Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Bitx DDS and frequency display

I built a Bitx20. I'm not happy with it. The VFO leaves much to be desired and whilst many folks find it acceptable I find it cumbersome and inexact. I never know what frequency its on. It appears that many users find this to be the case as is evidenced by the handful of digital VFO addons for the Bitx. Time to build my own.

So what do I want mine to do? Well, let's see . . .
  • Arduino based (because it's easy)
  • LCD readout
  • Use cheap Ebay 9850 DDS module 
  • CW keyer with paddle input
  • FT-817 style computer control
  • Channel buttons
  • S Meter and battery voltage etc.
  • Probably other things too
And here it is! It did not take too long to create. I borrowed much of the Arduino code from  other projects and hacked it all together.

The finished board
Observant bastards will have noticed the MIC and PTT inputs on the upper right of the board. This allows the PTT from the Mic to be wired through the board. The board will then compare the current frequency against it's internal band plan and then key the rig (or not). It will also display a TX or RX symbol on the readout.

The LCD readout showing the current frequency (upper line), battery volts (lower left), step rate (lower middle) and S-meter reading (lower right) 

The board under test

The IF + VFO combined output

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