Topics

How to upgrade the firmware on V6.1 to give better GUI?


MVS Negi
 

My new V 6.1 is working generally ok. I live in Delhi and have made contact on 40 mtrs with local hams on BITX using my home brew Fan Dipole that I also use with my ICOM.  I also had a very weak QSO on 20 mtrs with another BITX user ( V3) in Pune. However, I found the following issues:-
1. It is 20 cycles off.
2. The GUI is real rudimentary. I am looking to upgrade it to more friendly and useful menu and add a few functions for ease of operations. 
3. How can I improve the Baofeng Mic output?
 While I am reasonably ok on doing hardware, my knowledge of Raduino etc is zero !!Would be grateful is someone could guide me.
73s
Mahendra
VU2MNX


Reed N
 

1) That'd be the oscillator calibration. On the stock software, turn on the radio, then press and hold the button in for 10 seconds or so, and you should get to the menu that will let you adjust it.
2) If looks are your primary criteria, then I think the Nextion display with KD8CEC's software will be your best bet. It's definitely the prettiest, and has some additional features. If features are your primary criteria, you might consider JackAL. If you just want more user friendly, consider TSW's Teensy 4 solution, or my nano software (which runs on the stock hardware, no mods required).
3) Some have cut a larger hold in front of the mic to get better results. Others have simply replaced it with a different mic. Search this group and you'll see links and posts about it.


Reed


MVS Negi
 

Thanks a ton. Will prefer to use add ons to increase features to stock software. That should be safest at this stage !
Would be grateful for guidance on that.

On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 2:24 PM Reed N <greenkid336600+groupsio@...> wrote:
1) That'd be the oscillator calibration. On the stock software, turn on the radio, then press and hold the button in for 10 seconds or so, and you should get to the menu that will let you adjust it.
2) If looks are your primary criteria, then I think the Nextion display with KD8CEC's software will be your best bet. It's definitely the prettiest, and has some additional features. If features are your primary criteria, you might consider JackAL. If you just want more user friendly, consider TSW's Teensy 4 solution, or my nano software (which runs on the stock hardware, no mods required).
3) Some have cut a larger hold in front of the mic to get better results. Others have simply replaced it with a different mic. Search this group and you'll see links and posts about it.


Reed


Evan Hand
 

For me, the two areas that the ubitx could use some hardware support for SSB is in the audio input and AGC.  There are mods on this board that highlight options.  I chose an amplified CB mic from Amazon for $25 to improve the mic volume level, and have a speech compressor module that I have not installed (note, I have 2 v4 and 1 v5 so it will not go to waste).  Here is a compressor based on the SSM2167 module:
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/57047
It is available on Amazon and eBay.

For the AGC, there are a number of options from audio-only, IF gain reduction, to RF gain reduction.   Again, I have not yet implemented any of these, though I have started on the AmatuerRadioKits AGC that is supplied with one of their cases.  I also purchased this:
https://shop.kit-projects.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=101
Neither are installed at this time, got sidetracked into SDR with the Hermes Light 2 radio.  Just recently getting back to moving my v5 from the homemade case (really ugly, my metalworking skills need a large improvement) to the Amateur Radio Kits case mentioned before.  This will be the first AGC implementation that I try.

For CW, the ubitx needs a better filter than the 2.7 KHz crystal filter.  The best option seems to be an audio filter like one of the SOTAbeams:
https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/dual-bandwidth-filter-modules-ssb-cw/
or homebrew like this:
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/72476
Again, no personal experience.  I would recommend searching this board and the internet for options.

One last comment, as long as you are willing to learn, the ability to backtrack with software changes is easy once you learn how to update a "sketch" per Ashhar Farhan's YouTube video for the v6.  There are a lot of .hex files that do not require the Arduino IDE, Xloader is one of the options that was covered in the HamsKey blog by Dr. Ian Lee (KD8CEC).  It really is not that hard, and will improve the usability of the rig.  If you are into CW, I would recommend that you at least try Reed's mod, as that improves both screen performance and makes it more intuitive for operation.

Above are my experiences and observations.  Yours may differ, so use at your own risk.
73
Evan
AC9TU


MVS Negi
 

Thanks for the info. It covers so much. Yes the first thing I realised when I switched this rig on was that we need an AGC ! Please do post your experiences of the stuff that you are putting in. Eagerly waiting for the info..I operate an IC 7300 normally and in the noise I find the Bitx receiver pretty good. The transmission (mic) needs compression and a pre amp for sure.
Thanks a ton.
Mahendra

On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 7:52 PM Evan Hand <elhandjr@...> wrote:
For me, the two areas that the ubitx could use some hardware support for SSB is in the audio input and AGC.  There are mods on this board that highlight options.  I chose an amplified CB mic from Amazon for $25 to improve the mic volume level, and have a speech compressor module that I have not installed (note, I have 2 v4 and 1 v5 so it will not go to waste).  Here is a compressor based on the SSM2167 module:
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/57047
It is available on Amazon and eBay.

For the AGC, there are a number of options from audio-only, IF gain reduction, to RF gain reduction.   Again, I have not yet implemented any of these, though I have started on the AmatuerRadioKits AGC that is supplied with one of their cases.  I also purchased this:
https://shop.kit-projects.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=101
Neither are installed at this time, got sidetracked into SDR with the Hermes Light 2 radio.  Just recently getting back to moving my v5 from the homemade case (really ugly, my metalworking skills need a large improvement) to the Amateur Radio Kits case mentioned before.  This will be the first AGC implementation that I try.

For CW, the ubitx needs a better filter than the 2.7 KHz crystal filter.  The best option seems to be an audio filter like one of the SOTAbeams:
https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/dual-bandwidth-filter-modules-ssb-cw/
or homebrew like this:
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/72476
Again, no personal experience.  I would recommend searching this board and the internet for options.

One last comment, as long as you are willing to learn, the ability to backtrack with software changes is easy once you learn how to update a "sketch" per Ashhar Farhan's YouTube video for the v6.  There are a lot of .hex files that do not require the Arduino IDE, Xloader is one of the options that was covered in the HamsKey blog by Dr. Ian Lee (KD8CEC).  It really is not that hard, and will improve the usability of the rig.  If you are into CW, I would recommend that you at least try Reed's mod, as that improves both screen performance and makes it more intuitive for operation.

Above are my experiences and observations.  Yours may differ, so use at your own risk.
73
Evan
AC9TU


Ashhar Farhan
 

R63, a 47 ohms resistor sets the mic gain. if you increase the mic gain, ti can lead to over-driven, splattering signal. if you are okay with that, then add a 10 ohms in parallel to it. that will increase the mic gain by a factor of 4.


On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 9:32 PM MVS Negi <mvsnegi66@...> wrote:
Thanks for the info. It covers so much. Yes the first thing I realised when I switched this rig on was that we need an AGC ! Please do post your experiences of the stuff that you are putting in. Eagerly waiting for the info..I operate an IC 7300 normally and in the noise I find the Bitx receiver pretty good. The transmission (mic) needs compression and a pre amp for sure.
Thanks a ton.
Mahendra

On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 7:52 PM Evan Hand <elhandjr@...> wrote:
For me, the two areas that the ubitx could use some hardware support for SSB is in the audio input and AGC.  There are mods on this board that highlight options.  I chose an amplified CB mic from Amazon for $25 to improve the mic volume level, and have a speech compressor module that I have not installed (note, I have 2 v4 and 1 v5 so it will not go to waste).  Here is a compressor based on the SSM2167 module:
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/57047
It is available on Amazon and eBay.

For the AGC, there are a number of options from audio-only, IF gain reduction, to RF gain reduction.   Again, I have not yet implemented any of these, though I have started on the AmatuerRadioKits AGC that is supplied with one of their cases.  I also purchased this:
https://shop.kit-projects.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=101
Neither are installed at this time, got sidetracked into SDR with the Hermes Light 2 radio.  Just recently getting back to moving my v5 from the homemade case (really ugly, my metalworking skills need a large improvement) to the Amateur Radio Kits case mentioned before.  This will be the first AGC implementation that I try.

For CW, the ubitx needs a better filter than the 2.7 KHz crystal filter.  The best option seems to be an audio filter like one of the SOTAbeams:
https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/dual-bandwidth-filter-modules-ssb-cw/
or homebrew like this:
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/72476
Again, no personal experience.  I would recommend searching this board and the internet for options.

One last comment, as long as you are willing to learn, the ability to backtrack with software changes is easy once you learn how to update a "sketch" per Ashhar Farhan's YouTube video for the v6.  There are a lot of .hex files that do not require the Arduino IDE, Xloader is one of the options that was covered in the HamsKey blog by Dr. Ian Lee (KD8CEC).  It really is not that hard, and will improve the usability of the rig.  If you are into CW, I would recommend that you at least try Reed's mod, as that improves both screen performance and makes it more intuitive for operation.

Above are my experiences and observations.  Yours may differ, so use at your own risk.
73
Evan
AC9TU


KD2QMZ
 

Nice if a variable resistor (potentiometer) of such value exists, so it can be increased/decreased accordingly, or a small circuit within the microphone housing.


On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 1:58 PM Ashhar Farhan <farhanbox@...> wrote:
R63, a 47 ohms resistor sets the mic gain. if you increase the mic gain, ti can lead to over-driven, splattering signal. if you are okay with that, then add a 10 ohms in parallel to it. that will increase the mic gain by a factor of 4.

On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 9:32 PM MVS Negi <mvsnegi66@...> wrote:
Thanks for the info. It covers so much. Yes the first thing I realised when I switched this rig on was that we need an AGC ! Please do post your experiences of the stuff that you are putting in. Eagerly waiting for the info..I operate an IC 7300 normally and in the noise I find the Bitx receiver pretty good. The transmission (mic) needs compression and a pre amp for sure.
Thanks a ton.
Mahendra

On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 7:52 PM Evan Hand <elhandjr@...> wrote:
For me, the two areas that the ubitx could use some hardware support for SSB is in the audio input and AGC.  There are mods on this board that highlight options.  I chose an amplified CB mic from Amazon for $25 to improve the mic volume level, and have a speech compressor module that I have not installed (note, I have 2 v4 and 1 v5 so it will not go to waste).  Here is a compressor based on the SSM2167 module:
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/57047
It is available on Amazon and eBay.

For the AGC, there are a number of options from audio-only, IF gain reduction, to RF gain reduction.   Again, I have not yet implemented any of these, though I have started on the AmatuerRadioKits AGC that is supplied with one of their cases.  I also purchased this:
https://shop.kit-projects.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=101
Neither are installed at this time, got sidetracked into SDR with the Hermes Light 2 radio.  Just recently getting back to moving my v5 from the homemade case (really ugly, my metalworking skills need a large improvement) to the Amateur Radio Kits case mentioned before.  This will be the first AGC implementation that I try.

For CW, the ubitx needs a better filter than the 2.7 KHz crystal filter.  The best option seems to be an audio filter like one of the SOTAbeams:
https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/dual-bandwidth-filter-modules-ssb-cw/
or homebrew like this:
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/72476
Again, no personal experience.  I would recommend searching this board and the internet for options.

One last comment, as long as you are willing to learn, the ability to backtrack with software changes is easy once you learn how to update a "sketch" per Ashhar Farhan's YouTube video for the v6.  There are a lot of .hex files that do not require the Arduino IDE, Xloader is one of the options that was covered in the HamsKey blog by Dr. Ian Lee (KD8CEC).  It really is not that hard, and will improve the usability of the rig.  If you are into CW, I would recommend that you at least try Reed's mod, as that improves both screen performance and makes it more intuitive for operation.

Above are my experiences and observations.  Yours may differ, so use at your own risk.
73
Evan
AC9TU