Date   
Re: uBITX V6.0 For Sale

Ashhar Farhan
 

Hans will produce a great radio, I am quite certain of that. He is quite thorough with his stuff. I am in the line to get one as soon as they are released.
The uBitx and QSX are similar and also different. Both the radios break ground in accessibility, hackability and pricing. If you have followed the SSB hack on QCX, you will know what I mean.
The QSX will come with rock solid software but you have to solder up everything. The uBitx comes with all hardware soldered and tested but you have to make a few firmware updates as hackers keep going at it.
On the other hand, the higher end rigs like the K4 to the IC7300 have reached a point where the performance is more than adequate for every need and yet their pricing differential is enormous. The IC7300 costs 1000 usd while the K4 from Elecraft costs 5000 usd! For that extra 4000 USD you could buy a 40 meter full length yagi, mast, linear and a couple of Havans as well! The performance difference is almost imperceptible. Doesn't really make sense. At times it might even overwhelm you. Let me use an analogy by Rick, KK7B, he says the argument for how much dynamic range etc is like asking how many wheels for a car? Once you have figured out that all you need are 4 wheels, you move on. Look at other aspects.
What our homebrew radios need is a top class DSP IF at the back. Something that you can wade into and write you own. Whether is an S meter or new modulation scheme.
In the future, the soldering iron will have more and more competition from the keyboard. Filters will be written in software, modes will be implemented there too.
Our challenge is to make that as simple as we can. The SDR is actually just the same, really simple pieces like filters, mixers out together. An FIR filter is put together in about 10 lines of code. You feed it a different table of coefficients and get different filters. Once you know that, you can hack for months producing all kinds of filters :LPF, notch, BPF, etc. without touching your soldering iron. 
What daunts many, including me, is the steep learning curve. There is no equivalent of an Arduino for the DSP. That may change though, I am working (very randomly though) with Bob Larkin to get something akin to that going for homebrewers. I hope that arrives much sooner than later.
- f


On Thu 9 Jan, 2020, 8:22 AM Curt via Groups.Io, <wb8yyy=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Bill

I was merely trying to contrast the business models,  not critique them. I aspire to have a QSX in my shack also.

If nothing is hidden in the hardware, one can indeed do their own firmware, if they work enough to understand the hardware. LOL with that, starting from scratch.

Well perhsps fix your rigs starting with the easiest one.

I watched v6 video and agree it looks nice. Ashar has told us how to update an earlier ubitx to this display. I myself am content with one ubitx, my v4. I have the extra 45 MHz xtal filter back in with shielded inductors on the original one. If it behaves still including cw transmit, I am optimistic it shall have decent spurious on ssb.

I did obtain the 50w cw amp from Hans, will build it for 40m. Yes its all keeping me from building with tubes.

Curt

Re: uBITX V6.0 For Sale

Jerry Gaffke
 

By the way, that QRP-Labs thread also discusses users adding an RPi-Zero
to extend the QSX with shareable code, which Hans was fully on board with.  


On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 03:56 PM, Jerry Gaffke wrote:
Hans does not encourage us to develop our own software for the not-yet-out QSX:
    https://groups.io/g/QRPLabs/message/27603

Re: Nextion display

Curt
 

Check messages over the past week or so. Ashar provided the simple info to purchase the v6 type display, put a heatsink on raduino regulator, and apply the v6 code. Watch his video carefully to insure you like the display.

Curt

Re: Need to Calibrate the V6 #v6

Ashhar Farhan
 

The message is cryptic because of the low memory couldn't make it more explicit. But here goes:
1. Pick a station with known frequency which you can hear clearly. Like the WWV in the USA.
2. Dial the exact frequency on which it should be received. The actual signal will appear to be off the dialed frequency as the calibration is not proper.
3. Now hold down the tuning button until the setup menu pops up, choose calibration.
4. Using the tuning knob, tune up until the signal is zero-beat.
5. Click with the tuning knob again to save the setting. You are done.

On Thu 9 Jan, 2020, 8:25 AM , <k7ome@...> wrote:
Searches of this group, Google, and YouTube failed to give me anything I could use for the V6.   Now, I'm a noob and I admit it but really, when the Freq calibration on the set up menu says something to the effect of 'turn the knob until you get a strong signal' that isn't very helpful. I hear little or nothing.  Where does the signal come from? The radio is on and connected to an antenna but no amount of adjustment to the Freq or BFO ever seems to definitively zero in on anything I try to listen to.  I tried WWV but I can barely receive it on the v6.  Right now even my TS-2000 isn't getting it very well although I have received it well in the past (I'm in a tall narrow valley and it's winter in here). 
Is there an actual procedure for calibrating this radio?  Maybe something to do with those extra wires that came with it? If so, where is it hidden?

Need to Calibrate the V6 #v6

k7ome@...
 

Searches of this group, Google, and YouTube failed to give me anything I could use for the V6.   Now, I'm a noob and I admit it but really, when the Freq calibration on the set up menu says something to the effect of 'turn the knob until you get a strong signal' that isn't very helpful. I hear little or nothing.  Where does the signal come from? The radio is on and connected to an antenna but no amount of adjustment to the Freq or BFO ever seems to definitively zero in on anything I try to listen to.  I tried WWV but I can barely receive it on the v6.  Right now even my TS-2000 isn't getting it very well although I have received it well in the past (I'm in a tall narrow valley and it's winter in here). 
Is there an actual procedure for calibrating this radio?  Maybe something to do with those extra wires that came with it? If so, where is it hidden?

Re: uBITX V6.0 For Sale

Curt
 

Bill

I was merely trying to contrast the business models,  not critique them. I aspire to have a QSX in my shack also.

If nothing is hidden in the hardware, one can indeed do their own firmware, if they work enough to understand the hardware. LOL with that, starting from scratch.

Well perhsps fix your rigs starting with the easiest one.

I watched v6 video and agree it looks nice. Ashar has told us how to update an earlier ubitx to this display. I myself am content with one ubitx, my v4. I have the extra 45 MHz xtal filter back in with shielded inductors on the original one. If it behaves still including cw transmit, I am optimistic it shall have decent spurious on ssb.

I did obtain the 50w cw amp from Hans, will build it for 40m. Yes its all keeping me from building with tubes.

Curt

Re: New Teensy 4.0 to NANO direct plug in adapter #ubitx #v6

Kees T
 

Jim,

It's pretty simple to build level converters using 2 resistors and a 2N7000. No problem.

73 Kees K5BCQ

Re: uBITX V6.0 For Sale

Jerry Gaffke
 

Bill,

Did you follow my link?
Here's what Hans said regarding the QSX, in that post Oct of 2018.
Add much of 2019 to the effort, and likely a good chunk of 2020:

>  Regarding QSX, I do NOT agree to, or support, people collectively or individually developing their own code for it.
>  Primarily for fear of cloning. Not that it would be at all easy to undercut the price. But even clones
>  at a non-competitive price are damaging. For me it's the entire 2018's worth of work, and more.

That's pretty clear, even to me.
I doubt anybody is legally bound, but those are his wishes.
Hans may have encouraged coders to mess with other QRP Labs products, but not the QSX.

Writing DSP code for a phasing rig is beyond the abilities of most of us.
That's far more involved than writing Arduino code to show an S-meter on your uBitx display.
For the curious, here's what passes as an easy and accessible intro to DSP techniques:
    http://www.dspguide.com/
If your google-foo is strong, you may be able to patch together existing code 
to accomplish what you want.  But you still need a grasp of much of that material.
There's good reason the QSX has not yet been released to the world.

If you want to learn about radio and wish to whack at something relatively 
cheap and easy to understand, the uBitx is a very good bet.
The Bitx40 might be even better (cheaper and simpler) if you can find one used.

Jerry, KE7ER


On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 04:56 PM, Bill Cromwell wrote:
He did say we could do our own. As long as QRP Labs is around to support it I won't even consider it. If I did and it went wrong I would not be double foolish and expect him to fix it. It also would not be a "clone" if I did it. It would be something else. If I want something else I will buy (or make) that instead. In fact, I already have several something elses:)

73,

Bill KU8H
Hide quoted text

 

On 1/8/20 6:56 PM, Jerry Gaffke via Groups.Io wrote:
Hans does not encourage us to develop our own software for the not-yet-out QSX:
https://groups.io/g/QRPLabs/message/27603
In part because he has had trouble with clones in the past.
Jerry, KE7ER
On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 01:25 PM, Bill Cromwell wrote:
In some of the discussions about Hans' proprietary (not open source)
system the man himself pointed out that any of us can develop our
own software to drive the hardware. He says there is enough info
about how the hardware works to do that. perhaps not as well as his
proprietary software. That depends on what you want the radio to do.
It will be an SDR with no need for a computer. I am NOT there.
--
bark less - wag more

Re: Setup uBITX for mobile and portable operations - final amps / heatsink?

Alex Netherton
 

Maybe try the 9 foot whip with a Silver Bullet coil? I used a tapped antenna today (I forget the brand), but it has taps for 80 thru 2 meters, and I heard a net on 40 like gangbusters. Yes, I have used the antenna before to make DX calls on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Tomorrow I may try to transmit with my new little V5!

On Sun, Jan 5, 2020 at 10:00 PM Ted via Groups.Io <k3rta=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hey, Rob.

I've currently got a V5 board set up as a mobile rig, separated out by the board & other daughter boards, a display head with Nextion 2.5" screen, and Vol/Channel/Function/Mic control head. 

The Board is mounted inside a former computer external drive case, large enough for a DVD/R device and its own power supply.  This allows room for the main board, a step-up buck converter for the finals, a fan already mounted inside (but run at half speed), and an additional audio amp.  I run the finals at 22V for around 30 watts out from 80 to 20 meters; the board also has 2N5109's in the pre-driver and driver positions (1 each for 2 former 3904's apiece).  There is an RF preamp mounted underneath the board (as the main board's on standoffs) preceeded by a BCI filter and followed by an AGC board. I elected to install a second Nano processor for full TFT screen utilities with the CEC software. There was significant audio interference from the TFT screen refresh, which was reduced to a satisfactory level with small torroids around the screen's output signal path between the two Nano processors. For heat-sinking:  I took two sheets of copper and ended up with an affair that sits between the finals and the outside case, and dropping below the circuit board in the case until the two sheets can fold sideways about 5mm apart as if fins under the board by a bit.  A 5V laptop cooling fan (flat profile rather than muffin-fan profile) blows across these fins while transmitting. This fan cools the heat sink and the enclosure's own fan sucks this heat out.  There are vent inlet holes on the opposite end from the case fan.  I was able to run FT8 and JS8CALL on the bench at full power & the finals (and the side of the case) would get plenty hot but would cool down rather quickly after the rig went back to RX.  Running about half output ("only" 15 watts or so), the radio could transmit digital modes for as long as I wanted into a dummy load. 

I placed the Nextion screen inside a plastic project box and trimmed around my hack-job with cork gasket material, then mounted all of that onto a device originally intended for holding a cell phone from a dash-mounted CD player. This puts the display and touch-controllability within easy view with minimal distraction from driving.  The rest of the functions, vis a vis the manual controls were placed on a mounting on the side of the car's center console at the base of the gearshift.  This panel has the mike socket, an aux socket for digital mode in/out, volume, a function button (separate from the tuning knob), and, the tuning knob.  I added a manual push-button that emulates a CW key that I call "tuning", though I suppose it could be used for CW once the zombie apocalypse begins.  There's a mic preamp/compressor in the head for voice audio and a lesser grade audio AGC for the data, since the audio drive seemed weak in the latter and I just wanted more "punch" in my voice with the former.

For cabling, I used a disused keyboard cord for the display as only 4 (shielded) wires were needed. For the "real" control head I used a DVI cable with its four each, 2-wire with shield bundles and 3 extra wires within. That's eleven separate lines, with 4 pair of them being independently shielded.  It works pretty well, actually.  

I could elaborate some more but that's the gyst of the rig itself.  I've been trying a 10-ft whip fed with a 9:1 UnUn aftrer an automatic tuner, with minimal results on TX or RX.  That part's been a disappointment.  Just today, though, I tried a shunt-fed, NMO-mounted base load mono-band 20 meter antenna I made years ago and made an easy contact with a guy at a portable campground setup over 400 miles away.   Considering 30 watts while driving around underneath deciduous trees and power lines in greater suburbia quite satisfactory.  I made that antenna for use with an MFJ-9420 and it never disappointed. The lesson there is, be sure to use an antenna in which you've already got plenty of faith rather than experiment with something less than optimal, only to wonder if its the radio or the antenna that stinks....   If only I could make a 40M mobile antenna that does as well.

 If I can answer any other questions or elaborate, ask.



73,

Ted
K3RTA




--
Alex Netherton, W5ALX
Buncombe County NC, EM85ro

Re: uBITX V6.0 For Sale

Bill Cromwell
 

Hi Jerry,

He did say we could do our own. As long as QRP Labs is around to support it I won't even consider it. If I did and it went wrong I would not be double foolish and expect him to fix it. It also would not be a "clone" if I did it. It would be something else. If I want something else I will buy (or make) that instead. In fact, I already have several something elses:)

73,

Bill KU8H

On 1/8/20 6:56 PM, Jerry Gaffke via Groups.Io wrote:
Hans does not encourage us to develop our own software for the not-yet-out QSX:
https://groups.io/g/QRPLabs/message/27603
In part because he has had trouble with clones in the past.
Jerry, KE7ER
On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 01:25 PM, Bill Cromwell wrote:
In some of the discussions about Hans' proprietary (not open source)
system the man himself pointed out that any of us can develop our
own software to drive the hardware. He says there is enough info
about how the hardware works to do that. perhaps not as well as his
proprietary software. That depends on what you want the radio to do.
It will be an SDR with no need for a computer. I am NOT there.
--
bark less - wag more

Re: Help with troubleshooting Bitx40 - no transmit. #bitx40help

Bob Bennett
 

Farhan produced these radios for experimenters. We learn a lot trying to get them where we want. I have one that won’t word, one working for which I need a good case, and a v6 that I can’t get the sketch to compile or upload. But all in all I am learning quite a bit, in between the bouts of frustration. 
--
Bob
NZ2Z

Re: Help with troubleshooting Bitx40 - no transmit. #bitx40help

Arv Evans
 

No!  No!  Start by playing with a few simple SMT circuits to improve your parts
placement and soldering skill.  It is something that has to be learned from experience. 
With a few hours of SMD soldering you will become familiar with this technology and
will be on the road to becoming an expert.  For many of us Ham Radio is all about
learning and application of recently learned skills.  This is not rocket science.  You can
even do "ugly construction" or "Manhattan builds with SMT parts.  Parts to play with
can be removed from dead TVs or toys.  Measure Resistors and Capacitors if the
value is not legible.  Look up datasheets for multi-legged components. 




Arv  K7HKL
_._


On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 5:29 PM <Hetzal@...> wrote:
Thanks to everyone in the group that tried to help me. I replaced the Q13 transistor and the resistor.  But have made my perfectly good receiver into an expensive bookend. I should have known better than mess with SMC when I'm a beginner.  Thos has been quite a humbling experience. I may now just sick with woodworking and leave the electronics to people that know what they are doing...

Re: [BITxV6] Rcvr audio quality & diagnostic processes

Andy_501
 

When you refer to setting the BFO do you mean you tuned the receiver to 7.185 and then entered the power on reset setup utility and adjust the beat freq final adjustment for best audio quality in speaker or headset at that time? or are you using another program residing on the associated laptop and remotely adjusting via the USB comm port to effect changes. I don't have a separate BFO adjustment when it is operating normally. I can adjust the CW Sidetone freq but that is all.

On 2020-01-08 6:15 p.m., Alex Netherton wrote:
Oddly, I was able to tune my BFO by tuning into a net on 40 meters (I think it was at 7.185 or so) and getting Net Control very loud. It was like a miracle when all of a sudden I could hear a human voice on my radio! After that, CW sounded good too.

I am really happy with this little thing; I never managed to build a Heathkit (Griefkit), as they were out of business when I came along (their products were expensive, even in kit form - you were better off buying a Swan), so this has been en experience! I am hoping I can get a Baofeng mic to work on this thing, so I can see if transmit works. Also, going to wire up an old straight key to see if I can send CW - hope this thing does not have a built in keyer...
73 all!


On Mon, Jan 6, 2020 at 2:50 PM Andy_501 <andrew.webb.501.ve4per@...> wrote:
Propagation here at my qth is and has been very poor for a long time.

In the documentation it states startup setup menu on power up and adjust
for 10MHz base ref freq exactly then set the BFO freq.

I am unable to get a base ref freq of 10 MHz to start with; mine will
only adjust to 10500. I have set BFO to 11.055.

I am unable to hear strong HF white noise and/or any of the CHU Canada
or WWV time broadcasts but I can obtain a couple of AM broadcast
stations; however the demodulated audio not being in AM mode is Donald
Ducky sounding but partially intelligent albeit rather weak both on
built in speaker and/or on ext powered amplified USB speaker connected
via the SPKR jack.

I am unable to tune through either side of the signal to get to get rid
of the donald duck sounding?? quality audio signal to listen to.

Seems as though audio passband is so narrow or restricted that listening
to a full sideband { 300-3000 Hz} is not possible. Is there a
calibration or software adjustment I can make on an immediate or test
basis using the Arduino immediate editor to adjust this. I am not very
happy with the receive so far.

I have the Arduino IDE installed per online instructions but not experienced
in using it regularly yet. (haven't got enough practical time/experience to sort
out the 17M unselectable fix yet even.

  Also I noticed when I set the freq to anything below 1 MHz like 920KHz,
990Khz or 680 KHz and save it the VFO indicator adds an extra zero in
the display so 990AM KHz would appear as 9.9MHz on the display but the
audio signal is the 990 AM audio. If I select 1290 KHz?? AM the VFO
display reads correctly and audio is what I expect to hear (except for
the water barrel or Donald Ducky audio quality).

I have a kiwiSDR registered on sdr.hu under my callsign name and it can
produce reasonable sigs for WWV and CHU yet the BITXv6 doesn't when I
compare it.

Any suggestions? all help/tips gratefully accepted.

73 de ve4per / Andy





--
Alex Netherton, W5ALX
Buncombe County NC, EM85ro

Re: Help with troubleshooting Bitx40 - no transmit. #bitx40help

Hetzal@...
 

Thanks to everyone in the group that tried to help me. I replaced the Q13 transistor and the resistor.  But have made my perfectly good receiver into an expensive bookend. I should have known better than mess with SMC when I'm a beginner.  Thos has been quite a humbling experience. I may now just sick with woodworking and leave the electronics to people that know what they are doing...

Nextion display

Alex Netherton
 

How hard is it to add on a display like you would find in a V6 to a v5? Or, since I am not very familiar with Arduino or Raspberry Pi, should I just wait til I have the $$ for a V6? (I plan to get one anyway - just too much fun!)
--
Alex Netherton, W5ALX
Buncombe County NC, EM85ro

Re: [BITxV6] Rcvr audio quality & diagnostic processes

Alex Netherton
 

Oddly, I was able to tune my BFO by tuning into a net on 40 meters (I think it was at 7.185 or so) and getting Net Control very loud. It was like a miracle when all of a sudden I could hear a human voice on my radio! After that, CW sounded good too.

I am really happy with this little thing; I never managed to build a Heathkit (Griefkit), as they were out of business when I came along (their products were expensive, even in kit form - you were better off buying a Swan), so this has been en experience! I am hoping I can get a Baofeng mic to work on this thing, so I can see if transmit works. Also, going to wire up an old straight key to see if I can send CW - hope this thing does not have a built in keyer...
73 all!


On Mon, Jan 6, 2020 at 2:50 PM Andy_501 <andrew.webb.501.ve4per@...> wrote:
Propagation here at my qth is and has been very poor for a long time.

In the documentation it states startup setup menu on power up and adjust
for 10MHz base ref freq exactly then set the BFO freq.

I am unable to get a base ref freq of 10 MHz to start with; mine will
only adjust to 10500. I have set BFO to 11.055.

I am unable to hear strong HF white noise and/or any of the CHU Canada
or WWV time broadcasts but I can obtain a couple of AM broadcast
stations; however the demodulated audio not being in AM mode is Donald
Ducky sounding but partially intelligent albeit rather weak both on
built in speaker and/or on ext powered amplified USB speaker connected
via the SPKR jack.

I am unable to tune through either side of the signal to get to get rid
of the donald duck sounding?? quality audio signal to listen to.

Seems as though audio passband is so narrow or restricted that listening
to a full sideband { 300-3000 Hz} is not possible. Is there a
calibration or software adjustment I can make on an immediate or test
basis using the Arduino immediate editor to adjust this. I am not very
happy with the receive so far.

I have the Arduino IDE installed per online instructions but not experienced
in using it regularly yet. (haven't got enough practical time/experience to sort
out the 17M unselectable fix yet even.

  Also I noticed when I set the freq to anything below 1 MHz like 920KHz,
990Khz or 680 KHz and save it the VFO indicator adds an extra zero in
the display so 990AM KHz would appear as 9.9MHz on the display but the
audio signal is the 990 AM audio. If I select 1290 KHz?? AM the VFO
display reads correctly and audio is what I expect to hear (except for
the water barrel or Donald Ducky audio quality).

I have a kiwiSDR registered on sdr.hu under my callsign name and it can
produce reasonable sigs for WWV and CHU yet the BITXv6 doesn't when I
compare it.

Any suggestions? all help/tips gratefully accepted.

73 de ve4per / Andy





--
Alex Netherton, W5ALX
Buncombe County NC, EM85ro

Re: uBITX V6.0 For Sale

Jerry Gaffke
 

Hans does not encourage us to develop our own software for the not-yet-out QSX:
    https://groups.io/g/QRPLabs/message/27603

In part because he has had trouble with clones in the past.

Jerry, KE7ER


On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 01:25 PM, Bill Cromwell wrote:
In some of the discussions about Hans' proprietary (not open source) system the man himself pointed out that any of us can develop our own software to drive the hardware. He says there is enough info about how the hardware works to do that. perhaps not as well as his proprietary software. That depends on what you want the radio to do. It will be an SDR with no need for a computer. I am NOT there.

Re: CW Audio High Pitched and Thin #cw

Andy_501
 

Dean,

Do you have a link or pdf tutorial/instruction sheet outlining steps to do the procedure? Is it an external program running on a host PC/laptop and making the adjustments via the USB com port while the primary transceiver code is running?


On 2020-01-08 3:25 p.m., Dean Souleles wrote:
All  -

Setting the CW BFO calibration did the trick.  The CW BFO calibration had been set to 0  - when the CEC firmware starts up it sets to a default value that was about 40 KHz off of where my SSB VFO was. I made them the same - then adjusted to the CW BFO until I got a clean 700 Hz tone while keying another rig transmitting to a dummy load nearby.  I don't have a scope so I measured the CW tone with an audio analyzer app on my phone.

All fine business now.

Thanks all and 73.

Dean
KK4DAS

Re: New uBITX Ver. 6 Assembled Today

Mick
 

I’ve been testing my new v6 it seems to receive well I’ve heard several stations. Unfortunately I don’t have an HF SWR meter to test with. I now suspect I’m not transmitting. I tried listening (using a WebSDR site) to my own transmission  but I hear nothing. Anyone have any suggestions?

73
Mick VA3EPM

Re: CW Audio High Pitched and Thin #cw

Alex Netherton
 

How do you connect "Memory Manager" to the bitx v5? I see no connections in the radio where I can connect to a computer or anything.

On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 4:26 PM Dean Souleles <dsouleles@...> wrote:
All  -

Setting the CW BFO calibration did the trick.  The CW BFO calibration had been set to 0  - when the CEC firmware starts up it sets to a default value that was about 40 KHz off of where my SSB VFO was. I made them the same - then adjusted to the CW BFO until I got a clean 700 Hz tone while keying another rig transmitting to a dummy load nearby.  I don't have a scope so I measured the CW tone with an audio analyzer app on my phone.

All fine business now.

Thanks all and 73.

Dean
KK4DAS


--
Alex Netherton, W5ALX
Buncombe County NC, EM85ro