Date   

Re: Notes and Feedback on QCX Kit That Just Arrived

Bill Cromwell
 

Hi,

I made a few years at a company and thrived there until new management came. Egos ran away and I left. In the following year that company disappeared. I am still around though :)

73,

Bill KU8H

On 5/8/20 3:18 PM, jjpurdum via groups.io wrote:
HI Paul:
Yeah, I was only there for a week or so anyway, but it just showed me that someone's ego was more important than getting help improving their code.  Not good.
Jack, W8TEE
On Friday, May 8, 2020, 3:00:28 PM EDT, Paul AI4EE <nadie1943@hotmail.com> wrote:
Jack - this is why some companies survive and some don't. You were probably lucky to get out, even if it was unceremoniously.
On 5/8/2020 9:27 AM, jjpurdum via groups.io wrote:
Not everyone is like that. I was hired as a consultant for a banking software house. I found a cascading/if /statement block with 31 /if/ conditional statements in it. Each day had a once-a-month function, which meant an average of 15 false tests every day for millions of customers. (I estimated $52,000 of wasted computer time each year for that one block.)  I pointed this example out to several dozen programmers at a code walk-through and said it was one of the best examples of RDC (Really Dumb Code) I've ever seen. Everyone in the room winced when I said that. Turns out that block of code was written by the person who hired me and everyone knew it but me.

I was fired that afternoon.

Jack, W8TEE

On Friday, May 8, 2020, 9:16:59 AM EDT, Andy Brilleaux via groups.io <punkbiscuit=googlemail.com@groups.io> <mailto:punkbiscuit=googlemail.com@groups.io> wrote:


On Fri, May 8, 2020 at 08:00 AM, Trystan G0KAY wrote:

The parts list isn't on the parts list either.

I once had a document that said "refer to prats list for latest info",
and handed my boss a list of the company directors ;-)

Thankfully we were all a liberal bunch and enjoyed such humour.
--
bark less - wag more


Re: WSPR hangs QCX-20

George Korper
 

What voltage was the QCX seeing at the input terminal? 


On Fri, May 8, 2020, 4:31 PM Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:
Negative, Arv

In other words... Hans hasn't considered such a thing. Also, Hans doesn't think it likely that he will...

73 Hans G0UPL 


On Sat, May 9, 2020, 00:23 Arv Evans <arvid.evans@...> wrote:
Julian

This situation might make one think of some sort of UPS.  It could be as simple 
as a battery in parallel with the mains based power and using simple diode 
isolation so that power would be drawn from the battery only if the mains were 
to fail.  This backup battery could also be charged from the regular mains based 
power source.

I wonder if Hans has considered designing and selling a simple UPS board with the 
batteries to be provided by the user?

Arv
_._

On Fri, May 8, 2020 at 2:10 PM Julian Opificius <n4jo@...> wrote:
My QCX-20 froze up this morning. I was running WSPR on my QCX-20. It had run through several sessions - probably at least an hour's worth at 10 min intervals. At one point I went over to look lovingly at it doing its thing - somewhere around noon, I think, and found that the display was frozen. The clock had stopped, and there were question marks in the last character position of both lines. The unit was completely unresponsive to control inputs. Horrors!
A power cycle brought back to life, and it hasn't done it since. None of the finals seem to have let their magic smoke out.
Regretfully I wasn't thinking enough to be absolutely sure if it was mid-send, though I'm almost sure it was. Shame on me for such sloppy diagnostics; I guess I was too distraught to think clearly,

Thinks: "a reboot on a three second hold-down of both buttons would have been real swell feature..., oh, but that would need more discrete hardware... hmmm, I know what: I'll pull out a reset line to a button when I get a round tuit and put it in a case (the QCX, not the r...)".

Thinks more: "Hmmm, I wonder if it stopped transmitting when it locked up... better ask Hans if the QCX can fail in a 'key down' state."

Possible factors: I have about 10-12 feet of butch, 14AWG speaker wire providing power from the 18.8V 3A regulated supply (Radio Shack 22-504) to my 40m unit, and a 14" daisy chain of decent shielded twin to the 20m. Power supply is on my desk, QCXs are on my window sill. My 40m unit ran all last night with the same power wiring, and was alive and well this morning.

DC voltage at the power terminals only droops by a couple of tens of mV between Rx and Tx modes, so I'm not suspicious of that, though I suppose I could put a couple of hundred uF across the terminals as a decoupler.

Interesting observation: I had "Frame" set to 10, and "Start" set to 12, because that just happened to be the next "x2" start time available when I set up WSPR. I was momentarily caught off balance when, after a send at xx:52, the indicator set the next time to 12, not 02.  It makes sense, now I think about it: not all frame/start combinations are divisible into 60, and such combinations would cause the start time to creep around the clock every hour, so the code restarts each hour with the specified start time. No problem, of course, it just threw me for a moment. I can imagine Hans smiling and saying "Yes, Julian, that's right, now do keep up!"

Julian, N4JO


Re: Notes and Feedback on QCX Kit That Just Arrived

Ryan Flowers
 

When I read the original post, my immediate response was to roll my eyes. As I read it further though, my opinion changed. I recognized an extreme attention to detail, and it occurred to me that this isn't the first time the author has written such an evaluation. In fact, he probably does/did it professionally. He's not nit picking. This is *fun* for him. We all have fun with ham radio in our own ways, and this is one of his.

My only misgiving is that it should have been a direct message to Hans, as there was no real value in posting it to the group.




On Fri, May 8, 2020 at 2:24 PM Al Gritzmacher AE2T <ae2t@...> wrote:

While I agree with the majority on the quality and value of the kits, I don't disagree with the original post either.

Think of it as a request for incremental improvements. It might be nit-picky, but nits do need to be picked in the pursuit of perfection. A wise person realizes that one never reaches 100% perfection, but approaches it by increasingly small steps.

Thankfully, it looks like Hans views it that way too.

I did enjoy the coders getting fired/not getting fired stories, though!


--
Ryan Flowers - W7RLF
MiscDotGeek - QRP and More


Re: WSPR hangs QCX-20

Hans Summers
 

Negative, Arv

In other words... Hans hasn't considered such a thing. Also, Hans doesn't think it likely that he will...

73 Hans G0UPL 


On Sat, May 9, 2020, 00:23 Arv Evans <arvid.evans@...> wrote:
Julian

This situation might make one think of some sort of UPS.  It could be as simple 
as a battery in parallel with the mains based power and using simple diode 
isolation so that power would be drawn from the battery only if the mains were 
to fail.  This backup battery could also be charged from the regular mains based 
power source.

I wonder if Hans has considered designing and selling a simple UPS board with the 
batteries to be provided by the user?

Arv
_._

On Fri, May 8, 2020 at 2:10 PM Julian Opificius <n4jo@...> wrote:
My QCX-20 froze up this morning. I was running WSPR on my QCX-20. It had run through several sessions - probably at least an hour's worth at 10 min intervals. At one point I went over to look lovingly at it doing its thing - somewhere around noon, I think, and found that the display was frozen. The clock had stopped, and there were question marks in the last character position of both lines. The unit was completely unresponsive to control inputs. Horrors!
A power cycle brought back to life, and it hasn't done it since. None of the finals seem to have let their magic smoke out.
Regretfully I wasn't thinking enough to be absolutely sure if it was mid-send, though I'm almost sure it was. Shame on me for such sloppy diagnostics; I guess I was too distraught to think clearly,

Thinks: "a reboot on a three second hold-down of both buttons would have been real swell feature..., oh, but that would need more discrete hardware... hmmm, I know what: I'll pull out a reset line to a button when I get a round tuit and put it in a case (the QCX, not the r...)".

Thinks more: "Hmmm, I wonder if it stopped transmitting when it locked up... better ask Hans if the QCX can fail in a 'key down' state."

Possible factors: I have about 10-12 feet of butch, 14AWG speaker wire providing power from the 18.8V 3A regulated supply (Radio Shack 22-504) to my 40m unit, and a 14" daisy chain of decent shielded twin to the 20m. Power supply is on my desk, QCXs are on my window sill. My 40m unit ran all last night with the same power wiring, and was alive and well this morning.

DC voltage at the power terminals only droops by a couple of tens of mV between Rx and Tx modes, so I'm not suspicious of that, though I suppose I could put a couple of hundred uF across the terminals as a decoupler.

Interesting observation: I had "Frame" set to 10, and "Start" set to 12, because that just happened to be the next "x2" start time available when I set up WSPR. I was momentarily caught off balance when, after a send at xx:52, the indicator set the next time to 12, not 02.  It makes sense, now I think about it: not all frame/start combinations are divisible into 60, and such combinations would cause the start time to creep around the clock every hour, so the code restarts each hour with the specified start time. No problem, of course, it just threw me for a moment. I can imagine Hans smiling and saying "Yes, Julian, that's right, now do keep up!"

Julian, N4JO


Re: U3S not getting decodes #u3s

Allan Nelsson
 

Alan,
 
Maybe the 27 MHz crystal is poor, I don’t know. The picture from Brian shows about 50 Hz drift on 6 m. Or 1 Hz per MHz. Scaled to 10 m it would be 28 Hz and 2 Hz at 160 m which is close to the max permissible drift in WSJT-X as far as I know. So drift on HF is a problem too. Many others have had stability problems, though I know that many do not have such big problems as Brian. I got my 3S running reasonably at 30 or 40 metres, but not quite stable. Higher up, things went wrong. It was impossible for me to make it run steady with successive switching between multiple bands even with calibration in between. I tried all good advice, modifications etc.+ ultra stable PS and so on. So at the end I gave up. But it's spring time - and the sun is shining (in daytime). :-)


Re: Notes and Feedback on QCX Kit That Just Arrived

Al Gritzmacher AE2T
 

While I agree with the majority on the quality and value of the kits, I don't disagree with the original post either.

Think of it as a request for incremental improvements. It might be nit-picky, but nits do need to be picked in the pursuit of perfection. A wise person realizes that one never reaches 100% perfection, but approaches it by increasingly small steps.

Thankfully, it looks like Hans views it that way too.

I did enjoy the coders getting fired/not getting fired stories, though!


Re: WSPR hangs QCX-20

Arv Evans
 

Julian

This situation might make one think of some sort of UPS.  It could be as simple 
as a battery in parallel with the mains based power and using simple diode 
isolation so that power would be drawn from the battery only if the mains were 
to fail.  This backup battery could also be charged from the regular mains based 
power source.

I wonder if Hans has considered designing and selling a simple UPS board with the 
batteries to be provided by the user?

Arv
_._

On Fri, May 8, 2020 at 2:10 PM Julian Opificius <n4jo@...> wrote:
My QCX-20 froze up this morning. I was running WSPR on my QCX-20. It had run through several sessions - probably at least an hour's worth at 10 min intervals. At one point I went over to look lovingly at it doing its thing - somewhere around noon, I think, and found that the display was frozen. The clock had stopped, and there were question marks in the last character position of both lines. The unit was completely unresponsive to control inputs. Horrors!
A power cycle brought back to life, and it hasn't done it since. None of the finals seem to have let their magic smoke out.
Regretfully I wasn't thinking enough to be absolutely sure if it was mid-send, though I'm almost sure it was. Shame on me for such sloppy diagnostics; I guess I was too distraught to think clearly,

Thinks: "a reboot on a three second hold-down of both buttons would have been real swell feature..., oh, but that would need more discrete hardware... hmmm, I know what: I'll pull out a reset line to a button when I get a round tuit and put it in a case (the QCX, not the r...)".

Thinks more: "Hmmm, I wonder if it stopped transmitting when it locked up... better ask Hans if the QCX can fail in a 'key down' state."

Possible factors: I have about 10-12 feet of butch, 14AWG speaker wire providing power from the 18.8V 3A regulated supply (Radio Shack 22-504) to my 40m unit, and a 14" daisy chain of decent shielded twin to the 20m. Power supply is on my desk, QCXs are on my window sill. My 40m unit ran all last night with the same power wiring, and was alive and well this morning.

DC voltage at the power terminals only droops by a couple of tens of mV between Rx and Tx modes, so I'm not suspicious of that, though I suppose I could put a couple of hundred uF across the terminals as a decoupler.

Interesting observation: I had "Frame" set to 10, and "Start" set to 12, because that just happened to be the next "x2" start time available when I set up WSPR. I was momentarily caught off balance when, after a send at xx:52, the indicator set the next time to 12, not 02.  It makes sense, now I think about it: not all frame/start combinations are divisible into 60, and such combinations would cause the start time to creep around the clock every hour, so the code restarts each hour with the specified start time. No problem, of course, it just threw me for a moment. I can imagine Hans smiling and saying "Yes, Julian, that's right, now do keep up!"

Julian, N4JO


Re: No Lights on the QLG1 ?

N3MNT
 

Don't forget that TX from GPS goes to RX on QCX and RX on GPS goes to TX on QCX.


Re: WSPR hangs QCX-20

Hans Summers
 

Hi Julian

You have an excellently accurate imagination OM.

I'd suspect RF getting where it shouldn't. Black magic. Grounds, power supplies, nothing is too sacred. 

I'd add a large electrolytic at the power supply. That's what I do... never harms! 

73 Hans G0UPL 

On Fri, May 8, 2020, 23:10 Julian Opificius <n4jo@...> wrote:
My QCX-20 froze up this morning. I was running WSPR on my QCX-20. It had run through several sessions - probably at least an hour's worth at 10 min intervals. At one point I went over to look lovingly at it doing its thing - somewhere around noon, I think, and found that the display was frozen. The clock had stopped, and there were question marks in the last character position of both lines. The unit was completely unresponsive to control inputs. Horrors!
A power cycle brought back to life, and it hasn't done it since. None of the finals seem to have let their magic smoke out.
Regretfully I wasn't thinking enough to be absolutely sure if it was mid-send, though I'm almost sure it was. Shame on me for such sloppy diagnostics; I guess I was too distraught to think clearly,

Thinks: "a reboot on a three second hold-down of both buttons would have been real swell feature..., oh, but that would need more discrete hardware... hmmm, I know what: I'll pull out a reset line to a button when I get a round tuit and put it in a case (the QCX, not the r...)".

Thinks more: "Hmmm, I wonder if it stopped transmitting when it locked up... better ask Hans if the QCX can fail in a 'key down' state."

Possible factors: I have about 10-12 feet of butch, 14AWG speaker wire providing power from the 18.8V 3A regulated supply (Radio Shack 22-504) to my 40m unit, and a 14" daisy chain of decent shielded twin to the 20m. Power supply is on my desk, QCXs are on my window sill. My 40m unit ran all last night with the same power wiring, and was alive and well this morning.

DC voltage at the power terminals only droops by a couple of tens of mV between Rx and Tx modes, so I'm not suspicious of that, though I suppose I could put a couple of hundred uF across the terminals as a decoupler.

Interesting observation: I had "Frame" set to 10, and "Start" set to 12, because that just happened to be the next "x2" start time available when I set up WSPR. I was momentarily caught off balance when, after a send at xx:52, the indicator set the next time to 12, not 02.  It makes sense, now I think about it: not all frame/start combinations are divisible into 60, and such combinations would cause the start time to creep around the clock every hour, so the code restarts each hour with the specified start time. No problem, of course, it just threw me for a moment. I can imagine Hans smiling and saying "Yes, Julian, that's right, now do keep up!"

Julian, N4JO


Re: Modified QCX-17 heard on all nine hf bands ( QCIX ) in four hours this UTC day !

Manuel; DL2MAN
 

Hi Bill,

Congrats. Would you mind telling us about you multi band mod of the qcx ?
What did you do to it and how ?

73 Manuel DL2MAN


Re: Notes and Feedback on QCX Kit That Just Arrived

R. Tyson
 

Quote > Its obvious kits like this are not for everyone. If you're looking for the classic traditional Heathkit where your hand is held every step of the way, (and the price tag reflects it), this ain't that. > end quote

That's an amazing statement. The instructions are very explicit and detailed for the kits.
They are at least as good, many regard them as better, than the Heathkit kits and instructions.
 The kits are excellent design, work exceedingly well and have been praised by many, many people. They are also excellent value.

I could only assume that someone making the above statement hasn't built one of the kits or seen the instructions. If they have then it doesn't make sense.

Reg               G4NFR


WSPR hangs QCX-20

 

My QCX-20 froze up this morning. I was running WSPR on my QCX-20. It had run through several sessions - probably at least an hour's worth at 10 min intervals. At one point I went over to look lovingly at it doing its thing - somewhere around noon, I think, and found that the display was frozen. The clock had stopped, and there were question marks in the last character position of both lines. The unit was completely unresponsive to control inputs. Horrors!
A power cycle brought back to life, and it hasn't done it since. None of the finals seem to have let their magic smoke out.
Regretfully I wasn't thinking enough to be absolutely sure if it was mid-send, though I'm almost sure it was. Shame on me for such sloppy diagnostics; I guess I was too distraught to think clearly,

Thinks: "a reboot on a three second hold-down of both buttons would have been real swell feature..., oh, but that would need more discrete hardware... hmmm, I know what: I'll pull out a reset line to a button when I get a round tuit and put it in a case (the QCX, not the r...)".

Thinks more: "Hmmm, I wonder if it stopped transmitting when it locked up... better ask Hans if the QCX can fail in a 'key down' state."

Possible factors: I have about 10-12 feet of butch, 14AWG speaker wire providing power from the 18.8V 3A regulated supply (Radio Shack 22-504) to my 40m unit, and a 14" daisy chain of decent shielded twin to the 20m. Power supply is on my desk, QCXs are on my window sill. My 40m unit ran all last night with the same power wiring, and was alive and well this morning.

DC voltage at the power terminals only droops by a couple of tens of mV between Rx and Tx modes, so I'm not suspicious of that, though I suppose I could put a couple of hundred uF across the terminals as a decoupler.

Interesting observation: I had "Frame" set to 10, and "Start" set to 12, because that just happened to be the next "x2" start time available when I set up WSPR. I was momentarily caught off balance when, after a send at xx:52, the indicator set the next time to 12, not 02.  It makes sense, now I think about it: not all frame/start combinations are divisible into 60, and such combinations would cause the start time to creep around the clock every hour, so the code restarts each hour with the specified start time. No problem, of course, it just threw me for a moment. I can imagine Hans smiling and saying "Yes, Julian, that's right, now do keep up!"

Julian, N4JO


Re: No Lights on the QLG1 ?

w2eck
 

Thanks for the replies and advice. So I  applied  5v direct to the 5v and gnd pins, and the red light comes on and the yellow blinks and the green blinked once. So it would appear my homemade cable is bad in some fashion. So will concentrate on ringing it out or build a new one.

73 Paul w2eck


Re: U3S

geoff M0ORE
 

Opened here no problem, it's just a bog standard PDF file .

On 08/05/2020 18:00, Gary Swain via groups.io wrote:

Tried & pc says that the site is not secure.

Gary



On 08 May 2020 at 17:11 Arv Evans <arvid.evans@...> wrote:


On Fri, May 8, 2020 at 1:53 AM Gary Swain via groups.io <g.swain= tiscali.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:
I bought a U3S kit it 2015 but was unable to build it due to illness.
Ive just dug it out of the box but cant seem to find any instructions online. Anyone know how i can get them?

TIA Gary

 

 


Re: Notes and Feedback on QCX Kit That Just Arrived

jjpurdum
 

HI Paul:

Yeah, I was only there for a week or so anyway, but it just showed me that someone's ego was more important than getting help improving their code.  Not good.

Jack, W8TEE

On Friday, May 8, 2020, 3:00:28 PM EDT, Paul AI4EE <nadie1943@...> wrote:


Jack - this is why some companies survive and some don't. You were probably lucky to get out, even if it was unceremoniously.


On 5/8/2020 9:27 AM, jjpurdum via groups.io wrote:
Not everyone is like that. I was hired as a consultant for a banking software house. I found a cascading if statement block with 31 if conditional statements in it. Each day had a once-a-month function, which meant an average of 15 false tests every day for millions of customers. (I estimated $52,000 of wasted computer time each year for that one block.)  I pointed this example out to several dozen programmers at a code walk-through and said it was one of the best examples of RDC (Really Dumb Code) I've ever seen. Everyone in the room winced when I said that. Turns out that block of code was written by the person who hired me and everyone knew it but me.

I was fired that afternoon.

Jack, W8TEE

On Friday, May 8, 2020, 9:16:59 AM EDT, Andy Brilleaux via groups.io <punkbiscuit@...> wrote:


On Fri, May 8, 2020 at 08:00 AM, Trystan G0KAY wrote:
The parts list isn't on the parts list either.
I once had a document that said "refer to prats list for latest info",
and handed my boss a list of the company directors ;-)

Thankfully we were all a liberal bunch and enjoyed such humour.


Re: Notes and Feedback on QCX Kit That Just Arrived

Paul AI4EE
 

Jack - this is why some companies survive and some don't. You were probably lucky to get out, even if it was unceremoniously.


On 5/8/2020 9:27 AM, jjpurdum via groups.io wrote:
Not everyone is like that. I was hired as a consultant for a banking software house. I found a cascading if statement block with 31 if conditional statements in it. Each day had a once-a-month function, which meant an average of 15 false tests every day for millions of customers. (I estimated $52,000 of wasted computer time each year for that one block.)  I pointed this example out to several dozen programmers at a code walk-through and said it was one of the best examples of RDC (Really Dumb Code) I've ever seen. Everyone in the room winced when I said that. Turns out that block of code was written by the person who hired me and everyone knew it but me.

I was fired that afternoon.

Jack, W8TEE

On Friday, May 8, 2020, 9:16:59 AM EDT, Andy Brilleaux via groups.io <punkbiscuit@...> wrote:


On Fri, May 8, 2020 at 08:00 AM, Trystan G0KAY wrote:
The parts list isn't on the parts list either.
I once had a document that said "refer to prats list for latest info",
and handed my boss a list of the company directors ;-)

Thankfully we were all a liberal bunch and enjoyed such humour.


Re: U3S

Ryan Flowers
 

If this page:
is showing as Not Secure, then there are a few possibilities:
1) You're using a Very Old computer (XP/Vista?) 
2) The date/time is off on your PC
3) You're using an ancient browser 

check those three things. If none are the case, then try it without the S:
http://qrp-labs.com/images/ultimate3s/assembly_u3s_r3_a4.pdf 



On Fri, May 8, 2020 at 10:25 AM Alan G4ZFQ <alan4alan@...> wrote:
> Tried & pc says that the site is not secure.

Gary,

That's not true.
But in any case is this the one you want?

"9. Version History 0 18 - Jan - 2016 • First version, based initially
on Ultimate3S kit assembly manual for U3S Rev2 PC"
Does not seem to cover 2015.

Get it from the QRP Labs web page to match your board type. (Which I do
not think you have quoted?)

73 Alan G4ZFQ




--
Ryan Flowers - W7RLF
MiscDotGeek - QRP and More


Re: Notes and Feedback on QCX Kit That Just Arrived

Paul AI4EE
 

Relax guys. We've all had suggestions at one time or another. That's what these are - suggestions - not demands. It's what he would like to see if Hans is so minded to make the changes. Just trying to make a tremendously great document even better.


On 5/8/2020 9:22 AM, John AE5X wrote:
Regarding the OP, there is an overage of the word "Overage".
--
John AE5X
https://ae5x.blogspot.com


Re: Notes and Feedback on QCX Kit That Just Arrived

Shirley Dulcey KE1L
 

I have found extra bypass capacitors in a lot of kits, not just the QCX. It's a popular practice. As others have pointed out, it keeps the company from having to send out another capacitor if you lose one. An extra 0.1, 0.01, or 0.001uF capacitor is always a good thing to have on hand; if you ever create your own designs you will use lots of those.


On Fri, May 8, 2020 at 2:24 PM Gary Bernard via groups.io <garybernard2=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
To Louis, as one of the pile ons, I apologize. I also a spent long time in MFG and should know better. Maybe old age?
Regards, Gary W0CKI


-----Original Message-----
From: Louis Warner <lwarner475@...>
To: QRPLabs@groups.io
Sent: Fri, May 8, 2020 12:00 pm
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] Notes and Feedback on QCX Kit That Just Arrived

"Many of Louis' original points are not at all bad, in the pursuit of perfection... yes, everyone says the manual is very excellent but I don't think it reached 100.00%, there is room for more... and so at the next opportunity I have to re-write the manual, I will incorporate some of those. The parts list quantity and zoning would indeed make things clearer I think. Maintaining manuals is a lot of time-consuming work and I won't go and edit it just for this but, next time I have a suitable opportunity, I will do some of it yes."
Thanks for the support, Hans and Ralph. Both of you understood why I was making suggestions for improvement to the kit.


I'm extraordinarily pleased with the design, kit, and price. It is outstanding among ham radio kits. Thank you, Hans for the work you do to share your designs and provide kits to the hobby. Obviously you're motivated by something other profit, and I recognize and salute that.


Really? This is the first post I've read that didn't like the manual.
There were over two dozen pile-on disparaging posts toward my list of suggested improvements. I can't imagine why no one has suggested manual improvements before. Really guys, you can put away the pitchforks and torches. I'm unaffected by the negative feedback. Besides, I specifically note in my original post that it was primarily directed towards Hans.

The manual is outstanding, definitely better than Heathkit, but that doesn't mean it can't be even better. Hans understands seeking perfection as a worthy endeavor for it's own sake. The parts list is 98% functionally sufficient, but it could be improved to the point it is absolutely outstanding. Hans gets it.

I spent 13 years before retirement in Quality Assurance in the electronics assembly industry. Thirteen years of validating bills of material against schematics, reviewing and editing assembly documentation, writing ISO 9001 work instructions, and machine setup instructions. It was highly detail-oriented. It's what I did, and I enjoyed most of it.

The list of suggestions points out what a pair of fresh eyes saw while running an inventory of the parts list vs. the kit contents. This can be valuable for spotting issues. Some may not know, but when a person works for days or weeks with a specific design and documentation, it can be extraordinarily difficult to check your own work. I took a not insignificant amount of my time to document and post for Hans feedback on the first step of building the QCX kit. That was using my specific skills to pay back Hans for designing and making available such a nice little gadget at a charity give-away price point. Y'all should be a bit ashamed of yourselves for that pile-on.

The negative posts in this topic don't bother me at all. Working a long while in manufacturing Quality Assurance, you develop a very thick hide.

So there is still more I can contribute to the group and the QCX product. I wouldn't mind doing a Youtube video (for the group, not an official product video) on the way I sort, group, and bag components prior to assembly. This can greatly decrease the number of wrong component value insertion errors with caps and resistors.

Another suggestion I have is an official video (not by me) that covers winding the multi-winding transformer. Few if any other ham kit provider has videos. THAT would be cool. It seems as if the transformer is a difficult task for many. Either they reverse-wind a sub-coil, wind it on the wrong core, or don't thermal-strip the enamel off the wire and get a no-connect at the pad. I suggest one very good video on how to thermal-strip the wire along with demonstrating the problem of pulling the stripped wire too far down into the thru-hole.


And a note about calling out overages. There are subtleties to this:

1.) An extra component in a kit is not a problem by itself, but it could be an indicator of kitting accuracy, waste, or kitting instructions that diverge from the current design. All are undesirable

2.) Both overages were on components on cut-strip. This could indicate one of many potential issues.

3.) Since they're on cut-strip, that means either
     a.) The kitter is working off a tape roll and counting 1, 2, 3...etc, and then snips. He/she counted wrong. There could be a shortage next time instead of an overage. Very bad. The work task needs "process improvement."
     b.) As "a." above but they are working off a kitting list that is wrong. Bad. A waste of money. If each ceramic cap is 7 cents, then every kit made is tossing a nickel and two pennies in the trash can. A waste.
     c.) The kitter is using a fixed "cut gauge" so they don't have to count over and over again, and can just listen to the radio and let their hands work off muscle memory. But if the kitter is using a cut gauge that measures one over the required number, that's waste. Bad. Could also be that a vendor change or component tape spacing change by the manufacturer is throwing off the cut gauge. I've seen that many times. The people in Purchasing love to cut corners by buying parts from non-approved vendors or in different packaging.

So when a kit overage is found, an "line-item audit" is usually called for to determine the "root cause" of the "non-conformance". That's what a boo-boo is called in QA and ISO-9001, a non-conformance. So a QA guy needs to get with manufacturing and engineering and determine how many of that part is on the schematic, how many are on the bill of material, and how many are on the cheat-sheet the kitting department has but shouldn't be retaining. All kitting should be done from the current bill of material, which is a "controlled document". Meaning it's the one currently active, authorized, read-only parts list available on the documentation system. A parts list is typically printed hard-copy, used for the kitting job, then destroyed or send along as a rider with the kit and the kitter's sign-off. The next time the same job has to be kitted, a new hard-copy is printed and used. This assures only the most up-to-date parts list is used for kitting.

Now, Hans and his crew certainly wouldn't use those procedures strictly to do their kitting, but elements here and there can be used to increase the accuracy of the kitting. It takes a particular type of person to kit hundreds of thousands of components a week and achieve zero defects. For the typical person, it's torture.

No job done by humans is going to be without errors, but using best practices that have been long established in industry, they can be reduced to an astoundingly low level.





Re: Notes and Feedback on QCX Kit That Just Arrived

Gary Bernard
 

To Louis, as one of the pile ons, I apologize. I also a spent long time in MFG and should know better. Maybe old age?
Regards, Gary W0CKI


-----Original Message-----
From: Louis Warner <lwarner475@...>
To: QRPLabs@groups.io
Sent: Fri, May 8, 2020 12:00 pm
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] Notes and Feedback on QCX Kit That Just Arrived

"Many of Louis' original points are not at all bad, in the pursuit of perfection... yes, everyone says the manual is very excellent but I don't think it reached 100.00%, there is room for more... and so at the next opportunity I have to re-write the manual, I will incorporate some of those. The parts list quantity and zoning would indeed make things clearer I think. Maintaining manuals is a lot of time-consuming work and I won't go and edit it just for this but, next time I have a suitable opportunity, I will do some of it yes."
Thanks for the support, Hans and Ralph. Both of you understood why I was making suggestions for improvement to the kit.


I'm extraordinarily pleased with the design, kit, and price. It is outstanding among ham radio kits. Thank you, Hans for the work you do to share your designs and provide kits to the hobby. Obviously you're motivated by something other profit, and I recognize and salute that.


Really? This is the first post I've read that didn't like the manual.
There were over two dozen pile-on disparaging posts toward my list of suggested improvements. I can't imagine why no one has suggested manual improvements before. Really guys, you can put away the pitchforks and torches. I'm unaffected by the negative feedback. Besides, I specifically note in my original post that it was primarily directed towards Hans.

The manual is outstanding, definitely better than Heathkit, but that doesn't mean it can't be even better. Hans understands seeking perfection as a worthy endeavor for it's own sake. The parts list is 98% functionally sufficient, but it could be improved to the point it is absolutely outstanding. Hans gets it.

I spent 13 years before retirement in Quality Assurance in the electronics assembly industry. Thirteen years of validating bills of material against schematics, reviewing and editing assembly documentation, writing ISO 9001 work instructions, and machine setup instructions. It was highly detail-oriented. It's what I did, and I enjoyed most of it.

The list of suggestions points out what a pair of fresh eyes saw while running an inventory of the parts list vs. the kit contents. This can be valuable for spotting issues. Some may not know, but when a person works for days or weeks with a specific design and documentation, it can be extraordinarily difficult to check your own work. I took a not insignificant amount of my time to document and post for Hans feedback on the first step of building the QCX kit. That was using my specific skills to pay back Hans for designing and making available such a nice little gadget at a charity give-away price point. Y'all should be a bit ashamed of yourselves for that pile-on.

The negative posts in this topic don't bother me at all. Working a long while in manufacturing Quality Assurance, you develop a very thick hide.

So there is still more I can contribute to the group and the QCX product. I wouldn't mind doing a Youtube video (for the group, not an official product video) on the way I sort, group, and bag components prior to assembly. This can greatly decrease the number of wrong component value insertion errors with caps and resistors.

Another suggestion I have is an official video (not by me) that covers winding the multi-winding transformer. Few if any other ham kit provider has videos. THAT would be cool. It seems as if the transformer is a difficult task for many. Either they reverse-wind a sub-coil, wind it on the wrong core, or don't thermal-strip the enamel off the wire and get a no-connect at the pad. I suggest one very good video on how to thermal-strip the wire along with demonstrating the problem of pulling the stripped wire too far down into the thru-hole.


And a note about calling out overages. There are subtleties to this:

1.) An extra component in a kit is not a problem by itself, but it could be an indicator of kitting accuracy, waste, or kitting instructions that diverge from the current design. All are undesirable

2.) Both overages were on components on cut-strip. This could indicate one of many potential issues.

3.) Since they're on cut-strip, that means either
     a.) The kitter is working off a tape roll and counting 1, 2, 3...etc, and then snips. He/she counted wrong. There could be a shortage next time instead of an overage. Very bad. The work task needs "process improvement."
     b.) As "a." above but they are working off a kitting list that is wrong. Bad. A waste of money. If each ceramic cap is 7 cents, then every kit made is tossing a nickel and two pennies in the trash can. A waste.
     c.) The kitter is using a fixed "cut gauge" so they don't have to count over and over again, and can just listen to the radio and let their hands work off muscle memory. But if the kitter is using a cut gauge that measures one over the required number, that's waste. Bad. Could also be that a vendor change or component tape spacing change by the manufacturer is throwing off the cut gauge. I've seen that many times. The people in Purchasing love to cut corners by buying parts from non-approved vendors or in different packaging.

So when a kit overage is found, an "line-item audit" is usually called for to determine the "root cause" of the "non-conformance". That's what a boo-boo is called in QA and ISO-9001, a non-conformance. So a QA guy needs to get with manufacturing and engineering and determine how many of that part is on the schematic, how many are on the bill of material, and how many are on the cheat-sheet the kitting department has but shouldn't be retaining. All kitting should be done from the current bill of material, which is a "controlled document". Meaning it's the one currently active, authorized, read-only parts list available on the documentation system. A parts list is typically printed hard-copy, used for the kitting job, then destroyed or send along as a rider with the kit and the kitter's sign-off. The next time the same job has to be kitted, a new hard-copy is printed and used. This assures only the most up-to-date parts list is used for kitting.

Now, Hans and his crew certainly wouldn't use those procedures strictly to do their kitting, but elements here and there can be used to increase the accuracy of the kitting. It takes a particular type of person to kit hundreds of thousands of components a week and achieve zero defects. For the typical person, it's torture.

No job done by humans is going to be without errors, but using best practices that have been long established in industry, they can be reduced to an astoundingly low level.




17261 - 17280 of 63051