Ripley KD8UYQ has a rather interesting blog that documents his fixes and mods for the µBITx that will undoubtedly be of interest to constructors.
This circuit from Paul K8PD assumes phantom power (~8V DC) is on the Mic Audio line (which is the case with the µBITx). Given the small number of parts this can be “sky wired” and “shrink wrapped” into a small assembly with fly leads that will fit inside many dynamic mic bodies.
David N8DAH has been working on a few projects. The first of these is a CW Zero Beat
If anybody is interested in a CW Zero Beat addition to their µBITx, then he has nine in kit form and one built for testing available. The kits are US$13 shipped inside the US. Add actual shipping costs outside Continental USA. He can build them for you for $2 extra or only solder the surface mount and allow you to build your own.
J1- Power in 9-12V
RV1- Audio in adjustment
J2- Audio in
RV2- Center Freq Adjustment
Questions please e-mail David direct
David is also working on a new digital controlled audio level project (AGC) and hope to have more info soon but this is still only in the prototype stage.
David’s website is: Kit-Projects.com
Raj VU2ZAP has confirmed that surface mount components can be used in the LPF after the 45MHz filter.
He used SMD Yellow shielded inductors 331nH x 2 + 51pf to ground.
Summary of recommended fixes to address unintended spectrum products
- Replace K1, K2 and K3 with Axicom 12v relays (low current models are fine) to remove harmonics to acceptable levels in most rigs on most bands.
- Install a 45MHz filter across TP13 (v3 board). Ashhar Farhan VU2ESE inserts a 0.3µH inductor in series with a 10 pf capacitor across TP13 on the v4 board. This is on the output of the 45 MHz IF amp going to the front end of the mixer. The inductor comprises 8 turns on a T30-6 toroid (to give 0.3µH or 300nH). Or use Raj’s alternative as above.
- Consider also changing out L5 and L7 with shielded surface mount inductors (yellow type). See this article.
Several constructors have put their µBITx in a Go Box for portable/emergency use, but this is one of the best looking results yet.
Daimon G4USI has used a 3D printer to produce a very professional looking front panel.
This is a re-mix of DU2RK’s uBitx Case, and the re-worked front panel of this case by AngelDMercedes.
Daimon wanted a different case, one he could build into an existing flight case to create a Go-Box for HF. He remixed the ideas above to create a case which fitted his flight case perfectly, but with every control and function sitting on the top panel.
In the strictest sense this is not a full case. It is a top and two vented sides. There is not a bottom, front or back panel – the flight case provides the structure.
On the top photo you can see a 12v 5a power supply and mic in the space to the left of the rig. Daimon now has a home-brew EFHW multi-band antenna, SOTA Beams ATU and miscellaneous portable QRP operating items in the right hand compartment. Everything, in fact, that he needs for portable QRP HF.
It is a while since uBITx.net featured a story on the BITx40.
Jerry KE7ER posted the following on the BITx20 IOGroups list:
“Most traffic in the forum is now all about the uBitx, a very capable rig for all of HF. Those put off by the need for mods to reduce harmonics and spurs on the uBitx should consider the simpler BITx40.”
Usable out of the box, only issue is that the stock firmware shifts around occasionally by 50 Hz due to noise when reading the tuning pot
with the Nano’s Analogue to Digital Convertor.
Jerry recommends Allard’s basic BITx40 firmware, requires no mods, fixes the operating frequency drift issue, adds a number of other new features. Some minor hardware mods are optional, adding the Function switch is a good idea.
If so inclined, Allard’s bitx40_raduino_2 firmware adds even more features, though does require some minor mods:
Jerry notes that the Bitx40 is a very good deal at US$59. Being a single band 40m rig it does not have the complications that come from the wide band approach of the µBitx.
Bruce KC1FSZ is also a fan of the BITX40/20 architecture and has had good luck on other bands. One thing he did was to create a “mainframe” of the core of the design (see the manhattan breadboard style construction above) that starts right before the first mixer and ends right after the product detector/balanced modulator.
In his experimentation it seems like 90% of the modification are happening in the “peripherals” around the core (different LC filters, different PAs, different bands, different audio/mic configurations, different software, different enclosures, etc.) so I am able to cover more ground without needing to re-build the inside of the inside every time.
Bruce’s core uses two SI5351 ports so the BFO is tunable just like the VFO making it easy to fool around with different IFs, filter widths, etc. He also based the chain on the W7ZOI TIA amp which seems to improve performance a lot. There is a bit of the uBITX design incorporated in his bottom up construction.
The crystal filter is on a daughter card for easy swapping in and out . He is using ADE-1 mixers on both sides, which are easily and cheaply obtained on eBay, and adjustable gain VFO/BFO buffers (a la N6QW LBS design). The core is 100% symmetric so it’s quick to build and test.
MVS Sarma notes that “try using the 3 transistor bi-directional amp version and see the performance difference. A friend has indicated that the noise level comes down. You could even try with single dual gate MOSFET in each direction.”