Topics

Nextion Display on uBITX #ubitx #nextion

Aaron K5ATG
 

I ordered my uBITX V6 from HFSigs. Just wondering. I have seen some change the display over to a Nextion display. What are the benefits of having a Nextion display over the default TFT display? 

Rene
 

Hallo Aaron, ik heb mezelf ook een Nextion 3.2-scherm besteld. Door veel problemen met mijn Bitx V6 en druk bezig met constructies aan mijn huis kan ik momenteel geen tijd aan de radio besteden. Wat ik heb gelezen en wat ik heb gezien en begrepen, is de software en dingen die u op het scherm efficiënter kunt zien. Ziet er ook beter uit. Dus over een maand of 2 i am gonna try to instal this screen. Also i believe that cat control by usb is working good. There is more then enough to find on rhis forum and on HF Signals. 
Greetz,
Rene
Netherlands

Reed N
 

Hi Aaron,

Disclaimer: I don't have a Nextion screen, but have done my fair share of research on them.

First, some history. The v5 and older uBiTX models only had a 2-line text LCD, so this wonderful community decided to step it up a notch and add a nice touch screen (the Nextion), and KD8CEC's software added a bunch of additional functionality, like the memory manager. This was all possible because all of the screen rendering and graphical resources were stored on the Nextion itself, so the Arduino Nano just had to know how to send and receive serial commands. The Nextion is actually programmed separately, and has it's own coding and microprocessor to run the menus, and turn the raw touch inputs into meaningful desired action inputs. Furthermore, there are larger and smaller Nextion screens available, so if you want a different size, you can have it. If you're getting the stock v6 case, this probably isn't something important to you, since it'd would be difficult to resize the screen opening.

The uBiTX v6 added an ILI9341+XPT2046 touch screen. However, unlike the Nextion, this screen does NOT store ANY of the graphical resources, and does NOT store or render stuff automatically. This means that the Arduino Nano has to, in addition to running the radio, drive the screen output, and receive and process the raw touch inputs. The Arduino Nano was released in 2008 (source: https://blog.arduino.cc/2008/05/15/arduino-nano-all-in-one-design-for-breadboard-use/), so at 12 years of age, it's fair to say it's long in the tooth as far as microcontrollers go, especially when trying to drive a color touch screen with 320*240*8*3=1,843,200bits of data to present. For comparison, the newest Arduino Nanos have just 262,144 bits (32,768 bytes) of flash memory, and only 30720 bytes of that is available for normal use! It's actually quite remarkable that the Arduino Nano works as well as it does in the uBiTX v6 - big kudos to Ashhar for making it work. That said, the relative lack of flash space and general processing power on the Arduino Nano means that you literally can't make the screen presentation match the speed or style of the Nextion, nor can you fit as many features, since those take up programming space too. I was able to squeeze in a bit more functionality in my branch (see full thread: https://groups.io/g/BITX20/topic/r1_4_0_software_release/73992676), but ultimately there's just not enough space for all the features a person might want.

I'd recommend you give the stock software and then my software a go first. It costs you nothing, and if it's good enough for what you need, great! If not, then there are a couple options worth considering:
1) Buy a Nextion and install the KD8CEC software on the Arduino Nano. This solution is tried and true, and you can find several posts on here with people who have already done this conversion with their v6's
2) Buy a better microcontroller option. JACKAL is a Teensy 3.6-based upgrade path, with some additional hardware features too. TSW has their Teensy 4.0 adapter board, which leaves your system mostly stock. Both of these options include software that takes advantage of the much more powerful microcontrollers to give you additional features, and revised screen graphics. You can also spin up an ESP32 for the task like Ramón EA4GZI, although at the present you'll have to sort out the wiring yourself.


Reed

Evan Hand
 

Reed,

Thank you for the summary and all of the posts you make on this board.  I can say I read everyone from you and get insights from all.  

I do have 3 Nextion uBITX, 2 v4, and 1 v5 with various size screens.  Your comments as far as the Nextion devices are correct, and I agree that you should start with the stock stuff, get it going, and then start the upgrade journey from there. 

Again Thank You!
73
Evan
AC9TU

Aaron K5ATG
 

Thanks, everyone for the replies and the explanations. 
I agree I want to give the stock configuration a go for a while. I want to learn the characteristics of the radio before I start changing it. 

Bill Cromwell
 

Hi,

If you a CW user you may prefer to install the CEC software or Reed's software. I have worked on several uBitX radios for others and the stock software has been unsatisfactory in various degrees. The original V6 software rendered CW completely unusable but I think that has been fixed now.

By all means try your radio 'as shipped' and if you are satisfied continue to enjoy it. My V3 has very few mods with the CEC software being the biggest change.

73,

Bill KU8H

On 5/20/20 9:46 AM, Aaron K5ATG via groups.io wrote:
Thanks, everyone for the replies and the explanations.
I agree I want to give the stock configuration a go for a while. I want to learn the characteristics of the radio before I start changing it.
--
bark less - wag more

Aaron K5ATG
 

Thanks Bill.
I am venturing into CW. Due to neurological damage that I have, I am unable to send CW, however, I can receive pretty good by ear. I'm looking into setting up a cw keyboard. My main workhorse is my most beloved Elecraft K2 QRP version. I know many people consider using a keyboard to send CW is cheating, but hey if it is the only way that I can use that mode then what can I do? Everyone has the right to have their own opinion and I would never want to change that. 
I have befriended the good sir Ashhar Farhan via email. I wanted a radio to play around and experiment with such as the BITX40 but he stopped production of that. He talked me into homebrewing a BItX 20. So I ended up buying his Antuino and uBITX probably as much to support what he is doing in India as much as wanting the equipment. 

Bill Cromwell
 

Hi Aaron,

If anybody gives you a lot crap about using a keyboard refer them to me! No..I don't use a keyboard. Nobody gives me any crap for being too old fashioned <sly grin>. I see small-minded people in every endeavor. We always offer them a helping hand but do not tolerate any 'load of crap'. There is that old fashioned term again. You do not need an excuse to use a keyboard or a computer to do CW. If you need one or else have to give up CW (because you like it) then please use a keyboard and/or computer. See you on the air. I once had a nice rag chew with ham in PA - CW of course. About 45 minutes unto the QSO he told matter-of-fact that he is completely deaf! He had made a device form a speaker voice coil and 'felt' the code with his fingertips. Do whatever works for *you*.

There are so many ways to enjoy the hobby that I can't see any two hams doing it exactly the same way. And that is one of ham radio's strong points:) Most of us encourage and support one another.

I will get off the soapbox now. I need to dismantle it and use the boards to make a cabinet for my homebrew DX-100 clone <wicked grin>.

73,

Bill KU8H

On 5/20/20 5:28 PM, Aaron K5ATG via groups.io wrote:
Thanks Bill.
I am venturing into CW. Due to neurological damage that I have, I am unable to send CW, however, I can receive pretty good by ear. I'm looking into setting up a cw keyboard. My main workhorse is my most beloved Elecraft K2 QRP version. I know many people consider using a keyboard to send CW is cheating, but hey if it is the only way that I can use that mode then what can I do? Everyone has the right to have their own opinion and I would never want to change that.
I have befriended the good sir Ashhar Farhan via email. I wanted a radio to play around and experiment with such as the BITX40 but he stopped production of that. He talked me into homebrewing a BItX 20. So I ended up buying his Antuino and uBITX probably as much to support what he is doing in India as much as wanting the equipment.
--
bark less - wag more

Aaron K5ATG
 

Thank you, 
My favorite is that I get a report of 59 or 20 over S9, then when they find out you are running QRP, all of a sudden they can't hear you. It all adds to the spice of life. 

Jack, W8TEE
 

Aaron:

Chapter 6 of my Arduino Projects for Amateur Radio book has a PS2 keyboard/keyer. If you or a friend wish to build one, I'd be happy to send you the chapter.

Jack, W8TEE

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 6:55:40 PM EDT, Bill Cromwell <wrcromwell@...> wrote:


Hi Aaron,

If anybody gives you a lot crap about using a keyboard refer them to me!
No..I don't use a keyboard. Nobody gives me any crap for being too old
fashioned <sly grin>. I see small-minded people in every endeavor. We
always offer them a helping hand but do not tolerate any 'load of crap'.
There is that old fashioned term again. You do not need an excuse to use
a keyboard or a computer to do CW. If you need one or else have to give
up CW (because you like it) then please use a keyboard and/or computer.
See you on the air. I once had a nice rag chew with ham in PA - CW of
course. About 45 minutes unto the QSO he told matter-of-fact that he is
completely deaf! He had made a device form a speaker voice coil and
'felt' the code with his fingertips. Do whatever works for *you*.

There are so many ways to enjoy the hobby that I can't see any two hams
doing it exactly the same way. And that is one of ham radio's strong
points:) Most of us encourage and support one another.

I will get off the soapbox now. I need to dismantle it and use the
boards to make a cabinet for my homebrew DX-100 clone <wicked grin>.

73,

Bill  KU8H

On 5/20/20 5:28 PM, Aaron K5ATG via groups.io wrote:
> Thanks Bill.
> I am venturing into CW. Due to neurological damage that I have, I am
> unable to send CW, however, I can receive pretty good by ear. I'm
> looking into setting up a cw keyboard. My main workhorse is my most
> beloved Elecraft K2 QRP version. I know many people consider using a
> keyboard to send CW is cheating, but hey if it is the only way that I
> can use that mode then what can I do? Everyone has the right to have
> their own opinion and I would never want to change that.
> I have befriended the good sir Ashhar Farhan via email. I wanted a radio
> to play around and experiment with such as the BITX40 but he stopped
> production of that. He talked me into homebrewing a BItX 20. So I ended
> up buying his Antuino and uBITX probably as much to support what he is
> doing in India as much as wanting the equipment.

--
bark less - wag more




--
Jack, W8TEE

Bill Cromwell
 

Heh,

I was in contest, really just one of the sprints with 4 watts CW. From 1000 miles away I got a 599 report! With a lousy antenna, too. Maybe it was true...

I only had to send my info *once*. I don't tell how much power I am running unless it is part of a contest report (it wasn't this time). But in some events QRP stations are worth more points:) That always helps with 'propagation'.

Some of us have figured out that the spouse might be listening and then gets upset with the other ham for spending all that money on fancy gear when we can get through with very much less. Try living with that:)

73,

Bill KU8H

On 5/20/20 8:26 PM, Aaron K5ATG via groups.io wrote:
Thank you,
My favorite is that I get a report of 59 or 20 over S9, then when they find out you are running QRP, all of a sudden they can't hear you. It all adds to the spice of life.
--
bark less - wag more

Amie C.
 

its nice! and its pretty. 
--
AMIE N9OXO

Richard West <rewest71@...>
 

Greetings Jack,

I am interested in the keyboard CW keyboard/keyer chapter you offered. The CTS has returned after three operations, and over two years of recovery time. Still enjoy CW, but spend most times listening on the sidelines, and not getting in on the fun. The various keys are on the desk, but used rarely. Thank you.

73,

Wes
KH2EE

Aaron K5ATG
 

Yes I would like the chapter also please

 

72

Aaron K5ATG

K5ATG Blog

QRPARCI # 16443

GQRP # 16389

4SQRP # 1080

 

From: Richard West via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, May 23, 2020 11:33 AM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Nextion Display on uBITX #ubitx #nextion

 

Greetings Jack,

I am interested in the keyboard CW keyboard/keyer chapter you offered. The CTS has returned after three operations, and over two years of recovery time. Still enjoy CW, but spend most times listening on the sidelines, and not getting in on the fun. The various keys are on the desk, but used rarely. Thank you.

73,

Wes
KH2EE

 

Mike Short <ai4ns.mike.spam@...>
 

I have had CTS for years as well. I went to an Atlas Chiropractor and my problems have greatly improved. 

On Sat, May 23, 2020 at 20:19 Aaron K5ATG via groups.io <k5atg=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Yes I would like the chapter also please

 

72

Aaron K5ATG

K5ATG Blog

QRPARCI # 16443

GQRP # 16389

4SQRP # 1080

 

From: Richard West via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, May 23, 2020 11:33 AM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Nextion Display on uBITX #ubitx #nextion

 

Greetings Jack,

I am interested in the keyboard CW keyboard/keyer chapter you offered. The CTS has returned after three operations, and over two years of recovery time. Still enjoy CW, but spend most times listening on the sidelines, and not getting in on the fun. The various keys are on the desk, but used rarely. Thank you.

73,

Wes
KH2EE

 

ohwenzelph
 

Got a V6. Full kit with enclosure.
got a nextion 2.8 enhanced and I think I have loaded the correct software into it. Took a while to figure out that I could just copy and paste it to the MicroSD card!
when I try to xloader the software into the bitx I keep getting upload failure
the usb to the bitx is com3 and that is set ok, the baud rate I type in 57600 
i am pointing to the unzipped hex file for nextion 2.8 e
under device the only choices are ArduinoMega, CC01, CR03
there is no “Duemilanove/Nano(ATmega328)” option
so I changed to another USB port, now com4 and unplugged the the nano board from the uBitx and tried CR03 and it seems something has up loaded finally! 
And attaching the display and powering it up it seems to work.  O time now to put it through its paces or make it fit and be secure.
The information on how to do this is a bit fragmented but “men and dogs learn to value what they have had to work hard for” 

Evan Hand
 

ohwenelph,
Try 38400 for the baud rate to load programs to the Nano using the xloader software.  Some of the Nano clones use that baud rate.

73
Evan
AC9TU

rpremooak@...
 

Which board number are you using for the 2.8" display,

I am using NX3224k0028_011 I have tried multiple .TFT which all say they are incompatible.  Anyone know of another option.  I pulled them from

v1.092 – 3.5″ Enhanced
https://ubitx.net/download/3-5%e2%80%b3-enhanced-nextion-screen-files-tft-for-loading-on-micro-sd-kn4ud/

I tried the basic and the enhanced file and even went up to the 3.5" file

Grover Cleveland
 

I'm new at al this; just got  my (used) Version 6 with whatever the large screen it. What software gives you that lovely screen? If I can install it I would be quite happy.
Grover  K7TP

Evan Hand
 

Grover,
The picture from Amie C. is of a v6 that the stock screen was replaced with a Nextion 2.8" touch screen.  There is a software update of the uBITX Nano to the KD8CEC software, and the correct .tft file loaded onto the Nextion screen.  The stock screen is not used.

Here is a PDF of how it was done by one of the first to try the replacement:

Have fun both using and modifying the uBITX.  It is good at both.
73
Evan
AC9TU