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We asked Steve Weber (KD1JV) to design a PLL synthesized VFO kit (160m-10m) for our transceiver kits. His design utilizes the Si5351A PLL clock generator chip, with a single chip Atmega328P µP for control, featuring a five digit LED frequency readout to 10Hz resolution. You simply set the band and frequency with the onboard push buttons. No need to source crystals for additional frequencies or modes. This kit contains all the components and hardware for the VFO to mount onto either digital transceiver pcb, other compatible kits, or if desired, using the four corner holes, mount remotely in your custom chassis. The Si5351A clock chip is the only SMD component, all others are through hole. There are additional connections for using a readily available rotary encoder if desired.
The pcb is 3.95″ (74.8mm) x 1.60″ (40.7mm), and mounts directly on either transceiver board, or remotely, using the included hardware. Power required 9-14V @40mA.
As a starting point, the VFO defaults to the FT8 frequency for 160m-17m, and QRP calling frequency for 15m-10m. Specific frequencies for other modes can be easily entered. To use, simply power up and set the digital readout to the specific frequency for your use. The firmware is written with the Arduino IDE and is open source, allowing for the user to modify the sketch to add functions. On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the most difficult, this is rated as a 3-4 due to the SMD chip. The normal tools required are a soldering iron with a small tip, rosin core solder, small side cutters, a small Phillips screwdriver, and some Solder Wick® if needed. Allow a couple of hours to build, depending on your experience.