Pico Tuner to Portsdown Connection?

Discussion about this major DATV Project. See https://wiki.batc.org.uk/The_Portsdown_Transmitter
G1INU
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu May 30, 2024 1:03 pm

Pico Tuner to Portsdown Connection?

Post by G1INU » Thu Jun 20, 2024 2:24 pm

Hi Guys

I have built my Portsdown and configured it. I have Built a Pico Tuner V3 and done the tests point checks and the firmware update. I have even put up a new dish for receive and run the coax but the one thing I can't find in the mass of information out there is how I connect the Pico Tuner to the Portsdown..

Obviously it will utilise a USB port on the Portsdown 4 but what about the pico tuner end, should I connect to the USB B socket, the Mini USB port on the pico or even the GPIO header on v3 board?
Regards
Mark - G1INU

radiogareth
Posts: 1288
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:46 am

Re: Pico Tuner to Portsdown Connection?

Post by radiogareth » Thu Jun 20, 2024 2:45 pm

Micro-USB sockets are fairly fragile so the Picottuner was designed with a beefy USB-B. But you have to connect it to the RPI-Pico via the header on the Picotuner PCB. There are multiple solutions to doing this from using an old u-USB lead, small u-USB PCBs, or direct to solder pads on the Pico.
As I subscribe to the 'tis in vain to do with more that which can be done with less' I used wires as per the picture below. Connections are written on the PCB, with Gnd and +Ve as seen. The TP pads are marked on the underside of the Pico andare easy enough to solder to if everything is tinned and trimmed up short first.
Gareth
Pico.jpg
Pico.jpg (355.88 KiB) Viewed 919 times

g0mjw
Posts: 2394
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:15 am

Re: Pico Tuner to Portsdown Connection?

Post by g0mjw » Thu Jun 20, 2024 2:51 pm

We thought it obvious we forgot to say. The only USB is the micro-USB on the Pico. The USB-B socket is there It is because the mini-USB is so fragile, you don't have to use it but it helps, especially portable.
tmp.jpg
tmp.jpg (142.59 KiB) Viewed 918 times
See the bit in the build instructions https://wiki.batc.org.uk/PicoTuner_Hardware about wiring the USB header to the Pico using a cut up cable. Also please put it in the correct way around. The image unfortunately doesn't show USB connection, well it does but to the pads under the Pico rather than via the socket. We need a better photo there.

Mike

G1INU
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu May 30, 2024 1:03 pm

Re: Pico Tuner to Portsdown Connection?

Post by G1INU » Thu Jun 20, 2024 3:05 pm

radiogareth wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 2:45 pm
Micro-USB sockets are fairly fragile so the Picottuner was designed with a beefy USB-B. But you have to connect it to the RPI-Pico via the header on the Picotuner PCB. There are multiple solutions to doing this from using an old u-USB lead, small u-USB PCBs, or direct to solder pads on the Pico.
As I subscribe to the 'tis in vain to do with more that which can be done with less' I used wires as per the picture below. Connections are written on the PCB, with Gnd and +Ve as seen. The TP pads are marked on the underside of the Pico andare easy enough to solder to if everything is tinned and trimmed up short first.
Gareth
Pico.jpg
Thanks Gareth, I thought as much but after spending all day yesterday soldering I didn't want to screw it up at this stage :oops:
Regards
Mark - G1INU

G1INU
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu May 30, 2024 1:03 pm

Re: Pico Tuner to Portsdown Connection?

Post by G1INU » Thu Jun 20, 2024 3:06 pm

g0mjw wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 2:51 pm
We thought it obvious we forgot to say. The only USB is the micro-USB on the Pico. The USB-B socket is there It is because the mini-USB is so fragile, you don't have to use it but it helps, especially portable.

tmp.jpg

See the bit in the build instructions https://wiki.batc.org.uk/PicoTuner_Hardware about wiring the USB header to the Pico using a cut up cable. Also please put it in the correct way around. The image unfortunately doesn't show USB connection, well it does but to the pads under the Pico rather than via the socket. We need a better photo there.

Mike
Thanks Mike, You are correct, it is obvious but the moment I start over thinking things doubt creeps in. :D

is there a wiki / forum thread that takes me on from the build to the how it all works stage? I have run Portsdown, connected the pico tuner and so far I get a red led on the tuner and a flashing green on the pico.
Regards
Mark - G1INU

g0mjw
Posts: 2394
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:15 am

Re: Pico Tuner to Portsdown Connection?

Post by g0mjw » Thu Jun 20, 2024 4:59 pm

G1INU wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 3:06 pm

is there a wiki / forum thread that takes me on from the build to the how it all works stage
I don't know if you have seen Blackadder 2nd Series, Episode 3, "Potato"?

Edmund sets off on an exploration voyage to impress the queen. As he leaves, Lord Meltchet hands him a piece of parchment, "The foremost cartographers of the land have prepared this for you; it’s a map of the area that you’ll be traversing". Edmund looks at it and realises it is blank. "They’ll be very grateful if you could just fill it in as you go along".

So, no, there isn't really such a guide. Not yet. The best person to write one is one who has just done it for the first time.

Mike

G1INU
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu May 30, 2024 1:03 pm

Re: Pico Tuner to Portsdown Connection?

Post by G1INU » Thu Jun 20, 2024 5:10 pm

g0mjw wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 4:59 pm
G1INU wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2024 3:06 pm

is there a wiki / forum thread that takes me on from the build to the how it all works stage
I don't know if you have seen Blackadder 2nd Series, Episode 3, "Potato"?

Edmund sets off on an exploration voyage to impress the queen. As he leaves, Lord Meltchet hands him a piece of parchment, "The foremost cartographers of the land have prepared this for you; it’s a map of the area that you’ll be traversing". Edmund looks at it and realises it is blank. "They’ll be very grateful if you could just fill it in as you go along".

So, no, there isn't really such a guide. Not yet. The best person to write one is one who has just done it for the first time.

Mike
It would be a short one if I wrote it.

1 Buy Portsdown 4 hardware and assemble.
2 Play around with Portsdown 4 software until it works or you decide some features are not worth the effort.
3. Buy the V3 Board and order the parts with the provided BOM.
4. When parts arrive wander around in shock and panic when you see just how tiny some of the soldering required is, and wonder if your raging eyesight and manual dexterity can cope with it.
5. Plug it all in when built, then unplug it and put it in a cupboard for a few years until someone who has the first idea of how it should work does a YouTube video.

END OF WRITE-UP.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Regards
Mark - G1INU

g8gtz
Posts: 1748
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:26 pm

Re: Pico Tuner to Portsdown Connection?

Post by g8gtz » Fri Jun 21, 2024 10:36 am

I've put a couple of links in the PicoTuner/Portsdown receiver wiki section to existing pages on the wiki.

https://wiki.batc.org.uk/PicoTuner#Portsdown

The problem we have is MAINTAINING the documentation on these fast moving projects - the developers are great and very keen but no-one (apart from Dave G8GKQ) likes to write it all up and when they do we often forget to update or publish links to existing information.

It's always worth doing a wiki search before asking.

But what we really need is a couple of people to take on the task of maintaining the wiki......??

73

Noel

g8lce
Posts: 373
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:26 am

Re: Pico Tuner to Portsdown Connection?

Post by g8lce » Sat Jun 22, 2024 7:30 am

I am still looking into my Picotuner to Portsdown 4 connection. The problem was that whe I updated the Portsdown to the latest firmware the RX feature started to stick after a short time when no signal was present. It was still OK with a Minitiouner. After changing everything I finally went back to an older version of the firmware (Portsdown firmware 202404271) and that cured the problem. (it could still be the SD card may be as it is a different one - still to test that!)

Martin G8LCE

g8lce
Posts: 373
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:26 am

Re: Pico Tuner to Portsdown Connection?

Post by g8lce » Sun Jun 23, 2024 8:07 am

I have found the answer to the problem I was having with the Portsdown software - and it might be a help to others!
After updating the firmware some time ago, the Portsdown 4 would receive from a Minitiouner but was not good when receiving from a Picotuner as it would lock up on no signal. After exploring all the possibilities I went back to the old firmware and it all worked. Now I have updated that to the latest and all is now working well!
The problem must have been in one of the bits of software that got updated (or missed) during one of the updates between the old firmware and the latest. Once the bit of software was in the system it was not changed in any updating so the fault continued! It was like a virus.
So having found the problem, is there a lesson learnt?
Probably!
If you get some sort of problem with the Portsdown ( and this was a very select problem ), start from either an old backup of working firmware or start from a new SD card and from scratch.
There are so many things the Portsdown can do, it may be a while before you find your's does not do one little thing and you start looking for the problem. Updates don't always fix everything and a clean install may be the answer.

Martin G8LCE

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