SP VU2SPF and Joe VE1BWV have just released the latest version of the TFT Colour Touch Control software.
This software/hardware combination is low cost, uses standard easy to get parts and provides a colour, touch control and physical buttons if you want them.
You will require a TFT (Touch) Display module, an At Mega 2650 arduino board, Si5351 DDS module, a µBITx and a few wires
The result is an all-band rig with a computer controlled Radio Touch Control Colour Display.
Some new features
Automatic Scanning – up to band edges in both the directions is now added in V2.9bU of software. Scanning finds signals of interest across the band. Two small buttons labeled ‘U’ and ‘D’ scan in up and down from the currently set frequency. Scanning can be stopped by touching the display panel.
CAT Control – the software now has new code to emulate FT817 CAT commands. This provides radio and computer control for digital modes.
User Manual– A new comprehensive user manual has also been added. Constructors have been looking for this for quite a while.
What do you know, but two new software forks for the uBITx are shortly to be forthcoming. One is focussed on significant hardware enhancements and the other is designed for stock uBITx hardware.
uBitx.net has already foreshadowed the 2.8″ display from Joe VE1BWV with its software from VU2SPF that is expected to be released shortly. This software will feature full touch control along with physical optional buttons, 100 memory channels, a tunable BFO. VFO, memory selection and all bands will be selectable from the touch panel. However, this software has still to be released.
Meanwhile, Ian Lee KD8CEC has announced his Beta release of a further update for the stock uBITx. Version 0.30 has already been released as a final version. However, version 0.31 is out for beta testing.
This release features CW Keying, Frequency Tune and CW performance meeting the demand for such features from users. CW keying improvements will continue to use original hardware. However, it is also possible to set the CW Key analogue to digital conversion range to reduce mis-keying errors that some (but not all) have observed. Reporting of the resistance detected allows you to know your exact resistance and key contact status (in case the key needs cleaning). These functions need testing.
The source code for frequency tuning has been rewritten. Ian has applied a threshold parameter, speed weighting, and a step function. The problem of an arbitrary change in frequency when turning the knob should have disappeared. When a particular threshold has been exceeded, the frequency step will begin to change, but Ian has added some logic to prevent the thresholds from becoming unnatural.
If you want to fine-tune, turn the dial slowly and the step rate will change, getting smaller as you turn more slowly. There thresholds are more gradual and change more slowly, to give a more natural effect.
The tune steps now are 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200, but you can change these in uBITX Manager 0.31 (Beta release). You can change the step rate by pressing holding down the function key slightly longer than you would normally to enter the menu. If you keep holding it down for even longer, the Dial Lock function will be enabled.
Band setting is already present in version 0.3O, with the ham band set to “region 1” as the default. In a similar way to controlling step rate, you can change to state by pressing the function key in the band select menu for a longer time. You can set up to 10 frequency bands in uBITX Manager to suit your country or your preference.
These new features, a description of the features and details of how to upload firmware (both source code and compiled firmware) can be found here:
The first uBITx has appeared with a 2.8” TFT display. The hardware is from Joe VE1BWV and the software from VU2SPF.
The display provides full touch control along with physical optional buttons. 100 memory channels come standard, along with a tunable BFO, selection of VFO A, B or M. All bands are selectable from the front display which is a cheap 2.8” TFT touch display. Joe uses an AT Mega 2560 processor for lots of pins and better performance and an Si5351 for DDS.
Further details were given subsequently by Joe VE1BWV …
We have already done this for the Bitx40 and released software, videos etc.
Under youtube vu2spf and facebook as well as in the [BITX20] io group.
They are for the Bitx40 but the new code for ubitx has all the same features.I have 2 of my 3 Bitx running the basic same code. They work and look great.
This has info on the code, features, hardware, etc. The full UBITX info will be posted soon, including the arduino sketch, hardware options, where to source parts. An article in QRP magazine has just been released to subscribers.
Joe recommends the Elegoo 2.8 inch TFT Display with pen fromAmazon.com. He has ordered 4 over time and the quality has been consistent, resulting in all of them working with clear, clean, crisp displays.
The price is around $15.00 shipped within the USA. Note that the vendor does not ship outside of North America.
Arduino Module : Joe uses the AT Mega 2560 and suggests Ebay is the cheapest source at less then $10.00 with any AT mega 2560 working.
DDS module – SI5351 module (not just the chip)- available from Ebay or Adafruit direct or from Amazon.com for around $11.00.
Joe uses female single jacks to solder to the rear of the At Mega. Access to the pins is from the rear of the atmega 2560 as the front is facing the front radio panel with the TFT display plugged directly into it. There is no room to get access to the pins after assembly. This method minimizes the wires from AT Mega to the ubitx board.
You can also use an interface board which VU2SPF has developed – he has the pictures, but no pcb for sale at present.
Jumper cables are as follows:
1 Jumper cable (2 pin) – male to female for connection of SDA and SDC lines from AT Mega to the Si5351 DDS.
1 Jumper female to female 8 pin from atmaga to ubitx board
3 cables for the clocks from Si5351 to the Ubitx. – shielded cable is best
Joe feeds the rig with 13.5 volts – using a well filtered non switching power supply. He also uses 2 “buck” converters (around $1.50 each on Ebay).
The first of these gets fed the 13.5 volt, and reduces the voltage to 9v to feed the AT Mega 2560. This keeps it cooler than running full input voltage. He also adds 2 filter caps – one 2000 mfd capacitor on the input side, and the other on the output side, along with a 2- 10 ohm resistor on the output in series to act as a hash isolation filter.
The second converter is used to feed the SI 5351 module, adjusted to 5 volts. This uses the same filtering system as above.
Joe says this results in a very quiet rig with everything nice and cool.