ULTRAM VCO

F1CJN_alain
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:50 am

ULTRAM VCO

Postby F1CJN_alain » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:36 am

On the Ultram VCO I found, with my logic analyzer and after many verifications, the PIC serial bus wired as :
CLK at pin 6
DATA at pin 7
LE at pin 3
On the Add-on Channel Selector schematic it is wired as :
CLK at pin 3
DATA at pin 7 (ok)
LE at pin 6

Am I right ?

Alain
F1CJN

g8byi
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:23 pm
Location: Trowbridge, Wilts

Re: ULTRAM VCO

Postby g8byi » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:24 am

Hi Alain
You are quite correct the LE and Clk idents on the shematic are transposed.

Interboard connection should be :-
Clk = PORTA.1 pin 18 of 16f628a connects to pin 6 pad of Utram old pic (ADF4350-5 Clock pin 17 )
Data = PORTA.2 pin1 of 16f628a connects to pin 7 pad of Utram old pic ( ADF4350-5 Dataout pin 18)
LE = PORTA.3 pin2 of 16f628a connects to pin 3 pad of Utram old pic ( ADF4350-5 SPI LE pin 19)

We are sorry for the panic attack we put you through...... ;)

73
Richard G8BYI

g8ajn
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Location: Bournemouth Dorset England
Contact:

Re: ULTRAM VCO

Postby g8ajn » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:47 pm

Thanks for the comments, I have now corrected the on-line pdf at DLwebsite. The Clk & LE labels on the circuit diagram were swapped, the connections are correct on the board.
Dave G8AJN

w0fms
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:46 pm

Re: ULTRAM VCO

Postby w0fms » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:58 pm

I really hate to ask the designers this-- so if you mind or offended by the question I apologize. My intent is not to undermine any of the efforts on this project.

After doing much more research than I probably should of, the frequencies that follow the band plans here in Region 2/North America/US are very different than in Europe. The board in US use really should have a different set of frequencies programmed than the accessory PIC board currently does.

I understand the effort that went into this project, including a fair effort on the "pic frequency add-on board". However, is it possible to at least open-source the code for this "SPI" board so I/we can make changes for Region 2? Or for whoever else would like different frequencies than the British ones?

And if not-- which is fine because I probably am going to use a different solution for this eventually anyway (I'm thinking of a simple Arduino with a LCD display shield-- $30 from China and no time at all to program) -- could I please ask someone to give me a couple of SPI latch words as an example to send in via SPI to the ADF4360-6 that I have on my currently programmed for 1152 MHz oscillator?

The Fractional-N stuff is standard but knowing (having documented) the other parts of the setup information in the SPI data would be most helpful. I can borrow a Total Phase Beagle and sniff it, but since someone knows now.. take mercy on this poor soul and please spare me the trouble! :) Thanks.

Also are the chips on the BATC boards programmed by Ultram for 1249 MHz AD4360-6 devices or are they something different? The cutoff is supposedly 1250 MHz for the ADF4360-6 PLL/Oscillator chip however from the datasheet it looks like you can push the upper limit a bit. I curious as what the "official" boards are.

Thanks, and sorry for the trouble with this.

EDIT: You may have answered the chip ID. a AD4360-5 (Not AD4350-5 which doesn't exist) device would probably be the correct one for Ultram Tech to put into the oscillator for 1200-1400 MHz (I.E. 1249 MHz) use according to Analog Devices Data. I might need to pop off $54 for another oscillator for this project. In the mean time I should be okay at <=1250 MHz with the osc I already have. Fun stuff.. thanks again for the assistance.

Fred W0FMS

g8byi
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:23 pm
Location: Trowbridge, Wilts

Re: ULTRAM VCO

Postby g8byi » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:24 am

Hi Fred - W0FMS
Yes ultimately we knew the frequencies we chose would not suit the whole world, but we had to start somewhere Hi!!, then wait for the call... We needed something to get going here,to get away from the single frequency provided by the very good Ultram pcb. If you tell me the 5 frequencies you require I will gladly supply the hex code for that variant for you to burn into a 16f628A. The code can also be be placed onto the Digilite Web page for others to utilize. I can confirm the ADF4360-5 device is the one used on the BATC 1249MHz Ultram pcb.
I can get them to work from 1150-1400MHz
For the future I do have another more comprehensive program working here that provides up/down steps of 100KHz and 1Mhz , lcd readout and 25 fixed channels, with last frequency used remembered at switch off. But I have yet to do the schematic and pcb stuff , life seems to get in the way...

Hope this helps.
73
Richard G8BYI

F1CJN_alain
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:50 am

Re: ULTRAM VCO

Postby F1CJN_alain » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:55 pm

I have made a flexible small Basic program, using the Mikrobasic pro demo version, to drive the ULTRAM VCO.
The frequency range runs from 1240 to 1280 MHz at a 1 Mhz increment.
The hardware uses à PIC 16F877A, a 2 lines LCD display, 3 push buttons (Plus, Minus and Memorization)
and some resistors 'for the push buttons and to adapt the logic level to 3.3V) , a 6 to 10 MHz Xtal, capacitors.
It works fine.
You just have to unsolder (at your own risk) the PIC on the ULTRAM board and connect 4 wires (LE, CLK,DATA and Ground).

Right now,I am writing the "manual" and the english comments in the source code.
The program will be free and open source (and I hope stored in the Digilite website).

Please, wait until next week :(
Best regards and thanks you again for this nice project.
Alain
F1CJN

w0fms
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:46 pm

Re: ULTRAM VCO

Postby w0fms » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:56 am

Thanks, Richard and Alain for your support and assistance.

Sorry.. I am not only trying to duplicate DigiLite, and NTSC-ize it.. I'm also trying to understand it and learn from it!

I am actually more interested in learning how (without reverse engineering or reinventing the wheel which I will do if I have to!) to reprogram the Ultram Tech boards than a different set of frequencies for the existing board. I've tried to come up with a "US 23cm frequency list" but there literally can not be an agreed upon list. The US is too big! It varies from Southern CA where finding a clear frequency is almost impossible even on 23cm to here in IA where I can literally go wherever I please. However, since this is likely going to be useful for others in the US here is my 2 cents worth:

If you do with to make a five frequency list for the US, Using the ARRL 23cm plan and I'll guess the middle of the ATV frequencies might work and would be my suggestion: ATV#1 1243.0, ATV#2 1255.0 (where is probably I'll order the Ultram Tech oscillator with the -5 part), Wide-band Experimental ATV#1 1265.0, ATV#3 1279.0, Wide Band Experimental ATV#2, 1291.0 MHz should probably be that set.

I do a lot of work with PICs (or at least I used to) at my day job.. and I do have a couple of 16F877A's laying around as samples from the Microchip rep from a few years ago. They are so good about samples to me.. unlike that other supplier who's parts I was going to use for this but might not based on Alain's project. BUT.. talking about that "other" supplier, the one who doesn't like to give out samples unless you can prove you'll use 5000 of them later:

I have mostly hacked a (I had ATMEGA644's not P's in my collection) Sanguino board (which I bought cheap blank PCB's of a while ago) playing with the Arduino GUI. I bought some AVR's, an USBTinyISP programmer and did a little "C" with WinAVR to try to understand the architectural differences of the 8-bit AVR's versus the 8 and 16 bit PICs. I always thought that Arduino environment itself was beneath me.

BUT Now that my 9-1/2 year old is getting interested in Robotics I thought it could be a good segway into doing "real programming" for him. It does look quite nice for that. So I decided to check it out. I built up a ATMEGA644 (non-P) Sanguino board, downloaded Arduino-022, the -018 version of the BSP for Sanguino.. hacked the build for the 644 rather than 644P. used my USB Tiny to flash in a bootloader.. hooked up the RS-232 line driver to it, attached a HD44780 2x16 display, fired up the GUI and had most of the UI for a similar project to Alain's up in less than 2 hours from the time the soldering iron was turned on and all of the parts were found, minus only the SPI commands which are trivial with the library once I figure them out!...

I now totally get Arduino. That project would have taken 2-3x the time with MPLab and a PIC. Yeah, I using mostly someone else's code but I don't care here.

So since I already have a AtMega328P board and a two line display coming from China to replace my bread boarded Sanguino-- packaged up quite nicely and only $29 shipped.. I guess there will be a third solution to this. I'll let the world know that once I'm done with it. The code will be totally open.. probably LGPL.

73, Fred W0FMS

w0fms
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:46 pm

Re: ULTRAM VCO

Postby w0fms » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:47 pm

A quick comment on the PLL programming: I downloaded the Analog Devices ADIPLLSIM program and did a few simulations on the circuit. I would recommend possibly not going to 100 KHz steps as going from 1 MHz steps to 100 KHz seems to make the overall phase noise performance worse by about 13 dB or so. I don't know if that would be a big issue with DVB-S (It's still like -80 at 10 KHz but it's about -92.5 at 500KHZ or 1 MHZ steps) but I figured I'd mention it since it seems to make a big difference. Going with 500 KHz steps instead seems to have little impact. I believe that I'll make my board do 0.5 MHZ steps which seems adequate for 3 MHz-ish wide signals anyway.

Now to wait for viz.ultramtech to have an e-bay listing again... ! I couldn't make up my mind on a center frequency fast enough and missed last weeks' three day listing.. hopefully this week. I'm like a kid in a candy store with this project.

I still wonder if someone can tell me some of the more unusual settings for the chip like the current settings in the control word? Otherwise I think I've about figured it out. It's fairly simple and obvious once you play with the free software from Analog Devices...

Good Luck,

Fred W0FMS

on4bhm
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:52 pm

Re: ULTRAM VCO

Postby on4bhm » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:28 pm

Hi

can someone explain to me, how i must connect this device?
i ordered it at batc... but there is no description with it...

how to i connect it? does it need +5v ?

any advice is welcome
73's
on4bhm

g0uhy
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:09 pm

Re: ULTRAM VCO

Postby g0uhy » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:48 pm

Hi,

the VCO runs on 6-9V and can be powered from the +8V supply on the DigiLite board. As it comes the VCO is preset to one frequency ( usually 1249MHz) If you look on the DigiLite website Alain's continuous tuning board or the preset frequencies mod is there ( Look in the Other tab).
Hope that is of help?

73

Malc

G0UHY


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