Date   
Re: programming the Hilltopper Arduino chip

Dave Benson
 

Curt-

Very nice!

The Arduino environment really makes it as simple as possible to write or modify code and bring it to life.  The compiler is a little cryptic, and you'll learn from experience what its error outputs are trying to tell you.  One caution-  if you order the 'raw' ICs with the intent of burning the bootloader yourself, be sure to select the '328P-PU' suffix and not the '328-PU' version. They have a different device ID, and Arduino's documentation doesn't make this clear.

/*
As an aside- I got my EE degree in '76. My only formal software training involved Fortran and punch cards! At that time, microprocessors were a graduate-level topic in another department. Of course, many of us were avidly reading Byte magazine and wire-wrapping up our own computers. Things have changed a little.
*/

The changes for 17M should be just a matter of changing the two frequency words.  I did supply someone with an IC for 15M, though, and the receive LO was off in the weeds. It proved to be an overflow condition, and changing several integer declarations from the (default) 'signed' flavor to 'unsigned' fixed the issue.  In any case, I'll be here to assist as needed.

73- Dave, K1SWL

On Thu, Feb 6, 2020 at 4:04 PM Curt via Groups.Io <rhulett1=consolidated.net@groups.io> wrote:
I am astounded!  Wanting to learn a little about the Arduino, I ordered an Arduno UNO R3 for $19 delivered.  Downloaded the IDE and started to stumble through the process.  Downloaded "blink" example, than Analog voltage readout, then blinking an LED at rate from a connected pot.  Then downloaded the Hilltopper code from files and the recommended SI5351 version to the Arduino library.  Compiled without incident.

I am light years from programming a controller to do something useful from scratch, despite having slung a lot of code of various flavors during my working life.  But mostly wanted to be able to edit existing code to work differently.

My original purpose was to convert a 20M Hilltopper controller to 17M.  Dave kindly told me (and I have found) the constants that determine frequency.  Now if 4States ever offers the 20M again I will be able to change the controller.  If not, I may hack my 20M to 17M.  Or maybe add a daughter board with necessary 17M LC components, add code to select between two bands by reading status of a jumper.

Any word from 4State whether and when they may become available?


Curt KB5JO

Re: programming the Hilltopper Arduino chip

Curt
 

I am astounded!  Wanting to learn a little about the Arduino, I ordered an Arduno UNO R3 for $19 delivered.  Downloaded the IDE and started to stumble through the process.  Downloaded "blink" example, than Analog voltage readout, then blinking an LED at rate from a connected pot.  Then downloaded the Hilltopper code from files and the recommended SI5351 version to the Arduino library.  Compiled without incident.

I am light years from programming a controller to do something useful from scratch, despite having slung a lot of code of various flavors during my working life.  But mostly wanted to be able to edit existing code to work differently.

My original purpose was to convert a 20M Hilltopper controller to 17M.  Dave kindly told me (and I have found) the constants that determine frequency.  Now if 4States ever offers the 20M again I will be able to change the controller.  If not, I may hack my 20M to 17M.  Or maybe add a daughter board with necessary 17M LC components, add code to select between two bands by reading status of a jumper.

Any word from 4State whether and when they may become available?


Curt KB5JO

Re: Bring Back the Hilltopper

Curt
 

I am lined up to buy another if they are offered again hoping to convert it to 17M.

Curt KB5JO

Re: FW: hilltopper 20

Dave Benson
 

Hi Ron-

You can have William check the schematic and locate the pin on U5 (controller IC) where the Function switch connects. With a multimeter set to DC volts and touch that IC pin, the reading should be 5V and will drop to 0V when pressing the switch. 

If the IC itself is bad, I can send him a replacement once we know more.   The normally-closed switch that Jim mentioned (thanks, Jim!) may be the most likely source of trouble.

73- Dave, K1SWL


On Sun, Feb 2, 2020 at 10:43 PM AG1P Ron <ag1p@...> wrote:
GE Everyone,
I received this email today. Any suggestions for William?

72 - Ron - AG1P
4SQRP Volunteer Webmaster

-----Original Message-----
From: William Cummins [mailto:nq2drex@...]
Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2020 2:38 PM
To: ag1p@...
Subject: hilltopper 20

finished the hilltopper 20, but the function switch (sw1) dosen't do
anything....everything else works....but no frec read out, no switching
of keyer oparity .in short nothing happens when sw1 is pushed...checked
all solder joints ,and double checked everything...could it be the U5
ic??..also did a hilltopper 40....it works great!!! thank
you.....William KB4TOX




Re: FW: hilltopper 20

Jim Pruitt
 

With the volume all the way up do you get only white noise or is it quiet?  With no CW frequency enunciation the AVR (U5) could be defective or not programmed.  If it had been programmed for 40 meters by mistake it would still output cw (030r0) which would tell you it was 40 meters and not the 060r0 that 20 meters would output.

Is there any audio at all ever heard?

I would also wonder if SW1 was possibly one of the normally closed switches we replaced that went out in some of the first kits of the last run.  If it was normally closed though that would still generate CW but not when pushed (since it would be acting like it was always pushed...until you pushed it).

Those are some of the things I would check.  If no audio ever then it could be the NE5532 op amp (or the NJM4556 if he did the audio mod).  I am assuming that we know the headphones or speaker used is good and works on his Hilltopper40 so known to be wired correctly.

I see that I mailed both of those to Rex on Dec 6, 2018 so it is possible that one of the wrong push button switches slipped through.  Can he check and make sure the SW1 is normally open?

Another possibility is that the Si5351 module may not be working.  Check to make sure it is installed correctly (a couple builders put it in upside down).  If in correctly check the solder joints on the pins in the Hilltopper pc board and at the module.  Is it generating a frequency or is there no activity (if you can check it).  If he built the Hilltopper 40 and it is working then I assume the Si5351 is not installed wrong in the Hilltopper 20 but have to ask So check the connections between the module and Hilltopper board.

In rereading the message he says everything else works.  Does that mean that he is hearing signals but not able to get his frequency?  If he is hearing signals on the band then the AVR is working and so is the Si5351 PLL module.

Is the calibration jumper in place or is it set for regular operation (not shorted)?

Thank you.

Jim Pruitt
WA7DUY


On 2/2/2020 7:42 PM, AG1P Ron wrote:
GE Everyone,
I received this email today. Any suggestions for William?

72 - Ron - AG1P
4SQRP Volunteer Webmaster

-----Original Message-----
From: William Cummins [mailto:nq2drex@...] 
Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2020 2:38 PM
To: ag1p@...
Subject: hilltopper 20

finished the hilltopper 20, but the function switch (sw1) dosen't do 
anything....everything else works....but no frec read out, no switching 
of keyer oparity .in short nothing happens when sw1 is pushed...checked 
all solder joints ,and double checked everything...could it be the U5 
ic??..also did a hilltopper 40....it works great!!! thank 
you.....William KB4TOX





FW: hilltopper 20

AG1P Ron
 

GE Everyone,
I received this email today. Any suggestions for William?

72 - Ron - AG1P
4SQRP Volunteer Webmaster

-----Original Message-----
From: William Cummins [mailto:nq2drex@...]
Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2020 2:38 PM
To: ag1p@...
Subject: hilltopper 20

finished the hilltopper 20, but the function switch (sw1) dosen't do
anything....everything else works....but no frec read out, no switching
of keyer oparity .in short nothing happens when sw1 is pushed...checked
all solder joints ,and double checked everything...could it be the U5
ic??..also did a hilltopper 40....it works great!!! thank
you.....William KB4TOX

Re: Hilltopper tales?

Charles W. Powell
 

Nice work.  Great little radio.

72,

Charles - NK8O

On Jan 28, 2020, at 2:38 PM, Curt via Groups.Io <rhulett1@...> wrote:

Got the HT20 out again today and added NH to list of states worked with the HT20 into an 80M dipole.  Total is 20 states, 4 provinces (including YT), 11 DX entities.

Curt KB5JO

Re: Hilltopper tales?

Curt
 

Got the HT20 out again today and added NH to list of states worked with the HT20 into an 80M dipole.  Total is 20 states, 4 provinces (including YT), 11 DX entities.

Curt KB5JO

Re: CQ WW this weekend. Fire up the HT-20s n 40s

Curt
 

Confirmed that VY1AAA contact indeed was legitimate, which makes me happy.  YT QSOs will become scarce now that VY1JA is QRT.

From: Gerry Hull
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2019 7:16 AM
To:
Curt
Subject: Re: VY1AAA DE KB5JO

 

Yes.  It was VE3KI operating final event for station

 

On Sat, Nov 23, 2019, 4:10 PM Curt <rhulett1@...> wrote:

 

I just worked VY1AAA on 20M Nov 23 2019 2054Z during CQ WW CW, then recalled J’s station was QRT.  Was this legitimate contact with your club station?

 

73, Curt KB5JO

Re: CQ WW this weekend. Fire up the HT-20s n 40s

Charles W. Powell
 

Curt,

If you really want to use the radio for contesting and change bands quickly, the serial mod that was written and posted allows you to change the frequency by direct entry with your logging software.  I found the KX2/KX3 setting and 9600 baud serial port rate worked perfectly with the Hilltopper. Frequency changes become a matter of “type and go.”.

72,

Chas - NK8O 

On Nov 24, 2019, at 4:30 PM, Curt via Groups.Io wrote:

Ended up with 13 entities, 19 QSOs.  Enough is enough, like continuous pileup.  Antenna 150' doublet up 50'.  Seemed propagation wasn't as good as previous years.

Best DX was Japan, 6700 miles from me.  I had one QSO with VY1AAA which wonder if was legit, because recall reading the station at VY1JA was being dismantled after Sweepstakes. 

Wish the HT passband was somewhat tighter, and ability to move frequency faster would be great too.  But in general the radio was a lot of fun to use.  It is my favorite 20M single band QRP radio.

I look forward to CQ WW DX 'test every November to give latest QRP/QRPp radio a workout.

72 Curt KB5JO
_._,_._,_

Re: CQ WW this weekend. Fire up the HT-20s n 40s

Curt
 

Ended up with 13 entities, 19 QSOs.  Enough is enough, like continuous pileup.  Antenna 150' doublet up 50'.  Seemed propagation wasn't as good as previous years.

Best DX was Japan, 6700 miles from me.  I had one QSO with VY1AAA which wonder if was legit, because recall reading the station at VY1JA was being dismantled after Sweepstakes. 

Wish the HT passband was somewhat tighter, and ability to move frequency faster would be great too.  But in general the radio was a lot of fun to use.  It is my favorite 20M single band QRP radio.

I look forward to CQ WW DX 'test every November to give latest QRP/QRPp radio a workout.

72 Curt KB5JO

Re: CQ WW this weekend. Fire up the HT-20s n 40s

Curt
 

Just worked Finland, then VY1AAA, Yukon stns not too common. 2800 miles

Re: CQ WW this weekend. Fire up the HT-20s n 40s

Charles W. Powell
 

My HT-20 netted Azores, 3750 miles, and Hawaii, 3550 miles from my NE QTH last week on the same day. Not bad for 5 watts and zero sunspots. QRP works.

72,

Chas - NK8O

On Nov 23, 2019, at 2:52 PM, Jeff Logullo N0̸MII wrote:

Okay - thanks! VE6BBP is 1400 miles from here. Look at me taking 5w for granted - shame on me!


On Nov 23, 2019, at 2:47 PM, Curt via Groups.Io wrote:

Actually VE6 pretty exotic with QRP. From here it is 1800 miles. Kinda hard to get attention among the big guns on 20M during CQ WW. Sunday ought to get better as folks strain for the rare ones. Up to 7 DXCC entities here so far. QC, ON, AB too


--
Jeff N0̸MII

Re: CQ WW this weekend. Fire up the HT-20s n 40s

Jeff Logullo N0̸MII
 

Okay - thanks! VE6BBP is 1400 miles from here. Look at me taking 5w for granted - shame on me!

On Nov 23, 2019, at 2:47 PM, Curt via Groups.Io <rhulett1=consolidated.net@groups.io> wrote:

Actually VE6 pretty exotic with QRP. From here it is 1800 miles. Kinda hard to get attention among the big guns on 20M during CQ WW. Sunday ought to get better as folks strain for the rare ones. Up to 7 DXCC entities here so far. QC, ON, AB too
--
Jeff N0̸MII

Re: CQ WW this weekend. Fire up the HT-20s n 40s

Curt
 

Actually VE6 pretty exotic with QRP.  From here it is 1800 miles.  Kinda hard to get attention among the big guns on 20M during CQ WW.  Sunday ought to get better as folks strain for the rare ones. Up to 7 DXCC entities here so far. QC, ON, AB too

Re: CQ WW this weekend. Fire up the HT-20s n 40s

Jeff Logullo N0̸MII
 

Thanks for the kick in the pants -- I finally (finally!) aligned and buttoned up my HT20 after the firmware update, and made a contact! Alberta isn't as exotic as Europe, but hey it's a start :-)

On Nov 23, 2019, at 11:46 AM, Charles W. Powell via Groups.Io <doctorcwp=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Well done, Curt

72,

Chas - NK8O

On Nov 23, 2019, at 10:24 AM, Curt via Groups.Io wrote:

In one hour, France, Italy, Germany with 5W to a dipole from the HT20. Out to 5700 miles.

Re: CQ WW this weekend. Fire up the HT-20s n 40s

Charles W. Powell
 

Well done, Curt

72,

Chas - NK8O

On Nov 23, 2019, at 10:24 AM, Curt via Groups.Io wrote:

In one hour, France, Italy, Germany with 5W to a dipole from the HT20.  Out to 5700 miles.

Re: CQ WW this weekend. Fire up the HT-20s n 40s

Curt
 

In one hour, France, Italy, Germany with 5W to a dipole from the HT20.  Out to 5700 miles.

Re: CQ WW this weekend. Fire up the HT-20s n 40s

Charles W. Powell
 

Go for it!  I wish I could try it out but I’m on call all weekend.

72,

Chas - NK8O

On Nov 22, 2019, at 3:53 PM, Curt via Groups.Io <rhulett1@...> wrote:

Am going to see what can do with CQ WW DX 'test this weekend.  Historically they all listening hard for QRP n QRPp.

CQ WW this weekend. Fire up the HT-20s n 40s

Curt
 

Am going to see what can do with CQ WW DX 'test this weekend.  Historically they all listening hard for QRP n QRPp.