In TrxAVR-Picastrar version 1.67 described
here, the ATmega2560 memory usage is:
- Program flash memory
(code + text) 206 kbyte (256 kbyte total available)
- Data (RAM) 4113
bytes (8 kbyte total available)
- Internal EEPROM
883 bytes (4 kbyte total available)
communicates via USB with the PC-based Hobcat companion program.
is installed by HobcatSetup.exe.
The latest HobcatSetup.exe is run to update an existing installation.
- Creates C:\Program
files\hbradios\hobcat and subfolders:
- Creates registry
entries according to Windows conventions.
- Creates a Start
menu entry and a desktop icon.
- Installs hobcat.exe
and hobcat.chm (Windows help file - not yet written)
- Loads schematics
and layouts into subfolder: hardware
- Loads the latest TrxAVR
source and hex code into subfolder: trxavrcode
- Loads trxavreemem.ini
into subfolder: trxavrcode (for location in your Star folder)
This contains the data for the ATmega2560's internal EEPROM which includes
sticky stack data. The data can be transferred to and from TrxAVR by Hobcat.
- Loads default SWR
calibration data (G3VPX_default.fwd and G3VPX_default.ref)
into subfolder: caldata.
- Loads modified
timer board PIC source and hex code into subfolder: timercode.
(stvox04_padis.asm and stvox04_padis.hex) This modification allows hitherto
pin RA4 to disable PA bias. TrxAVR can do
this on prolonged mismatch conditions.
- Loads the FTDI USB interface,
ftd2xx.dll into C:\Windows\System32.
- Configures I2C control
of PA3AKE frontend and BPF.
- Configures IC2 control
of a 10 band BPF.
- Configures flexible
control by soft keys of a PCA9555 I2C to 16 I/O device.
Hobcat is written in Delphi
6 with addons: Developer Express Grids and Raize components.
Its features are:
- Uses the Star
folder which must contain the same files as needed for
classic Picastar (plus trxavreemem.ini) .
- Has a Multi-document
interface (MDI) allowing simultaneous multiple windows
which can optionally be tiled or cascaded (as with MS Word or Excel documents)
- Provides USB
communication with TrxAVR. This is always initiated by Hobcat.
USB requests are placed in a rotating queue to achieve sequential execution
concurrency. This achieves USB multitasking between different program
- Compilation of DSP
hex code from Star2b1.xjp and files in the Filters subfolder.
The DSP code is transferred to TrxAVR's 24LC512 EEPROM via USB (3 seconds).
- Transfer of
DSP parameters to and from TrxAVR's 24LC512 EEPROM.
- Alternative build and
load of DSP code and para maters direct to DSP via COM port.
- Sending a copy of the
AD603 calibration curve to TrxAVR internal EEMEM.
This is used by TrxAVR's DSP monitor display.
of TrxAVR's DDS clock frequency and USB and LSB offsets
- .Loading and
saving TrxAVR's internal EEPROM data from and to trxavreemem.ini.
(Sticky stacks, DDS clock, USB&LSB offsets, encoders&pots parameter
Rx and Tx user defined button tasks, and touch panel calibration)
- Setting TrxAVR
hardware configuration: Keypad, display, Touch panel and tuning
encoder selection. Internal EEMEM page selection. (uses 1k of the 4k)
- SWR meter calibration.
Calibrates TrxAVR's SWR meter with 32 interpolated
for forward and for reflected power.
Sets full scale for forward and reflected meters.
Sets PA shutdown reflected power level & seconds.
Sends the data to TrxAVR's 24LC512 EEPROM.
- Provides a DSP
monitor modeled on that in XJPld2g9.bas. This provides, via USB link,
a simultaneous display of gain bar, eight level bars and all DSP parameters
Parameters that have been user-assigned to an encoder or pot are identified.
DSP parameters and switches can be controlled from this Hobcat window.
- Debug window.
This has been invaluable in development. It shows a continually updated
display of the values of the ATmega2560's ports and specified software variables.
A single line of code in TrxAVR's debug module will add a variable to the
- DDS window.
This is a 'CAT control' window. It displays both VFO frequencies and other
slot information. It allows control of frequency, VFO selection, XIT and RIT
It has an Smeter. It can run simultaneously with other CAT software connected
to a dedicated
- TrxAVR port diagnostic. This
allows Hobcat to set and clear bits in the ATmega2560 ports
for hardware diagnostic purposes. (Port
D bits 2-6 Aden port G bits 6 and 7 are excluded
from this facility as they are used by the USB interface.
- Programming the EA eDIPTFT-ATP
flash memory. (Colour TFT display flash memory)
The EA kit editor is used to compile the trxavr.kmc file (+ include files
and fonts) into
trxavr.df which is the flash load file. Initial development was with the colour
TFT display plugged
into a USB programmer board. The programming can now be done via Hobcat.
The trxavr file is selected and then Hobcat sends it via USB to TrxAVR from
where it is sent to the
colour display via the I2C interface (The I2C interface is also used for normal
The Picastar transceiver is controlled
by a 4x3 key pad and a tuning encoder.
TrxAVR-Picastar can also be controlled in the same way.
The Picastar keypad operation is summarised
- Picastar's DSP parameter control is
accessed by a short press of key 8.
The DSP parameters can then be navigated using the key pad.
Parameter values are changed using the tuning encoder.
- Picastar's DDS commands are achieved
by a long key press followed by a second digit.
eg: 2 followed by 0 will switch to the 20m band
- Other functions such as VFO switching
and split frequency RIT and XIT control are
achieved by using the * # and 0
has all the above keypad functionality exactly as Picastar.
The only difference is that it displays extra information related to the control
and there are additional alternative control facilities.
The amount of information
displayed depends on the type of display used.
That detail will be not be discussed here.
is shown/discussed in the pages devoted to each display type.
4x3 keypad control is
documented in the Picastar User manual and so will not be repeated here.
We have made the TrxAVR-Picastar 4x3 keypad behave
exactly the same as Picastar so that:
familiar with Picastar can use it easily
do no need to write another manual on key pad use!!
- The first
statement of this specification is that the 4x3 keypad operates as Picastar.
- The rest
of the specification is about the extra display and control options.
The term 'home'
will be used to describe the startup state where the keypad is fully active.
Summary of extra
features added by TrxAVR-Picastar:
- Support fro
40x2 and 20x4 character displays.
- Support for
S1D13700 320x240 mono LCD displays (+ optional touch screen)
- Support for
480x272 TFT colour displays.
- Support for
128x64 KS0108/UC0108 mono graphics displays.
- On startup,
Loading DSP code from 24LC512 EEPROM to DSP takes 20 seconds.
A progress bar is displayed.
- Both VFO frequencies
- On colour TFT
and 320x240 graphics: The main screen shows key pad functions. On DDS command,
the first (long) key press shows the available options with the second key
- An S meter bar
is shown on receive
- An SWR meter
display is shown on transmit. (Fwd, Ref or SWR ... or all of these with 320x240
- SWR meter calibration
(32 interpolated points) and full scale for Fwd and Refl are set by Hobcat.
- Automatic PA
shutdown on mismatch. (based on a specified reflected power level and time
- Menu encoder
as alternative means of parameter selection.
- Auto-exist from
parameter setting after a delay of 1-60 seconds (optional) and on turning
Encoders8 encoder or pot.
menu: Assigning parameters to encoders, assigning tasks to buttons, dim and
auto-dim seconds, touch panel calibration, alternative DDS clock and offset
- Up to 26 user-assigned
buttons (soft keys A-Z) and 15 touch panel buttons (1-15) are provided.
These can can be assigned to tasks selected from list of 65 tasks.
There are separate Rx and Tx assignments. On screen labeling of buttons with
- Shift + Keypad
key as alternative soft key access.
- Optional two
front panel pots, each of which can be assigned to control a DSP parameter.
- Optional eight
rotary encoders, each of which can be assigned to control a DSP parameter.
- Transient display
of parameter number, name and value during pot or encoder adjustment.
- Graphics displays:
Graphical display of filter width and of filter shape in CW 'depth' mode
- Graphics displays:
Stacks menu: All sticky slots and VFO-volatile slots viewable.
Rolling lists of slot frequencies and other slot data. Stacks button press
to use highlighted slot.
- All Sticky Stack
slot data can saved to and loaded from trxavreemem.ini (where it can be edited)
- Display of current
- Display of stack
and slot number when in Mem-stack tuning or after selecting a Mem-stack from
the stacks menus or slot soft keys.
- 14 new soft
key tasks for Mem stack/slot control: Change stack: Change stack and enter
stack tuning mode:
Select slot from current stack.
- Manual frequency
entry is 7 digits, ie: to 10Hz.
and colour TFT graphics only: DSP monitor with Rx gain bar and eight level
DDS calibration mode, not using signal generator mode. Allows calibration
received signal of known frequency.
- Display of frequency
scanning, rate tuning and wobbulator rates.
- Dedicated 38400
baud CAT serial port supporting 40 of the 106 Kenwood TS2000 CAT commands.
This is especially tailored to Ham Radio Deluxe for which a configuration
file is provided.
- DDS78 select
a key display options where each key press is briefly shown on the display.
(very useful in setting up wiring/configuration of keypad and other buttons.)
- Load of colour
TFT flash memory from Hobcat (trxavr.df > Hobcat > USB > TrxAVR >
I2C > display)
- I2C control
of a PA3AKE front end (roofer and Hmode mixer) and BPF unit.
- I2C control
of an alternative 10band BPF.
- I2C control
of a PCA955 I2C to 16 I/O device (outputs only) using assigned softkeys.
- Display of some
button control-action states on the graphics touchpads/button labels.
- Real Time Clock
support. UTC and local time on Tft colour displays. Clock configuration from
Both VFO A
and VFO B frequencies are displayed to 1Hz (although the minimum
tuning step is 10Hz)
The VF0s are labeled A and B. In split mode,
the labeling changes to R and T
In graphics displays, the inactive VFO frequency is grayed to make it less prominent.
In guard channel monitoring, the guard channel is labeled G.
A long press of the 2 key displays; DDS
command 2_ The second numeric is then keyed.
Some commands then display a transient message explaining what has been done.
eg: RF atten on
Such a message is not needed for commands such as DDS27
= VFO stack tuning, as the subsequent
display makes it obvious that VFO Stack tuning is selected.
84 85 and 86 provide
SWR meter control (Toggle, Forward,
Reflected and SWR)
This is only applied to the character display. The 320x240 graphics shows all
(These switches are also available as soft key functions.)
In character displays and
the 128x64 mono graphics display, these are displayed as single
lower case = off and upper case =on.
SSB filter width is shown as <W> or >N<. CW
filter mode is shown as =C= or _D_. (context
In the EA320 graphics display,
switches are displayed as check boxes and some show associated
parameter values, eg: denoiser level.
In colour TFT switch indicators change colour (poor
This is a low resolution encoder used for stepping through menu, parameter and
F+M slot lists.
(F+M slot lists viewing is only available with 320x240 graphics)
Most of these lists are circular.
In 320x240 graphics they are presented as a scrolling list with a central highlighted
- In the 'home state', rotation of the
menu encoder will enter parameter setting mode (see
- In 'home state', pressing the Menu
key will bring up a scrolling configuration menu
This list is scrolled with the menu encoder and then the
Menu key is pressed again.
- As a general rule, the Menu
key selects the next level or sets a value and the Esc
back up the menu levels.
The exception to this is parameter setting which is immediate on moving the
This is entered from home
by keying 8 or by turning the menu encoder
- either action displays the
the most recently adjusted parameter (or 8.1 after startup)
Rotation of the menu encoder moves in a circular loop through all the available
At any time the keypad can take over parameter selection as in the Picastar
Parameter values are adjusted by rotating the tuning
The parameter list is appropriate to mode (ie CW or SSB) and excludes parameters
that were fixed
in September 2008 by G3XJP. (ie those preceded by an 'x' in User2b2.xjp)
Exit from parameter setting back to home is by: ESC
or # keys OR turning a parameter assigned
or pot OR after an optional timeout of 1 -
60 seconds (0 = no timeout) (Saved in trxavreemem.ini)
Parameter adjustment is immediately applied
to any extra displays of the parameter's value,
eg: the graphic filter shape display and values associated with
A graphical representation of DSP filter shape is shown. It changes as the controlling
are altered. Typical images are show below. The depth graphic changes to show
TFT images shows the carrier point (now actually on all filter graphics)
by key pad and tuning encoder is exactly as in classic Picastar.
key DDS 56 to scan current memory stack and
then use the tuning encoder to control rate.
Example text displays for graphics and character displays are shown in red
has an indication of stack and slot number.
61 (stack 0 slot 1 - but 60 and 61 are codes entered to access
... because there is less space.
VFO stack tuning
Graphics: VFO Stack mode
Volatile slot no 1 etc
Character: VFO Stack
, the frequency and
Vo for volatile or St
Graphics: scan memory stack,
mem 60 64 (changing) scan
delay = 2s
stack 0, slot 3(changing) t=2s
A and B scanning
Graphics: Scan VFOs A
and B Scan delay = 4s
Character: t = 1s
and labels A
and B alternating with the scanning
Guard channel monitoring
Graphics: Guard channel check every 20 seconds.
VFOs are labeledA and G.
G channel changes from gray to white when checked
Character: Guard The
labeling flips from A to G
The # key works as in Picastar.
- Short press for RIT -
subsequent short presses toggle frequency split on and off
- Long press for XIT
- subsequent short presses toggle frequency split on and off
- Hold # to tune Tx frequency
- this differs slightly from Picastar because we have the
benefit of two VFO displays. So as soon as # is held, the B (Tx) VFO is shown
difference (whereas in Picastar you only see the difference when you actually
- Press 0 to cancel
RIT and XIT displays:
Graphics: RIT [split on]
RIT[split off] XIT[split on]
Character: RITs RIT XITs
With split on, the VFOs are labeledR
and T. With split
off, they are labeledA and B.
Please refer to the Picastar manual for description of Memory, VFO and Band
stacks and slots.
TrxAVR-Picastar uses the same DDS commands and the Stacks operate in the same
TrxAVR-Picastar increases the visibility
of the 61 sticky slots and 23 volatile slots:
- As in Picatar, there is always a current Memory Stack.
This is shown on screen as 60:--- meaning stack 60 is current
and no slot selected.
- The Stacks menu (320x240
graphics only at present) displays scrolling lists slot data.
- The sticky slots are in the Atmega2560's
internal EEPROM. They can be saved to and
loaded from C:\TrxAVR\trxavreemem.ini. This file has standard Windows INI
and can be edited with a text editor such as Notepad.
(C:\TrxAVR is our suggested alternative name for the Star folder (C:\Star2b
/ menu (320x240 graphics only at present)
The Stacks key displays a three item menu
to select Memory, VFO or Band
The menu encoder the highlights a stack type and then the Stacks
key selects it.
Slot data formats are:
- Memory: 67:66
3.736.000 LSB I G W
(LSB, IP3, green params, wide filter)
- VFO: Sticky
7 21.220.400 USB N Y W
(USB, NF, Yellow params, wide)
01 3.520.000 CWL I G C (CW-LSB,
IP3, green prams, context)
- Band: 40m
Last 7.0856.000 LSB I R N (LSB,
IP3, red params, narrow)
The Stacks key will load
the highlighted slot (not for VFO slots)
soft key and touch pad tasks:
are fourteen soft key / touch pad tasks available for Memory Stack control:
- Load a slot
(61 - 66) of the current memory stack. (Identical to keying DDS65
- Switch current stack
(67,68,69 or 60)
- Switch current stack
and enter stack tuning mode (identical to keying DDS67 etc)
assigned encoder and potentiometer controls.
front panel potentiometers can be assigned to DSP parameter control.
If the Encoders8 unit is installed, then eight front panel
low resolution rotary encoders can be
to DSP parameter control. (Encoders8 is built into TrxAVR-B)
The assignments are made on the transceiver using a configuration menu option.
The assignments are stored in the Atmega2560's internal EEPROM. All the internal
can be transferred to and from the trxavreemem.ini file.
When a control is turned,
a transient popup window appears to identify the control and
display the value.
If the control is operating on filter width, depth or carrier offset (= sidetone
pitch in CW mode)
then the filter graphic changes during the adjustment.
User assigned soft
allows you to assign tasks to:
- 26 soft keys labeled
A to Z . These can be hardware buttons (9 maximum)
Shift + a key pad key (15 maximum). The reason follow allowing 26 is so as
to be able to assign both hardware buttons AND Shift-keypad.
- 15 touch buttons on
a 320x240 mono screen with touch pad or 12 touch buttons
on a colour TFT screen. (Buttons labeled 1-15)
The above mentioned bottom
and touch pad assignments are made separately for receive and transmit
and the labeling changes on R/T switching.
The tasks are selected from a list of 65 DSP, DDS and other functions.
The 320x240 graphics displays
provide on screen labeling of eight buttons at the right of the screen.
This labeling changes on T/R switching.
With a touch panel installed, the labels become the touch pads.
In Hobcat's hardware settings window, a button configuration menu appears when
graphics is selected.
The details of button configuration
is in Keypads
IC2 control by
In this image, most touch
pads have been assigned to I2C devices.
Data A,B and C behave as
multually-exclusive buttons ('radio buttons') and the selected item is
The atten+ and atten- buttons control a PA3AKE
attenuater (0,2,4...30dB).The atenuation displays
on the button.
The Flywheel buttons is DDS26. The button
caption changes between on and off as the
The button task on the Ant vert buttons is three-tasks to one-button
in a stepping mode. The button
caption changes as you step: Ant vert, Ant quad,
Ant G5RV. (All used definable in Hobcat)
The linear and dummy load buttons toggle on/off and highlight when on.
see I2C device control and PA3AKE
front end control.
TRxAVR_picastar operates all the time with DSP parameter 5.2 = 2.
In this mode, DSP unit is continually
sending out serial telemetry containing 24 byte packets of data for the DSP
monitor and S meter.
This telemetry was intended for the DSP monitor in Picastar's PC based DSP monitor
provided in XJPld2g.bas.
With 320x240 graphics,
TrxAVR_picastar uses the same data
to provide its own DSP monitor display.
Eight signal level horizontal bars indicators are shown on
receive and on transmit.
Additionally, on receive, a gain bar is displayed to show receiver
These DSP displays are closely modeled on the DSP monitor provided in XJPld2g.bas.
(Note that Hobcat also provides such a DSP monitor)
TrxAVR-Picastar provided remote CAT control
and monitoring using a dedicated two-wire serial RS232 port
operating at 38400 baud.
The Kenwood TS2000 command set is being used.
Initial operation was with the limited commands used by Commander 679
I have now implemented 40 of the 106 Kenwood TS2000 commands, and tailored certain
aspects of the interface
to work well with Ham Radio Deluxe. See CAT
and Download page .
It is possible to operate both Hobcat and a serial
port application at the same time.
The screenshot below shows Looger32 used for logging and Hobcat for control.
The widow below shows Ham Radio
Deluxe configured for TrxAVR-Picastar. (Use Right-mouse view-image)