New revision V0.8 on it’s way

Hello Everyone

The mcHF project has been running for almost five years now. Thank you all for your continued support. We are constantly trying to make it more fun and implement the many ideas we have as well as take on board comments from users.

Currently we are working on a very exiting revision V 0.8 . Some of you may have seen new image uploaded on our Home page or twitter posts giving a small preview about it. Still to come are many days of active development but once work is complete we hope the wait will have been worth it – upgraded UI board, fully compatible with the Logic, RF board and case. New 5 inch capacitive touch LCD allowing for more user friendly interface.

We also are planning to start operating on pre-order basis, the details of which we are still discussing. This will allow us to be faster on implementing bug fixes as well as updates on hardware and a better chance against competition. We have not been very flexible in doing that due to various reasons. We have tried to cater for as many hams as we can. From the types preferring ‘solder all yourself kits’, to partially factory assembled ones. This has resulted in having to carry an excess stock of components, cases and Lcd’s.

In the start of operating the new way, we would like to offer few left over mcHF V 0.7 kits at a reduced price. Please refer for more details here

We hope we’ll have your support in this matter.

Kindest regards
Chris and Lucy

35 thoughts on “New revision V0.8 on it’s way

  1. Christian

    Hi,
    I’m in the market for a qrp transceiver for hiking and other portable operation.
    This looks like a really cool project!
    Your web page says the kits are sold out; do you have any estimate when the 0.8 version will be available?
    I’m able to solder (but definitely no smd), but don’t have tons of experience there. Do you think the kit requires more than basic skills to put together?

    And finally, I live in the US; do you deliver to the US too?

    Thanks for taking the time, best regards,
    Christian KM6HQS

    Reply
    1. m0nka Post author

      Hi Christian,

      The kit is definitely targeted to advanced users, as it is too complex, too many things can go wrong. Also the 0.8 version
      is more or less work in progress. We are trying to bring it to market ASAP, but is challenging. Maybe is best to go with
      previous revisions which are more or less very well tested (like 0.6).

      73!

      Reply
  2. Ben Weiss, WB5QAL

    Hi. Following this project very carefully. I’m legally blind but I can see some. That said, I’d love it if you’d let me have private access to source code so I could implement:

    1) Voice Announcement of controls, frequency, power, etc.
    2) Transverter frequency display (along with control of extra relays to switch several 10m transverters in and out of circuit; basically, add extra bands that all work on 10m with different displayed MHz values and a few output pins to choose one of 3 or 4 different transverters to turn on and switch the antenna to).
    3) Frequency spotting control to compensate for transverter drift (hold button down, turn knob to change frequency but displayed frequency DOESN’T CHANGE until I let go of the button). Offset is remembered for this transverter on this band.
    4) Modes which show some things very big while getting rid of others, so the partially sighted can see them.

    I don’t blame you for not wanting to implement these specialized things, but it would be a shame not to have them simply because of slimy cloners. I’m willing to sign NDA and keep the code to myself. (I’m just worried that I won’t be able to assemble the radio myself).

    Reply
    1. m0nka Post author

      Hi Ben,

      Thanks for your interest in the project! Sorry for not addressing your points individually. All this things you can
      do yourself when i release the full source codes. Right now is early Beta stage and is no point to release anything
      as it is only me who has the proto board.

      I have no problem to implement any of those, it is just 1-2 days (maybe more) per feature, with coding, soldering
      and testing. So the only limiting factor is time really.

      73!

      Reply
      1. Ben Weiss, WB5QAL

        You’re very kind, thank you. I see that you’ve already got basic support for a transverter. I hadn’t realized you eventually intend to release the source code. I look forward to that day! Thank you.

        Reply
        1. m0nka Post author

          Yes, off course. There is no reason to keep it secret. But the current STM32 libs are really buggy, i need to do a lot of
          work, make sure the code works on all chips from the series, remove HAL libs. Also no point to have the source code if
          no one can compile it (the current GitHub code), so need to make sure it is 1 min compile with most popular tools (SW4STM, CooCox),
          not 25 step guide and a week hair pulling.

          73

          Reply
  3. John

    This is great stuff. I’m going to order the V0.7.
    I do see that there are some mods posted in replies for the V0.7, is there a comprehensive list somewhere?

    73

    Reply
    1. m0nka Post author

      Hi John,

      There are only two mods for 0.7 – potato mod for the Johnson counter on the Logic board (documented as blog post), and few extra caps to solder on the headers on Logic in case of RF breakthrough into the keypad lines.

      73

      Reply
  4. Kevin

    Has any thought been given to virtualizing the entire front panel? Maybe use a Pi 7″ touch screen and get rid of all buttons and knobs?

    Reply
      1. Kevin

        Ah. Didn’t know it would have to be in Linux to work.
        Well, if you ever find a 7″ or so touch screen, a full interface (no buttons or knobs) would be pretty slick! Now, if only I knew how to code….

        Reply
  5. Kevin

    Where do you ship from and what shipping company do you use? I’m in the USA, how long does it usually take for shipping?
    I’m anxious to check this out. I can’t wait for the .8, so I am going to order the 7!

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. m0nka Post author

      Hi Kevin,

      We are in the UK and use Royal Mail International service. It is slow as a snail, but reliable and cheap.

      73

      Reply
  6. KC Koellein

    What would be your expected pricing for the Full kit with Case/encoders./etc of the v.08?

    I think this thing IS Gorgeous!!

    thx,
    kc
    73 de K9SPY

    Reply
  7. Álvaro Felipe Hernández

    I’m still fascinated with V06. I just ordered a new couple of PCBs from that version.
    I would like the V08 to recover the format of the V06 but with a touch screen of greater size and resolution, a double balanced modulator, relay instead pin diode … and a more powerful CPU.
    But I have to add one thing: even if we are facing an open source project, if it does not have a minimum of profitability, sooner or later it will fall victim to the Chinese cloners or the prophets of reverse engineering. I would not mind paying a fee to qualify for firmware updates, I think that’s the only thing that can keep your project long term.

    Reply
    1. m0nka Post author

      Hello Alvaro,

      Thanks for your interest in the project! Just quick few notes:

      – Yes, 0.6 form factor was great idea, but very expensive to implement properly, just check the X5105 how it suppose to be done
      – The 0.8 has 5 inch capacitive screen, with 800×480 (which is bit on the low side for this size), how do you fit this
      into 0.6 form factor ? You might as well stick to ink display in single color. I don’t even want to comment on resistive touch on
      2.8 inch LCD
      – From all mods we had, the relay mod was the most ridiculous one, that is why i have never implemented it
      – Double balanced mixer, many people wanted it, nobody posted any test data for actual IRL improvements in performance
      – Yes, maybe H7, when they work out all bugs, 400 Mhz is nice. Moving from 168 to 216 is almost waste of time
      – Open source is perfect in theory, in practice it is abused to no end. At least the Chinese are only for profit, don’t rename
      your project and make their own for street cred

      73!

      Reply
      1. Álvaro Felipe Hernández

        The form factor of V06 has an added value for me: it is the possibility of installing the ui card in the front and the rf card in a horizontal position, next to the base of de box, with a connector at right angle. In the space left over from the box I put the AC power and a linear amplifier of 100 Watts with forced ventilation and a 4-band low pass filter, bought on Ebay. I already know that this is not the idea of ​​”QRP”.
        As for the use of pin diode, in Walkie Talkies are mandatory, also in mobile phones. Your idea of ​​driving the two pin diodes from two TTL signals (via 74HCT02) was simply great. I discovered it really when diode D3 of my unit broke down and I could not get another one quickly. I suspect that there may be a problem with the limitation to 10 mA of maximum current in conduction of the pin diodes (R53 + R54 in series during transmission). The minimum internal resistance is obtained with 30 mA in the pin diode used. In my case, I repeat, I had to do the modification because I could not get a replacement for the D3 pin diode, and I ran out of reception. I have seen that D3 is soldered on a piece of fairly wide copper track, I suppose it is to dissipate the heat.
        I remain fascinated with the simplicity of the design of the V06 version. Possibly build a third V06 transceiver.

        Reply
        1. m0nka Post author

          Hi Alvaro,

          PIN diodes are not only for walkie talkies and mobiles. For example they are great for CW, it is still the most popular
          mode on HF. If you need fast switching, PIN diodes are great. Relay is ok for SSB and slow digi modes, where 10-20mS switching times are alright. It is true, my PIN diodes implementation is not great, but i did the best for my limited abilities.

          My main problem with the proposed relay mod – it is connected to the PA, instead of the BNC. The reasons i connect PIN diodes between the PA and the LPF is so they have constant impedance input load. A relay don’t need that, also receiver don’t need LPF in front. It is just bad mod. I am redesigning the RF board now, so i am seriously thinking as adding an relay option, but it will be probably at the antenna. There is a cheap version of our current relay(non latch option) at AliExpress, it goes for 50 cents i think, it is perfect.

          Anyway, i am sorry for your problem!

          73!

          Reply
          1. Álvaro Felipe Hernández

            The modification I made was not only to replace the functionality of diode D3. In the reception mode, it also disconnects the antenna from TX_PA_OUT.

            http://ea8arx.blogspot.com/2018/06/tx-rx-antenna-switching-pin-diodes-vs.html

            Anyway, I did not have an opportunity to check if this improved the reception. Actually I took advantage that the signal relay was double, the same as the ones you use for the switching the low-pass filters. After all, I thought, it supports the same power.
            The design of V.06 was almost perfect. I hope that the Chinese piracy -and the German one- does not dare with the V.08.

            EA8ARX

  8. Dave Jacobowitz

    Is the 0.8 going to have RF improvements, or is entirely UI board?

    I was about to pull the trigger on a 0.7 kit. Would be interesting to know if I might be able to upgrade “most” of it to 0.8 in the future

    Reply
    1. m0nka Post author

      Hi Dave,

      As it is stands now, it is just new UI board, so upgrade to 0.7. Then it makes sense to upgrade the Logic and RF boards as then new concept offers almost unlimited possiblities, that are somehow limited by the current hardware. Off course this takes time, testing and money, so it is not simple one month switch.

      73

      Reply
      1. David Jacobowitz

        Understood. So maybe I will take the plunge on the reduced-price 0.7 full kits you still have. Perhaps you will offer some kind of upgrade path. I’d be interested in that, particularly if fw upgrades for older hardware will slow down stop as you transition to coding for new incompatible hardware.

        You’ve got an amazing project going on here. I’m blown away by the sophistication of what you’ve created.

        Best,
        Dave J
        WE6EE

        Reply
        1. m0nka Post author

          Hi Dave,

          I am working on 0.8 right now, and we put a huge effort to keep the UI board fully compatible with existing
          0.7 Logic and RF board. For example i have added few male headers that plug into the LCD connector on the
          Logic board and i use the SPI port that is normally used for the LCD touch screen as processor to processor
          intercommunication. Would have been much easier to just redesign all three boards the same time, but many
          hams have supported us by purchasing the 0.7, so it only makes sense to give them a chance for easy upgrade
          path.

          73!

          Reply
  9. Ted Strassburg

    Any sort of time frame you expect v.8 kits to be ready ? I’ve been watching mcHF for a while now and the v.8 sounds like that will be a good purchase to make.

    Thank you for your time.

    KE8DZW

    Reply
    1. m0nka Post author

      Not sure, my best estimate is 2-3 months. I can bring the HW and SW upto date relatively quickly, but
      some stuff, like boards, assembly, labels, etc, that have to be done by some factory far away take a
      long time.

      73

      Reply
  10. Joe

    Impressive! Exciting!

    I am still enjoying the process of assembling the 0.7…

    Looking forward to the opportunity to use my improving skills on the 0.8.

    I will enjoy reading here and on the group of your progress.

    Great work on the project. Many, many thanks!

    Reply

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