Topics

Modular BiTX40

ON6RF
 

Hi Mike,
Thank you so much for sharing this with me! Congrats to the whole group!

As for the board corrections, I'll integrate them in the next revision as soon as I manage to finish building V1 ;)
What I'd like to do for the next version is make it µBitX-compatible: build one configuration, you get a single-band 20-40BitX, build another one, you get a µBitX. Probably make all the modules the same size might also be a good idea...

I'd love to receive a motherboard, if you don't mind shipping it to Belgium; I can't seem to find your e-mail address though...

Manoel
ON6RF

Mike Doty
 

Hi Manoel,
My group has had a lot of fun working on this project.  With winter upon us (lots of snow), and living up in the mountains in the northwest U.S., getting together for classes is a challenge.  We have had two classes to date and the group has completed assembling and testing the audio amps board, the 3 bidirectional amps,  the low pass filter, and installed all of the SIP sockets on the motherboard.  Our next class is scheduled for 17 Feb and the plan for this session is to complete and test the crystal filter, the mixer, the product detector, and the VFO.  We'll save the PA module for last along with building the external VFO (Si5351).  I did find that on the analog VFO it was almost impossible to eliminate the drifting so I decided not to install those components since we will be using an external VFO anyway.

The only fault I found with any of the boards was that you didn't include pads to connect M1/M2 from the relay on the PA module to the audio amp module.  I worked around this by soldering two wires with a header to the relay contact pads on the PA module.  The header plugs in to pins on the motherboard with traces running to the audio amp module.

Again, it was terrific of you to share your work on Hackaday and the experience that my guys are getting from building this transceiver is invaluable.  If you will email me direct I would be pleased to mail you one of the motherboards that I designed for the project as my way of saying thank you.

--73-- Mike  --  W0MNE

ON6RF
 

Wow...
Just wow.

I can't tell you how good I felt when I saw your post... Congratulations on finishing this build! It looks really nice! And kudos for using it as learning material for your classes :)

Did you find any design errors on the PCBs?

I'll have to finish my version one day... :3

73 de Manoel - ON6RF

BARBARA AUBREY <aubreybarbara@...>
 

Could somebody please post a link and where to obtain the modular pcb?

Thank you

Nigel
KG4ARS

vk7dxx
 

Hi mike any chance i can get your notes on your build? i have just got the boards made cheers tony  vk7au

Dimitar Pavlov
 

Hi,

I think, You need to solder and test pcb's for transceivers, before publish them.

73!LZ1DPN

On Saturday, November 4, 2017, 2:34:42 AM GMT+2, Juan Carlos Berberena Glez <cubanqrp@...> wrote:


It is my idea to conforming a modular rig.
My design requirement:
Main board have to be < 100 x 100 mm to use a PCb manufacturer discount as a prototype.
All the module have to be the same size interchangeable over the main board for experimenter or for teaching uses.
The main board would be assembly as a regular rig or will be assembly separate with each module.
The relay and the Qrp PA will be in other module with the option to snap in to the main board.
At this time the main board is empty, but It will be completed with all the modules for the regular use as a Qrp exciter.
Please any comment will be appreciate to improve the design idea.


Qrv's, 73's

Mr.Juan Carlos Berberena Glez BSc.
WJ6C ex/CO6BG


“If you have a penny and I have a penny and we exchange pennies, you still have one cent and I still have one cent.  But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange ideas, you now have two ideas and I now have two ideas.” 

JuanCarlos
 

It is my idea to conforming a modular rig.
My design requirement:
Main board have to be < 100 x 100 mm to use a PCb manufacturer discount as a prototype.
All the module have to be the same size interchangeable over the main board for experimenter or for teaching uses.
The main board would be assembly as a regular rig or will be assembly separate with each module.
The relay and the Qrp PA will be in other module with the option to snap in to the main board.
At this time the main board is empty, but It will be completed with all the modules for the regular use as a Qrp exciter.
Please any comment will be appreciate to improve the design idea.


Qrv's, 73's

Mr.Juan Carlos Berberena Glez BSc.
WJ6C ex/CO6BG


“If you have a penny and I have a penny and we exchange pennies, you still have one cent and I still have one cent.  But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange ideas, you now have two ideas and I now have two ideas.” 

Ion Petroianu, VA3NOI
 

You should panelize the Gerber's yourself and arrange them in a shape that is not more than 100 x 100 mm. Then you qualify for the special price.
--
Ion

VA3NOI

K9HZ <bill@...>
 

I would be interested in buying some too if going in together helps the price. 


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


email:  bill@...

 


On Nov 1, 2017, at 1:55 PM, mikedoty via Groups.Io <mikedoty@...> wrote:

I posted what it had cost me for the pc boards.  Perhaps they were at the end of shift or someone was falling asleep when my submission to PCBWAY was reviewed.  I can't say.  I only wanted to make the group here aware of the modular build.  Since I have no financial interest in PCBWAY and the design is not mine, if you're interested in pursuing the project, please feel free to use whatever manufacturing source you deem adequate.  I'd like to see several people follow thru.  I think it will make a great foundation for working toward a multi-band rig without sacrificing the original construction and I'd like to be able to compare progress and notes.

Regards -- Mike --  W0MNE

Mike Doty
 

I posted what it had cost me for the pc boards.  Perhaps they were at the end of shift or someone was falling asleep when my submission to PCBWAY was reviewed.  I can't say.  I only wanted to make the group here aware of the modular build.  Since I have no financial interest in PCBWAY and the design is not mine, if you're interested in pursuing the project, please feel free to use whatever manufacturing source you deem adequate.  I'd like to see several people follow thru.  I think it will make a great foundation for working toward a multi-band rig without sacrificing the original construction and I'd like to be able to compare progress and notes.

Regards -- Mike --  W0MNE

 

I have used Dirtypcb a few times pretty good service to be honest.

 

   73

  David

Smitty, KR6ZY
 

In the US, I’ve been really happy with OSH Park. Not necessarily the best prices available, but all fab’d in the US and fantastic support. 


-Mark

On Nov 1, 2017, at 9:03 AM, Juan Carlos Berberena Glez <cubanqrp@...> wrote:

Hi
I always have used PCBWell with better deals 
73’s
Jc
On Wed, 1 Nov 2017 at 7:22 AM, dvhammer_99 <DaleHammer@...> wrote:

Mike,

  

I just submitted the same gerber files to PCBWay for a quote and they came back with a price of $115 for the 10 boards.  They said that the files were for nine designs and did not qualify for the $5 price.  Any hints on how to get the lower quote?

Thanks.

73,

Dale  K9NN

 

From: BITX20@groups.io [mailto:BITX20@groups.io] On Behalf Of mikedoty via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2017 3:11 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Modular BiTX40

 

Good afternoon,
I've had a few emails regarding the modular BiTX build and I probably should clarify a few things.  First, ON6RF has posted his gerber files on the link at Hackaday.com that I originally posted - just scroll down to around the middle of page to the 'Files' section.  Since he has placed these in the public domain they are available to anyone that cares to download them.  But, because it is HIS work, I'm not comfortable forwarding the files myself.  I don't know if he follows it but I'm sure that he can keep track of how many downloads have occurred and I'm certain he would be gratified to know that his work is appreciated.  What I have offered is to make my gerber file for the motherboard available and, if I can manage it, I will post it here in the files section in the Modular BiTX folder.  I will also include the pdf files that I created for each of the module showing component placement and values.

As for acquiring the circuit boards, as I stated earlier, I use PCBWAY.com for production.  Their prices are excellent and the turn-around time is hard to beat.  The cost of the panelized pc board for me was $5.00 for 10 boards with DHL shipping costs of $22.00 for a total of $27.00.  I ordered the boards late on a Monday and DHL delivered the finished boards the following Monday morning.  Their website says boards that measure 100X100 mm or smaller cost $5.00 for 10 boards so whether you order 1 or 10, the cost is the same.  To complete the build you will need 3 boards to have enough bi-directional amp modules so, if you're interested in following thru with building a modular version, you could perhaps join with two other interested parties and split the cost between you.  With 3 boards you will be able to build a complete transceiver and have 2 extra modules for experimentation for every section except the bi-directional amps.  As an example, on my first prototype I built the double balanced mixer as designed and a second one using an ADE-1 to compare the results.  For the record, there was absolutely no noticeable difference between the two.  I also built a 4-crystal filter as designed and an 8-crystal QER filter on a second board for comparison.  There was a definite difference between these two modules. 

I hope this clears up some of the questions and I'm still available via direct email to answer questions specific to my build or class presentation.  I'm currently working on the assembly manual for my class and when finished I will post it also in the files section.
--73-- Mike  --  W0MNE



--


Qrv's, 73's

Mr.Juan Carlos Berberena Glez BSc.
WJ6C ex/CO6BG


“If you have a penny and I have a penny and we exchange pennies, you still have one cent and I still have one cent.  But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange ideas, you now have two ideas and I now have two ideas.” 

JuanCarlos
 

Hi
I always have used PCBWell with better deals 
73’s
Jc

On Wed, 1 Nov 2017 at 7:22 AM, dvhammer_99 <DaleHammer@...> wrote:

Mike,

  

I just submitted the same gerber files to PCBWay for a quote and they came back with a price of $115 for the 10 boards.  They said that the files were for nine designs and did not qualify for the $5 price.  Any hints on how to get the lower quote?

Thanks.

73,

Dale  K9NN

 

From: BITX20@groups.io [mailto:BITX20@groups.io] On Behalf Of mikedoty via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2017 3:11 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Modular BiTX40

 

Good afternoon,
I've had a few emails regarding the modular BiTX build and I probably should clarify a few things.  First, ON6RF has posted his gerber files on the link at Hackaday.com that I originally posted - just scroll down to around the middle of page to the 'Files' section.  Since he has placed these in the public domain they are available to anyone that cares to download them.  But, because it is HIS work, I'm not comfortable forwarding the files myself.  I don't know if he follows it but I'm sure that he can keep track of how many downloads have occurred and I'm certain he would be gratified to know that his work is appreciated.  What I have offered is to make my gerber file for the motherboard available and, if I can manage it, I will post it here in the files section in the Modular BiTX folder.  I will also include the pdf files that I created for each of the module showing component placement and values.

As for acquiring the circuit boards, as I stated earlier, I use PCBWAY.com for production.  Their prices are excellent and the turn-around time is hard to beat.  The cost of the panelized pc board for me was $5.00 for 10 boards with DHL shipping costs of $22.00 for a total of $27.00.  I ordered the boards late on a Monday and DHL delivered the finished boards the following Monday morning.  Their website says boards that measure 100X100 mm or smaller cost $5.00 for 10 boards so whether you order 1 or 10, the cost is the same.  To complete the build you will need 3 boards to have enough bi-directional amp modules so, if you're interested in following thru with building a modular version, you could perhaps join with two other interested parties and split the cost between you.  With 3 boards you will be able to build a complete transceiver and have 2 extra modules for experimentation for every section except the bi-directional amps.  As an example, on my first prototype I built the double balanced mixer as designed and a second one using an ADE-1 to compare the results.  For the record, there was absolutely no noticeable difference between the two.  I also built a 4-crystal filter as designed and an 8-crystal QER filter on a second board for comparison.  There was a definite difference between these two modules. 

I hope this clears up some of the questions and I'm still available via direct email to answer questions specific to my build or class presentation.  I'm currently working on the assembly manual for my class and when finished I will post it also in the files section.
--73-- Mike  --  W0MNE



--


Qrv's, 73's

Mr.Juan Carlos Berberena Glez BSc.
WJ6C ex/CO6BG


“If you have a penny and I have a penny and we exchange pennies, you still have one cent and I still have one cent.  But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange ideas, you now have two ideas and I now have two ideas.” 

dvhammer_99
 

Mike,

 

I just submitted the same gerber files to PCBWay for a quote and they came back with a price of $115 for the 10 boards.  They said that the files were for nine designs and did not qualify for the $5 price.  Any hints on how to get the lower quote?

Thanks.

73,

Dale  K9NN

 

From: BITX20@groups.io [mailto:BITX20@groups.io] On Behalf Of mikedoty via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2017 3:11 PM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Modular BiTX40

 

Good afternoon,
I've had a few emails regarding the modular BiTX build and I probably should clarify a few things.  First, ON6RF has posted his gerber files on the link at Hackaday.com that I originally posted - just scroll down to around the middle of page to the 'Files' section.  Since he has placed these in the public domain they are available to anyone that cares to download them.  But, because it is HIS work, I'm not comfortable forwarding the files myself.  I don't know if he follows it but I'm sure that he can keep track of how many downloads have occurred and I'm certain he would be gratified to know that his work is appreciated.  What I have offered is to make my gerber file for the motherboard available and, if I can manage it, I will post it here in the files section in the Modular BiTX folder.  I will also include the pdf files that I created for each of the module showing component placement and values.

As for acquiring the circuit boards, as I stated earlier, I use PCBWAY.com for production.  Their prices are excellent and the turn-around time is hard to beat.  The cost of the panelized pc board for me was $5.00 for 10 boards with DHL shipping costs of $22.00 for a total of $27.00.  I ordered the boards late on a Monday and DHL delivered the finished boards the following Monday morning.  Their website says boards that measure 100X100 mm or smaller cost $5.00 for 10 boards so whether you order 1 or 10, the cost is the same.  To complete the build you will need 3 boards to have enough bi-directional amp modules so, if you're interested in following thru with building a modular version, you could perhaps join with two other interested parties and split the cost between you.  With 3 boards you will be able to build a complete transceiver and have 2 extra modules for experimentation for every section except the bi-directional amps.  As an example, on my first prototype I built the double balanced mixer as designed and a second one using an ADE-1 to compare the results.  For the record, there was absolutely no noticeable difference between the two.  I also built a 4-crystal filter as designed and an 8-crystal QER filter on a second board for comparison.  There was a definite difference between these two modules. 

I hope this clears up some of the questions and I'm still available via direct email to answer questions specific to my build or class presentation.  I'm currently working on the assembly manual for my class and when finished I will post it also in the files section.
--73-- Mike  --  W0MNE



Mike Doty
 

Good afternoon,
I've had a few emails regarding the modular BiTX build and I probably should clarify a few things.  First, ON6RF has posted his gerber files on the link at Hackaday.com that I originally posted - just scroll down to around the middle of page to the 'Files' section.  Since he has placed these in the public domain they are available to anyone that cares to download them.  But, because it is HIS work, I'm not comfortable forwarding the files myself.  I don't know if he follows it but I'm sure that he can keep track of how many downloads have occurred and I'm certain he would be gratified to know that his work is appreciated.  What I have offered is to make my gerber file for the motherboard available and, if I can manage it, I will post it here in the files section in the Modular BiTX folder.  I will also include the pdf files that I created for each of the module showing component placement and values.

As for acquiring the circuit boards, as I stated earlier, I use PCBWAY.com for production.  Their prices are excellent and the turn-around time is hard to beat.  The cost of the panelized pc board for me was $5.00 for 10 boards with DHL shipping costs of $22.00 for a total of $27.00.  I ordered the boards late on a Monday and DHL delivered the finished boards the following Monday morning.  Their website says boards that measure 100X100 mm or smaller cost $5.00 for 10 boards so whether you order 1 or 10, the cost is the same.  To complete the build you will need 3 boards to have enough bi-directional amp modules so, if you're interested in following thru with building a modular version, you could perhaps join with two other interested parties and split the cost between you.  With 3 boards you will be able to build a complete transceiver and have 2 extra modules for experimentation for every section except the bi-directional amps.  As an example, on my first prototype I built the double balanced mixer as designed and a second one using an ADE-1 to compare the results.  For the record, there was absolutely no noticeable difference between the two.  I also built a 4-crystal filter as designed and an 8-crystal QER filter on a second board for comparison.  There was a definite difference between these two modules. 

I hope this clears up some of the questions and I'm still available via direct email to answer questions specific to my build or class presentation.  I'm currently working on the assembly manual for my class and when finished I will post it also in the files section.
--73-- Mike  --  W0MNE

Mark Muller
 

This is amazing, Mike!

I have the same request as Dale - I would love to see your notes, and learn how to get a set of boards myself (I note you said "PCBWAY" but I am not familiar with that group.).

Also, if I don't have the wherewithal to print additional boards, should I just order three sets of 10, to have enough for the three amplifier modules that are needed to construct a single unit?

Regards ... mvm. N5KNG

N4PMK
 

Wow, that's fascinating. I've had a similar idea rattling around in my head, about designing a uBitx with experimenters in mind. I was thinking of using a single board but with each block isolated and able to be bypassed with either relays or jumpers.

Nice to know the general concepts are sound, but I probably don't have the design chops to make it work, and certainly don't have the rf design knowledge to get it right without a lot of trial and error. 

73, Peter N4PMK

Dale Brooks KG7SSB <kg7ssb@...>
 

This looks great Mike, Please send me more info on this if you would. Also, information on how to obtain a set of boards and prices. Thanks, 73's Dale

On Sat, Oct 28, 2017 at 8:31 PM, mikedoty via Groups.Io <mikedoty@...> wrote:
Just a heads up on a modular build of the BiTX40.  If you haven't seen it, a young ham in Belgium (ON6RF) laid out a set of pc boards to build a modular version of the BiTX and placed the project on Hackaday - <https://hackaday.io/project/20067-puzzle-radio-building-blocks>.  Since I've been giving classes to some local hams on working with surface mount components, this looked like an excellent class project.  I had already built three BiTX4Ver3 units as well as a BiTX20A and a G6LBQ MK1 so I was fairly certain I knew what to expect.  After reviewing all of the board layouts I ordered 10 pc boards from PCBWAY for a cost of $32.00 ($5.00 for the 10 boards and $27 shipping via DHL which arrived 5 days after placing the order).  After laying out a 100X140 mm "motherboard" for the modules to plug in to, I assembled two prototypes using Si5351 VFOs to present to the class.  Both prototypes worked as expected with no surprises with the exception that I had NO birdies other than the notorious one at 7.2 MHz and that one you have to listen closely to hear.

What makes this a great group learning project is it breaks down the transceiver into functional blocks, perfect for an easier understanding of how everything works.  It also allows the builder to make modifications to particular parts of the circuit easily without having to disassemble the entire rig.  Because the cost of the pc boards is so low the plan for the class is to give each builder 2 sets of boards.  The first set will be built as designed.  When that build is completed and working the second set of boards can be used to build separate blocks to try some of the modifications available.  This way, if a mod isn't successful or an improvement over the original design, the rig can be restored to operational condition by simply removing and replacing the module with the original.

As a caveat, there are two things to mention.  First, the pc board layout only has one bi-directional amp module and, of course, the rig requires three.  I simply made a new gerber file containing two more amps and had 10 pc boards made.  Second, the only thing that was over looked in the original layout is there is no provision for connecting M1 and M2 from the PA board relay to the audio amp board.  This was overcome by adding a plug on the motherboard to make the connections.

If anyone is interested in the project you may email me and I'd be happy to share my notes and my gerber file for the motherboard.  All credit goes to ON6RF for doing all of the heavy lifting:-)

--73--  Mike  --  W0MNE


Mike Doty
 

Just a heads up on a modular build of the BiTX40.  If you haven't seen it, a young ham in Belgium (ON6RF) laid out a set of pc boards to build a modular version of the BiTX and placed the project on Hackaday - <https://hackaday.io/project/20067-puzzle-radio-building-blocks>.  Since I've been giving classes to some local hams on working with surface mount components, this looked like an excellent class project.  I had already built three BiTX4Ver3 units as well as a BiTX20A and a G6LBQ MK1 so I was fairly certain I knew what to expect.  After reviewing all of the board layouts I ordered 10 pc boards from PCBWAY for a cost of $32.00 ($5.00 for the 10 boards and $27 shipping via DHL which arrived 5 days after placing the order).  After laying out a 100X140 mm "motherboard" for the modules to plug in to, I assembled two prototypes using Si5351 VFOs to present to the class.  Both prototypes worked as expected with no surprises with the exception that I had NO birdies other than the notorious one at 7.2 MHz and that one you have to listen closely to hear.

What makes this a great group learning project is it breaks down the transceiver into functional blocks, perfect for an easier understanding of how everything works.  It also allows the builder to make modifications to particular parts of the circuit easily without having to disassemble the entire rig.  Because the cost of the pc boards is so low the plan for the class is to give each builder 2 sets of boards.  The first set will be built as designed.  When that build is completed and working the second set of boards can be used to build separate blocks to try some of the modifications available.  This way, if a mod isn't successful or an improvement over the original design, the rig can be restored to operational condition by simply removing and replacing the module with the original.

As a caveat, there are two things to mention.  First, the pc board layout only has one bi-directional amp module and, of course, the rig requires three.  I simply made a new gerber file containing two more amps and had 10 pc boards made.  Second, the only thing that was over looked in the original layout is there is no provision for connecting M1 and M2 from the PA board relay to the audio amp board.  This was overcome by adding a plug on the motherboard to make the connections.

If anyone is interested in the project you may email me and I'd be happy to share my notes and my gerber file for the motherboard.  All credit goes to ON6RF for doing all of the heavy lifting:-)

--73--  Mike  --  W0MNE