Date   

Re: W8TEE TFT/ VFO DISPLAY BOARD BOARD

Jack Purdum <econjack@...>
 

The vendor's name is Items in wideenm991 store on eBay! . See # 162593120234.


Again, if you buy multiples, tell them I said you might give a discount if multiples are ordered...can't hurt to ask.

Jack, W8TEE


From: John P <j.m.price@...>
To: BITX20@groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 3:20 PM
Subject: Re: [BITX20] W8TEE TFT/ VFO DISPLAY BOARD BOARD

On Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 08:23 pm, Jack Purdum wrote:
Note that both projects use the Mega 2560 Pro Mini. The one from Banggod will NOT work, as it's pins are off by 0.10". I use eBay #162264493523.
Searching for that item number on eBay comes up empty. Do you remember the seller's ID?
 
--
John - WA2FZW



Virus-free. www.avast.com


Re: Starting Over

Jerry Gaffke
 

Curt,

Given your problems thus far, be suspicious of the 13.8v power supply.
Perhaps follow the 13.8v supply with an LM2940CT-12 three terminal regulator,
but power the IRF510 directly from your 13.8v supply.  (The more easily obtained LM7812CT also works.)
I run my main board from a 12.0v  2.5A PhiHong switching supply (a desktop brick), no trouble with noise.
A small 12v lead acid battery might also be a good choice (do not charge it while powering the Bitx40.)
There are parts on the board that are getting too hot  even at 12.0v (Q13 and R141, I'm looking at you),
that gets much worse at 13.8v.
Put tape over loose wire ends, many have blown Raduinos by have having a wire touch the IRF510 heatsink.
Make sure the antenna/dummyload is well connected by using an ohmmeter with power to the rig off,
as someone else here (but only one person so far) has reported trouble with RF destroying a Raduino.
Monitor current into the board, should be around 150ma when receiving while using the 12v supply,
maybe an Amp or so when transmitting into 50 ohms using 12v into the IRF510.
Once you are sure it all works, then maybe try offering the IRF510 24v if you want to go QRO,
but keep the main board at 12.0v max. 
You'll need a larger heatsink (preferably with a mica insulator and heat transfer grease) for the IRF510
and a half dozen IRF510 spares on hand before bumping up the power with the 24v into the IRF510.

Keep in mind, even at 2x$59, this is still way cheaper than anything comparable.
They cut a few more corners at Hfsigs than they do at Elecraft, but that's the way most of us
here on the list like it.  Keeps us out of bar fights on Saturday nights.
If it gets too frustrating, sell it to somebody else here who has the gear to troubleshoot it.

Good luck!
Jerry, KE7ER


Re: W8TEE TFT/ VFO DISPLAY BOARD BOARD

John P
 

On Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 08:23 pm, Jack Purdum wrote:
Note that both projects use the Mega 2560 Pro Mini. The one from Banggod will NOT work, as it's pins are off by 0.10". I use eBay #162264493523.
Searching for that item number on eBay comes up empty. Do you remember the seller's ID?
 
--
John - WA2FZW


Re: On the subject of fake IRF510

Norberto Modanesi
 

Thanks.
 
Norberto Modanesi
San Nicolás

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 3:52 PM
Subject: Re: [BITX20] On the subject of fake IRF510

No, I experimented with them for several projects.

They are SO inefficient.  It was so disappointing!  I wasted a lot of time wondering what their appeal was.

Mike, WA6ISP



On 7/18/2017 10:25 AM, Norberto Modanesi wrote:
Hi
Is it possible to attach a Peltier cell to the transistor case to help heat sink?
 
73 de LU5DNM
 
Norberto Modanesi
San Nicolás
----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Hansen
Sent: Saturday, July 15, 2017 11:38 AM
Subject: [BITX20] On the subject of fake IRF510

Saw this Hackaday post related to the BITX, thought others might find it interesting.


-- 
Mike Hagen, WA6ISP
10917 Bryant Street
Yucaipa, Ca. 92399
(909) 918-0058
PayPal ID  "MotDog@..."
Mike@...


Re: On the subject of fake IRF510

Michael Hagen
 

No, I experimented with them for several projects.

They are SO inefficient.  It was so disappointing!  I wasted a lot of time wondering what their appeal was.

Mike, WA6ISP



On 7/18/2017 10:25 AM, Norberto Modanesi wrote:
Hi
Is it possible to attach a Peltier cell to the transistor case to help heat sink?
 
73 de LU5DNM
 
Norberto Modanesi
San Nicolás
----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Hansen
Sent: Saturday, July 15, 2017 11:38 AM
Subject: [BITX20] On the subject of fake IRF510

Saw this Hackaday post related to the BITX, thought others might find it interesting.


-- 
Mike Hagen, WA6ISP
10917 Bryant Street
Yucaipa, Ca. 92399
(909) 918-0058
PayPal ID  "MotDog@..."
Mike@...


Re: Starting Over

David Woodward
 

cool hope to catch you on the air soon...

On Jul 18, 2017 2:08 PM, "Curt M." <Kc3hjp@...> wrote:
Much to my surprise the new kit showed up today instead of tomorrow which was the scheduled delivery day.  I opened the box and just quickly checked to see if all of the toroids were attached and if anything looked incorrect on the main board.  From what I can see everything looks fine.  The two toroids (L7 & L6?) back by the antenna connector are leaning over a little bit but nothing that looks like they need straightened back up.  I suspect that they will be fine the way that they are?

So I guess tonight I'll get it installed in the case and power it up.  Keeping fingers, toes and eyes crossed.


Re: Starting Over

Curt M.
 

Much to my surprise the new kit showed up today instead of tomorrow which was the scheduled delivery day.  I opened the box and just quickly checked to see if all of the toroids were attached and if anything looked incorrect on the main board.  From what I can see everything looks fine.  The two toroids (L7 & L6?) back by the antenna connector are leaning over a little bit but nothing that looks like they need straightened back up.  I suspect that they will be fine the way that they are?

So I guess tonight I'll get it installed in the case and power it up.  Keeping fingers, toes and eyes crossed.


Re: Starting Over

KC8WBK
 

I have 3 BITX40's.  The first one had loose toroids flopping about and it worked for a while but I tried to tighten up the toroids and it changed something and I no longer could tune the analog VFO to 40 meters, so I bought a second board with one of those newfangled Raduinos.  That board had a broken toroid wire, which I fixed.  I got that one working but did a few mods to it, changing resistors for less drift and due to poor soldering work had variable audio output.  I then ordered another board and a Raduino for the first board.

I got board 1 to work with the Raduino and installed it in a case and it seems to work well after I went through and tapped all of the solder joints that I had worked on and found one cold joint that made noise as I gently tapped the resistor.  With a little heat on the solder joint, board 1 was working well in its case.

I got board 3 to work but had intermittent problems related to my case and installation, later I found a solder blob grounding the speaker to the case, which was also grounded to the antenna.  So after removing the blob, things worked much better.   I also did the 13.8V power supply thing and was lucky enough to shut down the radio before any damage was done.  I installed a really nice PTT switch out of my junk box on the board 3 case, oops, it was a normally on button which caused me to blow the IRF510.  After installing a new PTT switch and replacing the IRF510, board 3 works great.

I built a BITX40 repair station which is a piece of wood with Raduino, pots, speaker and connectors set up to allow me to work on a board.  It has a 12V power take off so I can use it to build an AGC and experiment with 20m bandpass and lowpass filters.  It is set up so that I can take any of my boards and mount it and have easy access for testing probes, or working on the board.  I installed board 2 on the repair station and it seems to be working OK now.  I will soon be modifying it so who knows how long it will be working.

I think that if you have a good case and good solder joints on your connections, the BITX40 can be a reliable radio, as long as you don't take it apart a lot and change things.  Most of the problems that I had were related to poor building techniques, which caused me to learn how to do better. 

I really like that case, I think it will make for a much more reliable radio.  A lot of the problems I had were related to poor self-built case design, not enough clearance, forcing connectors, squeezing the Raduino in and out.  A ready made case solves a lot of problems.  I may need another radio to build one of those, it would make a nice mobile rig.


Re: On the subject of fake IRF510

Norberto Modanesi
 

Hi
Is it possible to attach a Peltier cell to the transistor case to help heat sink?
 
73 de LU5DNM
 
Norberto Modanesi
San Nicolás

----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Hansen
Sent: Saturday, July 15, 2017 11:38 AM
Subject: [BITX20] On the subject of fake IRF510

Saw this Hackaday post related to the BITX, thought others might find it interesting.


Re: Starting Over

Jack Purdum <econjack@...>
 

Some have mentioned that they are substituting different displays for the Raduino board. Perhaps people like Curt who need a new Raduino can buy the ones from those who don't need them...win-win.

Jack, W8TEE



From: Curt M. <Kc3hjp@...>
To: BITX20@groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 11:15 AM
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Starting Over

Hi Arv, I'll back up a little.  While troubleshooting my original Bitx transmit issue I switched from a 12vdc 1.5 amp wall wort supply to my Samlex 13.8v power supply.  Within 30 seconds I noticed that the top row of the display went to all black boxes.  The only thing I was doing was adjusting RV1 and RV136.  Being that the display is controlled by the arduino I powered the radio down and connected the USB cable to the arduino to see if maybe it lost it's programming.  The arduino would no longer communicate.  I ordered some replacement nanos and I unsoldered the original nano and installed a new nano.  The new nano would take the programming and I can now hear audio on the radio and tell that by tuning the VFO that it was partially working but the display still had black boxes on it.  I tired to see if now it was a contrast problem but it's not.  So I have a felling the board that the nano is soldered to took the same hit that the original nano took and that's why the display still doesn't work as it should.  Being that I had ordered a new kit I didn't feel that it was worth also ordering a new radrino board at this time because I still had a main board that has some issues and had a whole new kit coming in.  So that's where I'm at with the original kit.

Curt



Virus-free. www.avast.com


Re: Starting Over

Curt M.
 

Hi Arv, I'll back up a little.  While troubleshooting my original Bitx transmit issue I switched from a 12vdc 1.5 amp wall wort supply to my Samlex 13.8v power supply.  Within 30 seconds I noticed that the top row of the display went to all black boxes.  The only thing I was doing was adjusting RV1 and RV136.  Being that the display is controlled by the arduino I powered the radio down and connected the USB cable to the arduino to see if maybe it lost it's programming.  The arduino would no longer communicate.  I ordered some replacement nanos and I unsoldered the original nano and installed a new nano.  The new nano would take the programming and I can now hear audio on the radio and tell that by tuning the VFO that it was partially working but the display still had black boxes on it.  I tired to see if now it was a contrast problem but it's not.  So I have a felling the board that the nano is soldered to took the same hit that the original nano took and that's why the display still doesn't work as it should.  Being that I had ordered a new kit I didn't feel that it was worth also ordering a new radrino board at this time because I still had a main board that has some issues and had a whole new kit coming in.  So that's where I'm at with the original kit.

Curt


Re: Starting Over

John P
 

On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 07:05 am, Curt M. wrote:
I'm just wondering if any of these have functioned on day one and remained functioning with a reasonable amount of use for an extended period of time?
Mine worked the first time and has continued to work even after making all the standard modifications and a few of my own. The only thing I did was to blindly replace the final transistor because I thought I had blown it. Turned out there was a dirty contact in the power/swr switch on my tuner. The transistor tested good after I cut it out. Oh well, they're pretty cheap!

As someone else suggested, I also drilled out a standard 1/4" spacer to use as a bushing on the volume knob. 1/8" knobs are available, but in either case, you'll end up having to trim the shaft. I used the spacer approach so that I could use identical knobs for both pots.

 
--
John - WA2FZW


Re: Starting Over

Doug W
 

Mine worked right out of the box and still does.  In fact it is still happily living in Ashhar's plastic lunch box.  I have a very strong suggestion.  Change one and only one variable at a time and do not move on to the next change until you are positive the one you just did is rock solid.  For me that means wire it up stock on your bench until you know it works.  No case, nothing, naked as the day it was born (the radio, not you. solder burns like a b*tch).  When you are positive it works, move on to what ever else you are planning one step at a time.


Re: Starting Over

Steve Greer
 

I have both of my Bitx Radios still up and running and I use 1 of them everyday for about 3 months now.  I have not had to repair or replace parts.  I followed the wire up instructions on hfsigs.com and it all went together very easily.


Re: Starting Over

David Woodward
 

Maybe I'm lucky but my Bitx worked right out of the box. I made plenty of contacts from California to Spain...and kept it on for days at a time.
  I'm sure you will have similar results with it. I'm just using the plastic box it came in as an enclosure. 
 I have blown the nano but it was my fault, not because of poor design.
 All in all I consider this to be the best $59 I ever spent on a "hf kit, and am confident you will come to the same conclusion....
          David
        KF4WBJ 

On Jul 18, 2017 10:05 AM, "Curt M." <Kc3hjp@...> wrote:
Hi guys, I have a new Bitx40 kit coming tomorrow.  Since my case is already to go with the parts installed and wired up it should just be a matter of re-verifying the Wire Up, upgrading the radrino to the 1.18 firmware, Installing the main board and display into the box, setting the firmware to accept the 100K 10-turn pot and calibrating the receive frequency.  Even though that sounds simple, after the first one that turned into a disaster, I have to say that I'm skeptical that the new one will just drop into place and start functioning.  Hopefully I'm wrong about that feeling.

I've built mine into one of the cases available on eBay.  I'll post a picture below.  Are there any known issue with using a metal case like this?  I have the speaker mounted in the lid with little speaker clips holding it to the lid and it's wired directly to the board connector and not grounded to the case.  My antenna connection is the standard black & brown wire that came with the kit and the connector is an SO-239 instead of the BNC.  I see that some people have swapped the black and brown wire out for coax but I'm under the impression that can be an improvement or precaution and not necessarily a deal breaker in the radio working on not working.

Now when I tested the first one I screwed my 50 watt Bird dummy load right to the back of the radio.  This time I may put a couple of foot cable between the radio and the dummy load because I'm not sure if that could have caused a problem with the original board having it that close to the radio or not.  Seems kind of strange if it would cause a problem.  

After reading all of the comments I kind of feel like the Bitx40 is a few seconds away from destruction with something minor causing the destruction. I almost want to record a video of me opening the box, unwrapping the contents, inspecting the board, upgrading the firmware, installing the parts, powering it up and seeing if it will transmit just to prove that I'm doing everything correct.  Again, because I'm skeptical.  I'm not going to do that because I shouldn't have to do that but it's crossed my mind.  Luckily, the negative feelings that I have pror to receiving this one can't damage the radio and even though I have those feelings I'm not going to let them interfere with the care that I'm going to take starting this one up and will go way beyond what I thought was extreme care starting the first one up.

I'm just wondering if any of these have functioned on day one and remained functioning with a reasonable amount of use for an extended period of time?  It just seems like everyone has changed some part that eventually went defective or didn't work on day one and they had to repair something?  I'd like to think that if this one works right out of the gate and I use it with a 40 meter dipole that is checked on my antenna analyzer prior to each use that I should get some time out of using it.

So outside of re-verifying my wires for literally about the 30th time does anyone have any suggestions outside of following the Wire Up and checkout procedure?  I plan to even check off each line of the Wire Up even though that seems a little extreme just to have some sort of hope to get this one started off on a better foot.  I've built a ton of kit projects and none of them have gone like my first Bitx.  I really can't trace the first one not  transmitting back to anything that I could have done.

Again, forgive my skepticism but this first one not transmitting and the display nearly self distracting after switching from 12VDC to 13.8VDC during the troubleshooting has me skeptical.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a better experience.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Curt

Here is the picture of the case. I still need to do something with the volume on/off pot.  I either need to trim the shaft back and modify a knob to fit it or I need to replace that with something common.  I'd still like to have that in one device rather than a separate on off switch and volume control.


Re: Starting Over

Arv Evans
 

Curt KC3HJP

The 2000+ working BITX-40 units that are on the air all over the world would
seem to attest to the robustness and quality of the unit.  Most just connect the
wiring and go on the air with no problem. 

There is quite a bit of talk on-line about modifications because the kit does lend
itself to easy modification, and because people do not hesitate to work on a low
cost radio where they might not be willing to do the same with a $1000 piece of
equipment.  You may have noticed that the number of persons posting modification
or problem history is very small in comparison to the total number of BITX-40 units
that have been sold and are assumed to be on the air. 

Historically all the BITX designs have been subject to many modifications, mostly
because the design supports that activity. 

Last we heard you were going to do some comparison testing for troubleshooting
your present BITX-40.  What happened?  Did you isolate the problem and get it
fixed?

Arv  K7HKL
_._


On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 8:05 AM, Curt M. <Kc3hjp@...> wrote:
Hi guys, I have a new Bitx40 kit coming tomorrow.  Since my case is already to go with the parts installed and wired up it should just be a matter of re-verifying the Wire Up, upgrading the radrino to the 1.18 firmware, Installing the main board and display into the box, setting the firmware to accept the 100K 10-turn pot and calibrating the receive frequency.  Even though that sounds simple, after the first one that turned into a disaster, I have to say that I'm skeptical that the new one will just drop into place and start functioning.  Hopefully I'm wrong about that feeling.

I've built mine into one of the cases available on eBay.  I'll post a picture below.  Are there any known issue with using a metal case like this?  I have the speaker mounted in the lid with little speaker clips holding it to the lid and it's wired directly to the board connector and not grounded to the case.  My antenna connection is the standard black & brown wire that came with the kit and the connector is an SO-239 instead of the BNC.  I see that some people have swapped the black and brown wire out for coax but I'm under the impression that can be an improvement or precaution and not necessarily a deal breaker in the radio working on not working.

Now when I tested the first one I screwed my 50 watt Bird dummy load right to the back of the radio.  This time I may put a couple of foot cable between the radio and the dummy load because I'm not sure if that could have caused a problem with the original board having it that close to the radio or not.  Seems kind of strange if it would cause a problem.  

After reading all of the comments I kind of feel like the Bitx40 is a few seconds away from destruction with something minor causing the destruction. I almost want to record a video of me opening the box, unwrapping the contents, inspecting the board, upgrading the firmware, installing the parts, powering it up and seeing if it will transmit just to prove that I'm doing everything correct.  Again, because I'm skeptical.  I'm not going to do that because I shouldn't have to do that but it's crossed my mind.  Luckily, the negative feelings that I have pror to receiving this one can't damage the radio and even though I have those feelings I'm not going to let them interfere with the care that I'm going to take starting this one up and will go way beyond what I thought was extreme care starting the first one up.

I'm just wondering if any of these have functioned on day one and remained functioning with a reasonable amount of use for an extended period of time?  It just seems like everyone has changed some part that eventually went defective or didn't work on day one and they had to repair something?  I'd like to think that if this one works right out of the gate and I use it with a 40 meter dipole that is checked on my antenna analyzer prior to each use that I should get some time out of using it.

So outside of re-verifying my wires for literally about the 30th time does anyone have any suggestions outside of following the Wire Up and checkout procedure?  I plan to even check off each line of the Wire Up even though that seems a little extreme just to have some sort of hope to get this one started off on a better foot.  I've built a ton of kit projects and none of them have gone like my first Bitx.  I really can't trace the first one not  transmitting back to anything that I could have done.

Again, forgive my skepticism but this first one not transmitting and the display nearly self distracting after switching from 12VDC to 13.8VDC during the troubleshooting has me skeptical.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a better experience.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Curt

Here is the picture of the case. I still need to do something with the volume on/off pot.  I either need to trim the shaft back and modify a knob to fit it or I need to replace that with something common.  I'd still like to have that in one device rather than a separate on off switch and volume control.



Re: Starting Over

Curt M.
 

I'm happy with how my case looks, I even went as far as to buy a pack of blue switches just to sort of match the case instead of having a red or black switch.  I slightly botched the small hole for the volume pot stabilizer arm.  My guess is that I wan't holding it flush when I put the pencil mark on the front of the case.  I knew that I was going to have to drill a little left of my mark and I did but wow, it was way off.  I'll just be sure that I use a knob that will hide the mistake.  I think I'm just going to glue something around the shaft and then I'll tighten down and standard size knob to what I glue onto the shaft, shouldn't be a big deal.

I just hope the new one works.


Re: Starting Over

Vince Vielhaber
 

I had some matching knobs I wanted to use. Problem was the small knobs
had a smaller hole than the volume control shaft, so I put it on the lathe
and bored it out to the shaft diameter. Problem solved!

Vince.

Looks Great!

I drilled out a 1/4" Al. stand off (spacer) so it was a tight fit on the
small pot shaft. I crazy glued it and trimmed the plastic shaft end.

So now I can use a 1/4" knob. I did not have panel space of a separate
on-off switch.

Mike, WA6ISP


Re: Starting Over

Vince Vielhaber
 

While I'm not familiar with that case, I have mine built into a metal case
that plugs in to the hi power slot of a Tektronix TM506 frame. That gives
me power, cooling and a quick easy pull out to change or fix things.

Receive worked first time and every time since. I thought the transmit
wasn't working beyond a few milliwatts until I took a closer look at the
service monitor and saw that it was putting out 18 watts not 18 dbm. I
have the PA running on 24v.

I still haven't upgraded the Raduino software since I don't plan on that
being the final vfo. I have a second BitX40 that I'm doing the hacks on
and when it's finished I'll swap the boards out, put the new vfo in along
with the final front panel.

As to longevity, mine's been working receive and transmit since I put it
together around Memorial Day. Haven't worked anyone tho, I need to do
something with the antenna.

Vince.

Hi guys, I have a new Bitx40 kit coming tomorrow.  Since my case is
already to go with the parts installed and wired up it should just be a
matter of re-verifying the Wire Up, upgrading the radrino to the 1.18
firmware, Installing the main board and display into the box, setting the
firmware to accept the 100K 10-turn pot and calibrating the receive
frequency.  Even though that sounds simple, after the first one that
turned into a disaster, I have to say that I'm skeptical that the new one
will just drop into place and start functioning.  Hopefully I'm wrong
about that feeling.

I've built mine into one of the cases available on eBay.  I'll post a
picture below.  Are there any known issue with using a metal case like
this?  I have the speaker mounted in the lid with little speaker clips
holding it to the lid and it's wired directly to the board connector and
not grounded to the case.  My antenna connection is the standard black &
brown wire that came with the kit and the connector is an SO-239 instead
of the BNC.  I see that some people have swapped the black and brown wire
out for coax but I'm under the impression that can be an improvement or
precaution and not necessarily a deal breaker in the radio working on not
working.

Now when I tested the first one I screwed my 50 watt Bird dummy load right
to the back of the radio.  This time I may put a couple of foot cable
between the radio and the dummy load because I'm not sure if that could
have caused a problem with the original board having it that close to the
radio or not.  Seems kind of strange if it would cause a problem.  

After reading all of the comments I kind of feel like the Bitx40 is a few
seconds away from destruction with something minor causing the
destruction. I almost want to record a video of me opening the box,
unwrapping the contents, inspecting the board, upgrading the firmware,
installing the parts, powering it up and seeing if it will transmit just
to prove that I'm doing everything correct.  Again, because I'm
skeptical.  I'm not going to do that because I shouldn't have to do that
but it's crossed my mind.  Luckily, the negative feelings that I have
pror to receiving this one can't damage the radio and even though I have
those feelings I'm not going to let them interfere with the care that I'm
going to take starting this one up and will go way beyond what I thought
was extreme care starting the first one up.

I'm just wondering if any of these have functioned on day one and remained
functioning with a reasonable amount of use for an extended period of
time?  It just seems like everyone has changed some part that eventually
went defective or didn't work on day one and they had to repair something?
 I'd like to think that if this one works right out of the gate and I use
it with a 40 meter dipole that is checked on my antenna analyzer prior to
each use that I should get some time out of using it.

So outside of re-verifying my wires for literally about the 30th time does
anyone have any suggestions outside of following the Wire Up and checkout
procedure?  I plan to even check off each line of the Wire Up even though
that seems a little extreme just to have some sort of hope to get this one
started off on a better foot.  I've built a ton of kit projects and none
of them have gone like my first Bitx.  I really can't trace the first one
not  transmitting back to anything that I could have done.

Again, forgive my skepticism but this first one not transmitting and the
display nearly self distracting after switching from 12VDC to 13.8VDC
during the troubleshooting has me skeptical.  Hopefully tomorrow will be
a better experience.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Curt

Here is the picture of the case. I still need to do something with the
volume on/off pot.  I either need to trim the shaft back and modify a
knob to fit it or I need to replace that with something common.  I'd
still like to have that in one device rather than a separate on off switch
and volume control.


Re: Starting Over

Michael Hagen
 

Looks Great!

I drilled out a 1/4" Al. stand off (spacer) so it was a tight fit on the small pot shaft.  I crazy glued it and trimmed the plastic shaft end.

So now I can use a 1/4" knob.  I did not have panel space of a separate on-off switch.

Mike, WA6ISP


On 7/18/2017 7:05 AM, Curt M. wrote:
Hi guys, I have a new Bitx40 kit coming tomorrow.  Since my case is already to go with the parts installed and wired up it should just be a matter of re-verifying the Wire Up, upgrading the radrino to the 1.18 firmware, Installing the main board and display into the box, setting the firmware to accept the 100K 10-turn pot and calibrating the receive frequency.  Even though that sounds simple, after the first one that turned into a disaster, I have to say that I'm skeptical that the new one will just drop into place and start functioning.  Hopefully I'm wrong about that feeling.

I've built mine into one of the cases available on eBay.  I'll post a picture below.  Are there any known issue with using a metal case like this?  I have the speaker mounted in the lid with little speaker clips holding it to the lid and it's wired directly to the board connector and not grounded to the case.  My antenna connection is the standard black & brown wire that came with the kit and the connector is an SO-239 instead of the BNC.  I see that some people have swapped the black and brown wire out for coax but I'm under the impression that can be an improvement or precaution and not necessarily a deal breaker in the radio working on not working.

Now when I tested the first one I screwed my 50 watt Bird dummy load right to the back of the radio.  This time I may put a couple of foot cable between the radio and the dummy load because I'm not sure if that could have caused a problem with the original board having it that close to the radio or not.  Seems kind of strange if it would cause a problem.  

After reading all of the comments I kind of feel like the Bitx40 is a few seconds away from destruction with something minor causing the destruction. I almost want to record a video of me opening the box, unwrapping the contents, inspecting the board, upgrading the firmware, installing the parts, powering it up and seeing if it will transmit just to prove that I'm doing everything correct.  Again, because I'm skeptical.  I'm not going to do that because I shouldn't have to do that but it's crossed my mind.  Luckily, the negative feelings that I have pror to receiving this one can't damage the radio and even though I have those feelings I'm not going to let them interfere with the care that I'm going to take starting this one up and will go way beyond what I thought was extreme care starting the first one up.

I'm just wondering if any of these have functioned on day one and remained functioning with a reasonable amount of use for an extended period of time?  It just seems like everyone has changed some part that eventually went defective or didn't work on day one and they had to repair something?  I'd like to think that if this one works right out of the gate and I use it with a 40 meter dipole that is checked on my antenna analyzer prior to each use that I should get some time out of using it.

So outside of re-verifying my wires for literally about the 30th time does anyone have any suggestions outside of following the Wire Up and checkout procedure?  I plan to even check off each line of the Wire Up even though that seems a little extreme just to have some sort of hope to get this one started off on a better foot.  I've built a ton of kit projects and none of them have gone like my first Bitx.  I really can't trace the first one not  transmitting back to anything that I could have done.

Again, forgive my skepticism but this first one not transmitting and the display nearly self distracting after switching from 12VDC to 13.8VDC during the troubleshooting has me skeptical.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a better experience.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Curt

Here is the picture of the case. I still need to do something with the volume on/off pot.  I either need to trim the shaft back and modify a knob to fit it or I need to replace that with something common.  I'd still like to have that in one device rather than a separate on off switch and volume control.

-- 
Mike Hagen, WA6ISP
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