ronmhauser@...
 

I appreciate the heads up on clearance, I had been wanting this for a while ... and now I have it 

Thanks!
73
-Ron
K0EIA


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

Dennis C (WC8C)
 

I should have double checked this before responding.  The transistor in question is Q90, not Q91 (It is Q90 on both V4 and V6)




Virus-free. www.avast.com

--
Dennis WC8C


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

Dennis C (WC8C)
 

Aaron

I just joined the group so I don't know the history you mentioned, but I thought I would share my resolution to a similar sounding problem in case it has not already come up.  I have a V4 board that worked for about 2 months, then stopped transmitting.  Everything seemed to work, just no output.  It ended up being a bad transistor Q91.  Nothing odd happened that would have blown it - I have no idea what caused it to go bad, but looking at the schematic it appears the base is connected through a capacitor to the antenna during RX with no other protection, so maybe static did it.  After 2 full days of diagnosing, I replaced Q91 and it has been fine ever since (1.5 years later).  


Virus-free. www.avast.com

--
Dennis WC8C


Re: uBitX V6 no transmit power #ubitxv6 #ubitx-help #tx

Aaron K5ATG
 

Ok I'm sorry but I'm going to be a bit grouchy. As some of you know I have been having one problem after another with my uBitX V6 since day one. It has been aggravating me badly. I am at the end of the line with this radio. I believe now that it will be regulated to being a $200 dust collector.  
I tried for a couple of months to make at least one QSO with it. But it wasn't transmitting so I brought it to this thread. I tried all of the suggestions of the wonderful people in this group. (I'm not aggravated or upset with anyone in this group or this group). I tried different power supplies, different coax cables, antennas and such with no luck. For the past two weeks, I have been fighting tooth and nail to get it set up to operate digital modes. That finally happened (Note: I switched over to Reeds sketch and it works, the radio control is great). This morning I spent the day running WSPR thinking that at least it may be transmitting even a few milliwatts, but absolutely nothing on 20, 30, 40. When I bought this rig I wasn't expecting a 7300 or a KX3, but I was expecting something a little better than a Michigan Mighty Might. I'm not saying that the uBitX is bad, I'm just saying that I got a rare bad unit. 
Perhaps I will have better luck homebrewing one. 
I don't have the funds to send it off to get fixed or to order a new one. I took the gamble and lost $200 and now I'm out of the game. 
Thank you guys for all of the help and advice that you have given me. 

--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Re: Installing nextion 3.2P

Evan Hand
 

Based on the picture, I must have given you a Nextion tft file that does not fill the screen.  I would suggest you look online for one.  I would use uBITX 3.2.tft in the search.  That will bring up a number of hits that you will need to work through to find the correct one.  Best is trial and error.  Download the file, erase all files on the sd card, copy the new tft file only to the sd card, then transfer to the Nextion display.  You must erase any tft files, and I recommend all files, on the sd card before you transfer to the Nextion.

I have not checked my 3.2 inch uBITX, so may have the shorten screen as well.

Unless you have added the second Nano in the communication line to the Nextion screen, you should not use the hex file version that ends in _S.  When you connect the display to the uBITX Raduino/Nano the frequency should show and the touch screen should work.  That is true even with the screen that you have in the picture.  I would verify that the rest of the uBITX is working before I would try to find a tft file to fill the Nextion screen.

73
Evan
AC9TU

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