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New DG5 code!

It’s been a while since I have updated the code, and I have been working on some improvements on and off over the past year as I have had time.  This is for the LCD version, which I think just about everyone is running.  I have made an LED and Nixie tube version as well, but haven’t updated the code for these versions just yet – let me know if you need it. Done, new pages have been set up for both and new code for all 3 version is on Github

Some of the improvements:

  • New/improved frequency counter routine.  The program now uses the “FreqCount” library that is available in the IDE environment.  You will probably need to download this, which can be done selecting “Sketch/Include Library/Manage Libraries..” in the Arduino IDE.
    Search on “FreqCount” and you should find Paul Stoffregen’s library. Install the latest version.
  • Correction Factor added.  If needed, you can correct the display.  This will not “fix” a poor frequency reference/source like the ceramic resonators found on UNO’s.
  • Better code documentation.  I hope it’s easier to read and understand if you want to get in there and make your own modifications.
  • Added smoothing, anti-jitter code to help stabilize the display. (smooths over 10 readings, this is adjustable)
  • Tested with latest Arduino IDE (1.8.2)

4/8/17 – Code has been moved to Github, LCD, LED, and Nixie versions published.

4/8/17 – Version 2.0.2 uploaded to Github. Stability Enhancement added. Tests the HFO and BFO to see if they have moved more than 500Hz and 100Hz, respectively.  If not, keeps the last reading. This should help eliminate some wander/wiggle but keeping the two “fixed” frequencies stable.  Also lowered the averageing to 4 samples (from 10), makes display a little more responsive

New run of DG5 PCB’s on order as of 3/18/16

Update – boards have shipped as of today, 4/8/16. I should have them early next week and will probably build one to make sure they are good – I am using a different vendor for this run. I’ll let everyone who has posted inquiring about availability when I am ready to ship.

Due to the continued interest, I have ordered up another set of boards. I think as I finish up the LED and Nixie versions there might be more interest as well. The LED code is here, I haven’t released the Nixie code just yet but I will when I have the project complete. All three versions use the same PCB board – just different connections on the board.

More to come, but another run of boards is in the works!


Kenwood DG5 Emulator with Nixies is working!

I seem to be going backwards with my display technology for this emulator. First it was an LCD display, then LED’s, now Nixies! I completed wiring up a set of TaylorEdge SmartNixies ( using the IN-12b Nixie tube. They make using Nixies with a micro-controller easy. Each module has a PIC controller that is I2C addressable, so wiring is much easier than wiring up all the cathodes and anodes of 6 tubes – just +5V, +170V (for the tubes), GND, and SDA/SCL data lines. 5 wires daisy chained together.

I need to find an enclosure to get this mounted in, and given the size I’ll need I am thinking about a wooden enclosure with a speaker as well, unless I find some old test equipment shell I can mount this in – like an old Heathkit Frequency counter or similar.

So, to review, LCD is nice, LED’s are correct (the original DG5 used LED’s), and Nixies are the best!

DG5 Emulator boards SOLD OUT.

The last 10 orders or so came in very slowly, so I’ll have to wait and see before I order more. I am hoping with the improvements made to the code, and a 7-segment LED version working and (hopefully!) a Nixie version not far behind that there will be more interest moving forward. I’ll post more here as I make progress, I have some mechanical work to to on the 7-Segment version before I shoot a video and post it. I have the front panel cut and a bezel installed, and 3 discrete 3mm LEDs to indicate USB/LSB/CW done, just need to work on getting the display mounted in the case positioned behind the bezel properly.


DG5 Emulator PCB stock getting low (and Happy New Year!)

As of 12/31/15 (just 2.5 hours before 2016 in fact) there are 8 boards left in stock. Sometimes it takes me a few days to get to shipping, but with family/work I can’t always be as quick to get them out as I’d like to. Thanks for the continued e-mails and posts about your projects, glad to hear about folks building and using the boards. Happy New Year!


New run of DG5 Emulator PCB’s has arrived!

I received a new batch of the DG5 emulator boards this morning, made by the same US manufacturer. I also was able to lower the price from $10 to $8. To order a board, please go to the project page – and read thru the project to see what you’re getting yourself into! There is a PayPal “Buy Now” button at the end of the project description that will take you to the PayPal site for order processing.

Thank you everyone for your continued interest!


New order of PCB’s for the DG5 emulator has been placed

Based on the feedback and e-mails requesting a DG5 emulator board, I placed an order for another run of PC boards – should ship on the 11th from the PCB house here in the US. I’ll post here when the new boards arrive and are ready for shipment, and I’ll do my best to individually e-mail those who have written me over the past few months.

Thanks for your continued interest!


DG5 boards SOLD OUT.

I am out of the DG5 emulator boards. Given that the last few boards came in slowly, I am not planning on another board production run at this point. If enough folks want one (make a post below), I’ll look into another run of boards. Thanks to all who have purchased, and I hope you’re enjoying your Arduino AD5 emulator!

7/31/15 – I have received a lot of interest over the past few months, so I have put in a request for pricing on another order of boards – will let folks now if I pull the trigger! Thanks for your patience!


DG5 Emulator boards still available as of 2/8/15

DG5 Emulator boards are still available, 10 left as of this morning (2/8/15). Details on the project, with a link for ordering a board can be found here.

It sometimes takes me a day or two to respond to e-mails or posts made as I have a new job that’s keeping me busy. I took a position back in November managing a public safety radio system, an 800Mhz, P25 based trunked system with about 133 repeaters across 13 sites! There’s a lot going on, so I haven’t had a whole lot of time to play around with the TS-520S and the DG-5 emulator, however, one of the points to the open source movement is to allow for others to take a project and run with it. I had some code on the running on the Arduino late last year along with a AD9850 DDS board that added a DDS VFO to the 520S – there’s lots that could be done if someone want’s to put in the time!


UPDATE – as of 2/13 I only have 4 boards left. If there is continued interest once these are gone, I’ll make a 3rd run of them.

UPDATE – as of 2/15 I only have 2 boards left.