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As promised, revised BITeensio 2.8"/3.2" Color TFT Touch screen firmware for the new Version 5.0 uBITX is now available in the files section.

TSW Page 2
Return to TSW Main Page,

Quick Link to W0EB/W2CTX uBITX files directory.

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TSW
The "Triumvirate Skonk Worx" Presents:

W0EB/W2CTX/N5IB Hardware and Software Mods for the HF Signals Micro BITX (uBITX)
Amateur Radio Transceiver

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Experimental Instructional Video for the uBITX Color TFT Touch Screen Display with keyboard & mouse control (work in progress).

uBITX 2.8" Color TFT "mouse" Tuning video (with actual on air signals), part 1

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The latest uBITX Transceiver (new V5.0 board), recently constructed by W0EB. This one uses our BITeensio board with a 3.2 inch ILI9341 TFT Color Touch Screen (buydisplay.com ER-TFT032-3) and updated Teensy 3.6 firmware to allow switching the BITeensio card between earlier uBITX boards and the newly updated Version 5 which has a new IF frequency (11.0592 vs 12.0000 MHz and different LPF relay switchint) with just a menu item selection after the system has been calibrated on both boards.

Shown with a stylus for the touch screen and a mouse (in this case an inexpensive wireless one) for control of the uBITX.

Our latest software for the BITeensio automatically selects between the 2.8" ILI9341 or the 3.2" ILI9341 Color TFT display, and allows you to use the touch screen, a mouse or a keyboard to control your rig. The keyboard has an added advantage as it can act as a keyboard CW keyer in addition to controling the uBITX. We have tested several inexpensive wireless keyboards and mice and they all worked fine. USB Host mode doesn't always work with a USB hub so simultaneously using a keyboard AND mouse sometimes works and sometimes does not.

I found that a Logitech K400 wireless keyboard that has a touchpad mouse on it works just fine without a hub. These problems have been tentatively traced to the USB Host mode library provided by the Teensy people and it appears to have been a work in progress without much progress for some years now. Hopefully someone smarter than me will figure out how to fix it.

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uBITX upgraded to use a Color Touch Screen instead of the I2C 4X20 display for a good friend, K0FPD. It uses a 3.2" inch TFT Color Touch Screen. This display uses the same ILI9341 controller and libraries and the same firmware as the 2.8" but is enough larger that it is really more practical. It is very easy to read, the touch functions can be used with a finger rather than a stylus (for the most part), it's frugal enough on current that the Teensy 3.6's on board 3.3V regulator can handle it with room to spare. The display we used is from www.buydisplay.com and is their ER-TFTM032-3 with the 4 line SPI interface, 3.3V power, Resistive Touch Screen option. No Flash or Font chips need be ordered with it. This 3.2" display IS a little quirky in that when using faster microprocessors like the Teensy 3.6 to drive it, the "Touch chip select" (T_CS) and "Display chip select" (CS) pins on the display need to have a 47 picofarad capacitor connected between each of those 2 pins and ground, as close to the pins as possible. This serves to widen the pulse and slow it just enough so the display's onboard logic can reliably decode these pulses. I've designed a breakout board for the display connection that makes it easy to install the two 47 pF capacitors and also bypass caps for the power input pins if desired. This breakout board will be supplied on request with a BITeensio board purchase.


This one like the previous 2.8" Color version and our older 4 Line I2C LCD display versions are capable of utilizing the optional external USB keyboard for rig control and CW. Mouse control is only available with the Color TFT versions. We have completely dropped the RA8875 5" display and will no longer support it due to modification difficulty and the possibility of damage to the BITeensio.

For rig control (only with the color displays) our just released software will now allow use of a mouse for everything but the keyboard CW keyer and the same thing applies as with the 2.8" display. Purchasing an inexpensive, wireless keyboard/mouse combination such as the one from Logitech will allow simultaneous keyboard and mouse operation. Using the keyboard or mouse for control, you won't have to even touch the screen unless you want to. This will reduce wear and tear on the touch panel.

The W2CTX RCP (Remote Control Program) works with this version as it has with all of our other uBITX software since it's release.


Click Here for current software as well as archived versions and all documentation.

W0EB/W2CTX uBITX files


Drop-in Replacement for the uBITX and BITX40 Raduino
Complete Kits containing ALL parts including the Arduino NANO are in stock
W0EB/N5IB Raduino Clone

Noting the almost non-availability of replacement Raduino cards, I decided to produce a Raduino "Clone" that for all intents and purposes is a "drop-in" replacement for a factory Raduino with no modifications necessary for its operation and will work with either the factory software (ubitx v4.3) or KD8CEC's normal or "Nextion" enabled sketches. This Raduino clone card will also work with the BITX40 by changing one plug and leaving out a resistor. If you order it for a BITX40 the 5 pin MOLEX type plug will be included.

Rather than name the card something fancy I'm just calling it a Raduino "Clone" but it does have a few extra bypass capacitors to help knock down some of the extraneous RFI, an extra trimmer potentiometer to adjust the CW side tone output, pads for a 4.7K CW hand key pullup resistor are provided on the board for convenience and the 4.7K SMD resistor IS supplied in the kit. The 7805 5V regulator is heat sinked and actually mounted to the board itself. It's a little over a centimeter wider than a standard Raduino but the display mounting holes are on exactly the same centers so a normal 16 X 2 parallel display mounts just like it does on a factory Raduino and the card will fit in the same space a factory Raduino does.

The Raduino Clone is NOT available completely built, but people still keep asking for completely assembled ones. With the labor costs (mine included) in the US, if I were to offer one completely assembled and tested (with shipping), the cost to the user would be in excess of $60 to US domestic customers and close to $100 USD to international customers You can buy a completely new uBITX for not much more than that so I'm offering it only in 3 forms.

One, just the bare board (Construction manual and bill of materials is already in the Documentation directory of the files section on this site).

Two, a complete kit of parts INCLUDING the NANO which will come pre-programmed with the same uBITX v4.3 code as the factory Raduino unless you order it for a BITX40. Since there are several good versions of BITX40 software, the NANO will come un-programmed if it's ordered for a BITX40.

Three, the same kit of parts (still including the pre-programmed NANO), but with the Si5351 already soldered in place for those who would rather not attempt mounting that really tiny integrated circuit. I WILL continuity check the solder joints on all of the Si5351a's pins but will have no way to test it any further.

Pricing:
Bare Board: $6 USD postpaid within the US & Possessions. Bare board shipped internationally $8.00 (1 per envelope).
Kit of parts: $25 USD postpaid within the US & Possessions. $40 postpaid to international destinations (International Postage is USD $14 to $14.50 USD)
Kit of parts with Si5351 soldered and continuity checked: $35 USD postpaid within the US & Possessions, $50 pospaid internationally.

Please email me for availability and to order one or more of the above, using the link for W0EB at the bottom of this page. Please indicate if it is to be for a uBITX V3/V4, BITX40 OR the new uBITX V5.
Click here to download a copy of the Raduino Clone Construction Manual.


All of our programs are in Arduino "Sketch" form and require the Arduino IDE Version 1.8.5 or later.

The available software for our RadI2Cino and also for the new BITeensio, uses an "Interrupt Driven" CW routine with separate Dot and Dash inputs for the Iambic Keyer (Modes A and B are implemented) and operates properly at any keyer speed, both PTT and Hand Key use the same input wire (PTT isn't normally used in CW and the Hand Key isn't normally used in SSB modes so we save an I/O pin). A huge advantage of doing it this way is that you can use your microphone's PTT button as an emergency hand key to send CW in weak signal situations even if you don't have a key with you. We also abandoned the "accelerated" tuning in favor of having the encoder/function button move a cursor under the frequency digits. The digit the cursor is under is tuned by the main tuning encoder. Until someone fixes the accelerated tuning, this method makes tuning to any frequency much easier.

All of our software is completely "Open Source" but once you have the source code and modify it, all our support for the program stops because we simply do not have the time to help everyone that messes things up figure out what they did wrong. Save backups of the original so If you break it, start fresh and try again.

If you DO find a bug (that you did not create yourself) in any of our software, please use the "Software Assistance Checklist" in the link below to format your bug report so we have enough basic details concerning the bug. Without this data we may not be able to duplicate the problem and if we can't duplicate it, it will be next to impossible to fix.

To report a problem or bug in our software please follow this Software Assistance Checklist and email your report or assistance request to W0EB.

Click here to see a nifty 3.5mm (1/8") jack mounting strip we offer for your uBITX build.

Details on the new BITeensio (named by Vince, K8ZW).
Unfortunately due to I2C and other hardware differences it can NOT utilize the CEC software.

Front view of an assembled Production BITeensio

Rear view of an assembled Production BITeensio

W0EB, W2CTX and N5IB are pleased to announce the release of the "BITeensio" (pronounced bit-TEEN-see-oh), a completely new replacement for the uBITX transceiver's Raduino board that utilizes the PJRC Teensy 3.6 as the MPU rather than the Arduino NANO.

For some time now, we have been selling a replacement card for the uBITX Raduino that we lightheartedly named the "RadI2Cino" (pronounced "rad eee too CEE no"). We called it that because it's part Raduino, uses the I2C bus to run the display and can replace the Raduino. It has met with a fair bit of success both with the same Arduino NANO MPU as the original Raduino, and more recently, with an N5IB designed adapter board that allows a Teensy 3.6 to plug into the RadI2Cino in place of the original NANO.

The Teensy adapter made available a number of extra digital and analog I/O pins, via pin headers that could be used to connect more encoders, push button switches, Voltage monitor, S meter, and an almost limitless number of features not yet implemented (many not even thought of yet), in addition to our earlier, already improved CW and Tuning routines. However the adapter board does have what can be a major drawback. With the adapter mounted on our RadI2Cino card, the overall thickness expanded by an inch or more and the total width by over an inch and a half. The extra width caused routing some of the original front panel wiring to be a bit difficult, and the extra thickness caused mounting it in some existing cases next to impossible. This made RadI2Cino use with the "TeensyDapter" mostly usable but something better was really needed.

The decision was made and our little group, consisting of myself (W0EB), Ron - (W2CTX) and our board designer/layout engineer Jim - (N5IB), put our collective heads together to come up with a newly designed board that is now being offered to the uBITX community as just the bare board ($12 postpaid in the US, $16 international) or in kit form,($35 post paid US or $45 international) which will include all necessary parts except the Teensy MPU.

WARNING! It has recently come to our attention that the tiny power jumper on the back of the Teensy 3.5 or 3.6 MUST be cut when using external power to the Teensy (from the BITeensio board). Left intact, it is possible to have power being applied to the Teensy through BOTH the BITeensio board AND the USB connection, especially during programming or remote control operation via the USB port. This causes board power and USB power to conflict with each other and can destroy the Teensy. The jumper is pointed out on the back side of the pin-out card that comes with every Teensy and it states: "Cut to separate VIN from VUSB if using a battery charger or external power." with an arrow pointing to the jumper between the two pads.

The BITeensio board will still plug into the 16 pin female header on the uBITX main board just like the Raduino and our RadI2Cino. It will be about the same thickness as an original Raduino that has the on-board NANO installed in a socket. The "Digital" plug will still plug into the board just like on the Raduino or our RadI2Cino and the main tuning encoder, function switch and push-to-talk wiring will still be compatible with both the Raduino and the RadI2Cino.

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) to make connections (and rewiring if necessary) much easier for the user.

Production BITeensio mounted on a V3.0 uBITX main board to show size relationship

The card is physically wider (almost to the main board's edges) and taller vertically by a very small amount. Notches are provided to clear the Audio plug on the main board and to allow for wires to be routed around the edges of the board on both ends. The bottom edge of the board is relieved for most of its length to allow for clearance of some uBITX main board components to prevent shorting them against the cards front and back ground planes. It has an on-board side tone level adjustment for user convenience. Six I2C interface headers are available. Four that provide 5 volt power to the external I2C devices and two that provide 3.3 volts to the devices. They are isolated from each other so that 5 volts can't be supplied to devices plugged into the 3.3 volt headers. (However, you will have to make sure you don't accidentally plug a 3.3 volt device into one of the 5 volt slots.)

Because we moved the I2C bus from "Wire" (SDA0/SCL0) to "Wire2" (SDA2/SCL2) on the Teensy for more efficient circuit board trace routing, more than a few programming headaches were encountered. It appears that nobody has an I2C library for the displays that uses other than SDA0/SCL0 since the Arduino family only has one I2C port. The Teensy 3.6 has four I2C ports but the currently available libraries don't have the other ports (Wire 1,2 and 3) well defined. This makes it difficult to use anything other than "Wire" (SDA0/SCL0) to communicate with and control the Si5351 clock chip and the I2C display(s). (Yes,multiple displays ARE possible.)

Since we were already committed to using "Wire2" for all the I2C stuff (Si5351 clock and the displays), our chief programmer W2CTX bravely undertook the monumental task of re-writing one of the libraries to make it all work. We are happy to report that went well and software compiled for the BITeensio is working nicely with the new hardware.

The reworked library is now available in the "MANDATORY_LIBRARIES" directory of this website and in order to use it, the Arduino IDE (with "Teensyduino" additions) will have to be modified a bit to keep things compatible.

First, you have to remove the library named "Wire" from the Arduino/hardware/Teensy/avr/libraries directory. Next, run the IDE and under the "Sketch" pull down menu, click on "Include Library" and then under the list that opens, click on "Add ZIP Library". Point it to where you have the "Newliquidcrystal_Wire2_1.3.5.zip" file saved, select that file and click "Open". The new library will be saved to the proper place.

In order for this library to work properly the "Wire" library in the Teensy's hardware libraries directory (see above) MUST be deleted. Don't delete the one in the "Arduino" hardware libraries directory though or you won't be able to compile a lot of arduino programs. (This "How to use the library" information has been included in the MANDATORY_LIBRARIES directory as a "README" file.)

Pricing:
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 $35 (USD) to US customers and $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. Click here to contact W0EB for further ordering and payment instructions.

Interested parties may click here to 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.

CONSTRUCTION NOTE: There has been a minor component value change not shown in earlier versions of the construction manual. We've found that changing capacitor C-15 (originally a .1uF chip ceramic, size 0805) to 10uF non-polarized chip ceramic size 1206 helps reduce some of the click noise radiated back onto the 3.3V rail by the Si5351 clock chip. For those who received the earlier kits where C-15 was still supplied as .1uF. This is only a minor change and not critical so you do not have to change C-15 unless you want to. The 10uF chip caps are being supplied with current kits, but those with the earlier ones will have to source a replacement locally if they feel they really need to change it.






Contact Jim, W0EB.
Contact Ron, W2CTX.


Page, link pages & all images copyright (c) 2018, 2019 and last updated by W0EB - 03/01/2019 @ 19:10 UTC