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Raduino fix leads to no receive uBitx #ubitx #radiuno

ludwig_t@...
 

Hello folks,

unfortunately I bricked my raduino a few weeks ago when I was about to install an AGC circuit to my uBitx. After replacing the Arduino and the SI5351 today and flashing KD8CEC firmware v.1.080 I noticed, that my uBitx was not able to receive any signal. So I searched for any failure with my oscilloscope and my frequency counter. The SI5351 is one from ebay since I couldn't order one from Mouser or any other distributor.

While measuring the frequency of the three local oscillators I noticed, that CLK2 is fixed to 45.163MHz, no matter which band I tune. The display shows the "correct" tuning frequency but CLK2 does not change at all. Also CLK1 has a fixed frequency of 24MHz while CLK3 has 49.157MHz. This behavior is not understandable for me, it might be a software bug or an issue with the replaced SI5351.

So, now I'm quite worried about my uBitx becomes a brick. Do you have any idea how I could fix my uBitx?

Best regards
Ludwig, DM2LCT

Gary Anderson
 

Hi Ludwig,
Surprised of no replies on this, so I'll throw out a few ideas to stir up the conversation.
From your description, it seems to be an issue with the I2C/SI5351.

1. I doubt there is a software bug with KD8CEC v 1.080 that is the reason for your issue.  But, I recommend you use the same firmware you used before the 'incident' to remove this as a variable.
2. With a SI5351 sourced from Ebay, the questionability of the part is of course raised.  There are part variants. (some may not be intended for general market release)  Could you share the part number from the actual unit you installed? 
Based on the data sheet I believe Silicon Labs ships parts that are factory programmed to allow the part to generate 'clks' at power-up (without a I2C connection required)
3. It is not a trivial solder rework to replace the SI5351.  Not to question your skills, but are all the leads properly soldered, with no opens/ shorts?
You have measured signals on CLK0-2, but there could be an issue with SDA,SCL.
4. Since you have a scope :), you can look at the SDA,SCL signals at the pull-up resistors and at the SI5351 leads.
5. SI5351 supports 2 IC2 addresses, in this package the LSB is hard wired.  The addr should be 0x60, but there could be a slight chance the ebay one is 0x61
This can be changed in the firmware #define SI5351BX_ADDR 0x60  -> SI5351BX_ADDR 0x61  (simple and fast to give it a try)

There are many solutions to get a microprocessor and SI5351 combination working again in your uBITX, so no need to worry.
You should also feel comfortable sharing the details of the incident with this group so we can better understand how the SI5351 and Arduino became Non Functional as it applies to getting your uBITX functional.
I am inferring for now that you only have an issue with the Radiuno board.

Regards,
Gary

Gary Anderson
 

Ludwig,
John VK2ETA just posted a reminder of the diagnostic software he had created to test communication between the Nano and the SI5351 in a different thread.
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/54073
Very applicable to your situation.

Regards,
Gary

ludwig_t@...
 

Hello Gary,

thank you so much for reply! I bricked my Raduino while installing an AGC board to my uBitx, there was a short on my AGC PCB where I hasn't scratched properly. Unfortunately there got battery power to the 5V pin of the Arduino over this short. 

Before the incident, I used also the firmware from KD8CEC on my uBitx and it worked perfect. The part number of my replacement chip is SI5351A-B04486-GT. I bought it from some UK based eBay store. The replacement of the chip was quite easy for me since I'm used to solder really small SMD packages. So all pins are soldered properly. There were signals on SDA and SCL.

While looking for some solution for my problem I found this thread here: https://www.silabs.com/community/timing/forum.topic.html/si5351_-_strangebeh-op0N
This guy seemed to have the same problem as me. And he got a solution for it. The I2C address of this particular chip is 0x62 instead of 0x60. Compiling the KD8CEC firmware with this small modification, my Raduino started to work as I expected.

But now I have some other problems with my uBitx. It seems to receive very bad. Only a few strong signals will be hearable. I also wondered about the signal level, my SI5351 is generating. While CLK2 has a level of 0.4Vpp on 160m band, on 10m the output is only about 0.1Vpp and I don't know if this should be like this. Also on the lower bands I receive stronger background noise, but no noise on everything above 20MHz.

I calibrated the main calibration with my frequency counter (soviet Ч3-54, very accurate and it has nixie tubes :-) ). I adjusted CLK2 at my raduino to be 55.000MHz when 10.000MHz is tuned.
Also my BFO seems to need a calibration. The signal quality of the few signals I can receive, is very bad.


73,
Ludwig, DM2LC

ludwig_t@...
 

Hello,

so does nobody have an idea, what might be wrong with my raduino? Which output levels should be generated by the SI5351 chip? The datasheet tells me, the output levels at the clock pins should be near 3.3V but mine aren't. So I wonder, which signals should be generated by a healthy raduino?

73,
Ludwig, DM2LCT

Gordon Gibby <ggibby@...>
 

Ludwig I have measured the output of mine and the 3.3 V figure is correct when lightly loaded.  With a 50ohm load it will be considerably less, Because the output impedance is about 1 k ohm

Now it boils down to troubleshooting whether you are using that chip correctly with proper voltages, programming, at Cetera, or whether that chip is dead.


On Jul 15, 2018, at 18:46, "ludwig_t@..." <ludwig_t@...> wrote:

Hello,

so does nobody have an idea, what might be wrong with my raduino? Which output levels should be generated by the SI5351 chip? The datasheet tells me, the output levels at the clock pins should be near 3.3V but mine aren't. So I wonder, which signals should be generated by a healthy raduino?

73,
Ludwig, DM2LCT

ludwig_t@...
 

Hi Gordon,

I measured mine without any load and I had way too low output level on CLK2 and CLK1. It was a bit dependent from the frequency I tune in. Then I modified the code in the ubitx_si5351.ino inreasing the drive of the clock outputs. The DC voltage supply for the SI5351 supplies 3.3V, so there seems to be no problem.

I measured now with a HP54510A oscilloscope which has a greater bandwith than the Philips PM3335 analog scope I used before. I also used better oscilloscope probes to measure. Now I get 1.26Vrms when I tune on 10m band and 1.85Vrms on 80m. This should be okay. Now my receiving noise is also a bit louder on all bands but I still not receive any SSB Signal.

notlarc senrab
 

Hi I purchased my unit in July same problem , order both board s off from eBay . my cw is week. Yesterday thought I heard cb or cordless phone , tried everything except flashing again. I'm no going to eat $139 for a device that never worked. checked all boards I never could receive we've on any frequency, only faint cw 7.033.150. any one any suggestions. 73 VE

Praba Karan
 

uBitx from eBay? 


On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 10:22 AM <snotlarc@...> wrote:
Hi I purchased my unit in July same problem , order both board s off from eBay . my cw is week. Yesterday thought I heard cb or cordless phone , tried everything except flashing again. I'm no going to eat $139 for a device that never worked. checked all boards I never could receive we've on any frequency, only faint cw 7.033.150. any one any suggestions. 73 VE

notlarc senrab
 

No not from eBay aduino replacement board . 


On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 2:01 AM Praba Karan <vu3dxr@...> wrote:
uBitx from eBay? 

On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 10:22 AM <snotlarc@...> wrote:
Hi I purchased my unit in July same problem , order both board s off from eBay . my cw is week. Yesterday thought I heard cb or cordless phone , tried everything except flashing again. I'm no going to eat $139 for a device that never worked. checked all boards I never could receive we've on any frequency, only faint cw 7.033.150. any one any suggestions. 73 VE

Mike Woods
 

OM

You will need to give more details to get assistance.  For example:

1    Which board v3, v4?
2    What antenna are you using?  You will need a decent antenna to hear anything on any HF transceiver e.g. a dipole antenna, or end-fed halfwave, etc.
3    What firmware are you using?
4    What do you mean by weak CW?
5   Where do you live?   Note that in some parts of the world (e.g. VK/ZL), in this part of the sunspot cycle, you won't hear anything except noise most of the time on any frequency except for the broadcast band (below 1.6MHz) ...

Mike ZL1AXG

On 16/09/18 6:37 PM, notlarc senrab wrote:
No not from eBay aduino replacement board . 

On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 2:01 AM Praba Karan <vu3dxr@...> wrote:
uBitx from eBay? 

On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 10:22 AM <snotlarc@...> wrote:
Hi I purchased my unit in July same problem , order both board s off from eBay . my cw is week. Yesterday thought I heard cb or cordless phone , tried everything except flashing again. I'm no going to eat $139 for a device that never worked. checked all boards I never could receive we've on any frequency, only faint cw 7.033.150. any one any suggestions. 73 VE


--
Mike Woods
mhwoods@...

notlarc senrab
 

ubitx V4. 3   random wire 2 leads in tree 40 feet long on second floor 60 feet up from ground cw very weak can heard one station not the other. What could I have done wrong, rechecked wiring. Only error on Mike original schematic was an error, Received message could understand it, where do I go from location United States VA. Any help greatly appreciated 73


On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 2:54 AM Mike Woods <mhwoods@...> wrote:
OM

You will need to give more details to get assistance.  For example:

1    Which board v3, v4?
2    What antenna are you using?  You will need a decent antenna to hear anything on any HF transceiver e.g. a dipole antenna, or end-fed halfwave, etc.
3    What firmware are you using?
4    What do you mean by weak CW?
5   Where do you live?   Note that in some parts of the world (e.g. VK/ZL), in this part of the sunspot cycle, you won't hear anything except noise most of the time on any frequency except for the broadcast band (below 1.6MHz) ...

Mike ZL1AXG

On 16/09/18 6:37 PM, notlarc senrab wrote:
No not from eBay aduino replacement board . 

On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 2:01 AM Praba Karan <vu3dxr@...> wrote:
uBitx from eBay? 

On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 10:22 AM <snotlarc@...> wrote:
Hi I purchased my unit in July same problem , order both board s off from eBay . my cw is week. Yesterday thought I heard cb or cordless phone , tried everything except flashing again. I'm no going to eat $139 for a device that never worked. checked all boards I never could receive we've on any frequency, only faint cw 7.033.150. any one any suggestions. 73 VE


--
Mike Woods
mhwoods@...

Timothy Fidler
 

On Sun, Sep 16, 2018 at 12:07 AM, notlarc senrab wrote:
7.033. Mhz
300/ 7.033 Mhz   x 0.95  x  .25 = 10.13 m each side of dipole. = 33.23 ft ; you say 40 ft  x 2 
There is no chance that the forty foot antenna (as a dipole)  is resonant or presenting anything like 50/75 ohms impedance to the receiver cct  .  Sounds like you have no impedance match of any type in place. 

I would suggest  a completely half arsed antenna installation  and no knowledge of RF at all (have you consulted the ARRL Handbook ?) and the TCVR does work,  but you have failed it by a rubbish installation job.  It is not a pocket radio with a whip antenna you know.

  Did you lead in with RG58 U  Coax or similar  DEFINITELY NOT RG59 ?? ,  it sounds not.  you might have  a prayer if you did a lead in with figure 8 wire this bad practice but often it has a Z of  85 ohms or so.  I do have a feeling I am answering/helping a Troll enquiry here...

notlarc senrab
 

Thanks for you input , I'm under restrictions no antennas allowed on the property buddy, at all, trying do make do what I can, you have no idea what I know, thank you for the assumption, not has the ability to set up a outside antenna apartment dwellers a totally different thing. As far as trolling, maybe you should not be quick to attack humble yourself


On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 5:50 AM Timothy Fidler <engstr@...> wrote:
On Sun, Sep 16, 2018 at 12:07 AM, notlarc senrab wrote:
7.033. Mhz
300/ 7.033 Mhz   x 0.95  x  .25 = 10.13 m each side of dipole. = 33.23 ft ; you say 40 ft  x 2 
There is no chance that the forty foot antenna (as a dipole)  is resonant or presenting anything like 50/75 ohms impedance to the receiver cct  .  Sounds like you have no impedance match of any type in place. 

I would suggest  a completely half arsed antenna installation  and no knowledge of RF at all (have you consulted the ARRL Handbook ?) and the TCVR does work,  but you have failed it by a rubbish installation job.  It is not a pocket radio with a whip antenna you know.

  Did you lead in with RG58 U  Coax or similar  DEFINITELY NOT RG59 ?? ,  it sounds not.  you might have  a prayer if you did a lead in with figure 8 wire this bad practice but often it has a Z of  85 ohms or so.  I do have a feeling I am answering/helping a Troll enquiry here...

James Lynes
 

Resonant antenna is not required on receive. I've heard over 40 states and 20 countries with 65ft wire up 10ft in my rafters with my ZZRX-40 DC receiver. 

Check the BNC connector center pin. It's been noted that some have a loose fit.

Check for the Raduino clocks by using another receiver. 

James
KE4MIQ

notlarc senrab
 

Thank you first and foremost  I apologize to the group. My signal has increased chu 7.85 nice strong my wire feeds off my cable attached to bnc connector got 200 feet 50 ohms type. I'm in apartment owner really did like amateur radio operators, any wire or antenna $300 next eviction in lease agreement. surrounded by apartment's . they are tolerant of patio furniture I read somewhere about a antenna umbrella. my patio size of a piece of sheetrock uncut I don't know the size 8 foot by 4 foot. any kind suggestions are welcome. 


On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 10:57 AM James Lynes <jmlynesjr@...> wrote:
Resonant antenna is not required on receive. I've heard over 40 states and 20 countries with 65ft wire up 10ft in my rafters with my ZZRX-40 DC receiver. 

Check the BNC connector center pin. It's been noted that some have a loose fit.

Check for the Raduino clocks by using another receiver. 

James
KE4MIQ

Arv Evans
 

Karan

I just checked Ebay and did not find any uBITX there.  Might be interesting to see
a picture from the OP to see just what he purchased.

Arv
_._


On Sun, Sep 16, 2018 at 12:01 AM Praba Karan <vu3dxr@...> wrote:
uBitx from eBay? 

On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 10:22 AM <snotlarc@...> wrote:
Hi I purchased my unit in July same problem , order both board s off from eBay . my cw is week. Yesterday thought I heard cb or cordless phone , tried everything except flashing again. I'm no going to eat $139 for a device that never worked. checked all boards I never could receive we've on any frequency, only faint cw 7.033.150. any one any suggestions. 73 VE

notlarc senrab
 

Sorry. I said aduino board replacement, my radio came from ubitx $129+10 shipping sorry for any confusion


On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 1:07 PM Arv Evans <arvid.evans@...> wrote:
Karan

I just checked Ebay and did not find any uBITX there.  Might be interesting to see
a picture from the OP to see just what he purchased.

Arv
_._


On Sun, Sep 16, 2018 at 12:01 AM Praba Karan <vu3dxr@...> wrote:
uBitx from eBay? 

On Sun, Sep 16, 2018, 10:22 AM <snotlarc@...> wrote:
Hi I purchased my unit in July same problem , order both board s off from eBay . my cw is week. Yesterday thought I heard cb or cordless phone , tried everything except flashing again. I'm no going to eat $139 for a device that never worked. checked all boards I never could receive we've on any frequency, only faint cw 7.033.150. any one any suggestions. 73 VE

kg9rb@...
 

might have fried the whole radrino,ardrino assembly when you had the short. i would pull the whole assembly off,and order one from ebay or someone from this forum or some of the other companies that sell assemblies for arp rigs etc. then reprogram it . should be able to power it up separately? it has usb connection for computer and if i read on here previously you can test the assembly separately. just a thought. 

david todd <kg9rb@...>
 

notlarc,
dont know if it helps but an online magazine called antentop has alot of alternative antenna builds.eh, spiral,etc.
i had the same problem when i rented and built an antenna that was ,ibelieve called a balcony antenna. it used a short vert with loading coil and radials came out from a metal sheet the ham had in his living room.

i personall used 22 guage wire and zig zagged it to get a dipole up and running.some guys have used pvc with the total length of each side of the dipole wound on pvc rods and fed to a tuner... i never built an umbrella antenna but heard of it.since ur area is small, put down some carpeting and underneath it, put down sheet metal the carpeting will hide ur counterpoise.:). that will give u some counterpoise and then buy or build a metal umbrella and feed it via a matching network and tuner.

before i moved to my current location my family and i lived upstairs in an older house with aluminum guttering. i couldnt have visible antennas etc either. i was able to attach a small wire that i painted in two sections. one the brick red color and 2 the tan aluminum paint color of the gutters. needless to say, i worked alot of stations with my argonaut 509 and home brewed tuner using 12 guage house wiring as coil alligator clips to change inductance and an old 100 pf variable capacitor i scrounged from a junk radio.


hope this helps. good luck

73s
David
ka9koj