Topics

Homebrew from scratch #ubitx

Woolf Brebner
 

I'd like to build a uBitx completely from scratch. I've been looking at the circuit diagram and I cant figure out how to wire up the raduino. How would one make a raduino from scratch and wire it to a uBitx? I'd preferably like to be able to build it on a proto board. Would it be doable for someone with pretty good experience in wiring pcbs and proto-boards to build a uBitx from scratch on a proto board. If not does anyone have pcb designs for the uBitx and the raduino. And does anyone have a list of everything I would need to purchase to build a uBitx. I don't want to ask to much but if anyone has built a uBitx from scratch and has files and such that would be great. Thanks a lot, in advance.

Ashhar Farhan
 

Soldering the si5351 would be the main challenge. Your best bet would be to buy the qrp labs' si5351 synth kit and solder it as a daughter board onto the main rf board. A small perf board can take the arduino, lcd display to the front panel. 
What I did for the original hombrew was similar to that. 
- f

On Mon, 18 Jun 2018, 02:26 Woolf Brebner, <woolfoftheworld@...> wrote:
I'd like to build a uBitx completely from scratch. I've been looking at the circuit diagram and I cant figure out how to wire up the raduino. How would one make a raduino from scratch and wire it to a uBitx? I'd preferably like to be able to build it on a proto board. Would it be doable for someone with pretty good experience in wiring pcbs and proto-boards to build a uBitx from scratch on a proto board. If not does anyone have pcb designs for the uBitx and the raduino. And does anyone have a list of everything I would need to purchase to build a uBitx. I don't want to ask to much but if anyone has built a uBitx from scratch and has files and such that would be great. Thanks a lot, in advance.

Richie Chambless
 

Hello Woolf,

I have Eagle layout files for the RF sections of the UbitX. I took a modular approach, so there are several circuit boards that you could make a UbitX or a single conversion design. I've been thinking about uploading them to the files section for some time but I just haven't done it. Here are a couple of pictures of the exciter section (single conversion). Let me know if you would like them and I get email them to you:

Mike aka KC2WVB <rb5363@...>
 

You could ask Mike Hagen, WA6ISP, if he would share his design/... for his modified Raduino. Its structure is probably the easiest part of your planned endeavor.

On Jun 17, 2018 4:56 PM, "Woolf Brebner" <woolfoftheworld@...> wrote:
I'd like to build a uBitx completely from scratch. I've been looking at the circuit diagram and I cant figure out how to wire up the raduino. How would one make a raduino from scratch and wire it to a uBitx? I'd preferably like to be able to build it on a proto board. Would it be doable for someone with pretty good experience in wiring pcbs and proto-boards to build a uBitx from scratch on a proto board. If not does anyone have pcb designs for the uBitx and the raduino. And does anyone have a list of everything I would need to purchase to build a uBitx. I don't want to ask to much but if anyone has built a uBitx from scratch and has files and such that would be great. Thanks a lot, in advance.


Frank Dinger , EI7KS
 

Hi Richie, tnx for the pics re your ubitx modular approach . This is  homebrewing in the true sense.
Tnx for sharing .

73  Frank    EI / GM0CSZ    and KN6WH

Richard Bennett
 

Very nice,
I much prefer the modular designs for anything.
I am thinking tho, when I take on an endeavor such as this, I would prefer to stack the boards in the box veetical  on their sides.
Could still pack it in a pretty small enclosure.
Just me thinking out loud.
73,
KD9BPY


On Sun, Jun 17, 2018 at 22:21, Richie Chambless
<rchambless7@...> wrote:
Hello Woolf,

I have Eagle layout files for the RF sections of the UbitX. I took a modular approach, so there are several circuit boards that you could make a UbitX or a single conversion design. I've been thinking about uploading them to the files section for some time but I just haven't done it. Here are a couple of pictures of the exciter section (single conversion). Let me know if you would like them and I get email them to you:

Woolf Brebner
 

Oh yeah. Thats great. The modular design seems to be the way to go. It would be great if you could send me the files at woolfbrebner@.... I'd like to look at them. Thanks! 

Nick VK4PP
 

I have thought of a modular approach too...
Having each major section on a stack-able board of its own, 

This will allow new PA board to be easily swapped in/out.

Ideas on where to split the boards?
1: Arduino/ SI5153/ LCD board /Voltage Reg.
2: Mixers, (Close to board 1 to reduce signal path lengths, or move SI5153 to mixer board and feed I2C bus in)
3: Audio Amp/AGC/CW Filters
4: PA/ LPF/ SWR bridge.

A common edge connector for RX/TX power and ground and then other connectors as required per stage.
the footprint could be 1/4 or 1/3 the size of current board but 4 times "fatter", ie the height of the 20x2 or NTX 2.4/2.8 LCD....

uBitx^3? CubeBitx?

73 Nick VK4PLN

Mike Woods
 

uBITx v5 (although it may cost a bit more with all those extra connectors)

M

On 19/06/18 11:59 AM, Nick VK4PLN wrote:
I have thought of a modular approach too...
Having each major section on a stack-able board of its own, 

This will allow new PA board to be easily swapped in/out.

Ideas on where to split the boards?
1: Arduino/ SI5153/ LCD board /Voltage Reg.
2: Mixers, (Close to board 1 to reduce signal path lengths, or move SI5153 to mixer board and feed I2C bus in)
3: Audio Amp/AGC/CW Filters
4: PA/ LPF/ SWR bridge.

A common edge connector for RX/TX power and ground and then other connectors as required per stage.
the footprint could be 1/4 or 1/3 the size of current board but 4 times "fatter", ie the height of the 20x2 or NTX 2.4/2.8 LCD....

uBitx^3? CubeBitx?

73 Nick VK4PLN


--
Mike Woods
mhwoods@...

Charudatt Uplap
 

I am also working on a similar model of Modular approach.

 

But I am working on a concept of Plug-in modules. I have already created some of the modules which when ready will be plugged in a Base board (Motherboard) and interlinked without cables.

 

I share some of my Schematics with the group.

 

regards

charudatt – vu2upx

 

From: BITX20@groups.io <BITX20@groups.io> On Behalf Of Richie Chambless
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2018 7:51 AM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Homebrew from scratch #ubitx

 

Hello Woolf,

I have Eagle layout files for the RF sections of the UbitX. I took a modular approach, so there are several circuit boards that you could make a UbitX or a single conversion design. I've been thinking about uploading them to the files section for some time but I just haven't done it. Here are a couple of pictures of the exciter section (single conversion). Let me know if you would like them and I get email them to you:

Richie Chambless
 

I have uploaded all of my Eagle layout files to the file section. You will need to download Eagle editor to see them. The good news is the basic version of the software is free: https://groups.io/g/BITX20/files/KM4TLR

StephenT
 

I'm all for it!

On Tue, 2018-06-19 at 19:38 +1200, Mike Woods wrote:
uBITx v5 (although it may cost a bit more with all those extra connectors)

M

On 19/06/18 11:59 AM, Nick VK4PLN wrote:
I have thought of a modular approach too...
Having each major section on a stack-able board of its own, 

This will allow new PA board to be easily swapped in/out.

Ideas on where to split the boards?
1: Arduino/ SI5153/ LCD board /Voltage Reg.
2: Mixers, (Close to board 1 to reduce signal path lengths, or move SI5153 to mixer board and feed I2C bus in)
3: Audio Amp/AGC/CW Filters
4: PA/ LPF/ SWR bridge.

A common edge connector for RX/TX power and ground and then other connectors as required per stage.
the footprint could be 1/4 or 1/3 the size of current board but 4 times "fatter", ie the height of the 20x2 or NTX 2.4/2.8 LCD....

uBitx^3? CubeBitx?

73 Nick VK4PLN


--
Mike Woods
mhwoods@...

VK3HN
 

Several have explored modules for BiTX/uBiTx.  Paul M0XPD is one: http://m0xpd.blogspot.com/2014/08/plug-in-bitx-modules.html 

ON6RF developed a very nice PCB with all the modules able to be snapped off, thy had their board on Oshpark or similar, http://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2017/10/modular-bitx-boards.html 

I think modules are a great idea, because I like to swap variants.  Separate point to point wiring between them should be avoided because it defeats swappabiilty.  The idea really makes sense when you think of with a backplane/motherboard  with all signal and power connections, and pluggable modules separated by screens where necessary.  0.1" headers work at HF.  The module boards can then be vertical.  Surface mount allows them to be tiny.  

Regarding scratch building Raduinos, I have built 4 or 5, using a Nano, veroboard or hand drawn PCB, and the Adafruit si5351 breakout.  All of mine are implementations of the Raduino circuit so I can run any of the community's software.

You might get some ideas here and here :
https://vk3hn.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/arduino-and-si5351-dds-vfobfo/
https://vk3hn.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/my-second-homebrew-arduinosi5351-digital-vfo-controller/?wref=tp  


73 Paul VK3HN. 

w7hd.rh <w7hd.rh@...>
 

FYI - I used the same approach when designing the Heath SB103 transceiver chassis back in the early 1970's.  With vertical solid metal separators, we were able to achieve some impressive isolation between modules.  The only wires were to the rear panel connectors and front panel controls.  When we were forced into using tube finals, those had to be wired, of course (we originally did a totally solid-state final).  Everything else was handled by the motherboard.  The vertical separators also gave the chassis rigidity and you could literally jump up and down on the radio without affecting anything.  It also facilitated the design process, since we could swap boards in and out, even using an extender to bring it up above the chassis.  We had a reference oscillator with 1 ppm/year drift (measured) without using an oven, also (my design). 

Ron W7HD

On 06/19/2018 06:35 PM, VK3HN wrote:
Several have explored modules for BiTX/uBiTx.  Paul M0XPD is one: http://m0xpd.blogspot.com/2014/08/plug-in-bitx-modules.html 

ON6RF developed a very nice PCB with all the modules able to be snapped off, thy had their board on Oshpark or similar, http://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2017/10/modular-bitx-boards.html 

I think modules are a great idea, because I like to swap variants.  Separate point to point wiring between them should be avoided because it defeats swappabiilty.  The idea really makes sense when you think of with a backplane/motherboard  with all signal and power connections, and pluggable modules separated by screens where necessary.  0.1" headers work at HF.  The module boards can then be vertical.  Surface mount allows them to be tiny.  

Regarding scratch building Raduinos, I have built 4 or 5, using a Nano, veroboard or hand drawn PCB, and the Adafruit si5351 breakout.  All of mine are implementations of the Raduino circuit so I can run any of the community's software.

You might get some ideas here and here :
https://vk3hn.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/arduino-and-si5351-dds-vfobfo/
https://vk3hn.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/my-second-homebrew-arduinosi5351-digital-vfo-controller/?wref=tp  


73 Paul VK3HN. 

-- 
Ron W7HD - NAQCC#7587 OMISS#9898 KX3#6966 LinuxUser#415320
Editor OVARC newsletter

Jack, W8TEE
 

There's a lot to be said for the bus approach to building anything. Remember the S-100 bus in the early computers? Early versions suffered from ringing on the bus, but that was quickly solved and the bus was serviceable for many years. As far as serving as the platform for experimenters like so many of us here are, a bus kinda make sense. Alas, I wouldn't know a "good" bus if it sneaked up and bit me in the butt. However, I'm sure there are many here who do. This might be a fun direction to go.

Jack, W8TEE


On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 11:21:00 PM EDT, w7hd.rh <w7hd.rh@...> wrote:


FYI - I used the same approach when designing the Heath SB103 transceiver chassis back in the early 1970's.  With vertical solid metal separators, we were able to achieve some impressive isolation between modules.  The only wires were to the rear panel connectors and front panel controls.  When we were forced into using tube finals, those had to be wired, of course (we originally did a totally solid-state final).  Everything else was handled by the motherboard.  The vertical separators also gave the chassis rigidity and you could literally jump up and down on the radio without affecting anything.  It also facilitated the design process, since we could swap boards in and out, even using an extender to bring it up above the chassis.  We had a reference oscillator with 1 ppm/year drift (measured) without using an oven, also (my design). 

Ron W7HD

On 06/19/2018 06:35 PM, VK3HN wrote:
Several have explored modules for BiTX/uBiTx.  Paul M0XPD is one: http://m0xpd.blogspot.com/2014/08/plug-in-bitx-modules.html 

ON6RF developed a very nice PCB with all the modules able to be snapped off, thy had their board on Oshpark or similar, http://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2017/10/modular-bitx-boards.html 

I think modules are a great idea, because I like to swap variants.  Separate point to point wiring between them should be avoided because it defeats swappabiilty.  The idea really makes sense when you think of with a backplane/motherboard  with all signal and power connections, and pluggable modules separated by screens where necessary.  0.1" headers work at HF.  The module boards can then be vertical.  Surface mount allows them to be tiny.  

Regarding scratch building Raduinos, I have built 4 or 5, using a Nano, veroboard or hand drawn PCB, and the Adafruit si5351 breakout.  All of mine are implementations of the Raduino circuit so I can run any of the community's software.

You might get some ideas here and here :
https://vk3hn.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/arduino-and-si5351-dds-vfobfo/
https://vk3hn.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/my-second-homebrew-arduinosi5351-digital-vfo-controller/?wref=tp  


73 Paul VK3HN. 

-- 
Ron W7HD - NAQCC#7587 OMISS#9898 KX3#6966 LinuxUser#415320
Editor OVARC newsletter

James Lynes
 

I've been a little surprised that someone hasn't already defined and published a "Hambus".

Maybe base it on 20 pin double row(40 pins) m/f 0.1 pitch connectors. Define pins for RF, IF, AF, I, Q, Controls, and multiple power and ground traces. Layout mother boards in assorted  slot counts.

James
KE4MIQ

VK3HN
 

Hi Ron, Jack and James.  'Hambus' -- there's an idea.  Modules are common enough, Mark at Minikits has a complete HF transceiver with header connected modules, some (crystal filters, BPFs, LPFs) of which stack.  These hint at a bus, with consistent assignments of power, control and signal lines to specific pins.  Other projects have pluggable daughterboards (the venerable Sierra's neat band plugins, for example).  

The idea of a universal bus is appealing. In computer tradition, the Hambus could be standardised and managed as a product in its own right. Modules could then be designed for Hambus versions. Imagine mixing and matching homebrew and vendor modules on a Hambus.  Layout would be important for screening and short paths, but  James' suggested 20 double 0.1 headers should be enough separation.  Perhaps some strategically placed jumpers on certain bus lines (audio, RF) could trim signal bus lines for better isolation. 

First problem to solve -- how do you get physical strength when you edge mount a vertical board on a double row 0.1 header?  Slide the board between the two rows, bend pins in, solder both sides?  

Minikits M1: https://www.minikits.com.au/m1-transceiver.htm

w7hd.rh <w7hd.rh@...>
 

I solved it by using a single row of pins to the motherboard.  The mounting arrangement included two slides (front and rear) attached to mounting panels.  The socket mounted on the motherboard was soldered in place, and a fairly stiff board was used.  If you need yet more strength, spacers between the motherboard and the bottom chassis will add far more than enough strength.  The bus used consisted of 3 each 20-pin headers to allow for varied signals and was terminated on one end (very important for maintaining isolation).  The traces between boards contained only the needed signals, such that all audio level signals only connected to audio handling boards, etc. 

Ron W7HD

On 06/20/2018 04:40 PM, VK3HN wrote:
Hi Ron, Jack and James.  'Hambus' -- there's an idea.  Modules are common enough, Mark at Minikits has a complete HF transceiver with header connected modules, some (crystal filters, BPFs, LPFs) of which stack.  These hint at a bus, with consistent assignments of power, control and signal lines to specific pins.  Other projects have pluggable daughterboards (the venerable Sierra's neat band plugins, for example).  

The idea of a universal bus is appealing. In computer tradition, the Hambus could be standardised and managed as a product in its own right. Modules could then be designed for Hambus versions. Imagine mixing and matching homebrew and vendor modules on a Hambus.  Layout would be important for screening and short paths, but  James' suggested 20 double 0.1 headers should be enough separation.  Perhaps some strategically placed jumpers on certain bus lines (audio, RF) could trim signal bus lines for better isolation. 

First problem to solve -- how do you get physical strength when you edge mount a vertical board on a double row 0.1 header?  Slide the board between the two rows, bend pins in, solder both sides?  

Minikits M1: https://www.minikits.com.au/m1-transceiver.htm

-- 
Ron W7HD - NAQCC#7587 OMISS#9898 KX3#6966 LinuxUser#415320
Editor OVARC newsletter

Arv Evans
 

If hams were to design and standardize a ham-bus-system approach to modular equipment,
should the design be placed in public domain, or under one of the free-to-use licenses?  
Should a group be formed specifically for the purpose of bus design, documentation, and
publication?
How would upgrades, modifications, and alternative bus designs be handled?

Seems there are lots of questions, lots of possible opinions, and lots of work to do.

Arv
_._


On Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 6:18 PM w7hd.rh <w7hd.rh@...> wrote:
I solved it by using a single row of pins to the motherboard.  The mounting arrangement included two slides (front and rear) attached to mounting panels.  The socket mounted on the motherboard was soldered in place, and a fairly stiff board was used.  If you need yet more strength, spacers between the motherboard and the bottom chassis will add far more than enough strength.  The bus used consisted of 3 each 20-pin headers to allow for varied signals and was terminated on one end (very important for maintaining isolation).  The traces between boards contained only the needed signals, such that all audio level signals only connected to audio handling boards, etc. 

Ron W7HD

On 06/20/2018 04:40 PM, VK3HN wrote:
Hi Ron, Jack and James.  'Hambus' -- there's an idea.  Modules are common enough, Mark at Minikits has a complete HF transceiver with header connected modules, some (crystal filters, BPFs, LPFs) of which stack.  These hint at a bus, with consistent assignments of power, control and signal lines to specific pins.  Other projects have pluggable daughterboards (the venerable Sierra's neat band plugins, for example).  

The idea of a universal bus is appealing. In computer tradition, the Hambus could be standardised and managed as a product in its own right. Modules could then be designed for Hambus versions. Imagine mixing and matching homebrew and vendor modules on a Hambus.  Layout would be important for screening and short paths, but  James' suggested 20 double 0.1 headers should be enough separation.  Perhaps some strategically placed jumpers on certain bus lines (audio, RF) could trim signal bus lines for better isolation. 

First problem to solve -- how do you get physical strength when you edge mount a vertical board on a double row 0.1 header?  Slide the board between the two rows, bend pins in, solder both sides?  

Minikits M1: https://www.minikits.com.au/m1-transceiver.htm

-- 
Ron W7HD - NAQCC#7587 OMISS#9898 KX3#6966 LinuxUser#415320
Editor OVARC newsletter

tdelozie
 

TAPR has a kits for the HDSDR project which has a bus board called Atlas. Perhaps it could further inspire a hambus. The documentation at the bottom of the kit page describes it in detail. 

http://www.tapr.org/kits_atlas.html
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