There are a number of very talented people involved in modding the µBITx. A number of BITX20 IO group members have mods under way that we can look forward to hearing reports on in due course. This news item provides a bit of a round up of what’s in store for the µBITx constructor community.
Mods under development
Martin AE7EU, has been building and testing his Top Board for the µBITx. A lot of constructors are watching Martin’s project with interest, because the top board would make the µBITx into a very compact (6″ x 6″x ~1 & 1/4″) high performing QRP TXCVR.
Nik VK4PLN, is experimenting with replacing the finals in the µBITx and has been giving us updates. He has already told us how to use the ADAFRUIT TPA2016 I2C module as an AGC device and given us the required code. He is in the process of offering a number of circuit boards (his RaduinoI2C – a Raduino replacement board, a similar board with a Teensy 3.2 on board, and LPF and BPF boards).
John VK2ETA, has already reported on his mic compressor using the SSM2167 module, but is also working on an S-Meter, an SWR/POWER meter, an Arduino pro mini linked by I2C to the Raduino to measure power, swr, and the final’s current (using hall effect sensor). He also plans to control an ATU plus shutdown the final’s bias if required. His ATU is an L-Network with 2 servos controlling a variable capacitor and a two wafer rotary switch to get 6 coil positions on high impedance and 6 on low impedance.
Glenn VK3PE, has been experimenting on improving evenness of output across all bands, by focussing on the response of the PA driver stages. He is using MPSH10’s in his test board build and FT37-43 toroids wound as either trifilar, or bifilar, according to stage needs, of 10 turns each. Comparing the original uBITX driver which has a ~7db less gain at 10M end, this version has ~2dB drop.
Andy KB1OIQ has made some really important mods that can be used by any constructor, but has also built in features for the white stick brigade (blind ops). His firmware can be found here, but does require the addition of a number of hardware features including a matrix keypad, an I2C LCD display (to free up digital pins), and voice synthesis module (Emic2).
Jack Purdum W8TEE, an accomplished author and reviewer, and somebody who has previously released enhancement to the BITX40, has been working quietly in the background on something – possibly a touchscreen, upgraded processor and associated software?
Gerry EI8DRB, has been doing some playing around with the Teensy 3.2. It will be interesting to see what he brings to light.
Bill K9HZ is working on an antenna tuner, but has already contributed the design of the full rig power control unit and his practical solution to the problem of uneven power output across bands. He may well be working on other projects!
Mike, WA6ISP has contributed a range of Raduino replacement circuit boards and also developed a port expander to get over the shortage of µBITx I/O ports. I suspect he is also working on other new hardware for the µBITx!
Jim W0EB and Ron W2CTX have provided hardware and software fixes for the CW keying issues, and in combination with the Radi2cino board they have developed restores I/O lines for other purposes. They have plans for further software releases and have previously talked about including CAT control.
Ian KD8CEC has released his firmware variant with all sorts of features including CAT control, Memory Channels and IF Shift. The most recent beta version even includes built in WSPR (no computer required). He has also produced his uBITx Manager PC/Linux software for EEPROM management for the uBITx and his hack of the WSTJ-X software for the Raspberry Pi provides almost complete control of the µBITx within WSTJ-X. However, he has plans for a v2 firmware release in conjunction with hardware mods.
Dr. SP VU2SPF and Jo VE1BWV have already shown their stuff with a 2.7″ touch-panel controlled µBITx and a firmware release to go with it. They are no doubt hatching up a few more mods right now!
Have I missed somebody cooking up a mod?
There are bound to be others lurking or that I have missed in summarising keen µBITx developers. If you are working on something, drop me a line at email@example.com to bring your developments to light.