Date   

Re: QCXP CAT

Ham Radio
 

You will need a TTL to USB or TTL to RS-232 converter.  The QCX+ has the CAT interface already  built in.  

You can also use an Arduino Uno as a USB to TTL converter. The Arduino program was posted on another thread. Contact me directly if you need help getting the Arduino going — the Arduino  mainline program is only 5 C++ statements.
--
73, Bernie, VE3FWF


Re: QCXP CAT

Bill Cromwell
 

Hi Tony,

Those boxtops are how I got my ham ticket (or so I have heard).

73,

Bill KU8H

Bark less - wag more

On 6/4/20 2:08 AM, Tony McUmber wrote:
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.
---snip----
73, Tony  N0BPA


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

Jim Mcilroy
 

Well, Hans

How about a QCX PCB laid out for SMD.

Happy to buy components from you, or gather them from wherever.

Jim

On 04/06/2020 14:32, Hans Summers wrote:
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 about an ultra-portable "QCX mini" version? #qcx

 

My perspective always has been the most efficient and cost effective way to package SMT parts in a kit are to have them presoldered to the PCB.  For the few that really must solder them on to get satisfaction there is even more satisfaction if they remove them and then reattach them so they can say I built it totally themselves. 

The cost to kit SMT in labour alone should exceed the cost for automated assembly. 

There is lots to do in a Hans kit after the SMT parts are installed. 
Dave
VE7HR 




On Jun 4, 2020, at 6:33 AM, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:


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

Jim Mcilroy
 

Hi All

I would like to add my support for a QCX SMD model.

Last winter I stuck a toe into the SMD world using a head magnifier and a pair of Swiss tweezers. I used the mcHF PCBs as a trial run as that was all I could find as a radio application.

I tried both a fine tipped soldering iron and a hot gun. I found I could do just about everything except install a STM32 MCU (25 pin x 25 pin footprint), so an Si5351 is doable. Also managed to put an ATmega128-AU on another board for a separate project (16 pin x 16 pin footprint). That's probably my limit. Capacitors, resistors, etc, are no problem.

It's worth getting a pair of SMD test clips to measure components.

SMD is fun. I used a block of wood as an insulator. Doesn't conduct electricity and OK for hot gun work if you're careful.

73

Jim

G4EQX

PS - FWIW I got that mcHF going after asking nicely for a PCB with the MCU installed.

On 04/06/2020 14:16, K2DB 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 about an ultra-portable "QCX mini" version? #qcx

Dave
 

Sigh!   Of course you are right.

If you do make an SMD version, please know that I’ll be one of the first in line.  Great circuit and in totally SMD it will be a desirable piece of kit.

Dave


On Jun 4, 2020, at 09:33, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:


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:
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

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