Date   
Stone Soup

Warren Allgyer <allgyer@...>
 

Folks

I refer you to a famous story. It comes in many variations and this is just one: http://www.dltk-teach.com/fables/stonesoup/mtale.htm

I am the last person to discourage experimentation.... it is what I do, both for a living and for fun. But this is getting ridiculous.

We have here a platform that literally does nothing well. Nothing. Its only claims to fame are 1) It is inexpensive and 2) it is software configurable. The uBitx is a horrible transmitter, perhaps a worse receiver, bereft of simple operating niceties like AGC, ALC, preselection filtering, etc. As it comes out of the box it is illegal for air operations in most countries in the world. Its receiver has no front end, no filtering, miserly overall gain, and lousy audio. The transmitter cannot be put on the air legally and maintained without thousands of dollars of lab grade test equipment. Even as a core SSB generator it is 1960's technology executed badly.

And all of that would not be so bad if it were not for the fact that it IS put on the air, in the vast majority of cases, without the necessary lab equipment and testing simply because it does a lot of bands very inexpensively. This is the Twinkie offered to a starving child, the shipping container begging to become a multimillion dollar condominium,  the tricycle with dreams of winning the Indy 500. All possible..... but all ultimately futile for all but a persistent, doggedly stubborn few. And the others who try will simply add to the noise and junk that has become HF around the world.

Even the narrative that this represents employment for needy women in a third world country.... even that does not justify foisting this on amateur radio operators around the world. Producing garbage does not lift a segment out of poverty..... it just makes more garbage. It is very, very disappointing to see the hobby I have loved for 50 years be reduced to this.

If there was ever an electronic analogue for "Stone Soup", it is uBitx.

WA8TOD

Re: 80 Meters Harmonics Fix Proposal

jim
 


On Monday, September 3, 2018, 11:51:11 AM PDT, Warren Allgyer <allgyer@...> wrote:


Howard

When I measured 80 meter harmonics the particularly troublesome ones were 5th at 18 MHz and 7th at 25 MHz. In both cases the attenuation of the stock uBitx at those frequencies was limited by the layout of the board and by the coupling of relays sharing both filter input and output in the same frame. In such cases the characteristics of the filters, both existing and any modifications are immaterial. The attenuation of the stock filter supplied is more than adequate. But the harmonics bypass the filter and go via I/O coupling straight to the output. Please measure the 5th and 7th harmonics on CW. I think you will find you have not done much to improve the stock situation.

WA8TOD

Just a fyi ...see the picture of the 80 meter output from my unit ...after doing the L7,L8 mod and the output transformer mod .
A whole bunch of the cruft flying around in this radio is due to L7 and L8 having DC current flowing through them ...This DC biases the ferrite (shifting the BH curve who knows where) lowering the inductance and allowing RF everywhere ..

Put a proper inductor on the IRF510's that is NOT affected by DC current flowing through it and see what you get

Jim
_._,_._,_


Re: Stone Soup

Jerry Gaffke
 

Warren,

The uBitx is just fine as a QRP 80/40/20 SSB transceiver once the LPF's are cleaned up. 
Or as a good general coverage receiver.
Or as a testbed to learn about radios and arduino programming.
Good luck finding anything better for the price.

Perhaps you should find yourself some other forum to haunt.

Jerry, KE7ER



On Mon, Sep 3, 2018 at 05:37 PM, Warren Allgyer wrote:

Folks

I refer you to a famous story. It comes in many variations and this is just one: http://www.dltk-teach.com/fables/stonesoup/mtale.htm

I am the last person to discourage experimentation.... it is what I do, both for a living and for fun. But this is getting ridiculous.

We have here a platform that literally does nothing well. Nothing. Its only claims to fame are 1) It is inexpensive and 2) it is software configurable. The uBitx is a horrible transmitter, perhaps a worse receiver, bereft of simple operating niceties like AGC, ALC, preselection filtering, etc. As it comes out of the box it is illegal for air operations in most countries in the world. Its receiver has no front end, no filtering, miserly overall gain, and lousy audio. The transmitter cannot be put on the air legally and maintained without thousands of dollars of lab grade test equipment. Even as a core SSB generator it is 1960's technology executed badly.

And all of that would not be so bad if it were not for the fact that it IS put on the air, in the vast majority of cases, without the necessary lab equipment and testing simply because it does a lot of bands very inexpensively. This is the Twinkie offered to a starving child, the shipping container begging to become a multimillion dollar condominium,  the tricycle with dreams of winning the Indy 500. All possible..... but all ultimately futile for all but a persistent, doggedly stubborn few. And the others who try will simply add to the noise and junk that has become HF around the world.

Even the narrative that this represents employment for needy women in a third world country.... even that does not justify foisting this on amateur radio operators around the world. Producing garbage does not lift a segment out of poverty..... it just makes more garbage. It is very, very disappointing to see the hobby I have loved for 50 years be reduced to this.

If there was ever an electronic analogue for "Stone Soup", it is uBitx.

WA8TOD

Re: 80 Meters Harmonics Fix Proposal

Howard Fidel
 

Jim:
You can't argue with success! However, I don't quite understand a few things. Why remove the electrolytics, the bulk capacitance can't hurt? Why not center tap the transformer primary and feed the DC there? It should have the same result and is simpler.

Howard

On 9/3/2018 9:04 PM, jim via Groups.Io wrote:

On Monday, September 3, 2018, 11:51:11 AM PDT, Warren Allgyer <allgyer@...> wrote:


Howard

When I measured 80 meter harmonics the particularly troublesome ones were 5th at 18 MHz and 7th at 25 MHz. In both cases the attenuation of the stock uBitx at those frequencies was limited by the layout of the board and by the coupling of relays sharing both filter input and output in the same frame. In such cases the characteristics of the filters, both existing and any modifications are immaterial. The attenuation of the stock filter supplied is more than adequate. But the harmonics bypass the filter and go via I/O coupling straight to the output. Please measure the 5th and 7th harmonics on CW. I think you will find you have not done much to improve the stock situation.

WA8TOD

Just a fyi ...see the picture of the 80 meter output from my unit ...after doing the L7,L8 mod and the output transformer mod .
A whole bunch of the cruft flying around in this radio is due to L7 and L8 having DC current flowing through them ...This DC biases the ferrite (shifting the BH curve who knows where) lowering the inductance and allowing RF everywhere ..

Put a proper inductor on the IRF510's that is NOT affected by DC current flowing through it and see what you get

Jim


Re: Stone Soup

Kees T
 

Warren, don't forget the very positive moral of the "stone story": 

Moral:  By working together, with everyone contributing what they can, a greater good is achieved.

I think the uBITX has been and is a wonderful educational opportunity for all and still is a great value rig to use on the air. In all my electronic history, which goes back quite a few years, I have never seen so many people learn and contribute so much to the hobby......anywhere.

If "in the old days", enough people had access to Rigol DSA815-TG (Spectrum Analyzer and Tracking Generator) test equipment, NONE of us would have successfully built anything to get on the air and we'd all be "appliance operators".   

I. for one, am having great fun and think this is what REAL ham radio is all about.

73 Kees K5BCQ

 

Re: Stone Soup

Michael Hagen
 

I love the Bit and uBit.  It brought some hams to actually look under the hood.   A legacy of Heathkit?

I got my license in 1961.  Because of Ham Radio, I went on to college and struggled for a BSEE.

Always an experimenter, while posing for the dollar as an engineer.   I could have worked at the 76 Gas Station I worked for in

high school!  Wow, Circuit Design!

After all,  look what it has done to bring all these folks from EVERYWHERE together.

That's what working DX has done for years.  I love meeting folks from New Zealand or England or Anywhere!

In one weekend contest, I made 126 foreign contacts on a home made beam on 10M.  Yes  DXCC + in one weekend.

Long Live Ash and his projects.


Mike, WA6ISP


On 9/3/2018 5:37 PM, Warren Allgyer wrote:

Folks

I refer you to a famous story. It comes in many variations and this is just one: http://www.dltk-teach.com/fables/stonesoup/mtale.htm

I am the last person to discourage experimentation.... it is what I do, both for a living and for fun. But this is getting ridiculous.

We have here a platform that literally does nothing well. Nothing. Its only claims to fame are 1) It is inexpensive and 2) it is software configurable. The uBitx is a horrible transmitter, perhaps a worse receiver, bereft of simple operating niceties like AGC, ALC, preselection filtering, etc. As it comes out of the box it is illegal for air operations in most countries in the world. Its receiver has no front end, no filtering, miserly overall gain, and lousy audio. The transmitter cannot be put on the air legally and maintained without thousands of dollars of lab grade test equipment. Even as a core SSB generator it is 1960's technology executed badly.

And all of that would not be so bad if it were not for the fact that it IS put on the air, in the vast majority of cases, without the necessary lab equipment and testing simply because it does a lot of bands very inexpensively. This is the Twinkie offered to a starving child, the shipping container begging to become a multimillion dollar condominium,  the tricycle with dreams of winning the Indy 500. All possible..... but all ultimately futile for all but a persistent, doggedly stubborn few. And the others who try will simply add to the noise and junk that has become HF around the world.

Even the narrative that this represents employment for needy women in a third world country.... even that does not justify foisting this on amateur radio operators around the world. Producing garbage does not lift a segment out of poverty..... it just makes more garbage. It is very, very disappointing to see the hobby I have loved for 50 years be reduced to this.

If there was ever an electronic analogue for "Stone Soup", it is uBitx.

WA8TOD


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

Re: Stone Soup

nemfield <nemfield@...>
 

Warren;

I've seen collaboration. learning, strangers supporting each other, the funds helping women in India, all sorts of amazing modification, an inexpensive WORKING radio. Simply, a lot of people world wide having fun. Pretty good for amateur radio. Far from garbage.

You may want to re-read stone soup.

Gabe VE3SLJ.


On 2018-09-03 9:26 PM, Jerry Gaffke via Groups.Io wrote:
Warren,

The uBitx is just fine as a QRP 80/40/20 SSB transceiver once the LPF's are cleaned up. 
Or as a good general coverage receiver.
Or as a testbed to learn about radios and arduino programming.
Good luck finding anything better for the price.

Perhaps you should find yourself some other forum to haunt.

Jerry, KE7ER



On Mon, Sep 3, 2018 at 05:37 PM, Warren Allgyer wrote:

Folks

I refer you to a famous story. It comes in many variations and this is just one: http://www.dltk-teach.com/fables/stonesoup/mtale.htm

I am the last person to discourage experimentation.... it is what I do, both for a living and for fun. But this is getting ridiculous.

We have here a platform that literally does nothing well. Nothing. Its only claims to fame are 1) It is inexpensive and 2) it is software configurable. The uBitx is a horrible transmitter, perhaps a worse receiver, bereft of simple operating niceties like AGC, ALC, preselection filtering, etc. As it comes out of the box it is illegal for air operations in most countries in the world. Its receiver has no front end, no filtering, miserly overall gain, and lousy audio. The transmitter cannot be put on the air legally and maintained without thousands of dollars of lab grade test equipment. Even as a core SSB generator it is 1960's technology executed badly.

And all of that would not be so bad if it were not for the fact that it IS put on the air, in the vast majority of cases, without the necessary lab equipment and testing simply because it does a lot of bands very inexpensively. This is the Twinkie offered to a starving child, the shipping container begging to become a multimillion dollar condominium,  the tricycle with dreams of winning the Indy 500. All possible..... but all ultimately futile for all but a persistent, doggedly stubborn few. And the others who try will simply add to the noise and junk that has become HF around the world.

Even the narrative that this represents employment for needy women in a third world country.... even that does not justify foisting this on amateur radio operators around the world. Producing garbage does not lift a segment out of poverty..... it just makes more garbage. It is very, very disappointing to see the hobby I have loved for 50 years be reduced to this.

If there was ever an electronic analogue for "Stone Soup", it is uBitx.

WA8TOD


Re: Stone Soup

Lee
 

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,  no matter how dumb they may sound.

And that's my opinion.
--
Lee - N9LO  "I Void Warranties"

 

Re: Stone Soup

Fanima Dekoi
 

Cheap, fun, accessible little radio projects like the bit x and the pixie, that get shat on all the time. even with all of their problems and lack of bells and whistles, (or more likely, because of them) are far more core to what amateur radio is and should be than even the most modest store bought radio.

"Out of the box" the ubitx does nothing illegal.  It does nothing, period. It's just a board.  Even putting it in a box and wiring it up stock buys you a lot more credence than going on the air with some more expensive toy, with which all you have accomplished is a consumer purchase.

I personally am unimpressed by someone's ability to choose and purchase nice stuff, and the pursuit of it doesn't make a hobby much more fun.  I see it on the water a lot too.  The miserable guy with a 40 foot yacht with radar masts and nuclear water makers doesn't ever seem to have nearly as much fun as the guy with the 22 foot sailboat with duct tape on his jib.

There was a time when cheap kit radios were a big boom for amateur radio and brought lots of fun and enjoyment and people. I read old articles as a youngster and they excited me.

But when I was a kid getting into radio it was a dark time, a time dominated by those I liked to call "big babies with their big CB's" if you couldn't buy the big  rigs, and half a million watt amps, you couldn't be on the air.

Personally I'd rather have all the noise on HD and dirty emissions coming from hundreds of ubitx radios than that small elite bunch of of old babies rag chewing on 80 about conspiracy theories and their latest colonoscopies and their expensive gear they bought. 

People are excited again, learning, having fun, there's nothing wrong with it.

This "garbage" is amateur radio reborn, and good riddance to the big overblown CB's, really. The appliance "niceties" grew so burdensome and covetous that they nearly killed off the hobby.

You don't need thousands of test gear to make the bit x compliant, you need a junk box, a soldering iron, a cheap Chinese lcr meter, and the arrl handbook page on filters. 


On Mon, Sep 3, 2018, 10:14 PM Lee <mr.olson@...> wrote:
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,  no matter how dumb they may sound.

And that's my opinion.
--
Lee - N9LO  "I Void Warranties"

 

Re: UBITX TX level diagramme

ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...>
 

To low res to blow it up to 200% and at the current size its really poor (fuzzy) to read.

I'll sketch it on paper and shoot a picture if I get time.  Either that or start all over in Impress.


Allison

Re: Sustained Transmit Power #firmware

ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...>
 

On Sun, Sep 2, 2018 at 05:42 PM, Larry Plummer wrote:
2.  WSPR has long 1 minute 52 second key down transmit times.  I plan to transmit on alternate cycles, i.e 2 minutes transmit and 2 minutes recieve.  Will the uBitX support sustained output of 5 watts sith this duty cycle?
Depends on what band and how big the fan is.  Seriously it does require moving air to cool it.
I wonder how many are in tight boxes and cooking the finals. 

I never noticed frequency stability issues. TCXO is better but I have no proof its needed or required.

Allison

Re: Stone Soup

RICHARD
 

You are witness to the dumbing down of ham radio. I agree 100% with you. 

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 


From: BITX20@groups.io <BITX20@groups.io> on behalf of Warren Allgyer <allgyer@...>
Sent: Monday, September 3, 2018 5:37:39 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: [BITX20] Stone Soup
 

Folks

I refer you to a famous story. It comes in many variations and this is just one: http://www.dltk-teach.com/fables/stonesoup/mtale.htm

I am the last person to discourage experimentation.... it is what I do, both for a living and for fun. But this is getting ridiculous.

We have here a platform that literally does nothing well. Nothing. Its only claims to fame are 1) It is inexpensive and 2) it is software configurable. The uBitx is a horrible transmitter, perhaps a worse receiver, bereft of simple operating niceties like AGC, ALC, preselection filtering, etc. As it comes out of the box it is illegal for air operations in most countries in the world. Its receiver has no front end, no filtering, miserly overall gain, and lousy audio. The transmitter cannot be put on the air legally and maintained without thousands of dollars of lab grade test equipment. Even as a core SSB generator it is 1960's technology executed badly.

And all of that would not be so bad if it were not for the fact that it IS put on the air, in the vast majority of cases, without the necessary lab equipment and testing simply because it does a lot of bands very inexpensively. This is the Twinkie offered to a starving child, the shipping container begging to become a multimillion dollar condominium,  the tricycle with dreams of winning the Indy 500. All possible..... but all ultimately futile for all but a persistent, doggedly stubborn few. And the others who try will simply add to the noise and junk that has become HF around the world.

Even the narrative that this represents employment for needy women in a third world country.... even that does not justify foisting this on amateur radio operators around the world. Producing garbage does not lift a segment out of poverty..... it just makes more garbage. It is very, very disappointing to see the hobby I have loved for 50 years be reduced to this.

If there was ever an electronic analogue for "Stone Soup", it is uBitx.

WA8TOD

Re: Grounding shematic for a Metal Chassis, which is the right way to wire up?

ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...>
 

Fabian,

All the ground cables have more DC and RF resistance then the aluminum plate!
As a result they look impressive but mean nothing.

The board has 4 mounting holes each is ground so if mounted to a metallic plate
with metal spacers and screws the board is grounded.  Anything more than
maybe using star washers is pointless.

The use of a metallic box is however a good thing and insure there are grill or
holes for airflow as the finals do require airflow.

Using insulated mounting kits for the finals and mounting them to a grounded
heat sink of some larger radiating area is also a good procedure.

Allison

Re: 80 Meters Harmonics Fix Proposal

ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...>
 

Howard,

>>You can't argue with success! However, I don't quite understand a few things. Why remove the electrolytics, the bulk capacitance can't hurt? Why not center tap the transformer primary and feed the DC there? It should have the same result and is simpler.

I sorta agree. 
The bulk caps should be retained if only relocated.

The center tap vs bias transformer goes both ways.  in some cases the bias transformer keeps
DC out of the output and aids stability.  it also allows for doing unusual forms of transformers that
do not center tap well.

Jim is retracing my path and doing a lot of the things I tried.  He is performing experimental
changes and measuring them.   Good on that.   If he is having fun who am I to stop him. 

Allison

Re: 80 Meters Harmonics Fix Proposal

ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...>
 

Howard,

For harmonics 20M may be problematic and a working low pass filter solves that.

For spurs its 20 and up.  Low pass filters do not fix that.

Allison

Re: K5BCQ uBITX Relay Switched LPF/BPF board

Glenn
 

I had a problem long time back with K1 not operating correctly. Some others have had this problem too. Took the cover off, might be interesting to see construction.

Its hard to see in the pictures but one contact was restricted in movement by the adjustment of the other NO contact.



Re: 80 Meters Harmonics Fix Proposal

Howard Fidel
 

Allison:
Yes, I understood that.

Howard

On 9/3/2018 10:53 PM, ajparent1/KB1GMX wrote:
Howard,

For harmonics 20M may be problematic and a working low pass filter solves that.

For spurs its 20 and up.  Low pass filters do not fix that.

Allison


Re: Stone Soup

ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...>
 

My position is its got bugs.  So what.

Fix the worst ones.  The low pass filter issue has several fixes.  

Spurs if you stay under 20mhz they are generally not a big deal.
So you didn't get 10M big deal, if you need it add a band pass filter
where the current 9 element low pass filter is. But you loose the
low bands if you don't figure out switching.  Figure it out ask questions.

Some of the other bugs are minor compared to those.

Bottom line its not a FT817, never will be.  Most cases its worth more
than the price of it.  Education is usually far more costly and not near
as much fun.  If you became a ham to learn more about electronics
and radio here you are.  Learn as you don't need my permission.

Allison

Re: Stone Soup

Mark M
 

On 9/3/18 6:42 PM, Kees T wrote:
...
If "in the old days", enough people had access to Rigol DSA815-TG (Spectrum Analyzer and Tracking Generator) test equipment, NONE of us would have successfully built anything to get on the air and we'd all be "appliance operators".
...
We probably shouldn't feed the trolls, but...

I agree. I remember the 60's and 70's gear (I was first licensed in 1961 as a Novice). I'm sure those WWII surplus ARC-5 transmitters weren't very clean (I had one). All those T-60's (still have mine), DX-20's, etc, not to mention all the homebrew rigs built with scrapped TV parts on pine boards, weren't very clean either. I remember all the chirpy drifty stuff on the air (some of it relatively expensive commercial gear). I can't imagine that a bunch of uBitXs can be any worse. HF is probably more screwed up by the millions of non-compliant electronic devices we all have...CFLs, LEDs, multi-speed furnace blowers, leaky power lines, etc...than by all the ham gear put together.

That's not say we shouldn't try to be strictly legal but you gotta be realistic about it (FWIW, I have a set of QRP Labs LFPs that I'm planning to graft into the uBitX).

The uBitX got me back on the air...I've been on more since I got it than in the two years, not to mention starting to build stuff again. It's probably the most radio fun I've had since I built my last Heathkit. I've learned a lot from the folks on this forum, too.

Anyway, my $0.02 worth. As always, YMMV...

Mark AA7TA (WN9CJE in 1961)

Re: Stone Soup

Arv Evans
 

Allison

Well said. 

Are we ignoring the possibility of using series LC traps to suck out some of the bugs
(bug traps...?),      8-)

Arv
_._


On Mon, Sep 3, 2018 at 9:05 PM ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...> wrote:
My position is its got bugs.  So what.

Fix the worst ones.  The low pass filter issue has several fixes.  

Spurs if you stay under 20mhz they are generally not a big deal.
So you didn't get 10M big deal, if you need it add a band pass filter
where the current 9 element low pass filter is. But you loose the
low bands if you don't figure out switching.  Figure it out ask questions.

Some of the other bugs are minor compared to those.

Bottom line its not a FT817, never will be.  Most cases its worth more
than the price of it.  Education is usually far more costly and not near
as much fun.  If you became a ham to learn more about electronics
and radio here you are.  Learn as you don't need my permission.

Allison