defective chip, I made certain to wear my grounding strap
to prevent damaging the main board with static electricity.
Once the JRC2073D chip was installed, the Ubitx
really came to life. Its audio is now crystal clear with
practically zero distortion. Now, my Ubitx sounds the way
it was meant to sound.
I’ve yet to make any contacts while using the new
audio chip but prior to the old chip going bad, I made
several contacts with one of them being almost 700 miles
from my station. While testing with the new audio chip,
the Ubitx put out the advertised 10 watts of power on
My Ubitx is assembled and working very well! You can
see it in Figure 11.
While I’m hesitant to end on a negative note, I do have
some concerns about Farhan’s philosophy of support.
As it currently stands, every problem, question, or
support issue of any kind is referred to the user community
on the Internet. The problem with the audio chip is a
good example. Builders on several forums have suggested
hardware modifications to the main board to remedy the
failing chip. I feel certain these builders have the best of
intentions, but how can a user who needs to make these
modifications have any confidence that the proposed
changes are feasible?
I recently read an exchange on a forum where a Ubitx
builder posted a question regarding tuning. The fellow who
answered his post suggested that the way to resolve the
tuning issue was to reinstall the firmware on the Raduino.
Perhaps reinstalling the firmware was the correct answer
but changing the firmware to address a tuning issue
appears — at first thought — to be a bit extreme. Again,
how can the user have any confidence that this will work?
I was told of another incident on a forum where a
builder was heavily criticized by forum members when
they mistook his question to be personal criticism of
Of course, none of these concerns would matter very
much if Farhan’s target market consisted of only engineers
and technicians who possess the technical experience and
ability to modify the Ubitx as needed.
However, Farhan has stated that one of his primary
goals is to use the Bitx series of radios to bring amateur
radio to potential users who don’t have a technical
background or who lack access to other sources of
support. With these users in mind,
I question whether the support
offered is comprehensive and reliable
As a big fan of Farhan and the
entire Bitx series of radios, I view this
lack of direct support as a weakness
in an otherwise great product.
No one wants to see the price
of these radios increase, but it
seems at the very least, one specific
website should be maintained which
can serve as a central repository
of information where builders can
visit and have confidence that their
questions and problems will be
Despite the early problems, Ubitx
is an excellent transceiver which
has brought a much-needed jolt of
excitement to the world of low power
ham radio. Ubitx is a worthy addition
to the Bitx family, as well as to the
ham radio hobby.
Farhan and company should be
very proud of Ubitx, and as hobbyists
and builders, we should all be happy
that we get to participate in the
evolution of a radio that is sure to last
for many years to come. NV
68 September/October 2018