Date   

Re: Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

B C <k9wis@...>
 

I work at the Horwitz DeRemer Planetarium, You clock is a major upgrade from the arduino one I codded up and built many years ago that does not include the GPS. I plan to purchase a kit next week and put it on display in our lobby and also write up a review for some of the local Astro Club and Ham newsletters in the area. We are also working on a planetarium program on Time.  I can give it a plug then. And if we deem it easy to build maybe offer a STEM workshop to build the kit, but that is in the plans for the future folder..

Here is a couple of questions..
Can I capture time with the push of a button...Useful for timing occultations and eclipses..especially if I am using a photometer that can trigger the capture.

Is there an option for and audible tick or time announcement like WWV..



Brian K9WIS

-----------------------------------------

From: "Hans Summers"
To: QRPLabs@groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Saturday September 7 2019 1:40:53AM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

P.S. If any of you know of any astronomy-related groups/forums where it would be useful to inform them about the Sidereal time feature, please let me know. As far as I know, there is no other reasonably priced standalone clock or clock kit that can display Sidereal time. 
73 Hans G0UPL

On Sat, Sep 7, 2019 at 8:28 AM Hans Summers via Groups.Io <hans.summers=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi all

I have just released a small upgrade to the clock kit firmware. The clock kit: http://qrp-labs.com/clockn is a lot of fun for only $19. Particularly if you already have a QLG1 GPS.

This new version fixes the infamous "local date bug". It also adds Sidereal time (Greenwich and local sidereal time); day of week, altitude in feet, and averaging of ADC readings. The list of changes is:

- Added #UH, #UM, #US tags for Greenwich Sideral Time
- Added #TH, #TM, #TS tags for Local Sidereal Time
- Added #AF tag for altitude in feet
- Added #DA, #D3 tags for UT weekday in full and 3-letter abbreviation respectively
- Added #LA, #L3 tags for Local weekday in full and 3-letter abbreviation respectively
- ADC now averages 100 samples to reduce noise (for temperature calculation etc)
- Bug fix: Local date now fixed (was showing yesterday)

Note that Sidereal time is calculated realtime from the GPS information (it requires GPS to operate Sidereal time). Local Sidereal time uses the calculated Greenwich Sidereal time then adjusts for your actual position using the longitude information parsed from the GPS data. The Sidereal time update on the display is asynchronous to UT or Local time updates; this is because Sidereal Time is calculated with fractional second accuracy and the display update (hours, minutes, seconds tags are available) updates on the second update event, which is in general offset from the ordinary time. Actually Sidereal time gains 1 second about every 6 minutes; you can see the offset between Sidereal time and ordinary time updates on the display change from 0 to 1 second over the course of 6 minutes. 

If you have an AVR programmer and want this new version, you can download it here: http://qrp-labs.com/images/clockkit/firmware/c1.03.hex (right click and select Save As, then edit the file name to c1.03.hex (remove the .txt extension). 

If you wish to purchase a programmed chip, they are in the shop see http://shop.qrp-labs.com/clockchip

73 Hans G0UPL


Re: QCX(-like) for 2m #alignment #vfo

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

Running QSD at lower frequencies is not advantageous for VHF
and up.  For image rejection its best to keep the IF at 10% or less 
for 144 that's 20M and for 432, 28mhz works well enough.  
For HF anything goes but even at 28mhz an if at 2.5mhz is
the minimum or then the filters to keep the spurs down get
to be a pain.

Crystals are not needed with fixed IFs as modern synths can do that easily.
Though its not a requirement to do one over the other.  The concern at
VHF and up is frequency accuracy and stability.  The higher you go
the more difficult it is.

QSD works as well at 5, 10 or even 25mhz as it does at 1mhz so the choice
is then image responses and spurious product responses (birdies) at the
system level.

With all that I've been bench testing a up converting design with IQ running
at 36mhz using DBMs (see KK7B designs for R2 and friends).  When designed
for a single frequency these image rejecting (phasing) systems work as well
at 1GHZ as they would at 1mhz,  so 36mhz was chosen as a convenient
(common crystal) frequency.  The RX would then convert the input from
160 through 10M to 36mhz where its detected and a single VFO/Synth is
used for the up conversion.  The scheme allows the IQ to be optimized
for  a single frequency (IF) and requires no tuning once set and no
compensation for phase/amplitude that can very with tuning directly. 
As I'm doing it all analog it saves power as very low power and fast
DSP are not easy, though we are getting there.

Testing says its clean and with 1/2 octave filters it doesn't take many to cover 
the range.  TX would require the same base circuits running is reverse.

Elecraft does a lot of the IQ work in DSP and that can be does as well as
once you convert to base band or some very low IF (12-50khz)  its easier.

Allison


Re: Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

Bob M.
 

I think it has something to do with that old Beatles song: Eight Days a Week".

Bob M.


Re: Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

Art N4EZZ
 

I have written programs which did a lot of date and time math, it is
really easy to get confused and make mistakes. If the worst problem is
an fat finger error in a text string then that is excellent.

Now, where to put that local sidereal time.


Art N4EZZ <n4ezz@runbox.com>
GnuPG key ID 0x6712DD0E
=============================
Deja-Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.
Unattributed

On 9/7/19 7:37 AM, Hans Summers wrote:
P.S. quite how someone who meant to type "Saturday" could type
"Saturdayday" is obviously an unresolved mystery.
Send the men in white coats...

On Sat, Sep 7, 2019, 16:31 Hans Summers via Groups.Io <hans.summers=
gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

Hi Dean

Thanks, I checked the code, and there is a typo. Only on Saturdays. Of
course, I wasn't testing on Saturday :-( Many apologies...

I will fix it and make a v1.03a (bug fix version).

Several people ordered chips and clocks, anyway nothing will be sent until
Monday as usual; so I will make sure that all existing unshipped orders get
the 1.03a version with the Saturdayday bug fix...

*If anyone else notices anything strange please say so now!*

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



On Sat, Sep 7, 2019 at 4:17 PM Dean Smith <bardezbiker@gmail.com> wrote:

just set up v1.03! :-)
i'm noticing that #LA gives Saturdayday?
don't know if it's my end? anyone else??




Re: QCX(-like) for 2m #alignment #vfo

Bob Macklin <macklinbob@...>
 

I think that running the QSD around 10MHz and using a converter in front of it would be a better solution. Maybe even running the QSD around 5MHz or 2.5MHz would be better.
 
I think some people try to do too much with too little.
 
The Elecraft units use a scheme that converts the incoming signal to about 5MHz. You could run the QSD as a 5MHz IF and do the tuning the was the Elecraft rigs do. Crystals are available for all bands below 10M. They are stocked by Mouser and DigiKey.
 
Bob Macklin
K5MYJ
Seattle, Wa.
"Real Radios Glow In The Dark" 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, September 06, 2019 2:40 PM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] QCX(-like) for 2m #alignment #vfo #vfo

OK, lets address a few things..

For any kind of IQ format radio the very nasty part of switching times is when
they become near and approach a significant portion of the sampled frequency
the level of phase distortion is greater.  Reminder an IQ (phasing analog or DSP)
requires two mixers to base band.  They must behave well and be identical.
That  is complicated by a 2 phase clock usually from a source divided by 4 and
the trick QCX uses will likely not work at 144mhz and parts that run at 300mhz
are not cheap and tend to be small format SMT.

The Tayloe or quadrature sampling mixer was to take advantage of inexpensive parts
at HF or lower frequencies where it shines.  At VHF and up high dynamic range 
and many other factors are taken in a different context and often not needed.

For all the effort a pair of minicircuits ADE-1+ DBMs will be cheaper and easier to use
and cover .5mhz to 500mhz at a list price is 3.25$ each!  Also the LO then is easier
to meet.  Its still SMT.

FYI any mixer will require a decent preamp/LNA before it for decent 2M weak
signal performance.  That is a given based on a lot of design history in the market.
You need it for NF performance, MDS and to keep the signals from the mixer 
from getting back to the antenna.

How do I know?  Besides being an engineer I also build radios for myself
and have been on 6/2/70-cm as a ham and up to 6ghz in the commercial
space.  I have radios built for 6 (more than 5),  2 (2 SSB radios), and 432mhz
(both SSB) not including many transverters. A well equipped bench is a 
real aid to troubleshooting and tuning.

Add to that all of the technical requirement for purity and radiated emissions 
are more stringent at frequencies above 30mhz.

FCC97.307:
(e) The mean power of any spurious emission from a station transmitter or external
RF power amplifier transmitting on a frequency between 30-225 MHz must be at
least 60 dB below the mean power of the fundamental. For a transmitter having a
mean power of 25 W or less, the mean power of any spurious emission supplied
to the antenna transmission line must not exceed 25 µW and must be at least
40 dB below the mean power of the fundamental emission, but need not be
reduced below the power of 10 µW. 


In English that meas a performance level 17DB better (50X) than whats acceptable
below 30mhz!   Simple kits would not achieve that and the cost to do that is higher.
For the but I'm not in USA crowd, most are under similar requirements or more
stringent.

Further parts that perform well at below 30Mhz just don't at 2M.  An example is
IRF510 is maybe a 1$US and works well to 6M, at 2M your forced to use  
RD15VHF at 5$US each.  Low power devices as well go from pennies each
to 30-60 cents each for reasonable performance.  Coils same issue and
cheap caps are totally out.  The board design has to be far more tightly
controlled and some sections will have to have a shield assembly over them.
At 2M SMT is the best way to go and is the accepted best practice for
high performance.   In the end for a market that is typically 1/100th that
of HF sales it is  a lot of testing needed to design and market an
acceptable radio.  For kit makers the first useful price break for the
expensive parts is typically over 100pcs and for some part more like
500.  Single source parts are rarely cheap.

So a 2M QCX would easily be a 199$US radio for CW only at maybe 3W.
And being CW only its not going to be all that popular as those people
on 2M and needing a 2M radio for transverter to 432 and higher wants both
SSB and CW but the power can be very low (under 10 milliwatts).

Easy way to get on 2M is a transverter from 20M or 10M, base QCX with out BS170s
will do that well.  The transverter is still more effort and cost than the QCX alone!

This is why many kit makers look at 6M and higher (2, 222, 432, 900, 1296...)
and offer nothing as the market is small and design and manufacture costs
are high.

This is why every time some one asks will there be a 2M version...
I always ask what are you willing to pay?  
    (keep in mind a new Ft818 is 800$ and a used FT817 400$ and both do HF to 432mhz!)
How many will you buy?
Would you build it if its SMT and parts count is in the 300plus peices plus hand wound coils (not all toroids)?
If it is a kit can you tune and test it with your gear?
  *subtext how many can measure power at 2M, SWR, RX sensitivity???

FYI: the only design I've seen that can work as well at 2m as it does at 7mhz is the KK7B
MicroR2 and the matching MicroT2.


Allison


Re: Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

Bill Cromwell
 

Hi,

The magic of cut and paste:)

73,

Bill KU8H

On 9/7/19 9:37 AM, Hans Summers wrote:
P.S. quite how someone who meant to type "Saturday" could type "Saturdayday" is obviously an unresolved mystery.
Send the men in white coats...
--
bark less - wag more


Re: Ublox-6 GPS & U3s Checksum

Alan G4ZFQ
 

Dean
Required sentences*
$GPRMC: Latitude, Longitude, Validity flag
$GPGSA: Type of fix, None, 2D, 3D
$GPGGA: Number of satellites in fix, Altitude
$GPGSV: Number of satellites being tracked, signal strength
$GPVTG: ??! not sure why but this one is required.
VTG = Track made good and speed over ground

Which the U3S can display.

The cfg was then saved, and a quick check to see that these sentences are being sent.
I see no reason that this shouldn't work on other variants of Ublox...
This depends on the actual module. Some can save the configuration permanently, others need battery backup.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Re: Where can I get a ATmega328P?

Steve in Okinawa
 

Hi Saku,

I hope to have a QCX-QCX with you when you get yours working, and when we can put our antennas back up after typhoon season! 

Steve JS6TMW 


Re: Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

Hans Summers
 

P.S. quite how someone who meant to type "Saturday" could type "Saturdayday" is obviously an unresolved mystery.
Send the men in white coats...


On Sat, Sep 7, 2019, 16:31 Hans Summers via Groups.Io <hans.summers=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Dean

Thanks, I checked the code, and there is a typo. Only on Saturdays. Of course, I wasn't testing on Saturday :-(   Many apologies... 

I will fix it and make a v1.03a (bug fix version). 

Several people ordered chips and clocks, anyway nothing will be sent until Monday as usual; so I will make sure that all existing unshipped orders get the 1.03a version with the Saturdayday bug fix... 

If anyone else notices anything strange please say so now!

73 Hans G0UPL



On Sat, Sep 7, 2019 at 4:17 PM Dean Smith <bardezbiker@...> wrote:
just set up v1.03! :-)
i'm noticing that #LA gives Saturdayday?
don't know if it's my end? anyone else??


Re: Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

Hans Summers
 

Hi Dean

Thanks, I checked the code, and there is a typo. Only on Saturdays. Of course, I wasn't testing on Saturday :-(   Many apologies... 

I will fix it and make a v1.03a (bug fix version). 

Several people ordered chips and clocks, anyway nothing will be sent until Monday as usual; so I will make sure that all existing unshipped orders get the 1.03a version with the Saturdayday bug fix... 

If anyone else notices anything strange please say so now!

73 Hans G0UPL



On Sat, Sep 7, 2019 at 4:17 PM Dean Smith <bardezbiker@...> wrote:
just set up v1.03! :-)
i'm noticing that #LA gives Saturdayday?
don't know if it's my end? anyone else??


Re: Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

Dean Smith
 

just set up v1.03! :-)
i'm noticing that #LA gives Saturdayday?
don't know if it's my end? anyone else??


Re: Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

Greg Walters
 

So I have the clock kit now, kind of wanted another for no good reason. You just gave me that reason. Plus, I ordered the clock chip for good measure. 

I don't have an AVR programmer, but may get one to try before the new chip gets here...

Is it very challenging to program these? I've never programmed anything...
--
73,
Greg
KY4GW


Re: Where can I get a ATmega328P?

Saku JP3OUG
 

  Thank you for all the advises!
I've just bought a programmed IC on the shop of QRP-Lab site which was mentioned by Mike G8NXD ,Nick M0HGU and Stefan DL3BY.
I hope my QCX will be all right.
And...I hope to have QSOs with QCX with you!
72 DE JP3OUG


Re: Where can I get a ATmega328P?

Stefan
 

Hans also sells ATmega328P (incl. firmware) in the QRP Labs shop - 6$ each.
Maybe this is an option if you have no programmer and have to order in the shop anyway.

73s,
Stefan


Re: Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

Dean Smith
 

Sidereal time.... wow it just gets better!!
Thanks yet again for all your time and effort on the clock side of things,
i know you've got youre hands full with the QSX side of things. :-)


Re: Where can I get a ATmega328P?

Nick Norman
 

On 07/09/2019 09:01, Saku JP3OUG wrote:
Hello.

I'm JP3OUG Saku.
Actually, I want to get another IC2, ATmega328P.
Because my QCX isn't working fine and I have suspected that IC2 is the
cause.
How can I get (buy?) another one?
DE JP3OUG Nishigaki Sakutaro
Morning,

Try here <http://shop.qrp-labs.com/firmware/qcxchip>

Regards/73

Nick
M0HGU


--
'On whose authority?' demanded Wert. Trymon turned his grey eyes on
him. 'Mine. I need no other.'
(The Light Fantastic)
10:00:01 up 6 days, 16:23, 8 users, load average: 0.94, 1.30, 1.23


--
73 Nick M0HGU


Re: Where can I get a ATmega328P?

Mike Bowthorpe
 

............I was talking here about the IC2


Re: Where can I get a ATmega328P?

Mike Bowthorpe
 

Hi Saku

Suggest AliExpress.com for decent prices

The last one I bought was 54p (66 cents US) delivered to the UK, mind you it can take time in the post

73
Mike
G0CVZ


Where can I get a ATmega328P?

Saku JP3OUG
 

Hello.

I'm JP3OUG Saku.
Actually, I want to get another IC2, ATmega328P.
Because my QCX isn't working fine and I have suspected that IC2 is the cause.
How can I get (buy?) another one?
DE JP3OUG Nishigaki Sakutaro


Ublox-6 GPS & U3s Checksum

Dean Smith
 

Just thought I would add this for anyone else using the Ublox6m type gps units..
This may have already have been covered, but i decided to look into these Ublox 6m's to checksum up with U3/s firmware
I will assume you are familiar with Ublox Ucentre software!
right these are needed:-

Required sentences

$GPRMC: Latitude, Longitude, Validity flag
$GPGSA: Type of fix, None, 2D, 3D
$GPGGA: Number of satellites in fix, Altitude
$GPGSV: Number of satellites being tracked, signal strength
$GPVTG: ??! not sure why but this one is required.

I ticked the UART1 box and unticked the others, so it only output the sentence via the required path.
All the other sentences of these types were unticked, so only these ones were output.
The cfg was then saved, and a quick check to see that these sentences are being sent.
Now the GPS checksum on the U3 is set to 1 1.
Bingo!!!
I see no reason that this shouldn't work on other variants of Ublox...