Ashhar Farhan VU2ESE has announced today the release of the v6 uBITx transceiver. The circuit is exactly the same on the main board. However, there will be no soldering required as all of the connectors and related componentry either plugs in or has been built in to the board. It is available in two formats:
- The basic kit (150 USD) is without the case (like old times) but with a microphone and two acrylic templates for the front and back panels.
- The Full kit (199 USD) has the case with speaker, mounting hardware etc.
Here is what the second option looks like after assembly:
And of course, you can buy it on hfsignals.com. Shipping starts onTuesday with a limited supply of the first 200 boards prior to Christmas.
The most important thing about this revision is that the radio circuitry is almost unchanged. HF Signals incorporated connectors on the PCBs so this kit needs no soldering. You snap in the TFT Raduino onto the main board, plug the power and antenna into the back, plug in headphones, plug in the mic (supplied with the kit), and off you go!
For those using the 16×2 display at present with a v5 kit (or perhaps earlier kits with some software modifications) and who would like to upgrade, you will have to do three things:
- Add a heatsink to the 7805 of the Raduino
- Buy https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32815224002.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.3b9548336X8T43 and hook it up as per http://www.hfsignals.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/raduino_tft.pdf
- Grab the new Arduino sketch from https://github.com/afarhan/ubitxv6
Ashhar has been hacking away on the task of adding a TFT display for the Arduino for some time. He uses the inexpensive 2.8 inch TFT display based on the ILI9341 controller. The display updates slowly, but the display is very useable. The TFT display uses the same pins that earlier connected to the 16×2 LCD display. This display is available everywhere for a few dollars.
All the cables and connectors of v5 will work with the new kit. The only thing you need to do is to swap the 16×2 LCD for a TFT display.
The cases are only available as a part of the kit. Much of the extra cost relates to increased freight costs for the case.
Buy the v6 uBITx from the HF Signals home page: http://www.hfsignals.com/
There are the two pricing options shown each taking you to their own order page.
UBITX V6 – BUY THE BASIC KIT
UBITX V6 – BUY THE FULL KIT
Tom N8TPN notes that the New PCB Layout offers some obvious and some not-so-obvious advantages.
The integration of the connectors onto the Main PCB greatly speeds and simplifies assembly and hookup for builders – hopefully fewer wiring errors and requests for assembly/troubleshooting help.
The layout has some extra space at the rear of the chassis for larger heatsinks – excellent for the digital mode crowd.
The inclusion of the USB extension cable in the full package means easier firmware upgrades.
The integrated keyer and paddle jack are a nice feature – no need to add that messy pull-up resistor…hopefully there is some way to de-activate it to allow external contest-type keyer inputs.
The included fully-wired microphone is very convenient – The choice of standard 1/8″ (6.35mm) stereo connector will allow the user to easily switch to digital-mode inputs. Just swap the cable.
The custom case in the full version, and front panel templates in the base version, provides for mechanically stronger and more secure assemblies with less chance of failure over time due to the movement of connections in the PCB headers and Molex (Relimate) connectors. The simple control layout and available unused front panel space should allow adequate customization of controls such as AGC and separate digital inputs.
It wasn’t clear in the video if the menu functions can be accessed from the front panel tuning encoder knob as in previous versions.