Biteensio production boards have arrived and available now

Jim  W0EB has announced that the Biteensio production boards have arrived and been checked out.  See www.w0eb.com for details on how you can order one of these.   Remember that Vince K8ZW was the winner of the competition to name these boards.

Jim also has some breakout boards for the 1/8″ jacks that will allow them to be easily mounted and wired up without having to guess which terminal does what.  These may save a lot of grief.

Key features of this board include:

  1. uses the PJRC Teensy 3.6 as the MPU rather than the Arduino NANO
  2. plugs into the 16 pin female header on the uBITX main board just like the Raduino and the RadI2Cino
  3. the main tuning encoder, function switch and push-to-talk wiring will still be compatible with both the Raduino and the RadI2Cino.
  4. All of the extra, available I/O pins are brought out to DuPont pin headers (some on the front and some on the back of the board)  

See the board installed on the µBITx main board below:

Kits are now AVAILABLE FOR ORDER.

Prices are $12 (USD) for the bare boards to domestic US customers and $16 (USD) to international customers.

Kits which will include all parts except a Teensy 3.6 MPU, will be US$35 to US customers and US$45 to international customers. This price includes shipping (both domestic and international).

PayPal will be the preferred payment method and the ONLY payment method for international customers.

Download a copy of the BITeensio Board Construction Manual. Up to date versions will always be available in the “Documentation” directory under the W0EB/W2CTX uBITX Files link on this page.

For other details see the W0EB website.

Note that the Biteensio is not compatible with the manufacturer’s firmware supplied with your µBITx or the CEC firmware from Ian KD8CEC. The Biteensio board uses a different keying system and a different processor (Teensy 3.5 or 3.6), so you will need to use the W0EB/W2CTX firmware supplied especially for the Biteensio.

Reference

W0EB build

Jim Sheldon W0EB says, “Finally I have this one where it will get it’s top cover put on and the radio goes into the ‘go box’.

“With the addition of one of our RadI2Cino cards, an I2C 4 line by 20 character display, a Teensy 3.6 adapted to plug in place of the NANO, this one is on the air in what will be it’s final configuration except for software updates when we release them. (External USB connector in place so the cover need not be removed for remote control or Teensy 3.6 programming. One nice thing about using the Teensy is the built-in Real Time Clock! UTC time displayed on the screen and with a backup coin cell battery, the clock stays active even when no +12V is applied to the radio.Also, I added Don, ND6T’s neat little AGC mod and boy does that work nicely.”

Here are a few pix of Jim’s radio as it now stands.

The panel showing the real time clock & voltage monitor on the screen — that V308b is a beta version of software and even though it was compiled on 04/01, it isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke.     This radio has a Teensy 3.6 processor, not the NANO.  RadI2Cino is available for sale in kit form, but the Teensy adapter is still prototype (and may never be offered) and without the Teensy you won’t see all the info on that display.

V is on/off for the input voltage (+12 rail) monitor, R is either N or R and indicates paddle interface normal (Tip=dot) or reverse (Tip=dash) and B indicates Iambic Keyer, mode B (A or B is selectable. T800 = CW side tone frequency – adjustable from 400Hz to 1KHz and S25 = built in Iambic keyer speed adjustable from 5 to 50 WPM. FUN=Function (same as encoder switch) the other one is the A/B VFO select and a hold gives you “Split”.

And inside … The filter on standoffs is a broadcast band interference filter. Jim has a 500 watt AM station less than a mile from the house and also KFDI’s AM station (10KW) 3.5 miles from the house. This filter is very necessary to keep them out or no ham signals could be heard.

And a close up of the interface to the 2004 display:

Reference

Version 4.00R latest W0EB/W2CTX I2C firmware release

Jim W0EB and Ron W2CTX have released Version 4.00R.   This is the I2C release firmware for modified hardware on the display.  The W0EB/W2CTX firmware also requires a minor CW keying control mod.

This is a FOUR line display version designed to work with a 4 line by 20 character LCD display that has an I2C “backpack” or, one with the I2C interface built in. As long as you know the I2C address for your display and can properly set that in the .ino source file, it should compile and run on an I2C modified Raduino card as well as on our RadI2Cino card which can be purchased by contacting W0EB (email address on QRZ). Jim Sheldon, W0EB

You can access this file at the URL:
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/files/ubitx_I2C4L_V4_00R.zip

W0EB/W2CTX firmware gets another update


Jim Sheldon – W0EB has released W0EB/W2CTX I2C software Version 4.00R for I2C enabled uBITX Raduino cards and the W0EB/W2CTX/N5IB RadI2CIno cards.

This software will NOT run on a stock standard Raduino card unless it has been modified to operate with an I2C display This version is for an I2C enabled 2 X 16 LCD display. (The 4 line x 20 character version will be released later).

Reference

Second lot of Radi2cino boards available to purchase

Jim Sheldon, W0EB has announced that the W0EB/W2CTX/N5IB “RadI2Cino” (pronounced rad ee too CEE no) I2C replacement for the Micro BITX (uBITX) Raduino card is again available for purchase.

NOTE: these are only for the uBITX, not the BITX40 and other earlier models.

This board is designed to utilize either a 2 x 16 or 4 x 20 I2C LCD Display (not included) instead of the parallel display originally included with the uBITX so that the digital I/O lines formerly used by the display can be used to run the CW keyer and a few other functions in a much more efficient manner.

Prices have lowered a little since the first offering.

Partial kits with the IC’s soldered in place are no longer being offered.

Current options are:

  1. Bare Board (you supply the parts & you build it). $10 US shipping included. . International $15 US shipped.
  2. Complete Kit of Parts (less the Arduino NANO, LCD display and display I2C controller) – you build it. (All parts except the NANO, display and display controller are included in the kit.) $30 US shipping included.   International, $45 US shipped. All customs duties and VAT will be the responsibility of the purchaser.
  3. Completely assembled and tested RadI2Cino Including the Arduino NANO but less the display and I2C display controller.Assembled and tested RadI2Cino boards will be available by Special Order Only. They will require up-front payment by PayPal and up to a 1 week lead time to build and properly test) $75, shipping included in the U.S.

    No international orders will be accepted for assembled and tested boards at this time.

All orders will receive the complete assembly manual which includes a full bill of materials, full board layout diagrams and full schematics in PDF form via email.  This manual has also been attached here for your download:  RadI2CinoBoardConstruction. You can read through it and decide if it’s something you’d like to build.  The same manual will be included with the order by Email.

The bill of materials, included in the manual, has ordering information for the parts. Parts suppliers are Tayda, Digi-Key and Mouser.

Please, don’t post orders or info requests on the BITX20 list as Jim doesn’t always get the posts from the reflector.

Email w0eb (at) cox dot net for ordering or further information.

W0EB/W2CTX Firmware release v2.01R


Jim Sheldon W0EB has announced a further release of Firmware (v2.01R) of the W0EB/W2CTX firmware intended for I2C driven displays (including the newly announced “RadI2Cino” card which is an (almost) drop-in replacement for the Raduino.

This release effectively covers all the enhancements for the non-I2C Raduino released earlier (v 2.00R)

The following changes have been incorporated in the firmware:

“The CW Keyer module has been completely re-written in this version. The keyer is now totally interrupt driven which helps make the transition to CW transmit much faster and it doesn’t tend to clip the first dot as it did occasionally in past versions. This version also moved the DASH paddle input from the analog A7 input. It now shares the analog A3 input with the PTT line as normally PTT isn’t used in CW mode and the Hand Key isn’t used in CW Paddle mode or the Paddles aren’t used in CW Hand Key mode so all three can share the same input easily. This gives A7 back to those wishing to use it for metering applications. Complete, illustrated documentation on everything in this release is contained in the zip file as a PDF. Menu operation has been slightly improved from V2.00R as well. We hope you enjoy using this version. Jim – W0EB and Ron – W2CTX”

You can access the release details file as follows:
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/files/ubitx_V2_01R.zip

Reference

RadI2cino … another Raduino replacement

Jim Sheldon W0EX  has announced the availability of the joint effort from himself and N5IB – the RadI2Cino (prounounced “Rad ee too CEE no”).  This is an almost “Drop In” replacement for the original uBITX Raduino card.

The attached PDF (N5IB_W0EB_RadI2Cino) contains the complete information on this new Raduino replacement.

In summary, the changes/enhancements that have been incorporated in the RadI2Cino include:

  • I2C is used so the 16 pin LCD display header has been eliminated
  • The LCD display contrast pot has been eliminated
  • The 16 pin and 8 pin uBITX headers are retained and connect in the original fashion
  • Arduino NANO I/O pin assignments have been rearranged to free up digital and analog I/O pins
    a) D8, D11, D12 now used for key, paddles, and PTT.
    b) D10 used for an A/B split selection button.
    c) D9, D13, A3, A6, A7 now available for other needs.
  • The LCD display is operated via an I2C bus connection.
    a) Contrast control is now part of I2C interface “backpack”.
    b) Larger, 4-line displays are supported.
  • The TO-220 5 volt regulator has been replaced by a surface mount 7805 1 amp regulator.
  • A surface mount 3.3 volt regulator has been added.
  • A 4-pin header has been added to give access to the I2C bus.
  • A logic level translator has been added to the I2C bus to protect the Si5351 clock chip.
  • Manufacturer-recommended RC de-bouncing for the rotary encoder phases has been added.
  • Provision is made for an optional dropping resistor to reduce regulator dissipation.
  • Several powering options are provided, selected by shorting jumpers.
    a) power everything through the NANO via the uBITX +12V rail**
    b) power the NANO from the uBITX +12V rail, and the rest via the 5V regulator**
    c) power everything from the board mounted 5 volt regulator.
    d) power the Si5351a from the NANO’s 3.3 V output.
    e) power the Si5351a from the on-board 3.3 V regulator.
  • Though the PC board is slightly longer, mounting holes compatible with the LCD display are retained.
  • An additional 8 pin header is added for access to the newly free I/O pins.
  • Uncommitted PCB pads are provided to connect serial I/O and NANO Reset. NANO mounting pads are intentionally oversized to allow for a low profile, machined pin, socket for the Nano.
  • Heavy use is made of silk-screened labels to identify signals and functions.

** If the optional dropping resistor is not used DO NOT EXCEED 12V when using these power options.

THIS PRODUCT SOLD OUT WITHIN HOURS.

More boards are on order but due to the Chinese New Year they won’t be shipping until around the end of the month.

Jim asks that  all inquiries and orders be held off until after he announces the availability of the next batch.

Reference

New software release v2.00b from W0EB/W2CTX

A file has been uploaded to the Files area of the BITX20@groups.io group.

File: ubitx_V2_00R.zip

Uploaded By: Jim Sheldon <w0eb@cox.net> </w0eb@cox.net>

Description:
Latest NON I2C release from W0EB/W2CTX – ubitx_V2_00R contains totally restructured menu system – SPLIT is working – slight rewiring of CW Key Jack is required but this VASTLY improves the CW keying – full instructions are included in the PDF manual — see README.TXT in the zipfile for change details. File has been replaced due to newer instruction manual contained in the zipfile.

You can access this file at the following URL:
https://groups.io/g/BITX20/files/%23ubitx%20ubitx%20release%20software%20from%20W0EBW2CTX/ubitx_V2_00R.zip

You may need to log in to the website IO Groups site to access the file.

OR

Download the file directly from ubitx.net:

Instructions for W0EB and W2CTX uBITX V2.00R software

Reference

 

Jim W0EB provided a further post on the [BITX20] Group list that gives a bit more detail on this v2.00 release:

“We have totally restructured the menu to make it much easier to use.  The Nano’s CPU cycle usage has been optimized for vastly better CW (a minor front panel wiring change is necessary to use this software).  Split is working (you do NOT have to be in transmit to change the transmitter’s frequency) and though not available yet CAT is being worked on.   We are not promising CAT anytime soon but we’re trying to implement it and keep CW working right.  (Not an easy task with a Nano but we want to keep from having to change out the Nano for some bigger card).

“Due to an easy programming trick, the keyer’s dash paddle AND the Hand Key/external keyer connection has been moved to the same wire as the SSB PTT on the Raduino’s digital connector (the orange wire).  This is possible since we don’t normally use the CW key or paddles when in SSB mode and we don’t use PTT when in CW mode.

“The menu item CW:Key or CW:Pdl selects whether or not the line is used for the hand key or dash paddle.  This requires a minor wiring change and either a short adapter cable to be built for the hand key/external keyer or a separate hand key jack be added.  Either way it’s an easy mod.

“This change gives the analog A7 input back to the guys wanting it for an “S” meter or power/swr metering.  The blue wire (A6) remains as the dot input.  Since we don’t have to select a specific threshold voltage on A6 for dot/dash/hand key and just determine key up or key down, the 2.2K and 10K resistors are no longer needed and the CW paddles work MUCH better.”

Reference

Raduino Repair Service

Jim Sheldon W0EB is offering a new service to uBITX owners in the US (sorry no service is provided to foreign owners) to repair Raduinos.

Jim has just finished designing and building a Raduino test fixture that allows him to look at all the signals coming out of the board and also hook up all the digital controls to the board. He has the equipment in his shack to replace the Si5351 clock chip if it is bad and he can also replace a bad Nano (but the customer must provide the Nano).

He’s not sure how long he will be able to offer this, but he is aware that there are a few BITx owners out there that have somehow blown up their Raduino.  It is not that easy to get a replacement at the moment.

DO NOT send Jim your Raduino in need of repair without first contacting him and discussing the problem.  He may refuse to work on it if it appears too badly damaged – that’s at Jim’s discretion.

The offered service is ONLY Raduino repair, not complete uBITX repair.

Contact Jim via his QRZ.com  address (his email address is listed as well).