Re: How about an ultra-portable "QCX mini" version? #qcx

K2DB Paul Mackanos

How about letting Hans get finished with the QXS ?
Paul K2DB

On Sun, Aug 2, 2020 at 12:45 PM Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:
Hi all

As I said earlier on this thread, back in June... I would give it some consideration. Options could include bringing back a batch of the original QCX, and as an alternative, designing a smaller, SMD version of the QCX. 

So now, for the purposes of attenuation of speculation...

On careful consideration I didn't feel enthusiastic about another batch of QCX, it would be insufficiently different to the new QCX+ for me to be confident of enough sales; and smaller batch would not get the necessary economies of scale so prices would increase. And I'm not psychologically well adjusted to what I would see as looking backwards... I have to keep moving forwards. 

I am a lot more enthusiastic about an SMD version of QCX which could be somewhat smaller even than the original QCX. Yet with the same circuit and the same firmware and operational features. So one firmware version for the new QCX+, the almost 10,000 original QCX out there, and a new SMD version. 

The kit will be a mix of SMD and through-hole components. In particular, band specific components should be through-hole. All SMD components ready-assembled. 

I understand the comments about including batteries and speaker and antenna tuner and who knows what else. I'd like it that way too, personally. But two factors are against that. First is that in order to avoid a lengthy new product development when there are already too many projects. The second is that the majority of portable operators I have discussed this with, would prefer a QCX to be the radio on it's own. The don't want the choice of antenna tuners batteries etc made for them. Doubtless there will be plenty of operators on both sides, but this is my impression of the majority view on a smaller version of QCX. The larger QCX+ does have space for all that. And anyone who by now has physically held a QCX+ in their hand will be able to testify that it really is not all that enormous. 

I shall put this project in motion. It isn't a huge project since the schematic, firmware etc remain the same. Just a different physical implementation. Nevertheless it will be necessary to go through a couple of rounds of PCB layout, prototype, test etc., both for the radio and enclosure. So you can expect it to take a couple of months, before I have this ready to fly off the shelves. 

73 Hans G0UPL 

On Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 18:17 jjpurdum via <> wrote:
I wonder if an existing company might license the QCX design from Hans and build/market the SMD version? I'd do the financials like a book: pay an upfront advance against royalties and then pay Hans so much per unit. I did something like this on a software package I wrote back in the 1980's. I gave exclusive distribution rights for the software to the company and received an advance plus royalties. The contract was perpetual, provided $XX/year in total royalties were paid. It worked fine for about two years, after which the company went belly-up. (Not my fault, honest.) The software reverted back to me...I still have it!

I think that approach could be a win-win for Hans without draining his coffers and time, plus a win for those of us who would like such a version of the QCX.

Jack, W8TEE

On Sunday, August 2, 2020, 10:08:22 AM EDT, Torbjorn Skauli <tskauli@...> wrote:

I appreciate all the interesting discussions here. To Razvan, just a reminder that your self-contained dream rig can become reality with the QCX if some effort is put into that, for example with my 3D printed enclosure that you find in the Builders' gallery, shown here on the top of the ski jump with sunglasses for scale. After reading all the well-thought posts about processors, displays and SMD kits, I think we must remember that QRP Labs is just Hans and his few assistants of various sizes. I am still most tempted by my original proposal to use the current QCX design with SMD preassembled, as the Si5351 is already, leaving only the band-specific parts for the user to build. Using large SMDs is probably a good thing, to make servicing easier. I see a potential for fitting two of those rigs in my pockets, to have one for WSPR while I practice CW on the other.
Stay safe, and have a nice summer everyone!
73 de Torbjorn, LA4ZCA

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