Mike, WA6ISP, is shipping the first of his new Ubit RaduinoUMax Raduino replacements today.
Mike says he has been working like a beaver since the PCBs arrived.
The MAX is for the 16 Added I/O pins on the end of the PCB. It makes the PCB a little longer, but still fits into uBitx Radio PCB. I2C control gives you 16 more 5V digital I/O ports and uses an Adafruit Library for simple control. Three I2C address jumpers are provided so you can use other I2C modules.
Mike Hagen, WA6ISP has previously supplied Raduino X and Raduino XP alternatives to the builder community for the BITx40 units. He has been asked by many builders whether a µBitx Raduino replacement was planned.
He now has designed, built and tested a µBITx Raduino replacement. This comes with the extra feature of having an i2c 16 port I/O expander on board. The Microchip Expander IC uses the Adafruit Library MCP23017 to create 16 more Digital Pins.
This replacement board is slightly bigger than the standard Raduino and has the Ardunio Nano facing towards the left rather than to the right.
Email Mike for further information or to order. The cost of the bare board is US$12 and the built up board is $46. Note that the bare board will require you to source all parts and mount some fairly small surface mount devices.
µBITx constructors now have several alternatives to choose from in considering a replacement Raduino board: the WA6ISP uBITx Raduino, the W0EX Radi2cino and VK4PLN Raduino replacement.
Mike, WA6ISP has a small PCB that will add 16 more I/O Lines. It runs on the I2C lines, along with 5V and earth. It is 1.750″ x 1.100″ and has 3 address lines, so you can run a several of them and they won’t interfere with the SI5351 (which also uses i2C lines). The chip uses the Adafruit Library for Microchip I2C Expander. Mike has a few built up versions and a few bare PCBs. Email him if interested using his BITX20 list email address.
A post fromJustin KN4FAW reminds us all that it is VERY VERY EASY to damage your Raduino.
Justin says “So, I assembled my Bitx40 kit, at this point it was just wires laying on my bench. I wired up the function button, tested, everything working great. Accidentally touched the ground from function button (orange wire) to 12v while moving stuff around. Now my LCD only shows squares, and I can not tune the radio. Am I screwed?”
Watch out for the two orange wires on the two different connectors. Check and double check your wiring before powering on.
Justin isn’t the only one who has done this. Several other group members fessed up to doing the same, or similar. Arduino Nano pins are not tolerant of 12v. There are many other ways to destroy an Arduino Nano pin. You can read about 10 ways to destroy an arduino here. There may be quite a few more ways as well …
Mike Hagen WA6ISP comments:
“I recommend in building these radios that you change all ground wires to Black and all Power (5 or 12V) to Red. Reserve these colors for just 2 purposes. You can use the wires you remove for additions.
“Leave the molex pin on them. I have a lot of spare Brown ones. I can’t stand an Orange wire being B+ (the term for us old Valve guys)! 26AWG stranded works great. I purchased a bunch of colors at All Electronics. Molex pins can be acquired at Tayda and Mouser.
“You don’t have to be in such a hurry and blow things up. Check your wiring several times. You could even make a connector chart with J numbers and pin numbers with the associated wire color. Match it up to what is on HF Signals. It may mean you catch a mistake and save a lot of trouble shooting?”