Topics

Let the upgrades begin! #ubitxv6


Justin Bowser - KI5GKD
 

I have been playing with my V6 for a couple of weeks now and I am really starting to like it although it will never replace the old trusty Kenwood TS-520SE!  I have worked 7 states with it, mostly on 40M but a couple on 20M, contacts are for the most part shocked with how good I sound with only 10 watts.  Today I received the suggested power-mic from Amazon and wired it up - set it on about 6 and made a few contacts this evening and got great reports so check that one off my list.  My wattmeter now actually bounces around without me having to "swallow" the mic and yell at it!

Next steps:

I received my cabinet and will start working on a CNC program to do the front and rear panel cutouts.  This is the case:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BS39P69/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I plan on removing the volume control and all jacks from the PCB (I wish this was the way it came) and relocate them to the front panel.  The phone jack will remain 1/8" but I will use a 1/4" jack for the key and a "standard" 4 pin plug for the microphone.  I also plan on a SO-239 on the back panel instead of BNC.  I am also going to machine a proper tuning knob with a finger "divot" to make surfing the bands easier.

I ordered a 3.5" Nextion display and will replace the stock touchscreen.

I will probably get the AGC kit as well but that is a future thing. 

73,

Justin B.
KI5GKD


Richard DeMartini
 

Justin,

"Today I received the suggested power-mic from Amazon "  Do you have an Amazon link for this mic?

Thanks,
Rick

Sent from Outlook



From: BITX20@groups.io <BITX20@groups.io> on behalf of Justin Bowser - KI5GKD <justin.bowser@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2021 3:55 AM
To: BITX20@groups.io <BITX20@groups.io>
Subject: [BITX20] Let the upgrades begin! #ubitxv6
 
I have been playing with my V6 for a couple of weeks now and I am really starting to like it although it will never replace the old trusty Kenwood TS-520SE!  I have worked 7 states with it, mostly on 40M but a couple on 20M, contacts are for the most part shocked with how good I sound with only 10 watts.  Today I received the suggested power-mic from Amazon and wired it up - set it on about 6 and made a few contacts this evening and got great reports so check that one off my list.  My wattmeter now actually bounces around without me having to "swallow" the mic and yell at it!

Next steps:

I received my cabinet and will start working on a CNC program to do the front and rear panel cutouts.  This is the case:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BS39P69/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I plan on removing the volume control and all jacks from the PCB (I wish this was the way it came) and relocate them to the front panel.  The phone jack will remain 1/8" but I will use a 1/4" jack for the key and a "standard" 4 pin plug for the microphone.  I also plan on a SO-239 on the back panel instead of BNC.  I am also going to machine a proper tuning knob with a finger "divot" to make surfing the bands easier.

I ordered a 3.5" Nextion display and will replace the stock touchscreen.

I will probably get the AGC kit as well but that is a future thing. 

73,

Justin B.
KI5GKD


Justin Bowser - KI5GKD
 


Kelly Mabry
 

Hi Justin!  Great goings on there!! Grats! Sounds like the v6 is in good hands with you. I wish you much success!

I am going to do the AGC next. I updated to Reeds R1.5.1 software and am quite happy for now. An agc is a must though for me. I am trying to replace my windom antenna that the ice storms tore down. No matter i will be up on the air soon!

73,

Kelly Mabry


Curt
 

Kelly

well learn what you can about AGC, but its a serious undertaking to install the same degree of IF AGC as commercial rigs (yes it can be done).  the audio AGC circuits common to ubitx use only deal with the very upper end signals - you still need to exercise the volume control for all the weak to mid strength signals.  a decent IF AGC circuit may use as many transistors as the entire uBitx receiver (hint W8DIZ popular toroid supplier in US is currently advancing some AGC boards if you must).  I am okay enjoying the ubitx design as is in regard to the receive except adding a simple circuit to address the top end - to make it comfortable to tune across a band.  it works well enough. 

73 Curt


Kelly Mabry
 

Hi Curt!
I am thinking of the ND6T based kit project AGC, as I was familiar with it from before. I plan to take my time before attempting it.  I need to reinstall my windom antenna first. 

That way I will know what "normal reception" sounds like hi hi.

73,

Kelly KD5AJ 


Zvi Segal
 

Here are some ideas for same box I use.

Mine is 3D printed and cover the inner side with adhesive cooper foil.

Still waiting for larger display for the antenna tuner and misc items.



--
Zvika 
4Z1ZV


K2ICC
 

Q: antenna tuner or antenna analyzer?


On Sun, Feb 28, 2021, 10:26 AM Zvi Segal via groups.io <zvisegal=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Here are some ideas for same box I use.

Mine is 3D printed and cover the inner side with adhesive cooper foil.

Still waiting for larger display for the antenna tuner and misc items.



--
Zvika 
4Z1ZV


Justin Bowser - KI5GKD
 

Zvika - Looks slick!  I will first be giving mine a paint job, dark grey hammer-tone for top and bottom and black for front and rear with the plastic either a medium grey or silver.  I machined me a new tuning knob this afternoon but I fear that it's weight might put too much stress on the encoder so I will either have to lighten it or find a beefier replacement for the encoder.

I also would like details of your swr/watt meter or whatever the gizmo on the r/h side is!

73,

Justin
KI5GKD


Zvi Segal
 

It is ATU-100 by N7DDC.  
Can be purchased as a kit for less than 30USD.

Works great and provides also Power/SWR reading.



I implanted this module with PA, LPF and ATU kits.



--
Zvika 
4Z1ZV


Justin Bowser - KI5GKD
 

That's slick, I have one on my Amazon "wish list."

I was super excited to get today started as my Nextion 3.5" display and spare Nanos got here yesterday evening.  I downloaded the files I thought I needed and headed out to the shop.  I loaded the ubtix_35.tft into the display and it comes up except the displayed image/menu is only using the upper L/H corner of the screen, probably about 70% size.  I figured that maybe this was because the raduino wasn't hooked up yet.  I unpacked one of the new Nanos and flashed the UBITXV5_CEC_V1.200_NX.hex file to it using Xloader, flashed fine.  I swapped the Nanos , turned on the radio, and just had the same display but no response from the encoder.  I swapped the Nanos around and the static display returned.  I put the original display back and radio is functional.

I looked over the "new" Nano and realized the header pins were soldered on the opposite side of the board compared to the "stock" Nano!  I went back on Amazon and all of the Nanos I found that had preinstalled headers were all opposite that of the one in the BITX!  Makes me wonder why this was done...  I ordered another pack on Nanos W/O installed headers and when they get here I will install the header the same as the UBITX Nano.

What a drag!  Also, on the "small" display issue is this probably due to not communicating the the raduino W/O the proper firmware or should I re-flash the display with a different file, maybe from the 4.3"?

73,

Justin
KI5GKD


Evan Hand
 

Justin,

The tft file that you found is one that does not use the full screen.  Finding the correct tft file is a challenge.  Try this message to see if it meets your needs:
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/message/67572

There is a better set of screens that I found in the past, and have loaded on my v5 with 3.5" Nextion, however, I have lost the link and the tft file.  I hope I never have to replace the screen as I do not know how to get the file out of the Nextion.

The alternative is to search for a better file on the internet.  It is the TFT file that causes the issue, not anything to do with the Nano or the Raduino.

I will keep looking and post it to the files section of the board if I find it.  You could also search there and on ubitx.net, though I have not found it yet.
73
Evan
AC9TU


Justin Bowser - KI5GKD
 

Thanks, Evan.  I have looked at so many web sites and stuff in the past couple of days I can't remember where ANYTHING is!  But, I seem to recall running across somebody upgrading to a 3.5" screen successfully so I will try to re-trace my steps...

I downloaded the nextion 35 wide 2.1_1.tft file and will load it up tomorrow.  Mine is the standard display.

73,

Justin
KI5GKD


Thomas Kane KC1MAT
 

Zvika,

What PA and LPF are you using?

Thanks!

KC1MAT


Arv Evans
 

Justin

If using Firefox (on Linux) to browse those sites, you can simply
hit CRTL-D to put the URL for interesting sites into your history
file.  This lets you easily remember the good ones by simply pulling
up your history file in Firefox.

_._


On Wed, Mar 3, 2021 at 8:56 PM Justin Bowser - KI5GKD <justin.bowser@...> wrote:
Thanks, Evan.  I have looked at so many web sites and stuff in the past couple of days I can't remember where ANYTHING is!  But, I seem to recall running across somebody upgrading to a 3.5" screen successfully so I will try to re-trace my steps...

I downloaded the nextion 35 wide 2.1_1.tft file and will load it up tomorrow.  Mine is the standard display.

73,

Justin
KI5GKD


Zvi Segal
 

The PA is the Chinese AKA 70w miniPAkit .
I already ordered dual power MOS MRF9120 to replace the supplied couple which I manage to burn few... :-(.

The filters are also a kit which I already uploaded a separate topic with info which I will have to modify to fit with the uBitx control signals.
--
Zvika 
4Z1ZV


Justin Bowser - KI5GKD
 

Arv - Yeah, BUT I have so many bookmarks that I "can barely see the forest for the trees!" ;-)

Zvika - I ordered one of those auto tuners from Ali Express for a whopping $27 USD!

73,

Justin
KI5GKD


Justin Bowser - KI5GKD
 

Evan,

The tft file from the message you pointed me to did the trick, I now have full screen!

73,

Justin
KI5GKD


Justin Bowser - KI5GKD
 

I have my UBITX mounted in a case, the new tuning knob machines, and the 3.5" Nextion screen up and running (mostly) and have the auto antenna tuner ordered.  Next up is poking holes in the rear panel.  Once that is finished and the tuner integrated I'll tear it down and paint the case and engrave control labels.  This is what it looks like right now...


Justin Bowser - KI5GKD
 

I took the radio apart and painted everything except front and back panels and mounted a speaker in the top.  I won't repaint the front or rear panels until all of the modding is done and there are no more holes to make.  We are going up to our off-grid cabin in Oklahoma next week so I may take this up with me and see how it does hooked up to a MFJ portable dipole.  Our cabin is on top of a little mountain so hopefully it will work good.

Here's where it is at the moment.  I am glad I finally got around to getting one of these as it has been rather fun getting it to where I want it to be.