Date   

Re: Persistence seems lacking...

Michael.2E0IHW
 

You make salient observations, Roger and Ron.

However...

Amateur radio has become increasingly black-box and computer centered.
The build requirement for the Intermediate Licence is notional.
Not a few then survive happily without "making" anything further,
not even putting a plug on coax or making an aerial. No need :
see the adverts in RadCom and PW. SPRAT etc are shining exceptions!

QRP does invite self-build, but modern pcb kits are often so compact that they, not least with SMD, "invite" mis-soldering and similar mishaps. Fault-finding often requires high-tech instruments beyond
the means of some amongst us.

Many moons ago, I gained much experience repairing SSB radio telephones in the tropics. With generous component spacing on the pcbs, prodding with voltmeter probes never resulted in a short. I didn't have a scope, but usually got it working again - with *persistence*!

I little older now, I would like to build a QCX, but the difficulties encountered by some, often resulting from the compactness
of the pcb design, would probably apply to me. Hence my suggestion
some time back that a larger pcb version of the QCX, and similar
qrp designs, might be feasible. But with 8000 kits out there,
the few who might be interested are, well, probably too few.
But we can still revel in G-QRP, SPRAT and G3RJV designs!

That said, back-to-basics, within reason, might result in more
persistence and homebrew joy and hence foment more interest. Certainly, help from experienced hams can help a lot; but it must be non-judgemental and borne of patience.

Michael 2E0IHW
.......................................

On 08/09/2019 14:55, Ron VE8RT wrote:
I'm with you Roger!
For a few years I taught avionics maintenance, including the
practical labs. I'd walk into the lab class half way and announce that
I couldn't smell any smoke, and follow it up by saying nothing burned,
nothing learned.
Some interesting things are learned through those bad experiences,
and in my case (not that I make as many mistakes now :-) by ordering
more replacement parts than I needed for the repair I've built up an
inventory of components for future repairs and projects that are not
avaialbe in kit form.
Ron VE8RT (49 years in amateur radio)
On Sun, 08 Sep 2019 14:17:12 +0100
"Roger Hill" <rhill@...> wrote:

Hi all,

I must confess I am dismayed at the number of postings on this group
where hams have built a kit that develops a fault and are throwing in
the towel far too easily. Surely ham radio is all about self-education:
and self-education can only happen if there is a failure - you never
learn anything if it all works first time, every time.

I know there are different classes of licence, but surely all of them
require at least some basic knowledge of electricity, and how to use a
voltmeter?

On the other hand there are those on this group who are willing to help,
have the skills and the knowledge, and are free with their advice...so
why wouldn't you persevere and make it work? And Hans writes excellent
manuals and troubleshooting advice.

I must be getting grumpy (or grumpier) in my old age.

Flame suit on.

Roger


Re: QCX 40 UP Cooked. Top line block display only. #40m #qcx

Jim W8JD <jimd2002@...>
 

Thanks Hans.  The load went perfectly and asked to select band.  I was able to rotate the tune and select 40 but cant select.  on subsequent re-boots I get Si5351 error message so as I suspected, I caused more damage.  I guessing maybe the 5v pin touched the supply during case assembly.  In any case, I can take it from here and thanks for all your help.  Its probably time to dust off the SMD equipment.

Thanks again
73s W8JD


Re: Persistence seems lacking...

Ron VE8RT
 

In the commercial environment I'd say that this is the time to have
apprentices on hand to do the types of jobs that us older techs now
find difficult. In the amateur world, we'd sell this as a offering to
mentor younger upstarts and persuade them that doing the fine detailed
work is valuable learning opportunity while not admitting that we're no
longer up to the task.

Ron VE8RT

On Sun, 8 Sep 2019 14:58:50 +0000
"ian liston-smith" <@IanLS> wrote:

Probably with better eyesight and/or bigger single-sided boards with more space to get in there without doing further damage, I would have persevered. I've just fixed an intermittent problem on an old Heathkit HW-9, and a deaf HW-8 - both relatively easy to work on with space to safely move test probes around and where components can be easily removed.

I built and successfully carried out fault-finding on two of the QRPLabs U3s rigs. I've also deigned and built various electronic devices (and won the 2019 NARC construction contest) so I consider myself relatively competent.

I know, hankering after 1970s and 80s Heathkits or similar construction (and performance) isn't the way ahead. Hans has undoubtedly produced some remarkable technology at an amazingly low price, introducing many constructors to QRSS, WSPR, FT8, Hellschreiber, etc. But I think as I get older (and the majority of radio amateurs are over well over 50 I believe), I perhaps don't have the patience or dexterity I once had to scrabble about amongst densely-packed components on double-sided boards to fix a fault on something I've barely even switched on.

Maybe I too am getting grumpy in my old age...

Ian, G4JQT
________________________________
From: QRPLabs@groups.io <QRPLabs@groups.io> on behalf of Roger Hill <rhill@...>
Sent: 08 September 2019 14:17
To: QRPLabs <QRPLabs@groups.io>
Subject: [QRPLabs] Persistence seems lacking...


Hi all,


I must confess I am dismayed at the number of postings on this group where hams have built a kit that develops a fault and are throwing in the towel far too easily. Surely ham radio is all about self-education: and self-education can only happen if there is a failure - you never learn anything if it all works first time, every time.

I know there are different classes of licence, but surely all of them require at least some basic knowledge of electricity, and how to use a voltmeter?

On the other hand there are those on this group who are willing to help, have the skills and the knowledge, and are free with their advice...so why wouldn't you persevere and make it work? And Hans writes excellent manuals and troubleshooting advice.

I must be getting grumpy (or grumpier) in my old age.

Flame suit on.

Roger


--
***************************
Roger Hill
G3YTN, 8P6RX
(ex 8P6CB, VP6WD)
***************************




--
Ron VE8RT <ve8rt@...>


Re: construction tips

STEPHEN <g6sga@...>
 

HI,

What is the (L)(W) & thickness of the perspex?

Thanks

Stephen Thornber G6SGA

CFR07434
FRSPH, FBCS, CITP, CISM


Tel: +44 (0) 7917 611082

For more information about the work of Community First Responders or to become one yourself, contact West Midlands Ambulance Service Community Response Manager Noel Orbell on 07980 094808, or the CFR Admin office on 01384 215855 or CFRAdmin@...

-- CAUTION: EXTERNAL EMAIL --
Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognise the sender, are expecting the content and/or know the content to be safe.





On 8 Sep 2019, at 19:13, terryhugheskirkcudbrifght via Groups.Io <terryhugheskirkcudbrifght@...> wrote:

photo attached

as described
another hint - i drilled small holes above the alignment pots to get a screwdriver in

terry gm4dso

<SAM_0461.JPG>


Re: construction tips

terryhugheskirkcudbrifght@...
 

photo attached

as described
another hint - i drilled small holes above the alignment pots to get a screwdriver in

terry gm4dso


Re: Persistence seems lacking...

ian liston-smith
 

Probably with better eyesight and/or bigger single-sided boards with more space to get in there without doing further damage, I would have persevered. I've just fixed an intermittent problem on an old Heathkit HW-9, and a deaf HW-8 - both relatively easy to work on with space to safely move test probes around and where components can be easily removed.

I built and successfully carried out fault-finding on two of the QRPLabs U3s rigs. I've also deigned and built various electronic devices (and won the 2019 NARC construction contest) so I consider myself relatively competent.

I know, hankering after 1970s and 80s Heathkits or similar construction (and performance) isn't the way ahead. Hans has undoubtedly produced some remarkable technology at an amazingly low price, introducing many constructors to QRSS, WSPR, FT8, Hellschreiber, etc. But I think as I get older (and the majority of radio amateurs are over well over 50 I believe), I perhaps don't have the patience or dexterity I once had to scrabble about amongst densely-packed components on double-sided boards to fix a fault on something I've barely even switched on.

Maybe I too am getting grumpy in my old age...

Ian, G4JQT


From: QRPLabs@groups.io <QRPLabs@groups.io> on behalf of Roger Hill <rhill@...>
Sent: 08 September 2019 14:17
To: QRPLabs <QRPLabs@groups.io>
Subject: [QRPLabs] Persistence seems lacking...
 

Hi all,


I must confess I am dismayed at the number of postings on this group where hams have built a kit that develops a fault and are throwing in the towel far too easily. Surely ham radio is all about self-education: and self-education can only happen if there is a failure - you never learn anything if it all works first time, every time.

I know there are different classes of licence, but surely all of them require at least some basic knowledge of electricity, and how to use a voltmeter?

On the other hand there are those on this group who are willing to help, have the skills and the knowledge, and are free with their advice...so why wouldn't you persevere and make it work? And Hans writes excellent manuals and troubleshooting advice.

I must be getting grumpy (or grumpier) in my old age.

Flame suit on.

Roger


--
***************************
Roger Hill
G3YTN, 8P6RX
(ex 8P6CB, VP6WD)
***************************


Re: QCX 40 UP Cooked. Top line block display only. #40m #qcx

Stephen Farthing G0XAR JO92ON97
 

Jim,

Please check the “fuse” settings when you program the chip and make sure they are the same as in Han’s instructions. I had a similar problem when I got the settings wrong. 

Regards,

Steve 


Re: QCX 40 UP Cooked. Top line block display only. #40m #qcx

Jim W8JD <jimd2002@...>
 

Thanks for your response Hans.  I just found it in my “Junk” folder for some reason but all looks in tact. 

Thanks again and of course I would never share that file.

 

Jim W8JD

 

Jimd2002@...

 


From: QRPLabs@groups.io <QRPLabs@groups.io> on behalf of Hans Summers <hans.summers@...>
Sent: Sunday, September 8, 2019 7:29:22 AM
To: QRPLabs@groups.io <QRPLabs@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] QCX 40 UP Cooked. Top line block display only. #40m #qcx
 
Hi Jim

I already emailed you about this and sent you the necessary files.

73 Hans G0UPL 

On Sun, Sep 8, 2019, 17:06 Jim W8JD <jimd2002@...> wrote:
Thanks Alan and I did drop him a note but I know he is a busy guy.  Thank you

Jim D W8JD


Re: Persistence seems lacking...

Jim W8JD <jimd2002@...>
 

Well I don't have that many years of experience but I did do 30+ years of component level troubleshooting in an avionics shop with some pretty awesome test equipment before I retired .  As a follow up to my original post about my cooked CPU, I forgot to mention that the only issue I had communicating  with the ATmega 328 using an Arduino as the programmer and Averdudess was I had to select MCU ATmega328 for the original chip and ATmega328P for the new processor. Also, as others have mentioned, the eeprom Write is checked by default in Averdudess but in my case the path to the file was left blank so I was hoping it had ignored this command.  Apparently not.  I suspect once I get past the bricked display I may have additional problems but I am pretty persistent and with the help of the excellent manual and this thread it will be brought back to life.

Jim W8JD  


Re: QCX 40 UP Cooked. Top line block display only. #40m #qcx

Hans Summers
 

Hi Jim

I already emailed you about this and sent you the necessary files.

73 Hans G0UPL 

On Sun, Sep 8, 2019, 17:06 Jim W8JD <jimd2002@...> wrote:
Thanks Alan and I did drop him a note but I know he is a busy guy.  Thank you

Jim D W8JD


Re: Circuit Board Drills for cleaning out through-holes: Construction Tip

Ken Evans
 

I have the problem where the plated through hole has had the plating removed (long story, but chalk it up to an over anxious 15 year old.)
 
The holes involved are at T1 on a 40 meter QCX.  Never had this happen - but think the easiest solution may be to run small wire jumpers from T1 leads to close the now open trace.
Any othe ideas?
 
.Also am thinking of changing this QCX from 40 to either 30 or 20 meters.  This will require removing and replacing appropriate caps and inductors.  In addition - when the alignment procedure is started on first time power up - the screen says:
 
"Select Band"
80 M
 
 How do I get back to this point to select band?
 
Thanks for all ideas in advance.
 
Ken
W4DU



Re: QCX(-like) for 2m #alignment #vfo

Braden Glett
 

This must be a non-US topic, as there's no such thing as a CW QSO on 2m in the US. Heck, there's hardly even voice traffic on 2m in the US.
It would be fun to do cw on 2m, but impossible I'm afraid, practically speaking.


Re: QCX 40 UP Cooked. Top line block display only. #40m #qcx

Jim W8JD <jimd2002@...>
 

Thanks Alan and I did drop him a note but I know he is a busy guy.  Thank you

Jim D W8JD


Re: Persistence seems lacking...

Roger Hill
 

Hi Ron.

I've got just a few years on you. Was first licensed in 1965 (or thereabouts - I forget!) so I am definitely past the 50-year mark...and still having fun building things and making them work.


I have an FT817, but am patiently waiting for the QSX to be released for my next 'big project'.

73
Roger

---
***************************
Roger Hill
***************************

On 2019-09-08 14:55, Ron VE8RT wrote:
I'm with you Roger!
For a few years I taught avionics maintenance, including the
practical labs. I'd walk into the lab class half way and announce that
I couldn't smell any smoke, and follow it up by saying nothing burned,
nothing learned.
Some interesting things are learned through those bad experiences,
and in my case (not that I make as many mistakes now :-) by ordering
more replacement parts than I needed for the repair I've built up an
inventory of components for future repairs and projects that are not
avaialbe in kit form.
Ron VE8RT (49 years in amateur radio)
On Sun, 08 Sep 2019 14:17:12 +0100
"Roger Hill" <rhill@...> wrote:

Hi all,
I must confess I am dismayed at the number of postings on this group
where hams have built a kit that develops a fault and are throwing in
the towel far too easily. Surely ham radio is all about self-education:
and self-education can only happen if there is a failure - you never
learn anything if it all works first time, every time.
I know there are different classes of licence, but surely all of them
require at least some basic knowledge of electricity, and how to use a
voltmeter?
On the other hand there are those on this group who are willing to help,
have the skills and the knowledge, and are free with their advice...so
why wouldn't you persevere and make it work? And Hans writes excellent
manuals and troubleshooting advice.
I must be getting grumpy (or grumpier) in my old age.
Flame suit on.
Roger
--
***************************
Roger Hill
G3YTN, 8P6RX
(ex 8P6CB, VP6WD)
***************************
--
Ron VE8RT <ve8rt@...>


Re: Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

Don--AE4DW
 

On Sat, Sep 7, 2019 at 06:33 AM, Greg Walters wrote:
So I have the clock kit now, kind of wanted another for no good reason. You just gave me that reason. Plus, I ordered the clock chip for good measure. 

I don't have an AVR programmer, but may get one to try before the new chip gets here...

Is it very challenging to program these? I've never programmed anything...
--
73,
Greg
KY4GW

I find flashing AVRs to not be as easy as flashing Microchip PICs, but that's just me.

For Atmel, I went with the Adafruit programmer, their version of the USBTiny: https://www.adafruit.com/product/46

Use avrdude and averdudess as your UI, and its not too bad. AVRdudess definitely eliminated the majority of the agony I experienced trying to do command line chip flashing via avrdude.

For 328P Atmel chips specifically, I just use an Arduino board to hold the chip and make the 6 pin ISCP connection. I'm sure there are other (likely better..) ways to do it, but thats how I've done it when its that chip specifically.

 

 


Re: Persistence seems lacking...

Ron VE8RT
 

I'm with you Roger!

For a few years I taught avionics maintenance, including the
practical labs. I'd walk into the lab class half way and announce that
I couldn't smell any smoke, and follow it up by saying nothing burned,
nothing learned.

Some interesting things are learned through those bad experiences,
and in my case (not that I make as many mistakes now :-) by ordering
more replacement parts than I needed for the repair I've built up an
inventory of components for future repairs and projects that are not
avaialbe in kit form.

Ron VE8RT (49 years in amateur radio)

On Sun, 08 Sep 2019 14:17:12 +0100
"Roger Hill" <rhill@...> wrote:

Hi all,

I must confess I am dismayed at the number of postings on this group
where hams have built a kit that develops a fault and are throwing in
the towel far too easily. Surely ham radio is all about self-education:
and self-education can only happen if there is a failure - you never
learn anything if it all works first time, every time.

I know there are different classes of licence, but surely all of them
require at least some basic knowledge of electricity, and how to use a
voltmeter?

On the other hand there are those on this group who are willing to help,
have the skills and the knowledge, and are free with their advice...so
why wouldn't you persevere and make it work? And Hans writes excellent
manuals and troubleshooting advice.

I must be getting grumpy (or grumpier) in my old age.

Flame suit on.

Roger

--
***************************
Roger Hill
G3YTN, 8P6RX
(ex 8P6CB, VP6WD)
***************************



--
Ron VE8RT <ve8rt@...>


Re: Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

Hans Summers
 

Hi Brian 

It's very cool, the clock & GPS combination allowing calculation of Sidereal time - both Greenwich sidereal Sandoval sidereal using the longitude from the GPS too. 

There isn't currently a way to snapshot a time on a button push. Nor audible click or time announcement. If you have some suggestions of things that could be very useful for astronomy purposes please email me off list and we can discuss it further.

The Sidereal time calculations were from the book "Practical Astronomy with your Pocket Calculator", 2nd edition (see attached). 

It's a nostalgic flash-back to around 1987 when I coded most of the book in BASIC on a Sinclair ZX81 computer! I have half a plan to eventually to add sunrise/set and moonrise/set and others to the Clock kit. 

73 Hans G0UPL 


On Sat, Sep 7, 2019, 18:19 B C <k9wis@...> wrote:
I work at the Horwitz DeRemer Planetarium, You clock is a major upgrade from the arduino one I codded up and built many years ago that does not include the GPS. I plan to purchase a kit next week and put it on display in our lobby and also write up a review for some of the local Astro Club and Ham newsletters in the area. We are also working on a planetarium program on Time.  I can give it a plug then. And if we deem it easy to build maybe offer a STEM workshop to build the kit, but that is in the plans for the future folder..

Here is a couple of questions..
Can I capture time with the push of a button...Useful for timing occultations and eclipses..especially if I am using a photometer that can trigger the capture.

Is there an option for and audible tick or time announcement like WWV..



Brian K9WIS

-----------------------------------------

From: "Hans Summers"
To: QRPLabs@groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Saturday September 7 2019 1:40:53AM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] Clock kit: new firmware version 1.03

P.S. If any of you know of any astronomy-related groups/forums where it would be useful to inform them about the Sidereal time feature, please let me know. As far as I know, there is no other reasonably priced standalone clock or clock kit that can display Sidereal time. 
73 Hans G0UPL

On Sat, Sep 7, 2019 at 8:28 AM Hans Summers via Groups.Io <hans.summers=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi all

I have just released a small upgrade to the clock kit firmware. The clock kit: http://qrp-labs.com/clockn is a lot of fun for only $19. Particularly if you already have a QLG1 GPS.

This new version fixes the infamous "local date bug". It also adds Sidereal time (Greenwich and local sidereal time); day of week, altitude in feet, and averaging of ADC readings. The list of changes is:

- Added #UH, #UM, #US tags for Greenwich Sideral Time
- Added #TH, #TM, #TS tags for Local Sidereal Time
- Added #AF tag for altitude in feet
- Added #DA, #D3 tags for UT weekday in full and 3-letter abbreviation respectively
- Added #LA, #L3 tags for Local weekday in full and 3-letter abbreviation respectively
- ADC now averages 100 samples to reduce noise (for temperature calculation etc)
- Bug fix: Local date now fixed (was showing yesterday)

Note that Sidereal time is calculated realtime from the GPS information (it requires GPS to operate Sidereal time). Local Sidereal time uses the calculated Greenwich Sidereal time then adjusts for your actual position using the longitude information parsed from the GPS data. The Sidereal time update on the display is asynchronous to UT or Local time updates; this is because Sidereal Time is calculated with fractional second accuracy and the display update (hours, minutes, seconds tags are available) updates on the second update event, which is in general offset from the ordinary time. Actually Sidereal time gains 1 second about every 6 minutes; you can see the offset between Sidereal time and ordinary time updates on the display change from 0 to 1 second over the course of 6 minutes. 

If you have an AVR programmer and want this new version, you can download it here: http://qrp-labs.com/images/clockkit/firmware/c1.03.hex (right click and select Save As, then edit the file name to c1.03.hex (remove the .txt extension). 

If you wish to purchase a programmed chip, they are in the shop see http://shop.qrp-labs.com/clockchip

73 Hans G0UPL


Re: QCX80 power out question

K2TL Jim
 

Thank you for the reply and excellent advice.  I will attend to it as soon as the XYL lets me, Hi.  The QCX is in a case and it takes a bit more time and care to get to things.  This problem has been annoying me since I built it about 18 months ago. Nice 5 watts output up around 3650 which does me no good.

de K2TL.. since 1964


Persistence seems lacking...

Roger Hill
 

Hi all,


I must confess I am dismayed at the number of postings on this group where hams have built a kit that develops a fault and are throwing in the towel far too easily. Surely ham radio is all about self-education: and self-education can only happen if there is a failure - you never learn anything if it all works first time, every time.

I know there are different classes of licence, but surely all of them require at least some basic knowledge of electricity, and how to use a voltmeter?

On the other hand there are those on this group who are willing to help, have the skills and the knowledge, and are free with their advice...so why wouldn't you persevere and make it work? And Hans writes excellent manuals and troubleshooting advice.

I must be getting grumpy (or grumpier) in my old age.

Flame suit on.

Roger


--
***************************
Roger Hill
G3YTN, 8P6RX
(ex 8P6CB, VP6WD)
***************************


Re: For sale: None-working QCX 60m

Ray Koster
 

I would be interesed in this and I am UK based....let me know if you still want to sell..73 Ray Koster G7BHQ

On 08 September 2019 at 12:17 ian liston-smith <ian.ls@...> wrote:

I've spent enough time on this kit now.  I have other things to do...

It was working fine. Receiver really rather good, but low output power of 1W on 13.5V. Took a couple turns off L1, L2 and L3 and that bought output up to a little over 1.5W at 13.5V. Then... display lights up but is blank, 5V regulator getting very hot and giving only 2.7V at output - being pulled down by the fault? Maybe a simple fault that is recognised, but to be honest, enough is enough.

I have a QCX 40m and that worked well from the start and continues to work - at the moment.

Unboxed. £20 plus postage. May be collected from Reading (RG31) or Fakenham (NR21).

Should hope triumph over experience and I yet buy another...? I dunno!

Thanks.

Ian, G4JQT


 


 


R.Koster