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Compact 3D printed QCX cabinet with integrated paddles #qcx

Torbjorn Skauli
 

Frustrated by the volume and number of different items I needed to pack for portable operation, I decided to try to build my 20m QCX as compact and self contained as possible. The result is the 3D printed cabinet shown in the pictures here. It adds a speaker with amplifier, GPS for WSPR, 4-cell LiPo battery and an integrated paddle. This now needs only 2x5m antenna wire to get on the air. It is a tight squeeze, the main cabinet is 13.5x10.5x3.5 cm. The paddle flips into a parked position to make this easy to pack. Hopefully this will help me brush up my CW and get on the air more often. Thanks to Hans' nice firmware, with decoder and all, it may also be useful for demonstrating ham radio to other people.

73 de Torbjorn, LA4ZCA






Timothy East
 

This is the slickest job I have seen yet.  Very functional and pleasing to the eye.  Well done!

Tim K0EMP

On May 19, 2019, at 5:01 AM, Torbjorn Skauli <tskauli@...> wrote:

Frustrated by the volume and number of different items I needed to pack for portable operation, I decided to try to build my 20m QCX as compact and self contained as possible. The result is the 3D printed cabinet shown in the pictures here. It adds a speaker with amplifier, GPS for WSPR, 4-cell LiPo battery and an integrated paddle. This now needs only 2x5m antenna wire to get on the air. It is a tight squeeze, the main cabinet is 13.5x10.5x3.5 cm. The paddle flips into a parked position to make this easy to pack. Hopefully this will help me brush up my CW and get on the air more often. Thanks to Hans' nice firmware, with decoder and all, it may also be useful for demonstrating ham radio to other people.

73 de Torbjorn, LA4ZCA


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Jim - KJ7EZN
 

Very well done!  Sweet portable solution.
--
Jim, KJ7EZN    73!

DG2FDD
 

Hi Torbjørn,

great design! Do you plan to but the 3D-Files on Thingiverse or some other place?

73 de Jens, DG2FDD

Torbjorn Skauli
 

Yes, I will put the files on line if anyone want to use or modify the design. It may take a little while to get things ready for sharing. I will let you know here when they have been put on line.

Torbjorn

Len Cole
 

Would you be willing to share the file to print one of these?

Len VE5LEN

Ronan Cantwell
 

Fantastic job! Attaching the paddles is a great idea. Is there a bottom cover for the case?

Torbjorn Skauli
 

Yes, there is a simple snap-on bottom cover with a finger grip for opening to charge the battery.

Torbjorn

Kelly Jack
 

What model gps unit is this? Are there any tricks to getting it to work. Ive tried with a similar looking unit off ebay that I couldn't get going with the qcx.

Also what is the small board withe 16pin smd chip on it?

73

Simon
VK3ELH

Alan G4ZFQ
 

What model gps unit is this? Ive tried with a similar looking unit off ebay that I couldn't get going with the qcx.
Simon

The V-KEL is a good cheap substitute, you may well have to turn off the GLL sentence with u-center but my ones hold the saved configuration without a backup.
I'm talking U3S but I'd expect the QCX to be the same.

73 Alan G4ZFQ

Torbjorn Skauli
 

The GPS is designated VKEL GMOUSE VK2828U7G5LF. To use it with QCX I had to turn off one of the messages using a software from Ublox, se an earlier post here by me. The QCX recognizes the GPS data, but I still have some problems to get WSPR to run for a long time, for some unknown reason. I will soon post a question here. The VKEL unit was better than a couple of others I tried in the sense that it retains the configuration settings over longer time.

The speaker amplifier board is based on a PAM8403 stereo amplifier. You will find it on Google.

Both of these units were bought through Aliexpress.

I will post the construction details, but need some time to make it readable for others :-)

Torbjorn

Ronan Cantwell
 

Slightly off topic but to save a bit of heat build-up in the case and to reduce your overall power consumption from your battery considerably, try swapping out the 7805 5V regulator for a  RECOM POWER R-785 0-0.5   it runs cool and fits the PCB without any modifications. You can also safely reduce the current to the LCD backlight by changing one resistor. Lastly, of you haven't already, put a switch on the GPS power line so you can disable it when not needed. That should make the whole setup last a good bit longer on internal battery power.

Excellent job on the case!!!

Torbjorn Skauli
 

On Thu, May 23, 2019 at 03:13 AM, Ronan Cantwell wrote:
RECOM POWER R-785 0-0.5
Looks interesting. Will the switching give any RF spurs? Also interesting is the temperature cutoff at 85 degrees C. If the R-785 is mounted in thermal contact with the PA transistors then the whole thing will shut down if the PA overheats. Definitely something to think about if my PA burns out, if not before.

Torbjorn

Ronan Cantwell
 

I've had no rf-noise issues with the r-785 in either the 20m or 40m QCX. The 500mA version fits the existing PCB position nicely. I'm not sure I'd strap it to the PA though - it's nice where it is on the board with short leads and nearby decoupling. It's got a lightweight plastic body so probably not much use for responding to PA temp anyway. By the time any heat got transferred inside, the PA transistors would probably be toast 😂

Ronan MM0IVR

Charles Wells
 

Did I miss the post that indicated where the .stl files were located?

Torbjorn Skauli
 

No, they are not online yet. I need to prepare a set of docs to make the design more accessible. It may take a week or so. I will report back in this thread.

Torbjorn

Torbjorn Skauli
 

The complete source files have been put on GitHub, even with a rudimentary construction guide: https://github.com/tskauli/QCX_enclosure_LA4ZCA

Happy building!

73 de Torbjorn, LA4ZCA

Jim - KJ7EZN
 

Torbjorn--

Thank you for posting the sti files.   This is really a pretty cool enclosure.
--
Jim, KJ7EZN    73!

Mike
 

Excellent job Torbjorn,

I just downloaded and read your construction guide too, five stars!

Mike ZS6AI

Torbjorn Skauli
 

Now also a copy on Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3668177

Torbjorn