Radio shield woes

Radio Shield

This rather grainy photo is probably going to be the last one of the Radio Shield. Mainly because of its un-christmas like behavior. the little monster has been misbehaving for a a while. It decides when and if it wants to decode any packets, which is pretty mean if you ask me and to cap it off a new fault has occurred, the LCD screen is very intermittent. The way it works is a bit like this.

1. Plug it in and watch it power up and display the splash screen – all good so far

2. Turn on the rig and tune into 144.800MHz

3. Send it a packet from my VX-8G and watch the LED flash green to say its happy listening and then display the callsign, SSID and associated data

4. turn it off and enjoy some dinner

5. Turn it back on. Get the usual start up message

6. Do nothing else regardless of what I throw at it.

The really annoying thing is that the serial monitor displays other messages that should go onto the LCD bu they stubbornly don’t bother to show themselves. There is definitely a fault somewhere on here so I’ve had to email Argent Data for a bit of a clue. Other little issues are that you can set the contrast or brightness by code (which you should be able to do).

It seems as though you get intermittent packet decoding and intermittent LCD displays, even if you wire up a few others to test. Hmmmm, perhaps I’ll tackle the other parts to the code enhancements later.


Alex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].

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