uBITX V6 setup for digital modes #digital #ubitxv6


Aaron K5ATG
 

Hello everyone. 
I'm trying to get my uBITX V6 set up for some digital modes and I'm used to using a SignaLink but with the uBITX I'm trying to use the Sabrent USB Sound Adapter

Unfortunately, I am unable to figure out the settings for it to work. I have not been able to get it to receive or transmit. I'm not sure if it is from the software (WSJTX), the computer or the soundcard settings. Does anyone have any ideas?
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Reed N
 

Hi Scott,

There are a lot of spots you could be running into issues, but I'll try and highlight the overall approach. Let me know if there are specific parts of this that don't make sense, or need clarification.

Receiving should be pretty straight forward: connect an audio cable from the uBiTX audio output jack to your pink audio input. Once connected, you should be able to receive the audio into a program of your choosing. Just make sure you select the right audio input device!

For transmitting, the wiring is still pretty easy. Take a second stereo 3.5mm jumper cable, and disconnect the ring conductor with a little cable surgery. This disconnects the PTT on the radio side, while leaving the audio input on the tip, and ground on the sleeve. Plug this cable in between your USB green audio output and the radio's microphone/PTT input. Additionally, connect your radio to your computer with  USB, so that you can activate the TX with CAT control. You'll need to configure whatever software you're using to use CAT control for TX, and to send audio to the correct audio device.


Reed


Reed N
 

The sound input options for WSJT-X are under File>Settings, on the audio tab:


The radio tab has the CAT setup. See the manual linked over on this thread if you're running my software version: https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/80615


Reed


Evan Hand
 

Aaron,
I have used that exact dongle to connect an HP laptop to a v4 ubitx running KD8CEC software on the uBITX.  I am not suggesting that you change out your software, as that would require a screen change, however I do believe that the audio and cat control should be the same.  Be sure to wire both the tip and ring of the mic input to the audio out of the uBITX.  That is a stereo input device and the WSJT-X software seems to average the reading of both channels together, putting a lot of noise on the unconnected input.

Others have said that they were able to wire the audio signals directly.  I could not get that to work.  I did add an EasyDigi interface for the transformer isolation.  Out of all the hardware on the EasyDigi, only the 600:600 ohm isolation transformers are being used.  It would be less expensive to just by the transformers, as the CAT interface handles the rig control.  Even with the transformers, I still needed to add ferrites to all leads to block RF from causing problems.

I do not have WSJT-X on this computer, however, the settings were pretty simple.  I used the Yeasu FT-857 for the radio, 38400 for the baud, 8 bits, 2 stop bits, and CAT for the PTT control.  I know there were some other settings that I just do not have right now, however with the test feature you should be able to try different settings on that first radio setup page to get it to work.  The input and output for the audio is of course the Sabrent dongle.  You can see what that is in the device manager of Windows.

The volume setting on the uBITX was very sensitive, I had to run it just bearly on to keep the signal bar in the green.  The output setting of the WSJT-X to the uBITX needs to be checked.  I used my power output meter to adjust the level to get about the same power reading as CW would produce on the key down.

Above are what I remember from the last time I set up the uBITX.  I have since gone to either my IC-7300 or a Hermes HL2 for any of the weak signal modes.  Just not gone back to the uBITX for digital in a while.
73
Evan
AC9TU


Aaron K5ATG
 

Ok I will concentrate on receiving for now. I'm not quite ready to hack away at my audio cable yet. 
I plugged the audio cable from the pink audio input on the sound card device and the other end on the audio from the uBITX. I then opened up WSJT-X and no signals at all on the waterfall.


I then go over to the Audio section under the Settings section. For Input, I have one option only and that is "Microphone (USB Audio Device)"

On the Volume Mixer on my PC under the "Device" option I have it selected on the "Speakers" option and I have that level set at 100. Under the Applications, I have the system sounds set at 50
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Aaron K5ATG
 

Reed I'm still running the default sketch from HF Signals
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Reed N
 

Hi Aaron,

There a good amount of overlap, so you might still find the CAT section useful.

A few sanity checks:
1) if you unplug the audio cable from the radio, do you hear the signals you're hoping to receive?
2) if you unplug the audio cable from the computer adapter, does the 60Hz hum disappear from the waterfall?
3) if you increase or decrease the volume knob on the radio, do you see the amplitude of the 60Hz hum change?


Reed


Gordon Gibby
 

I've made plenty of digital contacts with basically the original sketch from HFsignals or else Allar'ds upgrade.   There is little difference between one radio and another.   You must be able to make basically the same connections that vacuum tube guys did in order to add PHONE PATCH to their radio, or that repeater builders added, to make repeaters.  

Digital requires:
- audio from the receiver
- input to the mic wire
- a way to close the push-to-talk line (short it to ground)
- a ground wire.

any signalink or similar item (there are many!) can do this with ease.

Here is an  educational link that may assist :


I made my first winlink connections with a vacuum tube SB-102.    This just takes some reading and some stick-to-it-ive-ness.  You can succeed, many many have already.   This is what ham radio is often about.   learning, trying, experiment, reading 

Gordon


On Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 9:54 PM Aaron K5ATG via groups.io <k5atg=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Reed I'm still running the default sketch from HF Signals
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Mike G4GOU
 

If you unplug the USB audio dongle, do you still see the one audio device in the WSJT-X?
When I plug the dongle into my pc, if see an additional audio input device, the inbuilt audio card and the usb dongle I have just connected.

From your description, it appears that your pc might not be detecting the external usb audio device - if you plug a headset/speaker into it do you get audio out to it?


Evan Hand
 

Aaron,
I would suggest that you start with FT8 protocol on one of the US frequencies:
80m   3.573  
40m   7.074  
20m   14.074  
From the picture, it looks like you are on the JT8Call frequency, which I have found to be sparsely populated.  Also, there is little activity on 20meters in the evening, most go to 80meters.  As long as you do not transmit, you should be able to receive on any antenna (I have even received signals on a dummy load).

Note: without CAT control, you will need to set the frequency manually.  It looks like you do have CAT connection per the WSJT8-X screen print, so you should be able to select the frequency through that control.

Let us know when you get the receiver working, then we can start on the transmission. 
73
Evan
AC9TU


Evan Hand
 

Here is a PDF of the Radio and Audio screens that I use for FT8 on the uBITX.  This is with the Sabrent USB audio dongle on Windows 10.  As I stated earlier, I am using isolation audio transformers to reduce interference.

73
Evan
AC9TU


Aaron K5ATG
 

Sorry for the late reply. I had to reinstall Windows and it has been quite the adventure. 
I loaded up Reeds firmware on my uBitX V6. I then followed the instructions in the uBiTX v6 Manual R1.5.1 as far as telling the WSJT-X software that I have a Yeasu 817 hooked up. I'm using the USB Dongle mentioned above to connect the PC to the uBitX and I have the USB cable hooked up to the uBit-X and the PC. 
At this time I can hear the FT8 signal when I unplug the audio cable from the uBit-X. On the WSJT-X software, I am receiving and decoding signals but there is no signal on the waterfall display and there is a constant pop-up warning that says
"Rig Control Error 
Do you want to reconfigure the radio interface"
I can't do anything with the software without that popping up. 
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Evan Hand
 

Aaron,
That usually means one of two things:
1 - verify that the CAT connection is working by using the Test CAT button, then the Test PTT.
2 - The audio in and audio out are not configured properly.  Be sure that the audio input and audio output that is connected to the uBITX are showing up in the Soundcard Input and Output boxes.

To get past the error message, click on OK when asked to reconfigure the radio interfaces.  Then update the Radio and Audio tabs.  The uBITX must be connected to make and save these changes.

73
Evan
AC9TU


Aaron K5ATG
 

Everything I try on changing the settings in the Test CAT I get a popup that says
"Rig Failure
Hamlib error: IO error while opening the connection to the rig"

Can this work without the CAT Control? 
I do not remember the default settings on the Radio tab on WSJT-X but it seems to me that I am getting just about every problem possible. I can't touch the Test PTT button because it is not highlighted. I have everything set up as described in Reeds uBit-X manual and I don't understand why there are so many problems. 
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


W2CTX
 

Some users selected FT-857 rather than FT-817.



On Tuesday, September 1, 2020, 4:50:33 PM EDT, Aaron K5ATG via groups.io <k5atg@...> wrote:


Everything I try on changing the settings in the Test CAT I get a popup that says
"Rig Failure
Hamlib error: IO error while opening the connection to the rig"

Can this work without the CAT Control? 
I do not remember the default settings on the Radio tab on WSJT-X but it seems to me that I am getting just about every problem possible. I can't touch the Test PTT button because it is not highlighted. I have everything set up as described in Reeds uBit-X manual and I don't understand why there are so many problems. 
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Reed N
 

Hi Aaron,

I haven't had any trouble with the CAT, so I'm sorry to hear it's not going as smoothly for you. The first thing I'd recommend checking is whether or not you have the correct port, since none of the settings will matter unless that's set up correctly. The port I listed in my manual may not be the right port for your computer, but should match the port the Arduino IDE uses for programming.

You don't need CAT control, but it definitely makes life easier. Otherwise you have to manually press the PTT button at each transmission. I've successfully operated FT8 with no CAT and no audio interface (just air gap between my computer speakers and microphone, and the radio), but definitely wouldn't recommend it.


Reed


Aaron K5ATG
 

So far I have not had anything but trouble. So I am going to get me a notebook and record everything as I start from scratch. I have a gut feeling that it will be a simple setting somewhere. I will let you know the fix if I find it in case others have this issue. If anyone has any ideas please post them. 
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Evan Hand
 

Aaron,
I am sorry that you are having soo much trouble.  It really was not an issue for me using a v4 or v5 and the KD8CEC software.

Critical steps that I used.
1 - verify the com port through the Windows Device Manager.
         a - open the manager without the uBITX connected. 
         b - Verify what (if any) com ports are connected (you may not have any and the Com Port folder will not show up)
         c - Connect the uBITX to the USB port
         d - Note the com port that was just added.  this is the port you will set in the WSJT-X software
2 - Connect the Audio USB dongle.  Verify that it works through the Windows audio tests.  Note the device name
         NOTE:  I have had issues trying to use a laptop earphone port.  USB Audio dongles are very inexpensive so I would go that route.
https://smile.amazon.com/Sabrent-Aluminum-External-Adapter-AU-EMAC/dp/B00OJ5AV8I/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=sabrent+usb+external+stereo+sound+adapter&qid=1599006270&s=electronics&sr=1-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyNVhDQVhWSUo2V0tNJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNDk4NjA1MkVDQVVVUTdIRFVJRiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMTUwODk1MzhORU5YSkFTSTJKNCZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=
3 - Open the WSJT-X software
         a  - Setup the Radio and Audio tabs as shown in the PDF in message 
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/80833
         b - Test the CAT and PTT
         c - save the settings and go to the operating screen, select the band, and adjust the volume on the uBITX to the max green bar, without going into the red.  You should be decoding messages.
4 - Connect the USB audio dongle to the uBITX
5 - You will need to adjust the audio levels sent to the uBITX mic through either the speaker icon in the tray, or using the output slider on the WSJT-X software.  Here I used a power meter on the output to be the same as CW for the band you are using.  If yiou do not have a power meter, then another receiver is the only other option, and here you are looking for minimum splatter.  The last option would be to monitor the current draw of the rig on CW, then just as the power meter, adjust the audio level to be about the same.

I may have forgotten steps, but the above is what I remember doing the first time.

Hope this helps
73
Evan
AC9TU


Aaron K5ATG
 

Quick non-topic question. What is the KD8CEC software and how does it compare to the default and Reeds?
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Evan Hand
 

Aaron,
The KD8CEC software was a very popular update for all of the pre v6 uBITX.  It provided a lot more functionality than the original software, fixed some of the perceived shortcomings, and was expandable to a graphic display, the Nextion display.  2 things have happened that have made the CEC software less popular is:
1 - It no longer works with the stock display hardware provided with the v6
2 - Dr. Ian Lee seems to have moved on to other things as we have not seen anything new since he updated his software to work with the v5 board.

It is no longer clear what the best direction is for adding functionality to the v6.  There is no room in the program for any more features beyond what Reed N has done, as there is no room left in the program space.  Any more capabilities will require hardware in either a Nano upgrade or a Screen upgrade.  If there were more activities on the CEC software, I would go with the CEC route and buy the 2.8" Nextion screen.  There may be more effort to go the Teensy 4.0 route if you want to go more of the programming and less hardware after the upgrade.  

I would suggest you go to the ubitx.net site to see what has been done.  The Hamskey.com site of the KD8CEC software is difficult to navigate.  To get a taste, here is a link to one of the original posts that lead me down the CEC path:
http://www.hamskey.com/2018/06/ubitx-with-nextion-lcd-cec-firmware.html
NOTE:  The links on this page are for older versions that will not work with the v5 and v6 boards.  I am posting just to show you some of the capabilities.

If you want more info, we really should take this to another thread.
73
Evan
AC9TU