Date   
Re: Pico Balloon Launch LightAPRS N6CVO-11

BrianB
 

27-JUL-2019 00:30:00 UTC

Well it was a good flight but I'm going to declare this one over and recap the many milestones achieved. If it suddenly reappears (which one balloon did 7-days later) ill update everyone.

Milestones:

- The payload  rigging, wiring, software, configuration, and pre-flight testing out in the sunlight went as planned.

- No one was blown up during the stretching, final lift adjustments, and transporting of the hydrogen balloons.

- Launch was a bit sketchy with the high winds but successful

- Transmitter turned on as the sun rose and continued to do so for the following three days.

- Balloon reached altitude (~10km or 32,000') within 2hrs and achieved neutral buoyancy.

- The flight successfully entered the Jetstream on the fourth day and roared up the east coast of the US.

- Telemetry data shows it crossed the continent traveling thru 15 US states and two Canadian providences.

- Top speed achieved was 228km/h (138mph).

- Numerous people across the country directly heard the packet data and two chased it with their cars for hours.

- One person had it flight path near their house and was able to see flickering reflections off it for 5-minutes.

- It generated way more interest than I imagined.

- And lastly it made it somewhere out into the North Atlantic. That is an incredible feat on it's own.

 

This will have to be thought over and discussed for a while to see if there are things we would change for another flight.

I want to thank those who directly helped and all of you that were interested and sent words of encouragement.

Till next time.

73,
BrianB
N6CVO

Re: Splitting VFO output

John Seboldt K0JD
 

A re-reading of my post will tell you that this is not my question. My question is good logic components to split and buffer EACH OUTPUT to 2 different diode mixers. I remember some articles about 74ACT(?) series devices with paralled outputs as mixer drivers or QRP transmitters, and am looking for some concrete components that might work all the way to 2 meters. If not to 150-some MHz, at least to 30-60 MHz.


On 7/26/2019 16:07, geoff M0ORE via Groups.Io wrote:

Have you read the user manual for the VFO. ( I am assuming that you are of course referring to the QRP Labs VFO kit)

It is possible that if you read para 2.7, section dealing with Clk 1 mode, it may help you. This is the user guide, not the assembly manual.

Geoff

On 26/07/2019 20:13, John Seboldt K0JD wrote:
I want to interface the VFO kit to my setup with the KK7B R2 and T2 receiver/exciter pair. The I and Q signals need to be at the operating frequency, since these devices use a pair of diode mixers each for I and Q.

I imagine some multi-section logic buffers or inverters are all you'd need. Any suggestions for particular parts and configurations for something that would be good at least to 2 meters? Obviously layout and lead lengths will have to be nice and symmetrical to keep the I/Q relationship good.

John Seboldt K0JD
Milwaukee






Re: Splitting VFO output

geoff M0ORE
 

Have you read the user manual for the VFO. ( I am assuming that you are of course referring to the QRP Labs VFO kit)

It is possible that if you read para 2.7, section dealing with Clk 1 mode, it may help you. This is the user guide, not the assembly manual.

Geoff

On 26/07/2019 20:13, John Seboldt K0JD wrote:
I want to interface the VFO kit to my setup with the KK7B R2 and T2 receiver/exciter pair. The I and Q signals need to be at the operating frequency, since these devices use a pair of diode mixers each for I and Q.

I imagine some multi-section logic buffers or inverters are all you'd need. Any suggestions for particular parts and configurations for something that would be good at least to 2 meters? Obviously layout and lead lengths will have to be nice and symmetrical to keep the I/Q relationship good.

John Seboldt K0JD
Milwaukee






Re: Plastic or metal case

Ted 2E0THH
 

Don and Phil

Thank you for your kind words.
This is the box I sourced for all three units:


Search ebay for:
Black Aluminum Box Circuit Board Enclosure Case Project Electronic 150*105*55MM.

As promised, here are some more photos:








Most of it should be self explanatory. I sourced (China again) a 5k pot with switch as alternative to the one supplied in the kit. I needed a smaller footprint too.
On the back, the 2 banana sockets at the bottom are for my old Czech morse key which has a 2 pronged plug. The paddle socket is situated just above in the middle. There is also a power connector on the bottom right. I think I bought the feet from Metacase but there must be a US supplier I would hope.
I've no special skills or tools, just a drill, a file and a little bit of patience.

Good luck with your construction, let me know if I can help with anything else. 

73s Ted
2E0THH


On Fri, Jul 26, 2019 at 02:57 PM, Don--AE4DW wrote:
Hi Ted..those cases, and the workmanship, look great!

When you mention Chinese cases, am I correct to assume those are not the cases Hans sells, but a third party offering? I'm actually curious about the legs and where you sourced them. g

Re: QCX: Calculation of low pass filter for PA?

 

On Fri, Jul 26, 2019 at 06:03 AM, Axel wrote:
RFSIM99: I have placed the parts into RFSIM99 and did successfully run the simulation. Now, how can I get the right parts' values? Just by manually setting different values and see what the simulation gives? Or, is there a design tool in RFSIM99 with which this can be done?
RFSIM99 does it all for you.

TOOLS > DESIGN > FILTER.

Tell it what filter you want, how many elements, freq and press the button.

It instantly give you an optimized circuit and s-parameter simulation.

Even a baby can use it ;-)

73 de Andy

Splitting VFO output

John Seboldt K0JD
 

I want to interface the VFO kit to my setup with the KK7B R2 and T2 receiver/exciter pair. The I and Q signals need to be at the operating frequency, since these devices use a pair of diode mixers each for I and Q.

I imagine some multi-section logic buffers or inverters are all you'd need. Any suggestions for particular parts and configurations for something that would be good at least to 2 meters? Obviously layout and lead lengths will have to be nice and symmetrical to keep the I/Q relationship good.

John Seboldt K0JD
Milwaukee

Re: My QCX40 .....

Stephen Farthing G0XAR JO92ON97
 

Hi guys,

I got my 6 watts out with an input of 13.8 volts 0.56 amperes. I measured the output power with my QRP Labs dummy load and a new multi meter. I’ll get the scope out tomorrow and take another reading. But the meter wasn’t cheap so I’m pretty confident it’s accurate. Rather than do the arithmetic I used the nice graph of output voltage vs power in the QCX manual. 

Next step is to trim my end fed half wave antenna to be resonant on the CW portion of the band. That’s the last excuse! 

Have a great weekend

Steve G0XAR 

Re: Odd problem with my QCX 40 #qcx

Peter GM0EUL
 

Hi All
Thanks for the helpful suggestions and group wisdom.  I think its fixed but with an apparently weather dependent (heat) intermittent fault its hard to tell.  I traced the problem to somewhere around IC9 and swapped out two or three suspicious components one at a time.  Swapping R35 (750K) seemed to make the difference and it was quite microphonic when I tried touching things.  I didn't have a 750K so I put a 1M and it works fine.  Is there any reason not to just leave it rather than get a 750K and change it back?

Its very much cooler today so I don't know know for certain how fixed it is.  If it plays up again I'll try the freezing trick with an inverted can of liquid air.

I completed the FISTS 5 day qrp cw event with all contacts on 40m and made with the QCX running about 4-5 watts to a dipole.

Thanks again for the suggestions to get it working again and finish the challenge.

73
Peter
GM0EUL
   

Re: qcx calibration

Alan de G1FXB
 

Hi Terry,
It's not meant as one-upmanship just examples
? builders have built in the QLG1 module to their project, with minimal impact to portability,
If battery use while portable is an issue, turn it off after you have done an initial calibration run.
For packaging ideas see:-

RA3DQT looks to have built a U3S TX, Receiver & Poly phase kit, switched band filters and GPS kit in the std enclosure.
?https://groups.io/g/QRPLabs/album?id=4406

Search the U3 Builders photo's for U3S / GPS all in one solutions that have being carried out:-
http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/u3builders.html
Len KA7FTP
630m U3S built by Jeff VE3EFF
6-band U3S with built-in battery by Mario DF8DL
Ultimate3S system by Uwe DG6YHO

QCX Builders photo's
http://qrp-labs.com/qcx/qcxgallery.html
QCX in special case by Michael DG8YP

Likely find more examples that didn't make the QRP-Labs galleries by searching this forum posts

Alan,
no it really doesn't matter that
"
U3 or QCX is a few tenths of a Hz out? " in the real world with any of their modes.
It was hinting at the U3S / QCX perhaps overlooked potential
It's sobering to realise, what the QRP-Labs kit frequency accuracy provided with GPS discipline actually is.

As you say, Lab standards likely do more than just freq lock to WWV to increase their repeatability.
NIST's paid for calibration service to commercial organisations doesn't use WWV/B at all but uses GPS....
https://www.nist.gov/programs-projects/frequency-measurement-and-analysis-service-fmas
It could be the Mil setup it doesn't say. If it's the civilian feed then that's QLG1 decodable to within it's limitations.
Compare the accuracy Vs. costs given on that page (one off & monthly), to building something from Hans with GPS Discipline
which should sit in between WWV & FMAS.
Frankly considering the difference in costs........

Hence my WWV+ specification frequency reference on your bench, comment previously.
I'm not looking for an argument, just providing some background.
?
Alan



On 26/07/2019 17:13, Alan G4ZFQ wrote:
i read somewhere that the gps receiver needs to be mounted some distance from the qcx or u3s.

Terry,

No reason apart from physical, many use the GPS in the same box as a U3.

Alan

>WWV is not an absolute standard,

That really depends just how absolute you want to get. You usually need a very good standard to see any variation, except perhaps when propagation is borderline. Does it really matter if a U3 or QCX is a few tenths of a Hz out?

73 Alan G4ZFQ






Re: OCXO/Si5351A Synth kit - The wandering minstrel... #ocxo

Hans Summers
 

Even I agree 100%. And I designed the thing :-/

73 Hans G0UPL

On Fri, Jul 26, 2019 at 8:39 PM Mike Berg <mikeberg@...> wrote:
"With a U3S, depending on your use perhaps over 95% will find the OCXO an unnecessary complication."

Agreed 100%. The stock synthesizer works great with my U3S.

73
Mike

Re: OCXO/Si5351A Synth kit - The wandering minstrel... #ocxo

Mike Berg
 

"With a U3S, depending on your use perhaps over 95% will find the OCXO an unnecessary complication."

Agreed 100%. The stock synthesizer works great with my U3S.

73
Mike

Re: qcx calibration

Alan G4ZFQ
 

i read somewhere that the gps receiver needs to be mounted some distance from the qcx or u3s.
Terry,

No reason apart from physical, many use the GPS in the same box as a U3.

Alan

WWV is not an absolute standard,
That really depends just how absolute you want to get. You usually need a very good standard to see any variation, except perhaps when propagation is borderline. Does it really matter if a U3 or QCX is a few tenths of a Hz out?

73 Alan G4ZFQ

Re: Plastic or metal case

Don DeGregori
 

In my house,
qrc> meow more - wag less
Just got email, QCX on the way, arrive in few days. Cleaning off work bench. Thanks people for all case ideas.

Don ... W6RWN

Re: Plastic or metal case

N6WKZ
 

Hi Ted,

I like those cases also, can you provide a "link" ?

73

Phil N6WKZ

On 7/26/2019 6:57 AM, Don--AE4DW wrote:
Hi Ted..those cases, and the workmanship, look great!

When you mention Chinese cases, am I correct to assume those are not the cases Hans sells, but a third party offering? I'm actually curious about the legs and where you sourced them. g

Re: qcx calibration

terryhugheskirkcudbrifght@...
 

hi
i have not ruled out the gps - i like the idea of using it to set up and then disconnect to keep the qcx / u3s portable

i agree there is much less hassle in calibrating using the gps

did you see my post about the maxwell mod to qcx - keeps it all in one box.

terry

Re: Plastic or metal case

Don--AE4DW
 

Hi Ted..those cases, and the workmanship, look great!

When you mention Chinese cases, am I correct to assume those are not the cases Hans sells, but a third party offering? I'm actually curious about the legs and where you sourced them. g

Re: qcx calibration

Alan de G1FXB
 

Hi Terry,
I would be interested in the reluctance to using the GPS calibration, it's good not to just follow the last person but share your reasons if you wish.
(Just, as another Alan says, Hans took the trouble to include set up routine in the firmware and it makes it so very easy.)
The GPS doesn't have to be connected full time, connected once at the time of initial alignment it gives you the correct baseline figures at that specific moment.
From then on if you minimise the changes to the U3S or QCX environment then the two reference xtals should remain stable for a number of days,
just behaves as any free running xtal osc.

If you have a known accurate source you could net both your TS520 and ubitx,
WWV is not an absolute standard, NIST gives a far end dependency within the range? of 10-7
ie:- when simply using a beat calibration method that's in the news at the moment it's in the order of 1hz @ 10MHz
Either U3S or QCX could be a benchtop source, and the accuracy figures Hans provided are:-
low numbers of hertz if left free running, with optional GPS discipline it will be sub
hertz level
(Something better than WWV for most tasks, sits on your bench, frequency agile so not limited to spot frequencies & assembled by yourself.....
Cost ?)


Nothing wrong with TS520's, I have a 830 that just keeps on going.....
You don't require the the PA the U3S provides, if you brought the closely related QRP-Labs VFO kit you could interface it to your TS520 the same way as the Trio / Kenwood 2nd VFO accessory they sold at the time.
Likely it will be more stable out of the box, the difference being that it could be optionally GPS locked in the 21st century.
So many choices.....


Alan

On 26/07/2019 12:35, Alan G4ZFQ wrote:
on the frequency - do you mean the wsjx display - i do not have an accurate frequency meter..

Terry,

That's where the GPS makes it easy.? Otherwise you really need to use a frequency standard, either RWM, WWV etc or get to know a WSPR user who is dead on frequency.
You set the U3 or QCX parameter so frequency is correct.


i have been reading both the qcx and u3s manuals but i am leaning towards the qcx cos its appears a bit less complicated than the u3s.? ie the u3s needs 5 v which would need a regulator to use my 12 v battery,

The regulator is simple, you could even get an Ebay module for a few pounds. I see a switch mode module for 99p inc. but linear is better where radio is concerned.
>
to equal the pa out it needs the 5 w pa.

That really depends, WSPR does very well with a lot less. 5W is often used but most times that is simply far more than required. I've never used more than 1W, my U3, purposely QRP, puts 50mW to the antenna on 10m and got to FY5KE a few weeks ago.
The U3 does get a little more complicated when you go multiband but it is very well documented and lots of experts here to put you right.

you may be interested that my exiting station has two transceivers - a vintage trio ts520se

There was someone recently using a TS520 for WSPR RX, I was surprised it worked, but it was borderline, it was not designed for less than 4Hz of drift in 2 minutes.

73 Alan G4ZFQ




Re: OCXO/Si5351A Synth kit - The wandering minstrel... #ocxo

Alan de G1FXB
 

Hi Mike,

If your wayward wandering minstrel is more U3S specific, than in your custom PIC project:-
http://qrp-labs.com/images/appnotes/AN001_A4.pdf
Has suggestions on what's known in that application


Alan

On 25/07/2019 20:50, Mike Berg wrote:
My previous method using the PIC involved setting the output to 10.000MHz connected to a relatively accurate frequency counter for monitoring purposes.
Then I ramped the oven temp up to about 40C for a place to start. The outter shield wasn't soldered yet and I had the thermistor taped to the outside of the oven above the crystal.
This was wrapped in foam for insulation in order to stabilize my readings.
I had a current meter in series to monitor the oven's state.
I tracked the freq shift down til it leveled out and my temp was showing abit under 45C.
I waited for everything to stabilize which took 20 min or so.
My PIC code has a calibrate function so I entered in the offset to make my counter show 10.000MHz.
Then I played with that while using a receiver to zero beat WWV, calibrating both the PIC and the counter in the process (for the moment, it's a $100 counter :)
I didn't notice the wayward drifting til I started using it in the U3S and racking up some hours.
I hope this clarifies things.
73
Mike?

Re: qcx calibration

terryhugheskirkcudbrifght@...
 

hi again alan

thanks for all the info

there seems to be a number of options for me
i have not forgotten the maxwell mod to the qcx to get it to rx as well as tx on wspr

my ubitx is doing a grand job in decoding wspr but the maxwell mod wiil put tx and rx into a nice compact unit

about the gps - i read somewhere that the gps receiver needs to be mounted some distance from the qcx or u3s. that would make the compact unit less compact ie less portable.

terry

Re: 5 Watt PA

M0RON
 

Forget that, I reread the original post and saw that you had installed them.
andy
--
The universe is made up of Protons, Neutrons, Electrons but contains only one M0RON.