New version of Allard’s firmware for BITx40

Just as the BITx40 goes out of production, Allard PE1NW has released a new version of his acclaimed firmware for the BITx40.

This is known as the Raduino v1.29 version, and can be downloaded from here: https://github.com/amunters/bitx40

New in this release:

  • Added Roger Beep (NASA style “Quindar Tone” as used in Apollo missions).
Note that the PTT sense, RX/TX and CW Carrier mods must be installed for this feature to work.
Press Function Button 7 times to toggle this function on/off.¬† It’s OFF by default as some find it annoying. Others find it helpful in pile-up situations though.
Allard says “Use responsibly!”

Allison KB1GMX commented that the “Roger Beep” was not a common thing until the CB mess broke down in the early 80s and it was often accompanied with other electronic noise makers and profanity. Then that mess started moved into the lower (CW) sections of the 10M band and they got tired of freebanding.

Most of us back when that used CB found it annoying and unneeded especially for SSB. The general feeling is it was those that were disruptive or trying to feel like they were running something important doing it initially. It was especially noxious when it appeared in the 80s. Then it became a feature on CB radios (a signal that those that were modified for non CB allocated frequencies) and later Chinese made HTs.

For the Space activities (Mercury and later) it was needed as the communications were actually full duplex on the data links and you had to have some way of knowing when the other guy was done as in really did release the button and it was also to confirm the button didn’t stick as in heard in the astronauts headphone when he released¬† the button (or VOX). Until CB adopted it if you heard a over beep is was likely a repeater (usually ham) or space based radio (space program).

To date I know of the use of “over beep” appearing is standard communications systems, those being Space program, Repeaters, military systems that use satellite links, and CB.

It does however represent what one can do with a MPU of reasonable power and some programming skills!

Reference

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