Date   
Re: #qcx Firmware version 1.02 release #qcx

Hans Summers
 

Hi Tom:

> I find that the sidetone issue in T102a occurs when the keyer menu is set for 
> straight key, but the issue does not occur not when set for an iambic paddle.  
> That's kind of curious.

Many thanks for this observation. I investigated and determined that the problem occurs because in straight key mode, the key state is continuously checked and actioned; in paddle modes, once key-down has started there is no further change to the TX state (and sidetone) until a defined period later e.g. 0.1 seconds for a 12wpm "dit". The continuous updates in straight key mode were resetting my new sidetone generation system. 

Easily fixed, just one line of code... now straight key sidetone is perfect too! 1.02b coming shortly. 

Hi Chopper:

> T1.02a loaded and working fine with the exception that as mentioned above 
> sidetone freq becomes distorted below 750  and as you get down to 500 or 600 
> the tone disappears and is simply key clicks.  Not a major issue but a change as 
> 1.01 had working tone at 500.  If you are having issues with side tone simply 
> increase it to 750.

I investigated this too and did not completely agree with your findings. From what I saw (or rather, heard) here the sidetone is working perfectly fine as your lower its frequency. However, it gets very quiet. You are left with whatever residual clicks exist (from Tx/Rx switching etc) that are unrelated to sidetone. But they are prominent because the sidetone volume is low. 

The low sidetone volume is due to two factors:

1) At low sidetone frequency, the timer period that generates the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) is corresponding longer. The fixed amount (depending on volume setting) that is added/subtracted for the sidetone waveform generation is therefore proportionately smaller than it is at 700Hz; which results in a lower volume. 

2) The sidetone generation method is now much cleaner and more elegant than the previous system. Rather than a very short pulse whose harmonics are being filtered out, we now have effectively a proper 50% duty cycle squarewave at the chosen sidetone frequency. I think the CW filter does a much better job at filtering this, with the result that the attenuation is higher; remember at 500Hz the skirts of the CW filter mean already 15-20dB attenuation. 

By the way for fun I set the sidetone frequency to 350Hz, and I could just about barely hear the 2nd harmonic at 700Hz coming through the filter; this is satisfying because it is a very low level as one would expect for a nice clean squarewave (50% duty cycle). 

I could solve 1) by automatically adjusting the PWM frequency (which is 42kHz for 700Hz) so that the multiplier is higher at low sidetone frequencies, and 42kHz would be maintained; I'm a bit reluctant to fiddle with that in case it breaks something else ;-)   I could also have solved it by automatically increasing the size of the sidetone frequency PWM steps but, since the timer holds integers and the values are already fairly small, that would get complicated since I wouldn't be able to put fractional values in. 

Therefore just to keep everything very simple and not risk breaking anything (after all, most people just leave sidetone frequency at the default 700Hz), the simple solution I came up with is just increase the number of digits of the sidetone volume to 3 (the default volume is still 99, now displayed 099). This gives the operator more flexibility to increase the sidetone volume if lower sidetone frequencies are preferred and the volume is found to be too quiet. 

The maximum volume value that makes any sense is 0.5 * 20,000,000 / (60 * sideToneFreq) otherwise the width of the PWM for the sidetone frequency generation would exceed the timer period. So for example:
  • 700Hz sidetone: max volume 238
  • 600Hz sidetone: max volume 277
  • 500Hz sidetone: max volume 333
  • 400Hz sidetone: max volume 416
But don't worry, if you set a volume level higher than the "maximum" then the system automatically limits it according to the formula. 

Hi Guido:

> This older display seems to requires at least 60us delay after the
> first nibble write, and also require RS to be HIGH for an extended
> period of time. The newer display is not sensitive to this at all..

:-O   All the QRP Labs kits forever have never had those timings... there is no 60us delay after the first nibble write (before the next nibble write). Neither is RS high for an extended period of time. The only change I made to fix the problem with some of the displays is that I extended the pulse width of the LCD_E signal by 2 CPU cycles (100 nanoseconds). So to toggle the LCD_E signal the port pin is set high, then wait 2 CPU cycles, then set it low again. This puts the LCD_E signal back to the former behaviour, which is also the same as used on all other QRP Labs kits (Ultimate3S, VFO, Clock). 

Version 1.02b will be coming shortly... I just want to check the other feedback received in other threads and emails... 

73 Hans G0UPL

Re: Programming blank ATmega328P with QCX frimware

Nick Austen
 

Thanks for your info Allison.
I would really like to get my blown up unit working again as I am sure most of the components are fine - and it was so satisfying to hear it working so well on first powerup after the significant build effort. Great kit!

I am happy to buy a new programmed chip from Hans (but could not see how to do that on the site) but I think I have everything except the eeprom and fuses data.

[I am am buying a second unit for myself and a further one as a Christmas present  (which I will build) for a 10 year-old grandson who has discovered Morse.]

I understand the product security issue but maybe Hans is able to send the necessary files privately - with an NDA would be fine..

Best regards,
Nick.

Re: Help needed with QSX

fc911c
 

Yes those voltages have changed I replaced some parts since then and I found a problem with one of the secondary windings on T1.

I will follow your instructions and report back tomorrow. Thanks for your help and time.


On Nov 10, 2019, at 10:13 PM, ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...> wrote:

your  msg: #39792

You say the inputs of IC 5 are identical.

Your voltage test sheet posted many messages back sharply disagrees. 

Which is correct?   If the sheet is now wrong then something changed.

Typically if bad soldering is the case just poking it with the meter probe
will "make" a questionable connection.  It would also be a likely intermittent
connection.

One last thing the jacks (headphone and key) tend to need a fair amount
of heat to take solder.


Allison
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Re: Programming blank ATmega328P with QCX frimware

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

There are a lot of things about the programming that is confused.

The biggest is one case is about updating an existing (and working) part.
the other is trying to duplicate what was done by HANS to create the
original part.

Arduino 328Ps are preloaded (usually) with a boot loader to make
life easy.  You rarely ever play with the fuses in the ARDUINO world
for for simplicity.

For those that push the part to its full capability the "fuses" actually
special locations need to be set to make the part preform as desired.

Get that right, your not there yet.

Then you have to inject code in there by bootloader (arduino way)
or by ISP (in system programming).  Bootloader eats space in the flash 
about 2K of the 32K so if we do large programs that need all the space
we have to dispose of it.

Memories and the 328P:
The 328P part has three basic areas of memory inside.  FLASH 
where programs are installed (32K).   Ram for storing intermediate
work (2K).   EEProm (1K) where anything that needs to be stored
as part of the users program settings that is not lost when power
is removed (ram).

Yes but.. the EEPROM another very different part of memory has
to contain valid information.  Hans does that.  Updating a QRPL part
does not reset the EEPROM.  Programming a new part does not
have the EEPROM loaded and fails.  I have a idea how that
might be done but will not discuss it.

The part about programming a 328P is that its easy to do, and 
sorta incomplete in that you can't make a factory part easily
without the initial setup I'll leave that as the missing link.

For me its easy as I've been working with part that internal
Eprom, EEprom or Flash MPUS since they were invented
back in the 70s.  I'll only say its gotten way better and easier.

Allison

Re: Qcx 17m receive frequency off by 375 khz but Tx on right frequency

harleyleenuke
 

Hoped I had RIT enabled . I checked this morning. And it did not seem so.  I did a reset.   RIT did not show on the main screen.  maybe I missed seeing it.  

Re: Help needed with QSX

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

your  msg: #39792

You say the inputs of IC 5 are identical.

Your voltage test sheet posted many messages back sharply disagrees. 

Which is correct?   If the sheet is now wrong then something changed.

Typically if bad soldering is the case just poking it with the meter probe
will "make" a questionable connection.  It would also be a likely intermittent
connection.

One last thing the jacks (headphone and key) tend to need a fair amount
of heat to take solder.


Allison

Re: Programming blank ATmega328P with QCX frimware

Nick Austen
 

Hi
After successfully building a 40m QCX and taking great pleasure in using this wonderful design for 24 hours, à stray resistor lead clipping managed to fall next to the 5v regulator and it appeared to short 12v to 5v ... - disaster! Result was a single blank line on the LCD indicating uninitialized I believe... 

I bought a couple of blank AT chips and downloaded the T1.02.hex file, wiring up on a breadboard and successfully burning (using avrdude and a usbavr under ubuntu linux) into the new chip... result (as I now understand is expected) was "Use original IC".

I would like to get this working again (and have ordered two more kits) but ..

After reading a few messages and topics , I am a little confused about:
1. The actual step procedure for burning the qcx firmware into a blank ATmega328p.
2. The process to obtain  (what I understand are the required) eeprom and fuses files).

There is some discussion about the topic but mNy seem contradictory (maybe it is just me).

Any good links or info much appreciated.
Thanks,
Nick Austen 

Re: Help needed with QSX

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

OK, what the voltages at IC6B and  IC7B Pin 7 of each each they should be the
identical and likely about 2.5V.
Are they?

IF no;
     Go back to the input pins of IC6 and 7, measure and compare pins 5 and 6

 Are they the same or are any different?  Same is identical!

This is a very step wise testing of two parallel paths that for DC voltages
should be the same and produce the same voltages.  It is slow but has to
be done precisely.

The same thing is repeated for IC 6A and 7A  pins 2 and 3 are the inputs and 
both use pin 1 as outputs.  Are the identical?   If they are good nets step if not
the resistors and caps between the stages need checking for placement and
correct values and of course soldering.

IF you get past that pins 1 and 3 of R27, they also should be identical.
Pin 3 of R27 should be identical to pins 1 and 3 regardless of the setting
of r27.

IF we make it to here then we have a ways to go but we have also eliminated
half the RX circuits.  The reaming parts are the audio filter and the side tone
injection point.  Lots parts yet to come and if misplaced or wrong bad things
happen.

Allison

Re: Using Hyperterm to check qrp-labs QLG1 GPS

N6WKZ
 

I'm using a FTDI USB to serial converter, on Win10 laptop running Hyperterminal.

I finally solved the problem by using the Max 232. The FTDI wanted to see the higher voltage.

Thanks everyone!

On 11/10/2019 6:39 PM, Dave VE3LHO wrote:
There would only be actual RS232 signal levels involved if you're using a PC with a true RS232 port.

Maybe best if you give some details about the hardware between Hyperterm and the QLG1.
- RS232 port on the PC - i.e. 9 pin (or maybe but not likely 25 pin) D connector?
- or maybe an FTDI (or similar) USB to serial converter
- or maybe something else that doesn't come to mind as I type this

Dave L.

Re: Using Hyperterm to check qrp-labs QLG1 GPS

Dave VE3LHO
 

Ah the risks of replying to a digest entry. Someone beats you to it.

As Allison said its pretty unlikely that this is really RS232. Bruce's reply suggests, strongly, that it is 5V (TTL) levels required since most common Arduinos are 5V.

So do as Bruce suggests and take a look at the Progrock manual. It may have some useful pointers on making this work. That doesn't mean you need to go the Arduino route if you are already using a USB to serial converter. You can just look for clues on correct wiring and any strings you need to send to the QLG1 to get it to start sending data.

Do check that your USB converter supports 5V levels.
Also look for correct wiring: typically Rx to Tx and vis-versa. Its easy to forget that you don't want to match the sides up. The 2 sides need to talk to each other : - )


On Sun, Nov 10, 2019 at 06:35 PM, ajparent1/KB1GMX wrote:
Uh sorta.

Hyperterminal is winder software.  So it depends if your using a DB9 serial port or
a USB tog et a serial port equivilent.  

MAX232 converts TTL to +-12V Rs232/423 signaling. and that needed to 
use a DB9 serial port.

If you using USB the a  FDI-TTH-232R adaptor cord or the equivilent.

Likely the latter as most computer save for MiniITX format machines 
do not have olde schoole serial ports.

Allison

Re: Using Hyperterm to check qrp-labs QLG1 GPS

Dave VE3LHO
 

There would only be actual RS232 signal levels involved if you're using a PC with a true RS232 port.

Maybe best if you give some details about the hardware between Hyperterm and the QLG1.
- RS232 port on the PC - i.e. 9 pin (or maybe but not likely 25 pin) D connector?
- or maybe an FTDI (or similar) USB to serial converter
- or maybe something else that doesn't come to mind as I type this

Dave L.

Re: Qcx 17m receive frequency off by 375 khz but Tx on right frequency

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

You have RIT enabled?


Allison

Re: Using Hyperterm to check qrp-labs QLG1 GPS

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

Uh sorta.

Hyperterminal is winder software.  So it depends if your using a DB9 serial port or
a USB tog et a serial port equivilent.  

MAX232 converts TTL to +-12V Rs232/423 signaling. and that needed to 
use a DB9 serial port.

If you using USB the a  FDI-TTH-232R adaptor cord or the equivilent.

Likely the latter as most computer save for MiniITX format machines 
do not have olde schoole serial ports.

Allison

Re: Using Hyperterm to check qrp-labs QLG1 GPS

Bruce K1FFX
 

If you have an Arduino available, you can use it to do the level conversion.  Have a look at the tiny Arduino sketch found in the manual for ProgRock kit.  It will read the data from the QLG and pipe it out the Arduino's USB port, where you'll be able to read it with HyperTerminal or (what I use) Putty.

Cheers -

Bruce K1FFX 

Re: Capacitor lead length

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

QCX is a HF radio so tight to board it not a requirement.
By the same token long leas may touch so a mm or two is both 
practical and aesthetically pleasing.

Allison

Capacitor lead length

George Korper
 

On the QCX board, can pushing a small capacitor like those in the LPF be pushed too deep?
 Should they be a mm above the board. 
Can mounting hurt the capacitor or perhaps lower heat dissipation?
I tend to try to get it as tight to the board as possible.
So I wondered if that might be a mistake. It could account for low output  for instance.

Re: #qcx Firmware 1.02: RIT tune rate #qcx

Jim W8JD <jimd2002@...>
 

So I just tried it on mine with 1.02 and it seems to work fine.  I double press the select button to bring up RIT then push and hold the rotary encoder and the underline cursor moves left and right.  You must start the rotation of the encoder immediately or else mine reverts to stored messages.

Jim W8JD

Re: Qcx 17m receive frequency off by 375 khz but Tx on right frequency

harleyleenuke
 

Hans,
Thanks for the help.  I performed the steps again. and had the same results. Maybe my crystal got a little overheated on the way to the board. However, I played around with Ref Freq. settings and have it all working fine now.  Other than the ticking in the audio, with the s-meter showing. It performs like my 40m and 20m QCX's.  I just turn the S-Meter off and it has quiet Rx audio.

 I am giving 3 of the kits to friends for Christmas.  They will amazed!.
thanks ,
Vern
AA7HC

Re: More paddles and keys ...

Ken KM4NFQ
 

Greetings,

I have been working on a DIY Dual Lever Paddle made from brass & steel.
Here are a couple of work-in-progress snapshots:


I still need to bevel the sharp corners, and clean it up.
I had the steel and the brass in the shop, as well as the sterling silver for the contact points.
The springs are from the battery compartment of an old toy.
The main expenses were for brass screws, nuts, knurled nuts, and taps/drills.
I estimate that I have about $40.00 + time & labor invested in this paddle.
I have had fun making it.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

Re: Using Hyperterm to check qrp-labs QLG1 GPS

N6WKZ
 

Allison,

Do I need something like the Max232 to covert the 5 volt level to 12 volts in order to see the qrp-labs GPS on Hyperterminal?


On 11/10/2019 11:28 AM, ajparent1/KB1GMX wrote:
Its TTL serial so you need a TTL(cmos) to USB converter with hypertem.

That assumes the usual NMEI sentence coming out and not a 1PPS tick.

Bet the manual might have that detail.

Allison