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Re: Weird WSPR decode anomaly - Probably a FEC problem with wspr decoding software

tony.volpe.1951@...
 

Thanks Roger.

On the antenna - you'd laugh if you saw it.

I live in a conservation area n Northumberland beside Hadrian's Wall, so I try to avoid making a big old mess of an antenna. So I have two fishing poles at the bottom of my garden in a hedge and I have an invisible  horizontal loop made out of 26 swg magnet wire - about 0.3mm. It is a bit longer than a full wave at forty meters and I feed it with open wire feeder - again made out of the 26 swg wire. There is a 4:1 balun, wound with magnet wire on an old medium wave ferrite rod. The loop hangs from my gutter and is about 20 feet wide at the house and about 65 feet long. It is far to thin wire and far too low and has a resistance of 6.9 ohms, but on WSPR it works pretty well. In fact my system went out of time in the middle of the night last night. It isn't gps disciplined at this qth and my system clock (20mhz) must be a bit off. I got a bunch of spots from Antarctica and this morning a couple of VKs and a ZL after I'd corrected the clock. Five watts of course is a bunch of power for wspr.

I was impressed by Alan - G4ZFQ's spots on 5 MHZ. He had masses of spots from DP0GVN in Antarctica last night - bucket loads of them. I started counting and gave up. Mind, he was working on a more frequent tx schedule than me. I have mine on a 20 minute cycle. 

I can usually get a cw qso if the band is open. I check on RBN and if I see any spots over about 10db above the noise, I can usually get a bite if I put out a few cqs around 7030.  Most of them are around 300 - 500 miles Netherlands, Germany and France with the odd Swedish contact.


Re: QCX+ building

howard winwood G4GPF
 

No problem David.It is as good as the manual so enjoy.

Howard G4GPF

On 2 Mar 2021, at 15:40, dmcferran5@... wrote:

Yes I can see that now Howard, I missed the earth connection from the primary winding so I can now proceed with the kit, many thanks for that. It does look like a great kit and if the device itself is as good as the Manuals it will be excellent.
David.


Re: QCX-Mini Mechanical Problem with LCD Display #qcxmini

howard winwood G4GPF
 

It is mentioned in the build instructions, just bending one tab should not affect the display. I had to do the same on mine.

On 2 Mar 2021, at 15:14, Lee <mlhooper1@...> wrote:

On the reverse side of the LCD Display board are 6 metal tabs that hold its metal bezel in place.  During construction, I discovered that two of these tabs interfered with C24 (470) and R24/27 (multi-turn pots).

When I first tried to mate the display board to the main board, I noticed that when I pushed down on the right side of the display board the left side went up and visa versa. This problem was resolved when I re-oriented the tab to avoid mechanical interference.  

Hope this didn't damage the display... Plan to power up the Mini for the first time later today.  Guess I will find out then whether the display was affected!!!


Re: QCX+ building

dmcferran5@...
 

Yes I can see that now Howard, I missed the earth connection from the primary winding so I can now proceed with the kit, many thanks for that. It does look like a great kit and if the device itself is as good as the Manuals it will be excellent.
David.


Re: Beginner questions

Roelof Bakker
 

Hello Yannig,

You can roll your own Z-Match, but you can also look into this European source:

https://www.qrp-shop.biz/epages/qrp-shop.sf/de_DE/?ObjectPath=/Shops/qrp-shop/Products/ZM4

73,
Roelof, pa0rdt


Re: Beginner questions

Shirley Dulcey KE1L
 

Although the 30 meter band is rather narrow, that's not as big a problem as you might imagine. Phone operation (with the exception of daytime operation in Africa) and contests are not allowed on the band. As a result, there is nearly always enough space for everyone. Another plus for QRPers in the US is that there is a 200W power limit so we don't have to cope with REALLY huge signals.

Against that for those of us in the US, there is the disadvantage that you have to have a General or higher license; Technician licensees can't use 30 meters. (The OP isn't in the US so that's not an issue.) And during the sunspot minimum it often shuts down almost completely at night; it's not a 24/7/365 band like 40 meters is.

On Mon, Mar 1, 2021 at 10:15 AM YannigR via groups.io <yannig.robert=laposte.net@groups.io> wrote:
Hello all,

I just passed my ham exam and while I wait for my callsign, I am having a think about my future station. I've decided that I want to build kits and the QCX mini seems like a good start as I also want to learn CW. I live in the city centre of a relatively big city (Rennes in Brittany), so lot of RF noise and my aim is to install at home a "good enough" station to practice and go portable the rest of the time. Also as I am inexperienced, I want to start with some simple stuff.

At the moment my big question is which band should I start with ? I've been listening around on the various webSDR, and it seems to me that the slower CW could be found on 80m , nevertheless a 80m band antenna seems a bit tricky where I live.

I am in a 100 years old block of flats in a conservation area so my plan is for an attic antenna. An exterior antenna is not completely impossible but tricky and expensive as it would probably involve lengthy administrative authorisations + hiring a crane to install it. The roof is a typical Breton job, that is a 2 pitch one with a 45º slope and an horizontal ridge beam at the top. In total the ridge is roughly 14.5 m long (give or take 100mm) and about 18m above the actual ground but obviously there are buildings around, these are of a similar height. Right now, I am thinking that a good start would be a dipole underneath the ridge of the roof (I have access there and the neighbours are cool with me stringing wires in the attic). A 14.5 m long dipole would barely get me on the 30m band with a bit of help from the velocity factor, and 20m would surely work. What worries me is that the CW on 20m looks awfully fast from what I've heard, 30m is a narrow band, not too sure if that is a good beginner band.... Also when I go portable, I might try SOTA.

So to sum it up what is the best band to start CW bearing in mind that I am limited in space for my antenna ?

And an accessory question what CW paddle would you recommend ? Good to learn with, easy to source from France and not too expensive...

In advance thank you for your replies...

73

Yannig


QCX-Mini Mechanical Problem with LCD Display #qcxmini

Lee <mlhooper1@...>
 

On the reverse side of the LCD Display board are 6 metal tabs that hold its metal bezel in place.  During construction, I discovered that two of these tabs interfered with C24 (470) and R24/27 (multi-turn pots).

When I first tried to mate the display board to the main board, I noticed that when I pushed down on the right side of the display board the left side went up and visa versa. This problem was resolved when I re-oriented the tab to avoid mechanical interference.  

Hope this didn't damage the display... Plan to power up the Mini for the first time later today.  Guess I will find out then whether the display was affected!!!


Re: An audio AGC for the QCX mini #qcxmini #mods

Jim AJ8S
 

Yes, mine has the TXCO installed.


Re: Beginner questions

Mont Pierce KM6WT
 

On Tue, Mar 2, 2021 at 05:21 AM, YannigR wrote:
  • Doublet antenna as long as possible with a balanced feedline at home,
    • I am sure that RF/electric noises will be problematic for me 
    • eventually I hope to operate on several bands
    • so sounds a reasonable starting point for me!
  • End fed antenna + various wire antenna when I start to go portable
  • ZM-2 ATU (Any source in Europe or do I need to import from the USA ?)
I like the products on this website in UK with Antennas, Antenna Accessories, etc. (click here)

mini QCX (I've read the concerns from some but portability matters to me, so I am willing to take the risk and will assemble the kit cautiously)
Personally, I'd recommend a 40M QCX+ for home operations.  Better propagation during evenings, early mornings, all night.

And a 17M or 20M QCX-mini for portable operations.  Better propagation during the day, when you're more likely to go portable.

The QCX+ is a mature product.  Yes, many more parts to solder, but with Hans' thorough Assembly Guide, it really is a breeze to build.  The hardest part for some (me included) is to "Read" the manual and "Follow" directions. 


DCP paddles
Most important...  don't memorize the dots/dashes...   memorize the "sound" or "Patterns" of the letters. 
Focus initially on "instant" character recognition.  Recognizing whole words will come later.

The Long Island CW Club (click here) is open to all and looks like a very good online classes for learning Morse Code.  If I was starting from scratch, I would start here.  BTW they recommend learning to send initially with a straight key, and switching to paddles/keyer after becoming proficient.  Check them out and see what you think.

Another great website for free self-directed learning Morse Code is "Learn CW Online" (click here).


On Mon, Mar 1, 2021 at 07:15 AM, YannigR wrote:
I've decided that I want to build kits
I just want to add, the QCX-mini will not provide as much of a kit building experience as the QCX+.  With the mini, 95% of the parts are pre-installed SMD components.  With the QCX+, there will be much more fulfilling experience of actually building something.   Of course, start with whichever you are more comfortable with.  :)


Have fun.  Hope to hear you on the air soon.


73
km6wt


Re: QRP 40m mini

ae1ct1998 <AE1CT1998@...>
 

QCX mini 40 meter is SOLD


Re: An audio AGC for the QCX mini #qcxmini #mods

ohwenzelph
 

Is there enough room if the tcxo is used?


Re: Weird WSPR decode anomaly - Probably a FEC problem with wspr decoding software

Roger G4IUP
 

Hello Tony.
No need to apologise we have all done similar things many times over. As a side issue what antenna were you using last night? I ask as you were outspotting me by a bit, I only run 500mW but my antenna is not very good.
Glad its all sorted. Take care.
73 Roger G4IUP.


Re: Beginner questions

Yannig - F4IUJ
 

Wow,

So much helpful information, thank you all.

After reading your posts, the links, some thoughts and some googling, I think that I am going to go with the following :
  • Doublet antenna as long as possible with a balanced feedline at home,
    • I am sure that RF/electric noises will be problematic for me 
    • eventually I hope to operate on several bands
    • so sounds a reasonable starting point for me!
  • End fed antenna + various wire antenna when I start to go portable
  • ZM-2 ATU (Any source in Europe or do I need to import from the USA ?)
    • I will start assembling this kit, trying to become as much as possible a neat solderer before tackling the radio
  • mini QCX (I've read the concerns from some but portability matters to me, so I am willing to take the risk and will assemble the kit cautiously)
  • DCP paddles
Comments are still welcome, TBH it is as much for the learning experience as for the actual operating that I decided to jump into this rabbit hole so thank you for all the pointers!

73s

Yannig


Re: Weird WSPR decode anomaly - Probably a FEC problem with wspr decoding software

tony.volpe.1951@...
 

CONCERNING THE ORIGINAL POST WHICH STATED THAT A SMALL NUMBER OF SPOTS SHOWED THE WRONG CALL SIGN. - AN APOLOGY.

Having gone very carefully through my spot record, to my considerable embarrassment. I now realise that the three spots in question were transmitted with the correct call sign and that neither the wspr system or the qcx were in error. I WAS.

I know this because my two qcx transmitters were operating on a different start time, one was on 04 - the one with my call, and the other was on 08 - the other call sign. Carefully going through the data makes it clear that I was confused, and I apologise to you all for the initial post and wasting people's time. I am VERY embarrassed. 

The other 'wrong decodes' which concern both transmitter position and power levels are real, but I think are probably due to distortion of the transmitted signal stemming from the use on one of my transmitters being hooked up to  a laptop power supply which is probably too dirty for this kind of use.

Once again - my sincere apologies.

Tony G0BZB.... 


Re: 17 METER MINI

Peter
 

hello,

if you have the TCXO option check if in menu 8.5 the frequency is 25.000 MHz.

regards
--
Peter OE1OPW Vienna


Re: Fantastic way to improve QCX receivers !!

Daniel Walter
 

David, 
Just imagine all the IR & UV you are missing and the <20 Hz & 16-28 kHz sounds you are missing without that fantastic cable!
--
73, Dan  NM3A


Re: tuners for experimental antennas and the QCX

Curt wb8yyy
 

Lots of info here. As with tuning a nail, our tuners can be better than an antenna we really want to use. I found my elecraft kat100 can often tune my coax if I forget to connect the antenna. While some may appreciate  their portable ATU devices, on a recent road trip I just tossed a zm2 into the bag with a simple off center fed dipole cut for 30 meters fed with balanced line. If you want to go end fed half wave, an appropriate matching network for it make sense.  

73 curt


Re: Fantastic way to improve QCX receivers !!

Ton - PA0ARR
 

wow, increadable.
I tested all three of them while tx-ing, the SWR was standard 1:1.5
With this fuse it went down to 1:1.2 and with an extra one in the minus-battery-connector it even went down to 1:0.9
Fantastic. 
the best one for frequencies above 20 MHz is the smallest one: 5 x 20mm/0.2″ x 0.75″
For frequencies between 7 MHz and 20 MHz the middle one does wonders: 6.4 x 25mm/0.25″ x 0.98
And for frequencies below 7 MHz the largest one is ideal: 6.3 x 32mm/0.25″ x 1.25
You can finetune really good by putting a layer of very good beeswax around the fuses.
The thickness of the layer gives a frequency change of 0 to 50%. A bit of fiddling is necessary to find the right amount.
Beeswax from the north of the Netherlands works the best, probably these are very strong bees.
I can deliver per 100 grams for €10, 00 per gram.

73 Ton PA0ARR


Re: LPF Adjustment (again)

Andrew Lenton
 

Adding another 40m Plot with markers


Re: QCX+ building

howard winwood G4GPF
 

Look at the circuit diagram and you will see that there is an earth connection at one end of each winding so you will see continuity between the two windings.
T! is the most difficult part of the build, so long as you have the right wires in the right holes and the windings are in phase (as they should be if you follow the instructions) then all should be ok.
Hope the rest of the build goes ok, after some doubts about T1 mine powered up and tuned up correctly.
What a fantastic kit, Hans should be proud.

On 2 Mar 2021, at 10:45, dmcferran5@... wrote:

Hello All,
I have just started to build my new 20m QCX+ kit and have a query about the windings on T1 which I hope some kind member can resolve. I have completed the windings and have fitted the 8 leads into the board, and have checked the DC continuation between points 1-2, 5-6, 3-4, and 7-8 ( ie. the 3 sec. and 1 prim.windings) ,these are connected OK.
HOWEVER, I also get DC between point 3 and 1 and 2, which I don't think should happen from my fairly limited circuit reading abilities. Before proceeding with the rest of the board I obviously must get this sorted so if anyone could set me straight on this I would appreciate it.

David.