Date   
New QRSS beacon on the air

Jay Sissom <jsissom@...>
 

I have finished building the 30m QRSS Beacon and it is on the air.

It is sending the callsign W9IUF. It is running 70mW which is the
most I can get out of it without the 2n7000 warming up. It is
transmitting to an indoor Buddipole antenna at around 10ft from
Bloomington, IN, USA.

I'll leave it running for a few days to see if anyone copies it. I
hope I am on the correct frequency, but I'm not sure. If anyone sees
it, please let me know. My email address is jsissom@...

73
Jay
W9IUF

Greetings

"Stephen" <squirrox@...>
 

On behalf of Hans and I welcome to the QRP Labs mailing list. Please feel free to post details of your beacons, pictures of your "grabs", any modifications you have made and so on. Hans and I put the kits together to encourage you to experiment and have fun. In the next few weeks I hope to put together some kits for 80 and 40 meters and we are thinking of doing some simple, high performance, RX kits for your edification and delight. Also I hope to have a QRPLabs web site/web shop up and running as time permits.

72/3 Steve G0XAR

Re: Greetings

Jay Sissom <jsissom@...>
 

Hello everyone, I'm Jay W9IUF.  I built the 30m beacon kit and it is on the air at 10.140015 - 10.140020.  I may move it up in frequency though because there are a couple of others at that same frequency.  I am running 40 - 50mW right now because the 2n7000 gets warm if I go more than that.  It is connected to a Buddipole at about 10 ft off the ground inside my house in Bloomington, IN (grid square EM69rd).

So far, it has been heard in Florida and Oklahoma.  It has been on the air since the 15th.

I believe the next thing I'm going to try is to replace the processor on this board with one that will make a more distinctive pattern along with my call sign to help it stand out on the grabber screens.  I'm also going to try and figure out how to get this running outside because I'm sure that will help my signal.  It has been fun playing with it so far.  Thanks for producing the kits.  By the way, does anyone have a source for 10.140Mhz crystals?  I would like to play around with transmitter designs and that is the one part that is difficult to find.  I would be interested in purchasing a few.

73
Jay
W9IUF


On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 3:58 AM, Stephen <squirrox@...> wrote:
 

On behalf of Hans and I welcome to the QRP Labs mailing list. Please feel free to post details of your beacons, pictures of your "grabs", any modifications you have made and so on. Hans and I put the kits together to encourage you to experiment and have fun. In the next few weeks I hope to put together some kits for 80 and 40 meters and we are thinking of doing some simple, high performance, RX kits for your edification and delight. Also I hope to have a QRPLabs web site/web shop up and running as time permits.

72/3 Steve G0XAR


Hans' 30M beacon kit - some construction notes

"w8bh_qrp" <bhall66@...>
 

Hi everyone, I built Hans' 30M beacon kit and it is now on the air, about 100mW into a quarter wave vertical at around 14.140.030. What a fun little kit! I haven't seen it on any grabber yet, so please let me know if you hear me :)

For those of you building the kit, I put together some construction notes, and a few ideas for when/if I get around to trying to homebrew my own...

First, there are a few typographical errors in the text. Probably no big deal for most of you:

- On page 2, The yellow toroids are 'T37-6'.
- On page 3, building the xtal osc/buffer, there are many many typos: Missing C1, C3 listed twice, missing C9 & C10, missing R7. Also C5 & C6 (part of the LPF) should not be included in this step. If you just stuff all the parts for the top half of the board, you will have built the appropriate section.

Be careful, after installing the microcontroller, when instructed to listen to your headphones. My tones were pretty loud.

I like to cut my wire to length when winding the toroids. For 1" lead lengths, you can estimate the wire needed by the following formula: wire-length(in) = (#turns/2)+2. For instance, 20 turns on a T37 toroid would require (20/2)+2 = 12 inches of wire. If you wind all of the toroids in one step, be careful that you label which one is which. The 19 and 20 turn toroids look pretty much the same...

When building the driver/PA, the holes for the pot were spaced too closely together. Hans mentioned this at FDIM. You can cut the pins, solder some wire leads into the holes, then solder the pot to the leads.

The other issue for me was measuring power output. I don't have any sophisticated equipment in my shack, but I do have a 'scope. Doing the math, 100 mW into 50 ohms should generate a 6.3V peak to peak signal. By the way, Power (mW) = 2.5 * Vpp^2. I adjusted the pot until I got this voltage. Adjusting much higher made the 7000 get hot. For those like me who don't use a scope much, a 10x probe means that you should be looking for 0.63V, not 6.3V.

While stuffing parts, I wondered if the power & RF holes could be spaced on 0.1" centers, so that header pins could be used. This would allow you to easily change the power source and antenna. I've also seen these arranged as 3 pins (GND,+5,GND) or (GND,RF,GND) so that, no matter which you attach your jumper, it will be correctly oriented. The other place 0.1" pins would be nice is for the speed setting jumpers. Then you could use those little removable jumper shunts to quickly change speeds.

Some other ideas I thought about.
- An onboard voltage regulator (or zener), to protect the microcontroller, allow 12V input, and possibly improve osc. stability.
- NPO caps in the oscillator.
- Are the unconnected inputs to the microcontroller OK? Do they reliabily float low?

When listening on a receiver, what settings do you recommend? I just set the VFO at 10.140 MHz and listened in CW mode with a pitch of around 600 Hz, but wondering what others are using. And at what filter width? 1 KHz width should be enough, but is narrower or wider better?

My beacon seems to be shifting down 5Hz, rather than up 5Hz, when sending data. I haven't figured out the reason for this yet. I thought perhaps I had set my rx for 'Rev-CW' mode by accident, but this isn't the case. Any ideas?

Bruce - W8BH

Re: Hans' 30M beacon kit - some construction notes

Jay Sissom <jsissom@...>
 

Bruce, your signal is making it to Florida:

http://www.qsl.net/w4hbk/W4HBKgrabber.html

Here is another place you can look to find your own signal:

http://digilander.libero.it/i2ndt/grabber/grabber-compendium.htm

Remember when you look here that some people might be monitoring other bands.

I turned my kit off last night because of thunderstorms in the area.  I'll check the weather and will turn it on soon.  I like W4HBK's web page because he has a 4 hour mode.  In that mode, you can't read the CW, but you can easily see how the unit drifts.

73
Jay
W9IUF


On Fri, May 21, 2010 at 12:58 PM, w8bh_qrp <bhall66@...> wrote:
 

Hi everyone, I built Hans' 30M beacon kit and it is now on the air, about 100mW into a quarter wave vertical at around 14.140.030. What a fun little kit! I haven't seen it on any grabber yet, so please let me know if you hear me :)

For those of you building the kit, I put together some construction notes, and a few ideas for when/if I get around to trying to homebrew my own...

First, there are a few typographical errors in the text. Probably no big deal for most of you:

- On page 2, The yellow toroids are 'T37-6'.
- On page 3, building the xtal osc/buffer, there are many many typos: Missing C1, C3 listed twice, missing C9 & C10, missing R7. Also C5 & C6 (part of the LPF) should not be included in this step. If you just stuff all the parts for the top half of the board, you will have built the appropriate section.

Be careful, after installing the microcontroller, when instructed to listen to your headphones. My tones were pretty loud.

I like to cut my wire to length when winding the toroids. For 1" lead lengths, you can estimate the wire needed by the following formula: wire-length(in) = (#turns/2)+2. For instance, 20 turns on a T37 toroid would require (20/2)+2 = 12 inches of wire. If you wind all of the toroids in one step, be careful that you label which one is which. The 19 and 20 turn toroids look pretty much the same...

When building the driver/PA, the holes for the pot were spaced too closely together. Hans mentioned this at FDIM. You can cut the pins, solder some wire leads into the holes, then solder the pot to the leads.

The other issue for me was measuring power output. I don't have any sophisticated equipment in my shack, but I do have a 'scope. Doing the math, 100 mW into 50 ohms should generate a 6.3V peak to peak signal. By the way, Power (mW) = 2.5 * Vpp^2. I adjusted the pot until I got this voltage. Adjusting much higher made the 7000 get hot. For those like me who don't use a scope much, a 10x probe means that you should be looking for 0.63V, not 6.3V.

While stuffing parts, I wondered if the power & RF holes could be spaced on 0.1" centers, so that header pins could be used. This would allow you to easily change the power source and antenna. I've also seen these arranged as 3 pins (GND,+5,GND) or (GND,RF,GND) so that, no matter which you attach your jumper, it will be correctly oriented. The other place 0.1" pins would be nice is for the speed setting jumpers. Then you could use those little removable jumper shunts to quickly change speeds.

Some other ideas I thought about.
- An onboard voltage regulator (or zener), to protect the microcontroller, allow 12V input, and possibly improve osc. stability.
- NPO caps in the oscillator.
- Are the unconnected inputs to the microcontroller OK? Do they reliabily float low?

When listening on a receiver, what settings do you recommend? I just set the VFO at 10.140 MHz and listened in CW mode with a pitch of around 600 Hz, but wondering what others are using. And at what filter width? 1 KHz width should be enough, but is narrower or wider better?

My beacon seems to be shifting down 5Hz, rather than up 5Hz, when sending data. I haven't figured out the reason for this yet. I thought perhaps I had set my rx for 'Rev-CW' mode by accident, but this isn't the case. Any ideas?

Bruce - W8BH


Re: Hans' 30M beacon kit - some construction notes

Bruce Hall <bhall66@...>
 

Cool! 
 
Thanks Jay, this is first time I've seen it. And it looks right-side-up, too.  For some reason I thought it was coming out inverted.
 
Bruce.

On Fri, May 21, 2010 at 1:25 PM, Jay Sissom <jsissom@...> wrote:
 

Bruce, your signal is making it to Florida:

http://www.qsl.net/w4hbk/W4HBKgrabber.html

Here is another place you can look to find your own signal:

http://digilander.libero.it/i2ndt/grabber/grabber-compendium.htm

Remember when you look here that some people might be monitoring other bands.

I turned my kit off last night because of thunderstorms in the area.  I'll check the weather and will turn it on soon.  I like W4HBK's web page because he has a 4 hour mode.  In that mode, you can't read the CW, but you can easily see how the unit drifts.

73
Jay
W9IUF



On Fri, May 21, 2010 at 12:58 PM, w8bh_qrp <bhall66@...> wrote:
 

Hi everyone, I built Hans' 30M beacon kit and it is now on the air, about 100mW into a quarter wave vertical at around 14.140.030. What a fun little kit! I haven't seen it on any grabber yet, so please let me know if you hear me :)

For those of you building the kit, I put together some construction notes, and a few ideas for when/if I get around to trying to homebrew my own...

First, there are a few typographical errors in the text. Probably no big deal for most of you:

- On page 2, The yellow toroids are 'T37-6'.
- On page 3, building the xtal osc/buffer, there are many many typos: Missing C1, C3 listed twice, missing C9 & C10, missing R7. Also C5 & C6 (part of the LPF) should not be included in this step. If you just stuff all the parts for the top half of the board, you will have built the appropriate section.

Be careful, after installing the microcontroller, when instructed to listen to your headphones. My tones were pretty loud.

I like to cut my wire to length when winding the toroids. For 1" lead lengths, you can estimate the wire needed by the following formula: wire-length(in) = (#turns/2)+2. For instance, 20 turns on a T37 toroid would require (20/2)+2 = 12 inches of wire. If you wind all of the toroids in one step, be careful that you label which one is which. The 19 and 20 turn toroids look pretty much the same...

When building the driver/PA, the holes for the pot were spaced too closely together. Hans mentioned this at FDIM. You can cut the pins, solder some wire leads into the holes, then solder the pot to the leads.

The other issue for me was measuring power output. I don't have any sophisticated equipment in my shack, but I do have a 'scope. Doing the math, 100 mW into 50 ohms should generate a 6.3V peak to peak signal. By the way, Power (mW) = 2.5 * Vpp^2. I adjusted the pot until I got this voltage. Adjusting much higher made the 7000 get hot. For those like me who don't use a scope much, a 10x probe means that you should be looking for 0.63V, not 6.3V.

While stuffing parts, I wondered if the power & RF holes could be spaced on 0.1" centers, so that header pins could be used. This would allow you to easily change the power source and antenna. I've also seen these arranged as 3 pins (GND,+5,GND) or (GND,RF,GND) so that, no matter which you attach your jumper, it will be correctly oriented. The other place 0.1" pins would be nice is for the speed setting jumpers. Then you could use those little removable jumper shunts to quickly change speeds.

Some other ideas I thought about.
- An onboard voltage regulator (or zener), to protect the microcontroller, allow 12V input, and possibly improve osc. stability.
- NPO caps in the oscillator.
- Are the unconnected inputs to the microcontroller OK? Do they reliabily float low?

When listening on a receiver, what settings do you recommend? I just set the VFO at 10.140 MHz and listened in CW mode with a pitch of around 600 Hz, but wondering what others are using. And at what filter width? 1 KHz width should be enough, but is narrower or wider better?

My beacon seems to be shifting down 5Hz, rather than up 5Hz, when sending data. I haven't figured out the reason for this yet. I thought perhaps I had set my rx for 'Rev-CW' mode by accident, but this isn't the case. Any ideas?

Bruce - W8BH



Re: Greetings

"hanssummers2000" <hans.summers@...>
 

Hi Jay

Congrats on your beacon and the reception reports.

By the way, does anyone have a source for 10.140Mhz
10.140MHz crystals are available here: http://genesisradio.com.au/order.html

0.000073 de Hans G0UPL

First

"SEEBOHM" <ericseebohm@...>
 

Hello! First timer. I am getting excited about QRP and QRSS and need to build the G0UPL beacon.
Eric Seebohm
KG8FE

echolink node # 516921


____________________________________________________________
TODAY: iPads for $23.74?
Special Report: Apple iPads are being auctioned for an incredible 80% off!
http://thirdpartyoffers.netzero.net/TGL3231/4bfadc6e416aa428ast06duc

QRSS beacon up and running

"w9qs" <w9qs@...>
 

Hello to the group. I have the 30 meter beacon up and running into a dummy load. It seems to work. I need to set the shift and will look at it with the scope later tonight. I'm go hang a dipole in a tree tomorrow and try to get it on the air. I will post when I'm ready to go with the freq. Nice little kit.

Mike, W9QS

New poll for QRPLabs

QRPLabs@...
 

Enter your vote today! A new poll has been created for the
QRPLabs group:

Hans and I are CONSIDERING doing another batch of beacon kits as we
are being asked for more but are sold out though we do have a
number of PCBs spare. To give us an indication of how many to
produce and for what bands you are interested in it please
complete the following poll.

o I would be interested in a kit for 30 meters
o I would be interested in a kit for 40 meters
o I would be interested in a kit for 80 meters


To vote, please visit the following web page:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/QRPLabs/surveys?id=2297795

Note: Please do not reply to this message. Poll votes are
not collected via email. To vote, you must go to the Yahoo! Groups
web site listed above.

Thanks!

BEACON FREQUENCIES

"Charlie , W5COV" <cvest@...>
 

Can anyone please tell me if there is a "standard" frequency for each of the different bands , for operating QRSS , and a list of what those frequencies are ?
 
Thank you ,
 
73 , Charlie , W5COV

Re: QRSS beacon up and running

"WE0H" <we0h.mike@...>
 

Hi Mike. I will have to remember your beacon the next time I am driving by your town.

Take care,
Mike
WE0H



w9qs wrote:


Hello to the group. I have the 30 meter beacon up and running into a dummy load. It seems to work. I need to set the shift and will look at it with the scope later tonight. I'm go hang a dipole in a tree tomorrow and try to get it on the air. I will post when I'm ready to go with the freq. Nice little kit.

Mike, W9QS

Re: BEACON FREQUENCIES

"Stephen" <squirrox@...>
 

Charlie,

The best places to look for QRSS activity are:

3.500,000 - 3.500,100
7.000,000 - 7.000,100
10.140,000 - 10.140,100

Most of the activity is on 30 meters and you can generally rely on a few "grabbers" to be listening for signals on that band. Monitoring the Knightlights group is the best way to keep track of activity. If you fancy putting a beacon on 80 or 40 meters just post your intentions on Knightlights and some of the friendly people there will retune their grabbers to see if they can receive your signals.

Work goes on to define band plans see :- http://knightsqrss.blogspot.com/2010/01/qrss-frequencies.html

There is also activity on other bands e.g. Lowfers, 6 M, 4 M and 2 M but it tends to be infrequent. A bunch of Italian hams use 10 meters for experimental work.

That's as much as I know.

Regards,

Steve G0XAR

Re: BEACON FREQUENCIES

"Charlie , W5COV" <cvest@...>
 

Hi Steve ,
 
Thank you for the information . I saw where Hans had mentioned that he might offer a kit for 40 and 80 , so I was curious .
 
I have been operating a QRSS60 LowFER beacon for close to 10 years now , so I am glad to see so many more people becoming involved .
 
I joined the Knightlites group , to help me keep up with what is going on with the QRSS stations on HF .
 
Regards ,
 
Charlie , W5COV

30 meter QRSS Beacon completed....sort of.

"HoboPelican" <hobopelican@...>
 

Just finished the beacon I bought from Hans at FDIM. Got code on pin two, but no discernible code from the output. It appears that pin 3 is at a constant 5 volts. As soon as I get time, I'll get together with my guru and try to find the problem. I'll post results in case anyone else has same problem.


Outside of it not working for me, the kit was pretty straight-forward. I drilled out the rheostat holes before I saw the note from Hans, so we'll see how that worked.

Looking forward to getting it on the air.

Tery Johns
KD8GNC

New batch of kits

"Stephen" <squirrox@...>
 

Hi Guys,

Hans and I have sold out of kits and people still want them. So we intend to do another 100, 50 for 30 meters, 25 for 80 meters and 25 for 40 meters. I hope to have them ready for the end of June and will take a batch to Friedrischaven hamfest where I will be helping Jan G0BBL on the SDR-Kits stall. As soon as the kits are available we will post an announcement here and on the knightlights reflector. We hope to keep the price to $15 or the sterling/euro equivalents plus postage and packing. I hope we can take payments via Paypal.

Regards,

Steve G0XAR

Poll results for QRPLabs

QRPLabs@...
 

The following QRPLabs poll is now closed. Here are the
final results:


POLL QUESTION: Hans and I are CONSIDERING doing another batch of beacon kits as we
are being asked for more but are sold out though we do have a
number of PCBs spare. To give us an indication of how many to
produce and for what bands you are interested in it please
complete the following poll.

CHOICES AND RESULTS
- I would be interested in a kit for 30 meters, 5 votes, 55.56%
- I would be interested in a kit for 40 meters, 3 votes, 33.33%
- I would be interested in a kit for 80 meters, 1 votes, 11.11%



For more information about this group, please visit
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/QRPLabs

For help with Yahoo! Groups, please visit
http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/groups/original/members/forms/general.html

I'm having second thoughts on QRSS....

Jim Stafford <qrp@...>
 

I bought the kit at FDIM but have not assembled it yet.  However, I have been running the software and watching 30M 10.140.  Here is my problem...  I see some callsigns but what do I do with them?  Send an email to that person?  Is there not some common site where you post who you saw when so all can benefit from what I see?  

Is there not a "chat room" such as K3UK has running for various groups: http://www.obriensweb.com/sked/index.html  Perhaps he would not mind if we posted our spots under one of the other headings for all to see such as the Ragchew page IF we preceded each post with QRSS: so they would stand out.  I see that Ragchew does not get much activity and K3UK is a good guy and might go along with it.

Don't have a problem with having to do it manually vs fully automatic on WSPR but what chance do I have that I will ever find out if someone copies me once I get on the air?  I have googled and gone to several sites even the ones that show online what they are copying but it just seems all too complicated when WSPR does it so easily and automatically.

W4QO Jim Stafford www.w4qo.com QRP - When you care enough to send the very least!


Re: I'm having second thoughts on QRSS....

"Stephen" <squirrox@...>
 

Jim,

The usual procedure is to take a screenshot of the signal and either to post it here or on the knightlights reflector. That way we all get to share what you have received. The owner of the beacon you have received can then take a copy and keep it for their records should they wish to.

Regards,

Steve G0XAR

--- In QRPLabs@..., Jim Stafford <qrp@...> wrote:

I bought the kit at FDIM but have not assembled it yet.  However, I have been running the software and watching 30M 10.140.  Here is my problem...  I see some callsigns but what do I do with them?  Send an email to that person?  Is there not some common site where you post who you saw when so all can benefit from what I see?  
Is there not a "chat room" such as K3UK has running for various groups: http://www.obriensweb.com/sked/index.html  Perhaps he would not mind if we posted our spots under one of the other headings for all to see such as the Ragchew page IF we preceded each post with QRSS: so they would stand out.  I see that Ragchew does not get much activity and K3UK is a good guy and might go along with it.
Don't have a problem with having to do it manually vs fully automatic on WSPR but what chance do I have that I will ever find out if someone copies me once I get on the air?  I have googled and gone to several sites even the ones that show online what they are copying but it just seems all too complicated when WSPR does it so easily and automatically.

W4QO Jim Stafford www.w4qo.com QRP - When you care enough to send the very least!

Re: I'm having second thoughts on QRSS....

ve7sl@...
 

Is there not a "chat room" such as K3UK has running for various groups: http://www.obriensweb.com/sked/index.html
this page has been kind of wonky for several months now. I wonder if he is aware of the problem.


WEB - "The VE7SL Radio Notebook": http://members.shaw.ca/ve7sl