Topics

Erratic tuning with my new uBitx

K4LXY
 

My new uBitx is up and running on receive (it also transmits but I haven't wired the mike yet).  However, tuning is very erratic.  Sometimes while tuning it suddenly makes large frequency jumps.  Other times, I can turn the encoder and the frequency doesn't change.  I"ve tried poking at connections etc, looking for something lose, but nothing shows up.  Could I have a bad encoder?  
Thanks
Howard K4LXY

Nick VK4PP
 

Upgrade to the KD8CEC firmware.
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/wiki/uBitx-software
73

K4LXY
 

Thanks Nik
Howard K4LXY

Jerry Gaffke
 

I had thought the original firmware shipped with the rig was good enough.
Could look for trouble with a DVM or scope on the black and brown wires to the encoder (ENC_A and ENC_B in the wireup diagram),
should see each wire periodically switch between 0 and 5v when slowly turning the knob.
They get pulled high through resistors internal to the Nano, and the encoder sometimes shorts them to ground.


On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 04:34 pm, Nik VK4PLN wrote:
Upgrade to the KD8CEC firmware.
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/wiki/uBitx-software

K4LXY
 

Thanks, Nik.  I plan to do that, though it seems weird that I would have this problem with the original firmware if the encoder is OK.
73
Howard K4LXY

K4LXY
 

It does seem weird that I would have this problem even with the original sketch.  I'll try the test you suggest.  Are you saying that the occasional short to ground is an error?
Thanks
Howard K4LXY

Jerry Gaffke
 

As you rotate the encoder shaft, the enocder alternately grounds ENC_A and then ENC_B.
The timing in how it shorts one and then the other tells the Raduino which direction you are turning the shaft.
So this grounding is not an error.
You should see a regular pattern of 5v and 0v on those pins as you turn the shaft, and the two patterns should look very similar (just slightly shifted in time)


On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 07:34 pm, DrZ wrote:
It does seem weird that I would have this problem even with the original sketch.  I'll try the test you suggest.  Are you saying that the occasional short to ground is an error?

Jack, W8TEE
 

One way to visualize how an encoder works is to think of 20 speed bumps arranged in a circle. Floating above the speed bumps is a wire. Now imagine a contact arm anchored in the center of the circle and a second contact arm 90 degrees out of phase with the first arm. As a shaft turns, the contact hits a speed bump and make contact with the wire above it. Therefore, every 18 degrees (360 / 20 = 18) a contact is made and a pulse chain is form by the two contact arms. By looking at those signals, you can determine if the shaft is rotating CCW or CW. Therefore, you will see a pulse chain of binary values coming from the encoder. A better description can be seen on YouTube:



Jack, W8TEE



From: Jerry Gaffke via Groups.Io <jgaffke@...>
To: BITX20@groups.io
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2018 11:29 PM
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Erratic tuning with my new uBitx

As you rotate the encoder shaft, the enocder alternately grounds ENC_A and then ENC_B.
The timing in how it shorts one and then the other tells the Raduino which direction you are turning the shaft.
So this grounding is not an error.
You should see a regular pattern of 5v and 0v on those pins as you turn the shaft, and the two patterns should look very similar (just slightly shifted in time)

On Sun, Feb 25, 2018 at 07:34 pm, DrZ wrote:
It does seem weird that I would have this problem even with the original sketch.  I'll try the test you suggest.  Are you saying that the occasional short to ground is an error?


K4LXY
 

Upgrading to Kd8CEC's firmware seems to have solved the encoder problem.
Howard K4LXY

Chris Clarke G3SQU
 

I have installed KD8CEC's firmware and all seems well except the tuning step seems to be fixed at 50Hz. Should this change according to speed of tuning?

Chris G3SQU

K4LXY
 

Hold the encoder in and you'll be able to change the speed.
Howard K4LXY

Dexter N Muir
 

I forget where, but I recall a "shuttle tuning" scheme that does that. Other than that, there's a menu item. I seem to recall the digit that changes is underlined on-screen.

73 Dex, ZL2DEX

Chris Clarke G3SQU
 

Thanks for that info, Howard.

I had been finding it difficult to use the  "Set Tune Step?" function because it seemed to double up with toggling the 'tuning lock',  with tuning lock seeming to be the primary function when holding down the encoder, rather than "Set Tune Step?".

After much repetition of trying to set the tune step, however, it has now stopped toggling the tune lock when I hold the encoder down.

I do feel there was actually something going wrong with the Tune Step routine in my uBITx. Could the tune lock behaviour be a problem with the 'debounce' code or digital noise? At one point the tune step showed 200Hz on the display but it actually used a step of 10Hz. I managed after some repetitions of trying to alter the Tune Step to get it back to stepping at 200Hz. Could this be an inadvertent application of the hardware encoder lock caused by an earthing issue?

I also have a little bit of a problem getting the Extended Menu after selecting "Setup On?". Sometimes I get the Extended Menu, mostly I don't. I haven't discovered a surefire way of getting the Extended Menu, just seems a matter of luck. Fortunately it's not something I need to return to often.

Also it seems the maximum tuning step is 200Hz. This is not a very useful value - 1MHz would be much more useful to me.  I'm looking at the code to see if and how I could change the values for "tuneStepIndex". Are you able to you advise on this?

Chris G3SQU

K4LXY
 

Chris
Are you using the KD8CEC firmware? That makes a huge difference in many things.   Also, I found it helpful to add a separate push button across the encoder switch.   It's easier to use that way.
Howard K4LXY

Chris Clarke G3SQU
 

Hi Howard

Yes, I am using the KD8CEC firmware. I did install a separate push button instead of the encoder's one, and for convenience sake I placed it under the volume control (ie LH for  menu , RH for tuning) and it was then I first noticed the problem with jumping into tuning lock. I put a a twisted pair back to where to the yellow earth wire goes to the encoder, so that's quite a long run but I thought I shouldn't use a separate earth point. I'm actually wondering whether to leave the encoder's switch in circuit and take my twisted pair to the push button from it, but at the moment I've removed the leads to the push button.

As a point of interest, I'm using the plastic Excellway® EF01 Electronic Project Case but I'm now thinking of rebuilding into a metal case big enough to provide some modular screening.

Thanks for the reply.

73 Chris
G3SQU

PS I think my biggest issue is going to be RF power out - only 4W on 40m, 2W on 20m.
Looking at replacing the finals.


From: BITX20@groups.io <BITX20@groups.io> on behalf of DrZ <zehrhj2@...>
Sent: 21 March 2018 13:40
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Erratic tuning with my new uBitx
 
Chris
Are you using the KD8CEC firmware? That makes a huge difference in many things.   Also, I found it helpful to add a separate push button across the encoder switch.   It's easier to use that way.
Howard K4LXY

Mike Woods
 

Chris

Selecting the extended menu is not well documented for either stock or KD8CEC versions of the firmware.  You select the "settings" menu, and wait for it to return to the frequency display (exiting the menu system). Now press the button again and you should see the extended menu settings.

In relation to the tuning step.  The step values offered are completely customisable (I have 1Hz, 10Hz, 100Hz and 1kHz as options), but need to be configured using the PC software "uBITx Manager" developed by Ian.  Go to his website (www.hamskey.com) and find the post about "uBITx Manager".  It is a very useful tool to install.  There are Windows and Linux versions.

73 Mike ZL1AXG

On 22/03/18 2:33 AM, Chris Clarke wrote:
I also have a little bit of a problem getting the Extended Menu after selecting "Setup On?". Sometimes I get the Extended Menu, mostly I don't. I haven't discovered a surefire way of getting the Extended Menu, just seems a matter of luck. Fortunately it's not something I need to return to often.

Also it seems the maximum tuning step is 200Hz. This is not a very useful value - 1MHz would be much more useful to me.  I'm looking at the code to see if and how I could change the values for "tuneStepIndex". Are you able to you advise on this?
--
Mike Woods
mhwoods@...

Chris Clarke G3SQU
 

Thanks Mike

Oh dear, more software to install!

I have WinXP and have installed uBITx Manager but have not yet used it to connect with the Raduino (nervous of screwing it up!) ... I have Linux Ubuntu 16 but have yet to get to grips with Mono in order to install uBITx Manager ... thought I was doing well to install the Arduino IDE and update the Raduino to use the KD8CEC firmware!

I'll get there eventually but my head's spinning a bit ... fortunately the KD8CEC firmware is working well for me now and I've managed some CW QSOs on 40m with the meagre 5W from my uBITx (40m can be a rather busy band to make headway with QRP!).

The ubitx.net web-site is a god-send, thanks so much providing this fantastic facility for uBITx users

73 Chris


Mike Woods
 

Chris

Ubitx manager should work fine on WinXP - it is pretty undemanding.

If you download the parameters from the uBITx and save these before you muck around with settings you should be fine!

Mike

On 23/03/18 7:02 AM, Chris Clarke wrote:
Thanks Mike

Oh dear, more software to install!

I have WinXP and have installed uBITx Manager but have not yet used it to connect with the Raduino (nervous of screwing it up!) ... I have Linux Ubuntu 16 but have yet to get to grips with Mono in order to install uBITx Manager ... thought I was doing well to install the Arduino IDE and update the Raduino to use the KD8CEC firmware!

I'll get there eventually but my head's spinning a bit ... fortunately the KD8CEC firmware is working well for me now and I've managed some CW QSOs on 40m with the meagre 5W from my uBITx (40m can be a rather busy band to make headway with QRP!).

The ubitx.net web-site is a god-send, thanks so much providing this fantastic facility for uBITx users

73 Chris



--
Mike Woods
mhwoods@...

Chris Clarke G3SQU
 

Hi Mike

Thanks, I have Ubitx manager running on my winXP machine now and have successfully made my Callsign change. It would be nice if the Startup Display were to stay on a bit longer though, particularly because it shows the Firmware version - or can the Firmware version be easily displayed once the uBITx is running?

One oddity is that when I enable RIT it displays TX frequency (RIT Tx) incorrectly, although the correct value is used for TX (I am using Mode=CWL and I monitor my TX frequency using an RF sniffer, which has also been confirmed by the RBN). The RIT Tx is always displayed 900Hz high, being 200Hz higher than my RX frequency (ie I am tuned to 700Hz above a contact's carrier to get the readable audio tone). I haven't figured out the logic of the code yet to see how it is happening: at first glance it looks OK, since line 614 of "ubitx_menu" is "ritEnable(frequency)".

So I did an experiment. I changed "ubitx_menu" line 614 to "ritEnable(frequency-900)". Upon restarting the uBITx I found displayed RX and TX frequencies for RIT were what I expected, but the ACTUAL transmit frequency was not, being 900Hz low. When I then disabled RIT the displayed RX frequency had been decreased by 900Hz. I'm not sure what the actual receive frequency was at that point, but clearly that was not a solution to the problem so I changed the code back again!

Incidentally, by swapping the positions of RIT and Band Set in the Main Menu I now find the operating procedure for CW works much better for me. Once tuned into a station I wish to call (ie tuned to give a 700Hz tone), I simply have to double-press the menu button to enable RIT and can immediately make any RX tuning adjustments during the QSO without changing my TX frequency. This has made my CW operation 1000% easier. The only issue is that the incorrect TX frequency is being displayed - I just have to remember it's 900Hz high, but it would be good to get that sorted out!

Does all this make sense to you?

Chris

Ian Lee
 

Chris

1. This is because the option to show frequency shift in CWL and CWU is checked. 
Until Version 1.04, this Option Check was the default value.
In Version 1.061, the default option is Unchecked, so your problem will be solved.

Or if you want using Version 1.04, uncheck the checkbox next to "Shift Display Frequency on CWL, CWU Mode" in uBITX Manager
It will be displayed as USB or LSB.
However, I recommend updating to Version 1.061.


2.I did not think it was important to show the firmware version, so I just showed up for a second.
Arduino nano has one issue. It is reset arduino when the serial port is connected. I have reduced unnecessary time to minimize the reset time of the Arduino Nano that the user feels.
I also turned on uBITX several times to see the version. lol

Let's consider things such as uBITX Manager that can view version information. Thanks for good idea.

Ian KD8CEC


2018-03-28 8:47 GMT+09:00 Chris Clarke <csclarke@...>:

Hi Mike

Thanks, I have Ubitx manager running on my winXP machine now and have successfully made my Callsign change. It would be nice if the Startup Display were to stay on a bit longer though, particularly because it shows the Firmware version - or can the Firmware version be easily displayed once the uBITx is running?

One oddity is that when I enable RIT it displays TX frequency (RIT Tx) incorrectly, although the correct value is used for TX (I am using Mode=CWL and I monitor my TX frequency using an RF sniffer, which has also been confirmed by the RBN). The RIT Tx is always displayed 900Hz high, being 200Hz higher than my RX frequency (ie I am tuned to 700Hz above a contact's carrier to get the readable audio tone). I haven't figured out the logic of the code yet to see how it is happening: at first glance it looks OK, since line 614 of "ubitx_menu" is "ritEnable(frequency)".

So I did an experiment. I changed "ubitx_menu" line 614 to "ritEnable(frequency-900)". Upon restarting the uBITx I found displayed RX and TX frequencies for RIT were what I expected, but the ACTUAL transmit frequency was not, being 900Hz low. When I then disabled RIT the displayed RX frequency had been decreased by 900Hz. I'm not sure what the actual receive frequency was at that point, but clearly that was not a solution to the problem so I changed the code back again!

Incidentally, by swapping the positions of RIT and Band Set in the Main Menu I now find the operating procedure for CW works much better for me. Once tuned into a station I wish to call (ie tuned to give a 700Hz tone), I simply have to double-press the menu button to enable RIT and can immediately make any RX tuning adjustments during the QSO without changing my TX frequency. This has made my CW operation 1000% easier. The only issue is that the incorrect TX frequency is being displayed - I just have to remember it's 900Hz high, but it would be good to get that sorted out!

Does all this make sense to you?

Chris



--
Best 73
KD8CEC / Ph.D ian lee
kd8cec@...
www.hamskey.com (my blog)