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Two possible improvements for the QCX/QCX+

g4edg
 

At the risk of brimming the bucket of new ideas for the QCX/QCX+ I  wonder if there would be sufficient interest in the following?

The recent addition of a clock display on the LCD is a great idea, but without using a GPS always resets to 00:00 upon being powered up. Ive looked at the possibility of keeping the 328 powered up by a backup battery, but even with two alkaline AAs this setup wont last long. It appears the 328 is capable of being put into various levels of "sleep" at very low power consumption but this would require software changes along with a soft on/off switch...maybe the new switch on the QCX+ is a sign?!  

At least with the clock resetting to 00:00 at each power up reminds me of just how long I've been whiling away tuning the bands.

Secondly, the simple low cost encoder used for the tuning matches well with the software, though I find the 100Hz rate, while tuning fast enough, the steps are a bit coarse, while the 10Hz rate is lovely and smooth, takes an age to QSY any decent amount.

Ive got a lovely 400ppr encoder, but if I try this on the QCX any rotation of the knob past a snails pace causes missed pulses. I wonder if the encoder could be polled more frequently without compromising other features?

I'm approaching this from the angle of using my QCX as my main rig for DXing (with and without a 100w amp) 

Out of memory??

73 Steve G4EDG

jjpurdum
 

I seriously doubt there is enough memory left for Hans to cram much of anything else into the QCX. However, a second Nano with a button cell for powering it in sleep mode could be added either externally or as part of the QCX+ breadboard space. A RTC (Real Time Clock) module can be had for around a $1 (eBay: 202988008138) and even has a button cell holder on it. The new Nano software could manage the interface to the LCD as well as formatting the date/time. It's not a GPS, but it might be good enough.

Jack, W8TEE

On Saturday, June 6, 2020, 11:00:31 AM EDT, g4edg via groups.io <g4edg@...> wrote:


At the risk of brimming the bucket of new ideas for the QCX/QCX+ I  wonder if there would be sufficient interest in the following?

The recent addition of a clock display on the LCD is a great idea, but without using a GPS always resets to 00:00 upon being powered up. Ive looked at the possibility of keeping the 328 powered up by a backup battery, but even with two alkaline AAs this setup wont last long. It appears the 328 is capable of being put into various levels of "sleep" at very low power consumption but this would require software changes along with a soft on/off switch...maybe the new switch on the QCX+ is a sign?!  

At least with the clock resetting to 00:00 at each power up reminds me of just how long I've been whiling away tuning the bands.

Secondly, the simple low cost encoder used for the tuning matches well with the software, though I find the 100Hz rate, while tuning fast enough, the steps are a bit coarse, while the 10Hz rate is lovely and smooth, takes an age to QSY any decent amount.

Ive got a lovely 400ppr encoder, but if I try this on the QCX any rotation of the knob past a snails pace causes missed pulses. I wonder if the encoder could be polled more frequently without compromising other features?

I'm approaching this from the angle of using my QCX as my main rig for DXing (with and without a 100w amp) 

Out of memory??

73 Steve G4EDG

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

One first comment , some of us call the general trend here
creeping featurism.  When you do this you start adding features
that are only that.  They add no critical function nor make it
lower in power consumed or directly improves the usefulness.

AN external TOY cock chip run on back up battery.
That would solve the problem.

Stuffing a nano, first is just another atmega328 and also its board to
add,  bad choice when space and power are critical.  That serial to
USB part is not a power aid.

The fix for lack of flash and ram then would be a bigger MPU
say the Atmega2650 (serious SMT).  The 64 pin TQFP or
100ball BGA should more than stop a few from repairs or 
plug in upgrades.

Most of the 400P/R encodered are far to high resolution for the task
and even using interrupts strain the 328 if other tasks are needed.
That requires a different structure in the firmware to keep it all working
and likely more space too.  Also with 400p/r the tunign rates have to
be tweaked to suit the fact that before it was slower with fewer P/R
rate encoder.

But hey we can keep adding to it until the basic function is totally lost.

Allison
-------------------------------
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No private email, it goes to a bit bucket due address harvesting

Arv Evans
 

Jack, and others

Some time ago I played with several versions of RTC modules from Ebay sources.  These use various clock chips (get and review the datasheet) with slightly different functions.  Some include a tiny variable capacitor for fine tuning the clock oscillator.  

My interest at the time was to do something like a GPS receiver but without the location feature (I usually have a pretty good idea of my location).  Date and time was accurate enough for digital modes.  Some of these modules can be configured to output a 1 PPS tick that is stable enough to use for VFO correction adjustment, similar to the 1 PPS from a GPS receiver

These RTC modules are reasonably priced and easy to incorporate into your designs if you just want accurate date and time but do not need to know your location.  There are several example code sets in the Android IDE  and on the Internet.

Arv
_-_


On Sat, Jun 6, 2020, 9:07 AM jjpurdum via groups.io <jjpurdum=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I seriously doubt there is enough memory left for Hans to cram much of anything else into the QCX. However, a second Nano with a button cell for powering it in sleep mode could be added either externally or as part of the QCX+ breadboard space. A RTC (Real Time Clock) module can be had for around a $1 (eBay: 202988008138) and even has a button cell holder on it. The new Nano software could manage the interface to the LCD as well as formatting the date/time. It's not a GPS, but it might be good enough.

Jack, W8TEE

On Saturday, June 6, 2020, 11:00:31 AM EDT, g4edg via groups.io <g4edg=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:


At the risk of brimming the bucket of new ideas for the QCX/QCX+ I  wonder if there would be sufficient interest in the following?

The recent addition of a clock display on the LCD is a great idea, but without using a GPS always resets to 00:00 upon being powered up. Ive looked at the possibility of keeping the 328 powered up by a backup battery, but even with two alkaline AAs this setup wont last long. It appears the 328 is capable of being put into various levels of "sleep" at very low power consumption but this would require software changes along with a soft on/off switch...maybe the new switch on the QCX+ is a sign?!  

At least with the clock resetting to 00:00 at each power up reminds me of just how long I've been whiling away tuning the bands.

Secondly, the simple low cost encoder used for the tuning matches well with the software, though I find the 100Hz rate, while tuning fast enough, the steps are a bit coarse, while the 10Hz rate is lovely and smooth, takes an age to QSY any decent amount.

Ive got a lovely 400ppr encoder, but if I try this on the QCX any rotation of the knob past a snails pace causes missed pulses. I wonder if the encoder could be polled more frequently without compromising other features?

I'm approaching this from the angle of using my QCX as my main rig for DXing (with and without a 100w amp) 

Out of memory??

73 Steve G4EDG

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

Is this to be a clock or a radio?

Part two if in the field do you carry a GPS or digital smart phone?
Do you need redundant time?

I'm trying to understand why this is a critical feature.

Allison
-------------------------------
Please reply on list so we can share.
No private email, it goes to a bit bucket due address harvesting

Jim Allyn - N7JA
 

On Sat, Jun 6, 2020 at 09:51 AM, ajparent1/KB1GMX wrote:
some of us call the general trend here
creeping featurism.
Hey, I know how that works: they want more, more, more, but don't add any cost to the product or time to the schedule.

Andy Brilleaux [O.B.E. pending] <punkbiscuit@...>
 

On Sat, Jun 6, 2020 at 05:51 PM, ajparent1/KB1GMX wrote:
AN external TOY cock chip run on back up battery.
Ahem ;-)

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

Andy,

Forgive me I could not resist.   FYI TOY is Time 0f Year,
and there are many time keepers like the infamous Dallas DS1287
with the internal 10 year battery, likely measured in dog years.

Allison
-------------------------------
Please reply on list so we can share.
No private email, it goes to a bit bucket due address harvesting

ajparent1/KB1GMX
 

Jim,

or the famously annoying 1+.

They never ever held a product up.

Allison
-------------------------------
Please reply on list so we can share.
No private email, it goes to a bit bucket due address harvesting

Andy Brilleaux [O.B.E. pending] <punkbiscuit@...>
 

On Sun, Jun 7, 2020 at 07:33 PM, ajparent1/KB1GMX wrote:
Andy,

Forgive me I could not resist.   FYI TOY is Time 0f Year,
At least it gave a good chuckle, today has been very boring otherwise ;-)

Steve in Okinawa
 

Time and ear stimulation, in one zero-power, steampunk accessory.

Gwen Patton
 

How about a USB-C port and built in sink circuit, so a Power Delivery battery bank can plug into it directly? I plan to do that with a couple of my QRP rigs. I just have a smart cable adapter at this point.

If you already have a PD bank and/or charger, your be able to use it for your phone, tablet, laptop, AND your radio. One less battery pack to haul around.

There might be ways to use USB-C for audio or data connectivity as well.  I'm not as up on those applications yet, but I'll keep pecking away at it.

73,
Gwen, NG3P


On Mon, Jun 8, 2020, 12:43 AM Steve in Okinawa <sfab43@...> wrote:
Time and ear stimulation, in one zero-power, steampunk accessory.