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Raduino CAD Files

W3JDR
 

I want to make a substitute Raduino using a "Blue Pill" STM32F103 board. Does anyone know where I can get a quick start on the CAD by finding an Eagle or KiCAD file set that already has the critical connector dimensions on it?

Joe
W3JDR

Jerry Gaffke
 

Hey Joe, good to see you taking on the uBitx!

I don't think Farhan has not released mechanical data, but here's gerbers for a Raduino replacement
that Nik may have gotten right through careful measurements.  Perhaps you could contact him
on how these dimensions were arrived at.
    https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/42237

You've got a busy website:  https://w3jdr.wordpress.com/
The improvement to the biasing of Q70 at the audio preamp seems like something
easy to do and well worth trying.

I've been playing with Blue Pills also, was thinking perhaps putting just the processor chip 
down on a new Raduion PCB would be worth the trouble, gives far more IO than available
from the Nano form factor.  The STM32F has pin compatible processor chips through a wide
range of capability, here's a selection of LQFP 48 and 64 pin parts:
    https://www.mouser.com/STMicroelectronics/Semiconductors/Embedded-Processors-Controllers/Microcontrollers-MCU/ARM-Microcontrollers-MCU/_/N-a85pc?P=1z0zpefZ1z0y3jdZ1z0y32vZ1z0jmic&Ns=Pricing|0

Top end parts such as the 511-STM32F405RGT6TR include an FPU.

Jerry, KE7ER
     


On Thu, May 17, 2018 at 06:12 am, W3JDR wrote:
I want to make a substitute Raduino using a "Blue Pill" STM32F103 board. Does anyone know where I can get a quick start on the CAD by finding an Eagle or KiCAD file set that already has the critical connector dimensions on it?

Joe
W3JDR

ajparent1/kb1gmx
 

Joe,

Thanks as I also have one of those encoders and planned to use it.  My plan was to make the changes you have done.
Saves me a bit of testing.

The STM will make doing color display easier and faster to update as I've used it for another project that had a color screen.

I haven't seen board images and have to hunt and trace for palaces to cut for mods.

Allison

DuWayne Schmidlkofer
 

Here is a link to a Raduino replacement at easyeda.com https://easyeda.com/nikpolini/Raduino-1b3e0cb579154514ad2e014b83346b58
You can down load the Gerber files and possibly import to your CAD program. Or at least use a gerber viewer to print something you can get the dimensions off of. I have one I did up using a nano and a TFT display if you want. Only dimension that I worried about was the height from the bottom of the board to the right angle 16 pin header that plugs into the uBITX board. I made it a little longer to give mounting holes for the TFT board I used.



--
DuWayne  KV4QB

W3JDR
 

Thanks everyone for the help!

Jerry, yes, I've been busy behind the scenes doing a lot of things with the control system. I now have the entire app running on an STM32F103 "Blue Pill" board, which is only about $2.50 on Ebay. This gives me a 70 mHz 32 bit controller with 128K bytes of program memory. My software S-meter is now working quite well and only requires 2 resistors and a cap, plus some code. I'm using a separate ILI7735 display for the S-meter, both displays on the same SPI bus. The S-meter is derived from a 10kHz sample-rate of the pre-amp audio, with software peak detection. The TFT meter display has a max-hold pointer that resets every few seconds, while the main pointer is real-time. There are digital readouts on it for peak signal level in uV, dBm and S-units. The measurements from the S-meter will drive a digipot after the audio pre-amp to effect a feedforward AGC. Feedforward, with software calibration, should make for a very fast acting AGC without the overshoot/undershoot artifacts of feedback systems. I'm also using a 400 ppr optical encoder for frequency control with interrupt processing; it tunes beautifully smooth, with 1 hZ steps and software acceleration. . All of this puts a real strain on the little Nano u-controller, hence the move to the Blue Pill. I intend to layout a new Raduino that accepts the 'pill', with extra connectors for SPI and I2C busses. I developed my own tinier version of the Adafruit Si5351 board that will mount on the Raduino. I might even use a separate Si5351 for the main VFO in order to eliminate the crosstalk spurs generated in the single-chip approach. This was all moving smoothly while I was house-bound during Winter, but will slow down while the weather's nice outside.

Joe
W3JDR

W3JDR
 

I had a look at the links and there doesn't seem to be any CAD files there. I guess I'll have to break out the caliper and measure the stock board.

Jerry Gaffke
 

The link in Nik's post points to a project at EasyEDA showing his board layout,
has a "Download Gerber" button.  Though you will probably have to set up
an account at EasyEDA to have the priviledge.  I have not.

Anyways, you could correspond with Nik, he seemed to be trying to make 
this project publicly accessible.  Though I suspect he just used
his own calipers to get the numbers.

Jerry 



On Fri, May 18, 2018 at 07:08 am, W3JDR wrote:
I had a look at the links and there doesn't seem to be any CAD files there. I guess I'll have to break out the caliper and measure the stock board.

W3JDR
 

It appears those are just Gerber files, not design CAD files, so they'd have to be viewed in a Gerber viewer and dimensions made with the viewer's measurement tool. I might just as well grab the actual board and measure it. I want to mount my ILI9341 main-display directly to the new Raduino, so I primarily need the dimension information to be sure the display lines up correctly in the existing hole in the front panel of the rig.

BTW, I considered starting out at the STM chip level, but you can buy the whole board cheaper than you can buy the chip. And you'd have to put all the necessary 'glue' around it and then build it and burn an Arduino compatible bootloader into it. Also, an FPU is primarily useful in DSP applications, and I see that as being a separate unit, so I'm going the Pill route.

Joe

Vince Vielhaber
 

Can you program the blue pill thru the USB or do you have to use the ST-Link?

Vince.

On 05/18/2018 10:00 AM, W3JDR wrote:
Thanks everyone for the help!

Jerry, yes, I've been busy behind the scenes doing a lot of things with
the control system. I now have the entire app running on an STM32F103
"Blue Pill" board, which is only about $2.50 on Ebay. This gives me a 70
mHz 32 bit controller with 128K bytes of program memory. My software
S-meter is now working quite well and only requires 2 resistors and a
cap, plus some code. I'm using a separate ILI7735 display for the
S-meter, both displays on the same SPI bus. The S-meter is derived from
a 10kHz sample-rate of the pre-amp audio, with software peak detection.
The TFT meter display has a max-hold pointer that resets every few
seconds, while the main pointer is real-time. There are digital readouts
on it for peak signal level in uV, dBm and S-units. The measurements
from the S-meter will drive a digipot after the audio pre-amp to effect
a feedforward AGC. Feedforward, with software calibration, should make
for a very fast acting AGC without the overshoot/undershoot artifacts of
feedback systems. I'm also using a 400 ppr optical encoder for frequency
control with interrupt processing; it tunes beautifully smooth, with 1
hZ steps and software acceleration. . All of this puts a real strain on
the little Nano u-controller, hence the move to the Blue Pill. I intend
to layout a new Raduino that accepts the 'pill', with extra connectors
for SPI and I2C busses. I developed my own tinier version of the
Adafruit Si5351 board that will mount on the Raduino. I might even use a
separate Si5351 for the main VFO in order to eliminate the crosstalk
spurs generated in the single-chip approach. This was all moving
smoothly while I was house-bound during Winter, but will slow down while
the weather's nice outside.

Joe
W3JDR

W3JDR
 

Depends on which one you buy. Some (most) require that you put a bootloader in via STLink. There are, however, a few on EBay that sell them with the bootloader already burned in. They cost a buck or 2 more, but it's worth it. The one I'm using has a Maple Mini bootloader in it, which is supported by the Arduino IDE. Works great once you get your system set up with the correct hardware mapping files. BTW, these boards are advertised as having 64K memory, but every one I have works up to 128K.

See STM32Duino.com.

Joe

Bob Smallwood
 

Joe, 
I like some of the uBitX changes you are showing in your blog. Any possibility of seeing code for the TFT screen/functions, and the accelerating encoder step size? 
Thanks! 
Bob, N3FM

Bob, N3FM

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On Fri, May 18, 2018 at 11:58 AM, W3JDR <joe@...> wrote:
Depends on which one you buy. Some (most) require that you put a bootloader in via STLink. There are, however, a few on EBay that sell them with the bootloader already burned in. They cost a buck or 2 more, but it's worth it. The one I'm using has a Maple Mini bootloader in it, which is supported by the Arduino IDE. Works great once you get your system set up with the correct hardware mapping files. BTW, these boards are advertised as having 64K memory, but every one I have works up to 128K.

See STM32Duino.com.

Joe


Vince Vielhaber
 

Thanks! I just bought one with the ST-Link.

Vince.

On 05/18/2018 11:58 AM, W3JDR wrote:
Depends on which one you buy. Some (most) require that you put a
bootloader in via STLink. There are, however, a few on EBay that sell
them with the bootloader already burned in. They cost a buck or 2 more,
but it's worth it. The one I'm using has a Maple Mini bootloader in it,
which is supported by the Arduino IDE. Works great once you get your
system set up with the correct hardware mapping files. BTW, these boards
are advertised as having 64K memory, but every one I have works up to 128K.

See STM32Duino.com.

Joe

Jerry Gaffke
 

Joe,

You've definitely got your S-Meter requirements taken care of.  ;-)
And would indeed be a shame to waste those dual SPI displays on a Nano.
Let us know what feels right in a final radio and what is stuff you maybe didn't need.

There's a wide range of STM32F parts available, different amounts of memory, ADC speeds and type, FPU.
Access to that in  pin compatible packages is worth a buck.
Quality and some details (is USB bootloader in flash?  which pin is the LED tied to?  does it work at all?)
on a $2 BluePill can vary considerably.  Pretty much zero glue needed except LED's and R's and a voltage regulator.

I'd prefer something other than an 8mhz resonator on the processor.
We're seeing trouble with the Nano's where the 16mhz and 12mhz resonators can sometimes choose
to be of a frequency where fundamental or harmonics of that and the BFO create audio tones that are hard to kill.
When that happens, best bet is to clip out the Nano and try a different one as those resonators are dinky.

Likewise, I'd just as soon not have a USB interface running while using the radio, I'm fine with something like this
to program the firmware via the bootloader in ROM using a UART interface from a host USB port:
    http://www.oddwires.com/cp2102-serial-adapter-module-usb-to-rs232-with-jumper-wires/
That item can be configured for 5v or 3.3v io to the Arduino.
It's much easier to choke out any RF from those 9600 baud UART lines than it is to clean
up a 12mhz USB interface, and sometimes we will want that running while operating the radio.

Jerry



On Fri, May 18, 2018 at 08:12 am, W3JDR wrote:
BTW, I considered starting out at the STM chip level, but you can buy the whole board cheaper than you can buy the chip. And you'd have to put all the necessary 'glue' around it and then build it and burn an Arduino compatible bootloader into it. Also, an FPU is primarily useful in DSP applications, and I see that as being a separate unit, so I'm going the Pill route.

W3JDR
 

Bob
Some of the features, like the display, are intertwined throughout the code and hard to separate. Others, like the encoder, are just little pieces of code that mostly stand alone. However, even the encoder handler consists of code in the declarations area to define variables, code in the setup section to set up the interrupts, code in the actual interrupt handler and code in the main loop.. Plus, I made a hardware change to the Raduino to exchange some signal lines with others that were more appropriate for the encoder task. I'd have to clean up the sketch which consists of about 8 files and is in a spaghetti-like state right now because it's under extreme development and contains bunches of debug stuff, and also document it as a first line of defense against the many questions it would raise.in its present state. I'd like to do all that when the functionality stops evolving, but for now the best I can do is describe my approach and send out-of-context  snippets. Having said that, I'd be pleased to answer pointed questions and provide example code snippets.

Joe

Vince Vielhaber
 

On 05/18/2018 01:33 PM, Jerry Gaffke via Groups.Io wrote:

I'd prefer something other than an 8mhz resonator on the processor.
We're seeing trouble with the Nano's where the 16mhz and 12mhz
resonators can sometimes choose
to be of a frequency where fundamental or harmonics of that and the BFO
create audio tones that are hard to kill.
When that happens, best bet is to clip out the Nano and try a different
one as those resonators are dinky.
Simple solution. Separate the 5351 from the controller and display. Get that controller a ways away and it also has the benefit of more case options.

Vince.
--
Michigan VHF Corp. http://www.nobucks.net/ http://www.CDupe.com/
http://www.metalworkingfun.com

Jerry Gaffke
 

That could work.
The uBitx could use some shielding, and around the Nano+Display is a good candidate.
Could filter the i2c bus to an  si5351 on the main board instead of filtering my UART lines into the Raduino

I've suggested having the si5351 on the main board multiple times starting well over a year ago.
That would remove the need for a Raduino entirely, just get whatever processor board plus display you want.

Though improving the electrical design of the Raduino to avoid the BFO beats might mean it can be
a drop in upgrade, no messing with shielding or adding an si5351 to the main board for current owners.

Jerry




On Fri, May 18, 2018 at 10:41 am, Vince Vielhaber wrote:
Simple solution. Separate the 5351 from the controller and display. Get that controller a ways away and it also has the benefit of more case options.

Kees T
 

Joe, W3JDR,

I think I would like a roadmap of all the "Raduino+" boards and firmware being worked on by a number of people and what each provides. Hats off to you guys.....but I am getting a little confused.

Design by committee is more difficult than herding cats, but using one of the inexpensive STM32F103 boards is a great design point when/if you have decided the Nano is out of gas......the best of luck to you.

If a Gerber file or boards can be provided, that would be even better, Joe.

The big stumbling block is again the firmware and coordination/support/committment of that firmware over time.

73 Kees K5BCQ

W3JDR
 

Kees,

Technical anarchy is sometimes a good thing, as it can result in breakthrough ideas. The price to pay is it sometimes causes head-spinning confusion, so it certainly isn't appropriate for structured projects with well defined goals. I don't think this project has well-defined goals and that's what makes it so interesting to me. There is a unifying philosophy though; everyone is trying to make enhancements to a common platform, the uBITX, and that platform is our de-facto interface standard. 

Vive la difference!

Joe

artns7e <Artns7e@...>
 

Hello my name is Art NS7E reading your post I was wondering my ubits HF rig came with a Arduino board and it has the Arduino mini STM32F103already on it I think you must be talking about an older Arduino?

please correct me if I misunderstood.
Arthur NS7E   at artns7e@...


Jerry Gaffke
 

It's almost certainly an Arduino Nano, with an ATMega328P chip. 
Not an STM32F103.

Jerry


On Fri, May 18, 2018 at 12:15 pm, artns7e wrote:
Hello my name is Art NS7E reading your post I was wondering my ubits HF rig came with a Arduino board and it has the Arduino mini STM32F103already on it I think you must be talking about an older Arduino?