Date   

Re: Shipping times from Turkey to United States

Gregg Myers
 

Hi Kent,

'package was forwarded to the destination country' usually means it is sitting in customs. That means it has entered a ‘black hole’ and you won’t get any tracking update until it emerges from customs. :)

At least that is my experience in the US. But you should receive it soon. Good luck!

73,
Gregg W7grm

On Tue, May 12, 2020 at 11:22 AM Kent <kent@...> wrote:
I’m just curious about how long it is usually taking for a QCX kit to be delivered to the U.S. The last update from 17Track was 8 May stating the package was forwarded to the destination country. 

Could it be in Customs or is it possibly still in transit across the Atlantic? I’m not sure if it is sent via air or sea.

Thanks,

Kent, K5KNT 
--
Kent R Frazier 
Amateur Radio License K5KNT
Memberships: AMSAT #LM-2380, ARRL, Ogden Amateur Radio Club, Long Island CW Club #447
Alt. email: k5knt@... or k5knt@...


Shipping times from Turkey to United States

Kent K5KNT
 

I’m just curious about how long it is usually taking for a QCX kit to be delivered to the U.S. The last update from 17Track was 8 May stating the package was forwarded to the destination country. 

Could it be in Customs or is it possibly still in transit across the Atlantic? I’m not sure if it is sent via air or sea.

Thanks,

Kent, K5KNT 
--
Kent R Frazier 
Amateur Radio License K5KNT
Memberships: AMSAT #LM-2380, ARRL, Ogden Amateur Radio Club, Long Island CW Club #447
Alt. email: k5knt@... or k5knt@...


Re: QCX 20M with very low power

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

A note:  L4 is not a choke for supplying DC its part of the C30/L4 pair that needs
to be tuned to in this case about 14.03mhz.

Seems to be an aversion to making sure that's correct too.

Allison
-------------------------------
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Re: Retrofit CAT on older QCX (serial #675) #cat

Ham Radio
 

Thank you to all that replied!  

Hans, if you could add a table of contents item for “CAT” in the manual, that would be great.

I am going have a crack at remoting  the QCX CAT commands via an ESP8266/Arduino combination using a Web Browser. My Web coding skills are not that good but will see if I can GET/POST commands to flow using coding examples from the ESPWiFI library.  Getting audio to flow over an HTTP steam is beyond my ability at the present time ...

--
73, Bernie, VE3FWF


Re: QCX antenna

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

Even with the end fed half wave wire you still need a ground as you have no coax to
provide the counterpoise.  A length of wire [maybe 20ft] laying stretched out on the
ground should do.  That would be connected to the the QCX RF ground point.

Some will say the wire needs to be a quarter wave but wires are seriously detuned 
laying on the ground.

The antenna element still needs to be a half wave or the SWR will be high and the
finals maybe history.

FYI I use the PAR EF-40/20/10 I've had for over 15 years and its my go-to portable
antenna.  Replacing the wire on that one with one cut for 17 and 15M makes for a
light kit and most bands I'd do  portable.  That  plus lengths of 1/8" dacron cord,
and 20ft of coax I"m set anywhere there are trees. 

Allison
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Re: #mods #pa #80m #160m #mods #pa #80m #160m

Richard Hall
 

The purpose of this mod is to give QCX access to a receive-only antenna via the 50 Watt PA kit. This can be added to a functioning PA or the kit can be built as a T/R switch without the amplifier circuitry. The first approach is more elegant; the second, more broadly useful.
To add a receive-only input to an existing 50 Watt PA, desolder and expose the pin of C16 nearest C17. Solder a wire from that pin to the center connector of a BNC connector. Ground the BNC wherever is convenient and you're done.
To build the PA kit as a T/R switch only, omit everything from C3 to C15 on the schematic and run jumpers from C3 to C8 and C15. The through holes for R2 and R3 nearest C3 would be a good origin for the jumpers and they could end at the holes for C21 and C9. Then install a BNC as above, jumpered from C16. This version is band agnostic. The jumper to C8 is not shown in the photograph because I hadn't thought of it at the time the photo was taken.


Re: Retrofit CAT on older QCX (serial #675) #cat

Glen Leinweber
 

Stop for a moment and consider what Hans has achieved in the QCX:
  • Multi-band versions of high-efficiency QRP radio
  • A manual setting a new quality benchmark
  • Software-assisted alignment, troubleshooting, reprogramming.
  • prompt bug revisions
  • key included with more: Keyer, CW decoding, message menu & more
  • WSPR support
  • CAT support
Hans could likely add a few that gave him considerable trouble, that I've missed.
Gives me a shiver when considering that one brain contains all the interactions
between these functions, especially where some were added as afterthoughts.

When Hans brain explodes, a large committee of software & hardware engineers
would cat-fight their way towards retro-engineering the QCX, and likely fail.
Hans - Humpty-Dumpty of QRP radios X-(

CAT was such an afterthought...herding cats into an already-crammed ATmega328
flash is a very impressive feat - who howled & squealed more:
cats? ATmega328? Hans?
Never has versatile hardware been pushed so close to the limit. The fur must
have been flying.

I hope Hans re-thinks such an attitude for QSX: basic good performance should
have priority over added features. Having empty flash & unused processor cycles
is OK. Take some time to chill, Hans - let no brains fry before their time.


----------------------------------------------
Hans, the cat-herder wrote:
By the way - a reminder to everyone: all QCX firmware versions are compatible with ALL QCX PCB revisions even the earliest PCB as of the August 2017 launch. 

But in this case where you want to create a CAT serial port, if your PCB is Rev 4 or earlier, you need to add two resistors and a diode. If your PCB is Rev 5 then these components are already included on the PCB. 


Re: QCX antenna

George Korper
 

I'm building a QCX now for 20 that has a built in 49:1 transformer instead of the BNC
connector. NO COAX, just a lug to attach a wire  half wave end fed. 

I yearn to go way in the woods far from the stress and turmoil of noise.  And the TV. And the CV. And the politicians. 

Under a tree, i will hit the button and call CQ. If no one hears me, I will enjoy a picnic lunch,
stick it back in my pocket and stroll home. The micro switch will be fine for me as a key. 

NO SSB.

Almost Heaven.....

On Tue, May 12, 2020 at 11:21 AM David Birnbaum <dbirnbau@...> wrote:
You are asking an interesting question that helps understand why an antenna is not just a piece of wire.  One way to look at this is that the antenna is not just some wire but behaves as if it were a complex impedance load at the end of the coax.  The cable then behaves the same way as it would if actual resistance and impedance were attached at it's end.

Another way to look at the combination of coax and antenna is to think of how the energy flows from the transmitter.  The RF generated by your rig travels up the coax and continues onto the exposed antenna wires.  The physics that describes this process make the energy flow essentially entirely within the coax until it reaches the antenna.  When it flows out over the exposed wires the physics shows that there is an electromagnetic wave flows away from the antenna carrying energy with it.  If the antenna dimensions are consistent with the frequency then essentially all of the energy from the rig is carried away by this wave, hopefully reaching whomever you're trying to reach.

Hope that helps

Dave
k2lyv


Re: QCX antenna

geoff M0ORE
 

As we are in lockdown with plenty of time to read books, have a look at Reflections 3 by W2DU (now sadly a silent key ). You can down load the pdf at  www.w3pga.org .It's a 160MB download but worth reading.

When you have finished that one, try Radio Antenna Engineering by Edmund Laport. This one is more aimed at broadcast antennas but will work for amateurs as well.

You will need several large cups of coffee to get you through these excellent volumes.


On 12/05/2020 16:20, David Birnbaum wrote:
You are asking an interesting question that helps understand why an antenna is not just a piece of wire.  One way to look at this is that the antenna is not just some wire but behaves as if it were a complex impedance load at the end of the coax.  The cable then behaves the same way as it would if actual resistance and impedance were attached at it's end.

Another way to look at the combination of coax and antenna is to think of how the energy flows from the transmitter.  The RF generated by your rig travels up the coax and continues onto the exposed antenna wires.  The physics that describes this process make the energy flow essentially entirely within the coax until it reaches the antenna.  When it flows out over the exposed wires the physics shows that there is an electromagnetic wave flows away from the antenna carrying energy with it.  If the antenna dimensions are consistent with the frequency then essentially all of the energy from the rig is carried away by this wave, hopefully reaching whomever you're trying to reach.

Hope that helps

Dave
k2lyv


Re: QCX-SSB: SSB with your QCX transceiver

Dean Smith
 

Popped a 120k in nearest I can find at the moment. As you see fine! And there is no noise generated from the Oled. Can't use this Oled with QCX straight! But for this perfect.


Re: QCX antenna

David Birnbaum
 

You are asking an interesting question that helps understand why an antenna is not just a piece of wire.  One way to look at this is that the antenna is not just some wire but behaves as if it were a complex impedance load at the end of the coax.  The cable then behaves the same way as it would if actual resistance and impedance were attached at it's end.

Another way to look at the combination of coax and antenna is to think of how the energy flows from the transmitter.  The RF generated by your rig travels up the coax and continues onto the exposed antenna wires.  The physics that describes this process make the energy flow essentially entirely within the coax until it reaches the antenna.  When it flows out over the exposed wires the physics shows that there is an electromagnetic wave flows away from the antenna carrying energy with it.  If the antenna dimensions are consistent with the frequency then essentially all of the energy from the rig is carried away by this wave, hopefully reaching whomever you're trying to reach.

Hope that helps

Dave
k2lyv


Re: QCX-SSB: SSB with your QCX transceiver

peatmoss - ki6ssi
 

Made several SSB contacts including one to KD1KT 2565 miles (4127 km) on 20m. SWR meter indicated I was putting out about 2 watts. KD1KT appears to have a nice antenna setup.

Pete


Re: QCX 20M with very low power

Mike Easterbrook
 

Just to adding my experiences with QCX20/low power -  & some help still needed.

I had a spare QCX 30 kit with V4 board which I  have now built up for 20m using latest updates i.e. R41/42 150R and 1.2K, C31 at 2.2uF;  R21 at 10K, C25/26 390pF ex Vishay/Digikey.

RF out per SWR/Power Meter (has been side-by-side compared with known(?) to be accurate meter in 1.0 - 5.0 W range) and found "similar". Following measurements made at 13.8 V at the connector i.e. before D3:


L1/2/3 wound per manual   ~1.0W
L1/2/3 wound to manual inductance tables using recently purchased Peak LCR40  ~1.5W
L1/2/3 adjusted for max output by squeezing/distancing turns on toroid and subtracting turns if necessary to peak output  ~ 4W  (final turns no. L1=13, L2=15, L3=13)  Observation was that only L3 adjustment had significant effect on power out. Reducing L3 to 12 turns gave output~5W.  However at this level there some evidence of intermittent instability/oscillation accompanied by immediate increase in total current from ~540 to ~990ma rapid heating of the finals and maybe 50% less power out.  Sending a series of dits about 1 in 20 were of much reduced power. The problem disappeared on reducing supply volts to 12 or increasing L3 to 14 turns. (i.e. keeping power out to below 4W)

On the assumption that the instability was in the key shaping section, I looked at the output with the scope and found complete absence of shaping.  I compared this with my QCX40 (on a V5 board built according to manual but with L1/2/3 turns reduced to match quoted impedance (17/22/17). This is measuring 5W out at13.8V with apparent good stability and OK shaping (see attached pics)  Grateful for any ideas on where to investigate the key shaping - component values and soldering look good.

Maybe unrelated incident - the LCD developed a fault - screen contrast suddenly very low but can be adjusted via R47 but random gibberish characters displayed and no communication with IC2. If I transfer this LCD to another QCX the fault remains.  Fault disappears with same board and a working LCD.  Not aware that the LCD was subjected to any trauma other than multiple plug-in/plug-outs while doing the L1/2/3 adjustments - anyway need to replace.  Anyone got a part no. for this item so I can order locally?  Don't want to add to my stock of wrongly ordered displays from old (non-QCX) project (pin outs not lining up, wrong colour, wrong backlight etc etc) 

Thanks
Mike 9M2LXM


On Fri, May 8, 2020 at 8:11 AM ajparent1/KB1GMX <kb1gmx@...> wrote:
Something else is very wrong and usually if the caps are an issue the
power is in the 1W out range or more.  

IF anything check the DC voltage at the emmitter and collector of Q6
it should very near 12V when transmitting.  

Shorts to ground in the TX section could be a problem.

Other possible issue is the fets Q1-3 are in back ward or rotated 120 degrees.

Allison
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Re: Retrofit CAT on older QCX (serial #675) #cat

 

Added resistors, diode, heat shrink tubing and hot glue for stability.

Aug
AG5AT


Re: Retrofit CAT on older QCX (serial #675) #cat

Gregg Myers
 

Hi Bernie,

For Rev 4 (aka older boards) Brent, AB1LF, had the excellent suggestion in using a Sparkfun 'FTDI Basic' interface and to make use of four unused solder pads on the QCX to make a really nice header on the QCX for CAT Control to my PC. You can search for Brent's original post in the forum. I just followed what Brent showed in his post. In the pictures below, the TX and RX labels are from the perspective of the FTDI 'USB to Serial Converter' side. On the QCX side, the TX and RX are reversed as per the schematic. It worked out great for me. See my pictures below.

73,
Gregg w7grm





On Tue, May 12, 2020 at 8:01 AM Julian Opificius <n4jo@...> wrote:
I think it's only on V5 boards. It's on my V5 20m unit, but not on my V4 40m unit.
Look at chapter 4.28 on page 106 of the V5 manual. You'll see the 3-pin header connection on the board edge, at the north east corner of the processor on V5 boards. I'm not sure if or where it exists V4 or before, hopefully somebody else knows this.


Re: Retrofit CAT on older QCX (serial #675) #cat

 

I think it's only on V5 boards. It's on my V5 20m unit, but not on my V4 40m unit.
Look at chapter 4.28 on page 106 of the V5 manual. You'll see the 3-pin header connection on the board edge, at the north east corner of the processor on V5 boards. I'm not sure if or where it exists V4 or before, hopefully somebody else knows this.


Re: Retrofit CAT on older QCX (serial #675) #cat

Hans Summers
 

Hi Bernie

Looking thru the latest QCX manual, I can not seem to find docs on the CAT pins.  What pins are RX and TX on?
Probably in the manual? Nothing on the schematic.  

Apologies for the confusion, this is in the manual but NOT the current PCB Rev 5 manual. To see the details of how to connect CAT to an older QCX see the Rev 4 manual. https://www.qrp-labs.com/images/qcx/assembly_A4-Rev-4f.pdf
And search for "CAT control"... I forget what page it is on. 

I will take this manual information and put it in a section on the main QCX page so that it is easy to find... 

I assume these are TTL levels and a RS-232 to TTL converter will do the job.

Yes they are TTL levels. RS232 levels won't work.

I just flashed the firmware to 1.05.  Attached is a pic of my old QCX with a laser cut case that I made years ago.

Nice!

By the way - a reminder to everyone: all QCX firmware versions are compatible with ALL QCX PCB revisions even the earliest PCB as of the August 2017 launch. 

But in this case where you want to create a CAT serial port, if your PCB is Rev 4 or earlier, you need to add two resistors and a diode. If your PCB is Rev 5 then these components are already included on the PCB. 

73 Hans G0UPL 


Re: Retrofit CAT on older QCX (serial #675) #cat

jjpurdum
 

Bernie:

I'm using the CAT interface, but I'm running it with a Teensy 4.0 because I want to ultimately do a spectrum display for the QCX. I'm using pins 14 and 15 on the T4 (A0 and A1) as they are dedicated serial ports for Serial3. So far, my interface looks like:



Alas, a shelf above my work table decided to give up the ghost and landed on my QCX during a working session, so I French-fried parts of the QCX and the T4 and its display. I guess it's a good thing that it happened while I was upstairs having lunch...at least I didn't have to see my friend die on the table.

I've ordered a new QCX, but continue to work on the code "blind" in the interim.

Jack, W8TEE

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 9:17:55 AM EDT, Ham Radio <bernard.murphy@...> wrote:


Looking thru the latest QCX manual, I can not seem to find docs on the CAT pins.  What pins are RX and TX on?
Probably in the manual? Nothing on the schematic.  I assume these are TTL levels and a RS-232 to TTL converter will do the job.

I just flashed the firmware to 1.05.  Attached is a pic of my old QCX with a laser cut case that I made years ago.

Looking at the schematic,  I need to add 2 resistors, 1 diode,  and a header

Has any one done this upgrade?  A pic with the suggested placement of new parts on the older rev board  (and the new CAT header) would be great.

Thank you for reading my post.


--
73, Bernie, VE3FWF


Retrofit CAT on older QCX (serial #675) #cat

Ham Radio
 

Looking thru the latest QCX manual, I can not seem to find docs on the CAT pins.  What pins are RX and TX on?
Probably in the manual? Nothing on the schematic.  I assume these are TTL levels and a RS-232 to TTL converter will do the job.

I just flashed the firmware to 1.05.  Attached is a pic of my old QCX with a laser cut case that I made years ago.

Looking at the schematic,  I need to add 2 resistors, 1 diode,  and a header

Has any one done this upgrade?  A pic with the suggested placement of new parts on the older rev board  (and the new CAT header) would be great.

Thank you for reading my post.


--
73, Bernie, VE3FWF


Re: QCX-SSB: SSB with your QCX transceiver

Dean Smith
 

Well, managed to find a sweet spot in the volume for a little ft8...
I am utterly gobsmacked!! how incredible is this??
No interfaces needed, just plug the 3.5mm jacks in an there it is in all it's glory!
I think the PCB could be half the size, for this project.
To think i gave £400 for a FT817-nd. For 817 digi you'll need an interface,rx filtering err no!
dodgy pa finals :) battery pack thats just naff. How much silicon in the 817???
If This continues, my FT817 will be looking for a new owner hi:) never thought i'd be able to say that..
i rest my case!