Re: Diagnostic software for uBitx #ubitx

Hans Summers
 

Hi all

> So far I have to say the Han's QCX concept is really
> neat. It uses 6 passive components and provides an 
> on-board DC, AC/RF meter, RF power meter, frequency 
> meter and signal generator. Brilliant.
>
> That coupled with the measuring functions pre-loaded
> in software and an expected list of values seems the
> best value for money in debugging a radio's circuit 
> and wiring.

Thanks for the nice comments about the built-in test equipment and alignment procedures in the QCX transceiver kit http://qrp-labs.com/qcx ! At the time I developed these features I had no idea that they would create so much excitement.

I had never seen a kit with built-in test and alignment equipment before. But I have personally in the past have built kits or projects, and got all the way to the end - only to find what seems like a very complex alignment procedure, or I need some other piece of test equipment for it - and relegated the kit to the shelf for seemingly infinite postponement. 

The QCX concept was originally designed for the YOTA 2017 summercamp buildathon hosted in UK by RSGB in August last year. I could imagine a room full of youngsters finishing the assembly and getting stuck for want of equipment to use for an adjustment procedure... or fighting over one set of equipment the organizers had brought along for the purpose. How much nicer, to have all the equipment built-in, along with firmware assistance to guide you easily through the process! In the QCX it's a Band Pass Filter peaking adjustment, then the I-Q balance and phasing adjustment to get best unwanted sideband suppression. It makes alignment simple. Literally just a few minutes is all it takes to adjust it for around 60dB unwanted sideband cancellation.

Once that far... It was a relatively small further thought step to say, well why not add the DVM (which can later be jumpered to the power supply input to allow an on-screen battery icon, useful for portable use!), RF Power meter, frequency counter and signal generator. It took very few additional components to add these, which are useful if the assembly needs debugging, and even just for general purpose use in the shack.

I'm really happy these built-in test and alignment equupment features have turned out so popular!

73 Hans G0UPL 

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