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Hans, a request to consider please?


Chris Wilson
 

Chris Wilson 24 March 2018


I fumble and furtle about programming my U3S devices using the two
push buttons, cursing when I incorrectly do something and have to
start again. It's probably early senility, but I do sometimes get very
annoyed with it and myself :)

Is it feasible for someone to write a PC programme that allows easy
programming and storage of multiple programmes on the PC and have the
PC and its programme connect to the U3S via the programming headers or
the RS-232 port if the headers are brought out to there?

Taken a stage further it might allow someone to realistically achieve
a slow mode QSO by being able to flash the chip between transmissions
with the relevant messages. But that would be a bonus that few would
need or use, the ability to programme the chip from a nice PC
application using a proper keyboard would be a Godsend, like the apps
that let you programme hand held VHF / UHF transceivers in a civilised
manner ;)

Thanks for reading, anyone supportive of this idea, should it be
possible?



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Sverre Holm
 

Very good idea - PC reprogramming is a feature I've often missed. But this is such a big modification of the U3S so realistically I think we are talking about a future U4 here.

--
Sverre

 

LA3ZA, http://la3za.blogspot.com


Alan G4ZFQ
 

Very good idea - PC reprogramming is a feature I've often missed. But this is such a big modification of the U3S so realistically I think we are talking about a future U4 here.
Sverre

To someone who knows how to do it, and has the code it seems to me to be simple.
The PC program would produce an EEP file to load into the U3.
(Of course I am just guessing, it would probably take a long time.)

It can be done in reverse, save the U3's EEP to save the settings before changing them.


Or, given the data the HEX file could be edited by the user, but that's getting more difficult than button-pushing.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Hans Summers
 

All

If someone wants to take on the task of writing a PC program that can decode and encode the .eep contents then I'd be happy to provide a mapping and explanation of the EEPROM layout.

73 Hans G0UPL 

On Sun, Mar 25, 2018, 10:33 Alan G4ZFQ <alan4alan@...> wrote:
> Very good idea - PC reprogramming is a feature I've often missed. But
> this is such a big modification of the U3S so realistically I think we
> are talking about a future U4 here.

  Sverre

To someone who knows how to do it, and has the code it seems to me to be
simple.
The PC program would produce an EEP file to load into the U3.
(Of course I am just guessing, it would probably take a long time.)

It can be done in reverse, save the U3's EEP to save the settings before
changing them.


Or, given the data the HEX file could be edited by the user, but that's
getting more difficult than button-pushing.

73 Alan G4ZFQ






Chris Wilson
 

Hello Hans,

Thanks for the reply

I can't speak for others but I for one would be happy to pay for an
application that did this, as I have done for apps for my two hand
held VHF / UHF transceivers after realising what a PITA programming
them for lots of repeaters using the sets controls themselves was!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

All

If someone wants to take on the task of writing a PC program that
can decode and encode the .eep contents then I'd be happy to provide
a mapping and explanation of the EEPROM layout.

73 Hans G0UPL 

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Adrian Scripcă
 

Hi all,

I am up to the task of writing a program to generate the needed file, given the explanations.

73!
Adrian, YO6SSW

On Sun, Mar 25, 2018 at 1:06 PM, Chris Wilson <chris@...> wrote:
Hello Hans,

Thanks for the reply

I  can't  speak  for  others but I for one would be happy to pay for an
application  that  did  this,  as I have done for apps for my two hand
held  VHF  / UHF transceivers after realising what a PITA programming
them for lots of repeaters using the sets controls themselves was!

 Sunday, March 25, 2018

> All


> If someone wants to take on the task of writing a PC program that
> can decode and encode the .eep contents then I'd be happy to provide
> a mapping and explanation of the EEPROM layout.


> 73 Hans G0UPL 


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N1BUG
 

Hi all,

This is a very interesting subject. With such a program, would we
need to buy a programmer or would simply a cable be needed between
computer and U3S? How long would it take to write a eep file to the
U3S? If it's reasonably quick I would be happy to pay for such a
program.

I am now using my U3S to make DFCW QSOs on LF. Why? Because it is
the only affordable, frequency stable transmitter which can do this
mode (as far as I know). Unfortunately we do not have a better mode
to use. That is a long story which I won't go into because it's
irrelevant in this forum.

The U3S works fine as a DFCW transmitter for QSOs but it's a bit
tedious programming and changing messages with those buttons!

73,
Paul N1BUG

On 03/25/2018 07:50 AM, Adrian Scripcă wrote:
Hi all,

I am up to the task of writing a program to generate the needed
file, given the explanations.

73!
Adrian, YO6SSW

On Sun, Mar 25, 2018 at 1:06 PM, Chris Wilson <chris@...
<mailto:chris@...>> wrote:

Hello Hans,

Thanks for the reply

I  can't  speak  for  others but I for one would be happy to pay
for an
application  that  did  this,  as I have done for apps for my
two hand
held  VHF  / UHF transceivers after realising what a PITA
programming
them for lots of repeaters using the sets controls themselves was!

 Sunday, March 25, 2018

> All


> If someone wants to take on the task of writing a PC program that
> can decode and encode the .eep contents then I'd be happy to provide
> a mapping and explanation of the EEPROM layout.


> 73 Hans G0UPL


Alan G4ZFQ
 

Adrian,

It would be great if you can co-ordinate with Hans to do this!


This is a very interesting subject. With such a program, would we
need to buy a programmer or would simply a cable be needed between
computer and U3S? How long would it take to write a eep file to the
U3S?
Paul,

Done this way you would need a programmer, I think the USBasp is simplest for a beginner.
Plug the U3 and programmer together, start the programming software, program.
I bet it could be done in less than a minute by an experienced operator.

73 Alan G4ZFQ

I am now using my U3S to make DFCW QSOs on LF. Why? Because it is
the only affordable, frequency stable transmitter which can do this
mode (as far as I know). Unfortunately we do not have a better mode
to use. That is a long story which I won't go into because it's
irrelevant in this forum.
The U3S works fine as a DFCW transmitter for QSOs but it's a bit
tedious programming and changing messages with those buttons!
73,
N1BUG
On 03/25/2018 07:50 AM, Adrian Scripcă wrote:
Hi all,

I am up to the task of writing a program to generate the needed
file, given the explanations.

73!


N1BUG
 

On 03/25/2018 09:20 AM, Alan G4ZFQ wrote:
Paul,

Done this way you would need a programmer, I think the USBasp is
simplest for a beginner.
Plug the U3 and programmer together, start the programming software,
program.
I bet it could be done in less than a minute by an experienced operator.
Thanks Alan,

That sounds quite reasonable and it would make the U3S much easier
to use for these very special QSOs. It is taking me a lot more than
a minute to program messages with the buttons. :-)

73,
Paul


Mike
 

All;

With EEPROM guidance from Hans, I wrote and shared with him such a program back in late 2015. It was initially developed against the U3S V3.08 firmware. After Hans finished the V3.09xx firmware changes, I abandon my development because of the complexity of keeping the PC program in sync with the U3S EEPROM changes.

A seemingly simple and logical change on the U3S side can result in a complete overhaul of the PC program. Also, at that time, EEPROM contents would move around with each test Hans would provide, requiring changes to the PC Program.

The removal of the DDS firmware support, and addition of RX and Envelope Keying parameters are recent examples which would mean major re-writes of my V3.09 PC program. My final solution was to move to a different hardware/firmware platform.

Mike N8OOU 73


Adrian Scripcă
 

No offense Mike, but it sounds like the code design was fragile at best. There are a lot of techniques in software development that deal with expected changes here and there in order to minimize the "rewrite" effort.

73 de Adrian, YO6SSW

On Sun, Mar 25, 2018, 20:03 Mike <n8oou@...> wrote:
All;

With EEPROM guidance from Hans, I wrote and shared with him such a program back in late 2015. It was initially developed against the U3S V3.08 firmware.  After Hans finished the V3.09xx firmware changes, I abandon my development because of the complexity of keeping the PC program in sync with the U3S EEPROM changes.

A seemingly simple and logical change on the U3S side can result in a complete overhaul of the PC program. Also, at that time, EEPROM contents would move around with each test Hans would provide, requiring changes to the PC Program.

The removal of the DDS firmware support, and addition of RX and Envelope Keying parameters are recent examples which would mean major re-writes of my V3.09 PC program.  My final solution was to move to a different hardware/firmware platform.

Mike  N8OOU  73




Chris Wilson
 

Hello Mike,

Did V3.08 do DFCW? Whatever, I would love to see this programme, is it
publicly available? Clever chaps who could do this might find a nice
little niche market. I wish I could manage it, sounds very useful to
me! Thanks.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

All;
With EEPROM guidance from Hans, I wrote and shared with him such a
program back in late 2015. It was initially developed against the
U3S V3.08 firmware. After Hans finished the V3.09xx firmware
changes, I abandon my development because of the complexity of
keeping the PC program in sync with the U3S EEPROM changes.
A seemingly simple and logical change on the U3S side can result in
a complete overhaul of the PC program. Also, at that time, EEPROM
contents would move around with each test Hans would provide,
requiring changes to the PC Program.
The removal of the DDS firmware support, and addition of RX and
Envelope Keying parameters are recent examples which would mean
major re-writes of my V3.09 PC program. My final solution was to
move to a different hardware/firmware platform.
Mike N8OOU 73






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Best regards,
Chris mailto:chris@...
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KEN G4APB
 

Hi Hans,
You said "I'd be happy to provide a mapping and explanation of the EEPROM layout."

Is this something you can do without a lot of effort on your part for the U3S and whatever version you consider to be most useful to work on?

I have not seen anyone take up your offer, but I would be interested in tackling this for my own self learning of how the code works in this kit. I do tend to completely fill all 15 slots on my rigs and I do change things around a lot. I have to keep multiple spreadsheets to remind me what I have done on each rig.

73 Ken G4APB


Chris Wilson
 

Hello Ken,

I am toying with just having various saved microprocessor files on the
PC and re-flashing the chip to change messages for FSCW modes.
Inelegant, but given the slowness of the modes it might be frenzied
button pushing which always seems doomed to angry failures when rushed
:) It would be good if some talented coder could make changes devoid
of the button saga possible.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Hi Hans,
You said "I'd be happy to provide a mapping and explanation of the EEPROM layout."
Is this something you can do without a lot of effort on your part
for the U3S and whatever version you consider to be most useful to work on?
I have not seen anyone take up your offer, but I would be
interested in tackling this for my own self learning of how the code
works in this kit. I do tend to completely fill all 15 slots on my
rigs and I do change things around a lot. I have to keep multiple
spreadsheets to remind me what I have done on each rig.
73 Ken G4APB



--

2E0ILY
Best regards,
Chris mailto:chris@...
--
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Arv Evans
 

Ken  G4APB

Initial thoughts of some of the programmer types was that if we could simply change
values that are stored in EEPROM we could manage the QRP-Labs products with a
USB or RS-232 connected PC.  Unfortunately it is not as simple as that. 

First the QRP-Labs units will have to include an interface to the PC.  This could be
either via RS-232 and a level converter to 5V, or utilize a built-in USB/tty interface
that is part of some Arduino devices.

Once that interface is available the QRP-Labs device will need software that supports
sending various data to the PC, and software that can accept and act upon data from
the PC. 

Software would then have to be written for the PC (Linux, DOS/Windows, OS-X, Android,
I-Phone, etc) that can read data from the QRP-Labs device and perform value-added
processing and display of that data.  This software would also have to include capability
to generate data and send it to the QRP-Labs device in a format that it can act upon.
This is different from a simple FT-817 CAT system because most of the protocols (QRSS,
FT-8, etc) are internal to the QRP-Labs system and not generated and implemented
externally by the attached PC.  This means that control has to be at register levels in
EEPROM and in the dynamic variable storage area of the AVR micro-processor. 

While daunting, this is not an insurmountable task.  There are at least two approaches
that seem possible.  (1) Hans could provide a commands interface and hardware
interface in his QRP-Labs products, or (2) Using the QRP-Labs Uarduino Shield it
may be possible to write your own custom software for interface and control of QRP-Labs
products.  This latter approach is similar to what Farhan of HF-Sigs has done for his
Raduino control of BITX-40 and uBITX transceivers. 

Arv  K7HKL
_._


On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 3:11 AM, KEN G4APB via Groups.Io <lfoofui.nbz42@...> wrote:
Hi Hans,
You said "I'd be happy to provide a mapping and explanation of the EEPROM layout."

Is this something you can do without a lot of effort on your part for the U3S and whatever version you consider to be most useful to work on?

I have not seen anyone take up your offer, but I would be interested in tackling this for my own self learning of how the code works in this kit. I do tend to completely fill all 15 slots on my rigs and I do change things around a lot. I have to keep multiple spreadsheets to remind me what I have done on each rig.

73 Ken G4APB



Chris Wilson
 

Hello Arv,

Well get on with it then..... ;) For this weekend feasible? ;)

Seriously though, sounds complex, I never fail to be impressed by what
must go on "under the hood" of stuff.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Ken  G4APB

Initial thoughts of some of the programmer types was that if we could simply change
values that are stored in EEPROM we could manage the QRP-Labs products with a
USB or RS-232 connected PC.  Unfortunately it is not as simple as that. 

First the QRP-Labs units will have to include an interface to the PC.  This could be
either via RS-232 and a level converter to 5V, or utilize a built-in USB/tty interface
that is part of some Arduino devices.

Once that interface is available the QRP-Labs device will need software that supports
sending various data to the PC, and software that can accept and act upon data from
the PC. 


Software would then have to be written for the PC (Linux, DOS/Windows, OS-X, Android,
I-Phone, etc) that can read data from the QRP-Labs device and perform value-added
processing and display of that data.  This software would also have to include capability
to generate data and send it to the QRP-Labs device in a format that it can act upon.
This is different from a simple FT-817 CAT system because most of the protocols (QRSS,
FT-8, etc) are internal to the QRP-Labs system and not generated and implemented
externally by the attached PC.  This means that control has to be at register levels in
EEPROM and in the dynamic variable storage area of the AVR micro-processor. 

While daunting, this is not an insurmountable task.  There are at least two approaches
that seem possible.  (1) Hans could provide a commands interface and hardware
interface in his QRP-Labs products, or (2) Using the QRP-Labs Uarduino Shield it
may be possible to write your own custom software for interface and control of QRP-Labs
products.  This latter approach is similar to what Farhan of HF-Sigs has done for his
Raduino control of BITX-40 and uBITX transceivers. 

Arv  K7HKL





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2E0ILY
Best regards,
Chris mailto:chris@...
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Mike
 

Chris, to answer your specific questions, I looked at the operation manual for V3.08 and DFCW was a listed mode. The second answer is no, my code is not available. It died at V3.08. I would not suggest to anyone to use V3.08 firmware on the U3S. Hans corrected many issues in the releases of 3.08 thru 3.10.

I wrote my previous email with the intent to share with the readers of this thread, the challenges associated with this type of endeavor. I did not mean for it to imply that what I did is an appropriate solution. I am sorry if It raised expectations of a quick solution.

Mike - N8OOU 73, SK


g4sra
 

Is it really this complicated ?

What is wrong with doing nothing more than supporting complete EEPROM
data area dumps\loads on the QRP-Labs Units (assuming Hans has separated
the variables from the code and not written any inline).

So for example you get a fixed length 1024 Byte stream of data going in
either direction.

The onus is then on the PC program to take the software version into
account and intelligently edit that data.

On 28/03/18 15:32, Arv Evans wrote:
Ken G4APB

Initial thoughts of some of the programmer types was that if we could
simply change
values that are stored in EEPROM we could manage the QRP-Labs products with
a
USB or RS-232 connected PC. Unfortunately it is not as simple as that.

First the QRP-Labs units will have to include an interface to the PC. This
could be
either via RS-232 and a level converter to 5V, or utilize a built-in
USB/tty interface
that is part of some Arduino devices.

Once that interface is available the QRP-Labs device will need software
that supports
sending various data to the PC, and software that can accept and act upon
data from
the PC.

Software would then have to be written for the PC (Linux, DOS/Windows,
OS-X, Android,
I-Phone, etc) that can read data from the QRP-Labs device and perform
value-added
processing and display of that data. This software would also have to
include capability
to generate data and send it to the QRP-Labs device in a format that it can
act upon.
This is different from a simple FT-817 CAT system because most of the
protocols (QRSS,
FT-8, etc) are internal to the QRP-Labs system and not generated and
implemented
externally by the attached PC. This means that control has to be at
register levels in
EEPROM and in the dynamic variable storage area of the AVR
micro-processor.

While daunting, this is not an insurmountable task. There are at least two
approaches
that seem possible. (1) Hans could provide a commands interface and
hardware
interface in his QRP-Labs products, or (2) Using the QRP-Labs Uarduino
Shield <https://www.qrp-labs.com/uarduino.html> it
may be possible to write your own custom software for interface and control
of QRP-Labs
products. This latter approach is similar to what Farhan of HF-Sigs
<http://www.hfsignals.com/> has done for his
Raduino control of BITX-40 <http://www.hfsignals.com/index.php/bitx40/> and
uBITX <http://www.hfsignals.com/index.php/ubitx/> transceivers.

Arv K7HKL
_._


On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 3:11 AM, KEN G4APB via Groups.Io <
lfoofui.nbz42=ntlworld.com@groups.io> wrote:

Hi Hans,
You said "

*I'd be happy to provide a mapping and explanation of the EEPROM layout."*Is
this something you can do without a lot of effort on your part for the U3S
and whatever version you consider to be most useful to work on?

I have not seen anyone take up your offer, but I would be interested in
tackling this for my own self learning of how the code works in this kit. I
do tend to completely fill all 15 slots on my rigs and I do change things
around a lot. I have to keep multiple spreadsheets to remind me what I have
done on each rig.

73 Ken G4APB



Alan G4ZFQ
 

Initial thoughts of some of the programmer types was that if we could simply change
values that are stored in EEPROM we could manage the QRP-Labs products with a
USB or RS-232 connected PC.  Unfortunately it is not as simple as that.
Look here https://groups.io/g/QRPLabs/message/22784

If Adrian has not changed his mind it will be simple for anyone who can program a U3.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Adrian Scripcă
 

Hi Alan,

No, I haven't changed my mind, I just need the EEPROM layout details and some dumps in order to get started. I'm contemplating between writing a cross-platform CLI application (either golang or c++) and/or a web service frontend for it (I'm even considering transpilation to js for this one). Let's first get the EEPROM structure from Hans, though! 

73 de Adrian, YO6SSW

On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 6:52 PM, Alan G4ZFQ <alan4alan@...> wrote:

Initial thoughts of some of the programmer types was that if we could simply change
values that are stored in EEPROM we could manage the QRP-Labs products with a
USB or RS-232 connected PC.  Unfortunately it is not as simple as that.

Look here https://groups.io/g/QRPLabs/message/22784

If Adrian has not changed his mind it will be simple for anyone who can program a U3.

73 Alan G4ZFQ