Preparatory Steps Introduction


This is not a trivial build and it pays to prepare yourself prior to actually embarking on the build.

You should have in hand and familiarize yourself with the folowing documents:

1. Mobo v4.3.4 schematic in PDF format

2. Mobo Bill of Materials (BOM) and the Master Bill of Materials on the MOBO Google Groups website

3. MOBO toroids spreadsheet

4. Minifilter Information

a. Alex 91VAL's discussion on the two options for filters.

b. Minifilters Mikes SMD sameL spreadsheet from Mike (if you are building SET A)

c. Minifilters caps and toroids - Alex spreadsheet (if you are building SET B)

d. Minifilters v1.1 schematics in PDF format

5. PO/SWR Meter v1.1 schematics in PDF format (if you are building the optional PO/SWR Meter)

(go directly to build notes) (go directly to build notes)

Preparatory Steps Bill of Materials

Preparatory Steps Summary Build Notes

Preparatory Steps Detailed Build Notes

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Register with the MOBOKITS Google Group

Several links and materials will direct you to the MOBOKITS User Group on Google Groups. You should request membership in this group ion order to facilitate your use of these links, materials, and downloads.

Here is the link for requesting membership (you will need a Google Account):

Download Control Software Programs

The various tests specified in the foregoing stages will call for certain programs and assume you have downloaded and installed them. The following is a list of the programs that should be available as you commence your build:

Program Purpose Notes
LibUsb drivers fro Fred PE0FKO's site USB libraries to allow your computer to access the Atmel USB processors These may need digital "Test Signatures" - see below
MOBControl GUI Vxx (See bottom of page for latest version) Provides a GUI to control many of the MOBO functions. It reads frequency, temperature, voltage as well as PA current during transmit. It can be used to control or adjust the PA bias settings. It provides a visual Power/SWR gauge, and it can be used tset and control all bandpass and lowpass filter switchover points. It should be noted that these items and many more can be controlled by CfgSR. Requires MOBOKITS Group membership.
Fred PE0FKO's CFGR (and associated SRD.dll) This is a Softrock/SI570/Firmware Configuration Tool (CFGR and SRD.dll) The installation is simple, place the CFGSR.exe and the SRDLL.dll in the same directory and run the program. It is a great tool to set most of the various parameters, such as default startup frequency and BPF/LPF switchpoints. It can even be used for Mobo specific functions such as setting the PA bias and reading Power/SWR. Fred has been very kind in co-ordinating with us the USB command extensions of the Mobo project, and to incorporate support for most of those in the CfgSR tool.
Fred PE0FKO's control firmware Firmware version V15.12 from PE0FKO
Loftur's Firmware V (see bottom of page for latest version) for the AT90USB162 MPU Good explanation on Loftur's website. There are several different versions ("hex files") of this, the simplest of which (AVR-Mobo_I2C_Peripherals.hex) can be used for testing. The "readme.txt" file in the zip file at this link provides descriptions of the various optional hex files.
Atmel FLIP (FLexible Insystem Programming) Soft V3.4.1ware Atmel software to load firmware programs ("hex files")into the MPU. This is the software Atmel provides us so we can load the MOBO firmware programs into the Atmel90USB162 MPUdevice on-board. You will need to install FLIP and its associated USB driver onto your PC. In the FLIP package, there is also a folder with the windows USB drivers. As if this writing, the FLIP program (version 3.4.1) may not run on 64 bit versions of Windows Vista or Windows 7. If you are in this situation, see below.

Here are links to the relevant sites for more in-depth information:

For Vista 64 users: Handle Unsigned Drivers

Special Notes for Windows Vista 64 bit (and -presumably - Windows 7)


Windows 64 bit verions now have a security feature that precludes loading and installing "Unsigned" drivers. Many of the Amateur Radio programs use drivers that are not officially signed and "blessed" by Microsoft. This used to be the case with libusb driver, requiring users to put their computers in an unsecure state in order to use libusb drivers. However, recent developments indicate that this problem has been fixed with an updated and properly signed libusb driver. The thread on this issue in the Softrock40 Yahoo User Group reflector is quoted below:

The open-source group LibUSB-Win32 did released (30 min ago) the new and SIGNED version of the libusb0.sys library, because it is signed it will also install on Windows-7 64bits. I did build a new driver install package and tested it on Windows-XP and Windows-7 64bits (Not tested it on 2000 and Vista, please report if it is working there). Also changed the web-page to describe the installation process on Windows-7. With thanks to the LibUSB-Win32 group and Pete Batard (who is the developer of libusb-1.0) for contributing the certificate! -- 73, Fred PE0FKO

Update: Tests were successful on XP, Windows 7 64 bit, and Windows 2000. Issues are still pending on Windows Vista and are being addressed as of 9 July 2010.

See also the Knowledgebase article on the FlexRadio site concenrning VAC under Vista 64 bit OS

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Preparatory Steps Testing