Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Gum on your shoe --- the Bitx40

Have you ever stepped in Chewing Gum?

The questioned posed is more like the result rather than the question --- no matter what you do it sticks and is just there, never to leave. So it is with my involvement with Bitx40 --- no matter how hard I try, there always seems to be an email in the queue asking me a question. Most recently there have been a flood of questions about the use of OLED displays on the Bitx40.
First asking me has some really negative aspects especially since the information is not being shared with the greater Bitx40 community such as would happen if posted on the Yahoo group reflector. Despite what  I tell my XYL that "I know everything", I don't and thus posing your question via the Yahoo group will give you the benefit of the "group grope" to wrestle with your question. I don't subscribe to the reflector so I may give you info that has been proven wrong.
The other negative aspect is asking me to do work that you should be doing. One ham made an inquiry about the 240X320 Color TFT display and I found out later he didn't like my suggestion that he start with some basic stuff like learning to swim before attempting to compete on the Olympic Swim Team. He loaded some one else's code and got it to work but then wanted me to make changes for him. I have declined to do so.
One scary experience is that my OLED implementation on the Bitx40 was done with a Nano, the OLED and Adafruit Si5351 board which was all external to the Bitx40. I have shared that code on my website at www.n6qw.com/Phase7.html --- keep in mind when I bought my Bitx40 the "digi" module was not offered for sale. Thus the external homebrew digi-board with the OLED is what I used.. The scary part is that individuals have "ripped up" their VU2ESE supplied board and "haywired" in the OLED using my code. One report I got was the OLED displays OK but the Bitx doesn't seem to change frequency and the computer noise in the Rx masks everything. I asked did you put a scope or frequency counter on CLK0 to see if you are getting RF and what frequency is it? I am thinking that the overwhelming computer noise is masking the real signals. I have had no reply.
Now that is another bad aspect as I never imagined someone would cobble up Farhan's board as my implementation was a standalone board. The other negative by connecting directly into the Bitx40 , power rail you are opening up the possibility of noise. My outboard digi has the additional isolation. Bill N2CQR on his blog soldersmoke.blogspot.com has covered active decoupling to resolve the noise issues with the OLED'S.
I don't mind helping but in the future will ask that Bitx40 questions be posted on the yahoo Bitx40 (actually Bitx20) group reflector.
The really Good News the Bitx40 is taking the World by storm!
Pete N6QW

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