Date   

Re: No audio in headset after pressing switch before beginning alignment

Marc Pressman
 

SUCCESS!   Dan is the Man! I followed his instructions to check each part very carefully with magnification. R37 looked a bit strange. It looked like it had a tiny crack in it. DVM showed open!
Replaced. Lots of audio now! Realignment done. Great reception, power out 5 watts!
Thanks to everyone for all the help!
72,
Marc N4DR


Re: Qcx keyer erratic

 

Jim,
I had that problem when I first got my QCX and I started learning to use a twin paddle and Iambic mode B. You're clearly a far more experienced operator than I am, but this may be something to think about:

If you're using an Iambic mode, make sure you don't have auto space on; that might mess up your timing if you're not expecting it. It "saves" what it identifies as an early key press until the required space is done, then fires the key. If you've already released it you will get a phantom dit or dah, depending on what was pressed when the forced delay triggered.


--
Julian, N4JO.


Qcx keyer erratic

Jim Painter
 

Playing with the qcx 20m in the arrl contest. Keyer is intermittently adding dits and dahs. My first thought was the key adjustment or just my fist, although I usually don’t have a problem. Tried key on a different rig. Key works fine. I tried fiddling with all the adjustment in the qcx. No good. When I send a 6, it likes to add an extra dah. Even though i’m sure my finger is off the dah paddle. It likes to add an extra dit when I sen 3.

Is anyone else having these problems?

Jim....KQ3S


TXCO mini....thank you Hans

Vernon Matheson
 

I had bought a couple of the new mini TXCO's when I bought my QCX+ but never used them. After reading Tony's note it reminded me to install one on one of my U3S units. Did that today and this little TXCO is absolutely awesome.
On start up it did a calibration and was right on frequency. Previously with the regular 27mhz xtal I would just get a bunch of slashes at an angle from 30meters up on a basic QRSS and CW

It took the chirp right out of a QRSS signal on the higher bands and everything is smack on frequency. Five stars from here.

Also thanks to Tony for unknowingly reminding me to use one on the U3S and confirming my hookup.

And again really big thanks to Hans for providing this...it just makes the U3S even more professional.

Cheers

Vernon - VE1VDM


Re: QCX Challenge Feb 2021

ON7DQ Luc
 

Hi Peter,

hmmm that's food for debate of course ... but I'll blink an eye the moment you enter your scores, hi.

Let's say if 50% of your rig is from QRP Labs, it counts, but it still would not be a QCX.
If I build any QRP rig and align it using a QRP Labs dummy load, that does NOT count as a QCX ...

I had a pleasant afternoon today, activating a local WWFF reference, 46 QSO's in the log with my KX3 + random endfed antenna.

Hope to work you and many others tomorrow,
73,
Luc ON7DQ


Re: QCX Mini Alignment Issues #qcx20mini

David Bamford
 

Thanks, turned mine forever... after reading that they are 24 turn pots I turned until I hear a 'click' and turned back12 turns to center it. 


Re: QCX Mini Alignment Issues #qcx20mini

 

Also double check that the 3 alignment tone frequencies are correct. 
--
73, Bernie, VE3FWF
(most typos in this message have been generated by highly sophisticated auto-correction software)


Re: QCX40 GPS Connection Issue - No fixes. QCX clock undisciplined. Does receive 1pps

tony.volpe.1951@...
 

Thanks for the helpful contributions there Mont Pierce and Dean.


Re: QCX40 GPS Connection Issue - No fixes. QCX clock undisciplined. Does receive 1pps

Alan G4ZFQ
 

no help, so I ended up fiddling randomly
Tony,

That's my usual way although I may have been helped by https://www.u-blox.com/sites/default/files/u-center_Userguide_%28UBX-13005250%29.pdf but probably an older version would be better.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Re: QCX40 GPS Connection Issue - No fixes. QCX clock undisciplined. Does receive 1pps

Mont Pierce KM6WT
 


On Sun, Feb 21, 2021 at 01:05 AM, <tony.volpe.1951@...> wrote:
I really must get into the black art of firmware updating.... I've avoided that witchcraft so far.
Along with the update Hex files in the Files section of this group, there are many How-To documents on updating firmware.

AVRDUDESS software mention in the How-To docs, makes it VERY EASY to perform the upgrade. 
Just one important comment, make sure that the checkbox "Erase flash and EEPROM"  is  UNCHECKED.


On Sun, Feb 21, 2021 at 02:44 AM, <tony.volpe.1951@...> wrote:
Certain that Hans is right and that he new firmware will answer the problem.
I'm sure this is Good advice, but there's a few related things you should be aware of so you won't be caught off guard.

The one that caught me off guard was that, because of lack of code space, menu item 8.13 was deemed non-essential and removed.

Take a look at firmware history for all the changes at each firmware revision: 
        https://www.qrp-labs.com/qcx/qcxfirmware.html

Also, on the firmware history page, are links to the updated Operating Manual for 1.06 and up.
Be sure to download and review the Op Manual for your firmware update version.


A couple of important notes in 1.06 Op Manual follow:

On Sun, Feb 21, 2021 at 02:44 AM, <tony.volpe.1951@...> wrote:
There is in some circumstances communication between the GPS and the QCX. After a re-start, I just ran through menu items 8.11 and 8.12 which calibrate the oscillators and after that the QCX had the correct time. The menu item 8.13 now shows the following "- 3D f-- t10 s26".
There is a warning message added to the Op Manual about when to connect the GPS:
( I found this one out the hard way.  I had to do Factory Reset to clear out some garbage from my EEPROM)

The GPS should ONLY be connected during oscillator calibration menus 8.11 and 8.12, or
when the beacon is enabled (menu 6.1 is ON). Connection at other times puts the radio into
practice mode (no RF emitted) to protect the PA, and may also corrupt menu entries. You
may temporarily connect the GPS while in ordinary operation mode, for the purposes of
setting the real time clock.

On Sun, Feb 21, 2021 at 02:44 AM, <tony.volpe.1951@...> wrote:
I suspect that it may only update the time when I manually go through menu item 8.11 and 8.12.
I think your suspicions may be correct...

There is this mentioned in the op manual:

A WSPR transmission takes 1 minute and 52 seconds. The GPS time and location data is parsed
from the GPS serial data stream at the END of every WSPR transmission. On the first WSPR
transmission after power up, the time may not be accurate.


73
km6wt


Re: QCX40 GPS Connection Issue - No fixes. QCX clock undisciplined. Does receive 1pps

Dean Smith
 

Neo6m, usually got all ports on.
Uart mode is normal connection method for most via dupont pins :)


Re: QCX40 GPS Connection Issue - No fixes. QCX clock undisciplined. Does receive 1pps

tony.volpe.1951@...
 

Thanks Alan.

I persisted and found a wee icon on the bottom left of the U-blox software that allowed me to connect. I know it is freeware, but it isn't that helpful. There seems a great reluctance in the software to let you send configurations to the GPS RX unless you go through multiple steps to unlock everything and save it. THere is no help, so I ended up fiddling randomly with things to try to change anything. Anyway - I don't think mis-configuration here is the problem. The fact that if I run through the QCX menu 8.11, and 8,12, and set the oscillators, the kit gets the time and sets it up on the QCX, tells me that the QCX can read the data stream. Hans has given the answer - update the firmware so that the checksum problem doesn't stop the QCX GPS processes.

I've dug out an Arduino uno that one of my sons bought me a few years ago. Never found a use for it, but it will make an AVR programmer maybe.... All I need is the Dupont leads and some free software. Hopefully, I wont end up bricking the QCX ATmega328 on the QCX.


Re: QCX Mini Alignment Issues #qcx20mini

Brent DeWitt
 

I had the same "problem" very recently.  Thought for sure something was broken, only to discover that the only problem was my lack of patience!  Ten turns end-to-end  and three adjustments that heavily interact can take time to get right.  I'd suggest centering each pot as the starting point and just keep plugging away.

73
--
Brent DeWitt, AB1LF
Milford, MA


Re: QCX Mini Alignment Issues #qcx20mini

ajparent1/kb1gmx
 

IT can and usually is soldering of the T1 coils one or the other.
If not then check for other errors.
The opamps are not generally fragile so if one got killed there
was effort applied.

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


Re: QCX40 GPS Connection Issue - No fixes. QCX clock undisciplined. Does receive 1pps

Alan G4ZFQ
 

There is a small note near the bottom of the screen telling me 'No Port Open'. Yesterday it just connected automatically and displayed satellites and position and time on the computer.
Tony,

How are you connecting? The modules native USB I think. I've never used that but I'd try different sockets/USB configurations.

Alan - I removed the little backup battery and I think my signal levels may have gone up a bit.
I'd not heard of the possible short.
The ones I have had supercaps which were rather leaky, A big leak could pull down the voltage.
I removed the charging diode and used a dry cell here. Retains configuration for a long time.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Re: QCX40 GPS Connection Issue - No fixes. QCX clock undisciplined. Does receive 1pps

tony.volpe.1951@...
 

More weirdness. TWO things:

WEIRDNESS 1:

I was attempting to follow Alan's tutorial about setting the correct sentences and came across another snag before I could do anything.

Now the U-Blox software U centre refuses to connect at all to the GPS

There is a small note near the bottom of the screen telling me 'No Port Open'. Yesterday it just connected automatically and displayed satellites and position and time on the computer.

I can't see that I did anything to create a blockage in comms between the gps and the pc.


WIERDNESS 2:

There is in some circumstances communication between the GPS and the QCX. After a re-start, I just ran through menu items 8.11 and 8.12 which calibrate the oscillators and after that the QCX had the correct time. The menu item 8.13 now shows the following "- 3D f-- t10 s26".

I suspect that it may only update the time when I manually go through menu item 8.11 and 8.12.

Certain that Hans is right and that he new firmware will answer the problem.


Alan - I removed the little backup battery and I think my signal levels may have gone up a bit.


Re: QCX40 GPS Connection Issue - No fixes. QCX clock undisciplined. Does receive 1pps

tony.volpe.1951@...
 

Thanks all for your responses. I really must get into the black art of firmware updating.... I've avoided that witchcraft so far. Obviously, I've updated many a firmware on phones and computers and routers and things, but there it is really all done for you in a foolproof way - i need fool proof really these days. :))

I was using the exact same gps seamlessly with my old U3 until it died, so I'm inclined not to be too suspicious of the little receiver, but the U3 had more configurable options vis a vis its interactions with the GPS. Clearly, the QCX is s different beast.

I'll get out my magnifying glass and take a look at the button cell. Not sure if I want to put my soldering iron on that little board. it only measures about 2cm sq.

Yes Alan, when I plug the tiny usb connection into the gps, the u-blox software shows loads of satellites and their data an accurate time and position. The unit is working, it just isn't managing to communicate to the QCX properly. 

In the u-blox utility, there are quite a few gps sentece arrangements you can make the gps adopt. I went for NMEA on its own. I'll take another look at that when I get back. I don't have the stuff to update the firmware right now, so I will mess with that a bit when I get the time. 

Thanks all. Great to find this group. very helpful.


Re: QCX40 GPS Connection Issue - No fixes. QCX clock undisciplined. Does receive 1pps

Hans Summers
 

Hi Tony

I recommend updating the firmware. 

QRP Labs kit firmware were tested with QRP Labs GPS. If other GPS modules are used, the sentences are not necessarily the same; if the QCX receives a sentence it is not equipped to parse, the checksum validation can fail. This was changed in firmware 1.06. 

You're using a non-QRP Labs GPS and a pre-1.06 firmware. So this could be your issue... upgrading the firmware is the first thing I'd try. 

73 Hans G0UPL 

On Sun, Feb 21, 2021, 10:58 <tony.volpe.1951@...> wrote:
I have two of the QCX family - both on forty meters. One is an early firmware v 1.0f and I want to devote that one to be a WSPR beacon at a remote qth for  period of time, so I need it to keep time and this requires proper GPS operation.

I spent a good while yesterday trying to get it to operate as my old U3 used to do, using the same known good GPS receiver, a Neo-6 type. The connections are good, the GPS has the 1pps pulsing led and the QCX is receiving that because it calibrates the oscillators correctly. What I was struggling with was getting the kit to read and action the GPS sentence from the GPS RX. It wouldn't do it and would not correct the time. It just ran from its default start time of something like, 00000. Randomly it got a 3d fix after a few hours and fixed the time, but I don't think it is reliably reading the data sentence from the GPS.

The baud rate is correct and the gps is configured through the U-blox utility to send NMEA sentences, but I get pretty random results on the QCX from Menu 8.13. 

At the moment I have ' - No f-- t10 s25'. Sometimes I see an A in there and 3d connection but never any number after the F for fixes.

Of course, the clock is running free and is not disciplined.

I am wondering if this is what Hans referred to once when he said:

"Regarding your "no fixes" problem this is simply a problem in the firmware with parsing the GPS serial data. The display f-- is incorrect. I found the solution only recently and implemented it in firmware version 1.06. Your QLG1 GPS is certainly using satellites in its position fix computation, at least 4... if it is not, it cannot display the A or produce a 1pps signal (green flashing LED). The problem is just a firmware bug which in some circumstances prevents the information being properly parsed and displayed. (Don't bother to take it to an open space, it won't change anything). "


Re: QCX40 GPS Connection Issue - No fixes. QCX clock undisciplined. Does receive 1pps

Alan G4ZFQ
 

Randomly it got a 3d fix after a few hours and fixed the time, but I don't think it is reliably reading the data sentence from the GPS.
Tony,

Is it locking properly? Have you checked with a computer in its operating location?
I use an older uBlox 5 with my U3S.
I had to disable the NMEA GLL sentence https://sites.google.com/site/g4zfqradio/incircuitprogramatmel168#h.tthfbclin52j

Then it gave reliable results "A 3D" but always f--

But note this setting is not normally saved without a backup battery.
I'm do not know how relevant this is for the QCX.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Re: QCX40 GPS Connection Issue - No fixes. QCX clock undisciplined. Does receive 1pps

Albert Tatlock's Greatest Hits - Vol 1
 

On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 11:58 PM, <tony.volpe.1951@...> wrote:
Neo-6 type.

At the moment I have ' - No f-- t10 s25'. Sometimes I see an A in there and 3d connection but never any number after the F for fixes.

Uh oh, another NEO6 problem.

Unsolder the back up button cell and throw it away.

Its probably gone short circuit and sinking quite a bit of current, leaving the rest of the PCB gubbins
a bit on the edge when t comes to the current required for the actual RX module.

I'm sitting here right now with a NEO6M that had exactly the same issues as you describe until I took
out the failed button cell.

Power up the GPS, you might have to wait 5 mins for a lock, or a few cycles to get the time properly
displayed but you should notice a big difference in performance.

My one spent the last year or so struggling to get a fix  on 5 sats and often dropped out, now it sets
a new record of geting a fix from 10 or 11 sats, which until I'd removed that button cell was unheard of.