Experience with the UDRC-II

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I got my UDRC-II board at Sea-Pac 2017 as part of a Friday Seminar. However due to interfacing issues it took a while to get it talking to my KX-2. I do now have it talking after constructing the appropriate cable. This article will collect some of my experience using the board.

The biggest issue I had was not with the UDRC-II, but with the Touch Screen case I got as part of the package I signed up for. The problem is that the Raspberry Pi touchscreen has to be mounted a certain way for the best viewing angle. This results in the ports on the Pi and the UDRC-II to be pointed down, making it very hard to connect anything to it. I ended up purchasing a different case that rotates the entire package, so you have to add lcd_rotate=2 to the boot/config.txt file to get everything to show up right. The new case allows me to easily connect the cables. But the viewing angle is bad. Sigh. Can’t win them all.

Eventually I gave up on using the 7” Touchscreen for the Pi. It’s just too small to be effective, and the resolution is just shy of being able to show most software full screen. I’ve now mounted the UDRC-II and Pi in the acrylic case and connect with a keyboard, mouse, and regular monitor. At this point it is almost easier to use my laptop when in the field. However, that involves a lot more cables than the UDRC-II.

NW Digital Radio has also moved on from the UDRC-II and now is in early production of the Digital Radio Amateur Work Station or DRAWS board. It is similar to the UDRC-II, except it uses only Mini-DIN connector for the radio ports, and includes the ability to receive GPS signals for position and time.

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