Date   
Re: HFSignals poor business practices

Arv Evans
 

John

The day is long gone when we used large ceramic wafer rotary switches, 1/4 inch phone jacks,
5 inch skirted phenolic knobs, and 500 volt power supplies.  It is easy to look at the diminutive
size of today's components and disparage them, but without those small components you would
not have cell phones, network routers and hubs, personal computers, and automotive system
computers.  Support for Heathkit and similar systems used to involve a commercial printing group
just to print and mail the manuals.  Today support is via on-line groups and documentation is
on web sites.  It is called progress. 

As has been stated many times before, this website is the support system for HF Signals products.
There is a website for HF Signals that has schematics and assembly instructions.  There are
several ancillary web sites which host collections of modifications and additions for HF Signals
products.  There are many on this web site that are willing to help you through the learning
process necessary to come up to speed with today's technology. 

The SMT components used by HF Signals are not the smallest available.  It is possible to trace
circuits and signals just like we did back in the 50's and 60's.  The electronics have not changed...
well, not quite true.  Now we are presented with several technological tools that are made possible
by small components and new knowledge that arose from using those components.  Today's ham
radio operator has almost instant access to on-line help and on-line helpers, as well as to
manufacturer's data sheets for all the individual components.  Today we have free circuit simulation
software and PCB layout editors.  Once a PCB has been designed we can click on a manufacturer's
URL and have that board made for us and delivered within a few days. 

Many of the functions of today's ham radio equipment is computer assisted.  Small microprocessors
have matured significantly over the past 20 years and prices are now so low as to make them very
advantageous for our homebrew projects.  For this reason a significant portion of today's ham radio
operators have educated themselves in programming skills and are writing their own subroutines
for interface with their hardware creations.  IDE (Integrated Development Environments) are freely
available for those who want to write their own software.  Again, there are many on this discussion
group who are willing help you if you need assistance with software design and implementation. 

When you purchase a radio or test equipment system today you should not expect it to be filled
with 12AU7s, 6V6s, and 6146 tubes.  We left those behind 25 years ago.  Today transmitting
amplifiers are usually relatively inexpensive MOSFETs or expensive RF transistors.  Variable
frequency tuned circuits are adjusted by changing DC bias on reverse biased diodes.  It has
become rare to see a modern project that uses an air-variable capacitor.  Instead of VFOs
(Variable Frequency Oscillators) we now mostly use Digital Frequency Synthesizers.  Even the
old PLL (Phase Locked Loop) circuits have become unpopular for all but microwave work,
although internally the DDS or Synthesizers do contain PLL-like circuitry.   

In the bad-old-days the only resource we had for technical support was printed manuals, the
technical section in a local library, and a few ARRL or RSGB publications.  Today the amount
of technical reference material has increased exponentially and is mostly available with only a
few clicks of the computer mouse or by typing a line on the keyboard. 

So, bite the bullet, pull your britches up, and start on the journey toward learning and using
modern electronics components and circuit designs.  There are people on this group that will
help if you get lost.  Just ask nicely and carefully explain your problem(s).  They may ask you
questions in return but that is just the process to refine knowledge of the problem and help lead
you to resolution if the issue. 

Having said all that...this group is not a social group.  Facebook and Twitter are for general
socializing.  This group is focused on technical topics related to BITX designs, BITX products,
and the support of these systems.  We do stray off-topic from time to time, but most discussions
stay on, or close to, the objective of the group. 

Because of the "I Need Help" nature of the group it sometimes sounds like a particular design
or product may be faulty.  That is usually far from reality.  Most of the units discussed here have
been built and are in operation by several thousand hams worldwide.  You only hear from those
who are having problems and that sometimes gives the impression that these are general
situations when truth is that what we hear about are those few who have wired something wrong,
applied wrong polarity power, or just did not understand how to build a circuit or connect a
pre-assembled circuit board. 

Hams, and non-hams, on this group run the full range from total newbies to engineers who have
designed large and expensive commercial systems.  We all had to start somewhere and this is
a good place to start...or to upgrade one's skills. 

The BITX design series started as a simple design to allow hams with limited access to parts
to build their own working transceivers and to get on the air with those units.  As a result the
BITX builders usually develop a significant base of knowledge regarding the circuit design and
are well prepared to make their own modifications and upgrades.  This is part of the discussion
and also apparently leads some to believe that the basic design is not viable as a working rig.

The BITX20 organization is an international group with over 7000 members located in almost every
country of the world.  This includes many cultures, and sensitivities.  For this reason it is a good
idea to read over what you have written before you post it to avoid offending someone else or
causing mis-information to be sent. 

Arv
_._



On Sat, Jun 1, 2019 at 1:26 PM John Cardoso <ve9pct@...> wrote:
I have been wishing to order a Bitx40 for a while now. Meanwhile, I have been reading the posters of this group from time to time. I kept reading about the problems people were having with the radios but, I think, I had to experience it myself.
Maybe I am just a sucker for punishment. But I did not expect the experience to be this bad.
The order was delivered on time. So far so good. The packaging was well done and strong as if it was expected to go through hell and come out unscathed.
The surprises came after - The quality of the components can't be any worse - very cheap and poor quality pots, a tiny push button for PTT (are you kidding me?), a lousy mic and a 0.1 uF capacitor that I still have no idea where it will go.
There were no instructions of any sort. Not even a link to a website where they could be found. One half-page of an 8X11 sheet of paper with a list of the contents (probably to save on expenses), and an invoice, was all that came with the parts. No even a mention on the version of the board and/or  software. What version is it being sold now, anyway?
The whole thing is crappy. Is this the way they do business in India or is it just a company that doesn't know how to do it?
This post will probably have some replies telling me that I should have known better. Maybe. For hackers they say?

Re: Raduino for Sale

PeteWK8S
 

Yes - sorry on slow response but I don't subscribe to daily emails so I have to check here.

Send me an email and I send you payment address or Paypal or MO.

Pete WK8S

Re: HFSignals poor butiosiness practices

Don - KM4UDX
 

John -- I too was surprised by the quality of parts...the mini audio jacks, PPT switch and the encoder are examples of "value engineering" at its finest (worst!).  But what we have here, in its totality, is a very clever bit of kit -- and an astounding value for $130. 

While I could buy any modern professional commercial radio with lovely knobs, high quality enclosure, professional jacks (!), ample volume, AGC, S-meter, and a thousand other features, I just had no interest.   You have to want to build, solve, create, experiment, tinker  a bit, and communicate with others for help.  And provide a few of your own parts from the junk box when you break the el-cheapo kit parts, or if you just can't stand the way they feel or look. 

Example: A buddy of mine couldn't stomach the inexpensive feel and look of the rotary encoder (he may have "accidentally" stepped on it as well..hahah).  So he purchased a really nice version, in a lot of 5.  He gave me one.  It feels soooo good compared to the included kit encoder. And it just looks sturdy and well made, as it is. So I have tossing out the cheap included encoder and replacing it with the sexy sturdy version, on my "round-to-it" list.  But I will never get "round-to-it". Why? The included cheap encoder works fine, and I never really turn the knob anyway.  Rig control and digital modes from my laptop take care of all the frequency changes.  And I put in a Nextion screen (dreamy!!), so I use the touch interface to do most of the freq changes.  But the encoder works anytime I need it.  The poor cheap encoder, made from tinfoil, will last a thousand years as is. 

Ditto with the little PPT surface mount switch.  When I figured out what it was, I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen.  But then I built the mic in a pill bottle, and the stupid cheap surface mount PPT switch fit just fine on the side of the pill bottle mic.  It too will last for a thousand years. 

This kit radio can not be brought into the world without a fair amount of "you" added to it. If you like this process, you will love this 80-10 band 20-2 watt transceiver. 

And asking for help in this community is also an extraordinary experience.  After I built my radio, it would receive great, but no TX.  I was sooo frustrated.  A fellow in this IO community said,  "look, put it in a box, send it to me, and let me look at it.  If it takes any new parts, you pay for them, but I'll do the labor, no problem".  So I put my kit radio  in a box and mailed it off to a complete stranger a long way away.  

Turns out, as is often the case with me, I had screwed up a drive pot.  My angel of mercy just twisted it to the right setting, put it in the box, and set it back to me.   You could make the argument that as good as a value as the kit is, the value of the community of builders here is 100 times more valuable.  

If you want to see my uBITX in its current glory, and the goofy pill bottle mic, see my www.qrz.com page. I found it very very helpful to keep looking at the work of others to encourage me. If you want to see  some uBITX performance, wait a week and see my results on WSPRnet under KM4UDX  This little radio, and a multi-band compromise antenna, gets to the farthest reaches of the planet. Pretty good value for you money.

(*) I'm in the middle of a computer change over.  But when using the old computer last month, my uBITX was in the top 20 world wide for 2 way WSPRnet spots. This is competing with wicked professional gear, with their great quality components(!)  And this little uBIX kit, with the cheapest jacks and encoder in the world, is running ahead of almost all of them. 

If I can help, just ask.

Don
km4udx

Re: HFSignals poor business practices

Don - KM4UDX
 

Dear Arv Evans -- I have just read and re-read your post. I humbly share two thoughts with you.

First, your ability to communicate effectively is unmatched - whoever got you started on writing did one heck of a job. I'm going to study your stuff, well done. And thank you very very much for your eloquent commentary.  You have written a guide for all of us.

Second, you have spot on played out my experience with this group.  As a liberal arts major, I come this very technical field with more enthusiasm than expertise. For example: Based on the sheer volume of spurs/out of band comments, I was briefly obsessed with adding inductors (what ever they are?) and other little doohickeys to get the rig under control.  Then I learned to just keep the drive level down, and presto, I have a fully functioning, computer control, viable wonderful little kit radio.  Indeed, only the folks with issues tend to write. So getting a general lay of the land from reading  posts is a fool's errand. 

Arv, you rock, thank you.

Don

mBITX Freq display off by 000.001.00

rnharp@...
 

I wired up the mic today, and tuned around until I heard a station calling CQ. I tried to respond, but of course band conditions being what they were I was not expecting to make contact. I fired up the Alinco DX70 and tuned it the freq that the mBITX was set for 7.193.000. I came out very garbled. I turned the alonco tuning to the dial and at 7.194.00 I was clear as a bell. How do I correct this?

Re: HFSignals poor business practices

MadRadioModder
 

Ahhhh I think he just said he needs the instruction book to put it together (but extremely nice history review).  The instruction book can be found in the form of a website  http://www.hfsignals.com/

 

 

From: BITX20@groups.io [mailto:BITX20@groups.io] On Behalf Of Arv Evans
Sent: Saturday, June 1, 2019 5:01 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] HFSignals poor business practices

 

John

 

The day is long gone when we used large ceramic wafer rotary switches, 1/4 inch phone jacks,

5 inch skirted phenolic knobs, and 500 volt power supplies.  It is easy to look at the diminutive

size of today's components and disparage them, but without those small components you would

not have cell phones, network routers and hubs, personal computers, and automotive system

computers.  Support for Heathkit and similar systems used to involve a commercial printing group

just to print and mail the manuals.  Today support is via on-line groups and documentation is

on web sites.  It is called progress. 

 

As has been stated many times before, this website is the support system for HF Signals products.

There is a website for HF Signals that has schematics and assembly instructions.  There are

several ancillary web sites which host collections of modifications and additions for HF Signals

products.  There are many on this web site that are willing to help you through the learning

process necessary to come up to speed with today's technology. 

 

The SMT components used by HF Signals are not the smallest available.  It is possible to trace

circuits and signals just like we did back in the 50's and 60's.  The electronics have not changed...

well, not quite true.  Now we are presented with several technological tools that are made possible

by small components and new knowledge that arose from using those components.  Today's ham

radio operator has almost instant access to on-line help and on-line helpers, as well as to

manufacturer's data sheets for all the individual components.  Today we have free circuit simulation

software and PCB layout editors.  Once a PCB has been designed we can click on a manufacturer's

URL and have that board made for us and delivered within a few days. 

 

Many of the functions of today's ham radio equipment is computer assisted.  Small microprocessors

have matured significantly over the past 20 years and prices are now so low as to make them very

advantageous for our homebrew projects.  For this reason a significant portion of today's ham radio

operators have educated themselves in programming skills and are writing their own subroutines

for interface with their hardware creations.  IDE (Integrated Development Environments) are freely

available for those who want to write their own software.  Again, there are many on this discussion

group who are willing help you if you need assistance with software design and implementation. 

 

When you purchase a radio or test equipment system today you should not expect it to be filled

with 12AU7s, 6V6s, and 6146 tubes.  We left those behind 25 years ago.  Today transmitting

amplifiers are usually relatively inexpensive MOSFETs or expensive RF transistors.  Variable

frequency tuned circuits are adjusted by changing DC bias on reverse biased diodes.  It has

become rare to see a modern project that uses an air-variable capacitor.  Instead of VFOs

(Variable Frequency Oscillators) we now mostly use Digital Frequency Synthesizers.  Even the

old PLL (Phase Locked Loop) circuits have become unpopular for all but microwave work,

although internally the DDS or Synthesizers do contain PLL-like circuitry.   

 

In the bad-old-days the only resource we had for technical support was printed manuals, the

technical section in a local library, and a few ARRL or RSGB publications.  Today the amount

of technical reference material has increased exponentially and is mostly available with only a

few clicks of the computer mouse or by typing a line on the keyboard. 

 

So, bite the bullet, pull your britches up, and start on the journey toward learning and using

modern electronics components and circuit designs.  There are people on this group that will

help if you get lost.  Just ask nicely and carefully explain your problem(s).  They may ask you

questions in return but that is just the process to refine knowledge of the problem and help lead

you to resolution if the issue. 

 

Having said all that...this group is not a social group.  Facebook and Twitter are for general

socializing.  This group is focused on technical topics related to BITX designs, BITX products,

and the support of these systems.  We do stray off-topic from time to time, but most discussions

stay on, or close to, the objective of the group. 

 

Because of the "I Need Help" nature of the group it sometimes sounds like a particular design

or product may be faulty.  That is usually far from reality.  Most of the units discussed here have

been built and are in operation by several thousand hams worldwide.  You only hear from those

who are having problems and that sometimes gives the impression that these are general

situations when truth is that what we hear about are those few who have wired something wrong,

applied wrong polarity power, or just did not understand how to build a circuit or connect a

pre-assembled circuit board. 

 

Hams, and non-hams, on this group run the full range from total newbies to engineers who have

designed large and expensive commercial systems.  We all had to start somewhere and this is

a good place to start...or to upgrade one's skills. 

 

The BITX design series started as a simple design to allow hams with limited access to parts

to build their own working transceivers and to get on the air with those units.  As a result the

BITX builders usually develop a significant base of knowledge regarding the circuit design and

are well prepared to make their own modifications and upgrades.  This is part of the discussion

and also apparently leads some to believe that the basic design is not viable as a working rig.

 

The BITX20 organization is an international group with over 7000 members located in almost every

country of the world.  This includes many cultures, and sensitivities.  For this reason it is a good

idea to read over what you have written before you post it to avoid offending someone else or

causing mis-information to be sent. 

 

Arv

_._

 

 

 

On Sat, Jun 1, 2019 at 1:26 PM John Cardoso <ve9pct@...> wrote:

I have been wishing to order a Bitx40 for a while now. Meanwhile, I have been reading the posters of this group from time to time. I kept reading about the problems people were having with the radios but, I think, I had to experience it myself.
Maybe I am just a sucker for punishment. But I did not expect the experience to be this bad.
The order was delivered on time. So far so good. The packaging was well done and strong as if it was expected to go through hell and come out unscathed.
The surprises came after - The quality of the components can't be any worse - very cheap and poor quality pots, a tiny push button for PTT (are you kidding me?), a lousy mic and a 0.1 uF capacitor that I still have no idea where it will go.
There were no instructions of any sort. Not even a link to a website where they could be found. One half-page of an 8X11 sheet of paper with a list of the contents (probably to save on expenses), and an invoice, was all that came with the parts. No even a mention on the version of the board and/or  software. What version is it being sold now, anyway?
The whole thing is crappy. Is this the way they do business in India or is it just a company that doesn't know how to do it?
This post will probably have some replies telling me that I should have known better. Maybe. For hackers they say?


Virus-free. www.avg.com

--

…_. _._

Re: HFSignals poor business practices

Matt 9V1MH / VK3AMH
 

Hi

I have 3 uBitx v3/4/5
and they exceeded my expectations each time
i really enjoyed doing the research to find the tips and tweaks/add-ins and modifications - after all - our hobby is all about experimentation and learning.
it is true the uBitx is not for everyone - and it never claims to be. Understanding your needs and then looking at what it provides will guide you.
I have added agc, twin nextions, s-meter, dynamic mic, higher power and more - and I never get tired of looking for more ways to tweak the units
I think in general as a hobby we have become lazy and used to pre-packaged units.
There are a pile of resources out there that provide excellent hints/tips/tweaks/instructions but in the end - it is yours to build the way you want to build it.
There is no right or wrong way - assuming you follow the circuit connections and don't apply volts in the wrong way :-)
Your search engine is your friend - as is this group and the 2 or 3 facebook groups
if you persevere and learn as you go - you will find much joy in this unit - no matter what version.

73
Matt

Re: HFSignals poor business practices

Ken Hansen
 

I'm curious on out the research you undertook before purchasing a Bitx40 that lead you to expect anything other than what you got.

Everything not on the PCB is really included for two reasons:

1) to enable someone without access to a well-stocked 'junk box' to complete the radio, and
2) minimize postage

I'm not sure what I'd change at HFSignals, except maybe include a somewhat more informative 'getting started' document, but it would have to be multi-lingual, since the market is truly world-wide.

Ken, N2VIP

On Jun 1, 2019, at 2:26 PM, John Cardoso <ve9pct@...> wrote:

I have been wishing to order a Bitx40 for a while now. Meanwhile, I have been reading the posters of this group from time to time. I kept reading about the problems people were having with the radios but, I think, I had to experience it myself.
Maybe I am just a sucker for punishment. But I did not expect the experience to be this bad.
The order was delivered on time. So far so good. The packaging was well done and strong as if it was expected to go through hell and come out unscathed.
The surprises came after - The quality of the components can't be any worse - very cheap and poor quality pots, a tiny push button for PTT (are you kidding me?), a lousy mic and a 0.1 uF capacitor that I still have no idea where it will go.
There were no instructions of any sort. Not even a link to a website where they could be found. One half-page of an 8X11 sheet of paper with a list of the contents (probably to save on expenses), and an invoice, was all that came with the parts. No even a mention on the version of the board and/or  software. What version is it being sold now, anyway?
The whole thing is crappy. Is this the way they do business in India or is it just a company that doesn't know how to do it?
This post will probably have some replies telling me that I should have known better. Maybe. For hackers they say?

Re: Availability of Mag Loop and other stuff...

Jack Purdum
 

If I were writing a treatise on mag loop antennas, I might worry about simultaneous transmissions and similar exogenous factors, but we're not. Chances are, we will do some simple tests using CW, SSB, and probably FT8 or FT4. We will transmit for a period of time, switch antennas and see what happens. We will be collecting data from WSPR and the beacons, but it is all constrained by the time we have to do such things. Our goal is not to probe the physics of the ML, but rather to provide enough information to those who are interested to decide if it's worth the effort to build a ML. One of our club members is using a dipole on 40M and uses thumb tacks to hold it to the ceiling, bending around 90º corners, yet he's still making contacts. All he wants to know is if he can put one out on his balcony any make contacts with it on 20M.

The good news is that I believe that the construction article we plan should be sufficiently robust that you can build one, too. Then the ball's in your court and you can do the depth of testing you mention. I simply don't have enough grains of sand left in the hourglass to worry about it that much.

Jack, W8TEE

On Saturday, June 1, 2019, 4:45:46 PM EDT, Alan de G1FXB via Groups.Io <g1fxb@...> wrote:


Thanks Jack,

Long answers are good and indicate your willingness for full disclosure.

(Manufactures antenna specifications tend to be BS generators?
Second only to the HiFi industry.??
Remember the kids in the mid 1980's with their "Ghetto Blasters" advertised with 780 Watts of stereo music power, and all from 8X D cell batteries.
In fairness some of the manufactures provided revised figures when used on mains power, nearly a KW.
Man those things must have being efficient, and all through a skinny power cord....)

I couldn't find on the pacciffic66 site what they reference their figures to, on that initial page at least?
hopefully it's something real and not against some theoretical property.
One of which, the proper name escapes me at this time.
(my numbers for instance :-)
6ft of wire whether straight or coiled is a larger percentage nearer a useful wavelength ie: 1/4wave?? at say 28MHz (approx 8ft) than the same 6ft of wire to 14MHz
I interpret this to It's a simple expression of comparison of physical length to wavelength, nothing to do with the antenna efficiency and devoid of losses in the matching networks that are necessary, etc, etc.
Even if it's a real antenna they are referencing it to, it in it's self could be a compromised reference gives great headline numbers.
Check the fine print!

Suggestion:- At least do the theoretical model of what ever you choose to use as the loop reference antenna against a full size centre fed dipole at identical heights, even if not a real world test.
Granted it's monoband & optimally performs mounted half wavelength above the ground but it's a good indicator & reference, and as cheap & simple?? to construct as it gets.
if you don't like what you see in the comparison it's between you and your conscience.
You can cripple it's performance and justifiably conclude an XYZ antenna, is greatly more efficient than?? a halfwave dipole when mounted at 15ft agl for example.... :-)

Saw the reports of doing A/B comparisons, however quick the changeover there is always the element of doubt as to propagation.
the ideal is simultaneous TX to both antennas in the same lot but far enough not to interact is the goal.
In the real world two antennas one each in the same town is good enough. What's a mile over a propagation distance of say 6,000??
everyone has their preferred mode, be it CW, WSPR the latest digimode.???? Reality it doesn't matter?
The requirement is for as many & widespread coverage of receiving stations as possible??
That said, QRP-Labs kits are cheap enough to utilise two, and compare like for like WSPR time slots to each of your and AL's callsigns allocated to each different antenna?


regards Alan

On 01/06/2019 17:27, Jack Purdum via Groups.Io wrote:
Alan:

The results right now are modeled using the usual Pacific66 app. However, we do plan "real" tests in an attempt to get some useful data. Our reference antenna will likely be an 80-10M EFHW which we both use. Al also has a vertical that we might test against. However, the EFHW is always available; not so with the vertical.

We read in a paper that someone added a ground plane and said it "made a difference", whatever the hell that means. Anyway, because of that, we want to try it and see if it does have an impact. We have already noticed that the shape of the feed loop makes a difference, as does its position in the vertical plane. The effect is small, but real.

Al and I have talked about this a lot, and our feeling is to publish the results of the "Double-Double" as a construction article. (I want to call it the "Luggable Double-Double" but Al's not happy with that.) There are controllers out there (Loftur Jonasson) so my feeling is that will be kept for the book only. Also, it will be somewhat unique in that we hope to add a TFT display that shows the SWR in realtime as a plot. We have arranged to have all of the projects' PCB's available at a reasonable price.

Al and I are writing the book in a strange way. We are going to finish it before signing with a publisher. The reason is because I know the time pressures that editors put on authors with respect to deadlines and we want to get this right rather than to market fast. Our TOC has 18 chapters, of which the first 4 are really setting up the software for the Arduino, Teensy, STM32, and ESP32 ??C's and giving the beginning reader enough C instruction to read our code (and shoot themselves in the foot a few times?) We see 12 projects in the book, some of which (e.g., the ML) are two chapters--construction and software. Some are "end products" (e.g., the ML, a different antenna tuner, CW messenger, CW decoder, CW Tutor) while others are test equipment (e.g., programmable power supply, AC voltmeter, signal generator). The last chapter is on using what you've built to troubleshoot a receiver. We think it will be a very unusual, but useful, book. Our goal is to have it done by the fall. We currently have 9 chapters done.

Long answer to a short question...


Jack, W8TEE


On Saturday, June 1, 2019, 12:01:46 PM EDT, Alan de G1FXB via Groups.Io <g1fxb@...> wrote:


Hi Jack,

Sounds like you are on to something special with 90% and even the 40% are impressive figures.
(Noted that they are modelled?? efficiencies at this point in time, here's hoping with can you can achieve something approaching in practical tests.)
To what reference antenna (also at the same modelled height to compare like for like) ?

Interested in your comment the trials of a counterpoise,
Previous papers indicate loop type antennas were considered a free space antenna requiring no ground plane / radials
I guess it's the feed / matching & counterpoise is where the magic happens?

As it's using an auto tuner is the write-up destined for your new book is there an ETA, or another perhaps magazine article release?

(One gotcha about some of the previous, (not your) small "miracle" antenna's.
Check it's actual the antenna doing the radiating and not the feed line, or counterpoise even the mounting pole has being known to be "accidentality" hot with RF.
(However disguised, generally any antenna employing a braid breaker / balun in the coax away from what they make you believe is the feed point or suggested feeder or support lengths perhaps warrants a second look.))


regards Alan

On 31/05/2019 18:45, Jack Purdum via Groups.Io wrote:
We are also trying to assess other factors, too, such as a counterpoise and its affect on performance. We may find that these "other factors" play no significant role in the antenna's performance. Still, learning that something doesn't matter is as helpful as learning what does matter.

Jack, W8TEE

Re: ubitx 2.0 - Mic cannot get to TX

Sajid Rahum
 

All sorted out. my goodness.

Here goes for those wanting to use Baofeng.  First there are tonnes of 'Baofeng' knockoffs.  Now, i dropped out the wiring and replaced it using a ethernet cable which a roll was laying around.  The wiring in these units is attrocious and cannot be used.

1.  Stereo 3.5 is required - not mono
2. Drop the wiring and cable out and replace with ethernet cable.
3. replace the baofeng electret with ubitx electret; drill larger whole.  two wiring is straight forward.  
4. Wiring:

                  A     B    C
                ------|---|------------\
                       |   |                \
                ------|---|------------/


    On the board it will be marked M, M- and PTT.
    M will go to C.
    M-- will go to A
    PTT will go to B

Power out is very low and one needs to shout much into it.  By removing the speaker i should be able to get the audio amp in to improve drive.


Re: Availability of Mag Loop and other stuff...

Jack Purdum
 

Good grief, guys, this is a hobby for me. Allison, are you really trying to be helpful here, or simply showing that you have a lot of RF experience? Perhaps the best solution is to do no testing and simply say we made contacts with it and leave it at that. Pretty hard to criticize the methodology when there's no information given. We have an EFHW available to us for testing, so that's what we're using. Also, there are a lot of hams out there using EFHW antennas so any testing we do with it will have meaning to them even if it does have a crappy radiation pattern for testing. If it's not ideal, so be it. My chances of renting two fiberglass crafts to sit on the Great Salt Lake loaded with a boat-load of equipment and antennas are about zero. Someone else with deeper pockets than I have will have to do that testing.

The good news is that if we do write an article on our ML experience, no one has to read it.

Jack, W8TEE



On Saturday, June 1, 2019, 4:17:30 PM EDT, ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...> wrote:


Jack,

the biggest issue is the 80-10 EFHW has a terrible pattern, broadside at 80m and by 20M
its a 4 lobe pattern with 10m its practically endfire.

That creates issues and questions for comparison as the EFHW is then rarely aimed at
the receiving station and hence you do not have a known comparison.

Generally when testing loops a loop of known performance are used but testing at HF is
never easy as the near field is at least 5 to 10 wavelengths or more and ground quality
dependent.  You want that distance to be able to see the total field.   The easiest rig
for that kind of testing is two fiberglass boats on calm salt water (an almost near
perfect ground plane).  Of course that does not include RF sources and calibrated
receivers and accurate GPS.

Allison

Re: Availability of Mag Loop and other stuff...

jim
 

Ha ...or one boat and one helicopter ...easy-peasy

Jim

On Saturday, June 1, 2019, 8:17:29 PM UTC, ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...> wrote:


Jack,

the biggest issue is the 80-10 EFHW has a terrible pattern, broadside at 80m and by 20M
its a 4 lobe pattern with 10m its practically endfire.

That creates issues and questions for comparison as the EFHW is then rarely aimed at
the receiving station and hence you do not have a known comparison.

Generally when testing loops a loop of known performance are used but testing at HF is
never easy as the near field is at least 5 to 10 wavelengths or more and ground quality
dependent.  You want that distance to be able to see the total field.   The easiest rig
for that kind of testing is two fiberglass boats on calm salt water (an almost near
perfect ground plane).  Of course that does not include RF sources and calibrated
receivers and accurate GPS.

Allison

Re: HFSignals poor business practices

Arv Evans
 

Don  KM4UDX

Thanks for the kind words. 
At my ancient age some things come about from errors and experience.

Arv  K7HKL
_._


On Sat, Jun 1, 2019 at 6:59 PM Don - KM4UDX <dontAy155@...> wrote:
Dear Arv Evans -- I have just read and re-read your post. I humbly share two thoughts with you.

First, your ability to communicate effectively is unmatched - whoever got you started on writing did one heck of a job. I'm going to study your stuff, well done. And thank you very very much for your eloquent commentary.  You have written a guide for all of us.

Second, you have spot on played out my experience with this group.  As a liberal arts major, I come this very technical field with more enthusiasm than expertise. For example: Based on the sheer volume of spurs/out of band comments, I was briefly obsessed with adding inductors (what ever they are?) and other little doohickeys to get the rig under control.  Then I learned to just keep the drive level down, and presto, I have a fully functioning, computer control, viable wonderful little kit radio.  Indeed, only the folks with issues tend to write. So getting a general lay of the land from reading  posts is a fool's errand. 

Arv, you rock, thank you.

Don

Re: HFSignals poor business practices

Arv Evans
 

John and myself have discussed this off-net.


On Sat, Jun 1, 2019 at 7:21 PM MadRadioModder <madradiomodder@...> wrote:

Ahhhh I think he just said he needs the instruction book to put it together (but extremely nice history review).  The instruction book can be found in the form of a website  http://www.hfsignals.com/

 

 

From: BITX20@groups.io [mailto:BITX20@groups.io] On Behalf Of Arv Evans
Sent: Saturday, June 1, 2019 5:01 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] HFSignals poor business practices

 

John

 

The day is long gone when we used large ceramic wafer rotary switches, 1/4 inch phone jacks,

5 inch skirted phenolic knobs, and 500 volt power supplies.  It is easy to look at the diminutive

size of today's components and disparage them, but without those small components you would

not have cell phones, network routers and hubs, personal computers, and automotive system

computers.  Support for Heathkit and similar systems used to involve a commercial printing group

just to print and mail the manuals.  Today support is via on-line groups and documentation is

on web sites.  It is called progress. 

 

As has been stated many times before, this website is the support system for HF Signals products.

There is a website for HF Signals that has schematics and assembly instructions.  There are

several ancillary web sites which host collections of modifications and additions for HF Signals

products.  There are many on this web site that are willing to help you through the learning

process necessary to come up to speed with today's technology. 

 

The SMT components used by HF Signals are not the smallest available.  It is possible to trace

circuits and signals just like we did back in the 50's and 60's.  The electronics have not changed...

well, not quite true.  Now we are presented with several technological tools that are made possible

by small components and new knowledge that arose from using those components.  Today's ham

radio operator has almost instant access to on-line help and on-line helpers, as well as to

manufacturer's data sheets for all the individual components.  Today we have free circuit simulation

software and PCB layout editors.  Once a PCB has been designed we can click on a manufacturer's

URL and have that board made for us and delivered within a few days. 

 

Many of the functions of today's ham radio equipment is computer assisted.  Small microprocessors

have matured significantly over the past 20 years and prices are now so low as to make them very

advantageous for our homebrew projects.  For this reason a significant portion of today's ham radio

operators have educated themselves in programming skills and are writing their own subroutines

for interface with their hardware creations.  IDE (Integrated Development Environments) are freely

available for those who want to write their own software.  Again, there are many on this discussion

group who are willing help you if you need assistance with software design and implementation. 

 

When you purchase a radio or test equipment system today you should not expect it to be filled

with 12AU7s, 6V6s, and 6146 tubes.  We left those behind 25 years ago.  Today transmitting

amplifiers are usually relatively inexpensive MOSFETs or expensive RF transistors.  Variable

frequency tuned circuits are adjusted by changing DC bias on reverse biased diodes.  It has

become rare to see a modern project that uses an air-variable capacitor.  Instead of VFOs

(Variable Frequency Oscillators) we now mostly use Digital Frequency Synthesizers.  Even the

old PLL (Phase Locked Loop) circuits have become unpopular for all but microwave work,

although internally the DDS or Synthesizers do contain PLL-like circuitry.   

 

In the bad-old-days the only resource we had for technical support was printed manuals, the

technical section in a local library, and a few ARRL or RSGB publications.  Today the amount

of technical reference material has increased exponentially and is mostly available with only a

few clicks of the computer mouse or by typing a line on the keyboard. 

 

So, bite the bullet, pull your britches up, and start on the journey toward learning and using

modern electronics components and circuit designs.  There are people on this group that will

help if you get lost.  Just ask nicely and carefully explain your problem(s).  They may ask you

questions in return but that is just the process to refine knowledge of the problem and help lead

you to resolution if the issue. 

 

Having said all that...this group is not a social group.  Facebook and Twitter are for general

socializing.  This group is focused on technical topics related to BITX designs, BITX products,

and the support of these systems.  We do stray off-topic from time to time, but most discussions

stay on, or close to, the objective of the group. 

 

Because of the "I Need Help" nature of the group it sometimes sounds like a particular design

or product may be faulty.  That is usually far from reality.  Most of the units discussed here have

been built and are in operation by several thousand hams worldwide.  You only hear from those

who are having problems and that sometimes gives the impression that these are general

situations when truth is that what we hear about are those few who have wired something wrong,

applied wrong polarity power, or just did not understand how to build a circuit or connect a

pre-assembled circuit board. 

 

Hams, and non-hams, on this group run the full range from total newbies to engineers who have

designed large and expensive commercial systems.  We all had to start somewhere and this is

a good place to start...or to upgrade one's skills. 

 

The BITX design series started as a simple design to allow hams with limited access to parts

to build their own working transceivers and to get on the air with those units.  As a result the

BITX builders usually develop a significant base of knowledge regarding the circuit design and

are well prepared to make their own modifications and upgrades.  This is part of the discussion

and also apparently leads some to believe that the basic design is not viable as a working rig.

 

The BITX20 organization is an international group with over 7000 members located in almost every

country of the world.  This includes many cultures, and sensitivities.  For this reason it is a good

idea to read over what you have written before you post it to avoid offending someone else or

causing mis-information to be sent. 

 

Arv

_._

 

 

 

On Sat, Jun 1, 2019 at 1:26 PM John Cardoso <ve9pct@...> wrote:

I have been wishing to order a Bitx40 for a while now. Meanwhile, I have been reading the posters of this group from time to time. I kept reading about the problems people were having with the radios but, I think, I had to experience it myself.
Maybe I am just a sucker for punishment. But I did not expect the experience to be this bad.
The order was delivered on time. So far so good. The packaging was well done and strong as if it was expected to go through hell and come out unscathed.
The surprises came after - The quality of the components can't be any worse - very cheap and poor quality pots, a tiny push button for PTT (are you kidding me?), a lousy mic and a 0.1 uF capacitor that I still have no idea where it will go.
There were no instructions of any sort. Not even a link to a website where they could be found. One half-page of an 8X11 sheet of paper with a list of the contents (probably to save on expenses), and an invoice, was all that came with the parts. No even a mention on the version of the board and/or  software. What version is it being sold now, anyway?
The whole thing is crappy. Is this the way they do business in India or is it just a company that doesn't know how to do it?
This post will probably have some replies telling me that I should have known better. Maybe. For hackers they say?


Virus-free. www.avg.com

--

…_. _._

Re: HFSignals poor business practices

Arv Evans
 

Ken, and others

John and myself have discussed this off-net.  Turns out that I may have miss-interpreted
his post.  He is well qualified and experienced.  He just posted some thoughts that
probably we have all had from time to time.  I probably over-reacted a bit. 

Arv  K7HKL
_._


On Sat, Jun 1, 2019 at 7:41 PM Ken Hansen <ken@...> wrote:
I'm curious on out the research you undertook before purchasing a Bitx40 that lead you to expect anything other than what you got.

Everything not on the PCB is really included for two reasons:

1) to enable someone without access to a well-stocked 'junk box' to complete the radio, and
2) minimize postage

I'm not sure what I'd change at HFSignals, except maybe include a somewhat more informative 'getting started' document, but it would have to be multi-lingual, since the market is truly world-wide.

Ken, N2VIP

On Jun 1, 2019, at 2:26 PM, John Cardoso <ve9pct@...> wrote:

I have been wishing to order a Bitx40 for a while now. Meanwhile, I have been reading the posters of this group from time to time. I kept reading about the problems people were having with the radios but, I think, I had to experience it myself.
Maybe I am just a sucker for punishment. But I did not expect the experience to be this bad.
The order was delivered on time. So far so good. The packaging was well done and strong as if it was expected to go through hell and come out unscathed.
The surprises came after - The quality of the components can't be any worse - very cheap and poor quality pots, a tiny push button for PTT (are you kidding me?), a lousy mic and a 0.1 uF capacitor that I still have no idea where it will go.
There were no instructions of any sort. Not even a link to a website where they could be found. One half-page of an 8X11 sheet of paper with a list of the contents (probably to save on expenses), and an invoice, was all that came with the parts. No even a mention on the version of the board and/or  software. What version is it being sold now, anyway?
The whole thing is crappy. Is this the way they do business in India or is it just a company that doesn't know how to do it?
This post will probably have some replies telling me that I should have known better. Maybe. For hackers they say?

Re: Availability of Mag Loop and other stuff...

Tom, wb6b
 

On Sat, Jun 1, 2019 at 07:54 PM, jim wrote:
Ha ...or one boat and one helicopter ...easy-peasy
Of maybe a drone.

https://www.radioworld.com/tech-and-gear/using-drones-for-signal-measurements

Tom, wb6b

Re: Availability of Mag Loop and other stuff...

Arv Evans
 

Jack

Since your loop is small it could be rotated and a remote receiver and antenna
used to derive a signal strength pattern.  This could be automated if you use a
stepper motor rotator and automated logging of the signal levels at various angles. 
Then you came up with the idea of counterpoises and possibly ruined it all because
rotating a counterpoise might be difficult at best.

I share Allison's thoughts that near-fields should be avoided because it could lead
to inaccurate results.  Have you considered using one of the many on-line remote
receivers for your tests.  This could get outside the near-field situation. 

Arv
_._


On Sat, Jun 1, 2019 at 8:17 PM Jack Purdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Good grief, guys, this is a hobby for me. Allison, are you really trying to be helpful here, or simply showing that you have a lot of RF experience? Perhaps the best solution is to do no testing and simply say we made contacts with it and leave it at that. Pretty hard to criticize the methodology when there's no information given. We have an EFHW available to us for testing, so that's what we're using. Also, there are a lot of hams out there using EFHW antennas so any testing we do with it will have meaning to them even if it does have a crappy radiation pattern for testing. If it's not ideal, so be it. My chances of renting two fiberglass crafts to sit on the Great Salt Lake loaded with a boat-load of equipment and antennas are about zero. Someone else with deeper pockets than I have will have to do that testing.

The good news is that if we do write an article on our ML experience, no one has to read it.

Jack, W8TEE



On Saturday, June 1, 2019, 4:17:30 PM EDT, ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...> wrote:


Jack,

the biggest issue is the 80-10 EFHW has a terrible pattern, broadside at 80m and by 20M
its a 4 lobe pattern with 10m its practically endfire.

That creates issues and questions for comparison as the EFHW is then rarely aimed at
the receiving station and hence you do not have a known comparison.

Generally when testing loops a loop of known performance are used but testing at HF is
never easy as the near field is at least 5 to 10 wavelengths or more and ground quality
dependent.  You want that distance to be able to see the total field.   The easiest rig
for that kind of testing is two fiberglass boats on calm salt water (an almost near
perfect ground plane).  Of course that does not include RF sources and calibrated
receivers and accurate GPS.

Allison

Pin Change Interrupt library

Dexter N Muir
 

Trying to update to CEC firmware after long ownership of Bix40, I'm still an utter newbie. Can tell me how/where to obtain the Pin Change Interrupt library - and install it? Or point me to an existing article?

TIA and 73
Dex, ZL2DEX

Re: ubitx 2.0 - Mic cannot get to TX

Ashhar Farhan
 

Good going!


On Sun 2 Jun, 2019, 7:40 AM Sajid Rahum via Groups.Io, <zs735=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
All sorted out. my goodness.

Here goes for those wanting to use Baofeng.  First there are tonnes of 'Baofeng' knockoffs.  Now, i dropped out the wiring and replaced it using a ethernet cable which a roll was laying around.  The wiring in these units is attrocious and cannot be used.

1.  Stereo 3.5 is required - not mono
2. Drop the wiring and cable out and replace with ethernet cable.
3. replace the baofeng electret with ubitx electret; drill larger whole.  two wiring is straight forward.  
4. Wiring:

                  A     B    C
                ------|---|------------\
                       |   |                \
                ------|---|------------/


    On the board it will be marked M, M- and PTT.
    M will go to C.
    M-- will go to A
    PTT will go to B

Power out is very low and one needs to shout much into it.  By removing the speaker i should be able to get the audio amp in to improve drive.


Re: HFSignals poor business practices

Ashhar Farhan
 

John,

You are refering to the BITX40 kit, rather than the uBITX. I entirely accept that the presentation could be better. I am working on updating the BITX40 documentation and it should be through in a week.
However, on quality, I have to be a little defensive. 
First, we use high grade components through out. Our toroids are from micrometals our encoders are original Bourn.
You mentioned the 'crappy' tiny ptt button and mic. Considering that our goal was to ship an entire SSB transceiver for well under the price of a standard radio mic, instead of not shipping any mic at all, chose to ship a very fine electret mic. It is a Panasonic that forms the main element. It has had very good on-air reviews.
The small ptt microswitch is what many mics have inside them. Just like there is no casing for the transceiver, there is no casing for the mic either.
All inductors are measured before they get on the PCB, crystals are matched. After assembly, each board is tested and signed.
As for the firmware, it ships with the latest version. If you would like more features, you can try this https://github.com/amunters/bitx40, it is a great piece of software engineering by a very talented ham.
If there are any specific places you get stuck, do ask on this group. We are an open community, open to self correction.

-f

PS the 0.1 uf is a spare to help you eliminate RFI. Depending upon how you wire up the BITX 40 and into what kind of enclosure, you may need to solder it across a control or not.

On Sun 2 Jun, 2019, 9:02 AM Arv Evans, <arvid.evans@...> wrote:
Ken, and others

John and myself have discussed this off-net.  Turns out that I may have miss-interpreted
his post.  He is well qualified and experienced.  He just posted some thoughts that
probably we have all had from time to time.  I probably over-reacted a bit. 

Arv  K7HKL
_._

On Sat, Jun 1, 2019 at 7:41 PM Ken Hansen <ken@...> wrote:
I'm curious on out the research you undertook before purchasing a Bitx40 that lead you to expect anything other than what you got.

Everything not on the PCB is really included for two reasons:

1) to enable someone without access to a well-stocked 'junk box' to complete the radio, and
2) minimize postage

I'm not sure what I'd change at HFSignals, except maybe include a somewhat more informative 'getting started' document, but it would have to be multi-lingual, since the market is truly world-wide.

Ken, N2VIP

On Jun 1, 2019, at 2:26 PM, John Cardoso <ve9pct@...> wrote:

I have been wishing to order a Bitx40 for a while now. Meanwhile, I have been reading the posters of this group from time to time. I kept reading about the problems people were having with the radios but, I think, I had to experience it myself.
Maybe I am just a sucker for punishment. But I did not expect the experience to be this bad.
The order was delivered on time. So far so good. The packaging was well done and strong as if it was expected to go through hell and come out unscathed.
The surprises came after - The quality of the components can't be any worse - very cheap and poor quality pots, a tiny push button for PTT (are you kidding me?), a lousy mic and a 0.1 uF capacitor that I still have no idea where it will go.
There were no instructions of any sort. Not even a link to a website where they could be found. One half-page of an 8X11 sheet of paper with a list of the contents (probably to save on expenses), and an invoice, was all that came with the parts. No even a mention on the version of the board and/or  software. What version is it being sold now, anyway?
The whole thing is crappy. Is this the way they do business in India or is it just a company that doesn't know how to do it?
This post will probably have some replies telling me that I should have known better. Maybe. For hackers they say?