Topics

QCX-mini update


Hans Summers
 

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


RACHAEL SANDERS
 

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









Julian Rolfe
 

Enlightening and very comprehensive progress Hans. Thanks for all your hard work on what looks to be an awesome radio in the ultra compact QRP arsenal.

Cheers,

Jules - G4UET




Dave
 

Very exciting.  Just read the full description including photos and sports car and sunglasses.  I know a CW bicycle mobile practitioner who will benefit. (Not me!)

Dave


On Sep 11, 2020, at 12:23, 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


Brian George
 

Wow! It sounds absolutely fantastic. Can't wait to get one. Well done Hans - all your efforts are greatly appreciated.

73
Brian
G3ZOH


Ben
 

Wow, that is a good looking transceiver! For you not a major effort, but man, I am amazed ^_^ Even the alignment pots are reachable. I also like the CAT and PTT ports for when using the rig at home.


Bob M.
 

Looks like a bunch of nice improvements.

From reading lots of posts here, it does seem as if a lot of people had problems with the 5k volume control lugs either disconnecting from the phenolic or losing contact elsewhere. Does your new design address this problem at all, either by a different wiring method or a different pot?

Bob M.


Hans Summers
 

Hi Bob

It's a different pot. Smaller size and green. The pins stick out of the plastic body. More pricey but I needed the small size. See attached.

73 Hans G0UPL 


On Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 22:11 Bob M. <wa1mik@...> wrote:
Looks like a bunch of nice improvements.

From reading lots of posts here, it does seem as if a lot of people had problems with the 5k volume control lugs either disconnecting from the phenolic or losing contact elsewhere. Does your new design address this problem at all, either by a different wiring method or a different pot?

Bob M.


namerati@...
 

No alternate pads for an SMA connector?

On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 07:23:16PM +0300, 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



Michael N6MST
 

Shout out to the Norcal 40A in the background of the QCX Mini video :)


Hans Summers
 

Good point, I forgot that. Thanks for fhe reminder. I must see if I can put them in. Edge mount? How can that work... the edge is up against the enclosure wall. 

73 Hans G0UPL 

On Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 22:31 <namerati@...> wrote:
No alternate pads for an SMA connector?


On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 07:23:16PM +0300, 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
>
>
>





Hans Summers
 

Hi Michael

Shout out to the Norcal 40A in the background of the QCX Mini video :)

I had an original back when they came out. Never finished it and it was lost to the turmoils of a tumultuous life. For the memory I bought another from Wilderness at Ozarcon 2007. I built it but the frequency annunciation didn't work and I didn't have time at that moment to investigate that... so put it on the shelf. Where it still sits 13 years later. Different continent (twice), different shelf (thrice). Same concept. I'll fix it one day...

73 Hans G0UPL 


Kees T
 

Hans,

Amazing, you did it !! ...not that I had any doubts. Excellent Human Factors testing with the LCD, sunglasses, etc. I like those much better than the blue ones. 

Very impressed with the overall QCX-Mini ....and the small uSDX daughter card is the icing on the cake. Yes. please include it with the kit.

Great work !! Can't wait to order.

73 Kees K5BCQ


ohwenzelph
 

Almost, but not quite small enough to fit in an Altoids tin...
Have you considered 402 parts???
But, the hard part is getting the height thin enough....


Hans Summers
 


Almost, but not quite small enough to fit in an Altoids tin...
Have you considered 402 parts???
But, the hard part is getting the height thin enough....

There's not much point going to 0402. It has to be big enough to hold the LCD and have space for the controls below that. Or do something much more radical which would be an out-of-scope redesign. If we could have a 5W radio the size of a postage stamp, would it be all that practical to squint at the tiny screen and operate it?

73 Hans G0UPL 


The Crunchbird
 

Hans, we have no mountains in Florida but I would love to take one to the beach, Dave. N2SN


namerati@...
 

Edge mount would be quite alright, though the edge mount SMA connectors I have used were designed for slightly thinner microwave boards and did not fit standard FR4.

I also notice that you managed to match the dimensions of the MTR3b almost down to the millimetre :)

On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 10:35:51PM +0300, Hans Summers wrote:
Good point, I forgot that. Thanks for fhe reminder. I must see if I can put
them in. Edge mount? How can that work... the edge is up against the
enclosure wall.

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

On Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 22:31 <namerati@...> wrote:

No alternate pads for an SMA connector?


On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 07:23:16PM +0300, 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







Jim Manley
 

Hi Hans,

As for the postage stamp sized "QCX Pico" that you just "announced" (I claim dibs on the first production unit!), I only have one word to say in regards to how to view such a tiny display: PROJECTION! :D

73_Morse_Animated_GIF.gif
Jim  KJ7JHE
Lame Deer Montana High School Amateur Radio Club  KJ7JKU


On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 1:42 PM Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:

Almost, but not quite small enough to fit in an Altoids tin...
Have you considered 402 parts???
But, the hard part is getting the height thin enough....

There's not much point going to 0402. It has to be big enough to hold the LCD and have space for the controls below that. Or do something much more radical which would be an out-of-scope redesign. If we could have a 5W radio the size of a postage stamp, would it be all that practical to squint at the tiny screen and operate it?

73 Hans G0UPL 


namerati@...
 

On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 11:42:29PM +0300, Hans Summers wrote:
If we could have a 5W
radio the size of a postage stamp, would it be all that practical to squint
at the tiny screen and operate it?
When can we pre-order this new postage stamp QRP radio?


Alan G4ZFQ
 

When can we pre-order this new postage stamp QRP radio?
Yes! Better than a smart watch, a QRP watch!

73 Alan G4ZFQ