W0EB TSW release forthcoming for 5″ touch screen

W0EB’s uBITX is built with a 5″ RA8875 type Color TFT display connected to a BITeensio Card.  This gives an “uncluttered” display.

This version of the BITeensio TSW firmware is almost ready for release.  It is just awaiting completion of the accompanying instruction manuals  and the arrival of a small  adapter board for connection to the display.  The adapter boards will be supplied in the BITeensio kits upon request.

This display, like the previous 2.8″ Colour touch panel display and the 4 Line I2C display (2004) are capable of utilising an optional external USB Keyboard for rig control and CW. The W2CTX RCP (Remote Control Program) works with this as well.

For information and updates see the TSW website.

Biteensio with LCD touch screen coming

Jim W0EB is working on a 2.8″ touch panel for the triumverate’s BITeensio.  That will make four different alternative touch screen options for constructors:  VU2SPF Mega2560 attached 2,4″ LCD (first up way back in January),  KD8CEC Nextion screen (in a range of sizes from 2.4″ to 7″) , BiTeensio 2.8″, and the long awaited JackAl (in 5″ and 7″ sizes).

(Yet another) Raduino replacement board

Jim W0EB has produced (yet another) drop-in Raduino clone, available in kit form, for anyone needing a replacement for a damaged Raduino that they are otherwise unable to repair or if they are just wanting to have a spare on hand.

It’s being offered as a bare board, a complete kit of parts INCLUDING the NANO which will be pre-programmed with Ashhar Farhan’s latest factory software from Github (Currently v4.3) or, for a slightly higher price, the kit version is being offered with the Si5351 already soldered in place and continuity checked to insure the connections are good and there are no shorts between the pins.

The new card has some extra bypassing capacitors.  The 4.7K CW pull up resistor can be directly mounted on the board (or if you are replacing an existing Raduino installation and have already wired it to your key jack you can leave it off the board).

The 7805 regulator has been mounted flat on the rear of the board with a heat sink and input dropping resistor so that it runs much cooler.

The clone is just over a centimeter wider than the original, but the display mounting holes have been kept to the exact same pattern.  A standard 16 X 2 parallel display will mount properly.  The display is not supplied with the kit to keep the cost lower as most users already have one or more on hand anyway.

The pre-programmed NANO  will be supplied with the pins loose and not installed so the user can mount it either on the front (not recommended) or on the back of the card to keep it out of the way of the display in the manner of the current factory supplied Raduino cards.

Any software that currently runs on an original Raduino will run on this card including the KD8CEC versions.  (That includes CEC’s Nextion enabled versions as well).

The construction manual, pictures of the board and ordering/availability information can be found on Jim’s website.

Reference

Sudden loss of power

 

Jim Sheldon, W0EB, while prepping a V3 uBITX, he had already built up to give to a friend, all of a sudden observed the RF Power output went to ZERO.

He thought for sure that he’d somehow blown one or both of the IRF510’s, but  nothing is always as it seems.

He checked voltage to the drains of the IRF510’s — ZERO (yes it was hooked up and turned on). Tracing the voltage back, he had nothing on the supply ends of L8 OR L9.  He checked continuity between those same points of L8 and L9 and had good connections there.

He found that he had +12V on the PA Power pin of P1 but nothing on the supply end of L8 which gets connected by a short trace to a very small VIA through the board and a short trace to L8 on the underside.  Looking at the underside, the trace was not burned but it turns out that tiny little VIA was open — possibly from poor plating through the hole.

He put a piece of 30 gauge wire wrap wire through the via and soldered it on both sides. This brought the +12v back to the supply side of L8, L9 and subsequently the drains of the IRF-510’s . After putting it all back together again he now had full power restored.

A few people have observed similar problems with loss of power. This might be the cause in these cases as well, and is definitely worth checking.  There will be no visible indication of anything bad between the PA Power pin on P1 and the rest of the PA circuit.

Reference

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.