Date   

Re: QCX not working

Jonathan Bresler
 

Are the pins at the top of the LCD module soldered?
Having trouble seeing any solder around the 16 pins at the top of the LCD module.

On Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 2:49 PM Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I checked everything I know to check. The voltage checks out on the number three pin. The only problem is I don't have any blocks showing on the screen. Could it be a bad LCD. Here is a picture





On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 8:49 PM, Norman Miller via Groups.Io
<kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Ok the display is poers up but with no blocks on it. I checked the voltage on number 3 pin as I was adjusting the contrast control. Voltage went from 0 to 4.92. I checked and resolder all of the contact at the PCB. Going to keep checking


On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 5:26 PM, Ronald Taylor
<wa7gil@...> wrote:
Sorry, had to ask. So when you adjust contrast upward do you get 2 rows of blocks, 1 row of blocks across the top and blank below or just literally blank on both lines? 

If it stays totally blank as you adjust the contrast control, check pin 3 (3rd from left) of the LCD for voltage. This will vary from 0-5v as you adjust the pot. If you don’t see that voltage check the solder joints around that pin and trace it back to where it is not connected, following the schematic. If you do have voltage at pin 3 then you need to use your ohmmeter (with Radio off) and look for shorts between adjacent pins of the lcd, lcd pins to ground and +voltage, and look for continuity between lcd pins and corresponding pins on the processor. I know I mentioned a lot of this in earlier paragraphs  so if you did this already, please just let me know what you saw. 

If all the connections are good AND you have a single row of blocks instead of letters on row 1 of the display, you might have a bad processor chip or bad solder joints around it. If you have a good jewelers look or USB microscope, check the soldering of the Si5351A chip. Look for shorts between pins or missing solder. This is hardly ever an issue though. 

Ron


On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 14:29 Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Yes I did


On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 4:28 PM, Ronald Taylor
<wa7gil@...> wrote:
Did you adjust the contrast potentiometer? 

On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 12:54 Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Ok I worked the LCD and now when I plug in the power it lights up and stays on. The only problem is I can't get any words to come up. Just a blank screen. I pushed the left button but nothing.


On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 12:55 PM, Ronald Taylor
<wa7gil@...> wrote:
If the pins on the LCD are moving around inside the sockets on the main board then, no I’ve never heard that one before. BUT one very common issue is the solder joints themselves both on the LCD board and the main board. One of them could be a bit off and cause the same issue. Do a good re-heat job on all the pin contact spots on the LCD board and all the contacts for the corresponding socket on the main board. 

Sounds like you’re making progress. 

Ron

On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 07:06 Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Good news Ron.
I discovered that the pins that go into the bottom of the LCD were not making contact. When I moved the LCD around a little then the display would come up as it should. I am trying to find the best way to keep the pins where they need to be. Have you heard of the problem before.


On Wed, Dec 5, 2018 at 12:12 PM, Ronald Taylor
<wa7gil@...> wrote:
 If the earlier voltage checks I mentioned are now good (5v out of the regulator, then you need to check voltage on pin 3 of the LCD. This is the third pin from the left. It will vary from 0-5 v as you adjust R47. 

If that’s good then there’s a different problem and (with power off) you will need to do continuity checks from each pinnof the LCD to the corresponding pin of the processor, looking for an open circuit. Also use the ohm meter to check for shorts between adjacent pins of the LCD. 

You are in to some basic troubleshooting here and I highly recommend you read Hans’ excellent troubleshooting guide at www.qrp-labs.com/QCX/qcxtrouble.html

Good luck

Ron



On Wed, Dec 5, 2018 at 09:48 Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Ok I connected the power to the radio this morning. Nothing showed on the display. I adjusted R47 but nothing. Do you have any more ideas. Thanks


On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 4:32 PM, Ronald Taylor
<wa7gil@...> wrote:
Outstanding. Hope everything else works out ok on it. 

Ron

On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 14:31 Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Ok got power now I had the power lines reversed. 


On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 2:44 PM, Ronald Taylor
<wa7gil@...> wrote:
If you’re seeing 12 volts on all three legs of the regulator it means the center lead (common) isn’t grounded to the rest of the circuit for some reason. Set your meter to ohms (with Radio power turned off) and check for continuity (zero ohms) from the center leg of IC11 to the negative power connector terminal. If this is a high resistance check closely to see why the center pin isn’t grounded. Could be solder joint or that pad isn’t grounded (very unlikely). 

Don’t power the radio back up till you get to the bottom of this. If you really have 12 volts on the output pin of IC11 then it’s possible other stuff got damaged. 

Ron

On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 12:34 Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Thanks for the fast reply. I took the neg lead of my meter and put it on the neg terminal of the power connector. I took the pos lead of my meter and touched each leg of the IC11 I got 12. ? volts on each leg.
Not such if I an touching the wrong thing with the neg lead.
On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 10:29:11 AM EST, Ronald Taylor <wa7gil@...> wrote:


Norman, the manual says to first check to make sure you installed R48 and then check to see if the connectors between the display and main board are correct. Next you should check for 5 volts from the voltage regulator. That’s the large three terminalndevice to the left of the display and the 5 volt output should be on the right hand leg as viewed from the direction of the display. If no 5 v then check the left hand leg of the regulator to look for your 12 v input. If that isn’t there make sure you oriented the polarity protection diode the right way. If it’s correct then check for 12 v on both sides of that diode. If it’s the right way and only see voltage on one end then it’s bad. If no voltage on either end then check your power connections. Also one thing to check is the polarity of the 12 v supply. If it’s backwards then the diode is doing it’s job protecting the circuits. The positive should be in the lower screw of the input terminal strip. 

Hope that helps. 

Ron 

On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 07:57 Alan G4ZFQ <alan4alan@...> wrote:
> I just completed my qcx kit it looks great. I connected the power to it
> but cannot get any light to come on the display. I have checked and I
> have power on the board but don't know what to check next. Need some advice.

The manual gives some voltage checks, where does it go wrong?

73 Alan G4ZFQ






Re: QCX not working

Norman Miller
 

I checked everything I know to check. The voltage checks out on the number three pin. The only problem is I don't have any blocks showing on the screen. Could it be a bad LCD. Here is a picture





On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 8:49 PM, Norman Miller via Groups.Io
<kn4gsl@...> wrote:
Ok the display is poers up but with no blocks on it. I checked the voltage on number 3 pin as I was adjusting the contrast control. Voltage went from 0 to 4.92. I checked and resolder all of the contact at the PCB. Going to keep checking


On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 5:26 PM, Ronald Taylor
<wa7gil@...> wrote:
Sorry, had to ask. So when you adjust contrast upward do you get 2 rows of blocks, 1 row of blocks across the top and blank below or just literally blank on both lines? 

If it stays totally blank as you adjust the contrast control, check pin 3 (3rd from left) of the LCD for voltage. This will vary from 0-5v as you adjust the pot. If you don’t see that voltage check the solder joints around that pin and trace it back to where it is not connected, following the schematic. If you do have voltage at pin 3 then you need to use your ohmmeter (with Radio off) and look for shorts between adjacent pins of the lcd, lcd pins to ground and +voltage, and look for continuity between lcd pins and corresponding pins on the processor. I know I mentioned a lot of this in earlier paragraphs  so if you did this already, please just let me know what you saw. 

If all the connections are good AND you have a single row of blocks instead of letters on row 1 of the display, you might have a bad processor chip or bad solder joints around it. If you have a good jewelers look or USB microscope, check the soldering of the Si5351A chip. Look for shorts between pins or missing solder. This is hardly ever an issue though. 

Ron


On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 14:29 Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Yes I did


On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 4:28 PM, Ronald Taylor
<wa7gil@...> wrote:
Did you adjust the contrast potentiometer? 

On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 12:54 Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Ok I worked the LCD and now when I plug in the power it lights up and stays on. The only problem is I can't get any words to come up. Just a blank screen. I pushed the left button but nothing.


On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 12:55 PM, Ronald Taylor
<wa7gil@...> wrote:
If the pins on the LCD are moving around inside the sockets on the main board then, no I’ve never heard that one before. BUT one very common issue is the solder joints themselves both on the LCD board and the main board. One of them could be a bit off and cause the same issue. Do a good re-heat job on all the pin contact spots on the LCD board and all the contacts for the corresponding socket on the main board. 

Sounds like you’re making progress. 

Ron

On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 07:06 Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Good news Ron.
I discovered that the pins that go into the bottom of the LCD were not making contact. When I moved the LCD around a little then the display would come up as it should. I am trying to find the best way to keep the pins where they need to be. Have you heard of the problem before.


On Wed, Dec 5, 2018 at 12:12 PM, Ronald Taylor
<wa7gil@...> wrote:
 If the earlier voltage checks I mentioned are now good (5v out of the regulator, then you need to check voltage on pin 3 of the LCD. This is the third pin from the left. It will vary from 0-5 v as you adjust R47. 

If that’s good then there’s a different problem and (with power off) you will need to do continuity checks from each pinnof the LCD to the corresponding pin of the processor, looking for an open circuit. Also use the ohm meter to check for shorts between adjacent pins of the LCD. 

You are in to some basic troubleshooting here and I highly recommend you read Hans’ excellent troubleshooting guide at www.qrp-labs.com/QCX/qcxtrouble.html

Good luck

Ron



On Wed, Dec 5, 2018 at 09:48 Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Ok I connected the power to the radio this morning. Nothing showed on the display. I adjusted R47 but nothing. Do you have any more ideas. Thanks


On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 4:32 PM, Ronald Taylor
<wa7gil@...> wrote:
Outstanding. Hope everything else works out ok on it. 

Ron

On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 14:31 Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Ok got power now I had the power lines reversed. 


On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 2:44 PM, Ronald Taylor
<wa7gil@...> wrote:
If you’re seeing 12 volts on all three legs of the regulator it means the center lead (common) isn’t grounded to the rest of the circuit for some reason. Set your meter to ohms (with Radio power turned off) and check for continuity (zero ohms) from the center leg of IC11 to the negative power connector terminal. If this is a high resistance check closely to see why the center pin isn’t grounded. Could be solder joint or that pad isn’t grounded (very unlikely). 

Don’t power the radio back up till you get to the bottom of this. If you really have 12 volts on the output pin of IC11 then it’s possible other stuff got damaged. 

Ron

On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 12:34 Norman Miller via Groups.Io <kn4gsl=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Thanks for the fast reply. I took the neg lead of my meter and put it on the neg terminal of the power connector. I took the pos lead of my meter and touched each leg of the IC11 I got 12. ? volts on each leg.
Not such if I an touching the wrong thing with the neg lead.
On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 10:29:11 AM EST, Ronald Taylor <wa7gil@...> wrote:


Norman, the manual says to first check to make sure you installed R48 and then check to see if the connectors between the display and main board are correct. Next you should check for 5 volts from the voltage regulator. That’s the large three terminalndevice to the left of the display and the 5 volt output should be on the right hand leg as viewed from the direction of the display. If no 5 v then check the left hand leg of the regulator to look for your 12 v input. If that isn’t there make sure you oriented the polarity protection diode the right way. If it’s correct then check for 12 v on both sides of that diode. If it’s the right way and only see voltage on one end then it’s bad. If no voltage on either end then check your power connections. Also one thing to check is the polarity of the 12 v supply. If it’s backwards then the diode is doing it’s job protecting the circuits. The positive should be in the lower screw of the input terminal strip. 

Hope that helps. 

Ron 

On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 07:57 Alan G4ZFQ <alan4alan@...> wrote:
> I just completed my qcx kit it looks great. I connected the power to it
> but cannot get any light to come on the display. I have checked and I
> have power on the board but don't know what to check next. Need some advice.

The manual gives some voltage checks, where does it go wrong?

73 Alan G4ZFQ






Re: QCX a Phenomenal Transceiver

mike
 

It really is a very nice single band rig. I finally built my three (940. 941, 942) rigs this last week. From building to uploading the latest firmware to calibrating with a GPS module, it's been a great experience. I did all the upgrades (they were rev 2 boards) as I went along and everything turned out just fine. 

Two of the rigs were missing a few parts. Nothing I couldn't remedy with a quick Mouser order (needed an Arduino UNO anyways). Two powered up just fine on the first try. The third had a fried L5 that I replaced which brought it up to snuff.

I really like calibration of the crystal with a GPS pps signal. The GPS modules are very inexpensive and doing it this way feels like cheating in a way. Love it.

Small con: As I operated last night on 80m I really missed that ability to set the other VFO to the same freq as my current VFO. For examle, if I am listening on VFO A it would set VFO B to VFO A's freq and vice versa. I don't much like rit and prefer split mode most of the time when chasing DX or FOX hunting. Having this capability would be such a convenience. Perhaps an addition to later firmware.

Later,
mike/w1mt


Re: Side cutters #tool

Graham, VE3GTC
 

Many new through hole parts being made in China use plated steel wire for the leads as it's cheaper than copper.  I find some leads are tougher than others, and of course the thicker ones will be tougher than the thinner ones.  Check with a magnet.

cheers, Graham ve3gtc

On 2018-12-14 01:40:05, turnsouth via Groups.Io wrote:
Wow, thanks for all the advice, so many choices.

After reading the cautions, I wonder if it is the leads from transistors that play havoc on cutters. After a series of LED Christmas tress I built in a row this year for the XYL, I noticed they seem to be a hard steel compared to resistors and the rest.


Re: Side cutters #tool

jjpurdum
 

Only restriction is NO TOWER IN MY YARD!

What the deal? 3+ acres with 100' tall trees to hide stuff all around and I have the same restriction. I pointed out: "You'll never even see the tower!". Her response: "I'll know it's there." Man, if she weren't so good looking and damn nice...

Jack,  W8TEE

On Friday, December 14, 2018, 5:38:27 AM EST, David Wilcox via Groups.Io <Djwilcox01@...> wrote:


I bought my XYL a professional grade set of side cutters for her artificial flower decorating hobby....... too much invested after 45 years, and the decorations around the house look great.  Got back into the radio hobby and took on a wife at the same time so she was forewarned.  Only restriction is NO TOWER IN MY YARD!  But, lots of wires in the air.  The birds hate me.

David J. Wilcox K8WPE’s iPad

> On Dec 13, 2018, at 3:31 PM, juggie@... wrote:
>
> Still using a pair of Lindstrom needle nose pliers that I was given 45 years ago here, still very nice to use too. I’d be using the cutters that I was given at the same time if my xyl hadn’t sniffled them and cut florists wire with them - solved that problem though, divorced her !!
>
> 73s all, Nick
>
>
>




Re: U3s Frequency drift / stability #u3s #wspr #problem

Alan G4ZFQ
 

Quote from technical note.
* Ultimate3S transmission sequence is configured such that there is a
pause in transmissions at the end of each cycle, during which the
GPS 1pps is used to measure the reference frequency of the Si5351A
Synthesiser (27MHz crystal) */and compute a correction in
software/*.....".
José

Yes, this is how it SHOULD work.
But if it is not configured correctly it may not calibrate at all.

Do you see it calibrate?
What message is shown after the calibration?
Have you set the transmit frequency correctly, 1500Hz above "Dial" frequency?

If we know it is setup correctly then we can consider a fault.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Re: U3s Frequency drift / stability #u3s #wspr #problem

JC - EA2KV
 

Hi guys,
Back again,  let me explain the case in a better way.
The drift Im suffering is, as per this technical note: http://qrp-labs.com/images/appnotes/AN001_A4.pdf a "long term drifting",  my drift during transmision is decent.

More in detail:  
Quote from technical note.
  • Ultimate3S transmission sequence is configured such that there is a pause in transmissions at the end of each cycle, during which the GPS 1pps is used to measure the reference frequency of the Si5351A Synthesiser (27MHz crystal) and compute a correction in software.....".
Unquote.

In my case, the "computing correction in software" ocurring with every single calibration, which is normal in order to get the +/- right reference BUT, never stop moving the Ref. Freq value puting finally my TX out of any RX winddow.

Could this issue be a software problem with the ATMEGA??

Tks - EA2KV


Re: GPS Module wanted

Alan G4ZFQ
 

On 14/12/2018 11:54, mike wrote:
Saw this post two days ago and ordered one of these GPS modules. Awesome. Got it working last night after flashing the latest on three QCX's I calibrated them with the GPS. worked perfectly.
Mike,

Yuo may be interested that the VK2828U7G5LF has one of the u-Blox modules that allows you to configure the PPS to be up to about 15 million PPS! https://sites.google.com/site/g4zfqradio/u-blox_neo-6-7

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Re: GPS Module wanted

mike
 

Saw this post two days ago and ordered one of these GPS modules. Awesome. Got it working last night after flashing the latest on three QCX's I calibrated them with the GPS. worked perfectly.

Thanks for the tip!

mike/w1mt


Re: VFO/SigGen questions

N1BUG
 

Hi Hans,

Back in full operation after a few days being sick...

Thanks for the additional explanation.

For the things I am doing, I probably should use full GPSDOs, but
they are expensive. I am considering something between what I have
now and that level.

So if I have this right, 0.1 ppm would be 0.04 Hz at 400 kHz,
divided by 4 in the quadrature LO of my LF receiver for a final
stability of 0.01 Hz at 100 kHz. That would be about an order of
magnitude better than my free running crystal oscillator, a
worthwhile upgrade and good enough for anything I can do with this
particular system.

73,
Paul

On 12/10/18 11:59 PM, Hans Summers wrote:
Hi Paul

In addition to the (excellent) other answers to your question...

The 27MHz reference oscillator measurement is made to 0.01Hz resolution.

But the calculation of the Si5351A registers inherently contains its own
built-in inaccuracies and this is what limits it to 0.1ppm (actually it is
more like 0.03ppm in practice). This could be improved (if there were more
hours in a day). But this is the state of the firmware currently.

You are also correct that the error scales with frequency. But this
includes both the error of the 27MHz ref clock, and the inaccuracy of the
calculation.

73 Hans G0UPL
http://qrp-labs.com



On Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 1:42 PM N1BUG <paul@n1bug.com> wrote:

I am trying to determine whether the VFO/SigGen would be a
worthwhile upgrade to several crystal oscillators and one inferior
TCXO in my station. I have a few questions.

Has anyone measured accuracy or short and long term frequency
stability? The operating manual says it updates the 27 MHz reference
frequency in .01 Hz steps but doesn't explicitly state how often
(every second?). App Note 006 says the accuracy is 0.1 PPM which is
worse than I would expect if the reference is updated in such small
steps. Maybe we are talking about two different things... accuracy
vs stability/drift?

Am I correct in assuming any error of the 27 MHz reference is
divided down if the output frequency is lower? Eg. if the 27 MHz
reference changes by 1 Hz, an output signal at 2.7 MHz would change
by 0.1 Hz?

Is there any issue with setting the output to 27 000 000?

73,
Paul N1BUG


Re: Side cutters #tool

David Wilcox
 

I bought my XYL a professional grade set of side cutters for her artificial flower decorating hobby....... too much invested after 45 years, and the decorations around the house look great. Got back into the radio hobby and took on a wife at the same time so she was forewarned. Only restriction is NO TOWER IN MY YARD! But, lots of wires in the air. The birds hate me.

David J. Wilcox K8WPE’s iPad

On Dec 13, 2018, at 3:31 PM, juggie@cix.co.uk wrote:

Still using a pair of Lindstrom needle nose pliers that I was given 45 years ago here, still very nice to use too. I’d be using the cutters that I was given at the same time if my xyl hadn’t sniffled them and cut florists wire with them - solved that problem though, divorced her !!

73s all, Nick



Re: Side cutters #tool

Ryan Flowers
 

Another vote for the Hakko. I bought a pair and then my wife thought I didn't, and ordered it for me! So now I have two pair. The second pair is unopened because the first one keeps going and going. I use it for all sorts of things. A great deal! https://amzn.to/2PTft3T

--
Ryan Flowers - W7RLF
MiscDotGeek.com
Multi Band BITX40 using QRP Labs Filters
The BITX40 FAQ


Re: QSX tcvr built-in Spectrum Analyzer

Qi Fan
 

Now I can't imagine how long will the wait time be for the second batch of orders.


Re: Side cutters #tool

turnsouth@...
 

Wow, thanks for all the advice, so many choices.

After reading the cautions, I wonder if it is the leads from transistors that play havoc on cutters. After a series of LED Christmas tress I built in a row this year for the XYL, I noticed they seem to be a hard steel compared to resistors and the rest.


Pictures in operation [was Re: [QRPLabs] Side cutters] #pics

KB3USG
 

On 2018-12-13 18:58-0000, m5fra2 via Groups.Io wrote:
See http://www.m5fra.org.uk/home-construction/qcx-transceiver-build/
So, I'm having issues with mine (and I'm a bit of a newbie) and one of
the things I wondered about was my decoder detecting I's, E's, H's and I
didn't know whether this was normal.

Looks as if it _is_ normal.

Thanks for publishing the picutures!

Paul
KB3USG


QCX Antenna Analyser feasibility #firmware #qcx

Pedro Henrique Kopper
 

Hello,
I was wondering how feasible it would be to implement a crude antenna analyzer in the QCX transceiver. It already has a SI5351 onboard and an exposed RF input, so it should be mostly a matter of implementing sweep functionality to the signal generator and attaching the transceiver to a resistive bridge, feeding it's output back to the RF input port.

Thanks,
Pedro


Re: Side cutters #tool

Les G3VYZ
 

I also have G8ARF :-)

I have two pairs of side cutters from RS (548-164) which have an attachment that stops the
wire offcut from flying across the room. They are over forty years old, still going strong and
are still sold by RS.


Re: #wspr U3S for 2m WSPR: How to remove the frequency-swing at start of transmission #wspr

M0RON
 

Thanks for that Hans, 
My other two u3s both have park set to 2 and 15000000 so I just set this one the same when doing initial set up.
If I set to park mode 3 this turns park mode off between transmissions if I read it correctly. I'll try it and see. I have two u3s with the OCXO kit fitted so if it works I'll switch it off on both OCXO kits.
Andy
--
The universe is made up of Protons, Neutrons, Electrons but contains only one M0RON.


Re: Shack clock contrast adjustment

KI7MWA
 

....And NOW...like Ken, I am answering my own question: having MISread the construction manual, I supposed that "no connection" was one of the intended options when, in fact, THE ONLY TWO OPTIONS specified by the manual are jumper and 220k.  It is right there on page 6..."Install one of the two choices:"


Re: Side cutters #tool

juggie@...
 

Still using a pair of Lindstrom needle nose pliers that I was given 45 years ago here, still very nice to use too. I’d be using the cutters that I was given at the same time if my xyl hadn’t sniffled them and cut florists wire with them - solved that problem though, divorced her !!

73s all, Nick