Date   
Re: QCX Low Transmit Power

Theo
 

Ahh, okay. I didn't see that chart in the manual, but everything seems to be working according to that. Thanks for the help.

Re: QCX Low Transmit Power

Gregg Myers
 

1.8 watts seems about right for 9v supply according to the power curves in the manual...

On Fri, Jan 10, 2020 at 8:52 PM <theotheo36@...> wrote:
Hey, I finally got the receive portion of the QCX working a few days ago, now I'm onto the transmit part. I'm getting a really low output wattage using the inbuilt RF power output meter when I transmit, but only when connected to an antenna. I'm getting .1 watts connected to an antenna, but 1.8 watts when connected to a dummy load. I tested all the Q1,2, and 3 drain connections and I get 5 watts both with an antenna, and with a dummy load. I don't have a second HF rig, but I tested with a handheld that can tune down to HF, and a signal does come through when transmitting on the QCX. I'm powering it with a 9v battery(I know, this is not optimal, I plan on rigging up a 12v source soon) so I'm not sure if I should interpret the 1.8 watt as something wrong, or if that's to be expected with 9v. However, the 5 watt reading on Q1,2, and 3 makes it seem like the 1.8 watt reading when going into the dummy load indicative on a problem, and the .1 watt when connected to an antenna seems to further this. I checked the low pass filter, and it's continuous from start to end so I don't think the problem is there.

The troubleshooting guide talks about how when connected to an antenna the power reading will be inaccurate, but .1 watts seem way to low to just be a result of inaccuracies. Is there actually any problem here, like I think? And if so, what should my next steps be in troubleshooting?

Re: QCX Low Transmit Power

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

A 9V battery will not give full power.  That your getting power at all is good.

At 12-13V you will get more and should expect more.
A 12V 7Ah gell cell with suitable charger is a good battery for that.

Allison
-------------------------------
Please reply on list so we can share.
No direct email, it goes to bit bucket due address harvesting in groups.IO

Re: QCX 50W Amp PS to use

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

For desktop use I found my dell 19V-4.65A brick on a rope supply to be a good source.
The change in power out is small for the 1V difference.

For testing I use a 5a 24V adjustable voltage and variable current limit bench supply.
----------------------------
Please reply on list so we can share.
No direct email, it goes to bit bucket due address harvesting in groups.IO

QCX Low Transmit Power

Theo
 

Hey, I finally got the receive portion of the QCX working a few days ago, now I'm onto the transmit part. I'm getting a really low output wattage using the inbuilt RF power output meter when I transmit, but only when connected to an antenna. I'm getting .1 watts connected to an antenna, but 1.8 watts when connected to a dummy load. I tested all the Q1,2, and 3 drain connections and I get 5 watts both with an antenna, and with a dummy load. I don't have a second HF rig, but I tested with a handheld that can tune down to HF, and a signal does come through when transmitting on the QCX. I'm powering it with a 9v battery(I know, this is not optimal, I plan on rigging up a 12v source soon) so I'm not sure if I should interpret the 1.8 watt as something wrong, or if that's to be expected with 9v. However, the 5 watt reading on Q1,2, and 3 makes it seem like the 1.8 watt reading when going into the dummy load indicative on a problem, and the .1 watt when connected to an antenna seems to further this. I checked the low pass filter, and it's continuous from start to end so I don't think the problem is there.

The troubleshooting guide talks about how when connected to an antenna the power reading will be inaccurate, but .1 watts seem way to low to just be a result of inaccuracies. Is there actually any problem here, like I think? And if so, what should my next steps be in troubleshooting?

Re: Need an AVR programmer for my QCX, will this one work?

Gregg Myers
 

I assume all these AVR programmer factory supplied cables are the same, but for reference to my previous picture, the connector guide post is on the same side the grey ribbon cable is. Like this:

On Fri, Jan 10, 2020 at 6:14 PM Gregg Myers via Groups.Io <gregg.w7grm=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
I was concerned about the connection orientation to my QCX programmer pins and so took a picture of the 6 pin connector orientation after I verified it worked (so I could remember the right orientation for the future). And yes, don’t attempt to power your QCX through from the programmer!

Cheers,
Gregg W7GRM


On Fri, Jan 10, 2020 at 6:04 PM Bob ZL1RS via Groups.Io <zl1rs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
On 11/01/2020 12:20 pm, James Anderson wrote:
...
The only thing that i can suggest is, is the grey flying lead at the QCX end, the six way adaptor the right way around on the pins of the QCX.
I have put it on both ways around on my U3S in the past and it didn't seem to harm it in anyway. Not that I'm suggesting anyone does this but its worth trying.


... it can harm the QCX if you have the USBASP 'supply' pin active (you shouldn't because the QCX should be powered up from its normal source).   If the USBASP 'supply' is active, having the six-way adapter the wrong way around can take out IC1, IC3, and IC4  according to my experience    :-(    (but I also had a faulty GND connection on my USBASP).  A small curl of smoke arising from the Si5351a was my first clue!  Replacing that little chap was more fun than a barrel of monkeys, then I discovered that IC3 and IC4 also required replacement following further testing and diagnosis ... assembling a replacement QCX kit would have been less work and frustration, but there was a sense of satisfaction getting the dead QCX working again.

73, Bob  ZL1RS



Re: Need an AVR programmer for my QCX, will this one work?

Gregg Myers
 

I was concerned about the connection orientation to my QCX programmer pins and so took a picture of the 6 pin connector orientation after I verified it worked (so I could remember the right orientation for the future). And yes, don’t attempt to power your QCX through from the programmer!

Cheers,
Gregg W7GRM


On Fri, Jan 10, 2020 at 6:04 PM Bob ZL1RS via Groups.Io <zl1rs=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
On 11/01/2020 12:20 pm, James Anderson wrote:
...
The only thing that i can suggest is, is the grey flying lead at the QCX end, the six way adaptor the right way around on the pins of the QCX.
I have put it on both ways around on my U3S in the past and it didn't seem to harm it in anyway. Not that I'm suggesting anyone does this but its worth trying.


... it can harm the QCX if you have the USBASP 'supply' pin active (you shouldn't because the QCX should be powered up from its normal source).   If the USBASP 'supply' is active, having the six-way adapter the wrong way around can take out IC1, IC3, and IC4  according to my experience    :-(    (but I also had a faulty GND connection on my USBASP).  A small curl of smoke arising from the Si5351a was my first clue!  Replacing that little chap was more fun than a barrel of monkeys, then I discovered that IC3 and IC4 also required replacement following further testing and diagnosis ... assembling a replacement QCX kit would have been less work and frustration, but there was a sense of satisfaction getting the dead QCX working again.

73, Bob  ZL1RS



Re: Need an AVR programmer for my QCX, will this one work?

Bob ZL1RS
 

On 11/01/2020 12:20 pm, James Anderson wrote:
...
The only thing that i can suggest is, is the grey flying lead at the QCX end, the six way adaptor the right way around on the pins of the QCX.
I have put it on both ways around on my U3S in the past and it didn't seem to harm it in anyway. Not that I'm suggesting anyone does this but its worth trying.


... it can harm the QCX if you have the USBASP 'supply' pin active (you shouldn't because the QCX should be powered up from its normal source).   If the USBASP 'supply' is active, having the six-way adapter the wrong way around can take out IC1, IC3, and IC4  according to my experience    :-(    (but I also had a faulty GND connection on my USBASP).  A small curl of smoke arising from the Si5351a was my first clue!  Replacing that little chap was more fun than a barrel of monkeys, then I discovered that IC3 and IC4 also required replacement following further testing and diagnosis ... assembling a replacement QCX kit would have been less work and frustration, but there was a sense of satisfaction getting the dead QCX working again.

73, Bob  ZL1RS



Re: Need an AVR programmer for my QCX, will this one work?

James Anderson
 

Hello Steve.

Well I use the USBasp as well as the USBtiny.
Both are very appropriate for any of the QRPLABS devices to date.
I must admit though that I tend to use the Tiny more than the asp now as I've had better results from that little device of late.
I seem to remember that the USBasp has to be version 2. 
I've also used the Arduino as an ISP and never had a problem with this either but the other devices are much simpler to set up.
I've also built a shield I believe its called to sit on top of the Arduino that makes a high voltage programmer for when I've dabbled a bit to much with altering settings.
This is invaluable if like me you like to tinker with things. Fuses etc..

The use of AVRDUDESS is pretty simple to use with caution and I never use anything else now.
The older version command prompt version was what I used to use but after finding AVRDUDESS I've never looked back.
Personally I don't see the point in using the old version.

I run a Win10 machine and have never had any trouble with it.
But for Windows 7 I'm afraid I strayed away from that version favouring XP until the death HiHi so I couldn't offer any advise on that Op system.

None of what I've written helps you particularly unfortunately though so I'll apologise for that. 

Can the USBasp be seen as an installed device in device manager etc. I'm sure you said it's recognised.

The only thing that i can suggest is, is the grey flying lead at the QCX end, the six way adaptor the right way around on the pins of the QCX.
I have put it on both ways around on my U3S in the past and it didn't seem to harm it in anyway. Not that I'm suggesting anyone does this but its worth trying.

I've also not tried or needed to upload a new software version to anything for a few weeks so I'm a little rusty. 

It might just be a windows 7 thing.

Kind regards, James.

Re: Which manual do I use?

Roy Appleton
 

Well said indeed!

Roy
WA0YMH

On Fri, Jan 10, 2020, 1:47 AM Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:
Hi Lee

Take it easy, dude. I think you could have emailed me privately and I could have answered this easily; but given that you chose instead to email the discussion forum, then you have to expect and accept all kinds of responses in good spirit. 

The boards shipped from US are the new Rev 5. They match the Rev 5 manual. They just happen to have reached US faster than they reached me. 

Stock in US is not guaranteed, if your order happens to ship from US, because the combination of items you ordered happens to be available, then just be pleased that it will arrive faster, see it as an additional bonus. 

Generally regarding QCX PCB revisions. A revision increment does NOT indicate a new radio or any major new functionality. There is no need to rush out and get a Rev 5, nor any need to be upset if you happen to have recently bought a Rev 4. The PCB revisions are minor. Just opportunities to slightly improve one thing or another.

In the case of Rev 5: the three components (two resistors and one diode) for the serial port for CAT control are now part of the PCB and supplied components. Three components were removed, which is the DC blocking capacitor and the mid rail (2.5V) potential divider consisting if two 10K resistors, at the "AUDIO1" signal to one of the processor ADC inputs. It was noted in this discussion forum a month or two ago that the DC bias voltage on both sides of the DC blocking capacitor is 2.5V which renders the DC blocking and re-establishment of the 2.5V bias, superfluous. By removing these 3 components, I could add the 3 for CAT control without increasing the total parts count, complexity or manufacturing cost. 

Regarding communications, the handling of pre-announcements is a very tricky thing. I have learned that to my cost, when news of the QSX development became known. I should have just ignored it completely and let the rumours fly and then die down after a while. Instead I published a web page detailing the QSX project and accordingly I multiplied the pressure and stress by a factor of 30. 

I have similar problems too, every time I do a firmware upgrade. There are always people who just bought the previous version and now they're upset that there's a new version out. Even though the improvements are usually incremental and perhaps (probably, even) of no consequence to them. 

So what am I to do? If I pre-announce the intention to provide a firmware upgrade, then I'm resigning myself to all the pressure and stress that goes along with a "deadline" (even if it was only ever a rough estimate) and increased email deluge from people wanting to know when the new firmware upgrade is ready etc. And anyone who wrote any significant complexity of software will know, it's very hard to know how long something will take you to get right. The same applies similarly to hardware. 

Meanwhile if I had pre-announced it then a significant section of people will wait before their purchase. A proportion of those will forget all about it and never end up purchasing (this is my actual experience). That harms the business. This is not an EASY way to make money anyway and it is my full time job and my family's sustenance. So it is important to me. 

And even if I do pre-announce it, then there will STILL be people that are upset because they purchased just before the pre-announcement. So this is also not a way to magically win this one anyway. 

But if I don't pre-announce then someone gets upset because of NOT knowing. 

Overall there this is a lose-lose situation, there is no solution which can avoid someone somewhere being upset. 

Actually the only solution is at the customer end... the increments (PCB revisions, firmware upgrades) are minor improvements. There's nothing wrong with previous versions. So the only solution is actually for you the purchaser to take it easy and remember, this is a hobby... and understand there's no perfect way to run this to everyone's ideal satisfaction. They're great kits at a great price, a combination of performance, features, documentation and support at a very low price; a combination that simply does not exist in any other similar kit available today or ever. 

Back to QCX Rev 5 PCB... as I mentioned, the improvements are minor; I do believe all the information is actually on the QCX web page anyway... and Lee in your specific case I believe you have printed the Rev 5 manual which is correct for what you will receive, anyway. 

73 Hans G0UPL 

Re: Need an AVR programmer for my QCX, will this one work?

g4edg
 

Hi James 

Thanks for your comments, yes, I have tried Zadig...all three of the drivers(?) and can be recognized as a usb device.

Im trying to to use AVRDUDESS and choose USBisp as the programmer...thats where I get stuck...

I wonder what program you use to program the QCX chip?

Ive had no trouble programming with Arduino, Picaxe and other PICs in the past....but this....! has me stumped.

Ive also tried a USBtiny and an arduino uno programmed as an ISP to program the QCX...nothing but trouble!

Ive ordered a V1.03 chip from Hans...it would have been cheaper to do this from the off...but Id really like to crack the problem.

Hope you can help with the above.

73 Steve G4EDG

Re: QCX 50W Amp PS to use

George Korper
 

Hi,
I use this supply, only to have an inexpensive desk supply that is compact.
The current control is not fine, but so far so good and Amazon has good return policy. 
Pretty sure it will do the job. Don't be put off by the "hilarious manual", and I can't imagine my Chinese!
Having a nice looking enclosure sold me. Silly?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07512KQDW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
George

Re: MSF or DCF clock module instead of GPS

Andy Brilleaux <punkbiscuit@...>
 

Uh oh I just had a listen to MSF time signal on 60Khz.
No nice regular 1 second pulses to be had there that can be easily used ! :-(

That set me thinking about what I have laying around here.

I have a Droitwich locked signal generator (locked to BBC Radio 4 ON 198Khz)
and that also has a 1Khz locked output on it.

It was originally a Practical Wireless magazine project, but was also sold by Spectrum
Communications in the UK.

I guess as a bodge for when we have an unplanned GPS outage, I could always divide it by 1000
and keep my rigs frequency disciplined with it.

On the other hand, I guess if GPS did have an outage, I'd probably have other things to worry
about, like water, food supplies and how quick will I be receiving my ration book ;-)

On the other hand, I guess there are some cases where it really is impossible for whatever reason
not to be able to get enough signal strength from GPS, and a backstop (ugh, not that word again)
solution might provide some solace.

73 de Andy

Re: QCX 50W Amp PS to use

Brien Pepperdine
 

I have been wondering the same thing re. PS to use. I just got the amp kit today but it will be a bit before I get it built. 

I had been looking for a suitable PS out of curiousity.. within the parameters of being available in/to Canada and within reasonable shipping cost (often ridiculous). And at a sane price, since the QCX and amp are not too expensive (why buy something to power it that costs conceivably substantially more than the two things it is being used to power ??? ).  However I was not finding very much at all. I did poke about a bit today and though I have not decided I did see this one and it seems to be adjustable and within the suitable current rating.

In any case, for your consideration, below. Brian VE3VAW Toronto ON

https://www.amazon.ca/DROK-Adjustable-Converter-110V-220V-Transformer/dp/B078BGW23L/ref=sr_1_4_sspa?gclid=CjwKCAiA3uDwBRBFEiwA1VsajGjgt4dwu4Yeu3ix_EUMsahrreibxs4C-yZVpdskPEESO3vs6BlrGRoC9wkQAvD_BwE&hvadid=322206008298&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9000919&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t3&hvqmt=b&hvrand=2142757089785587405&hvtargid=aud-855065266979%3Akwd-298498618784&hydadcr=25143_10268444&keywords=20+volt+power+supply&qid=1578687658&sr=8-4-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzUVNWMDJJWVg5MjFXJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNzExNzU5MzZZRkwxVjVFRUE5NSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwODU5MTI1MlYzVkFCRkRIUlkwOSZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

---------- Original Message ----------
From: rentwist@...
Date: January 10, 2020 at 3:11 PM

Hi Group,

What are people using for a power supply for the QCX 50W Amp?


Re: MSF or DCF clock module instead of GPS

Dave New, N8SBE
 

Razvan,

Actually have you tried it on your basement workbench?

The QRPLabs GPS receiver is quite sensitive, and I've managed to get 3D fixes for my U3s while it is sitting on the workbench in my basement.  The house construction above is wood, so if you have some other kind of building construction, your experience may vary.  Won't hurt to try, if you have one handy.  I used to think that GPS would never work indoors, but I've been pleasantly surprised.

Even then, when I package it all up, I'm planning to 'remote' the GPS receiver to the basement window sill, just to make the signals even stronger.  I've had a Leo Bodnar GPSDO powered GPS antenna on that window sill for months, and it has never lost lock to my knowledge.  I use that system as a 10 MHz source to drive my K3s LO.  If I ever lost lock, the K3s would complain.

73,

-- Dave, N8SBE

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] MSF or DCF clock module instead of GPS
From: dl2arl@...
Date: Fri, December 20, 2019 6:29 pm
To: QRPLabs@groups.io

Thanks for the answers! I would not care very much abt the frequency calibration of the U3. Just do the timekeeping via DCF77. And if it is 2 seconds behind the GPS... well, I could cope with that too, I think, at least for qrss. Never done wspr and because of this I do not know how it works.

Will see what can be done. I was aware that there are a lot of small programs for Arduino out there, even such that can decipher the WX info encoded in the DCF77 signal. But  I was hoping someone in the group here has already an idea on how to use DCF specially for the U3.

I even spoke some time ago to Hans about this issue. He obviously had done some research in this direction several years ago, but abandoned the path for the sake of GPS which remains the optimal choice. Fully agree with that, but because of reasons explained in my former posting, I can not use GPS out of the basement where my shack is and have to rely on DCF77.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too!

73, Razvan, DL2ARL

Re: Need an AVR programmer for my QCX, will this one work?

nz0tham@...
 

Hi Steve,

I use Win10 when I do use Windows so hopefully it will be recognized.  I use Linux Mint for 99% of my PC work with a separate solid state drive with Win 10 on it for anything I can't get running on WINE.

73, Bill NZ0T

QCX 50W Amp PS

rentwist@...
 

Hi Group,

What are people using for a power supply for the QCX 50W Amp?

I bought a Meanwell EPP-150-24 switcher and turned the voltage adjustment pot all the way down.  That got me about 22.3V out.  I removed a 500ohm resistor that parallels the 1K voltage adjustment pot and got it down to about 22.2V out.  Raising the voltage adjustment resistance above 1K ohms does not yield any further reduction in output voltage.  I do not see any way to reduce it further (and obviously do not have schematics for the unit).

I am going to use the amp with my QCX, which happens to be a 40m unit.  From the graph of power out vs supply voltage in the manual, I see only 20V is required to get about 55W out on 40m.  Am I going to cause problems running the amp on 22V?  If I supply less drive to limit the power out, will the amp be/do okay?

Thanks.

73,

Robert, WA2T

Re: 4 line display for qrplabs clock

jjpurdum
 

To my knowledge, 20x4 (60mm×99mm) and 16x2 (83mmx35mm) are very different sizes.

Jack, W8TEE

On Friday, January 10, 2020, 2:46:23 PM EST, Dave New <n8sbe@...> wrote:


Is the bezel size the same twixt the 16x2 and 20x4 displays?  I notice the 20x4 seems to have much smaller font, so is this the case?

I wouldn't want to move to the 4-line display if I can't use my current case, which is the QRPLabs clock case.

73,

-- Dave, N8SBE
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] 4 line display for qrplabs clock
From: "Roy Edens" <rjedens@...>
Date: Thu, January 09, 2020 1:46 pm
To: QRPLabs@groups.io

Thanks to all who responded to my request on 4 line display .

Re: 4 line display for qrplabs clock

N3MNT
 

No The 20X4 display is wider and taller. 

Re: question after installing new QCX firmware chip

Brien Pepperdine
 

You will probably see my later query to the List... be sure to turn off the CW Decoding after installing the chip otherwise you will see gibberish on the bottom line of  the LCD.

73

Brian

---------- Original Message ----------
From: "g4edg via Groups.Io" <G4edg@...>
Date: January 10, 2020 at 2:35 PM

Brian

That's good news regarding the thump.....awaiting the arrival of my chip:)

73 Steve G4EDG