Friday, December 22, 2023

The ultimate portable setup with bluetooth

My prototype still has wires...

   If you follow this blog you know my greatest wish to build an ultimate portable station is to get rid of all the cables between the radio and computer when working digimode. This all should be wireless so you can leave your battery and radio in a bag and just place it anywhere. Connect an antenna, switch on your phone/tablet or laptop connect with the radio and get on the air. I've been experimenting with this a few years ago. The prototype is still working but can have some upgrades like a better bluetooth module and power supply directly from the radio. I have skills but am not that gifted in electronics. I wished someone would pick up my ideas and fabricate something decent. The recently I found this post:

   The design BG6LH made is roughly the bluetooth modem I am looking for. He made a working prototype which is far more sophisticated compared to my idea and it does get power from the radio. Unfortunately he doesn't sell a complete kit, only the idea. You can find it on BG6LH's github page:

   There are 2 things in this design that I would call setbacks. First this digimodem will always consume power from the radio even when it is off. So a switchable battery is recommended. Although I see in the lastest update that there is an automatic power off build in I'm not shure this solves this problem. I would install a manual miniswitch to switch off power that is obviously coming from the ACC jack. Second is the JDY-67 bluetooth module. It should have a firmware above 1.3 and you need to program it first. From the github page it is not really clear to me how this is done.

Please bare in mind that BG6LH does notice that this is a kind of prototype with work in progress. Personally I really think this is a very interesting device that hopefully will be in production somewhere in the future. You never know if this is appearing on Aliexpress or any other Chinese site soon...


MadDogMcQ said...

Best of luck achieving your goal - looks like you’re almost there. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

73, Tom, M7MCQ.

JamFlying said...

I just surf here by search my Callsign. ;D

I designed a soft switch on the PCB. When you shutdown the FT-817/818, The circuit will be shutdown. there'r may very little consume of current.

Good luck!


PE4BAS, Bas said...

@Tom, merry christmas better late then never hi. I was nearly there but think BG6LH is so much better. 73, Bas

@BG6LH Cao, tnx for your comment and explanation of the softswitch. Do you think your project will get into some small production for sale? I'm shure many people with this radio are very interested in this digimodem. I can build some things myself but this is way too complicated and too small. Besides that programming of the bluetooth module can be complicated. As you can read in my post I've been tinkering with this myself. I use a bluetooth earpiece. It took me a lot of effort to finally get it working and still is not a good solution since TX and RX are interfering with each other. Anyway, I hope your product wil be on the market some day. 73, Bas

JamFlying said...

Hi Bas,

I have no plan to push this project to commercial production. So, I open-source it under CC-BY-SA. Anyone is welcome to modify, remix, and make themselves. If you make one. just told me it works well!

The bluetooth is a blackbox for me. I just give a right power from FT-817's behind. My DIGI board works well with FT8CN only. It's an android FT8 app, and made a lot of optimization about bluetooth, JDY67. I really have nothing todo with Bluetooth.

As my Chinese ham friends saying, another Bluetooth modules, such as BT401, will show more compatibility than JDY67, it could work well with more OS, windows, mac, linux and smartphone. I really wanna try it when I have enough time.

GL 73, BG6LH