Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Bitx40 Project ~Multi-Tasking at Work

Working Two Projects (FPM5 & Bitx40) Simultaneously!


As I wire up the final configuration of the FPM5 I am also working on building the Bitx40. Mind you this is being done under severe time constraints associated with my caregiver duties. So indeed it is a high wire balancing act. There is frustration in being able to only accomplish so much in short blocks of time. But in some ways this is not all bad as it forces you to time manage and to "noodle" what are the most efficient ways of doing the hardware tasks.
 
Just so you know here are  update photos of the final wiring status of the FPM5. Keep in mind the rig was purposefully built in modules and this pays off "big time" in that I am able to easily remove modules and this facilitates the wiring process. It still looks like a jumbled mess -- but it is an organized mess.
 
 
After about a day of intermittent work the above now looks like below.
 
 
Still a mess but getting better! Yes I have installed "my version" of the active reverse polarity protection --lower right hand corner.
 
Now to the Bitx40. In the SS Podcast#191, Bill N2CQR spoke at length about the Bitx40 which is a complete built SSB rig being sold by VU2ESE for the amazing sum of $45 shipped from India. During that podcast I mentioned I had one coming and mine has arrived and I have done some work on my build. This can be seen below --yes Juliano Blue is very evident.
 
 
 
At this stage the hardware is mounted and previously I had programmed the Arduino/AD9850 which will be used for the LO. The case was something store bought about 6 years ago and is nothing more than a 6X10X2 aluminum chassis painted two tone. The front panel is of course  a cool blue color.
 
But there is another side to this project in that I will de doing a Skype presentation to a local ham club in mid January and in preparation for that Bitx40 pitch have created a series of web pages on "How to take the Bitx40 as supplied and make it like the photo above. Here is the link to the web "Resource Page"
 
 
A great deal of midnight oil was spent on this page as there are links to the vendors and parts that are used outside of what is supplied by VU2ESE. As an example ditch the audio control and switch as supplied. The shaft on the pot is larger than 1/8 inch and smaller than 1/4 inch. I replaced that hummer with a standard 1/4 inch shaft 10K audio taper pot and added a mini toggle switch for ON/OFF. The resource page will take you to the vendor pages that detail the pot, the toggle switch and even the knob! There are two options for a commercial enclosure and the same process opens the vendor pages for the options (one is from Jameco and the other from Mouser). The only thing I haven't done is build it for you.
 
A Note for those so inclined to  send me comments all of the pages are not complete! Pages covering  the first phase will get you to the point of having the hardware to build the Analog VCO version. Later pages will detail the mechanical construction, the wiring and even building the Arduino/AD9850. The effort so far is to introduce the project and provide the critical links for the additional hardware.
 
Now to grab a nap before I take up the caregiver duties for the day.
 
73's
Pete N6QW