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Re: Two QCX kits (80m and 40) - both with shorts on Si5351A - fixed

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

one last thing... soldering iron.

The average one I see in use by people is a reasonable quality temperature controlled
unit turned too far up with a cruddy tip with rough edges.  Replace the tip turn it down
and try to not use the tip as a chisel.   

Hint put it back in the holder without cleaning it after making a joint.  Clean it on the
way out and make sure its shiny clean before touching the joint.  If it gets dark and
grungy too fast its likely way to hot.


Or an el cheapo that run at 900 degrees or hotter, with a cruddy black tip.
Get a soldering iron!

Both users tend to have terrible soldering and complain they can't get the solder to melt
and they burn up boards in the process.  The tip has to be clean to transfer heat.  If you
beat it up or use poor solder and high heat (trying to get it to work) that tends to destroy
tips amazingly fast.  I've see a few kill a tip in hours.
 
I tend to use tips for literally thousands of hours (years) of build time.  Quality solder,
good care, and moderate temps.  

I bought the current Weller WES51 some 20 years ago and the current tip is more than
3 years old.  The only thing was to repair the cord to the handle.  My other iron is a
really old TCP60 (curie point temp control) from about 1979ish, the .25" wide tip on
that is maybe 10 or more years old.  I use that for SMT parts as its wide!

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Re: LightAPRS-W (WSPR) Tracker

Tim Wiwel
 

Mustafa:
I just received  my tracker and am very impressed.  Looks great.  Very easy to get running.  Doing power measurements,  the unit never draws more then about 320-350mA with Vbat at 7.4v or 5.5v.  DRA pin 7 is low.  On total power consumption,  the unit only goes to sleep (10mA)  about 3 minutes in 10.  It consumes 40mA almost always with 350mA during the 2s ARPS transmission.  Does this seem correct?  I see 3 APRS transmissions in 10 minutes.  These tests were preformed with no debug, no USB cable, a 19in wire connected to the VHF antenna, at about 21C using a Fluke 83 Meter.   

Before I hack on the code, is there a simple  Si5351 tuning program?

We plan to do a test flight next Thursday, 19 Sep using my call sign. 

Tim, KM4EFW 


Tim. 


Re: Two QCX kits (80m and 40) - both with shorts on Si5351A - fixed

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

What did you use?

I do not advise using any of the no-lead solders.  They do not rework well and
generally need more heat.  More pain that gain.

The standard here in my lab is the same for the last 40+ years Kester 44, 37/63 SN/PB alloy
in .031" diameter.  I also use the .020 and .040 diameter of the same at any given time
I have all three sizes in 1pound spools on the shelf.  Its not cheap.

KESTER part number  24-6337-0027 

An alternate some use is the 245 no clean in the .031 63/37 also kester.

https://www.amazon.com/Kester-24-6337-0027-Solder-Alloy-Diameter/dp/B0149K4JTY/ref=pd_cp_328_1/130-0155267-6249125?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0149K4JTY&pd_rd_r=1601493a-5f26-41c2-9b3c-65ccfb1d8bc2&pd_rd_w=iS80j&pd_rd_wg=98Cqk&pf_rd_p=0e5324e1-c848-4872-bbd5-5be6baedf80e&pf_rd_r=6MGM1H1D328D9YW4MACZ&psc=1&refRID=6MGM1H1D328D9YW4MACZ


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Re: Two QCX kits (80m and 40) - both with shorts on Si5351A - fixed

George Korper
 

Allison, 
I built my last QCX with  poor quality solder and had excessive sputtering and was not satisfied with it.  Please recommend a solder that you have had good performance with. Preferably available on Amazon.
George


On Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 9:29 PM ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...> wrote:
Us old farts that have been in the industry for 30 or 50 years have seen it.
Its common to hand soldered items.   You have to be looking for it.... Solder
with internal flux can often spatter.  It happens more so with some fluxes
and a hotter [than needed] irons as the flux heats up and goes from solid
to gas and the solder with it.  That sputter can end up everywhere and
anywhere.  That with modern tight lead spacing and traces close to each
other often shows as hairline shorts.   Little heat or solvent often breaks
them.

This is less common with wave soldering, radiant heating, and IR heated SMT
soldering systems as there is less solder and the flux is not inside it.  That
added to the thermal ramp to heating and cooling tends to avoid this.

Allison
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Re: Beware Buck converters

J68HZ
 

I use LM2596 DC to DC converters all the time.  Their performance is dependent upon load… so beware!

 

 

Dr. William J. Schmidt - K9HZ J68HZ 8P6HK ZF2HZ PJ4/K9HZ VP5/K9HZ PJ2/K9HZ

 

Owner - Operator

Big Signal Ranch – K9ZC

Staunton, Illinois

 

Owner – Operator

Villa Grand Piton – J68HZ

Soufriere, St. Lucia W.I.

Rent it: www.VillaGrandPiton.com

Like us on Facebook!

 

Moderator – North American QRO Group at Groups.IO.

 

email:  bill@...

 

 


Re: Two QCX kits (80m and 40) - both with shorts on Si5351A - fixed

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

Us old farts that have been in the industry for 30 or 50 years have seen it.
Its common to hand soldered items.   You have to be looking for it.... Solder
with internal flux can often spatter.  It happens more so with some fluxes
and a hotter [than needed] irons as the flux heats up and goes from solid
to gas and the solder with it.  That sputter can end up everywhere and
anywhere.  That with modern tight lead spacing and traces close to each
other often shows as hairline shorts.   Little heat or solvent often breaks
them.

This is less common with wave soldering, radiant heating, and IR heated SMT
soldering systems as there is less solder and the flux is not inside it.  That
added to the thermal ramp to heating and cooling tends to avoid this.

Allison
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Re: Beware Buck converters

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

They are real.  Likely your asking them to do something they are not happy
with as supplied.

I have a bunch of them loose (spares) and more in service.  However I took
the time to do two things  optimize the inductor (inductance and type for the
current) and add two resistors to an external pot so its range is limited to a
narrow span.

The problem is the inductor size has to scaled for the current and voltages
or the efficiency goes down and the switching frequency gets pushed around
to the limits to try and regulate.  Switching regulators are not universal in
nature though they often exceed expected performance.  If the inductor is not
the right inductance they can go into a discontinuous mode and the external
switching frequency is the skipped cycles.  You see that if they optimized
for 2-3A and actually delivering maybe 100-150ma. 

Its a likely bet the current required by the QCX and U3S is too low for the
regulator to be efficient.

My QCX the TI part is running at 350khz and at the design center but then again
I did what the data sheet said and replaced the inductor.  The efficiency is 
92% and 14V and 87% at 9V (measured).   With the inductor they supplied it
would not regulate at all well and efficiency was below 70%.

Full datasheet included for the LM2596,
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Re: Beware Buck converters

Phil N6WKZ
 

Sverre,

I tested one of mine and found: 78 mv ripple at 68 KHZ. I guess that mine is a fake LM2596 too. Probably most of those $1.00 Buck converters are fake.

Thanks for the link! I used the same setup as in the link.

73

Phil N6WKZ

On 12/9/2019 12:04 AM, Sverre Holm wrote:

I use the cheap 2596 converters for my U3S also and the work well.

But there is something suspect about them. Mine have switching frequencies around 50 kHz, but an LM2596 is supposed to switch at 150 kHz. See https://k6jca.blogspot.com/2018/02/counterfeit-lm2596-regulator-boards.html

Whether this matters or not, I don’t know, but I think there is reason for suspicion when there is such a large discrepancy.

73, 
Sverre, LA3ZA

http://la3za.blogspot.com


Re: Two QCX kits (80m and 40) - both with shorts on Si5351A - fixed

Nick Austen
 

Hi Geoff

The stray resistor leg was one still floating around after clean-up - I have been building electronics things on and off for about 45 years :)
I had enjoyed the kit for about 24 hrs - and, through lack of self discipline, was listening to 40m on the QCX while cleaning up :) - a discarded lead was accidentally projected into the air and down onto the kit.

Thanks for reiterating the issue of meter voltages and their potential to cause damage. I typically use a CRO first and should take more case with the meter.
Interesting to note that for my cheap "Micron" (no-name) meter, I measure the following voltages across the probes for the selected resistance range settings:
  • Diode-check => 2.88 V
  • 200 ohms => 2.88 V
  • all other ranges => 560 mV 
Not 15 V but still worth keeping in mind.
Thanks.
Nick
VK6FABE


Re: Two QCX kits (80m and 40) - both with shorts on Si5351A - fixed

Arv Evans
 

Hans

Unfortunately it is impossible to perform quality control on assembled kits at the purchaser's location.  Also probably impossible to perform knowledge tests on those assembling the kits.  Even Heathkit never found a solution to assembler introduced problems.  

With over 8000 workinking kits out there it would seem that the design is solid.  Quality of shipped kits must be relatively good or the units would not be this popular.

Arv


On Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 2:11 PM Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:
Hi Geoff , Nick

Hans has mentioned in the past that the number of QCX's sold is around 4000 but given the number of builders who have purchased several units, the true number of purchasers must be only a few hundred!

You are far far out of date OM... current quantity is 8,885... 
Conclusion - don’t let it put you off - just check the legs of the Si5351A on the bare board before you start - it may save you some disappointment:

Still highly recommend - the best kit I have seen.
Thanks Nick... You should play the lottery OM. But avoid thunderstorms, they say lightening doesn't strike twice but... hi hi. 

Here we have assembled a large number of QCX kits for the shop http://shop.qrp-labs.com/assembled/qcx40 at a rate of 3-4 per week over the last 18 months or more... and I do not recall having seen a short on Si5351A pins once in all that time. I know it does happen occasionally, but I think it is pretty rare. Anyway I am glad you solved it and still enjoy the kits!

This does illustrate a problem with kits... it isn't easy to do a full Quality Control check before you ship it out. It isn't practical to examine the whole thing for every type of failure under a microscope, and count every resistor and capacitor, etc., for every kit shipped. When you have a completely manufactured product (not a kit), it is possible to power it up and do a Quality Control check which it either passes or it doesn't. Producing kits is a very tough business :-)

73 Hans G0UPL


Re: Two QCX kits (80m and 40) - both with shorts on Si5351A - fixed

Nick Austen
 

Hi Hans
All understood and appreciated. I was obviously unlucky and hope that I am the only one :)
Just thought it could help someone else - as, although I was disheartened (still excited like a young boy when the kit is completed), the solution was quick and simple.

On the previous kit, I was initially daunted at the prospect of trying to replace the the match-head size 10-lead surface mount device - but did it twice and it was relatively easy.

Thanks again,
Nick
VK6FABE


Re: New qcx build, and problems

Dave Edwards
 

Got mine many years ago. But I checked.....you can get small spools on Amazon, for a fair price.

Yellow, green, red on this page,

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=28+gauge+magnet+wire&crid=1XS537N4I1I8&sprefix=28+gauge+magn%2Caps%2C141&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_13

Here is my transformer. I used kaptan tape to hold the start and end of the big winding, alternate two colors so I could better see what I was doing

when pushing the wires into their correct locations. Forgot to remove the tape, but...doesn't matter...just looks messy!!

On 12/11/19 4:51 PM, SkipF, NT1G wrote:
Great news. I have several spools of 'Phelps Dodge' copper
 products. All HAPTZ (the good stuff).
Where did you buy this colored wire?
THANKS for the info.


On Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 4:46 PM Dave Edwards <kd2e@...> wrote:

Yellow, green, red...I have different colors in various gauges.

....Dave


On 12/11/19 4:19 PM, SkipF, NT1G wrote:
Never seen magnet wire available by color...
Perhaps a task for a 'sharpie' marker?


New qcx build, and problems

SkipF, NT1G <skip.flem@...>
 

Great news. I have several spools of 'Phelps Dodge' copper
 products. All HAPTZ (the good stuff).
Where did you buy this colored wire?
THANKS for the info.


On Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 4:46 PM Dave Edwards <kd2e@...> wrote:

Yellow, green, red...I have different colors in various gauges.

....Dave


On 12/11/19 4:19 PM, SkipF, NT1G wrote:
Never seen magnet wire available by color...
Perhaps a task for a 'sharpie' marker?


Re: New qcx build, and problems

Dave Edwards
 

Yellow, green, red...I have different colors in various gauges.

....Dave


On 12/11/19 4:19 PM, SkipF, NT1G wrote:
Never seen magnet wire available by color...
Perhaps a task for a 'sharpie' marker?


Re: Two QCX kits (80m and 40) - both with shorts on Si5351A - fixed

George Korper
 

It is a kit builder's requirement to do incoming quality control not the suppliers or kit manufacturer. 
It is a very tough business, and considering the state of the bands QCX is an amazing success.
I can wait forever for the QSX; after 60 years of listening to SSB hams repeating themselves, 
I love being limited to CW! And getting an amazing education in the process. What a great group.
BTW it now has CAT a GPS and  new firmware. K3GK

On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 4:11 PM Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:
Hi Geoff , Nick

Hans has mentioned in the past that the number of QCX's sold is around 4000 but given the number of builders who have purchased several units, the true number of purchasers must be only a few hundred!

You are far far out of date OM... current quantity is 8,885... 
Conclusion - don’t let it put you off - just check the legs of the Si5351A on the bare board before you start - it may save you some disappointment:

Still highly recommend - the best kit I have seen.
Thanks Nick... You should play the lottery OM. But avoid thunderstorms, they say lightening doesn't strike twice but... hi hi. 

Here we have assembled a large number of QCX kits for the shop http://shop.qrp-labs.com/assembled/qcx40 at a rate of 3-4 per week over the last 18 months or more... and I do not recall having seen a short on Si5351A pins once in all that time. I know it does happen occasionally, but I think it is pretty rare. Anyway I am glad you solved it and still enjoy the kits!

This does illustrate a problem with kits... it isn't easy to do a full Quality Control check before you ship it out. It isn't practical to examine the whole thing for every type of failure under a microscope, and count every resistor and capacitor, etc., for every kit shipped. When you have a completely manufactured product (not a kit), it is possible to power it up and do a Quality Control check which it either passes or it doesn't. Producing kits is a very tough business :-)

73 Hans G0UPL


Re: New qcx build, and problems

SkipF, NT1G <skip.flem@...>
 

Never seen magnet wire available by color...
Perhaps a task for a 'sharpie' marker?


Re: Two QCX kits (80m and 40) - both with shorts on Si5351A - fixed

Hans Summers
 

Hi Geoff , Nick

Hans has mentioned in the past that the number of QCX's sold is around 4000 but given the number of builders who have purchased several units, the true number of purchasers must be only a few hundred!

You are far far out of date OM... current quantity is 8,885... 
Conclusion - don’t let it put you off - just check the legs of the Si5351A on the bare board before you start - it may save you some disappointment:

Still highly recommend - the best kit I have seen.
Thanks Nick... You should play the lottery OM. But avoid thunderstorms, they say lightening doesn't strike twice but... hi hi. 

Here we have assembled a large number of QCX kits for the shop http://shop.qrp-labs.com/assembled/qcx40 at a rate of 3-4 per week over the last 18 months or more... and I do not recall having seen a short on Si5351A pins once in all that time. I know it does happen occasionally, but I think it is pretty rare. Anyway I am glad you solved it and still enjoy the kits!

This does illustrate a problem with kits... it isn't easy to do a full Quality Control check before you ship it out. It isn't practical to examine the whole thing for every type of failure under a microscope, and count every resistor and capacitor, etc., for every kit shipped. When you have a completely manufactured product (not a kit), it is possible to power it up and do a Quality Control check which it either passes or it doesn't. Producing kits is a very tough business :-)

73 Hans G0UPL


Two QCX kits (80m and 40) - both with shorts on Si5351A - fixed

SkipF, NT1G <skip.flem@...>
 

And WHAT voltage(s) do you SEE?
 The word MODERN is interesting.
I'm seeing a 117K series shunted by a 17K, with a 9V
source. But I don't have a 260 to 'vouch' for.
Owner's manual is available on line.


On Wed, Dec 11, 2019, 2:55 PM ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...> wrote:
Simpson-260 for one.
Triplite 630
Triplite 230

Three that come immediately to mind as I have them.

However with modern logic that should be less than 1.5V!  Why the max voltage for SI5351 is 3.3V as a starting point.

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Re: Two QCX kits (80m and 40) - both with shorts on Si5351A - fixed

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

Simpson-260 for one.
Triplite 630
Triplite 230

Three that come immediately to mind as I have them.

However with modern logic that should be less than 1.5V!  Why the max voltage for SI5351 is 3.3V as a starting point.

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Re: Done!

jjpurdum
 

The cases are all 3D printed by Al and the faceplates are photopaper with cutouts done with an Xacto knife. (The Morse Code tutor is not and is the same case we used for the Antenna Analyzer project in the Nov., 2017, QST, but with a faceplate. I used it because I had some left over from a group build.) I'm not sure if Al's releasing the print files or not. Chapter 16 talks about "sprucing up" your projects.

Jack, W8TEE

On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 2:34:59 PM EST, Lou KI5FTY <lscalpati@...> wrote:


Congratulations!  Can't wait for the book.  In the meantime, can you divulge the source for those neat looking cases housing your projects?


On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 10:14 AM jjpurdum via Groups.Io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
All:

I've been rattling on about the "new Projects" book off-and-on for about a year. Al (AC8GY) and I are sending the book to the publisher (ARRL) on Friday, completely finished and ready to go! The projects in the book can be seen in this photo:




There are four other chapters, too, but don't result in an actual project (e.g., setting up the IDE, Intro to C, Libraries and OOP, etc.). Alas, the ARRL has stuck the new license manual in front of our book, so it appears we will miss the Dayton show. That really sucks since Al and I will be at FDIM anyway. Oh well...


Jack, W8TEE

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