Date   

Re: QCX Firmware change request: Validate CAT frequency values. #qcx #firmware #cat

jjpurdum
 

Ask your kids/grandkids to "write" something...write, not print. I was shocked to see some cannot write. I agree, we are putting too much faith in technology.

Jack, W8TEE

On Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 6:44:17 PM EDT, Richard <groups.io@...> wrote:


On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 05:22 PM, Dave wrote:
Isn’t it rather on the licensed amateur to ensure he or she is within their band.  Pretty nonsense to expect a rig to do everything!
These days people rely on machines too much to keep them from making ID-10-T errors that would have never happened 15 or 20 years ago.  I agree that it should be up to the operator.  I'd rather have prosigns decoded than trying to idiot-proof the box.


Re: QCX Firmware change request: Validate CAT frequency values. #qcx #firmware #cat

Shirley Dulcey KE1L
 

I wonder if the problem with the logging programs happens because the QCX doesn't receive CAT commands while the LCD is being updated? The programs may interpret that lack of response as the QCX being offline.


On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 7:30 PM Sheldon Hartling <ve1gpy@...> wrote:
Should have been ...

The CAT interface seems unreliable :-(  


Re: Connecting My 50 Watt PA To My 40M QCX+ Question - Is This Slow Current Climb Result "Normal"?

Bob Ballard
 

OOPS!

 

I forgot to mention my QCX+ is powered by a Bioenno BLF1220A battery that produces 13.31v.  I have ordered another Hilitand LTC3780 voltage controller to cut this battery’s output voltage back to 12v for use with the 50 Watt Amplifier.  I’m not sure what impact the 13.31v applied to the QCX+ does to my 50 Watt Amplifier Adjustment effort described below.

 

Bob – KG5SQJ

 

From: QRPLabs@groups.io <QRPLabs@groups.io> On Behalf Of Bob Ballard
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2020 7:01 PM
To: QRPLabs@groups.io
Subject: [QRPLabs] Connecting My 50 Watt PA To My 40M QCX+ Question - Is This Slow Current Climb Result "Normal"?

 

Following the PTT Output Instructions on Page 100 of the QCX+ Manual, I got my custom cable wired today and connected my 40M 50 Watt PA Amplifier to my 40M QCX+  My QCX+ produces ~4.5 Watts and works perfectly as near as I can tell with one CQ call response but the signal faded too quickly for me to get his call sign).

 

However I’m not sure the result of my 50 Watt Amplifier “Adjustment” effort is “normal”.

 

Here’s the Steps I took, the equipment I used and the results of the Amplifier’s R5 Trimmer Potentiometer Adjustment:

 

  1. I carefully followed the 50 Watt Amplifier Instructions on Page 65 of the User Manual (7.4 Adjustment).
  2. I used a Bioenno BLF-2410A 24v 10aH Lithium battery to power the 50 Watt Amplifier using the power supply described in #3 below (the battery was fully charged and produced 26.2v Open Circuit).
  3. Per Gregg Myers’ (W7GRM) recommendation, I used a Hilitand DC-DC LTC3780 5-32v to 1v-30v Automatic Step Up/Down Converter Boost/Buck CC CV Power Module Super Book Type Power Supply (adjusted to output 20v).
    1. I had previously adjusted this device to output 20v.
    2. The Constant Current variable resistor was apparently initially too low because the green LED on the Hilitand Power Supply dimmed when I first applied power to the 50 Watt Amplifier.
    3. I adjusted the Constant Current variable resistor (the one in the middle of the three variable resistors on the PCB) until the unit “clicked” to maximize the constant current (Output Current for this device is listed as 10A with 7A for long-term use) and the green LED dimming ceased to occur (the LED also does not dim when the Straight Key for the QCX+ is pressed).
    4. The Hilitand power supply’s 20.0v voltage does not change when the 50 Watt Amplifier is initially powered up nor when the Straight Key is pressed on the QCX+.
  1. Following the 7.4 Instructions on Page 65, I put my QCX+ into Practice mode with the Keyer set at 0 Speed and programmed to Straight key.
  2. I used a Straight Key to apply the 5.0v power necessary to do the 50 Watt Amplifier’s adjustment.
  3. The cable I assembled earlier today following the PTT Output Instructions on Page 100 of the QCX+ Manual produces the expected 5.0v on the proper parts of the connector plug (the Ground Sleeve and the Ring) when the Straight key is pressed.
  4. I used my Commercial Electric MS8301A Digital Multimeter that has a current maximum of 10A with the probes serving as a “jumper” between the positive output wire of the Hilitand power supply and the positive Input wire to the 50 Watt Amplifier to measure the current drawn to the 50 Watt Amplifier.
  5. After pressing the Straight key, I adjusted the 50 Watt Amplifier’s R5 Trimmer Potentiometer clockwise very slowly until the Digital Multimeter read slightly more than 0.85A (0.86A-0.87A) and then backed off to 0.85A (it took a few tries back and forth to get it settled).  Note- I started the 50 Watt Amplifier’s R5 Trimmer Potentiometer fully counterclockwise as per the Instructions.
  6. So far so good, right?

 

So after doing the adjustment, I unkeyed the Straight Key and then pressed it again to test the current draw again.  To my surprise, when I press the Straight Key, it takes approximately 30 seconds before the Multimeter reaches 0.85A!

 

My question is this; is that “normal” or is it the inexpensive Multimeter taking so long to measure the current or what?

 

If it is “normal” then Woo Hoo!  I can’t wait to try it.

 

If this is not normal, what have I likely done incorrectly and/or can any of you recommend a solution?  Keep in mind that I am not an electrical nor electronic Engineer by any stretch of the imagination and I have limited experience building radio equipment kits.

 

Thanks again for all you guys do helping Newbies like me.

 

73,

Bob Ballard – KG5SQJ


Connecting My 50 Watt PA To My 40M QCX+ Question - Is This Slow Current Climb Result "Normal"?

Bob Ballard
 

Following the PTT Output Instructions on Page 100 of the QCX+ Manual, I got my custom cable wired today and connected my 40M 50 Watt PA Amplifier to my 40M QCX+.  My QCX+ produces ~4.5 Watts and works perfectly as near as I can tell with one CQ call response but the signal faded too quickly for me to get his call sign).

 

However I’m not sure the result of my 50 Watt Amplifier “Adjustment” effort is “normal”.

 

Here’s the Steps I took, the equipment I used and the results of the Amplifier’s R5 Trimmer Potentiometer Adjustment:

 

  1. I carefully followed the 50 Watt Amplifier Instructions on Page 65 of the User Manual (7.4 Adjustment).
  2. I used a Bioenno BLF-2410A 24v 10aH Lithium battery to power the 50 Watt Amplifier using the power supply described in #3 below (the battery was fully charged and produced 26.2v Open Circuit).
  3. Per Gregg Myers’ (W7GRM) recommendation, I used a Hilitand DC-DC LTC3780 5-32v to 1v-30v Automatic Step Up/Down Converter Boost/Buck CC CV Power Module Super Book Type Power Supply (adjusted to output 20v).
    1. I had previously adjusted this device to output 20v.
    2. The Constant Current variable resistor was apparently initially too low because the green LED on the Hilitand Power Supply dimmed when I first applied power to the 50 Watt Amplifier.
    3. I adjusted the Constant Current variable resistor (the one in the middle of the three variable resistors on the PCB) until the unit “clicked” to maximize the constant current (Output Current for this device is listed as 10A with 7A for long-term use) and the green LED dimming ceased to occur (the LED also does not dim when the Straight Key for the QCX+ is pressed).
    4. The Hilitand power supply’s 20.0v voltage does not change when the 50 Watt Amplifier is initially powered up nor when the Straight Key is pressed on the QCX+.
  1. Following the 7.4 Instructions on Page 65, I put my QCX+ into Practice mode with the Keyer set at 0 Speed and programmed to Straight key.
  2. I used a Straight Key to apply the 5.0v power necessary to do the 50 Watt Amplifier’s adjustment.
  3. The cable I assembled earlier today following the PTT Output Instructions on Page 100 of the QCX+ Manual produces the expected 5.0v on the proper parts of the connector plug (the Ground Sleeve and the Ring) when the Straight key is pressed.
  4. I used my Commercial Electric MS8301A Digital Multimeter that has a current maximum of 10A with the probes serving as a “jumper” between the positive output wire of the Hilitand power supply and the positive Input wire to the 50 Watt Amplifier to measure the current drawn to the 50 Watt Amplifier.
  5. After pressing the Straight key, I adjusted the 50 Watt Amplifier’s R5 Trimmer Potentiometer clockwise very slowly until the Digital Multimeter read slightly more than 0.85A (0.86A-0.87A) and then backed off to 0.85A (it took a few tries back and forth to get it settled).  Note- I started the 50 Watt Amplifier’s R5 Trimmer Potentiometer fully counterclockwise as per the Instructions.
  6. So far so good, right?

 

So after doing the adjustment, I unkeyed the Straight Key and then pressed it again to test the current draw again.  To my surprise, when I press the Straight Key, it takes approximately 30 seconds before the Multimeter reaches 0.85A!

 

My question is this; is that “normal” or is it the inexpensive Multimeter taking so long to measure the current or what?

 

If it is “normal” then Woo Hoo!  I can’t wait to try it.

 

If this is not normal, what have I likely done incorrectly and/or can any of you recommend a solution?  Keep in mind that I am not an electrical nor electronic Engineer by any stretch of the imagination and I have limited experience building radio equipment kits.

 

Thanks again for all you guys do helping Newbies like me.

 

73,

Bob Ballard – KG5SQJ


Re: QCX Firmware change request: Validate CAT frequency values. #qcx #firmware #cat

Sheldon Hartling
 

Should have been ...

The CAT interface seems unreliable :-(  


Re: QCX Firmware change request: Validate CAT frequency values. #qcx #firmware #cat

Sheldon Hartling
 

Richard,

I agree, I’d prioritize additional CW characters/prosigns first.  It’ll be hard for Hans to make those “10 bytes” do all this. :-) 

Based on my experience so far, I probably won’t use the QCX CAT interface with a logging program anyway.  The CAT interface seems reliable.  :-(  With Log4OM, the program I use in the shack,  it only runs for a few minutes before Log4OM declares the QCX “off-line” and I find the QCX is no longer responsive to CAT commands.  Powering the QCX off/on restores the CAT interface.

 

It works better with N1MM+, the program I use in the field for POTA activations.  However, once in a while N1MM+ declares the QCX “is not responding” and I have to cycle the power on the QCX to restore the CAT port operation.

73 Sheldon VE1GPY


Re: 40m qcx+ no rf power #qcx40

Ronald Taylor
 

Hi Darren. I will try to help here if I can. First of all, the center lead of Q1, Q2 and Q3 is called the Gate lead. What you should have here is a 5 volt square wave RF signal. Measuring it with your DVM, you will see about 2.5 volts DC (average between 5 volts half the time and zero volts the other half of the time. So this is normal. 

It's much easier to diagnose if you can refer to the names of the device leads. Picture the BS170s standing up with the flat face toward you and the leads pointing down. The leads are then, left to right, Drain, Gate and Source. Likewise for Q4. Then Q6 is a PNP BJT transistor. Oriented just like you did for the BS-170s, left to right the leads are Emitter, Base and Collector.

Also, the built in RF tester is not meant to use for reading DC voltages. So the readings you made with it are meaningless. It really only gives accurate results measuring the RF output at the BNC connector. So you're better off using your DVM for everything else.

Finally, voltages should be monitored and recorded both in receive (key up) and transmit (key down) mode ... And be sure to put a dummy load on the output before pressing the key.

Now, since you indicate the receiver is working normally, there are no issues with the lowpass filter since both transmit and receive signals go through there.  So, what we need is voltages for key up and key down for :

Q1,Q2 and Q3 Drains (you already provided info on the gates)
Q6 Emitter, Base and Collector
Q4 Gate and Drain

Please provide that info and we'll go from there.. Thanks ... Ron

On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 2:14 PM Darren KN4WML <darrent78@...> wrote:
   This group has been a lifesaver,,,,. Ok, I'm having a no rf power issue. I don't have any fancy equipment to do an accurate diagnosis, I'm using a DVM and the onboard testing equipment. First off my P/supply is working at around 14.7v. The IC11 regulator is getting 13.9v in and 5.1 out.   L1, L2, L3 are all wound and tested to specs, from the right of L1 to C29 no resistance at all. The T1 toroid is done to specs they are all in the right locations and all tested ok. 
   The.    Q1, Q3, Q6, Q2 transistors are where I believe I'm having the cause.  Q1, Q2, & Q3 I'm getting a fluctuating 2.3v- 2.7v, to the center leg, I believe they should be around 5 volts ( I think). Q6 I'm getting 13.5v to the center leg, and the leg that's closest to the front of the qcx radio. Q4 facing it from the front I'm getting 7.6v on the right leg, And Q5 is 1.6 on the same leg. 
     Now using the qxc rf tester. I'm getting .3w on Q1, Q3, Q2.  2.2w on Q6 on the center and right legs.     On Q4 .3w on the center & Q5 nothing.   I forgot to mention that the receive works excellent, no issues at all on this side. 
       I'm hoping someone can understand this non engineer talk, ha....
   Any ideas or tips would be fantastic
 
   Thanks and 73
   Darren
   KN4WML


Re: QCX Firmware change request: Validate CAT frequency values. #qcx #firmware #cat

Richard
 

On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 05:22 PM, Dave wrote:
Isn’t it rather on the licensed amateur to ensure he or she is within their band.  Pretty nonsense to expect a rig to do everything!
These days people rely on machines too much to keep them from making ID-10-T errors that would have never happened 15 or 20 years ago.  I agree that it should be up to the operator.  I'd rather have prosigns decoded than trying to idiot-proof the box.


Re: QCX Firmware change request: Validate CAT frequency values. #qcx #firmware #cat

Sheldon Hartling
 

Allison,

 

Yep, It would likely come down to operator error.  Unfortunately, it’s easy to do.  Many logging programs allow direct keyboard entry of frequencies.  It’s pretty easy to miss a key, hit the wrong key, or hit an extra key in error.  Especially in a contest.  Of course, We’d expect the operator to check the VFO before transmitting!  Meanwhile the radio has tuned to some very erroneous frequency.  Is there any danger running the QCX receiver WAY off frequency - say at 70Mhz instead of 7Mhz?

 

Another possibility is that a digit or two of the input CAT command gets dropped because of an LCD write conflict on the shared IC2 pins.

 

Sheldon. VE1GPY


Re: QCX Firmware change request: Validate CAT frequency values. #qcx #firmware #cat

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

Well since its cat if the users program sends out trash its on you, not like the
display on the radio and computer are turned off.  Tell your cat program
what boundaries apply.

I have plenty of radios that will go out of band and since I'm not an idiot I
just insure whats on t he dial is legal.  Or at least where I want to be.

I listened as a local dumbo run phone CQs for a half hour on 14.480mhz
(outside the band here in US).   No wonder why he got no takers.

Allison
-------------------------------
Please reply on list so we can share.
No private email, it goes to a bit bucket due address harvesting


Re: QCX Firmware change request: Validate CAT frequency values. #qcx #firmware #cat

Dave
 

Isn’t it rather on the licensed amateur to ensure he or she is within their band.  Pretty nonsense to expect a rig to do everything!

Dave


On Aug 12, 2020, at 14:58, Arv Evans <arvid.evans@...> wrote:


Jack

Yes, it would probably need a few more bytes of memory to compare actual 
frequency with EEPROM stored "upper limit" and "lower limit" that could be 
a user entered semi-fixed variable.  Multi-band rigs could have upper and lower 
user settable limits for each band.

The 1602 display can store an additional 32 bytes of memory if you enable the 
R/W lead.

_._

On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 12:51 PM jjpurdum via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
That's still not cut-and-dried if out-of-band can vary among countries. The only alternative would be for Hans to offer specific 328 chips for each country for each band. That's a train just begging to leave the rails. I say this because, last I talked with Hans, he was down to less than 10 bytes of free memory.

Jcak, W8TEE

On Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 2:46:46 PM EDT, Arv Evans <arvid.evans@...> wrote:


Seems that all that is needed is for the QCX to inhibit keying for out-of-band 
frequencies.  This would leave it still able to listen to out-of-band stations.

_._


On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 11:04 AM Sheldon Hartling <ve1gpy@...> wrote:
Not sure there is sufficient program space go support this and it varies by location.
For sure about sufficient space!  I've developed firmware and am painfully award of the challenges trying to "shoe horn" additional features into very limited space. 

Even a range check that looks for reasonable (course) values for the band without following the specific regional band plan would be a help.  Right now, I threw my QCX into a sputtering fit by entering "70201" instead of "7020" in N1MM+. ☺︎

Sheldon VE1GPY


Re: Change request, add morse characters #firmware #qcx

Dave
 

And in the newsroom “-30-“ means end of story.  Many years ago when the Toronto Telegram finished its run the front page of the final edition carried a 30 in big type, probably 120 point.

Dave


On Aug 12, 2020, at 14:05, John Rabson <john.rabson07@...> wrote:

In journalism, "no 30" meant “Filing not finished. More to come”.

John F5VLF

On 12 Aug 2020, at 19:24, Bruce K1FFX <rosen.bruce@...> wrote:

From the IARU's "Ethics and Operating Procedures for the Radio Amateur" (found at arrl.org):

SK: end of QSO: is used to end a QSO (SK = Stop Keying).

‘DIT DIT DIT DAH DIT DAH’ is the prosign ‘SK’ (from ‘stop keying’) and not ‘VA’ as published in some places (SK sent without inter letter spacing sounds the same as VA sent without inter letter spacing).

And from arrl.org's Ham Radio History: Our familiar prosign SK also had its origin in landline Morse. In the Western Union company's "92 code" used even before the American Civil War, the number 30 meant "the end. No more." It also meant "good night." It so happens that in Landline Morse, 30 is sent didididahdit daaah, the zero being a long dash. Run the 30 together and it has the same sound as SK.

- Bruce K1FFX



40m qcx+ no rf power #qcx40

Darren KN4WML
 

   This group has been a lifesaver,,,,. Ok, I'm having a no rf power issue. I don't have any fancy equipment to do an accurate diagnosis, I'm using a DVM and the onboard testing equipment. First off my P/supply is working at around 14.7v. The IC11 regulator is getting 13.9v in and 5.1 out.   L1, L2, L3 are all wound and tested to specs, from the right of L1 to C29 no resistance at all. The T1 toroid is done to specs they are all in the right locations and all tested ok. 
   The.    Q1, Q3, Q6, Q2 transistors are where I believe I'm having the cause.  Q1, Q2, & Q3 I'm getting a fluctuating 2.3v- 2.7v, to the center leg, I believe they should be around 5 volts ( I think). Q6 I'm getting 13.5v to the center leg, and the leg that's closest to the front of the qcx radio. Q4 facing it from the front I'm getting 7.6v on the right leg, And Q5 is 1.6 on the same leg. 
     Now using the qxc rf tester. I'm getting .3w on Q1, Q3, Q2.  2.2w on Q6 on the center and right legs.     On Q4 .3w on the center & Q5 nothing.   I forgot to mention that the receive works excellent, no issues at all on this side. 
       I'm hoping someone can understand this non engineer talk, ha....
   Any ideas or tips would be fantastic
 
   Thanks and 73
   Darren
   KN4WML


Re: Change request, add morse characters #firmware #qcx

Tony McUmber
 

Might as well throw in my two cents:  as US Navy Radioman I was taught that the prosign AR means "I am finished transmitting (don't bother to reply). The prosign K means "I am finished transmitting and await any reply from you."  I assumes that contact has been made with the other station.

The proper follow-on to a series of CQs with station ID is: AR.  Some send AR K.  This is redundant and sends conflicting messages.  Of course, if you are intending to send a conflicting, the maybe 'both' is OK, no?


73 Tony N0BPA  AR


Re: Change request, add morse characters #firmware #qcx

jjpurdum
 

Let's resort to the "shave-and-a-hair-cut" sign off and be done with it.

Jack, W8TEE

On Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 3:15:09 PM EDT, Gerald Ball via groups.io <gerryball2@...> wrote:


Hi all
I would like to have one final input to this debate. Think about it, when the person on the other end of the qso ends with DitDitDitDaHDitDaH you have no idea as to whether he has sent SK or VA in fact you may read it as VA when in fact he sent it as SK. or you read it as SK when in fact he sent it as VA.  Get my point?
And you will never know. (unless you ask him, by which time it may be too late he may well have gone). It has not mattered until this point in time. My opinion is that if it is programmed to come up as VA on the display then we can read it as SK if we want. Which is what it seems, we have been doing all along.

73 Gerry G4OJF


Re: Adapt A Bioenno 24v LiFePO4 Battery To Run The QRPLabs 50 Watt PA?

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

Anywho the Biennio batteries get good reviews and a 24V 10Ah model would
not be terribly heavy but power conversion is needed for both 20V and 12V.

By time you add QCX, amp, battery, coax, antenna, Key, headphones,
cables, and an IOTA location really needs to be a drive to the top as
the kilograms add up fast.    Me I'd leave the amp and its extra battery
needs home and lighten the load by a lot.  The site/height should be
the amplifier.

Allison
-------------------------------
Please reply on list so we can share.
No private email, it goes to a bit bucket due address harvesting


Re: Adapt A Bioenno 24v LiFePO4 Battery To Run The QRPLabs 50 Watt PA?

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

>>>Squalo'- 6m square loop.<<<

I had a real CushCraft Squalo for 10M and gave that away a few years back.

The 6M on in the picture is really a LawnChair Squalo about 30" on a side made
up of al tube and those really fancy bends from a aluminum lawn chair fed with
a gamma match. Performance is -1.5 db compared to a full size dipole both
at 12FT and that confirms the models.  Its mostly omni being on the side of
the tower on an arm.  Saves turning the big 5 element in a lot of cases.

It works well for a more or less dipole performance and I've worked DX on it.
I have a variant (ku4ab style) on the truck.  Its about the same performance
but Its has worked a fair amount of DX despite being maybe 7ft off the ground
and only 60W or so power.

The 5 element is a CC-505S with mods one being a extension of the boom
to 17FT and total reconfigure of the elements for length and position.  Runs
about 11.3 Dbd gain measured with about 23db front to back.  I used the 505S
as it got it free and its really built heavy.

Allison
-------------------------------
Please reply on list so we can share.
No private email, it goes to a bit bucket due address harvesting


Re: Change request, add morse characters #firmware #qcx

R. Tyson
 

Conventionally.......    VA is used for end of transmission with the other operator, or end of messages. The characters are run together.

S K is often used to signify that you are shutting down and won't take any more calls, alternatively it means a deceased operator. The S K characters are not run together but have normal spacing.

Someone mentioned hearing one thing and the morse readout showing another. If you are head copying why look at the readout on the QCX ?

Reg                 G4NFR


Re: Change request, add morse characters #firmware #qcx

Gerald Ball
 

Hi all
I would like to have one final input to this debate. Think about it, when the person on the other end of the qso ends with DitDitDitDaHDitDaH you have no idea as to whether he has sent SK or VA in fact you may read it as VA when in fact he sent it as SK. or you read it as SK when in fact he sent it as VA.  Get my point?
And you will never know. (unless you ask him, by which time it may be too late he may well have gone). It has not mattered until this point in time. My opinion is that if it is programmed to come up as VA on the display then we can read it as SK if we want. Which is what it seems, we have been doing all along.

73 Gerry G4OJF


Re: Change request, add morse characters #firmware #qcx

Richard
 

On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 03:03 PM, N7PH wrote:
I have trouble with 'CQ' sometimes sent as seperate letters and sometimes sent as one long 'prosign'.
Either is quite recognizable but which is correct?  -.-.--.-  or -.-.   --.-  ?
From some things I've read, techinically CQ is a prosign as per ITU-R M.1172

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