QLG2, LOVE It!


Jim Sheldon
 

QLG-2 arrived yesterday afternoon.  Put it together this morning in just over 10 minutes including several jumpers, 16 x 2 display, contrast pot (used 10K which works perfectly as I didn't have a 22K but lots of 10K's on hand). Power up to lock-on was less than a minute and had enough satellites in lock to give 3D indication.  Re-powered with programming jumper connected and flashed the bug fix firmware 1.00b per the manual instructions without a hitch.  After that, even without a "super-cap" installed, lockup time was only about 10 seconds so may or may not order a super-cap.

Antenna was just laying on my desk next to the QLG-2 and my operating room/shop has steel stud construction so this bugger is really sensitive (QLG-1 is also but I think this one might even be an order of magnitude more sensitive.

Oh, and I have right-angle SMA connectors on hand so put one on the back side of the board between it and the display to keep from having to make up an insulator to prevent the SMA connector frame from shorting out the center conductor.  No such problems if the connector is mounted on the back side of the board though I would probably not do that with a non right-angle connector.

Transit time from Turkey to Kansas via TNT/Fedex was 4 days.  The outer box was crunched a bit, but contents were very well packed in bubble wrap so no damage.

I do wish though there was a way to program the optional display to show lattitude, longitude , altitude (when 3D fix obtained) and maybe Maidenhead grid locator so it could be run stand-alone as a portable GPS for Field ops like SOTA, POTA and the like.  That would keep things light & very manageable.

Now to design & 3D print a case for this thing.

Jim, W0EB


Greg Walters
 

I agree 100%, Jim,

I just got mine yesterday. Slapped it together overnight. I haven't done the firmware yet, but got it plugged into my computer. 

I have a metal roof, so GPS lock took a bit longer, but worked good on the Clock kit. 

I may recommend the clock kit for your SORA/POTA stuff. It does all you asked and more. I upgraded my clock kit with a 4 line display. I have my name, Call, and GPS status on the top line.
Second line is alternating GPS location (Lat) and time (Local).
Third line is alternating GPS location (Long) and time (UTC).
Fourth line is the number of satellites, my grid EM77NX and the altitude. 

I have another clock or two, plus a QCX+ to assemble once I am done with school (Late June). 
--
73,
Greg
KY4GW


Jim AJ8S
 

Same here. Love it. It came quickly and with a crushed box but no internal damage. Locks fast, no need for the supercap. LatLong would be great! Oh, and for some reason the 2 at the end of the version stays on the display after the seconds on the clock. No big deal but would be nice to fix that.

Thanks, Hans.

73, Jim AJ8S


Mike Besemer - WM4B
 

Jim,

 

There is a firmware update to fix the extraneous ‘2’.

 

Mike

WM4B

 

From: QRPLabs@groups.io [mailto:QRPLabs@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jim AJ8S
Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2021 9:48 AM
To: QRPLabs@groups.io
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] QLG2, LOVE It!

 

Same here. Love it. It came quickly and with a crushed box but no internal damage. Locks fast, no need for the supercap. LatLong would be great! Oh, and for some reason the 2 at the end of the version stays on the display after the seconds on the clock. No big deal but would be nice to fix that.

Thanks, Hans.

73, Jim AJ8S


Jim Sheldon
 

Follow the procedure in the manual to update software (through USB port), download version 1.00b from the website and that problem goes away.

Jim, W0EB

------ Original Message ------
From: "Jim AJ8S" <aj8s@...>
Sent: 5/29/2021 8:48:19 AM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] QLG2, LOVE It!

Same here. Love it. It came quickly and with a crushed box but no internal damage. Locks fast, no need for the supercap. LatLong would be great! Oh, and for some reason the 2 at the end of the version stays on the display after the seconds on the clock. No big deal but would be nice to fix that.

Thanks, Hans.

73, Jim AJ8S


Hans Summers
 

Yes... and just admire and love that firmware update procedure. You don't see it that easy on other radio manufacturers... Elecraft have their firmware update utility. In the FDIM presentation on the IC705 the sales rep said the uSD card slot is used for firmware updates. But QRP Labs... no hardware needed, no software required, no drivers, works on any operating system. Even though I cannot help myself saying so myself: it's awesome! 

Latitude and longitude and height, Maidenhead grid, I can add. Though it will never be as flexible and fully configurable as the clock kit display. 

73 Hans G0UPL 

On Sat, May 29, 2021, 16:59 Jim Sheldon <w0eb@...> wrote:
Follow the procedure in the manual to update software (through USB port), download version 1.00b from the website and that problem goes away.

Jim, W0EB

------ Original Message ------
From: "Jim AJ8S" <aj8s@...>
Sent: 5/29/2021 8:48:19 AM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] QLG2, LOVE It!

Same here. Love it. It came quickly and with a crushed box but no internal damage. Locks fast, no need for the supercap. LatLong would be great! Oh, and for some reason the 2 at the end of the version stays on the display after the seconds on the clock. No big deal but would be nice to fix that.

Thanks, Hans.

73, Jim AJ8S


Jim Sheldon
 

Hans, it doesn't need to be anything but time (UTC), lat & long plus 4 digit maidenhead and that would be really super as the QLG2 even with the 16 x 2 display can be packaged very light & small for portable ops, even with a 7805 regulator board to allow 8 or 9 to 15V operation for those who would really like to have something that accurate in the field.  Beats anything else on the market today even as-is.

Jim, W0EB

------ Original Message ------
From: "Hans Summers" <hans.summers@...>
Sent: 5/29/2021 9:12:04 AM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] QLG2, LOVE It!

Yes... and just admire and love that firmware update procedure. You don't see it that easy on other radio manufacturers... Elecraft have their firmware update utility. In the FDIM presentation on the IC705 the sales rep said the uSD card slot is used for firmware updates. But QRP Labs... no hardware needed, no software required, no drivers, works on any operating system. Even though I cannot help myself saying so myself: it's awesome! 

Latitude and longitude and height, Maidenhead grid, I can add. Though it will never be as flexible and fully configurable as the clock kit display. 

73 Hans G0UPL 

On Sat, May 29, 2021, 16:59 Jim Sheldon <w0eb@...> wrote:
Follow the procedure in the manual to update software (through USB port), download version 1.00b from the website and that problem goes away.

Jim, W0EB

------ Original Message ------
From: "Jim AJ8S" <aj8s@...>
Sent: 5/29/2021 8:48:19 AM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] QLG2, LOVE It!

Same here. Love it. It came quickly and with a crushed box but no internal damage. Locks fast, no need for the supercap. LatLong would be great! Oh, and for some reason the 2 at the end of the version stays on the display after the seconds on the clock. No big deal but would be nice to fix that.

Thanks, Hans.

73, Jim AJ8S


Rick Williams - VE7TK
 

All I can say is wow!

The firmware update procedure couldn't be easier! Sitting next to my QLG1/Clock the '2' consistently uses 2 or 3 more satellites in the fix and has 4-6 dB better signal to noise.

The 'ultracap' I used was a little big BUT it worked perfectly.It will be neat to see how quickly it gets a fix tomorrow morning when I reboot the computer after an 8 or 9 hour shutdown. I'll be using the QLG2 to synch the PC clock.

The only thing I didn't have in my parts box was the 22k trimpot. I installed a 10k and it works with a standard 1602 blue display.

It would have been nice if the USB connector could have been oriented to come off the back of QLG2 (like the SMA) rather than the side or bottom.

But now for the other problem. My QLG1 and QLG2 have different times. If I use the QLG2 as a reference it is 1 sec behind the QLG1. (My cellphone agrees with the QLG1?)

This is indeed a time when I can quote Segal's law!  "A man with one clock knows what time it is. A man with 2 (or 3) is never sure." Anyone else notice this?
--
73, Rick
VE7TK

Website: http://www.ve7tk.com


Hans Summers
 

Hi Rick
 
All I can say is wow!

:-)
 
But now for the other problem. My QLG1 and QLG2 have different times. If I use the QLG2 as a reference it is 1 sec behind the QLG1. (My cellphone agrees with the QLG1?)

This is indeed a time when I can quote Segal's law!  "A man with one clock knows what time it is. A man with 2 (or 3) is never sure." Anyone else notice this?

The QLG2 firmware is currently rather simple. I had considerable problems during the production of the kit which made it take somewhat longer than my original end March availability estimate. Accordingly when I was finishing the firmware I decided to invest the time on the beautiful bootloader, and make the actual application firmware rather simplistic in the first instance, since it will be possible (and very easy) to update later, for anyone that wants to. That way I could more quickly start shipping QLG2 kits to the 400+ waiting people, it's not a nice situation to be in with that many people waiting for an overdue kit. So I kept the firmware as simple as possible.

One consequence of this is that the optional LCD module update is quite simplistic - it simply decodes the NMEA sentences and then writes the decoded result on the screen. 

What the GNSS module actually outputs is a 0.1 second duration 1pps signal, whose LEADING EDGE is aligned with the actual time. Then it spits out a bunch of text data, the NMEA sentences, that contain the position, time and other information. These are decoded by the firmware, and then written on the display. The decoded time from the text data, is the time of the current second; but the current second is already here, it started at the leading edge of the 0.1s duration 1pps signal. By the time the time is decoded and written to the LCD, most of the second has already elapsed. It therefore gives the appearance of being delayed; I think you will find that the actual delay is not precisely 1 second, it is less than 1 second. 

The solution to this, is implemented by the clock kit - the clock kit implements its own internal real time clock, whose time is set by the GNSS module decoded text data stream. The moment the 1 second ticks over into the next 1 second, is at the leading edge of the 1pps. NOT after the serial data text has been received and decoded. 

So Rick, what you observed is expected, and I need to modify the QLG2 firmware to implement the same logic as the clock kit. 

I have added this to my wish list for the QLG2 and will try to do it soon, it is not a hugely complex change. 

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


Rick Williams - VE7TK
 

Not a problem Hans. My QLG2 will be used to set the PC clock.

The added display was a bonus and I just won't put it next to the QRP-Labs clock - hi!
--
73, Rick
VE7TK

Website: http://www.ve7tk.com


Rick Williams - VE7TK
 

Serendipity strikes!

I was playing with my new QLG2 and needed to move the antenna. I moved it from atop an old Negretti & Zambra thermograph to on top some nearby books. Typical of the British Meteorological Service, this temperature recorder is built like a tank. The base is cast iron and the remainder of the case is all-copper!

Much to my surprise, when I made this change the signal to noise dropped by 3 to 4 dB - CONSISTENTLY!

It looks like the GPS antenna really appreciates a ground plane - who knew!
--
73, Rick
VE7TK

Website: http://www.ve7tk.com