Date   
Re: Bitx 40 raduino pot or encoder?

Jack, W8TEE
 

Pete:

The "detents" are a personal choice. Most people like "detentless" encoders because those feel like a "normal" tuning knob in a rig. I suspect some of these commerical encoders are optical, which is more expensive. However, I actually prefer detents. I cannot hear them--don't know if this is because of ancient ears or they're just not that noisy--but I, instead, "feel" the detents. I like this because tuning stops when I release the knob. All of us have used radios where the tuning "coasts" a bit after releasing it. That coasting really irritates me, especially when checking in on a net. My old FT-1200 was really bad at that, one of the reasons I sold it. Coasting doesn't happen with detents and I like that.

I agree that anything between 16 and 24 PPR is a good choice. As you might guess, I buy 10x encoders at a time...just makes sense with shipping costs what they are. I'm buying more stuff domestically, mainly because of delivery delays. However, China has caught on to the "Show NA only" and seem to be drop-shipping to the US so they show up in an NA search. I've had NA searches result in items that would not be delivered for 6 weeks...obviously a drop-ship.

Good advice on the encoder pins. When you order, look at the spec sheet and perhaps even print out the "pin image", cut it out, and write on it the re-order info, and place it in your encoder parts bin.

Jack, W8TEE

On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 9:34:14 AM EST, N6QWHAM@... <n6qwham@...> wrote:


Here is my two cents... Jack is right about getting a good Bourns encoder; but a couple of things to look at in addition to just being a Bourns. Look at the PPR (Pulses Per Revolution). Lower is better! I once bought an encoder with 512 PPR. You just looked at the encoder and it would move frequency. Something in the range of 20 to 30 PPR. Following that 20PPR would give e slower tuning feel. Avoid the kinds with "detents" --the clicking will drive you bonkers!

Second point to look for is the MTBF. (Mean Time Before Failure). Some encoders are only good for 20K revolutions while the Bourns line typically are rated at 100K. Another point on the Bourns is the wiring. Many mechanical encoders use the center pin as Ground. The left hand Pin with the shaft facing you is Ground on he Bourns.

Digikey sells the Bourns with the above features in the $1.50 range -- and if you buy 10 I think there is a price break. You can never have enough encoders.

Also -- do not be afraid of "rolling your own" substitute Raduino -- with just a bit of Arduino magic you can make it LSB and USB capable without touching the BFO crystal. This has some charm in that you can work FT-8 on 40 Meters with your Bitx40.

73's
Pete N6QW

--
Jack, W8TEE

Re: TSW Teensy 4.0 software with RTC coming soon #ubitx #v6

Jim Sheldon
 

Thanks Jack,
That's info I didn't have but is in keeping with what the old Teensy 3.6 we used to use needed to keep the RTC running when Vin was off.  If "self discharge" didn't kill the Cellphone battery, you and I would probably be long gone before one stopped powering that RTC - LOL.  It's a heck of a lot easier to find a place to stuff a CR2032 out of the way in a V6 uBITX than one of even the smallest of cell phone batteries not to mention many cell phone batteries are Lithium Polymer (some have blown up or burst into flames in cellphones) and I wouldn't want one of them inside my uBITX on a bet.

Jim

------ Original Message ------
From: "Jack, W8TEE via Groups.Io" <jjpurdum@...>
Sent: 2/19/2020 7:50:44 AM
Subject: Re: [BITX20] TSW Teensy 4.0 software with RTC coming soon #ubitx #v6

It appears that the T4 RTC draws less than 30 microamps.

Jack, W8TEE

On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 8:25:02 AM EST, Jim Sheldon <w0eb@...> wrote:


Total overkill.  A CR2032 or even smaller coin cell will provide keep alive voltage for the real time clock for close to a year or even more.  Cell phone batteries are expensive where coin cells are usually under a dollar.  I wouldn't even consider putting one of those huge cell phone batteries (compared to the size of the Teensy 4.0.)..


Jim - W0EB

------ Original Message ------
Sent: 2/18/2020 11:12:22 PM
Subject: Re: [BITX20] TSW Teensy 4.0 software with RTC coming soon #ubitx #v6

Why not using a cellphone batt with a voltage controller. They are verry slim and power enough

--
Jack, W8TEE

Re: TSW Teensy 4.0 software with RTC Now available #ubitx #v6

W2CTX
 

You can always put your favourite 12 meter frequencies and modes in the
10 memory locations provided.

On February 18, 2020 at 11:32 PM MadRadioModder <@MadRadioModder> wrote:


You might check the floor… looks like 12 meters fell off the display.





From: BITX20@groups.io [mailto:BITX20@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jim Sheldon
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 7:59 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: [BITX20] TSW Teensy 4.0 software with RTC Now available #ubitx #v6



TSW Just released our latest software for the Teensy 4.0 to NANO adapter on the V6 uBITX.

Cleaned it up cosmetically so the on screen buttons look more like buttons, but that's just cosmetics. In this version, which will be the last for some time, we added an A>B touch button that does just that, copies the contents of VFO A into VFO B and makes them equal in preparation for operating SPLIT. All you have to do is tune VFO B the short distance to where you want to transmit after using A>B so you have a close, known starting spot.

The biggie though is the on-screen real time clock. It's displayed in the upper left corner of the main screen and if you touch anywhere in the clock display area, it brings up a menu for setting the time (HH:MM:SS) and has self explanatory text in the setting window. The main problem though is unless the user connects a 3 Volt battery between the "Vbat" pad (+3V) and ground on the Teensy 4 itself, you will have to reset the clock each time you power up the uBITX. We have been unable to find a usable 3V coin cell holder with the right pin spacing to match the Vbat and ground pads on the Teensy so finding a 3V cell with wire leads is suggested. It goes without saying the cell should be completely insulated so it doesn't short out to any components or grounded parts on the chassis or PC boards.

In testing, the RTC in the teensy appears to keep time reasonably well. It doesn't stay on to the second, but doesn't drift that much either. Over a portable session, the time should stay well within 30 seconds or so over a couple of hours.

When the setting menu is active, transmit is inhibited, but the receiver is active which makes it convenient to tune in one of the WWV frequencies or any available time standard like CHU, JJY and the like to allow fairly close setting of the seconds.

Anyway, it is V1.05 and it's available on the TSW website (www.w0eb.com <http://www.w0eb.com> ) in the "Files" section. Attached here is the accompanying software instruction manual to go with the program (manual also included in the downloadable zip file on the website).

Have fun with it folks. Thanks for your support.

Jim Sheldon, W0EB
TSW Project Coordinator







Re: Save power supply voltage for uBitx V6

MVS Sarma
 

once the battery (3*3.7V)  12.8 or so on full charge , falls to 11V, how do you expect the 78H12 to regulate and deliver?
The Vin /Vout differential for 78H12 is 2.5 to 3V. Don't you feel a Low drop regulator is better, like LT1083adjutable with 7.5 amps deliverable load.   Voltage differential is hardly 1V.
sarma
 vu3zmv




On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 10:40 AM <rmvanb@...> wrote:
I use 3x 18650 in serie with a 78h12....so 12volts and max 5A. Now  glued 2 battery paks together and have 6x 18650. I get the18650 from old bike battery's. At the moment i have 60 of them, so power enough😀😀

Re: Bitx 40 raduino pot or encoder?

N6QWHAM@...
 

Here is my two cents... Jack is right about getting a good Bourns encoder; but a couple of things to look at in addition to just being a Bourns. Look at the PPR (Pulses Per Revolution). Lower is better! I once bought an encoder with 512 PPR. You just looked at the encoder and it would move frequency. Something in the range of 20 to 30 PPR. Following that 20PPR would give e slower tuning feel. Avoid the kinds with "detents" --the clicking will drive you bonkers!

Second point to look for is the MTBF. (Mean Time Before Failure). Some encoders are only good for 20K revolutions while the Bourns line typically are rated at 100K. Another point on the Bourns is the wiring. Many mechanical encoders use the center pin as Ground. The left hand Pin with the shaft facing you is Ground on he Bourns.

Digikey sells the Bourns with the above features in the $1.50 range -- and if you buy 10 I think there is a price break. You can never have enough encoders.

Also -- do not be afraid of "rolling your own" substitute Raduino -- with just a bit of Arduino magic you can make it LSB and USB capable without touching the BFO crystal. This has some charm in that you can work FT-8 on 40 Meters with your Bitx40.

73's
Pete N6QW

Re: Portable antenna(s) #antennas #v6

KE0GYC
 

I can't speak to the "best" configuration, but I can say I've strung mine up portable every which way and they work well.

I would guess a long vertical would be a good bet.

Re: Portable antenna(s) #antennas #v6

Mick
 

Dave,
What antenna configuration would you suggest to install your 49:1. 64ft antenna (exactly what I have)
Originally I thought (given my local setup) I would put the unun on a pole on my roof about 30 ft high and string it horizontal (almost) across my backyard (over my pool) to a 15 foot pole. I would then have about 35 ft of coax run to my uBitx v6 in my basement hamshack.
however I see a lot of discussion about L configurations. L is difficult for my setup but I’m looking for best DX configuration.
All suggestions greatly appreciated 
73
Mick VA3EPM 

Re: Portable antenna(s) #antennas #v6

Joe Puma
 

I do better with a end fed half wave that has a 49:1 transformer as opposed to a 9:1. You. Should try a 49:1 transformer. 

Joe
KD2NFC 



On Feb 18, 2020, at 11:23 PM, Tom, wb6b <wb6b@...> wrote:

Hi,

I run a non-resonate end fed antenna because it offers a reasonable tradeoff between efficiency and the space needed to string it up on my property. I only need about 55' to cover down to 80 meters. 

The antenna in not a random length. It is a specially calculated length to provide as close as possible to the correct impedance, into the 9:1 unun transformer for the bands you want to operate on. 

Not much different the efficiency tradeoff people make using shortened verticals with all sorts of rods, spikes, spiders, coils and whatnot gizmos to make them "resonate".

But if you have more room, the bigger the better seems to apply. 

Here is a presentation regarding end-fed non-resonate antennas.

https://palomar-engineers.com/wp-content/uploads/End-Fed-Antenna-Secrets-YUMA-2020-Hamfest.pdf

Tom, wb6b

Re: Portable antenna(s) #antennas #v6

_Dave_ AD0B
 

For a portable antenna I use an EFHW, It is easy to wind a 49:1 UNUN. There are schematics all over the internet I use 14ga fence wire about 64'. Almost every ham band of 40 and higher is acceptable. swr. Signals are strong. You don't need any counterpoise.

Much better antenna for my purposes than any other type of dipole.  
--
73
Dave
ad0b
Raduino bracket and Ham_Made_Keys

Re: TSW Teensy 4.0 software with RTC coming soon #ubitx #v6

Jack, W8TEE
 

It appears that the T4 RTC draws less than 30 microamps.

Jack, W8TEE

On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 8:25:02 AM EST, Jim Sheldon <w0eb@...> wrote:


Total overkill.  A CR2032 or even smaller coin cell will provide keep alive voltage for the real time clock for close to a year or even more.  Cell phone batteries are expensive where coin cells are usually under a dollar.  I wouldn't even consider putting one of those huge cell phone batteries (compared to the size of the Teensy 4.0.)..


Jim - W0EB

------ Original Message ------
Sent: 2/18/2020 11:12:22 PM
Subject: Re: [BITX20] TSW Teensy 4.0 software with RTC coming soon #ubitx #v6

Why not using a cellphone batt with a voltage controller. They are verry slim and power enough

--
Jack, W8TEE

Re: TSW Teensy 4.0 software with RTC Now available #ubitx #v6

Jim Sheldon
 

Nope, that was deliberate - a button for the 12 meter band isn't in the factory version either.  You can use the GC (general coverage mode) and tune anywhere between 3 and 30 MHz, (including 12 meters) you want. Transmit is still enabled (as in the factory version too) wherever you tune it unless you are in one of the menus or in CWP (CW Practice mode).

Jim, W0EB

------ Original Message ------
From: "MadRadioModder" <madradiomodder@...>
Sent: 2/18/2020 10:32:50 PM
Subject: Re: [BITX20] TSW Teensy 4.0 software with RTC Now available #ubitx #v6

You might check the floor… looks like 12 meters fell off the display.

 

 

From: BITX20@groups.io [mailto:BITX20@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jim Sheldon
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 7:59 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: [BITX20] TSW Teensy 4.0 software with RTC Now available #ubitx #v6

 

TSW Just released our latest software for the Teensy 4.0 to NANO adapter on the V6 uBITX.

Cleaned it up cosmetically so the on screen buttons look more like buttons, but that's just cosmetics.  In this version, which will be the last for some time, we added an A>B touch button that does just that, copies the contents of VFO A into VFO B and makes them equal in preparation for operating SPLIT.  All you have to do is tune VFO B the short distance to where you want to transmit after using A>B so you have a close, known starting spot.

The biggie though is the on-screen real time clock.  It's displayed in the upper left corner of the main screen and if you touch anywhere in the clock display area, it brings up a menu for setting the time (HH:MM:SS) and has self explanatory text in the setting window.  The main problem though is unless the user connects a 3 Volt battery between the "Vbat" pad (+3V) and ground on the Teensy 4 itself, you will have to reset the clock each time you power up the uBITX.  We have been unable to find a usable 3V coin cell holder with the right pin spacing to match the Vbat and ground pads on the Teensy so finding a 3V cell with wire leads is suggested.  It goes without saying the cell should be completely insulated so it doesn't short out to any components or grounded parts on the chassis or PC boards. 

In testing, the RTC in the teensy appears to keep time reasonably well.  It doesn't stay on to the second, but doesn't drift that much either.  Over a portable session, the time should stay well within 30 seconds or so over a couple of hours.

When the setting menu is active, transmit is inhibited, but the receiver is active which makes it convenient to tune in one of the WWV frequencies or any available time standard like CHU, JJY and the like to allow fairly close setting of the seconds. 

Anyway, it is V1.05 and it's available on the TSW website (www.w0eb.com) in the "Files" section.  Attached here is the accompanying software instruction manual to go with the program (manual also included in the downloadable zip file on the website).

Have fun with it folks.  Thanks for your support.

Jim Sheldon, W0EB
TSW Project Coordinator


--

…_. _._

Re: TSW Teensy 4.0 software with RTC coming soon #ubitx #v6

Jim Sheldon
 

Total overkill.  A CR2032 or even smaller coin cell will provide keep alive voltage for the real time clock for close to a year or even more.  Cell phone batteries are expensive where coin cells are usually under a dollar.  I wouldn't even consider putting one of those huge cell phone batteries (compared to the size of the Teensy 4.0.)..


Jim - W0EB

------ Original Message ------
Sent: 2/18/2020 11:12:22 PM
Subject: Re: [BITX20] TSW Teensy 4.0 software with RTC coming soon #ubitx #v6

Why not using a cellphone batt with a voltage controller. They are verry slim and power enough

Re: Bitx 40 raduino pot or encoder?

Jack, W8TEE
 

Interesting read, Don. FWIT, I'm working on Hans CAT control for the QCX and it uses 2 encoders; one for frequency changes and one for menu field changes. I the picture below:

Inline image

the Menu encoder is being used to turn the RIT on or off. (There's a "fly speck" bug where a couple of pixels aren't being turned on. It's fixed, but I haven't re-shot the picture.) The active VFO is shown in green. (Crappy picture, but all I have at the moment.)  The "RX" dot turns to a red  "TX" during transmit. The CAT is directional in that changes on the CAT device change the QCX, but if you change the QCX (e.g., use its encoder to change frequency) and that change is reflected on the CAT device. The two encoders are "switchless", working in conjunction with NO push button switches. Also, rather than using another encoder to change the frequency increment, I use another NO switch where a presses moves the increment to the left. (You can see the cursor as a white line under the 100's digit between the two frequencies. If the cursor is under the 10000Hz digit, another press "wraps" it back to the 100's digit. These limits are user-defined. I've done other projects where I used the encoder switch to do this, but I've moved away from this for the reasons explained below.

Two things this project has taught me about encoders: First, while working on this project, I've thrown away two out of four encoders because they were "intermittently" faulty. Since my EE skills suck, it took me an embarrassingly long period of time to find that "bug" because I assumed the bug was in my code. These were "switchless" encoders from China. This is one of those Penny-wise-Pound-foolish lessons to me. Second, I think I'm done with encoders that have shaft switches. My experience is that most QRP rigs don't have enough mass to let you use those switches without using the other hand to hold the rig during a switch press, even with non-skid feet in place. Instead, I'm using "paired" NO push button switches. I can activate these with a light touch without using the other hand.

The take away from this: Spend a few cents more, buy quality encoder (e.g., Bourns) from a reputable dealer.

Jack, W8TEE

On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 7:30:32 AM EST, Don, ND6T via Groups.Io <nd6t_6@...> wrote:


Yes, indeed. Makes for a very stable operation. More discussion (and some ideas) can be found here: http://www.nd6t.com/bitx/tuning
73,
Don

--
Jack, W8TEE

Re: Portable antenna(s) #antennas #v6

Tom, wb6b
 

On Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 02:20 AM, Gordon Gibby wrote:
but I did not see loss or efficiency data
Hi Gordon,

I think the efficiency is based on the ratio of shorter length vs a half wave. I've seen formulas and tables with antenna efficiency listed that way. As for transnformer loss, yes, it would be nice if they specified that. Palomar Engineers has been around for a long time and I'm basing the odds that they design their ununs correctly on their reputation. But an actual measurement by them or a qualified tester in a review would be nice. I don't know how a well designed 49:1 transformer vs a well designed 9:1 transformer stack up next to each other loss wise.

In my case I bough the 9:1 unun kit and installed it in a weathertight PVC conduit right angle junction box. My main driving factor was to be able to run a shorter antenna wire that would let me operate on 75 meters phone in the space I had available for the antenna run. 

Tom, wb6b

Re: Bitx 40 raduino pot or encoder?

Don, ND6T
 

Yes, indeed. Makes for a very stable operation. More discussion (and some ideas) can be found here: http://www.nd6t.com/bitx/tuning
73,
Don

Re: Download from Arduino

Don, ND6T
 

A potent argument for displaying file name and version information on a "splash" screen. 73, Don

Bitx 40 raduino pot or encoder?

Tech Guy
 

I purchased a dds board from hf sigs for my bitx 40 just before the bitx 40 was discontinued. It came without any info. I tried it with a pot but it doesn’t tune correctly. Did they use encoders on the later dds boards like the ubitx?
John N4HNO

Re: Download from Arduino

Dennis Zabawa
 

What is loaded onto the Arduino is compiled and linked machine code.  If if you have a disassembler for the Arduino ARM instruction set, you could get the machine code into assembly language but not back to the C++ code.

Re: Portable antenna(s) #antennas #v6

Gordon Gibby
 

Thanks, Tom, that’s a very nice presentation, but I did not see loss or efficiency data (other than FoR common mode chokes) 




On Feb 18, 2020, at 23:23, Tom, wb6b <wb6b@...> wrote:

Hi,

I run a non-resonate end fed antenna because it offers a reasonable tradeoff between efficiency and the space needed to string it up on my property. I only need about 55' to cover down to 80 meters. 

The antenna in not a random length. It is a specially calculated length to provide as close as possible to the correct impedance, into the 9:1 unun transformer for the bands you want to operate on. 

Not much different the efficiency tradeoff people make using shortened verticals with all sorts of rods, spikes, spiders, coils and whatnot gizmos to make them "resonate".

But if you have more room, the bigger the better seems to apply. 

Here is a presentation regarding end-fed non-resonate antennas.

https://palomar-engineers.com/wp-content/uploads/End-Fed-Antenna-Secrets-YUMA-2020-Hamfest.pdf

Tom, wb6b

Re: sketch dds-vfo by eZall for bitx40 #arduino #bitx40help #radiuno #smeter

SaMa photo SaMa photo
 

yes it's him!
Thanks so much