- Two possible improvements for the QCX/QCX+
Re: Two possible improvements for the QCX/QCX+
Arv Evans <arvid.evans@...>
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Jack, and others
Some time ago I played with several versions of RTC modules from Ebay sources. These use various clock chips (get and review the datasheet) with slightly different functions. Some include a tiny variable capacitor for fine tuning the clock oscillator.
My interest at the time was to do something like a GPS receiver but without the location feature (I usually have a pretty good idea of my location). Date and time was accurate enough for digital modes. Some of these modules can be configured to output a 1 PPS tick that is stable enough to use for VFO correction adjustment, similar to the 1 PPS from a GPS receiver
These RTC modules are reasonably priced and easy to incorporate into your designs if you just want accurate date and time but do not need to know your location. There are several example code sets in the Android IDE and on the Internet.
I seriously doubt there is enough memory left for Hans to cram much of anything else into the QCX. However, a second Nano with a button cell for powering it in sleep mode could be added either externally or as part of the QCX+ breadboard space. A RTC (Real Time Clock) module can be had for around a $1 (eBay: 202988008138) and even has a button cell holder on it. The new Nano software could manage the interface to the LCD as well as formatting the date/time. It's not a GPS, but it might be good enough.
At the risk of brimming the bucket of new ideas for the QCX/QCX+ I wonder if there would be sufficient interest in the following?
The recent addition of a clock display on the LCD is a great idea, but without using a GPS always resets to 00:00 upon being powered up. Ive looked at the possibility of keeping the 328 powered up by a backup battery, but even with two alkaline AAs this setup wont last long. It appears the 328 is capable of being put into various levels of "sleep" at very low power consumption but this would require software changes along with a soft on/off switch...maybe the new switch on the QCX+ is a sign?!
At least with the clock resetting to 00:00 at each power up reminds me of just how long I've been whiling away tuning the bands.
Secondly, the simple low cost encoder used for the tuning matches well with the software, though I find the 100Hz rate, while tuning fast enough, the steps are a bit coarse, while the 10Hz rate is lovely and smooth, takes an age to QSY any decent amount.
Ive got a lovely 400ppr encoder, but if I try this on the QCX any rotation of the knob past a snails pace causes missed pulses. I wonder if the encoder could be polled more frequently without compromising other features?
I'm approaching this from the angle of using my QCX as my main rig for DXing (with and without a 100w amp)
Out of memory??
73 Steve G4EDG
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