Topics

Suggestion for the NEW UBITX V7.


Gerard
 

Hello,

Since I went through this forum, I find an important batch of changes
So I have a suggestion, and it’s just an idea.
I think it would be wise to make a list of everything that could have been changed so that a new circuit could include all these changes. What I say here, is not mandatory, only the designer will decide.
I wrote down at the top of what I saw when I was browsing this forum:
Addition LM358 for smeter
Add an amp for more sound
Add diode protection of Q90
Add 5v regulator for Nextion
Add CAG
Add core, capacitors, for noise of the connection of the Nextion
Modifications on some transistors of the emission chain
Changes to winding on the emission chain
In addition, it would also be advisable to plan a location for a 2nd nano.
I think one of the outputs of second nano could be used to drive an antenna tuner (many relays are controlled depending on the band)
I think we could directly implant a PA louder, switchable amp of your choice.
The ideal is to have all this prevu on the PCB in the form of options (?), but easier to cabler than to add warts.
You can complete the list
Of course these are only suggestions
cdt


Jack, W8TEE
 

Gerard:

As to the second Nano, I think a single STM32F103C8 would handle the load, although I'm not sure of the pin demands of the Nextion. It has 64K of Flash (vs 32K), 20K of SRAM (vs 2K) and is clocked at 72MHz (vs 16MHz) and costs well-under $5. It is also programmable within the Arduino IDE. As you know, the real win is the SRAM, as that's where most bottlenecks are. It can have anywhere from 26 to 80 I/O pins, depending on need.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, October 15, 2020, 7:26:31 AM EDT, Gerard <kabupos@...> wrote:


Hello,

Since I went through this forum, I find an important batch of changes
So I have a suggestion, and it’s just an idea.
I think it would be wise to make a list of everything that could have been changed so that a new circuit could include all these changes. What I say here, is not mandatory, only the designer will decide.
I wrote down at the top of what I saw when I was browsing this forum:
Addition LM358 for smeter
Add an amp for more sound
Add diode protection of Q90
Add 5v regulator for Nextion
Add CAG
Add core, capacitors, for noise of the connection of the Nextion
Modifications on some transistors of the emission chain
Changes to winding on the emission chain
In addition, it would also be advisable to plan a location for a 2nd nano.
I think one of the outputs of second nano could be used to drive an antenna tuner (many relays are controlled depending on the band)
I think we could directly implant a PA louder, switchable amp of your choice.
The ideal is to have all this prevu on the PCB in the form of options (?), but easier to cabler than to add warts.
You can complete the list
Of course these are only suggestions
cdt

--
Jack, W8TEE


Bill Cromwell
 

Hi,

What will be the cost of this V7?

73,

Bill KU8H

bark less - wag more

On 10/15/20 7:26 AM, Gerard wrote:
Hello,
Since I went through this forum, I find an important batch of changes
So I have a suggestion, and it’s just an idea.
I think it would be wise to make a list of everything that could have been changed so that a new circuit could include all these changes. What I say here, is not mandatory, only the designer will decide.
I wrote down at the top of what I saw when I was browsing this forum:
Addition LM358 for smeter
Add an amp for more sound
Add diode protection of Q90
Add 5v regulator for Nextion
Add CAG
Add core, capacitors, for noise of the connection of the Nextion
Modifications on some transistors of the emission chain
Changes to winding on the emission chain
In addition, it would also be advisable to plan a location for a 2nd nano.
I think one of the outputs of second nano could be used to drive an antenna tuner (many relays are controlled depending on the band)
I think we could directly implant a PA louder, switchable amp of your choice.
The ideal is to have all this prevu on the PCB in the form of options (?), but easier to cabler than to add warts.
You can complete the list
Of course these are only suggestions
cdt


Ken Hansen
 

I note that your list is only suggestions, so in that spirit I'm responding.

Most of the changes suggested appear to be low-cost adjustments to the current uBITX, and could likely be incorporated in a future model relatively cheaply, but let's not lose sight of the target market for the uBITX, a hobbyist with minimal funds.

Currently the uBITX sells for around $150 US, and while eminently affordable compared to even 10 year-old HF radios, we have to be careful about incrementally improving the radio to the point it is priced out of reach for many hams around the world.

I would say it might make sense for a future round of boards to include circuit tweaks that really are low/no cost changes, and provide convenient "tap points" for major changes, like audio amplifier, RF amplifier, an antenna tuner, and rig control with minimal impact to the current price.

Personally, I would have no issues paying more for a "better" uBITX, but as the price creeps towards $200 US or higher, I think the market starts to shift away from the original target audience.

Just my opinion, for consideration,

Ken, N2VIP

On Oct 15, 2020, at 6:26 AM, Gerard <kabupos@...> wrote:

Hello,

Since I went through this forum, I find an important batch of changes
So I have a suggestion, and it’s just an idea.
I think it would be wise to make a list of everything that could have been changed so that a new circuit could include all these changes. What I say here, is not mandatory, only the designer will decide.
I wrote down at the top of what I saw when I was browsing this forum:
Addition LM358 for smeter
Add an amp for more sound
Add diode protection of Q90
Add 5v regulator for Nextion
Add CAG
Add core, capacitors, for noise of the connection of the Nextion
Modifications on some transistors of the emission chain
Changes to winding on the emission chain
In addition, it would also be advisable to plan a location for a 2nd nano.
I think one of the outputs of second nano could be used to drive an antenna tuner (many relays are controlled depending on the band)
I think we could directly implant a PA louder, switchable amp of your choice.
The ideal is to have all this prevu on the PCB in the form of options (?), but easier to cabler than to add warts.
You can complete the list
Of course these are only suggestions
cdt


Christopher Miller
 

I have to agree, perhaps hfsignals can create add on boards that you can elect to buy? But in that case there are a lot of add ons available now. My biggest issue is the case my v3 is in wasn’t designed for one of my kits, and so I have to figure out how to mount it.

Making it easier to connect add on boards would be nice though.

Chris 

On Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 5:41 AM Ken Hansen <ken@...> wrote:
I note that your list is only suggestions, so in that spirit I'm responding.

Most of the changes suggested appear to be low-cost adjustments to the current uBITX, and could likely be incorporated in a future model relatively cheaply, but let's not lose sight of the target market for the uBITX, a hobbyist with minimal funds.

Currently the uBITX sells for around $150 US, and while eminently affordable compared to even 10 year-old HF radios, we have to be careful about incrementally improving the radio to the point it is priced out of reach for many hams around the world.

I would say it might make sense for a future round of boards to include circuit tweaks that really are low/no cost changes, and provide convenient "tap points" for major changes, like audio amplifier, RF amplifier, an antenna tuner, and rig control with minimal impact to the current price.

Personally, I would have no issues paying more for a "better" uBITX, but as the price creeps towards $200 US or higher, I think the market starts to shift away from the original target audience.

Just my opinion, for consideration,

Ken, N2VIP

On Oct 15, 2020, at 6:26 AM, Gerard <kabupos@...> wrote:

Hello,

Since I went through this forum, I find an important batch of changes
So I have a suggestion, and it’s just an idea.
I think it would be wise to make a list of everything that could have been changed so that a new circuit could include all these changes. What I say here, is not mandatory, only the designer will decide.
I wrote down at the top of what I saw when I was browsing this forum:
Addition LM358 for smeter
Add an amp for more sound
Add diode protection of Q90
Add 5v regulator for Nextion
Add CAG
Add core, capacitors, for noise of the connection of the Nextion
Modifications on some transistors of the emission chain
Changes to winding on the emission chain
In addition, it would also be advisable to plan a location for a 2nd nano.
I think one of the outputs of second nano could be used to drive an antenna tuner (many relays are controlled depending on the band)
I think we could directly implant a PA louder, switchable amp of your choice.
The ideal is to have all this prevu on the PCB in the form of options (?), but easier to cabler than to add warts.
You can complete the list
Of course these are only suggestions
cdt


Aaron K5ATG
 

I like the idea of tap points and possibly add on boards. 
There are several reasons why I got a uBitX V6. 
Its the price is one
It is a bare-bones transceiver is another reason.
So many of today's rigs have so many features that the manuals can become the size of a large city's phonebook. There is nothing wrong with that if that is what you want. For the uBitX what draws me is that you don't have to buy features that you don't want. There are a lot of features on the newer rigs that I would never use. I don't want PSK and RTTY decoders on my rig, I have a PC and RPi4 for that stuff, if someone else wants those options then great for them they should be able to have what they want also. I want a rig that I can play around with and experiment with. If I break it then I don't need to mortgage the house to buy another. I think that it should stay a basic transceiver that it is open source. As I said in an earlier post, I can buy 100 IC 7300's or 500 Elecraft K4's and they will all pretty much be the same. I can buy 10 uBitX or BitX rigs and they will all be different that is the beauty of the uBitX. The BitX community is also a big plus. 
As for my V6 here are the options that I plan on adding:
Broadcast Filter
AGC
S-Meter
a detached 2nd Nextion
CW Keyboard
ATU
--
'72
Aaron Scott
QRPARCI# 16443
GQRP# 16389
4SQRP # 1080


Evan Hand
 

I believe that Gerald is suggesting a base kit with optional modules to get around the cost of the fully-loaded radio.  In concept a good idea.  The potential issue is that there are multiple ways to solve any of the current shortcomings of the uBITX.  Take for example AGC: there are documented solutions for use in the RF, IF, and Audio sections of the radio.  All have been reported as giving good results.  Providing insertion points for each would be difficult, other than the current "cut the trace and solder on component leads" method that has worked so far.  If HFSignals were to take on the task, we would see a plethora of kits that would have to be inventoried and managed.  That would drive up the cost of doing business for them, and may not provide the expected income.  One must always manage the offering to maximize return on investment.

Others than HFSignals have stepped up to provide add-on solutions that are applicable to the current version at the time of offering.  These can lose relevance as newer models come out, and the market for the product dries up.  The best example is the AmatuerRadioKits cases and modules that now are not as relevant since there is a factory case available.  There are many others that have offered products that now do not have a market in the new v6 owners.

There have been attempts made on the board design to allow for things to be added or substituted.  There are alternate SSB filter breakout connections and alternate PA transistor pads.  I have read very little on either of these being used.  The conceived need is a good one, just not totally planed out with an option to build or purchase.

What would probably be of the most use is for someone to assemble the enhancement options and provide that list on this site.  Then to allow potential module vendors to list their offering as well as designers to list their designs to facilitate the modification process for each owner.  Even this would have to follow the evolution of the design as some mods for the v2 have no relevance for the v6 (pop fix as an example).  This is a Herculean effort that no one has attempted.  It has also been suggested many times in the postings.

Even if someone does pick up the mantel and do the documentation, at some point they move on.  I have seen this occur with postings changing.  Very talented and skilled people drop off from posting, having moved on to other challenges (they are now posting on other product threads like the uSDX undergoing design changes in a very rapid and groundbreaking fashion).  The other example I know of is Dr. Lee, KD8CEC, moving on to other areas of signal processing beyond the Nextion screen design for the uBITX.  They have climbed the mountain and are moving on to other peaks to conquer.

Using this thread to organize my thoughts, I come to the conclusion that building the radio for the lowest cost that meets the needs of the entry Ham, and keeping the design open for others to modify as wanted is the best choice.  When combined with this type of media to help others through upgrades and additions it is really the best that we can do.  We will see the torch being passed to others as each reaches a point where the reward or relevance is not there anymore and pass it on to the next one just coming on board.

The last point that I will make is that even the uBITX product will fade into irrelevance as new technology comes to light.  I see SDR as coming on strong, and kits becoming available for that technology as an example.  I also see the price point of commercial rigs coming close to the uBITX in cost.  Think of Heath Kit, they are not in the market that I know of.

The above are my own musings.  I apologize if I have offended or misrepresented anyone.  You are free to disagree and to voice your opinions.
73
Evan
AC9TU


MadRadioModder
 

Again, building the traces into the PCB board in manufacturing and letting the owner decide what to populate (at his/her own cost) is far more palatable that simply making the radio more expensive with more options that cater to a few.

 

MRM

 

From: BITX20@groups.io <BITX20@groups.io> On Behalf Of Ken Hansen
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2020 7:41 AM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Suggestion for the NEW UBITX V7.

 

I note that your list is only suggestions, so in that spirit I'm responding.

 

Most of the changes suggested appear to be low-cost adjustments to the current uBITX, and could likely be incorporated in a future model relatively cheaply, but let's not lose sight of the target market for the uBITX, a hobbyist with minimal funds.

 

Currently the uBITX sells for around $150 US, and while eminently affordable compared to even 10 year-old HF radios, we have to be careful about incrementally improving the radio to the point it is priced out of reach for many hams around the world.

 

I would say it might make sense for a future round of boards to include circuit tweaks that really are low/no cost changes, and provide convenient "tap points" for major changes, like audio amplifier, RF amplifier, an antenna tuner, and rig control with minimal impact to the current price.

 

Personally, I would have no issues paying more for a "better" uBITX, but as the price creeps towards $200 US or higher, I think the market starts to shift away from the original target audience.

 

Just my opinion, for consideration,

 

Ken, N2VIP



On Oct 15, 2020, at 6:26 AM, Gerard <kabupos@...> wrote:

Hello,

Since I went through this forum, I find an important batch of changes
So I have a suggestion, and it’s just an idea.
I think it would be wise to make a list of everything that could have been changed so that a new circuit could include all these changes. What I say here, is not mandatory, only the designer will decide.
I wrote down at the top of what I saw when I was browsing this forum:
Addition LM358 for smeter
Add an amp for more sound
Add diode protection of Q90
Add 5v regulator for Nextion
Add CAG
Add core, capacitors, for noise of the connection of the Nextion
Modifications on some transistors of the emission chain
Changes to winding on the emission chain
In addition, it would also be advisable to plan a location for a 2nd 
nano.
I think one of the outputs of second nano could be used to drive an antenna tuner (many relays are controlled depending on the band)
I think we could directly implant a PA louder, switchable amp of your choice.
The ideal is to have all this prevu on the PCB in the form of options (?), but easier to cabler than to add warts.
You can complete the list
Of course these are only suggestions
cdt




AVG logo

This email has been checked for viruses by AVG antivirus software.
www.avg.com



--

…_. _._


Shirley Dulcey KE1L
 

There is still a significant price gap between the uBITX and its alternatives. The Xiegu G90 is the closest competitor in price, and it costs double what a uBITX with enclosure does. It's admittedly also more radio: SDR, 20W output, built in ATU.

The real direct competition will be the QSX from QRP Labs, if it ever sees the light of day. Hans was projecting a price of $150 for the multiband setup with enclosure, but I suspect it will be more like $200. And it will be a bargain at that price.

On Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 9:50 AM Evan Hand <elhandjr@...> wrote:
I believe that Gerald is suggesting a base kit with optional modules to get around the cost of the fully-loaded radio.  In concept a good idea.  The potential issue is that there are multiple ways to solve any of the current shortcomings of the uBITX.  Take for example AGC: there are documented solutions for use in the RF, IF, and Audio sections of the radio.  All have been reported as giving good results.  Providing insertion points for each would be difficult, other than the current "cut the trace and solder on component leads" method that has worked so far.  If HFSignals were to take on the task, we would see a plethora of kits that would have to be inventoried and managed.  That would drive up the cost of doing business for them, and may not provide the expected income.  One must always manage the offering to maximize return on investment.

Others than HFSignals have stepped up to provide add-on solutions that are applicable to the current version at the time of offering.  These can lose relevance as newer models come out, and the market for the product dries up.  The best example is the AmatuerRadioKits cases and modules that now are not as relevant since there is a factory case available.  There are many others that have offered products that now do not have a market in the new v6 owners.

There have been attempts made on the board design to allow for things to be added or substituted.  There are alternate SSB filter breakout connections and alternate PA transistor pads.  I have read very little on either of these being used.  The conceived need is a good one, just not totally planed out with an option to build or purchase.

What would probably be of the most use is for someone to assemble the enhancement options and provide that list on this site.  Then to allow potential module vendors to list their offering as well as designers to list their designs to facilitate the modification process for each owner.  Even this would have to follow the evolution of the design as some mods for the v2 have no relevance for the v6 (pop fix as an example).  This is a Herculean effort that no one has attempted.  It has also been suggested many times in the postings.

Even if someone does pick up the mantel and do the documentation, at some point they move on.  I have seen this occur with postings changing.  Very talented and skilled people drop off from posting, having moved on to other challenges (they are now posting on other product threads like the uSDX undergoing design changes in a very rapid and groundbreaking fashion).  The other example I know of is Dr. Lee, KD8CEC, moving on to other areas of signal processing beyond the Nextion screen design for the uBITX.  They have climbed the mountain and are moving on to other peaks to conquer.

Using this thread to organize my thoughts, I come to the conclusion that building the radio for the lowest cost that meets the needs of the entry Ham, and keeping the design open for others to modify as wanted is the best choice.  When combined with this type of media to help others through upgrades and additions it is really the best that we can do.  We will see the torch being passed to others as each reaches a point where the reward or relevance is not there anymore and pass it on to the next one just coming on board.

The last point that I will make is that even the uBITX product will fade into irrelevance as new technology comes to light.  I see SDR as coming on strong, and kits becoming available for that technology as an example.  I also see the price point of commercial rigs coming close to the uBITX in cost.  Think of Heath Kit, they are not in the market that I know of.

The above are my own musings.  I apologize if I have offended or misrepresented anyone.  You are free to disagree and to voice your opinions.
73
Evan
AC9TU


 

Yessir, the sensei in on the digital track with SDRs, I shall remain faithful to analog. Infinite bit resolution!

Raj

At 15/10/2020, you wrote:
The last point that I will make is that even the uBITX product will fade into irrelevance as new technology comes to light. I see SDR as coming on strong, and kits becoming available for that technology as an example. I also see the price point of commercial rigs coming close to the uBITX in cost. Think of Heath Kit, they are not in the market that I know of.

The above are my own musings. I apologize if I have offended or misrepresented anyone. You are free to disagree and to voice your opinions.
73
Evan
AC9TU


Shirley Dulcey KE1L
 

The QCX+ could serve as an example here. There are a number of points on the board where there are holes for Dupont pins or other connectors with 2.54mm spacing, as well as designated cut points for onboard traces so that external circuits can be connected to those pins. It took some thought in the design but adds little to the manufacturing cost, as the pins are not supplied with the kit. 


On Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 10:08 AM MadRadioModder <madradiomodder@...> wrote:

Again, building the traces into the PCB board in manufacturing and letting the owner decide what to populate (at his/her own cost) is far more palatable that simply making the radio more expensive with more options that cater to a few.

 

MRM

 

From: BITX20@groups.io <BITX20@groups.io> On Behalf Of Ken Hansen
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2020 7:41 AM
To: BITX20@groups.io
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Suggestion for the NEW UBITX V7.

 

I note that your list is only suggestions, so in that spirit I'm responding.

 

Most of the changes suggested appear to be low-cost adjustments to the current uBITX, and could likely be incorporated in a future model relatively cheaply, but let's not lose sight of the target market for the uBITX, a hobbyist with minimal funds.

 

Currently the uBITX sells for around $150 US, and while eminently affordable compared to even 10 year-old HF radios, we have to be careful about incrementally improving the radio to the point it is priced out of reach for many hams around the world.

 

I would say it might make sense for a future round of boards to include circuit tweaks that really are low/no cost changes, and provide convenient "tap points" for major changes, like audio amplifier, RF amplifier, an antenna tuner, and rig control with minimal impact to the current price.

 

Personally, I would have no issues paying more for a "better" uBITX, but as the price creeps towards $200 US or higher, I think the market starts to shift away from the original target audience.

 

Just my opinion, for consideration,

 

Ken, N2VIP



On Oct 15, 2020, at 6:26 AM, Gerard <kabupos@...> wrote:

Hello,

Since I went through this forum, I find an important batch of changes
So I have a suggestion, and it’s just an idea.
I think it would be wise to make a list of everything that could have been changed so that a new circuit could include all these changes. What I say here, is not mandatory, only the designer will decide.
I wrote down at the top of what I saw when I was browsing this forum:
Addition LM358 for smeter
Add an amp for more sound
Add diode protection of Q90
Add 5v regulator for Nextion
Add CAG
Add core, capacitors, for noise of the connection of the Nextion
Modifications on some transistors of the emission chain
Changes to winding on the emission chain
In addition, it would also be advisable to plan a location for a 2nd 
nano.
I think one of the outputs of second nano could be used to drive an antenna tuner (many relays are controlled depending on the band)
I think we could directly implant a PA louder, switchable amp of your choice.
The ideal is to have all this prevu on the PCB in the form of options (?), but easier to cabler than to add warts.
You can complete the list
Of course these are only suggestions
cdt




AVG logo

This email has been checked for viruses by AVG antivirus software.
www.avg.com



--

…_. _._


Jack, W8TEE
 

I purchased a G90 about a month ago and I like it a lot. It's small, which makes it easy to take to the field, and the 20W SSB surprised me how well I can get out with that power level. The display is very small, but serviceable. It has an IF tap point and the fact that it can run the GS0C controller for a 7" display suggests there's a way to "roll your own". I paid $425 for mine and am happy with it. I really wonder why anyone would drop $1200 for IC-705.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, October 15, 2020, 10:10:53 AM EDT, Shirley Dulcey KE1L <mark@...> wrote:


There is still a significant price gap between the uBITX and its alternatives. The Xiegu G90 is the closest competitor in price, and it costs double what a uBITX with enclosure does. It's admittedly also more radio: SDR, 20W output, built in ATU.

The real direct competition will be the QSX from QRP Labs, if it ever sees the light of day. Hans was projecting a price of $150 for the multiband setup with enclosure, but I suspect it will be more like $200. And it will be a bargain at that price.

On Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 9:50 AM Evan Hand <elhandjr@...> wrote:
I believe that Gerald is suggesting a base kit with optional modules to get around the cost of the fully-loaded radio.  In concept a good idea.  The potential issue is that there are multiple ways to solve any of the current shortcomings of the uBITX.  Take for example AGC: there are documented solutions for use in the RF, IF, and Audio sections of the radio.  All have been reported as giving good results.  Providing insertion points for each would be difficult, other than the current "cut the trace and solder on component leads" method that has worked so far.  If HFSignals were to take on the task, we would see a plethora of kits that would have to be inventoried and managed.  That would drive up the cost of doing business for them, and may not provide the expected income.  One must always manage the offering to maximize return on investment.

Others than HFSignals have stepped up to provide add-on solutions that are applicable to the current version at the time of offering.  These can lose relevance as newer models come out, and the market for the product dries up.  The best example is the AmatuerRadioKits cases and modules that now are not as relevant since there is a factory case available.  There are many others that have offered products that now do not have a market in the new v6 owners.

There have been attempts made on the board design to allow for things to be added or substituted.  There are alternate SSB filter breakout connections and alternate PA transistor pads.  I have read very little on either of these being used.  The conceived need is a good one, just not totally planed out with an option to build or purchase.

What would probably be of the most use is for someone to assemble the enhancement options and provide that list on this site.  Then to allow potential module vendors to list their offering as well as designers to list their designs to facilitate the modification process for each owner.  Even this would have to follow the evolution of the design as some mods for the v2 have no relevance for the v6 (pop fix as an example).  This is a Herculean effort that no one has attempted.  It has also been suggested many times in the postings.

Even if someone does pick up the mantel and do the documentation, at some point they move on.  I have seen this occur with postings changing.  Very talented and skilled people drop off from posting, having moved on to other challenges (they are now posting on other product threads like the uSDX undergoing design changes in a very rapid and groundbreaking fashion).  The other example I know of is Dr. Lee, KD8CEC, moving on to other areas of signal processing beyond the Nextion screen design for the uBITX.  They have climbed the mountain and are moving on to other peaks to conquer.

Using this thread to organize my thoughts, I come to the conclusion that building the radio for the lowest cost that meets the needs of the entry Ham, and keeping the design open for others to modify as wanted is the best choice.  When combined with this type of media to help others through upgrades and additions it is really the best that we can do.  We will see the torch being passed to others as each reaches a point where the reward or relevance is not there anymore and pass it on to the next one just coming on board.

The last point that I will make is that even the uBITX product will fade into irrelevance as new technology comes to light.  I see SDR as coming on strong, and kits becoming available for that technology as an example.  I also see the price point of commercial rigs coming close to the uBITX in cost.  Think of Heath Kit, they are not in the market that I know of.

The above are my own musings.  I apologize if I have offended or misrepresented anyone.  You are free to disagree and to voice your opinions.
73
Evan
AC9TU


--
Jack, W8TEE


Bill Cromwell
 

Hi Evan,

Having no AGC is not a shortcoming. It is just another option:)

73,

Bill KU8H

bark less - wag more

On 10/15/20 9:50 AM, Evan Hand wrote:
I believe that Gerald is suggesting a base kit with optional modules to get around the cost of the fully-loaded radio.  In concept a good idea. The potential issue is that there are multiple ways to solve any of the current shortcomings of the uBITX.  Take for example AGC: there are documented solutions for use in the RF, IF, and Audio sections of the radio.  All have been reported as giving good results.  Providing insertion points for each would be difficult, other than the current "cut the trace and solder on component leads" method that has worked so far.  If HFSignals were to take on the task, we would see a plethora of kits that would have to be inventoried and managed.  That would drive up the cost of doing business for them, and may not provide the expected income.  One must always manage the offering to maximize return on investment.
Others than HFSignals have stepped up to provide add-on solutions that are applicable to the current version at the time of offering.  These can lose relevance as newer models come out, and the market for the product dries up.  The best example is the AmatuerRadioKits cases and modules that now are not as relevant since there is a factory case available.  There are many others that have offered products that now do not have a market in the new v6 owners.
There have been attempts made on the board design to allow for things to be added or substituted.  There are alternate SSB filter breakout connections and alternate PA transistor pads.  I have read very little on either of these being used.  The conceived need is a good one, just not totally planed out with an option to build or purchase.
What would probably be of the most use is for someone to assemble the enhancement options and provide that list on this site.  Then to allow potential module vendors to list their offering as well as designers to list their designs to facilitate the modification process for each owner.  Even this would have to follow the evolution of the design as some mods for the v2 have no relevance for the v6 (pop fix as an example).  This is a Herculean effort that no one has attempted.  It has also been suggested many times in the postings.
Even if someone does pick up the mantel and do the documentation, at some point they move on.  I have seen this occur with postings changing.  Very talented and skilled people drop off from posting, having moved on to other challenges (they are now posting on other product threads like the uSDX undergoing design changes in a very rapid and groundbreaking fashion).  The other example I know of is Dr. Lee, KD8CEC, moving on to other areas of signal processing beyond the Nextion screen design for the uBITX.  They have climbed the mountain and are moving on to other peaks to conquer.
Using this thread to organize my thoughts, I come to the conclusion that building the radio for the lowest cost that meets the needs of the entry Ham, and keeping the design open for others to modify as wanted is the best choice.  When combined with this type of media to help others through upgrades and additions it is really the best that we can do.  We will see the torch being passed to others as each reaches a point where the reward or relevance is not there anymore and pass it on to the next one just coming on board.
The last point that I will make is that even the uBITX product will fade into irrelevance as new technology comes to light.  I see SDR as coming on strong, and kits becoming available for that technology as an example.  I also see the price point of commercial rigs coming close to the uBITX in cost.  Think of Heath Kit, they are not in the market that I know of.
The above are my own musings.  I apologize if I have offended or misrepresented anyone.  You are free to disagree and to voice your opinions.
73
Evan
AC9TU


Shirley Dulcey KE1L
 

The IC-705 does bring some things to the table. It has a more polished look, a better user interface, and a larger display. It does full break-in CW. (The lack of that is why I have little interest in the otherwise appealing G90.) Its strong signal performance is significantly better. It has much lower power consumption, especially while receiving, which means you either get more time in the field or don't have to carry as large a battery.

Do those things make it worth three times the price? For some people, yes. It's too rich for my blood, plus I already have the fully optioned K2 that I built 20 years ago (which cost nearly that much, and in circa-2000 dollars at that -- I had more disposable income back then). These days I'm having more fun building inexpensive kits, and bringing out the K2 when I just want to operate.

I expect to finally get my V3 uBITX on the air soon; it sat on the shelf for a couple of years. Right now I'm waiting for the SMD inductors for the spurious emissions mod. I got one of the inductor collections from the guy in Poland, and it didn't have any of the right kind! So I added a couple to a Mouser order. I've already done the relay replacement, removed L5 and L7 for the inductor change, and bared the appropriate spots for the new inductors. I also somehow broke L21 in the process of removing the relays, so I had to wind a replacement on one of the two cores I removed from the board. (It's easy to identify, since it has red wire instead of the natural colored wire on the original inductors.) I'll do the mod for the audio pops later, but I didn't want to put a rig that is non-compliant with spectral purity regulations on the air.

There is a place in the world for many different radios. I'm not going to be buying a G90 or an IC-705, but I don't question the choices of people who do buy them.

On Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 10:28 AM Jack, W8TEE via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I purchased a G90 about a month ago and I like it a lot. It's small, which makes it easy to take to the field, and the 20W SSB surprised me how well I can get out with that power level. The display is very small, but serviceable. It has an IF tap point and the fact that it can run the GS0C controller for a 7" display suggests there's a way to "roll your own". I paid $425 for mine and am happy with it. I really wonder why anyone would drop $1200 for IC-705.

Jack, W8TEE

On Thursday, October 15, 2020, 10:10:53 AM EDT, Shirley Dulcey KE1L <mark@...> wrote:


There is still a significant price gap between the uBITX and its alternatives. The Xiegu G90 is the closest competitor in price, and it costs double what a uBITX with enclosure does. It's admittedly also more radio: SDR, 20W output, built in ATU.

The real direct competition will be the QSX from QRP Labs, if it ever sees the light of day. Hans was projecting a price of $150 for the multiband setup with enclosure, but I suspect it will be more like $200. And it will be a bargain at that price.

On Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 9:50 AM Evan Hand <elhandjr@...> wrote:
I believe that Gerald is suggesting a base kit with optional modules to get around the cost of the fully-loaded radio.  In concept a good idea.  The potential issue is that there are multiple ways to solve any of the current shortcomings of the uBITX.  Take for example AGC: there are documented solutions for use in the RF, IF, and Audio sections of the radio.  All have been reported as giving good results.  Providing insertion points for each would be difficult, other than the current "cut the trace and solder on component leads" method that has worked so far.  If HFSignals were to take on the task, we would see a plethora of kits that would have to be inventoried and managed.  That would drive up the cost of doing business for them, and may not provide the expected income.  One must always manage the offering to maximize return on investment.

Others than HFSignals have stepped up to provide add-on solutions that are applicable to the current version at the time of offering.  These can lose relevance as newer models come out, and the market for the product dries up.  The best example is the AmatuerRadioKits cases and modules that now are not as relevant since there is a factory case available.  There are many others that have offered products that now do not have a market in the new v6 owners.

There have been attempts made on the board design to allow for things to be added or substituted.  There are alternate SSB filter breakout connections and alternate PA transistor pads.  I have read very little on either of these being used.  The conceived need is a good one, just not totally planed out with an option to build or purchase.

What would probably be of the most use is for someone to assemble the enhancement options and provide that list on this site.  Then to allow potential module vendors to list their offering as well as designers to list their designs to facilitate the modification process for each owner.  Even this would have to follow the evolution of the design as some mods for the v2 have no relevance for the v6 (pop fix as an example).  This is a Herculean effort that no one has attempted.  It has also been suggested many times in the postings.

Even if someone does pick up the mantel and do the documentation, at some point they move on.  I have seen this occur with postings changing.  Very talented and skilled people drop off from posting, having moved on to other challenges (they are now posting on other product threads like the uSDX undergoing design changes in a very rapid and groundbreaking fashion).  The other example I know of is Dr. Lee, KD8CEC, moving on to other areas of signal processing beyond the Nextion screen design for the uBITX.  They have climbed the mountain and are moving on to other peaks to conquer.

Using this thread to organize my thoughts, I come to the conclusion that building the radio for the lowest cost that meets the needs of the entry Ham, and keeping the design open for others to modify as wanted is the best choice.  When combined with this type of media to help others through upgrades and additions it is really the best that we can do.  We will see the torch being passed to others as each reaches a point where the reward or relevance is not there anymore and pass it on to the next one just coming on board.

The last point that I will make is that even the uBITX product will fade into irrelevance as new technology comes to light.  I see SDR as coming on strong, and kits becoming available for that technology as an example.  I also see the price point of commercial rigs coming close to the uBITX in cost.  Think of Heath Kit, they are not in the market that I know of.

The above are my own musings.  I apologize if I have offended or misrepresented anyone.  You are free to disagree and to voice your opinions.
73
Evan
AC9TU


--
Jack, W8TEE


Ken Hansen
 

Jack,

I can't justify $1,200 US for the IC-705 compared with the $450 Chinese radios, but as a new owner of one, I can tell you it is a portable, battery-operated IC-7300 with the big screen, great receiver, polished interface PLUS 144/430 and D-Star. It's design is so similar to the IC-7300 that I was on the air within minutes, and it will be interesting to see how the WiFi and Bluetooth interfaces get used going forward.

And by adding an $80 LiFePO4 battery, RF output jumps from 5 watts to 10 watts.

Icom was gunning for the Elecraft QRP market, and pretty much hit the Mark in my opinion.

Over time, the price will drop (see the price history of the IC-7300 and other recent Icom radios), but it has a solid feature set. I described the radio to a friend who said 'I have an FT-817 that I'm happy with'. I replied "I had an FT-817, sold it, then later bought an FT-818, and soon sold it as well. I paid double the going price of the FT-818 for a radio with a 4.3" display, an SDR receiver, a wonderful bandscope, and a USB interface - no regrets." Oh, and the IC-7300 can receive NWS VHF weather broadcasts - that's been a big issue some have with the FT-817/818.

Ken, N2VIP

On Oct 15, 2020, at 09:28, Jack, W8TEE via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

I really wonder why anyone would drop $1200 for IC-705.


Shirley Dulcey KE1L
 

I forgot to mention the 2 meter and 70 centimeter capabilities. And D-STAR is important to some people. (Not so much here in New England; the digital VHF/UHF activity in these parts is mostly DMR.) Thanks for the reminder of those, N2VIP.


On Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 2:48 PM Ken Hansen <ken@...> wrote:
Jack,

I can't justify $1,200 US for the IC-705 compared with the $450 Chinese radios, but as a new owner of one, I can tell you it is a portable, battery-operated IC-7300 with the big screen, great receiver, polished interface PLUS  144/430 and D-Star. It's design is so similar to the IC-7300 that I was on the air within minutes, and it will be interesting to see how the WiFi and Bluetooth interfaces get used going forward.

And by adding an $80 LiFePO4 battery, RF output jumps from 5 watts to 10 watts.

Icom was gunning for the Elecraft QRP market, and pretty much hit the Mark in my opinion.

Over time, the price will drop (see the price history of the IC-7300 and other recent Icom radios), but it has a solid feature set. I described the radio to a friend who said 'I have an FT-817 that I'm happy with'. I replied "I had an FT-817, sold it, then later bought an FT-818, and soon sold it as well. I paid double the going price of the FT-818 for a radio with a 4.3" display, an SDR receiver, a wonderful bandscope, and a USB interface - no regrets." Oh, and the IC-7300 can receive NWS VHF weather broadcasts - that's been a big issue some have with the FT-817/818.

Ken, N2VIP

> On Oct 15, 2020, at 09:28, Jack, W8TEE via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
>
> I really wonder why anyone would drop $1200 for IC-705.







Slurm
 

MadRadioModder,

Agree 100%.  That is the only rational solution that fits all budgets as you said, build the traces for some good additions into the circuit board for the owners to populate if desired.  Keep the price down, adding circuit board traces is likely still the cheapest thing in Ham radio.

Slurm


Jack, W8TEE
 

Hi Ken:

There are a lot of things in the 705 that I'd like to have...especially the larger screen...but I can live without them for now. Actually, one of the things that pushed me over the edge on the G90 was the "rumor" that Xeigu will be releasing an API (Application Programmer's Interface) for the G90. My goal is to have a 5"-7" panadapter display that I can run independent of any PC/laptop/tablet. I know it can be done because they have the GSOC doing that right now. However, I can't see dropping over $500 for it. I'm pretty sure I can handle the software end of that journey...the hardware, not so much. I envy talented people like Pete Juliano, Farhan, and Hans who capture both talents with an equal grasp. I'm just hoping I don't run out of sand in the hourglass before I get that done!

Jack, W8TEE

On Friday, October 16, 2020, 1:55:33 AM EDT, Ken Hansen <ken@...> wrote:


Jack,

I can't justify $1,200 US for the IC-705 compared with the $450 Chinese radios, but as a new owner of one, I can tell you it is a portable, battery-operated IC-7300 with the big screen, great receiver, polished interface PLUS  144/430 and D-Star. It's design is so similar to the IC-7300 that I was on the air within minutes, and it will be interesting to see how the WiFi and Bluetooth interfaces get used going forward.

And by adding an $80 LiFePO4 battery, RF output jumps from 5 watts to 10 watts.

Icom was gunning for the Elecraft QRP market, and pretty much hit the Mark in my opinion.

Over time, the price will drop (see the price history of the IC-7300 and other recent Icom radios), but it has a solid feature set. I described the radio to a friend who said 'I have an FT-817 that I'm happy with'. I replied "I had an FT-817, sold it, then later bought an FT-818, and soon sold it as well. I paid double the going price of the FT-818 for a radio with a 4.3" display, an SDR receiver, a wonderful bandscope, and a USB interface - no regrets." Oh, and the IC-7300 can receive NWS VHF weather broadcasts - that's been a big issue some have with the FT-817/818.

Ken, N2VIP

> On Oct 15, 2020, at 09:28, Jack, W8TEE via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
>
> I really wonder why anyone would drop $1200 for IC-705.






--
Jack, W8TEE


Ken Hansen
 

Jack,

Understand and agree with your points, varying needs are why we have so many choices!

I want to correct a typo in my previous email - the IC-705 (not the IC-7300 as I incorrectly wrote) can receive NWS VHF weather broadcasts.

Ken, N2VIP 

On Oct 16, 2020, at 08:01, Jack, W8TEE via groups.io <jjpurdum@...> wrote:


Hi Ken:

There are a lot of things in the 705 that I'd like to have...especially the larger screen...but I can live without them for now. Actually, one of the things that pushed me over the edge on the G90 was the "rumor" that Xeigu will be releasing an API (Application Programmer's Interface) for the G90. My goal is to have a 5"-7" panadapter display that I can run independent of any PC/laptop/tablet. I know it can be done because they have the GSOC doing that right now. However, I can't see dropping over $500 for it. I'm pretty sure I can handle the software end of that journey...the hardware, not so much. I envy talented people like Pete Juliano, Farhan, and Hans who capture both talents with an equal grasp. I'm just hoping I don't run out of sand in the hourglass before I get that done!

Jack, W8TEE

On Friday, October 16, 2020, 1:55:33 AM EDT, Ken Hansen <ken@...> wrote:


Jack,

I can't justify $1,200 US for the IC-705 compared with the $450 Chinese radios, but as a new owner of one, I can tell you it is a portable, battery-operated IC-7300 with the big screen, great receiver, polished interface PLUS  144/430 and D-Star. It's design is so similar to the IC-7300 that I was on the air within minutes, and it will be interesting to see how the WiFi and Bluetooth interfaces get used going forward.

And by adding an $80 LiFePO4 battery, RF output jumps from 5 watts to 10 watts.

Icom was gunning for the Elecraft QRP market, and pretty much hit the Mark in my opinion.

Over time, the price will drop (see the price history of the IC-7300 and other recent Icom radios), but it has a solid feature set. I described the radio to a friend who said 'I have an FT-817 that I'm happy with'. I replied "I had an FT-817, sold it, then later bought an FT-818, and soon sold it as well. I paid double the going price of the FT-818 for a radio with a 4.3" display, an SDR receiver, a wonderful bandscope, and a USB interface - no regrets." Oh, and the IC-7300 can receive NWS VHF weather broadcasts - that's been a big issue some have with the FT-817/818.

Ken, N2VIP

> On Oct 15, 2020, at 09:28, Jack, W8TEE via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
>
> I really wonder why anyone would drop $1200 for IC-705.






--
Jack, W8TEE


Bob Benedict, KD8CGH
 

An old example of a base transceiver with add ins is the Elecraft K2 kit. Options list:
  • KPA100 Amplifier (Kit), ugrades K2 to K2/100
  • KAF2 Audio Filter and Real-Time Clock
  • KSB2 SSB Adapter
  • KNB2 High Performance Noise Blanker
  • K160M 160M and 2nd RX Port
  • KIO2 RS-232 Interface and Aux I/0
  • KAT2 Automatic Antenna Tuner
  • KBT2 Battery
--
  73
    Bob  KD8CGH