Kenwood DG5 Emulator

UPDATE 4/8/17 – I have split this project into 3 pages each one dedicated to the 3 display variations, the LCD version, the LED version, and the NIXIE version.  The LCD project page doesn’t contain too much as most of it is below – it’s the original version I built. The LED version came next because the original DG5 had LED’s, and it looks a little more period correct, and the Nixie version because Nixies are waaay cool and really look the part!

Original post: 10/17/2014:

A few months ago I bought a Kenwood TS-520S, and was just having a blast making contacts with it.  The one thing I really missed from my more modern rigs was the computer interface. My logging software would read the frequency and mode from my other rigs which made logging easy, and relatively error free.  I noticed that as I used the TS-520S I would often forget to record the frequency (or record it wrong) as I had to manually enter this info in.  Not a big deal, but I guess I am lazy and spoiled, so I thought I’d look to see if I could emulate a DG5 with the Arduino platform and add a computer interface.

The Kenwood DG5 Emulator described here is an Arduino based “digital dial” display for the Kenwood TS-520S and possibly the TS-820 – I don’t have one to test with.   The Kenwood DG5 was an accessory sold by Kenwood that added a digital LED display to the TS-520S.  Every once and a while these are available for sale on places like eBay, but they often sell for more than I paid for the radio.  Plus, they have a history of issues, and they don’t interface to a computer.

While poking around on the web for a solution, I found a series of posts Todd Harrison had done over at ToddFun.com – definitely check it out if you’ve read this far.  He had figured out how to build a DG5 emulator using 3 PLL chips to buffer and condition the 3 signals the TS-520 outputs to the DG5. I built one up and wrote some code, and presto – I had a TS-520S with a USB port!  I had a PCB made, improved the code, fixed errors that came up, and another PCB made and here we are.

It’s built as a “shield” for the Arduino Duemilanove, an ATmega328 based board.  It will not work with the newer, Leonardo based Arduino as it uses a different chip (ATmegaXU4) which is not compatible.  While the UNO should work as it’s based on the same chip (but has a few extra pins and features) I have not tested with the UNO.  11/4/14 – Note that the UNO uses a ceramic resonator for it’s clock oscillator – fine if you want to blink some LED’s, but not suitable for a frequency counter where accuracy and stability are very important. I recommend a Arduino Duemilanove (which uses a crystal oscillator) – they can still be purchased at Amazon for around $20, or around $10 on eBay from China.

Here are the posts of the projects progress:

A Kenwood DG-5 emulated on Arduino

DG5 Update – now with LCD display!

Arduino based Kenwood DG5 emulator for my TS-520S

DG5 emulator Version 1 PCB’s have arrived

DG5 emulator version 1.4 ready to go!

DG5 Emulator Version 1.5 PCB’s have arrived!

I also have a post about a DDS VFO that I have been working on, at some point I think I’ll be able to integrate the two with one Arduino (I have rough code running), but for now I am focusing on the DG5 project.

I have decided to make the entire thing open source as I have benefited greatly from others who have done the same. Additionally, as folks build and use this shield there will be improvements made by the users – this is just a starting point.  I do have PCB’s available for purchase, if you’re interested, see below near the end – there is a Buy Now button to order a PCB.

Now on to the good stuff…

Download (PDF, 37KB)

This is version 1.5 of the schematic.  You can download it separately here, or download it as part of the project file, including the Eagle files and Arduino code at the bottom of the page.

As for parts, I used what I had, and ordered up some from Mouser and SparkFun.  SparkFun supplied some of the Eagle footprints for parts like the RCA connectors – it’s only fair to buy them from them!

Here are the parts needed to complete the project (besides the PCB, and Arduino, a soldering iron, solder, a TS-520S, etc.)  Adjust as needed – your parts bin might have much of this stuff:

http://www.mouser.com/ProjectManager/ProjectDetail.aspx?AccessID=03394fdd5d  – Mouser parts, includes most of the components.
http://sfe.io/w97558 – SparkFun parts, includes RCA jacks, LCD display, 4″ jumpers for the display, etc.

The LCD is the most expensive part in the build (besides an Arduino), if  you have one already the parts are about $20.  Less if you have a well stocked parts bin.  Arduino’s can be had for less than $10 on eBay, and the LCD display (a 16×2, HD44780 based display – very common) can be had for a few bucks if you look around and can wait on shipping.

Build instructions:

The next time I build one I’ll better document the build instructions, but it’s pretty straight forward.

Blocks

Looking down on the top of the board, first solder in the capacitors, resistors, and diodes – the smallest components.  The diodes (4148’s) in the input conditioning section are there for protection of the PLL’s from high input voltages, and go in “back to back” – look at the silkscreen for the correct orientation. There are 3 resistors in the input conditioning section on the left, 2, 1k ohm resistors (R1 and R2) and 1, 100 ohm (R3).

BlankPCB

If you click on the picture of the blank PCB above, you should get a reasonably high resolution pic.  You can see where R1, R2, and R3 are on the left hand side of the board.

The caps are best soldered in using the 0.1uF bypass caps (C1-C5) first, then the 0.01uF signal caps (C6-C11), just to keep the different values straight.  C12 and C13 (both 0.1uF) are optional – only needed if you’re planning on using the 7805 voltage regulator (more on that below).

R4 is for the power on LED, I used a 1k resistor as I didn’t need it bright, just to tell me that it was on.

R8 is for the LCD backlight. On my LCD, I just put in a jumper – it could take 5V.  If you’re going to use the one from SparkFun, it uses 4.2V, so a 6.8 ohm, 1/4 watt resistor is advised, like this one (already part of the Mouser order above).

Once you have the resistors, diodes and caps soldered, next step is the 4, 16-pin DIP sockets (IC’s 1,2,3,5), and the one, 14-pin socket (IC4).  Next is the LED (LED1), the LCD contrast trimmer (R7).

Now put in the progressively taller parts, like the LCD1 and LCD2 headers – both are 6-pin’s. If you got the 40-pin break away header from SparkFun, you’ll have to use cutters to cut it into 4, 6- pin sections – 2 go in the PCB, and the other 2 go on the LCD in positions 1-6, and 11-16. (be sure you solder the connectors on the BACK of the LCD so the jumper cables connect to the BACK of the LCD, and not the front.  It will work either way, but you’ll have difficulty mounting it in a box if the wire come out the front!) The 4″ jumper cables will connect these two – follow the pin labeling on the PCB to make sure that connections 1-6 go to pins 1-6 on the LCD, same for pins 11-16.

Lastly, solder in the shield headers, and the RCA connectors.

At this point I connected the 5V and GND pins to my bench power supply to make sure there was little current draw –  the LED should be the only thing on.  Insert the IC’s and do the same thing – the current draw should be around 20mA for the chips and the LED (assuming you used a 1k dropping resistor).  We’re just checking that we don’t have a short at this stage, if your bench power supply trips in an over current or limited condition, check your soldering – there’s a short somewhere.

A note on the 7805 and it’s associated components.  You can put these in if you wish, I added them as my prototype drew about 200mA.  I believe this is because in the prototype I was using a black on green display (like the one from SparkFun) that draws about 120mA.  The LCD I am using in this build is a white on black display, and the backlight seems to draw only 20mA or so, for a total power budget of about 65ma.

The 7805 is a linear regulator, so all the power dissapated is rejected as heat.  In this case, the input voltage is about 14V (the output from the back of my TS-520S), so almost 2/3’s of the power used will be converted to heat by the regulator (since it is dropping from 14V to 5V).  9V at 200mA is 1.8W of heat being dissipated by the regulator – too much for the SMD regulator on the Arduino.  I added this 7805 so an external heat sink could be used if necessary.

If you use a lower power LCD backlight, you might be able to get away with using the regulator on the Arduino.  Or, if you leave it plugged into your computers USB port, it can be powered that way.

Parts Placement – click on the pic below for a higher resolution pic:

DG5PartsPlacement3

 

Note – R8 (the LCD backlight resistor) in my version has a jumper because a dropping resistor is included on my LCD display.  The LCD in the BoM is from SparkFun, and that LCD requires a 6.8 Ohm dropping resistor (also included in the BoM).

 Final notes.

At this point the shield should be ready.  I trimmed the RCA tabs on the underside to help with clearance issues between the USB port on the Arduino and the RCA connectors.  I also added a piece of black electrical tape to the top of the USB port to prevent shorting.  The same is true for the ICSP port on the other side of the board – put a piec of electrical tape or similar on the underside of the shield to prevent the pins from shorting.  This is a comon issue with Arduino shields, and the busier the board, the more this is an issue – and this board is packed!

Connect the board to the LCD display (pay attention to the pin numbers!), connect the shield to the radio using a set of audio/video cables, load up the Arduino with the code and you’re in business!

I’d love to hear from folks who have built this – with or without my PCB – please leave a post!

Steve

4/8/17 – Eagle, INO and BoM files have been moved to Github.  LCD, LED and Nixie code is available.

See the main page for updates to this project I have posted over time: http://www.kv6o.com/wordpress/

Click the “Buy Now” button below to order a DG5 Emulator:




STOCK UPDATE – 4/17/16 – new boards are in stock, same price. Shipping might have to be adjusted, the last few I shipped cost more than I was charging due to some USPS shipping changes early in the year, we’ll see as these orders come in as I know the First Class postage actually dropped recently.

Boards are $8 each, plus $2.50 shipping (no matter how many you buy). 1 board is $10.50 shipped, 2 would be $18.50.  US and most international addresses, the shipping price doesn’t change that much to bother with different prices.

Thanks!
Steve, KV6O

122 thoughts on “Kenwood DG5 Emulator

  1. Rick

    Wow, that looks like fun. Jack Purdum W8TEE who has a new book coming out in November (Arduino Projects for Amateur Radio) is a member of our local club and did a nice presentation at our last meeting about building an arduino SWR meter/dummy load.
    I’d be interested in buying a couple of your boards to try this with my 520 (and maybe my 820)
    Let me know how to buy them, please.
    73 de Rick WQ8Q

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Rick – I just added a “Buy Now” paypal button, it will let you change the quantity when you get to the paypal page. The price should be $22.50 shipped for 2 – let me know if you have a problem!

      Thanks,
      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
  2. MARK BRYAN

    hi steve ,
    would like a board but live in England (uk) could you send information to purchase your item including postage .
    thanks mark M1TVR uk

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Mark – Shipping charges to the UK are reasonable, I can do it for the price listed – go ahead and use the “Buy Now” button!

      Reply
  3. Pingback: ToddFun.com » Blog Archive » Arduino Frequency Display For Kenwood TS-520S HF Ham Radio PART 5

  4. Pingback: Arduino Frequency Display For Kenwood TS-520S HF Ham Radio PART 5 | AmateurRadio.com

  5. Pingback: ToddFun.com build video | KV6O

  6. Julio

    Do you have the parts in order to build the project ?
    In my location is difficult to find electronics parts.
    I have a TS520 and I would like to have your solution.
    Thanks,

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Unfortunately, I am not stocking the parts, but I do provide the links to the 2 places to order – Sparkfun and Mouser. The links are in the post above.

      Reply
  7. Slim

    Nice work. Have followed Todd since he started the project.
    I was waiting to buy a couple of boards as I was in the middle of recapping my DG-5.
    Looks like I waited to long. can we pre order for the next batch?
    Thanks for finishing this great project.
    73
    Slim
    W9SLM

    Reply
  8. WA2WAP

    got your board ,all populated but cant find the coDe for uno v3 anymore–thought it was posted at 1 time but! if u could supply me with link id appreciate it
    only one i find is without the display.
    any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Dave
    WA2WAP

    Reply
  9. Pingback: New boards should be here any day, build pics from Mike, KD2DYY | KV6O

  10. Robert

    Built one of these yesterday! couple of hours at the bench, downloaded the programming and it worked the first time around!! (the surprise comes in that i have never even attempted building a PCB kit before). Instructions are easy to follow.

    I used a arduino uno. waiting on the older one noted in the instructions.

    Working now on a box.

    Thanks Steve!

    Robert/KD0YMC

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      That’s great news – glad to hear it! Send me some pictures when you get it built and I’ll post them – my call sign @ my callsign dot com.

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
  11. Chris

    Do you have any plans on making a standalone board? It looks like all you’d need to populate from the Arduino is an oscillator and maybe an FTDI USB bridge. And the ATmega, of course 😉

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      I have thought about it – I did something similar for a Repeater Controller project – but that would add some SMD soldering as the FTDI chips are surface mount. I could just go with TTL logic out and then you would use USB FTDI board to talk to it… I just started a new job and my time is kinda tied up in that now, so I don’t know that I’d get to it unless there was some REAL demand – or, you can do it too! All the Eagle files are there for the taking!

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
  12. Pingback: New boards in stock! | KV6O

  13. Bob

    Got my board Saturday morn. Took about 2 hours to assemble. I bought a LCD with blue backlight (5V) for mine. Hooked er up, loaded code, works fine, lasts a long time! Awesome! I’m happy! Just have to mount in a case. Then I’ll be done.

    Reply
  14. Richard N4RCC

    I have purchased a couple of boards and accompanying components to build the DG5, but I have a question. I realize this project was developed around use on the Kenwood TS-520, but I would like to build this for use on a Heathkit HW-29A “Sixer”. I do not have any electrical knowledge, but trying to learn. The Sixer, I am sure, is a simplier circut than the KW TS-520 and was hoping you could provide some guidance as to how to get the required signals for the arduino? I can provide the build schematics for the HW-29A.
    Thanks,
    N4RCC

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      This was not designed for a Sixer – I have no idea how one functions or if this project could be adapted. I have spent probably in excess of 100 hours on this implementation, and cannot redesign the circuit and rewrite code for a Sixer. If you want to tackle that, that’s fine! If you would like me to refund your money please shoot me an e-mail and I will do so gladly – I don’t think this is what you want.

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
      1. Mark Bryan (M1TVR)

        Hi Steve,
        thank you for sending the PCB board back in November which came very quick.
        over the weekend got a few hours in the shack and built it up and it works great first time too no problems thank you for all your help in turning my old kenwood TS-520se into active use again.

        look forward to your dds vfo project.
        all the best for 2015

        Reply
  15. Julio

    Hi Steve,
    I want to buy 2 PCB units, but the botton “Buy Now” above only permit one, how can I proceed ??
    Thanks a lot,
    Julio

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      I fixed the button – you should be able to order multiple boards with a fixed shipping cost ($2.50).

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
  16. Pingback: DG5 Emulator boards still available as of 2/8/15 | KV6O

  17. Ted

    Great project I’d like to add on to my TS-520S. Do still have boards for sale on DG-5 arduino? Ordering how to? I recall reading somewhere in your post about the board no longer being available… couldn’t find that part again. Well, Anyways Thanks for that outstanding project.

    Ted

    Reply
  18. David Head

    Well I have mine built on a breadboard and it is working great. I did make some changes to the LCD print, I dropped the FREQ: and jus have the actual numbers print and also have USB, LSB and CW print. Guess I will put it on a PCB manhattan style and then a case…

    Dave
    W4WLC

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Wow, that’s great! I have been so busy lately, I am glad to hear you got it working on a breadboard – that’s where I stated with the project as well! There appears to be lingering interest – I’ll have to see about another batch of boards I guess!

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
      1. David Head

        Downloaded the Eagle program and figured out to to print the PCB mask. Waiting on some supplies to come in and I will try to make my own board. Never done it before so that should be interesting…

        Dave
        W4WLC

        Reply
          1. Dave

            Steve,
            Steve,
            I discovered a PCB maker named OSH Park (oshpark.com). All I had to do was upload the Eagle brd file and they do the the rest. For 2 sided boards it is $5 a sq inch and you get 3 boards. My cost was $29.10 for 3 boards. I should get them in about 2 weeks and will let you know if they work or not…

            73,
            Dave
            W4WLC

  19. Joe KD9EFF

    Howdy. When will you have more boards in? If like to order a few to make for myself and a fellow club member. Thanks for your work in this project!

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      I don’t have any plans as of now, but there does seem to be a bit of interest – I’ll look into making more and hopefully update the site!

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
    2. Dave

      Hey Joe go to oshpark.com, click on “shared projects” and search for “TS520DigRead”. Boards are sold in a batch of 3 and will cost a bit under $30. It will take about 2 weeks to get the 3 boards.

      73
      Dave
      W4WLC

      Reply
  20. Pingback: New run of DG5 Emulator PCB’s has arrived! | KV6O

      1. Neil

        Hi Chris

        A quick run through of a PCB build was a lot more expensive than this. I’ll see what is costs for one to be shipped. Thanks anyway Chris.

        Reply
  21. Errol Walker

    Hi Steve,

    I would like a DG5 board posted to Australia. Could you give me the cost of the board plus postage.

    Cheers,

    Errol Walker

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      I have shipped to the UK before and I don’t think it was much more at all – just easier to absorb the cost 🙂 I am at work and will have to take a look when I get home.

      I don’t have a problem with international shipping, the issue is PayPal didn’t handle it well when I last checked. I’ll have another look, but in most cases I was able to ship for the same price.

      Steve

      Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Only if the BFO/VFO/HET signals were brought out – it was an optional kit (IIRC) for the TS-520. The TS-520S included this as standard. So, if your TS-520 doesn’t have the signals brought out, you would need to either find an original kit to add it on, or do it yourself – you might be able to find info on how to do that.

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
  22. Jack K3OZB

    It has the DG-5 already, I justcwant to interface to a computer, so in thinking that, at least in this case, my answer is yes.

    Reply
  23. Jack

    OK,, when I last read this, you mention, someplace, about what software you were using to read and log the frequency. Can you tell me what software that is, as now I can not find the reference. Thanks

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      The program is included with the “DG5 Build Files” zip, just above the Buy Now button on the project page at http://www.kv6o.com/wordpress/projects/kenwood-dg5-emulator/

      The project is an Arduino shield – so you’ll need the Arduino IDE and some understanding of the Arduino environment to make this all work.

      If you’re talking about the USB connection to a computer, I have tested it with DXLab – nothing else. It’s emulates a small set of the Kenwood command set, like “FA;” which is the Kenwood command to read VFO A.

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
  24. Roly

    Steve,

    I received my board last week. I look forward to building the frequency counter for my TS 520S.

    Thanks for a well made PCB.

    Roly

    Reply
  25. SA4LGZ

    Hi!
    I have received and built up the board with all the components. Quite nice board indeed!
    Although I’m having a bit of an issue. I don’t think it is actually anything wrong with the board or anything, but I’m having problems getting the correct frequency readouts. The display frequency seems to be off by about 3-12 kHz. I have compared it against another radio (FT-817nd with add-on TCXO) and that confirms that the frequency is quite off.
    I have also used a frequency counter that seems to be quite accurate (TTi TG550) and measured the frequencies. When I measure the VFO-frequency on the frequency counter I get (for example) 5.50005 MHz and the same frequency on the Arduino (Uno R3) is about 5495627 (the last digit is shifting a bit). When the frequency measurements are combined the errors are also added together. I have played around with both my own timing code and also the timing library from this page: http://interface.khm.de/index.php/lab/interfaces-advanced/arduino-frequency-counter-library/

    I have similar not-quite-accurate numbers from all of the different (very similar) counter implementations.

    So… the question… if anyone might have an idea… Could it be something wrong with my particular Arduino? Is there some other interrupts running that is interfering with the counting? Is this the most accurate measurement that the processor is capable of (witch would be strange because other people seems to get it to work)? Any other ideas?

    I have checked the signal output from the PLLs and the muxer with an oscilloscope and it looks as I would expect them to look.

    I might be able to hard-code the BFO and HFO frequencies to whatever the frequency counter measures and try to add some fixed compensation for the VFO but that doesn’t really feel that good t.b.h.

    Any ideas?

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Wow – 3-12K is a LOT. Couple of things to check. There is a a debug switch right need the top of the program, by default it’s set “false”. Set it to “true”, recompile and send it to the Arduino. You’ll need to open up the serial port/monitor to see the debug data – it’ll print the BFO/HFO/HET and the calculated frequency (if i remember correctly). If you can check the DG-5 measured frequencies against your frequency counter, hopefully it’ll give us an idea where the error is coming from.

      What Arduino board are you using? If you know, does it use a crystal, or a resonator?

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
      1. SA4LGZ

        Hi!
        Yes, I tried the debug print function and compared the numbers. They are all a little bit out.
        I just recently tried another counting library that just outputs the count on the serial port and it also shows similar results (I disconnected the DG5-emulator board and just ran a frequency source in pin 5). The count seems to be off by about 0.08% and that translates to about a few kilohertz or so in the frequency range in question.
        I have a traditional Arduino Uno R3. The oscillator says T16.000 and the chip says ATMEL 1433 ATMEGA328P-PU

        Reply
        1. admin Post author

          Can you measure the oscillator on the Arduino? I wonder if it’s way off. Not sure what could account for the difference. If you’re able to measure the error (which it looks like you are), I guess you could add a correction factor to the code!

          Steve
          KV6O

          Reply
          1. SA4LGZ

            Hello, a bit late reply, but now I have measured the frequencies again.
            Since last time I have purchased another Arduino Uno board because I thought the first one I got was faulty.
            The new board unfortunately also are quite off in frequency, but this time it is off in the other direction.

            The crystal frequency on the old board: 15.9994 MHz
            The crystal frequency on the new board: 15.9993 MHz
            A measured frequency on the frequency counter (should be an accurate measurement): 5.18903 MHz
            The same frequency measured on the old board: 5.184720 MHz
            The same frequency measured on the new board: 5.195448 MHz
            The old board shows a too low frequency and the new one shows a too high frequency compared to the reference.

            I also tried this on the Arduino board available at my local HAM club, and that one (Also an Arduino Uno) showed the frequency spot on.
            I have also tried to run it on an Arduino Mega 2560, but that didn’t work at all. I got information on the display, but the frequency was zero.

            The two Arduino boards I bought was from two different suppliers, so I shouldn’t have gotten a bad batch I think…

            Any suggestions? Should I continue to buy Arduino board until I find one that works? 🙂

  26. angelo I1jck

    Hi ,

    happy to have found your site ! I own an old TS820 with a not correctly working display ..
    It miss a digit on all HAM frequency :o(
    I wonder if I could by from you ALL the necessary stuff to build the shield.
    I own many Arduino 2009…. but I have problems to buy the rest of the components …
    Could you help? I live in Italy ! It coulb be ok just the PC board anyway …

    Thanks in advance !

    ciao

    angelo i1jck

    Reply
      1. Chris

        Steve,

        I was going to use your design to build a DG-1 replica for an 820 that my club ended up selling for more than I wanted to pay. If you’re interested, I’ve traced through the 820’s schematic and have most of the outputs that would be needed for an Arduino/atmega based solution, but need help with a couple of inputs:

        There are 8 inputs from the 820 to the frequency counter board that the DG1 uses:

        CVC – VCO frequency after a 470 ohm resistor
        B1-B4 – Bandswitch position
        COF – Carrier offset (IF Shift)
        CCR – This is the one I can’t figure out. It’s either the suppressed carrier freq, or the BFO freq.
        DHS – Display Hold Switch

        IIRC, B1-B4 form a truth table of which band the rig is set to. It’s all done in glue logic which makes my eyes water by the time I hit the third AND gate.

        Let me know if this is anything you’d be interested in coding, as I still have access to the 820 for testing.

        Reply
      1. angelo i1jck

        I mean wrong frequency showed. Bit 3 is missing .. It is ok till you reach ie:21,399 is ok.. 21,400 ishowed 21.000 … :o)

        Reply
        1. Chris

          Sounds like a classic case of bad solder joints. Check K4EAA’s website on Kenwood repairs. Reflux and add a dab of solder to every joint on the ICs. Pay special attention to ICs 12 through 16 on board X54-1160-00.

          Reply
  27. angelo i1jck

    I have resoldered all the ICs .. and changed some of the more relevant .. When I change frequency, moving on 28,000 mhz , the issue moves from bit 3 to bit 4 .. :o)

    Reply
  28. angelo i1jck

    I don not know at the moment how to cope with the issue. I have bought for too much this old radio and now I think I must solve the display issue. I guess CIN is the place whre you have Out frequency + 1 mhz .. Isn’t that ?

    Reply
  29. angelo I1jck

    Hi,

    I do not know if this help :

    http://www.aade.com/dfd2.htm

    but I have found this OM site (now silent key) that was selling a similar counter for TS520 based on a PIC.
    Check into his web site and will find also a solution for TS820.
    I guess it is possible using his suggestions and using the Arduino architecture, to cope with our issue.

    Regards

    angelo i1jck

    Reply
  30. angelo I1jck

    Hi all,

    I have been investigation on DG1 , the frequency counter used on TS820.
    I think that a simple frequency counter with just an offset preset, should cope with that radio.
    If you watch the schematic of TS820 (see : X54-1150-00) on emitter of Q8 you will get signal CIN.
    Simply use that pin signal offset – 1mhz and the frequency showed will be ok.
    Let me know if anybody confirm this.

    73 de i1jck angelo

    Reply
  31. KD8CN

    I designed a board using a PIC16F887 ($2.20) and a similar pre-amp buffer to yours back in 2002. My board outputs either LCD, 7 segment CA or 7 segment CC. It is designed to slip also into the case of a dead DG-5, connect to the displays and function just like the DG-5. The design is simple and uses common parts. Update time is very fast and it is very stable.
    I also designed a DK-5 board to convert a 520 to a 520S.
    I would like to team with another ham to make these boards and kits available as I have little time or funds to do so. If interested, e-mail me.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      David – I’ll put you on the list, I a awaiting enough demand before making another run. Hopefully I’ll have an update here soon!

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
  32. Joe Colson

    HI Steve,
    Please let me know when the boards are available. Bought my 520S new in the late 70’s. Have had newer more sophisticated rigs, but still love the old 520S and use it daily for net check-ins. Your project sounds perfect and am anxious to build it. Had the original DG-5 but was plagued with problems and pitched after a couple of years!

    Great job! Anxious to hear from you.

    Joe W4LBY

    Reply
  33. Tom Boergert

    I am interested in one of your PCBs. This would be a great addition to my 520S. Please let me know when they are in stock. I have been looking for a “kit” to build.

    Thanks,
    Tom
    KK4WPR

    Reply
  34. RUSSELL FLAGG ZS2AHF

    Hi Steve,

    I am sure i`m repeating myself—–anxious not to miss the boat——-ordering two boards, one for LCD & one for LED. You mentioned you had one completed emulator surplus to your requirements, if so, please let know the cost.

    Regards, Russell ZS2AHF.

    Reply
    1. RUSSELL FLAGG ZS2AHF

      Hi Steve,
      Can I replace the resonator on the ARDUINO UNO R3 (ATMEGA328) with a high spec 16 mhz crystal? Is it a straight forward swop? As you have guessed this is not my area of expertise, so need all your help.

      Regards, Russell ZS2AHF

      Reply
      1. admin Post author

        It might be possible, but you need the supporting caps as well (18 or 22pF IIRC), so that might be difficult to do on the board. You can buy the correct board for under $10 or so on eBay.

        Steve
        KV6O

        Reply
  35. Charles Taylor

    Thank you for open sourcing this wonderful project! I have had fun building it. I made a few mistakes and learned some things along the way but all is good now. I have it all soldered up and the display is active and powered up from your shield with the 7805 regulator.
    Now on to the programming the Arduino tomorrow and testing it out. I have the compiler program installed on the computer and ready to go. I just dont know which file in the download to use as the program yet. This has been a really neat little project. I want to build an LED version next. Hope you have some more boards I can buy! 73 de KG5GCC

    Reply
      1. Charles

        THAT was what it was! All is great now with V1.6.2 showing on the display. I am simply amazed at how well it works too!! So far I notice my display is about 200Hz off on 40M and 20M but other bands its dead on. I am one happy ham! Thanks Steve de KG5GCC

        Reply
  36. Joe Colson

    Hi Steve,

    Disregard my email of 4/29. Found the problem and easily resolved it. DG-5 Emulator works very good. Great project. I could only work on the project for short periods as I have eyesight problems, but took a surprisingly short time to get the project up and running. Very rewarding. Thanks again.

    Joe W4LBY

    Reply
  37. Tom Boergert

    Hi Steve,
    I finished the build last night and programmed it this morning. My first time with an Arduino, so it took me a few tries to upload the program. I hooked it to my TS-520S this morning and it works fine and appears to be within about 500Hz. All I need is a box for it. Only one issue: The mode character at the end of the frequency line displays “C” regardless of what frequency or band I am tuned to. Any idea why that might be?

    Tom
    KK4WPR

    Reply
  38. admin Post author

    Tom –

    Glad to hear you got it working! I am going to make a post on this particular issue as there are several factors involved on how this gets calculated, but the fix should be pretty easy. Basically, the program looks at the BFO frequency and makes a determination of what mode you’re in – USB/LSB/CW. The determination is based on the listed frequencies in the TS-520 Service Manual on page 6, but the ability to accurately make the determination is affected by the actual BFO frequency (could be off from what the Service Manual expects), the crystal on the Arduino isn’t all that accurate, so the measurement could be off.

    Let me work on the post explaining the code, and the factors involved – should be up today.

    Steve
    KV6O

    Reply
  39. Tom Boergert

    Hi Steve,
    I read your recent update and followed your steps to retrieve my TS-520S BFO frequency and then updated the sketch. The U/L/C indication works as it should now. It’s still off by about 500Hz so I will be looking at my crystal oscillator next. I’m having fun with this and look forward to working 80 meter and not having to do math off the dial for the frequency!

    Tom
    KK4WPR

    Reply
  40. Max

    Thank you for the info as well as the parts list. I just ordered every thing. Looking forward to building it .

    73
    Kc9plk
    Wqse339

    Reply
  41. Keith

    I recently purchased your board and made the shield from the Mouser and Spark fun lists. I have to say I had a blast assembling the shield, loading up the software and hooking it up to the radio and seeing it work. The only thing I had to do was edit the software for the bfo frequency as the output from my radio must be a bit lower and the lcd display was switching from “C” to “U” continuously. After the change it works fine now. I would like to add this project to a personal web page I’m building right now with links back to your page with your permission along with credit to those that made this possible.
    P.S. I looked on Ebay this morning for an original display and see one listed for $249.99. I pad $178.00 for the TS-530S.

    Thanks again.
    Keith KA1KAL

    Reply
  42. George

    Hello Steve,
    your projects is fantastic,
    Im forwarding to you a questions of a lot of Heathkit owners SB-100-101-102 and HW-100-101.There are a lot of them out there (much more from kenwoods).Can you adapt the kit for the Heaths?
    I see that is the same base only you have to chane the vfo-car-het frequencies that the circuit needs to calculate.
    what do you think?
    George SY2ALX
    my 73!!

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      If I had one, I’d probably give it a shot, but I don’t have any heathkits… The program is pretty much documented – if you want to change the math involved to get what you want, shouldn’t be difficult.

      Good luck!

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
  43. George mirtsos

    Steve.
    I have send you an e-mail requesting two boards shipped to Greece 54455.
    Please send me an invoice at naxgal#yahoo.gr

    George

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      George –

      Sorry for the delay, if you’re still interested just go ahead and order – the costs to ship internationally haven’t been bad, I can cover the costs.

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
  44. Allen Rodgers

    Hi Steve,
    I’m having some trouble with my emulator. These are the things I have tried.
    * Have 5 volts on Arduino, LED “ON”
    * load led blinky test program, Orange led blinks on Arduino Uno.
    * LCD has back light and is adjustable.
    * load and run Emulator program, no errors, but no change in display.
    I think it must be wiring to LCD, I’m somewhat confused as to which wire should be where.
    Allen

    Reply
    1. Allen Rodgers

      Alright, alright, alright. Figured out my problem. Pin #1 on the LCD board is on the corner. I was counting from the wrong end. It now works great!

      -Allen_
      N5RMS

      Reply
      1. admin Post author

        Sorry I didn’t reply earlier, this project is kinda on the back burner – hopefully I’ll be able to spend some time on it soon. Glad to hear you got it working!

        Steve
        KV6O

        Reply
  45. Ron

    Hi Steve. I am building my DG-5 emulator and want to hard-wire the RCA cables directly to the shield rather than installing the board mounted RCA female connectors on the shield. Can you tell me the soldering configuration for three wires (center conductor and braid on each of the three connectors?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Ron –

      Looking down at the top of the board with the RCA connectors at the bottom, the upper left hole is the signal. The other 2 holes are grounded to the ground plane on the bottom layer – you can see that if you flip it over.

      Good Luck!

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
      1. Ron

        Thank you Steve. I have assembled my emulator and it works just fine. I too am experiencing an issue with the C showing up a lot of the time. Did you mention that you have a patch in the program for that regarding the BFO frequency?
        Thanks.
        Ron

        Reply
  46. Scott Timperley

    Hi Steve,

    I built my board and the only thing on my display are all the pixels on the lcd are on if I turn the pot one way and all off the other way. When I run the program in debug mode while connected to my TS-520 I do see the correct frequency on my pc screen and it changes when I change frequency. So it looks like the board is functioning. I’m sure my cables are in the correct place on the board and the lcd display. I’ve tried all combinations of connections to the lcd. I have also checked all my solder joints and they look good. Are there supposed to be any jumpers in J4 on the board and also the ICSP jumpers on my Adruino Duemilanove don’t have any jumpers in either.

    Thanks
    Scott

    Reply
  47. Bryan

    Hi Steve,
    Quick question for you. I have everything working (sorta) perfectly on my vanilla TS-520. I managed to build the buffer amp from WA2FXM’s instructions (Thanks Mark). But, while 20,40,80 are coming in perfect, the 10 meter is way off. I’m getting 12 and 11Mhz with it bouncing around and nowhere near 28.000Mhz. Could it possible be bad component or solder joint? Would my homemade buffer amp be a problem or the radio itself? Funny how the other bands work perfect except for the 10 meter.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Put the board in debug mode – from the Arduino IDE open the serial monitor at 9600 baud, and type “DEBUG1;” on the command line at the top. The board should start streaming the calculated values. I suspect the HET value at 10M is what’s wrong – it should be up around 40Mhz if I remember correctly – that’s why there is a divide by 8 chip – the Ardunin can’t read that high.

      While you have that screen up, check the cables – make sure the contacts are good and that there isn’t a bad connection.

      If you have an oscilloscope, check the HET input to the PLL, the PLL output and the divider – make sure they are stable. If the signal level is too low, the PLL won’t lock – and it won’t work. Check the HET levels out of your buffer amp.

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
  48. CARLOS OTÁVIO DA SILVA CARDOSO

    Hi friend, I’m glad to see your project. I have a Kenwood TS180s radio, and this one has a problem on the display it shows 7,409.1 mhz and it really is at 7,058.0, and then on it would have seen the same, 7,412.6 and it’s actually at 7,080; This shows in dots the bands this error, in all bands of .351 khz, I think this design of an external display could help me to solve my problem. If it can be used on my ts 180s please contact me by email: pu1osc01@gmail.com
    Grateful, Carlos Cardoso PY1AO.

    Reply
  49. Heinz, VK4YI

    Hello Steve.
    Truly a great project. The PCB has arrived. Thank you. I have populated the board with most components I had on hand, except for the IC’s and the LCD which still have to arrive. In my set-up Arduino board and DG5 board each have their own 5 Volt regulator. Therefore, in my humble opinion, the 5 Volt header pin between the two boards should be cut. Love to hear your comment on this.
    Cheers, Heinz, VK4YI

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      You don’t need the regulator… One or the other works fine but shouldn’t be a problem if both are there, just don’t apply input power to both!

      Reply
  50. Brad Dickson

    Having Trouble with Display. I built exactly as photo described. Display is all black on 40M and Blank on 20M. Can you offer some troubleshooting help?

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      If the display is black, the contrast pot needs to be adjusted – that should be R7 on the board.

      Steve
      KV6O

      Reply
  51. Heinz, VK4YI

    Hi all …

    Finally the LCD has arrived and my counter is now up and running. What a great pleasure to use it on my TS-520SE. No problem in up-loading the code and the readout is very stable. In lieu of the Arduino duemilanove I’m using a compatible Arduino “eleven” from Freetronics which I had on hand. It’s processor has a proper crystal, not a ceramic resonator. Now all will have to be mounted in a decent enclosure.

    Many thanks to Steve and all those who have contributed to this truly great project.

    73, Heinz, VK4YI

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      That’s great to hear! When you get it all finished, please send me a pic or 2 and I’ll post it!

      Steve

      Reply

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