Date   

Re: J5 and J6 header strips are not provided in this kit

Charles W. Powell
 

Sparks,

How goes it with the Hilltopper?  My 20 meter unit puts out 6 watts and the 40 meter rig puts out 7 watts, measured with my scope.  I wish all the radios I built worked that well.

72,

Chas - NK8O


Re: J5 and J6 header strips are not provided in this kit

NV1F
 

Dear Chas - NK8O:

   Thanks for prompt response and the explanation.  I am sure I will
have more questions in the future.  Now---I just need to keep soldering,
taking my time to avoid mistakes, and "go out in the field" before the
snow flies. Regards, "Sparks" NV1F

On 9/5/2020 9:28 PM, Charles W. Powell via groups.io wrote:
Dear Sparks,

First, congratulations on your return to the hobby.?? Second, the one
set of "extra" pins is for serial port access and CAT/computer
control, and the other is for a digital display.?? Both require
re-flashing the chip to add the extra functions, and neither is
necessary.?? The radio works quite well "right out of the box."?? I
have built four of them and I have made the modifications, but I
honestly just use them with the original case and no additions when I
go out in the field with them.

72,

Chas - NK8O

On 9/5/20 3:03 PM, Jeff Logullo N0??MII wrote:
Hi Sparks, and welcome back to the Amateur ranks!

Re J5 and J6: they aren???t strictly needed, if you just want to get
on the air and have CW QSOs. One header gives access to the I2C bus,
and the other to the serial data lines (perhaps for in-circuit
reprogramming of the CPU?). I venture to say that 99.95% of the
Hilltoppers build don???t have those headers installed.

For now, keep soldering!

72,
Jeff N0??MII


On Sep 5, 2020, at 2:15 PM, NV1F <Giulietti@...> wrote:

Please advise: (1) Where do I obtain the J5 & J6 header strips not
provided in this kit.."


Re: J5 and J6 header strips are not provided in this kit

NV1F
 

Dear Jeff-n0MII:

   Thank you for the prompt response:  I'm taking your advise "For now,
[to] keep soldering" taking my time, but I am sure I'll have more
questions as I go.  Regards, Sparks, NV1F

On 9/5/2020 4:03 PM, Jeff Logullo N0̸MII wrote:
Hi Sparks, and welcome back to the Amateur ranks!

Re J5 and J6: they aren’t strictly needed, if you just want to get on the air and have CW QSOs. One header gives access to the I2C bus, and the other to the serial data lines (perhaps for in-circuit reprogramming of the CPU?). I venture to say that 99.95% of the Hilltoppers build don’t have those headers installed.

For now, keep soldering!

72,
Jeff N0̸MII


On Sep 5, 2020, at 2:15 PM, NV1F <Giulietti@...> wrote:

Please advise: (1) Where do I obtain the J5 & J6 header strips not
provided in this kit.."


Re: J5 and J6 header strips are not provided in this kit

Charles W. Powell
 

Dear Sparks,

First, congratulations on your return to the hobby.?? Second, the one set of "extra" pins is for serial port access and CAT/computer control, and the other is for a digital display.?? Both require re-flashing the chip to add the extra functions, and neither is necessary.?? The radio works quite well "right out of the box."?? I have built four of them and I have made the modifications, but I honestly just use them with the original case and no additions when I go out in the field with them.

72,

Chas - NK8O

On 9/5/20 3:03 PM, Jeff Logullo N0??MII wrote:
Hi Sparks, and welcome back to the Amateur ranks!

Re J5 and J6: they aren???t strictly needed, if you just want to get on the air and have CW QSOs. One header gives access to the I2C bus, and the other to the serial data lines (perhaps for in-circuit reprogramming of the CPU?). I venture to say that 99.95% of the Hilltoppers build don???t have those headers installed.

For now, keep soldering!

72,
Jeff N0??MII


On Sep 5, 2020, at 2:15 PM, NV1F <Giulietti@...> wrote:

Please advise: (1) Where do I obtain the J5 & J6 header strips not
provided in this kit.."


Re: J5 and J6 header strips are not provided in this kit

Jeff Logullo N0̸MII
 

Hi Sparks, and welcome back to the Amateur ranks!

Re J5 and J6: they aren’t strictly needed, if you just want to get on the air and have CW QSOs. One header gives access to the I2C bus, and the other to the serial data lines (perhaps for in-circuit reprogramming of the CPU?). I venture to say that 99.95% of the Hilltoppers build don’t have those headers installed.

For now, keep soldering!

72,
Jeff N0̸MII

On Sep 5, 2020, at 2:15 PM, NV1F <Giulietti@...> wrote:

Please advise: (1) Where do I obtain the J5 & J6 header strips not
provided in this kit.."
--
Jeff N0̸MII


J5 and J6 header strips are not provided in this kit

NV1F
 

Dear Hilltopper 40 Subgroup:

    I am a 78-year-old returning amateur licensee having lost my 1968
Extra-Class call (w1dh) earlier this year for failure to renew.  With
the assistance of ARRL VECs I was retested in March and am now licensed
as NV1F.

    Earlier this week I received my Hilltopper 40 kit and am starting
the build:

At page 6 of the rev. 16 April 2020 manual it states in red ink: "Please
note that the J5 and J6 header strips are not provided in this kit."  
It continues in normal black ink: "See the "Files' section of the
subgroup for  more information."

     Please advise: (1) Where do I obtain the J5 & J6 header strips not
provided in this kit.."  What do header strips look like and where would
I obtain them, now that radio shack has closed and (2) how do I see "the
'Files' section of the subgroup for more information.

Regards, "Sparks", NV1F


Re: Hilltopper tales?

Colin Evans M1BUU
 

My Hilltop(per) tale comes from way back in April 2017.

I'd just finished building my Hilltop 20 and took it on it's first SOTA outing. I had climbed Red Screes, a SOTA qualifying summit in the English Lake District. (SOTA ref G/LD-017).

My first QSO was with KA1R in Massachusetts. N1EU was next in the log from near Albany, NY. N4EX in North Carolina rounded up the trilogy of transatlantic contacts. I was quite pleased as I had put a lot of effort into building the rig.

I'm looking at revisiting this rig to update the firmware with the Hilltopper sketch from the group files. I need to check pin assignment etc.

73, Colin

On Sun, 3 May 2020, 05:06 John, <AL7JK.John@...> wrote:
Too nice to stay indoors today during the 7QP event. Setup out on the deck
in the backyard, HT20, T1 tuner & a 43ft wire suspended from a spiderbeam
mast. Lotta fun, HT20 was singing cw rite along among the contesters.
Love that HT20 ! 73 de AL7JK, John


Re: Hilltopper tales?

 

Too nice to stay indoors today during the 7QP event. Setup out on the deck
in the backyard, HT20, T1 tuner & a 43ft wire suspended from a spiderbeam
mast. Lotta fun, HT20 was singing cw rite along among the contesters.
Love that HT20 ! 73 de AL7JK, John


Re: Hill Top 20 firmware update (and hello!)

Colin Evans M1BUU
 

When I'm feeling brave enough I'll tear down the rig and reflash the Nano with the code from this group. I guess that I'll have to study the code to make sure pin assignments are OK etc.

I do tend to 'work up' to doing something, at the moment I'm just in the thinking phase, the doing will come much later :-)

I wasn't happy with the alignment that I did, my filter crystals had a different charasteric so the centre frequency took some experimenting to find out. I need to go back in and try to characterize the filter whilst the rig is in bits.

73, Colin


Re: Hill Top 20 firmware update (and hello!)

Dave Benson
 

Hi Colin-

Great job on the transatlantic QSOs!  I'm pretty sure I'd put in more effort on the keyer before it became a production item.  I do remember that mode B gave me fits!

73-  Dave, K1SWL


On Sat, Apr 4, 2020 at 11:44 AM Colin Evans M1BUU <colin.evans2@...> wrote:
Yes Bob, it was my first experience with a Nano. I used a cheap clone, it worked fine.
The first HT20 was developed by Dave for his own amusement I believe, without an intention to turn it into a kit. It was simpler to use Arduino and SI5351A modules rather than have to place all the programming interface on the PCB and have to solder the tiny PLL chip.

73, Colin

On Sat, 4 Apr 2020, 13:58 WA1EDJ, <bobc784@...> wrote:
Colin,
Is the attached photo an early HT20 or ??  I never knew it used a Nano as a controller.  

Bob
WA1EDJ

On Sat, Apr 4, 2020 at 8:46 AM Colin Evans M1BUU <colin.evans2@...> wrote:
Hi to the group members.

I'm Colin, M1BUU, and I've built many QRP transceivers over the years. Several years ago I built an early Hill Top 20. The rig is impressive, however my code sending skills are not! I cut my teeth on KD1JV MTRs and I can send mostly good code with them, however, if I swap to a different kind of rig, I find myself sending garbage. I have used my Hill Top 20 and managed transatlantic QSOs but I do find that I have to argue with the keyer quite a lot (almost certainly a fault with me).

I joined the group to learn more about the rig to find out it little quirks. As we're effectively in lockdown here in England, I'm using my spare time to revisit old projects and do the tweaks that I always intended to do.

I'm thinking about trying to put new firmware on my HT20, I haven't studied the 'production' firmware but I'm sure I'll be able to tweak it to make it work with my rig. I'm hopeful that the keyer timing might work better for me.

73, Colin


Re: Hill Top 20 firmware update (and hello!)

Colin Evans M1BUU
 

Yes Bob, it was my first experience with a Nano. I used a cheap clone, it worked fine.
The first HT20 was developed by Dave for his own amusement I believe, without an intention to turn it into a kit. It was simpler to use Arduino and SI5351A modules rather than have to place all the programming interface on the PCB and have to solder the tiny PLL chip.

73, Colin

On Sat, 4 Apr 2020, 13:58 WA1EDJ, <bobc784@...> wrote:
Colin,
Is the attached photo an early HT20 or ??  I never knew it used a Nano as a controller.  

Bob
WA1EDJ

On Sat, Apr 4, 2020 at 8:46 AM Colin Evans M1BUU <colin.evans2@...> wrote:
Hi to the group members.

I'm Colin, M1BUU, and I've built many QRP transceivers over the years. Several years ago I built an early Hill Top 20. The rig is impressive, however my code sending skills are not! I cut my teeth on KD1JV MTRs and I can send mostly good code with them, however, if I swap to a different kind of rig, I find myself sending garbage. I have used my Hill Top 20 and managed transatlantic QSOs but I do find that I have to argue with the keyer quite a lot (almost certainly a fault with me).

I joined the group to learn more about the rig to find out it little quirks. As we're effectively in lockdown here in England, I'm using my spare time to revisit old projects and do the tweaks that I always intended to do.

I'm thinking about trying to put new firmware on my HT20, I haven't studied the 'production' firmware but I'm sure I'll be able to tweak it to make it work with my rig. I'm hopeful that the keyer timing might work better for me.

73, Colin


Re: Hill Top 20 firmware update (and hello!)

WA1EDJ
 

Colin,
Is the attached photo an early HT20 or ??  I never knew it used a Nano as a controller.  

Bob
WA1EDJ

On Sat, Apr 4, 2020 at 8:46 AM Colin Evans M1BUU <colin.evans2@...> wrote:
Hi to the group members.

I'm Colin, M1BUU, and I've built many QRP transceivers over the years. Several years ago I built an early Hill Top 20. The rig is impressive, however my code sending skills are not! I cut my teeth on KD1JV MTRs and I can send mostly good code with them, however, if I swap to a different kind of rig, I find myself sending garbage. I have used my Hill Top 20 and managed transatlantic QSOs but I do find that I have to argue with the keyer quite a lot (almost certainly a fault with me).

I joined the group to learn more about the rig to find out it little quirks. As we're effectively in lockdown here in England, I'm using my spare time to revisit old projects and do the tweaks that I always intended to do.

I'm thinking about trying to put new firmware on my HT20, I haven't studied the 'production' firmware but I'm sure I'll be able to tweak it to make it work with my rig. I'm hopeful that the keyer timing might work better for me.

73, Colin


Hill Top 20 firmware update (and hello!)

Colin Evans M1BUU
 

Hi to the group members.

I'm Colin, M1BUU, and I've built many QRP transceivers over the years. Several years ago I built an early Hill Top 20. The rig is impressive, however my code sending skills are not! I cut my teeth on KD1JV MTRs and I can send mostly good code with them, however, if I swap to a different kind of rig, I find myself sending garbage. I have used my Hill Top 20 and managed transatlantic QSOs but I do find that I have to argue with the keyer quite a lot (almost certainly a fault with me).

I joined the group to learn more about the rig to find out it little quirks. As we're effectively in lockdown here in England, I'm using my spare time to revisit old projects and do the tweaks that I always intended to do.

I'm thinking about trying to put new firmware on my HT20, I haven't studied the 'production' firmware but I'm sure I'll be able to tweak it to make it work with my rig. I'm hopeful that the keyer timing might work better for me.

73, Colin


Re: Programming new Chip for HT20 - Problems

WA1EDJ
 

Dave,
I had a 328P from an Uno board with a bootloader installed.  I just uploaded know good V2.0 code for HT20 and it worked fine.  The sidetone was correct speed.

I tried to burn a bootloader on a virgin chip and had nothing but problems.  I've done it before on other Arduino chips but this time I keep getting an "invalid chip signature".
And the burn attempt locks the chip out of further ISP attempts.   I fortunately have a fuse restorer for Atmels and was able to bring the chip back.  I do a sanity check with Avrdude to make sure I'm talking to the chip.  It also reads the fuses.  The sanity check does not work on a good working HT20 328P.  To me that means the chip is locked from further ISP attempts.  

Anyway, I'm going to try to ISP program the bootloader.  I think the file is out there.

I don't know why I always have so much trouble with Arduino projects.  I do eventually get them going but with great effort.  But I do learn......

Bob
WA1EDJ

On Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 7:42 AM Dave Benson <davek1swl@...> wrote:
Hi Bob-

// It sounds like you're aiming to be the King of 21 meters! <g>  I'd considered looking at 13.56 MHz for Scouting purposes- using a small loop antenna with a series resistor for short-range code practice. I never tried out the idea, though- too many projects! The obvious candidate was the RockMite.

It does sound like the fuse settings are suspect. Programming via the bootloader sounds like a good way to test that theory.

If need be, I can probably dig up the hex file, which should reveal the fuse settings.

73- Dave, K1SWL

On Wed, Mar 11, 2020 at 6:43 PM WA1EDJ <bobc784@...> wrote:

I plan to burn a version of the HT20 arduino code with a start-up freq of 13.555 400.
 
So to verify I can do it, I compiled the current V2.0 code, 20M, used he correct Etherkit 5351a lib and got a good compile.
 
Burned a virgin 328P with default fuses via a TinyUSB ICSP.  No bootloader.
 
On power up, the sidetone was very, very slow.  It was the right CW just SLOW.
 
I noticed the Low fuse default is 0x62 which is Clock divide by 8.  I changed it to 0xE2
which is NO /8 for clock.
That improved the CW speed and now it is about 1/2 of normal.speed. Still slow though.
 
The rest of the radio seems ok, it receives fine.  Of course the 5351a synth has its own clock and only gets I2C commands from the 328P.
 
Some on the group have said that no changes are needed to the default fuses but that does not seem to be the case for me.
 
I burned direct ICSP, no boot loader with avrdude.  Not using the bootloader should make no difference.
 
I tried to read the fuses from the stock micro supplied with the kit but it seems locked so could not read it.   That would tell me a lot.
Some fuse settings on Atmel chips can lock out any further ICSP programming.  That may be my case.
 
Does everyone program using the bootloader?  Maybe I should try that?
 
Any ideas?
 
TNX!
Bob
WA1EDJ


Re: Programming new Chip for HT20 - Problems

WA1EDJ
 

TNX Dave!   I'll try the bootloader tonight if I can.

Bob
WA1EDJ


On Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 7:42 AM Dave Benson <davek1swl@...> wrote:
Hi Bob-

// It sounds like you're aiming to be the King of 21 meters! <g>  I'd considered looking at 13.56 MHz for Scouting purposes- using a small loop antenna with a series resistor for short-range code practice. I never tried out the idea, though- too many projects! The obvious candidate was the RockMite.

It does sound like the fuse settings are suspect. Programming via the bootloader sounds like a good way to test that theory.

If need be, I can probably dig up the hex file, which should reveal the fuse settings.

73- Dave, K1SWL

On Wed, Mar 11, 2020 at 6:43 PM WA1EDJ <bobc784@...> wrote:

I plan to burn a version of the HT20 arduino code with a start-up freq of 13.555 400.
 
So to verify I can do it, I compiled the current V2.0 code, 20M, used he correct Etherkit 5351a lib and got a good compile.
 
Burned a virgin 328P with default fuses via a TinyUSB ICSP.  No bootloader.
 
On power up, the sidetone was very, very slow.  It was the right CW just SLOW.
 
I noticed the Low fuse default is 0x62 which is Clock divide by 8.  I changed it to 0xE2
which is NO /8 for clock.
That improved the CW speed and now it is about 1/2 of normal.speed. Still slow though.
 
The rest of the radio seems ok, it receives fine.  Of course the 5351a synth has its own clock and only gets I2C commands from the 328P.
 
Some on the group have said that no changes are needed to the default fuses but that does not seem to be the case for me.
 
I burned direct ICSP, no boot loader with avrdude.  Not using the bootloader should make no difference.
 
I tried to read the fuses from the stock micro supplied with the kit but it seems locked so could not read it.   That would tell me a lot.
Some fuse settings on Atmel chips can lock out any further ICSP programming.  That may be my case.
 
Does everyone program using the bootloader?  Maybe I should try that?
 
Any ideas?
 
TNX!
Bob
WA1EDJ


Re: Programming new Chip for HT20 - Problems

Dave Benson
 

Hi Bob-

// It sounds like you're aiming to be the King of 21 meters! <g>  I'd considered looking at 13.56 MHz for Scouting purposes- using a small loop antenna with a series resistor for short-range code practice. I never tried out the idea, though- too many projects! The obvious candidate was the RockMite.

It does sound like the fuse settings are suspect. Programming via the bootloader sounds like a good way to test that theory.

If need be, I can probably dig up the hex file, which should reveal the fuse settings.

73- Dave, K1SWL


On Wed, Mar 11, 2020 at 6:43 PM WA1EDJ <bobc784@...> wrote:

I plan to burn a version of the HT20 arduino code with a start-up freq of 13.555 400.
 
So to verify I can do it, I compiled the current V2.0 code, 20M, used he correct Etherkit 5351a lib and got a good compile.
 
Burned a virgin 328P with default fuses via a TinyUSB ICSP.  No bootloader.
 
On power up, the sidetone was very, very slow.  It was the right CW just SLOW.
 
I noticed the Low fuse default is 0x62 which is Clock divide by 8.  I changed it to 0xE2
which is NO /8 for clock.
That improved the CW speed and now it is about 1/2 of normal.speed. Still slow though.
 
The rest of the radio seems ok, it receives fine.  Of course the 5351a synth has its own clock and only gets I2C commands from the 328P.
 
Some on the group have said that no changes are needed to the default fuses but that does not seem to be the case for me.
 
I burned direct ICSP, no boot loader with avrdude.  Not using the bootloader should make no difference.
 
I tried to read the fuses from the stock micro supplied with the kit but it seems locked so could not read it.   That would tell me a lot.
Some fuse settings on Atmel chips can lock out any further ICSP programming.  That may be my case.
 
Does everyone program using the bootloader?  Maybe I should try that?
 
Any ideas?
 
TNX!
Bob
WA1EDJ


Programming new Chip for HT20 - Problems

WA1EDJ
 


I plan to burn a version of the HT20 arduino code with a start-up freq of 13.555 400.
 
So to verify I can do it, I compiled the current V2.0 code, 20M, used he correct Etherkit 5351a lib and got a good compile.
 
Burned a virgin 328P with default fuses via a TinyUSB ICSP.  No bootloader.
 
On power up, the sidetone was very, very slow.  It was the right CW just SLOW.
 
I noticed the Low fuse default is 0x62 which is Clock divide by 8.  I changed it to 0xE2
which is NO /8 for clock.
That improved the CW speed and now it is about 1/2 of normal.speed. Still slow though.
 
The rest of the radio seems ok, it receives fine.  Of course the 5351a synth has its own clock and only gets I2C commands from the 328P.
 
Some on the group have said that no changes are needed to the default fuses but that does not seem to be the case for me.
 
I burned direct ICSP, no boot loader with avrdude.  Not using the bootloader should make no difference.
 
I tried to read the fuses from the stock micro supplied with the kit but it seems locked so could not read it.   That would tell me a lot.
Some fuse settings on Atmel chips can lock out any further ICSP programming.  That may be my case.
 
Does everyone program using the bootloader?  Maybe I should try that?
 
Any ideas?
 
TNX!
Bob
WA1EDJ


Re: programming the Hilltopper Arduino chip

WA1EDJ
 

Steve,
Good job on getting it going.  I also want to add a display to my HT20.  What version of HTXX code did you use?  In the files section of the Hilltopper group I see Hilltopper20_display_and_rit_mod.ino.

Is this the version you used?   Maybe Dave can pipe in on which is the accepted display version to use.

Other question is:  does it really matter if the Arduino IDE uses the bootloader or direct burn to chip (ICSP)?   My understanding is the code will end up in the same memory address so should not care.

I use both methods to DL.  I bought some blank 328P's so no bootloader on board.   I did see Daves comments on which chip to select when burning bootloader.

I did get some 2x20 I2C LCD's off ebay for this project.  All look pretty similar.   Need to pay attention to the I2C address though.

Thanks!
Bob
WA1EDJ





On Fri, Oct 25, 2019 at 12:24 AM Steve Szabo <sszabo1@...> wrote:
Yes, I now have a newly programmed chip and a two-line display!
Kudos to all of you!!!
NICE WORK!
Steve WB4OMM


Re: programming the Hilltopper Arduino chip

Dave Benson
 

Love it, Ed!

73- Dave, K1SWL


On Fri, Feb 7, 2020 at 3:18 PM Ed Meyer, WG5F <wg5f@...> wrote:

When I started as an EE Freshman at OK-State, in 1975, the student bookstore was running a close-out on Post slide rules. 

I bought a Versalog for $20 and put it away...

Then about 10 years later I had my sister-in-law frame it in a deep picture frame and with a little brass name plate that says, "In case of computer failure, Break Glass."    

73,

-Ed, WG5F


Re: programming the Hilltopper Arduino chip

Curt
 
Edited

Still have two K&E Sliderules and a circular used at work.  Showed them to my 19 year old grandson who had no idea what they were.  I know what they are but doubt could use them now lol. 

Apologies for the OT bandwidth.  Back to Arduino, appreciate suggestions of webinars or blogs that might help old op to learn the language.

Curt KB5JO