Front panel PCB
In spite of the pictures, the main board must fit OVER the front panel PCB, so that you can mount the LCD display up close to the front panel.
Dave put vertical male pins on the ends of the front panel PCB, which meant that there was insufficient clearance. If you want to put male pins on the front panel PCB, you should use the right-angle ones (and then the mic connector will be a tight fit against the chassis mount four-pin mic connector, but I was able to just make it work).
He ordered a Dupont kit of male pins, female sockets and housings from Amazon and a suitable crimp tool:
The crimp tool works fine, but Dave spoiled a few female sockets before I got the hang of it.
If you are crimping female sockets on the ends of the original wires that come from the Relimate sockets on the µBITx (trim them to 8 inches first, then you can use the extra for other wiring, see below), then it seems the wire gauge is about 22 gauge, but the crimp die in the centre of the tool that is marked for 22 gauge is too large and won’t crimp the wire properly. He ended up using the crimp position for the smallest wire size, and it worked fine.
It is also important to insert the female socket in the tool first (Dave found that by clicking the tool 3 clicks it closed the jaws just enough to make it easy for me guide the socket into the tool), then push the female socket in far enough so that the box that encloses the male pin is completely outside the dies on the back side of the tool.
Then lightly pressing the handles to keep everything in place, insert the stripped wire into the back of the female socket, and crimp.
The wire should be stripped only about an 1/8″ of an inch, and the insulation should be inserted into the back of the female socket such that the bare wire bundle is crimped with the smaller crimps, and the insulation is held by the larger diameter crimp at the back end of the female socket. If you strip off to much insulation, you will either fail to get the insulation into the back crimp, or you will force wire into the female socket area, and that will interfere with the male pin when it is inserted. If you’ve done everything correctly, tugging on the wire shouldn’t make it come out, it will seat correctly on a male pin, and you should not have to resort to soldering anything.
Soldering crimp joints is a BAD idea, not only because the clearance in the female connector bodies is very close, but the solder that wicks into the wire bundle will stiffen the wires past the crimp, and create a stress point that will eventually break the wire if subjected to vibration and movement.
Dave ended up using Dupont housings/connectors on the Audio, Digital (both 8 pin), Mic (three pin), Volume (three pin), encoder (4 pin) and speaker connectors (2 pin).
When you cut the ubitx supplied analog and digital wire bundles to the recommended 8 inches, you end up with enough left over that you can make all the other front panel connections with using the left over wire. You can even select the appropriate colours, as documented in the wiring instructions on the HFSignals website.
Small PCB for Encoder
Dave completely missed that there was a small PCB board included for the encoder switch. He ended up tack-soldering the ends of the four-wire bundle coming from the front panel PCB to the actual switch pins. It works fine.
Wiring the volume control
Dave somehow got the wiring backward on the volume control (hi end vs. low end), and was “surprised” by a VERY loud noise when he first powered it up. If you mount the control with the soldering tabs on top so you are viewing them directly when looking down at the rig with the top off, then the correct colours from left-to-right (with the front panel closest to you) are yellow, orange, green (given the wiring colors shown in the wiring section on the HFSignals website).
Power supply wiring
The power supply wiring was an issue, due to the power on/off push-push switch.
It is NOT meant for soldering, as the tabs are practically impossible to solder to (don’t know the material, but it does NOT accept solder), and the body melts in an instant. The tabs are meant to be used with push-on tab crimp connectors (You can find suitable ones at the local auto store in the electrical section).
Wiring up the Antenna connector
Dave used the supplied antenna 2 pin connector and wiring that was supplied with the ubitx, but it was not possible to keep it only 2 inches long in this enclosure. It’s more like 4+ inches. You could use a short piece of RG-174, instead, to lessen any possible pickup of birdies.
Digital interfaces on rear panel
Dave hasn’t used the digital interface for the back panel or the front panel RX/TX LED.