Date   

Re: How can i see the raw data from the GPS receiver.

Alan G4ZFQ
 

On 17/10/2017 19:55, James Anderson wrote:
My messages were not sorted in Date order...

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Re: How about an ultra-portable "QCX mini" version? #qcx

Hans Summers
 

Hi all

During my 10 years (May 2010 to date) QRP Labs' experience I have found that the probability of the kit packers making a mistake, and time taken to pack the components, are both inversely proportional to the size of the component.

Additionally, a large proportion of the time when a constructor is missing a component, it has rolled onto the floor, hiding in the carpet, rolled across the desk, hiding in some packaging, etc. The probability of this is ALSO inversely proportional to the size of the component. 

Furthermore the chances of the constructor making mistakes ALSO increases as the component size decreases. Which all amounts to more support questions. 

In other words, the smaller the components, the harder it is to get it right. Mistakes cost me dearly, not for the component but for the horrendous shipping costs. By the time it got to SMD I would be shuddering badly... 

Hence any kits which I produce that have SMD components will always have them soldered to the PCB, pre-assembled in a PCB factory. It's the only sustainable practical way! I know SMD components are not difficult and please feel welcome to assemble SMD stuff. But not from me :-D    I will get the robots to do that difficult bit. 

73 Hans G0UPL
http://qrp-labs.com

On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 4:18 PM K2DB Paul Mackanos <paul.mackanos@...> wrote:
I enjoy all of Hans kits, if he comes out with a SMD model, well there goes some more of my stimulus check 😎
Paul K2DB

On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 9:10 AM Dave <VE3GSO@...> wrote:
I could not agree more!  I admit happily that Hans has a difficult prospect of keeping everyone happy all the time, and perhaps it is unrealistic to hope for a completely bare board and a few baggies of SMD.

I have put on the fine pitched SSD chips and others, and once you lose your fear of lead shorting solder blobs (liquid flux and fine solder wick are your friend) the sheer challenge well met is a total source of pride.

Somewhere here I have a roll of 100n 50V SMD caps I would gladly contribute to the cause.

Dave


On Jun 4, 2020, at 08:28, jjpurdum via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:


Alan:

Strongly agree. I'm 2 years younger than dirt and built my first Novice station in 1954 using 2 "valves" for the transmitter. Gradually, I worked up to transistors, then IC's, and finally trying SMD's. While I've probably "tiddlywinked" enough SMD parts onto the floor or in near-earth orbit to build multiple QRP rigs, the fear was far worse than the fact. I have ants in my house bigger than an Si5351, but can still solder one in place. A good magnifying headset is a must for me, and I find "bent" tweezers:

<1591273463820blob.jpg>

very useful for holding SMD's in place while soldering. To encourage others, I gave a presentation to my club on soldering SMD parts using a "practice kit" available online (eBay 192343157603) for about $2.

<1591273599731blob.jpg>
Once you've done a few SMD's, you actually enjoy using them.

Jack, W8TEE



On Thursday, June 4, 2020, 7:31:40 AM EDT, Alan G4ZFQ <alan4alan@...> wrote:


  Steve
> I vote for an SMD version with the chips pre-assembled.  Here is my
> thought process:

Here is my  thought:

SMD is not difficult although a beginner might have problems with the
Si5351 so I guess that would have to be fitted.
In case of problems during use it would be good if the owner had some
experience of assembly.
A fair few already will have built a QCX and be familiar with the circuitry.

Over 10 years ago I wanted a Softrock, the only way was to get into SMD,
it was a lot easier than I feared and now I use it for little projects
in favour of wired components.

73 Alan G4ZFQ



<1591273463820blob.jpg>
<1591273599731blob.jpg>


Re: How can i see the raw data from the GPS receiver.

Alan G4ZFQ
 

On 17/10/2017 19:55, James Anderson wrote:
Hello to all.
Is there a piece of software that will interpret and show on the laptop the raw data string of the GPS data from the GPS module.?
James,

Lots of software, one that is memorable is "Visual Gps" https://www.visualgps.net/ a free version.
How? Just connect to a USB TTL COM port adaptor. [UART] This sort of thing https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Serial-Converter-USB2-0-to-TTL-UART-5-6-PIN-Module-Replace-CP2102-STC-FT232Case/182650412747?hash=item2a86d01ecb:m:mzsaTN8NeNKkhkLnG39l1jA (If you do have a real COM port it can be used but the voltages are wrong.)

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Re: How about an ultra-portable "QCX mini" version? #qcx

K2DB Paul Mackanos
 

I enjoy all of Hans kits, if he comes out with a SMD model, well there goes some more of my stimulus check 😎
Paul K2DB

On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 9:10 AM Dave <VE3GSO@...> wrote:
I could not agree more!  I admit happily that Hans has a difficult prospect of keeping everyone happy all the time, and perhaps it is unrealistic to hope for a completely bare board and a few baggies of SMD.

I have put on the fine pitched SSD chips and others, and once you lose your fear of lead shorting solder blobs (liquid flux and fine solder wick are your friend) the sheer challenge well met is a total source of pride.

Somewhere here I have a roll of 100n 50V SMD caps I would gladly contribute to the cause.

Dave


On Jun 4, 2020, at 08:28, jjpurdum via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:


Alan:

Strongly agree. I'm 2 years younger than dirt and built my first Novice station in 1954 using 2 "valves" for the transmitter. Gradually, I worked up to transistors, then IC's, and finally trying SMD's. While I've probably "tiddlywinked" enough SMD parts onto the floor or in near-earth orbit to build multiple QRP rigs, the fear was far worse than the fact. I have ants in my house bigger than an Si5351, but can still solder one in place. A good magnifying headset is a must for me, and I find "bent" tweezers:

<1591273463820blob.jpg>

very useful for holding SMD's in place while soldering. To encourage others, I gave a presentation to my club on soldering SMD parts using a "practice kit" available online (eBay 192343157603) for about $2.

<1591273599731blob.jpg>
Once you've done a few SMD's, you actually enjoy using them.

Jack, W8TEE



On Thursday, June 4, 2020, 7:31:40 AM EDT, Alan G4ZFQ <alan4alan@...> wrote:


  Steve
> I vote for an SMD version with the chips pre-assembled.  Here is my
> thought process:

Here is my  thought:

SMD is not difficult although a beginner might have problems with the
Si5351 so I guess that would have to be fitted.
In case of problems during use it would be good if the owner had some
experience of assembly.
A fair few already will have built a QCX and be familiar with the circuitry.

Over 10 years ago I wanted a Softrock, the only way was to get into SMD,
it was a lot easier than I feared and now I use it for little projects
in favour of wired components.

73 Alan G4ZFQ



<1591273463820blob.jpg>
<1591273599731blob.jpg>


Re: How about an ultra-portable "QCX mini" version? #qcx

Dave
 

I could not agree more!  I admit happily that Hans has a difficult prospect of keeping everyone happy all the time, and perhaps it is unrealistic to hope for a completely bare board and a few baggies of SMD.

I have put on the fine pitched SSD chips and others, and once you lose your fear of lead shorting solder blobs (liquid flux and fine solder wick are your friend) the sheer challenge well met is a total source of pride.

Somewhere here I have a roll of 100n 50V SMD caps I would gladly contribute to the cause.

Dave


On Jun 4, 2020, at 08:28, jjpurdum via groups.io <jjpurdum@...> wrote:


Alan:

Strongly agree. I'm 2 years younger than dirt and built my first Novice station in 1954 using 2 "valves" for the transmitter. Gradually, I worked up to transistors, then IC's, and finally trying SMD's. While I've probably "tiddlywinked" enough SMD parts onto the floor or in near-earth orbit to build multiple QRP rigs, the fear was far worse than the fact. I have ants in my house bigger than an Si5351, but can still solder one in place. A good magnifying headset is a must for me, and I find "bent" tweezers:

<1591273463820blob.jpg>

very useful for holding SMD's in place while soldering. To encourage others, I gave a presentation to my club on soldering SMD parts using a "practice kit" available online (eBay 192343157603) for about $2.

<1591273599731blob.jpg>
Once you've done a few SMD's, you actually enjoy using them.

Jack, W8TEE



On Thursday, June 4, 2020, 7:31:40 AM EDT, Alan G4ZFQ <alan4alan@...> wrote:


  Steve
> I vote for an SMD version with the chips pre-assembled.  Here is my
> thought process:

Here is my  thought:

SMD is not difficult although a beginner might have problems with the
Si5351 so I guess that would have to be fitted.
In case of problems during use it would be good if the owner had some
experience of assembly.
A fair few already will have built a QCX and be familiar with the circuitry.

Over 10 years ago I wanted a Softrock, the only way was to get into SMD,
it was a lot easier than I feared and now I use it for little projects
in favour of wired components.

73 Alan G4ZFQ



<1591273463820blob.jpg>
<1591273599731blob.jpg>


Re: How about an ultra-portable "QCX mini" version? #qcx

jjpurdum
 

Alan:

Strongly agree. I'm 2 years younger than dirt and built my first Novice station in 1954 using 2 "valves" for the transmitter. Gradually, I worked up to transistors, then IC's, and finally trying SMD's. While I've probably "tiddlywinked" enough SMD parts onto the floor or in near-earth orbit to build multiple QRP rigs, the fear was far worse than the fact. I have ants in my house bigger than an Si5351, but can still solder one in place. A good magnifying headset is a must for me, and I find "bent" tweezers:


very useful for holding SMD's in place while soldering. To encourage others, I gave a presentation to my club on soldering SMD parts using a "practice kit" available online (eBay 192343157603) for about $2.

Once you've done a few SMD's, you actually enjoy using them.

Jack, W8TEE



On Thursday, June 4, 2020, 7:31:40 AM EDT, Alan G4ZFQ <alan4alan@...> wrote:


  Steve
> I vote for an SMD version with the chips pre-assembled.  Here is my
> thought process:

Here is my  thought:

SMD is not difficult although a beginner might have problems with the
Si5351 so I guess that would have to be fitted.
In case of problems during use it would be good if the owner had some
experience of assembly.
A fair few already will have built a QCX and be familiar with the circuitry.

Over 10 years ago I wanted a Softrock, the only way was to get into SMD,
it was a lot easier than I feared and now I use it for little projects
in favour of wired components.

73 Alan G4ZFQ




Re: 6 Band U3S Revisisted

N3MNT
 

What is the part number?


Re: How about an ultra-portable "QCX mini" version? #qcx

Alan G4ZFQ
 

Steve
I vote for an SMD version with the chips pre-assembled.  Here is my thought process:
Here is my thought:

SMD is not difficult although a beginner might have problems with the Si5351 so I guess that would have to be fitted.
In case of problems during use it would be good if the owner had some experience of assembly.
A fair few already will have built a QCX and be familiar with the circuitry.

Over 10 years ago I wanted a Softrock, the only way was to get into SMD, it was a lot easier than I feared and now I use it for little projects in favour of wired components.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Re: How about an ultra-portable "QCX mini" version? #qcx

Steven Dick
 

I recently ordered the QCX+, which fits my needs well. I also own the original QCX.  With regard to possibly continuing the QCX mini version, I vote for an SMD version with the chips pre-assembled.  Here is my thought process:

1. The SMD components are, in general, lower cost than their through hole parts
2. The SMD components might allow more options for resistor package sized for an even smaller footprint.  Small but not too small to minimize possible damage from builders. No smaller than 0603 packages.
3. Pre-assembly of the SMDs would vastly reduce build time and minimize the chance for builder errors by swapped parts, etc
4. Possibly a slightly different but still low cost processor with more memory to get out from the "fighting for every byte" problem. It could still use existing software but provide some breathing room.
5. I realize the assembly cost is substantial, but I think builders would be willing to pay extra for the added reduced size for portable use as well as the quick kit build time and fewer issues with debugging problems.

-Steve K1RF

------ Original Message ------
From: "Torbjorn Skauli" <tskauli@...>
Sent: 6/4/2020 5:36:52 AM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] How about an ultra-portable "QCX mini" version? #qcx

Thanks for responding, Hans. I just wanted to add that my suggestion should not be read as disapproval.  I actually like the QCX+ for being easier to build, and thereby accessible to more people. And I am awed by your accomplishments in design, logistics and keeping the business running.

I can mention that I have been involved in bringing the joys of coding out to kids in Norway through clubs and schools, and I am preparing to promote ham radio through the same channels. The QCX will be a great tool in that work, consistent with its origins.

Thanks again for all the fun,

Torbjorn

Virus-free. www.avast.com


Re: How about an ultra-portable "QCX mini" version? #qcx

Torbjorn Skauli
 

Thanks for responding, Hans. I just wanted to add that my suggestion should not be read as disapproval.  I actually like the QCX+ for being easier to build, and thereby accessible to more people. And I am awed by your accomplishments in design, logistics and keeping the business running.

I can mention that I have been involved in bringing the joys of coding out to kids in Norway through clubs and schools, and I am preparing to promote ham radio through the same channels. The QCX will be a great tool in that work, consistent with its origins.

Thanks again for all the fun,

Torbjorn


Re: Update QCX Firmware to v1.05 notes (Linux command line, breadboard programmer) #firmware #qcx

Jacques - ZS1PL
 

Thanks Jonathan, this really helped me to get my QCX running again with the latest FW. It is worth noting to others that you need to use this method to reprogram an existing QRPLabs chip to make it work. Using a new blank 328 chip will not work unless you also set the fuses to their correct value, and also burn the EEPROM default values. For these values you will need to email Hans.

73 de Jacques ZS1PL


Re: Concerns about the QCX+ for ultra-portable operators

Hans Summers
 

Hi Luc

Please refer to my post in the other thread. I understand the concerns and I will find a solution and update you all in a couple of weeks. 

73 Hans G0UPL
http://qrp-labs.com



On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 10:13 AM ON7DQ Luc <on7dq@...> wrote:
I also hate to see the 'QCX Classic' go ... didn't Coca Cola have to put their Coke Classic back on the market after a lot of protest ?

Volume of the QCX+ would be  851180 mm³
My QCX 20m measures 105 x 90 x 35 = 330750 mm³ , that is only 39% of the volume of the QCX+ !
(see details and pics on my blog 
https://on7dq.blogspot.com/2018/03/my-build-of-qcx-5w-cw-transceiver.html )

And yes , mine has a DC input jack, ON/OFF switch, extra cooling for the 7805 and for the finals, all in that small box.

As for batteries inside, I prefer them outside, because I may switch packs between different rigs, and I have small and large battery packs, depending on what activity I need them for.

So yes, one vote to keep producing the QCX Classic !

73,
Luc ON7DQ


Re: Concerns about the QCX+ for ultra-portable operators

ON7DQ Luc
 

I also hate to see the 'QCX Classic' go ... didn't Coca Cola have to put their Coke Classic back on the market after a lot of protest ?

Volume of the QCX+ would be  851180 mm³
My QCX 20m measures 105 x 90 x 35 = 330750 mm³ , that is only 39% of the volume of the QCX+ !
(see details and pics on my blog 
https://on7dq.blogspot.com/2018/03/my-build-of-qcx-5w-cw-transceiver.html )

And yes , mine has a DC input jack, ON/OFF switch, extra cooling for the 7805 and for the finals, all in that small box.

As for batteries inside, I prefer them outside, because I may switch packs between different rigs, and I have small and large battery packs, depending on what activity I need them for.

So yes, one vote to keep producing the QCX Classic !

73,
Luc ON7DQ


Re: How about an ultra-portable "QCX mini" version? #qcx

Hans Summers
 

Hello Torbjorn and all other people involved in the discussion on continuing the original QCX... 

Many thanks for all the feedback which is very valuable to me. 

I am confident that the QCX+ http://qrp-labs.com/qcxp offers significant advantages to most constructors and will be a very popular continuation of the QCX. It has the same circuit, firmware, operation and performance but is easier to build, modify and experiment, and has a beautiful enclosure option, plenty of space, and other options the Dev board kit and TCXO. 

However... yes, I can see that the larger size is a possible disadvantage for those wanting extremely portable operations. 

I had not planned to continue the original QCX kit production. So please give me a few weeks to contemplate this and find a solution that is practical to me and desirable to all you. 

Note that though we say QCX+ is "just a bigger PCB" for QCX... in fact there are a lot of details that changed. Connectors and hardware, primarily. Producing a QCX is not a simple matter only of making some PCBs. There are the other changed parts which need attention too! Manufacturing and procurement are expensive, risky and time-consuming... bear in mind that the reason the QCX kit price to you, costs less than the sum of its parts (if you buy them from Digikey, Mouser, RS, Farnell etc) is mostly because I am buying these parts in very large volume and the price drops considerably. It takes a lot of planning to get this all to work out avoid the risk of losing money on it. Until you actually tried producing a kit like these QRP Labs kits I don't think people can possibly understand all the issues involved :-D   Designing some hardware that works, and some firmware that works, and that they work together, is hard enough. But turning it into a production batch of kits at a nice price... well, that's a whole new ball game!

So I will find a solution... perhaps a smaller board (maybe SMD), perhaps a continuation of the original QCX, perhaps a way of enclosing QCX+ more compact... let me think on it... and I will let you know in due course. 

73 Hans G0UPL
http://qrp-labs.com

On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 12:19 AM Torbjorn Skauli <tskauli@...> wrote:
Hans, I don't think you will have time for this, but here is a suggestion: I sympathize with the thread discussing the larger size of the QCX+. Given the quality of the QCX, many will want the radio more than the building of it. How about a "QCX mini" where the majority of components are pre-installed SMD, on a smaller PCB than the original? The design could aim for minimum size to achieve an affordable true pocket size HF rig. The builder could add only the band-specific parts, and other parts that would be costly to pre-assemble, and an enclosure of his choice. Controls could be installed on a break-off part of the PCB for flexibility in enclosure design. This version could also be more accessible to beginners since it will have far fewer parts to install. Apart from the effort to redo the design (again), hopefully the economics could work out through simpler logistics, smaller board area, lower component cost, and an expanded market?

I say this based on my own experience with the original QCX, which I have fitted into a rater cramped minimum-size 3D-printed enclosure with battery and paddle (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3668177). This rig, and a wire dipole, actually fit in the pockets of my jacket. I have been able to use my QCX in odd time slots and spaces such as flight departure halls and family outings, and thereby actually get on the air in a busy life. The favourite location is on the top of the local ski jump, the destination of my exercise bike ride, with an "inverted vertical" wire antenna suspended from the tower in the picture (loaded by a pinecone in the end). From here, the QCX WSPR beacon has hit seven continents (and G0UPL) in half an hour.

I am sure many people will want to have these possibilities in pocket size, at the price point of the QCX, and with only a minimum of assembly to do. For my part, I would certainly want one, and would be happy to design an even smaller 3D-printable enclosure for it.

After the QSX is finished, perhaps, Hans?

Anyway, thanks for all the fun,

  Torbjorn, LA4ZCA


Re: Does it work ?

KEN G4APB
 

Ah but Reg, if you are running mW levels and your signal is down in the noise and borderline discernible, then a few more mW might make the difference between a contact/spot and none. You are looking at QRO (5W=QRO hihi) signals with guys trying to burn each other’s front ends out. I would bust a gut (and do) to get the max smoke from all my QRP rigs...adds to the fun and physiologically a nats extra power makes you feel like you are running QRO.

best 73 Ken G4APB
stay safe, keep your fingers out of the antenna socket...


Re: Questions about QSX radio (by QRP Labs)

Andy Brilleaux [O.B.E. pending] <punkbiscuit@...>
 

I used to work Larry K1IED on most bands, usually ssb.

Then one day we were on 29Mhz AM with my
FT817 and a wire up a bamboo pole down the
beach.

My 1w was 57 to him, that's 3000 miles away.

I think that's my best miles per watt in AM.


QCXP CAT

Tony McUmber
 

Here I am like a kid awaiting a box top prize (anyone remember those?).  Down to the end of the driveway to check the mailbox every day;  Alas, I begin to think that IT WILL NEVER COME.  But, deep in my juvenile heart, I know that it will -- they always have, eventually.

To pass the time I want to collect what I need to complete the assembly and get the new toy on the air.  Can someone tell me what I will need to use the CAT function with the new QCXP?  I have a Laptop running Win 10, and a logging program which can utilize computer control.  What will I need to connect the two machines?  Please answer as if you were addressing an ignoramus but not an idiot.

Thanks for all help, and thanks to Hans for a wonderful QRP rig which brought me back to hamming a couple of years ago.

73, Tony  N0BPA


6 Band U3S Revisisted

Curt M.
 

Back in October of 2018 I built up a 6 Band U3S. It worked well but 20m was always disappointing because it only put out 100mW, maybe just a little less. I enjoy watching propagation on 20m but my WSPRLite always put out 200mW without any problems so I set the 6 band U3S aside.  

When I was building my 20m QCX there was a lot of talk going around about a bad batch of capacitors which were causing low power out on the QCX. I decided to order all new caps for the filter circuit on the QCX before I even started to build it. When I was finished it put out nearly 5w so I’ll never know if the ones supplied with the kit were bad but the ones that I ordered from Digikey were evidently fine. At that time I ordered 4 spare capacitors and thought maybe I would swap out the caps in the U3S 20m filter just to see if they made any difference  

So tonight nearly two years later I put the U3S on the bench and tested the output power on 20m. It was just about 100mW but not quite. I swapped the caps out and tested the output power and I’m happy to report that it now puts out 250mW.  I’d always thought that the chances of me getting bad caps with that kit were probably slim so I was never in a hurry to change them out. I can finally throw away those two bags away that I marked, “Save for U3S 20m filter”. I’ve moved those things all over the bench for the last couple of years and I’m glad that they solved the problem. It’s now like I have a new toy. 

None of that was Han’s fault and he quickly discovered the problem and it’s not a current problem, I just glad that my U3S 6 Band is now up to spec.


Curt M.


Re: Cannot send automated CQ from 1st memory

wfcaston@...
 

Many thanks for the good suggestions.  I think I am on the right track now.  This will take some time, but I am retired now and have time for this. :)

--
Anson
WV4C


Re: Cannot send automated CQ from 1st memory

 

Hi Anson, welcome back to ham radio.

I'll answer your message editing questions, but first, you have a very early firmware release, and I strongly suggest you update to the latest, v1.05, which has quite a few bug fixes and improvements.
So in the manual for rev 5 of the circuit board (which you certainly won't have, but it doesn't matter in this case) in section 4.18, page 79, which relates to editing messages (menu 2), you'll notice two important characters: one is the solid left-pointing triangle (not the left-pointing arrow), which deletes the entire current message, no matter where the cursor is; and the empty vertical rectangle, which clears the remainder of the message to the right of the cursor. One of those should do what you want when you turn the encoder control to that character and press the encoder button. Later versions of the software have interval and repeat controls as items 2.1 and 2.2, but the manual hasn't yet been updated to reflect that, it seems.

On the subject of antennas and power amps.... you might want to do the antenna first and see what that gets you before you invest in the PA. You may find that it improves things a lot. If you remember your antenna theory, the minimum radiation angle of a low horizontal is quite high - a good 5 degrees above the horizontal - which give you a bounce a couple of states away and with QRP and 20m, you're not going to get a lot of distance. Others here are more knowledgeable than I on that subject, and will likely give better and more detailed advice, but height is might, they say.

When you say "open" around here, you awake the slumbering knights of old, who will tell you in no uncertain terms that the band is "open" when anybody presses a Morse key and somebody else hears and responds to the CQ. Your mileage may vary, but there is always somebody out there within reach.

Oh, lastly, SWR meter would be good, of course, bu t you might want to look up the NanoVNA: as the name suggests it's a small vector network analyzer, very economically priced, and remarkably capable; SWR is the least of what it does. Several of us around here - including I - have one, and have been very happy with it.

Hope that helps,

Good luck :-)
--
Julian, N4JO.