Topics

Diagnostic software for uBitx #ubitx


Jon EA2SN
 

Folks,
I didn't know Heatkit had that on their kits, but I know for sure that the Elecraft
K2 had some diagnostics on firmware, and the Open QRP concept by K1EL
and others was built step by step with most of its functions tested with its
own microprocessor.
Hans, with his QCX, has done another leap, as he usually does... :-)
jon, ea2sn


Tim Gorman
 

Heathkit used to do this with some of its kits oh so many years ago.
Then the concept seemed to disappear into the ether.

Congrats to you for newly discovering the concept again. It is a
concept that is of huge benefit to the newcomer to electronics that
doesn't have the resources to build up a test bench right off.

tim ab0wr

On Sun, 29 Apr 2018 05:44:30 +0000
"Hans Summers" <hans.summers@...> wrote:

Hi all

So far I have to say the Han's QCX concept is really
neat. It uses 6 passive components and provides an
on-board DC, AC/RF meter, RF power meter, frequency
meter and signal generator. Brilliant.
That coupled with the measuring functions pre-loaded
in software and an expected list of values seems the
best value for money in debugging a radio's circuit
and wiring.
Thanks for the nice comments about the built-in test equipment and
alignment procedures in the QCX transceiver kit
http://qrp-labs.com/qcx ! At the time I developed these features I
had no idea that they would create so much excitement.

I had never seen a kit with built-in test and alignment equipment
before. But I have personally in the past have built kits or
projects, and got all the way to the end - only to find what seems
like a very complex alignment procedure, or I need some other piece
of test equipment for it - and relegated the kit to the shelf for
seemingly infinite postponement.

The QCX concept was originally designed for the YOTA 2017 summercamp
buildathon hosted in UK by RSGB in August last year. I could imagine
a room full of youngsters finishing the assembly and getting stuck
for want of equipment to use for an adjustment procedure... or
fighting over one set of equipment the organizers had brought along
for the purpose. How much nicer, to have all the equipment built-in,
along with firmware assistance to guide you easily through the
process! In the QCX it's a Band Pass Filter peaking adjustment, then
the I-Q balance and phasing adjustment to get best unwanted sideband
suppression. It makes alignment simple. Literally just a few minutes
is all it takes to adjust it for around 60dB unwanted sideband
cancellation.

Once that far... It was a relatively small further thought step to
say, well why not add the DVM (which can later be jumpered to the
power supply input to allow an on-screen battery icon, useful for
portable use!), RF Power meter, frequency counter and signal
generator. It took very few additional components to add these, which
are useful if the assembly needs debugging, and even just for general
purpose use in the shack.

I'm really happy these built-in test and alignment equupment features
have turned out so popular!

73 Hans G0UPL
http://qrp-labs.com


Jerry Gaffke
 

Here's a few other threads of note:
    https://groups.io/g/BITX20/topic/diy_oscilloscope/9617301
    https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/32630
    https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/32675

Adding SA612's and AD8307's to the uBitx would add a couple bucks to the cost.
However, adding pads for said parts to some corner of the back of the board would not,
perhaps hfsignals could have an ordering option to include those parts in the baggie.


Skip Davis
 

Have you checked out the Elecraft K2 it also has built in test equipment, it is used for build a stage/test a stage construction. These are great additions to kits for constructors and keeps the work bench clear of more clutter of wires and such.

Skip Davis, NC9O 

On Apr 29, 2018, at 01:44, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:

Hi all

> So far I have to say the Han's QCX concept is really
> neat. It uses 6 passive components and provides an 
> on-board DC, AC/RF meter, RF power meter, frequency 
> meter and signal generator. Brilliant.
>
> That coupled with the measuring functions pre-loaded
> in software and an expected list of values seems the
> best value for money in debugging a radio's circuit 
> and wiring.

Thanks for the nice comments about the built-in test equipment and alignment procedures in the QCX transceiver kit http://qrp-labs.com/qcx ! At the time I developed these features I had no idea that they would create so much excitement.

I had never seen a kit with built-in test and alignment equipment before. But I have personally in the past have built kits or projects, and got all the way to the end - only to find what seems like a very complex alignment procedure, or I need some other piece of test equipment for it - and relegated the kit to the shelf for seemingly infinite postponement. 

The QCX concept was originally designed for the YOTA 2017 summercamp buildathon hosted in UK by RSGB in August last year. I could imagine a room full of youngsters finishing the assembly and getting stuck for want of equipment to use for an adjustment procedure... or fighting over one set of equipment the organizers had brought along for the purpose. How much nicer, to have all the equipment built-in, along with firmware assistance to guide you easily through the process! In the QCX it's a Band Pass Filter peaking adjustment, then the I-Q balance and phasing adjustment to get best unwanted sideband suppression. It makes alignment simple. Literally just a few minutes is all it takes to adjust it for around 60dB unwanted sideband cancellation.

Once that far... It was a relatively small further thought step to say, well why not add the DVM (which can later be jumpered to the power supply input to allow an on-screen battery icon, useful for portable use!), RF Power meter, frequency counter and signal generator. It took very few additional components to add these, which are useful if the assembly needs debugging, and even just for general purpose use in the shack.

I'm really happy these built-in test and alignment equupment features have turned out so popular!

73 Hans G0UPL 


John (vk2eta)
 

Yes you can be Hans. It is a great idea.

73, John (VK2ETA)


Hans Summers
 

Hi all

> So far I have to say the Han's QCX concept is really
> neat. It uses 6 passive components and provides an 
> on-board DC, AC/RF meter, RF power meter, frequency 
> meter and signal generator. Brilliant.
>
> That coupled with the measuring functions pre-loaded
> in software and an expected list of values seems the
> best value for money in debugging a radio's circuit 
> and wiring.

Thanks for the nice comments about the built-in test equipment and alignment procedures in the QCX transceiver kit http://qrp-labs.com/qcx ! At the time I developed these features I had no idea that they would create so much excitement.

I had never seen a kit with built-in test and alignment equipment before. But I have personally in the past have built kits or projects, and got all the way to the end - only to find what seems like a very complex alignment procedure, or I need some other piece of test equipment for it - and relegated the kit to the shelf for seemingly infinite postponement. 

The QCX concept was originally designed for the YOTA 2017 summercamp buildathon hosted in UK by RSGB in August last year. I could imagine a room full of youngsters finishing the assembly and getting stuck for want of equipment to use for an adjustment procedure... or fighting over one set of equipment the organizers had brought along for the purpose. How much nicer, to have all the equipment built-in, along with firmware assistance to guide you easily through the process! In the QCX it's a Band Pass Filter peaking adjustment, then the I-Q balance and phasing adjustment to get best unwanted sideband suppression. It makes alignment simple. Literally just a few minutes is all it takes to adjust it for around 60dB unwanted sideband cancellation.

Once that far... It was a relatively small further thought step to say, well why not add the DVM (which can later be jumpered to the power supply input to allow an on-screen battery icon, useful for portable use!), RF Power meter, frequency counter and signal generator. It took very few additional components to add these, which are useful if the assembly needs debugging, and even just for general purpose use in the shack.

I'm really happy these built-in test and alignment equupment features have turned out so popular!

73 Hans G0UPL 


John (vk2eta)
 

So far I have to say the Han's QCX concept is really neat. It uses 6 passive components and provides an on-board DC, AC/RF meter, RF power meter, frequency meter and signal generator. Brilliant.

That coupled with the measuring functions pre-loaded in software and an expected list of values seems the best value for money in debugging a radio's circuit and wiring.

The spare A7 input could be put to fair use in the wiring phase of the project before being used for whatever the user feels like.

In my view if the Arduino is not functional, then there is not much to test since the radio would not be functional. So this is assuming the Arduino is at least communicating . And if it is, but has defective analogue or digital input failures then one side value of the test would be to determine if the pain of going through its replacement is warranted or not.

But as suspect, recollecting the list postings, that wiring issues and possibly alignment issues are main problems so far.

The test software will be small enough to fit alongside the factory firmware if it is deemed of value. That and a few components could be of great value imho.

And a pre-loaded software would avoid what could be seen as a daunting task of setting the Arduino IDE and loading a software.

In the mean time, I'll keep coding and see how much we can extract of the current hardware.

All the best,

73, John (VK2ETA)


Tim Gorman
 

For me the easiest thing to do would be to have a socketed Nano (I
know - cost!). You could then plug in a second Nano with diagnostic
software to chase outboard problems. Inboard problems with the Nano are
probably not fixable (how does the nano tell if an on-board pull-up
resistor is bad vs the outside world causing what it sees?).

Out of the ten Nano's I've ordered I found one that did not work
right. It simply went in the trash can. Not worth trying to figure out
why when the next one worked ok. Substitution is a valid
troubleshooting tool.

tim ab0wr



On Sat, 28 Apr 2018 11:53:53 -0600
"Arv Evans" <arvid.evans@...> wrote:

Lawrence

I think the suggestion was to use a working Arduino board to help do
diagnostics on
an attached BITX transceiver. This would be different from expecting
a non-working
processor to diagnose itself. Question in this is whether the
Arduino/Raduino would
have built-in code for BITX diagnostics, or would it require a code
reload for the
Arduino to do this task.

While smaller mini-frame systems VAX, DEC, etc. used to have a single
processor
my experience with large mainframes (IBM-360, Bell Labs 4ESS, etc.)
had multiple
core processors and actually could, in some cases, do diagnostics on
limited parts
of the system. But this is way beyond what we are dealing with in
the BITX world
where a rather simple AVR Mega-328 micro-controller is all we have to
work with.

There have been earlier comments regarding Arduino based test
equipment that could
be designed and built such that it would be an accessory or separate
controller used
for diagnostic purposes, but this is more stand-alone test sets than
an internal
diagnostic element.

Arv K7HKL
_._


On Sat, Apr 28, 2018 at 11:26 AM, Lawrence Macionski via Groups.Io <
am_fm_radio=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

40 years as a senior field engineer on big main frames and such..
Self diagnostic hardware and software is wonderful provided the
machine is actually working when you run the diagnostics. most
engineers who rely on diagnostics puke when they can't run them for
various reasons.

I have a few thousand airline miles "fixing" for instance a VAX
11/785 mainframe down for 3 days.. Can't boot, can't run
diagnostics. The 11/ 785 CPU was 29 24x24 inch boards, all were
changed. Even changed the microvax computer -boot loader. (a 8-12
board mini-computer w/ 8"floppy that loaded the mainframe
microcode). My Solution/findings: Every 8" floppy on site was bad,
the ones I brought worked just fine. Perhaps a disgruntled employee
demagnetized all floppies but the one that was loaded in the
loader. then it eventually went bad..(The perfect crime)

Drove all night- Detroit to Indianapolis once for a 1amp 5 volt
fuse..System down 3-4 days. (SUN Microsystems 3/xxx series
computers, had the 5 volt line to the optical mouse fused.) in
order to log in you had to move the mouse to the login window even
to log in as root. The local engineer even changed the MOBO- and
the new MOBO had no fuse in the fuse holder.. National Tech support
told him to keep checking the configuration berg jumpers never even
knew there was a fuse on the board.. The old MOBO had a blown
fuse.. BTW- Sun Microsystems never had a part number for that fuse
or even mentioned it in engineering documentation.. a 3rd MOBO
arrived by air courier as I was leaving. It did have a new good
fuse


If you've read this far. I have to ask this question:
uBITX are not $3000 radio's.. DXpeditions don't depend on 1 radio
but pack extra's. For the $120-180 we have invested in a working
rig, Isn't it realistic to invest in a second? I have multiple
rigs as perhaps I'm blessed. but there are times (close lightening
strike) that can render a uBITX or anyother rig perhaps unfixable.
Still they are fun aren't they?




Dexter N Muir
 

Seconded, Dave!

I'm just a little younger (67, 51 a Ham) and am continually enthused, even if constrained. My Bitx-40 is stalled, and probably won't be finished - I've hopes of being able to afford a ubitx at some stage ...

73
Dex, ZL2DEX


Joe Puma
 

I took apart a Sun Microsystems mainframe while I was studying Digital Electronics in tech school 1 block from 42nd street in Manhattan in the late 80’s. I was too young for the mainframe era but I love hearing stories about it. 

73’s
Joe
KD2NFC 



On Apr 28, 2018, at 1:26 PM, Lawrence Macionski via Groups.Io <am_fm_radio@...> wrote:

40 years as a senior field engineer on big main frames and such.. Self diagnostic hardware and software is wonderful provided the machine is actually working when you run the diagnostics. most engineers who rely on diagnostics puke when they can't run them for various reasons.

I have a few thousand airline miles "fixing" for instance a VAX 11/785 mainframe down for 3 days.. Can't boot, can't run diagnostics. The 11/ 785 CPU was 29 24x24 inch boards, all were changed. Even changed the microvax computer -boot loader. (a 8-12 board mini-computer w/ 8"floppy that loaded the mainframe microcode). My Solution/findings: Every 8" floppy on site was bad, the ones I brought worked just fine. Perhaps a disgruntled employee demagnetized all floppies but the one that was loaded in the loader. then it eventually went bad..(The perfect crime)

Drove all night- Detroit to Indianapolis once for a 1amp 5 volt fuse..System down 3-4 days. (SUN Microsystems 3/xxx series computers, had the 5 volt line to the optical mouse fused.) in order to log in you had to move the mouse to the login window even to log in as root. The local engineer even changed the MOBO- and the new MOBO had no fuse in the fuse holder.. National Tech support told him to keep checking the configuration berg jumpers never even knew there was a fuse on the board.. The old MOBO had a blown fuse.. BTW- Sun Microsystems never had a part number for that fuse or even mentioned it in engineering documentation.. a 3rd MOBO arrived by air courier  as I was leaving. It did have a new good fuse


If you've read this far. I have to ask this question:
uBITX are not $3000 radio's.. DXpeditions don't depend on 1 radio but pack extra's. For the $120-180 we have invested in a working rig, Isn't it realistic to invest in a second?  I have multiple rigs as perhaps I'm blessed. but there are times (close lightening strike) that can render a uBITX or anyother rig perhaps unfixable.  Still they are fun aren't they?


K9HZ <bill@...>
 

I will never again build a kit that doesn’t have the diagnostic tools built in.  I’ve seen the light.  Take the uBITx for example.  The Arduino needs to be working in order for the radio to work.  If the Arduino works, it could have been designed to have a number of useful tools built onto the board next to it for pennies.  Move some fractional cent jumpers to a different position than “normal operation” and it’s a volt meter that could be ranged by a jumper in the right range place (resistors on the board).  Move another jumper and it’s a variable frequency source, Move another jumper and it’s a frequency counter.  Move another jumper and it’s a LC meter.  Maybe even a low frequency scope (crude of course).  This is really simple and basic stuff for very cheap… gets a guy that could otherwise not afford all this test equipment some reasonably good diagnostic equipment for virtually pennies.  When I send out my next kit, I’ll even include an extra set of extra-long DuPont M-F jumpers to use as sample probes.

 

And if you don’t want to use the diagnostic stuff… don’t ever go into diagnostic mode or move the jumpers from normal position… and you spent just a few extra wasted pennies.

 

 

Dr. William J. Schmidt - K9HZ J68HZ 8P6HK ZF2HZ PJ4/K9HZ VP5/K9HZ PJ2/K9HZ

 

Owner - Operator

Big Signal Ranch – K9ZC

Staunton, Illinois

 

Owner – Operator

Villa Grand Piton – J68HZ

Soufriere, St. Lucia W.I.

Rent it: www.VillaGrandPiton.com

Like us on Facebook! facebook icon

 

Moderator – North American QRO Group at Groups.IO.

 

email:  bill@...

 

 

From: BITX20@groups.io [mailto:BITX20@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jack Purdum via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2018 12:51 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Diagnostic software for uBitx #ubitx

 

My guess is that anyone who consistently reads this Forum and has seriously thought about how to put diagnostics into the µBITX, and assuming a minimum wage opportunity cost, has already invested several thousand dollars in their $110 rig. True, a lightning strike probably doesn't need any diagnostic tools. (Honest! My µBITX was right where that charred spot is on the desk!) For me, adding diagnostics to the rig is not about "using them". Indeed, I hope I never have to use them. Rather, it's about the enjoyment I get out of writing code to solve a problem.

 

When I saw Hans' QCX transceiver I just said to myself: "This is just stupidly cool!". Every kit that has a microcontroller should do something like that. So here I am dinking around with my µBITX, hanging a Teensy 3.6 on it with a megamunch of memory and a clock that's so fast I have to waste CPU cycles so the SPI interface can keep up, yet I never even thought about adding any diagnostics to it until I saw his QCX. I still haven't added that code, mainly because it needs to be thought out more completely than I have done and adding it at the end makes sense.

 

The weak spot in all this is the assumption that the µC is functional whenever a problem crops up. However, think about how many issues trace back to the PS, and if that's down, the diagnostics are moribund. Perhaps an external device with the diagnostics is warranted, but then if you're doing a SOTA activation and something goes south, do we really schlep our test gear along with us? Probably not. The choice is the old rock-hard place tradeoff and a true dilemma: Two choices, both bad.

 

I don't know where this is going, but I plan to tag along just for the enjoyment I'll get out of it.


Jack, W8TEE

 

 

 

On Saturday, April 28, 2018, 1:26:25 PM EDT, Lawrence Macionski via Groups.Io <am_fm_radio@...> wrote:

 

 

40 years as a senior field engineer on big main frames and such.. Self diagnostic hardware and software is wonderful provided the machine is actually working when you run the diagnostics. most engineers who rely on diagnostics puke when they can't run them for various reasons.

I have a few thousand airline miles "fixing" for instance a VAX 11/785 mainframe down for 3 days.. Can't boot, can't run diagnostics. The 11/ 785 CPU was 29 24x24 inch boards, all were changed. Even changed the microvax computer -boot loader. (a 8-12 board mini-computer w/ 8"floppy that loaded the mainframe microcode). My Solution/findings: Every 8" floppy on site was bad, the ones I brought worked just fine. Perhaps a disgruntled employee demagnetized all floppies but the one that was loaded in the loader. then it eventually went bad..(The perfect crime)

Drove all night- Detroit to Indianapolis once for a 1amp 5 volt fuse..System down 3-4 days. (SUN Microsystems 3/xxx series computers, had the 5 volt line to the optical mouse fused.) in order to log in you had to move the mouse to the login window even to log in as root. The local engineer even changed the MOBO- and the new MOBO had no fuse in the fuse holder.. National Tech support told him to keep checking the configuration berg jumpers never even knew there was a fuse on the board.. The old MOBO had a blown fuse.. BTW- Sun Microsystems never had a part number for that fuse or even mentioned it in engineering documentation.. a 3rd MOBO arrived by air courier  as I was leaving. It did have a new good fuse


If you've read this far. I have to ask this question:
uBITX are not $3000 radio's.. DXpeditions don't depend on 1 radio but pack extra's. For the $120-180 we have invested in a working rig, Isn't it realistic to invest in a second?  I have multiple rigs as perhaps I'm blessed. but there are times (close lightening strike) that can render a uBITX or anyother rig perhaps unfixable.  Still they are fun aren't they?


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Arv Evans
 

Lawrence

I think the suggestion was to use a working Arduino board to help do diagnostics on
an attached BITX transceiver.  This would be different from expecting a non-working
processor to diagnose itself.  Question in this is whether the Arduino/Raduino would
have built-in code for BITX diagnostics, or would it require a code reload for the
Arduino to do this task.

While smaller mini-frame systems VAX, DEC, etc. used to have a single processor
my experience with large mainframes (IBM-360, Bell Labs 4ESS, etc.) had multiple
core processors and actually could, in some cases, do diagnostics on limited parts
of the system.  But this is way beyond what we are dealing with in the BITX world
where a rather simple AVR Mega-328 micro-controller is all we have to work with. 

There have been earlier comments regarding Arduino based test equipment  that could
be designed and built such that it would be an accessory or separate controller used
for diagnostic purposes, but this is more stand-alone test sets than an internal
diagnostic element. 

Arv  K7HKL
_._


On Sat, Apr 28, 2018 at 11:26 AM, Lawrence Macionski via Groups.Io <am_fm_radio@...> wrote:
40 years as a senior field engineer on big main frames and such.. Self diagnostic hardware and software is wonderful provided the machine is actually working when you run the diagnostics. most engineers who rely on diagnostics puke when they can't run them for various reasons.

I have a few thousand airline miles "fixing" for instance a VAX 11/785 mainframe down for 3 days.. Can't boot, can't run diagnostics. The 11/ 785 CPU was 29 24x24 inch boards, all were changed. Even changed the microvax computer -boot loader. (a 8-12 board mini-computer w/ 8"floppy that loaded the mainframe microcode). My Solution/findings: Every 8" floppy on site was bad, the ones I brought worked just fine. Perhaps a disgruntled employee demagnetized all floppies but the one that was loaded in the loader. then it eventually went bad..(The perfect crime)

Drove all night- Detroit to Indianapolis once for a 1amp 5 volt fuse..System down 3-4 days. (SUN Microsystems 3/xxx series computers, had the 5 volt line to the optical mouse fused.) in order to log in you had to move the mouse to the login window even to log in as root. The local engineer even changed the MOBO- and the new MOBO had no fuse in the fuse holder.. National Tech support told him to keep checking the configuration berg jumpers never even knew there was a fuse on the board.. The old MOBO had a blown fuse.. BTW- Sun Microsystems never had a part number for that fuse or even mentioned it in engineering documentation.. a 3rd MOBO arrived by air courier  as I was leaving. It did have a new good fuse


If you've read this far. I have to ask this question:
uBITX are not $3000 radio's.. DXpeditions don't depend on 1 radio but pack extra's. For the $120-180 we have invested in a working rig, Isn't it realistic to invest in a second?  I have multiple rigs as perhaps I'm blessed. but there are times (close lightening strike) that can render a uBITX or anyother rig perhaps unfixable.  Still they are fun aren't they?



Jack, W8TEE
 

My guess is that anyone who consistently reads this Forum and has seriously thought about how to put diagnostics into the µBITX, and assuming a minimum wage opportunity cost, has already invested several thousand dollars in their $110 rig. True, a lightning strike probably doesn't need any diagnostic tools. (Honest! My µBITX was right where that charred spot is on the desk!) For me, adding diagnostics to the rig is not about "using them". Indeed, I hope I never have to use them. Rather, it's about the enjoyment I get out of writing code to solve a problem.

When I saw Hans' QCX transceiver I just said to myself: "This is just stupidly cool!". Every kit that has a microcontroller should do something like that. So here I am dinking around with my µBITX, hanging a Teensy 3.6 on it with a megamunch of memory and a clock that's so fast I have to waste CPU cycles so the SPI interface can keep up, yet I never even thought about adding any diagnostics to it until I saw his QCX. I still haven't added that code, mainly because it needs to be thought out more completely than I have done and adding it at the end makes sense.

The weak spot in all this is the assumption that the µC is functional whenever a problem crops up. However, think about how many issues trace back to the PS, and if that's down, the diagnostics are moribund. Perhaps an external device with the diagnostics is warranted, but then if you're doing a SOTA activation and something goes south, do we really schlep our test gear along with us? Probably not. The choice is the old rock-hard place tradeoff and a true dilemma: Two choices, both bad.

I don't know where this is going, but I plan to tag along just for the enjoyment I'll get out of it.

Jack, W8TEE




On Saturday, April 28, 2018, 1:26:25 PM EDT, Lawrence Macionski via Groups.Io <am_fm_radio@...> wrote:


40 years as a senior field engineer on big main frames and such.. Self diagnostic hardware and software is wonderful provided the machine is actually working when you run the diagnostics. most engineers who rely on diagnostics puke when they can't run them for various reasons.

I have a few thousand airline miles "fixing" for instance a VAX 11/785 mainframe down for 3 days.. Can't boot, can't run diagnostics. The 11/ 785 CPU was 29 24x24 inch boards, all were changed. Even changed the microvax computer -boot loader. (a 8-12 board mini-computer w/ 8"floppy that loaded the mainframe microcode). My Solution/findings: Every 8" floppy on site was bad, the ones I brought worked just fine. Perhaps a disgruntled employee demagnetized all floppies but the one that was loaded in the loader. then it eventually went bad..(The perfect crime)

Drove all night- Detroit to Indianapolis once for a 1amp 5 volt fuse..System down 3-4 days. (SUN Microsystems 3/xxx series computers, had the 5 volt line to the optical mouse fused.) in order to log in you had to move the mouse to the login window even to log in as root. The local engineer even changed the MOBO- and the new MOBO had no fuse in the fuse holder.. National Tech support told him to keep checking the configuration berg jumpers never even knew there was a fuse on the board.. The old MOBO had a blown fuse.. BTW- Sun Microsystems never had a part number for that fuse or even mentioned it in engineering documentation.. a 3rd MOBO arrived by air courier  as I was leaving. It did have a new good fuse


If you've read this far. I have to ask this question:
uBITX are not $3000 radio's.. DXpeditions don't depend on 1 radio but pack extra's. For the $120-180 we have invested in a working rig, Isn't it realistic to invest in a second?  I have multiple rigs as perhaps I'm blessed. but there are times (close lightening strike) that can render a uBITX or anyother rig perhaps unfixable.  Still they are fun aren't they?


Lawrence Macionski <am_fm_radio@...>
 

40 years as a senior field engineer on big main frames and such.. Self diagnostic hardware and software is wonderful provided the machine is actually working when you run the diagnostics. most engineers who rely on diagnostics puke when they can't run them for various reasons.

I have a few thousand airline miles "fixing" for instance a VAX 11/785 mainframe down for 3 days.. Can't boot, can't run diagnostics. The 11/ 785 CPU was 29 24x24 inch boards, all were changed. Even changed the microvax computer -boot loader. (a 8-12 board mini-computer w/ 8"floppy that loaded the mainframe microcode). My Solution/findings: Every 8" floppy on site was bad, the ones I brought worked just fine. Perhaps a disgruntled employee demagnetized all floppies but the one that was loaded in the loader. then it eventually went bad..(The perfect crime)

Drove all night- Detroit to Indianapolis once for a 1amp 5 volt fuse..System down 3-4 days. (SUN Microsystems 3/xxx series computers, had the 5 volt line to the optical mouse fused.) in order to log in you had to move the mouse to the login window even to log in as root. The local engineer even changed the MOBO- and the new MOBO had no fuse in the fuse holder.. National Tech support told him to keep checking the configuration berg jumpers never even knew there was a fuse on the board.. The old MOBO had a blown fuse.. BTW- Sun Microsystems never had a part number for that fuse or even mentioned it in engineering documentation.. a 3rd MOBO arrived by air courier  as I was leaving. It did have a new good fuse


If you've read this far. I have to ask this question:
uBITX are not $3000 radio's.. DXpeditions don't depend on 1 radio but pack extra's. For the $120-180 we have invested in a working rig, Isn't it realistic to invest in a second?  I have multiple rigs as perhaps I'm blessed. but there are times (close lightening strike) that can render a uBITX or anyother rig perhaps unfixable.  Still they are fun aren't they?


Jerry Gaffke
 

A tandem match such as this:  http://www.kitsandparts.com/bridge1.4.php
monitored by the microcontroller could do that,
and could shut down the transmitter if reverse power gets out of hand.


On Sat, Apr 28, 2018 at 06:57 am, Bo Barry wrote:
And don't forget a test and big warning "you forgot to hook up the antenna, dummy".   Bo W4GHV since '54


Bo Barry <wn4ghv@...>
 

And don't forget a test and big warning "you forgot to hook up the antenna, dummy".   Bo W4GHV since '54


David Wilcox <Djwilcox01@...>
 

I, a 73 y/o ham of 63 years fully agree.  I love this new radio stuff but getting it to work after it is built is sometimes a head scratching problem even with the help of all my .io group friends.

Also, don't ever think you are wasting your time on these sites.  I read 100 emails a day re my radio interests and am learning so much even about kits I haven't built yet.  THANK YOU ALL!

Dave

On Apr 27, 2018, at 10:49 PM, Jack Purdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum@...> wrote:

All:

I think Chuck Adams has the right approach to this. His video series on YouTube for building W8DIZ's 1 Watter (1Watter Transceiver Build, Phase 1 by K7QO) has a lot of good stuff about kit building in general.


However, his approach addresses the subject line here: How do you diagnose problems with a homebrew or kit project. If you are going to use the µC as part of the process, it would be much more successful if the diagnoses are done at stages along the way, rather than deferring until the project is done. It's much easier to diagnose a stage as it is built rather than waiting to a point where several stages can interact and be causing issues.

This suggests building the PS first, checking the voltages, etc. and pronouncing it "healthy". I would immediately then constuct the µC section, utilizing the the Serial object to verify it is working (e.g., the simple Blink program). Then (and you EE guys are better at deciding what's next) perhaps build the audio section and have program code that sends a 700Hz tone to the amplifier for replay through the headphones/speaker. If you get to a section where the test from the µC doesn't pass its test, you have limited the source of the error to the most recent section. It's the same concept as Encapsulation in software engineering.

My point is: If you're going to the trouble of building diagnostic software into the rig, utilize it through the entire construction process...don't defer it to the end. Not only does the approach enhance the odds of a working piece of equipment when the project is done, it builds confidence in the builder along the way--a double win!

Jack, W8TEE


On Friday, April 27, 2018, 8:35:43 PM EDT, Howard Fidel <sonic1@...> wrote:


Great idea. If the Arduino only had more inputs we could do a really thorough job with some mods.
On 4/27/2018 8:09 PM, John wrote:
I have started developing a diagnostic software for the uBitx. 

The need arose following a forum member's trouble with his Raduino.

The objective is to help both the original kit builder for issues like wiring or "not working" problems, but also to the more advanced experimenters both during construction and after "oops moments" like after a bad wiring or when a loose lead that "is only there for 5 seconds and will never touch another part of the circuit" went wandering around the board (I raise my hand here).

So far it only tests the I2C bus, the communication with the SI5351 and the analogue inputs of the Raduino in a graphical form.

The plan is to expand to the audio circuit, the receiver chain, the TX low pass filters' relays and hopefully more.

This is where I need your input to determine what to test for in the first instance and then some ideas to make the test results as simple but still useful to more advanced users.

So if you can give me some feedback as to what issues you had when building the kit that I could incorporate in the diagnostic software either as a new test or as a suggestion as to how solve the issue, as a self help, that would be great.

Tests need not be Arduino only tests. Operator 's interpretation, as in "Do you hear the tone in the speaker, Y/N" are quite ok.

I have uploaded the beta version of the software at https://groups.io/g/BITX20/files/uBitx%20Diagnostic%20software%20by%20VK2ETA/ubitx-Diagnostic%20-%20Version%20B0.2-2018-04-28.zip

Passed the tests are the questions of deployment and the best way to do that since new kit builders may not be familiar or confident to setup the Arduino's IDE. So maybe HEx files and a simple terminal...ideas welcomed.

All the best,

73, John (VK2ETA)



John (vk2eta)
 

Thank you all for your inputs. Much appreciated. I will read/watch and digest.

Rod, the current software does use the serial interface as I had to assume the display was not working and since the software would have been uploaded that means the USB post is working. So I use the same setting for the serial monitor built in the IDE. I like the idea of the LCD pins cycling as I was wondering what could be done to test the LCD at a lower level than sending characters via the library.

Jerry, looking forward to you new software.

Bill, yes just a few components and some simple software. Smart and inexpensive.

Jack, I need to view the whole video. Thanks.

73, John (VK2ETA)


Jerry Gaffke
 

Here's some old threads (rants) on this:
   https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/19453
   https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/21282
   
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/21500
   https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/27613

I got a bag of AD8307's from China, they are quite cheap and reportedly work well.
Should make a very sensitive detector for a tandem match swr meter, also useful for debug.
Though have not played with them yet, or acted on much of the above.

I have written a new version of the uBitx code that does tuning and calibration and 
sweeps the two crystal filters to be plotted by the Arduino IDE via the USB-UART link.
But not quite ready for prime time.

Jerry, KE7ER


K9HZ <bill@...>
 

Ya know, diagnostic software is a good thing and should be done, but Hans really got it right with the QRP-LABS QCX by building several tools into the kit… like a DVM, signal generator, Frequency counter, etc… all in the software of the MCU.  Everyone loves his kits.

 

 

Dr. William J. Schmidt - K9HZ J68HZ 8P6HK ZF2HZ PJ4/K9HZ VP5/K9HZ PJ2/K9HZ

 

Owner - Operator

Big Signal Ranch – K9ZC

Staunton, Illinois

 

Owner – Operator

Villa Grand Piton – J68HZ

Soufriere, St. Lucia W.I.

Rent it: www.VillaGrandPiton.com

Like us on Facebook! facebook icon

 

Moderator – North American QRO Group at Groups.IO.

 

email:  bill@...

 

 

From: BITX20@groups.io [mailto:BITX20@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jack Purdum via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2018 9:50 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Diagnostic software for uBitx #ubitx

 

All:


I think Chuck Adams has the right approach to this. His video series on YouTube for building W8DIZ's 1 Watter (1Watter Transceiver Build, Phase 1 by K7QO) has a lot of good stuff about kit building in general.

 

 


1Watter Transceiver Build, Phase 1 by K7QO

A series of videos on the building of the kitsandparts.com 1W transceiver kit for $46 USD plus S&H. Available fo...

 

However, his approach addresses the subject line here: How do you diagnose problems with a homebrew or kit project. If you are going to use the µC as part of the process, it would be much more successful if the diagnoses are done at stages along the way, rather than deferring until the project is done. It's much easier to diagnose a stage as it is built rather than waiting to a point where several stages can interact and be causing issues.

 

This suggests building the PS first, checking the voltages, etc. and pronouncing it "healthy". I would immediately then constuct the µC section, utilizing the the Serial object to verify it is working (e.g., the simple Blink program). Then (and you EE guys are better at deciding what's next) perhaps build the audio section and have program code that sends a 700Hz tone to the amplifier for replay through the headphones/speaker. If you get to a section where the test from the µC doesn't pass its test, you have limited the source of the error to the most recent section. It's the same concept as Encapsulation in software engineering.

 

My point is: If you're going to the trouble of building diagnostic software into the rig, utilize it through the entire construction process...don't defer it to the end. Not only does the approach enhance the odds of a working piece of equipment when the project is done, it builds confidence in the builder along the way--a double win!


Jack, W8TEE

 

 

On Friday, April 27, 2018, 8:35:43 PM EDT, Howard Fidel <sonic1@...> wrote:

 

 

Great idea. If the Arduino only had more inputs we could do a really thorough job with some mods.
On 4/27/2018 8:09 PM, John wrote:

I have started developing a diagnostic software for the uBitx. 

The need arose following a forum member's trouble with his Raduino.

The objective is to help both the original kit builder for issues like wiring or "not working" problems, but also to the more advanced experimenters both during construction and after "oops moments" like after a bad wiring or when a loose lead that "is only there for 5 seconds and will never touch another part of the circuit" went wandering around the board (I raise my hand here).

So far it only tests the I2C bus, the communication with the SI5351 and the analogue inputs of the Raduino in a graphical form.

The plan is to expand to the audio circuit, the receiver chain, the TX low pass filters' relays and hopefully more.

This is where I need your input to determine what to test for in the first instance and then some ideas to make the test results as simple but still useful to more advanced users.

So if you can give me some feedback as to what issues you had when building the kit that I could incorporate in the diagnostic software either as a new test or as a suggestion as to how solve the issue, as a self help, that would be great.

Tests need not be Arduino only tests. Operator 's interpretation, as in "Do you hear the tone in the speaker, Y/N" are quite ok.

I have uploaded the beta version of the software at https://groups.io/g/BITX20/files/uBitx%20Diagnostic%20software%20by%20VK2ETA/ubitx-Diagnostic%20-%20Version%20B0.2-2018-04-28.zip

Passed the tests are the questions of deployment and the best way to do that since new kit builders may not be familiar or confident to setup the Arduino's IDE. So maybe HEx files and a simple terminal...ideas welcomed.

All the best,

73, John (VK2ETA)

 


Virus-free. www.avg.com