VHF/UHF Transceiver Personality Board

The transceiver personality board installed and testing with the VHF SA868 Module.

There’s an exciting current project on the G1LRO workbench with a new personality board creation. Working as a collaborative project with Smitty N6MTS (who also supplies the Universal Radio Controller in the USA and internationally), we’re creating an innovative transceiver board for the URC.

The single board design supports a UHF or VHF transceiver module, having selectable low-pass filtering for either band by the removal of a link. With large pad sizes for the power module and the transceiver, the kit should be easy to build without the need of a microscope 🙂

The selectable LPF designed by N1MTS performed perfectly under test with >30db suppression of harmonics

Power for the 2-Watt transceiver unit exceeds the capability of the USB-C connector, so an additional ~12V barrel jack is provided on the front panel. There’s a facility to power the entire URC from the front panel jack if the unit is used stand-alone, for instance with the existing APRS digipeater personality board, or an external device.

The URC serial port provides the programming and control functions of the transceiver, allowing full CAT control of frequency, CTCSS, power levels, audio etc. The TX and RX audio of the transceiver are plumbed into the URC sound card making this a truly remote-control radio.

With this level of connected control and functionality there are a wide range of applications for this unit including APRS and Packet terminals and digipeaters, AllStar nodes, simplex FM repeaters etc. Please add an idea in the comments that you’d like to try.

Availability of the transceiver option board will be both in USA and UK, and expected to be in production in early spring. Any owner of a V2.2 (or later) Universal Radio Controller can install the board (and new front panel) using the increasingly useful URC expansion slot.

The Universal Radio Controller interface and personality board specification is recently available under Open Hardware licence for any individual or company to use freely as a platform for innovative connected-radio applications; the hope is there will be more innovations like the transceiver board.