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Diagnostic software for uBitx #ubitx


Rod Davis
 

Hi John,

Capital idea!

Some thoughts:

1. the Nano  can send data back on the serial port to help diagnose a rig that is not working.
    Perhaps report the status of PTT, and the analog readings for the key jack. Nano could report
    frequencies sent to the LOs, and the BFO.

2. Maybe add a feature where the Nano can be stepped through a sequence of toggling
    the bits for the parallel connections to the LCD, so those with limited test equipment
    can use a voltmeter to check one-pin-at-a-time.

3. Have a feature where the Nano could cause the Si5351 to output 1MHz on one oscillator
    at a time. Then an AM broacast band receiver can confirm the SI5351 output (will sound
    like dead carrier).

Your idea is good; and my suggestion is don't try to make a Cadillac when a Chevrolet will do the job.
That is to say, basic and functionality  first, with documentation. Make the Cadillac later.

Good on ya!

Rod KM6SN



On 04/27/2018 05:09 PM, John wrote:
I have started developing a diagnostic software for the uBitx. 

The need arose following a forum member's trouble with his Raduino.

The objective is to help both the original kit builder for issues like wiring or "not working" problems, but also to the more advanced experimenters both during construction and after "oops moments" like after a bad wiring or when a loose lead that "is only there for 5 seconds and will never touch another part of the circuit" went wandering around the board (I raise my hand here).

So far it only tests the I2C bus, the communication with the SI5351 and the analogue inputs of the Raduino in a graphical form.

The plan is to expand to the audio circuit, the receiver chain, the TX low pass filters' relays and hopefully more.

This is where I need your input to determine what to test for in the first instance and then some ideas to make the test results as simple but still useful to more advanced users.

So if you can give me some feedback as to what issues you had when building the kit that I could incorporate in the diagnostic software either as a new test or as a suggestion as to how solve the issue, as a self help, that would be great.

Tests need not be Arduino only tests. Operator 's interpretation, as in "Do you hear the tone in the speaker, Y/N" are quite ok.

I have uploaded the beta version of the software at https://groups.io/g/BITX20/files/uBitx%20Diagnostic%20software%20by%20VK2ETA/ubitx-Diagnostic%20-%20Version%20B0.2-2018-04-28.zip

Passed the tests are the questions of deployment and the best way to do that since new kit builders may not be familiar or confident to setup the Arduino's IDE. So maybe HEx files and a simple terminal...ideas welcomed.

All the best,

73, John (VK2ETA)


Jack, W8TEE
 

All:

I think Chuck Adams has the right approach to this. His video series on YouTube for building W8DIZ's 1 Watter (1Watter Transceiver Build, Phase 1 by K7QO) has a lot of good stuff about kit building in general.


However, his approach addresses the subject line here: How do you diagnose problems with a homebrew or kit project. If you are going to use the µC as part of the process, it would be much more successful if the diagnoses are done at stages along the way, rather than deferring until the project is done. It's much easier to diagnose a stage as it is built rather than waiting to a point where several stages can interact and be causing issues.

This suggests building the PS first, checking the voltages, etc. and pronouncing it "healthy". I would immediately then constuct the µC section, utilizing the the Serial object to verify it is working (e.g., the simple Blink program). Then (and you EE guys are better at deciding what's next) perhaps build the audio section and have program code that sends a 700Hz tone to the amplifier for replay through the headphones/speaker. If you get to a section where the test from the µC doesn't pass its test, you have limited the source of the error to the most recent section. It's the same concept as Encapsulation in software engineering.

My point is: If you're going to the trouble of building diagnostic software into the rig, utilize it through the entire construction process...don't defer it to the end. Not only does the approach enhance the odds of a working piece of equipment when the project is done, it builds confidence in the builder along the way--a double win!

Jack, W8TEE


On Friday, April 27, 2018, 8:35:43 PM EDT, Howard Fidel <sonic1@...> wrote:


Great idea. If the Arduino only had more inputs we could do a really thorough job with some mods.
On 4/27/2018 8:09 PM, John wrote:
I have started developing a diagnostic software for the uBitx. 

The need arose following a forum member's trouble with his Raduino.

The objective is to help both the original kit builder for issues like wiring or "not working" problems, but also to the more advanced experimenters both during construction and after "oops moments" like after a bad wiring or when a loose lead that "is only there for 5 seconds and will never touch another part of the circuit" went wandering around the board (I raise my hand here).

So far it only tests the I2C bus, the communication with the SI5351 and the analogue inputs of the Raduino in a graphical form.

The plan is to expand to the audio circuit, the receiver chain, the TX low pass filters' relays and hopefully more.

This is where I need your input to determine what to test for in the first instance and then some ideas to make the test results as simple but still useful to more advanced users.

So if you can give me some feedback as to what issues you had when building the kit that I could incorporate in the diagnostic software either as a new test or as a suggestion as to how solve the issue, as a self help, that would be great.

Tests need not be Arduino only tests. Operator 's interpretation, as in "Do you hear the tone in the speaker, Y/N" are quite ok.

I have uploaded the beta version of the software at https://groups.io/g/BITX20/files/uBitx%20Diagnostic%20software%20by%20VK2ETA/ubitx-Diagnostic%20-%20Version%20B0.2-2018-04-28.zip

Passed the tests are the questions of deployment and the best way to do that since new kit builders may not be familiar or confident to setup the Arduino's IDE. So maybe HEx files and a simple terminal...ideas welcomed.

All the best,

73, John (VK2ETA)



John (vk2eta)
 

Yes Howard,

But still, that triggered an idea, with a proper voltage divider and bias circuit (4 components) we can have a probe connected to the spare analogue input. 

It should be sensitive enough for most test points as I use it for a VOX circuit on the Mic audio input. We could have a series of prompts and display the expected range for each point measured, AC or DC. 

73, John (VK2ETA)


Howard Fidel
 

Great idea. If the Arduino only had more inputs we could do a really thorough job with some mods.

On 4/27/2018 8:09 PM, John wrote:
I have started developing a diagnostic software for the uBitx. 

The need arose following a forum member's trouble with his Raduino.

The objective is to help both the original kit builder for issues like wiring or "not working" problems, but also to the more advanced experimenters both during construction and after "oops moments" like after a bad wiring or when a loose lead that "is only there for 5 seconds and will never touch another part of the circuit" went wandering around the board (I raise my hand here).

So far it only tests the I2C bus, the communication with the SI5351 and the analogue inputs of the Raduino in a graphical form.

The plan is to expand to the audio circuit, the receiver chain, the TX low pass filters' relays and hopefully more.

This is where I need your input to determine what to test for in the first instance and then some ideas to make the test results as simple but still useful to more advanced users.

So if you can give me some feedback as to what issues you had when building the kit that I could incorporate in the diagnostic software either as a new test or as a suggestion as to how solve the issue, as a self help, that would be great.

Tests need not be Arduino only tests. Operator 's interpretation, as in "Do you hear the tone in the speaker, Y/N" are quite ok.

I have uploaded the beta version of the software at https://groups.io/g/BITX20/files/uBitx%20Diagnostic%20software%20by%20VK2ETA/ubitx-Diagnostic%20-%20Version%20B0.2-2018-04-28.zip

Passed the tests are the questions of deployment and the best way to do that since new kit builders may not be familiar or confident to setup the Arduino's IDE. So maybe HEx files and a simple terminal...ideas welcomed.

All the best,

73, John (VK2ETA)



John (vk2eta)
 

I have started developing a diagnostic software for the uBitx. 

The need arose following a forum member's trouble with his Raduino.

The objective is to help both the original kit builder for issues like wiring or "not working" problems, but also to the more advanced experimenters both during construction and after "oops moments" like after a bad wiring or when a loose lead that "is only there for 5 seconds and will never touch another part of the circuit" went wandering around the board (I raise my hand here).

So far it only tests the I2C bus, the communication with the SI5351 and the analogue inputs of the Raduino in a graphical form.

The plan is to expand to the audio circuit, the receiver chain, the TX low pass filters' relays and hopefully more.

This is where I need your input to determine what to test for in the first instance and then some ideas to make the test results as simple but still useful to more advanced users.

So if you can give me some feedback as to what issues you had when building the kit that I could incorporate in the diagnostic software either as a new test or as a suggestion as to how solve the issue, as a self help, that would be great.

Tests need not be Arduino only tests. Operator 's interpretation, as in "Do you hear the tone in the speaker, Y/N" are quite ok.

I have uploaded the beta version of the software at https://groups.io/g/BITX20/files/uBitx%20Diagnostic%20software%20by%20VK2ETA/ubitx-Diagnostic%20-%20Version%20B0.2-2018-04-28.zip

Passed the tests are the questions of deployment and the best way to do that since new kit builders may not be familiar or confident to setup the Arduino's IDE. So maybe HEx files and a simple terminal...ideas welcomed.

All the best,

73, John (VK2ETA)