Topics

QCX-mini update


namerati@...
 

On Sun, Sep 20, 2020 at 10:28:58AM -0400, K2DB Paul Mackanos wrote:
Would it be possible for everybody to not ask Hans about adding, changing,
doing anything different with the QCX mini.
Hans has already said he's going to try to do an edge mount SMA layout.

Hans had previously said he would try and fit an SMA connector layout inside the BNC connector layout, but he forgot to include that in the prototype that he showed.

So in this case the question is quite warranted, even if it suggests Brent hasn't been following the discussion closely :)


Bob Kirkham
 

Can't wait de VE3ORK.!


On Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 12:30 RACHAEL SANDERS <m1ayg.rachael@...> wrote:
You and me both Hans. Sounds excellent!
73 de
Rachael M1AYG 

On Fri, 11 Sep 2020 at 17:23, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:
Hi all

I am excited to provide an update on the QCX-mini project http://qrp-labs.com/qcxmini.html

Again to stress: QCX-mini has the same schematic (almost), firmware, operation and performance as QCX and QCX+. It is just a different physical manifestation. This is not a major R&D effort. It is a pleasant breather. The tasks are limited to mechanical re-engineering and some re-documentation later. So please don't all start yelling at me about what I ought to be spending my time and energy on instead. 

To summarize: I laid out a PCB. Two in fact (it's a sandwich). And got some made. I have ordered two sets of components and one set arrived yesterday; the other (the bulk of the R and C, SMD parts from Farnell UK) will arrive in about 1 week. I designed an enclosure and made technical drawings, and my usual enclosure factory has produced a prototype to my specification, which is in the post and will likely get here in about 2 weeks from now. 

So far everything fits together very well and at this stage I do not anticipate any major roadblocks. 

It's a really beautiful little radio! I am looking forward to hauling myself to a nearby mountain to try it out. 

73 Hans G0UPL
http://qrp-labs.com









Gary Bernard
 

Reg, agreed. Hans is not your local Walmart. Let him be. He has plenty on his hands.
Gary W0CKI


-----Original Message-----
From: R. Tyson via groups.io <tysons2@...>
To: QRPLabs@groups.io
Sent: Sun, Sep 20, 2020 9:56 am
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] QCX-mini update

Well said Paul.
Some think they can just submit a shopping list of their own wants and desires instead of doing the shopping themselves.

Hans is already producing exceptionally good equipment at very favourable prices. He tries to get the most out of the components used and I doubt there is much room for modification without throwing the baby out with the bath water. Either accept what are very good products as they are or try to modify it to suit your own desires.... which may bear no resemblance to what others want.

Instead of want, want,wanting it might be better to try do, do, doing.

Reg                 G4NFR


R. Tyson
 

Well said Paul.
Some think they can just submit a shopping list of their own wants and desires instead of doing the shopping themselves.

Hans is already producing exceptionally good equipment at very favourable prices. He tries to get the most out of the components used and I doubt there is much room for modification without throwing the baby out with the bath water. Either accept what are very good products as they are or try to modify it to suit your own desires.... which may bear no resemblance to what others want.

Instead of want, want,wanting it might be better to try do, do, doing.

Reg                 G4NFR


K2DB Paul Mackanos
 

Would it be possible for everybody to not ask Hans about adding, changing, doing anything different with the QCX mini. I would say, at this point in the design and development and debugging of the new proposed product is already past the stage where he can make any changes. Let him do his wonderful work and get this project finished and out the door so we can order one, and have a wonderful time building and enjoying it on the air !
We are amateur radio operators, experimenters, home brewers, etc., and hopefully not an appliance operator. If we don’t like a piece of equipment the way we bought it, there’s something we do about it, we modify it, then we put it on the group messages and let people know what we did to personalize it for our own use.

Paul K2DB 😎

On Sun, Sep 20, 2020 at 9:37 AM Brent DeWitt <bdewitt@...> wrote:
Would it be possible to add an edge mount SMA layout underneath the BNC?
--
Brent DeWitt, AB1LF
Milford, MA










Brent DeWitt
 

Would it be possible to add an edge mount SMA layout underneath the BNC?
--
Brent DeWitt, AB1LF
Milford, MA


namerati@...
 

On Sat, Sep 19, 2020 at 03:40:18PM +0300, Hans Summers wrote:
One thing that has occurred to me: my current "SOTA kit" has a weight of
some 350g, and a good deal of that is the radio's aluminum enclosure.
My preliminary estimate for the weight of QCX-mini is a little under 200g
including enclosure.
Yes, my 350g figure includes radio, paddle, antenna, headphones, cables, carrying bag, etc. (BNC connectors and RG-58 are heavy, so I don't use them!)


Steve in Okinawa
 

Sorry folks. My tongue was wedged deep in my cheek. 


Alan G4ZFQ
 

the only color paint that would dry fast enough for his production line speed was black.
I learned this on the internet so it must be true.
Yes, it's obvious. Black radiates the solvent quicker:-)

Alan


RACHAEL SANDERS
 

Agreed!!


On 20 Sep 2020, at 07:24, Greg Winterflood <greg.winterflood@...> wrote:

Steve, I hope you have taken time to learn the meaning of "curmudgeon"?

Why accuse Hans of being a 'curmudgeon'?

That is the equivalent of calling a person a "Scrooge".

I have nothing but admiration for Hans and his enterprise.

He is a good bloke. 
--
Dr Greg Winterflood VK8KMD
BA MBBS DA DRCOG MPH
Alice Springs, Central Australia
PG66wh


Greg Winterflood
 

Steve, I hope you have taken time to learn the meaning of "curmudgeon"?

Why accuse Hans of being a 'curmudgeon'?

That is the equivalent of calling a person a "Scrooge".

I have nothing but admiration for Hans and his enterprise.

He is a good bloke. 
--
Dr Greg Winterflood VK8KMD
BA MBBS DA DRCOG MPH
Alice Springs, Central Australia
PG66wh


Steve in Okinawa
 

Ford's only black choice was not because he was a curmudgeon like Hans, but because of production issues (like Hans). At the time, the only color paint that would dry fast enough for his production line speed was black. 

I learned this on the internet so it must be true.

JS6TMW


HF
 

I like my yellow and red UV-3Rs. Makes them easy to find with poor lighting.  Maybe I'll put some bright electrical tape on my mini-QCX so that when I drop it, the next hiker will find it, realize how cool it is, get a ham license, and join our hobby.  Those at the other end of the spectrum (heh, heh) might wrap theirs with camoflage tape.
Halden VE7UTS


Shane Justice
 

Hans,
As far as board real estate goes, if you use a vertical BNC connector, does that buy you more board space? If you aren't using the panel space for controls or display, does this help usebility, or make operation more difficult, due to mechanical interference or radio movement due to coaxial cable tension on the BNC? Just trying to think out of the box, on the, er, box...

One last parting thought- with the radio being so small and light, are you sure you'd want to incorporate the code key into the chassis? My Bencher is on a heavy plate just so you don't accidently move it while trying to use it. It might be this is the opportunity to develop a mechanism that fits on the hand that incorporates the iambic signalling in something that is worn on the hand. What if this hand code device had a small battery and Bluetooth, and wirelessly connected to the mini QCX (w/ Bluetooth)? 


73,
Shane
KE7TR.


On Sep 18, 2020 at 23:24, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:

Hello Torbjorn
 
I shall have to start thinking about how to integrate battery, speaker and paddle into a pocket-friendly unit. Perhaps with a 3D printed replacement for the bottom part of the enclosure? What might fit in the space of DC, Paddle, PTT and CAT jacks if I do not use them? 

In fact, I have a suggestion: It seems that the headphone jack has the usual built-in switches to disconnect a speaker. It would be good if the switched speaker connection could be brought out to one or two solder pads, to facilitate the addition of a speaker amplifier.

That's no problem... I checked the board and there was a little bit of space there, I have added a pad connected to one of the switched connections. Check the attached silkscreen image, just at the bottom right corner of the earphone connector! 
 
Also, the BNC may make it difficult to integrate the paddle on the right, but there are several workarounds for that.

Note that I am heavily constrained by where I can locate the connectors. The 3.5mm jack sockets have a low profile. But the BNC and Power connectors have 11mm height and just about fit in the sandwich, the spacers between the boards are 11mm; they can only  fit in the lower portion of the board, since the clearance under the LCD module is only 7mm at most - and less where the metal tabs come down. It was all a difficult exercise in 3D packing!

73 Hans G0UPL


Al Sines
 

Hans,

As Henry Ford said you can have purchase one of his cars in any color as long as its black!

73,

Alan, W3AL


On Sep 19, 2020, at 17:35, Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:


Hi Bryan

There are many QRP rigs in black and raw aluminum.  Any chance we might see an anodized color option for the case?

Raw aluminium is very easily scratched and marked compared to anodized.

I can specify any colour for anodizing. However offering multiple options would increase the price and the logistical complexity considerably. 

So it is probably a matter of choosing one colour and I am inclined to choose black. 

Why?

1. Black has a feeling, expectation, whatever of quality. Rightly or wrongly, I feel it does. Good radios are black. 

2. White laser-etched printing on the black background is easy to read, good contrast. 

3. There's a matter of branding. When you already have several products in a certain livery, it makes sense to continue the style. Look, the Ultimate3S, Clock, VFO, QCX+ and 50W PA kit enclosures are all black anodized extruded aluminium with white printing. 

4. QRP Labs has a simple logo. Just black and white. The hollow "QRP" and the labs in the HD44780 LCD font, which is so familiar in many of the kits. It's a no nonsense logo that was chosen for a reason. Back when I was in Tokyo, around late 2012/early 2013, a good friend of ours is a graphic designer. I asked his opinion. He sketched all kinds of fancy logo designs. In the end his ideas were very helpful because it showed me the way i wanted... a simple logo to convey the simple message of non-nonsense, no frills, kits - high performance, high quality and low cost. I just didn't want an over-fancy logo. Like always, I wanted to concentrate all my energy and efforts on the content, not the fancy presentation. The website is the same. Black, white, simple. Now the black anodized enclosures, consistent through the range of kits, seems to be harmonious with this principle. 

5. If there were to be a kit in a different colour, it could be hard to get a good consensus on what that colour should be. As I mentioned above, multiple options isn't attractive. If you're making billions of iPhones with massive margins then that's one thjng, you can make them in a few colours... but I'm not :-/   So choice of a colour such as black, is a fairly neutral choice that isn't offensive to anyone. 

73 Hans G0UPL 


Paul AI4EE
 

If you made it camo, then it would easily get lost outside, and you could sell more units!


On 9/19/2020 5:35 PM, Hans Summers wrote:
Hi Bryan

There are many QRP rigs in black and raw aluminum.  Any chance we might see an anodized color option for the case?

Raw aluminium is very easily scratched and marked compared to anodized.

I can specify any colour for anodizing. However offering multiple options would increase the price and the logistical complexity considerably. 

So it is probably a matter of choosing one colour and I am inclined to choose black. 

Why?

1. Black has a feeling, expectation, whatever of quality. Rightly or wrongly, I feel it does. Good radios are black. 

2. White laser-etched printing on the black background is easy to read, good contrast. 

3. There's a matter of branding. When you already have several products in a certain livery, it makes sense to continue the style. Look, the Ultimate3S, Clock, VFO, QCX+ and 50W PA kit enclosures are all black anodized extruded aluminium with white printing. 

4. QRP Labs has a simple logo. Just black and white. The hollow "QRP" and the labs in the HD44780 LCD font, which is so familiar in many of the kits. It's a no nonsense logo that was chosen for a reason. Back when I was in Tokyo, around late 2012/early 2013, a good friend of ours is a graphic designer. I asked his opinion. He sketched all kinds of fancy logo designs. In the end his ideas were very helpful because it showed me the way i wanted... a simple logo to convey the simple message of non-nonsense, no frills, kits - high performance, high quality and low cost. I just didn't want an over-fancy logo. Like always, I wanted to concentrate all my energy and efforts on the content, not the fancy presentation. The website is the same. Black, white, simple. Now the black anodized enclosures, consistent through the range of kits, seems to be harmonious with this principle. 

5. If there were to be a kit in a different colour, it could be hard to get a good consensus on what that colour should be. As I mentioned above, multiple options isn't attractive. If you're making billions of iPhones with massive margins then that's one thjng, you can make them in a few colours... but I'm not :-/   So choice of a colour such as black, is a fairly neutral choice that isn't offensive to anyone. 

73 Hans G0UPL 


Hans Summers
 

Hi Bryan

There are many QRP rigs in black and raw aluminum.  Any chance we might see an anodized color option for the case?

Raw aluminium is very easily scratched and marked compared to anodized.

I can specify any colour for anodizing. However offering multiple options would increase the price and the logistical complexity considerably. 

So it is probably a matter of choosing one colour and I am inclined to choose black. 

Why?

1. Black has a feeling, expectation, whatever of quality. Rightly or wrongly, I feel it does. Good radios are black. 

2. White laser-etched printing on the black background is easy to read, good contrast. 

3. There's a matter of branding. When you already have several products in a certain livery, it makes sense to continue the style. Look, the Ultimate3S, Clock, VFO, QCX+ and 50W PA kit enclosures are all black anodized extruded aluminium with white printing. 

4. QRP Labs has a simple logo. Just black and white. The hollow "QRP" and the labs in the HD44780 LCD font, which is so familiar in many of the kits. It's a no nonsense logo that was chosen for a reason. Back when I was in Tokyo, around late 2012/early 2013, a good friend of ours is a graphic designer. I asked his opinion. He sketched all kinds of fancy logo designs. In the end his ideas were very helpful because it showed me the way i wanted... a simple logo to convey the simple message of non-nonsense, no frills, kits - high performance, high quality and low cost. I just didn't want an over-fancy logo. Like always, I wanted to concentrate all my energy and efforts on the content, not the fancy presentation. The website is the same. Black, white, simple. Now the black anodized enclosures, consistent through the range of kits, seems to be harmonious with this principle. 

5. If there were to be a kit in a different colour, it could be hard to get a good consensus on what that colour should be. As I mentioned above, multiple options isn't attractive. If you're making billions of iPhones with massive margins then that's one thjng, you can make them in a few colours... but I'm not :-/   So choice of a colour such as black, is a fairly neutral choice that isn't offensive to anyone. 

73 Hans G0UPL 


Bryan Nehl
 

Super excited to see the mini come to life.

There are many QRP rigs in black and raw aluminum.  Any chance we might see an anodized color option for the case?

73 de Bryan, k0emt


Arv Evans
 

Hans

Right-angle Dupont female connectors are low profile, inexpensive 
and can be "keyed" to a particular mating plug by blocking one or 
more of the socket openings.


Arv
_._


On Sat, Sep 19, 2020 at 12:24 AM Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:
Hello Torbjorn
 
I shall have to start thinking about how to integrate battery, speaker and paddle into a pocket-friendly unit. Perhaps with a 3D printed replacement for the bottom part of the enclosure? What might fit in the space of DC, Paddle, PTT and CAT jacks if I do not use them? 

In fact, I have a suggestion: It seems that the headphone jack has the usual built-in switches to disconnect a speaker. It would be good if the switched speaker connection could be brought out to one or two solder pads, to facilitate the addition of a speaker amplifier.

That's no problem... I checked the board and there was a little bit of space there, I have added a pad connected to one of the switched connections. Check the attached silkscreen image, just at the bottom right corner of the earphone connector! 
 
Also, the BNC may make it difficult to integrate the paddle on the right, but there are several workarounds for that.

Note that I am heavily constrained by where I can locate the connectors. The 3.5mm jack sockets have a low profile. But the BNC and Power connectors have 11mm height and just about fit in the sandwich, the spacers between the boards are 11mm; they can only  fit in the lower portion of the board, since the clearance under the LCD module is only 7mm at most - and less where the metal tabs come down. It was all a difficult exercise in 3D packing!

73 Hans G0UPL


Hans Summers
 

FYI

One thing that has occurred to me: my current "SOTA kit" has a weight of
some 350g, and a good deal of that is the radio's aluminum enclosure.

My preliminary estimate for the weight of QCX-mini is a little under 200g including enclosure. 

I think the enclosure makes up roughly 1/3 of the weight. Will let you know more towards the end of next week, when it should all be here in my hands. 

QCX-mini will also be available without enclosure for people who want to 3D print. 

73 Hans G0UPL