Radio Preppers

General Category => Technical Corner => Topic started by: gil on August 21, 2017, 07:13:54 AM

Title: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: gil on August 21, 2017, 07:13:54 AM
http://qrp-labs.com/qcx.html (http://qrp-labs.com/qcx.html)

Impressive list of features! I have one on order for 80m.

(http://qrp-labs.com/images/qcx/photos/2.jpg)


Better hurry on this one guys, there is a limited number available...

Gil.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: cockpitbob on August 21, 2017, 09:34:42 AM
NICE!  Thanks for posting that.  I just ordered one, also in 80M.  It was $55.30 shipped.  I don't know how they make any money with the prices they charge.  Shipping was cheap enough that I assume they are in the U.S., but I can't find where they are located.

This will be a nice fall project.  Naturally I'll design a 3-D printed box and make a few available for members here that have been around a while.


Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: gil on August 21, 2017, 11:09:25 AM
Awesome Bob. By the way I have made the Nescaf filter, and the video is set aside for when I won't have anything to post on Youtube. The only issue with this new kit is having to cut a rectangle window in an aluminum case... Oh well... Other than that it's great!

Looks like I have serial #254.

Gil.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: Sparks on August 21, 2017, 03:55:16 PM
… I assume they are in the U.S., but I can't find where they are located.

I also wondered about that. This is what I found out. The owner of QRP Labs is a British ham:

G0UPL Hans Summers. — Email: hans.summers@gmail.com

Check Podcast Episode #125 here:

Quote from: www.qsotoday.com/podcasts/g0upl
As a 2009 QRP ARCI Hall of Fame inductee - Hans Summers, G0UPL, is an electronic experimenter and amateur radio innovator extraordinaire. Hans pays careful attention to compact and minimal parts count to achieve the design goals of his homebrew projects. Hans is the owner of QRP Labs joins Eric, 4Z1UG, in a conversation about QRSS slow data transmissions, high altitude balloon transmitters, and shares his ham radio and electronic builder story.

Websites:
http://www.hanssummers.com/home.html (http://www.hanssummers.com/home.html)
https://www.qrp-labs.com/ (https://www.qrp-labs.com/)
https://shop.qrp-labs.com/ (https://shop.qrp-labs.com/)
https://www.facebook.com/QRPlabs/ (https://www.facebook.com/QRPlabs/)
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/QRPLabs/info (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/QRPLabs/info)

Edit: I removed his complete home address, found on QRZ.com. All other information is publicly available.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: cockpitbob on August 22, 2017, 10:27:44 AM
Gil, I can't wait to hear what you think of the filter.  I built my filter and Pico-Keyer and but haven't quite finished the box to put them in, so I haven't tried the filter yet.

Sparks, thanks for the background on qrp-labs.com.  I got the sense they were from across the big pond, which makes the low shipping cost impressive.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: gil on August 22, 2017, 12:56:52 PM
Same here Bob, no case yet. The filter works fine. It does add a bit of complexity to a rig with the added wires. A better thing to do might be putting it in a box along with the transceiver PCB... Or making a battery/filter/speaker box...

Gil.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: caulktel on August 24, 2017, 07:05:29 PM
I've been looking at this QRP Labs kit all week and finally decided to order a 20 meter version. It looks pretty complex for the price. Now I will have to brush up on my CW skills. I hope somebody makes a after market case for it, I bet they do.

Joel
N6ALT
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: swxx on August 24, 2017, 11:12:57 PM
Thanks Gil! So great and useful to be on RadioPreppers.com! I bit the bullet immediately, as need at least ONE QRP rig sooner than later, while I dilly and dally and save up for e.g. PFR-3b. I ordered one for 30m. Impressive that it has a CW decoder built in, not much use if you cannot send CW, but useful perhaps for when you are sleeping and someone else is keeping watch on frequency. Nice that it has, presumably also beacon mode, for auto CQ. I chose 30m due to all-round propagation: possible for DX every day (or night) but also good regional coverage. In higher latitudes not as useful as 40m, and not nearly as many stations available as on 40m, but, I like the DX. Noise levels there during TWAWKI are also much lower. But for portable use and TEOTWAWKI probably 40m would have been much more useful. One can always order another one hopefully, later, always good to have 2 different rigs in case one breaks.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: swxx on August 24, 2017, 11:29:49 PM
Caulktel I hope there is a case too. Still, it'll work without one, we hope :-)
Shipping is from China. If they smuggle them across to Laos it'd be even cheaper!
I'll report my number when known so we can see how fast they are going, I bet fast.
Good voltage range 8-14V wonder if 8V really produces 3W and how much 12V produces.
200Hz CW filter with no ringing sounds good, though hopefully it also allows filter to be off/wide?
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: swxx on August 25, 2017, 03:24:18 AM
Got my serial number, it is over 600! "your order is a PRE-order for a kit from the second batch of 500, which is expected mid-September." Unsurprisingly this is popular. Unsurprisingly many found out about it before we did, but I'd not have known if not for RadioPreppers.com!
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: cockpitbob on August 25, 2017, 07:42:29 AM
I ordered mine a few days ago and it's serial number 301.  I just checked their website and to they just shipped #175.  Looks like I got in just before a big run on them.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: swxx on August 25, 2017, 08:55:46 AM
You should have told me I'd have ordered mine a few days ago  ;D
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: caulktel on August 25, 2017, 09:55:49 AM
SWXX,

Mine is number 628. Also, I believe Hans ships from Japan.

Joel
N6ALT
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: caulktel on August 25, 2017, 09:58:30 AM
Gil,

According to the instructions you are going to have to wind your toroid messy because it's for 80 meters, sorry:-(

Joel
N6ALT
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: gil on August 27, 2017, 02:54:07 PM
Darn, oh well... I wish I could also get one for 30m too. I was just thinking that if I bought a 2-band K1 I would choose 30 and 80m... If I could have only one single band radio I would get a 40m rig, but I already have a bunch of those...

Gil

Sent from my SM-G928F using Tapatalk
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: cockpitbob on August 28, 2017, 10:52:46 AM
Meh, the 5 toroids to wind doesn't look too daunting.

I just downloaded the assembly/user's manual.  137 pages!!!  It's very nicely done!  This is clearly a labor of love.

It has power consumption curves for Rx and Tx for the various bands.  Rx is a little high at 130mA.  The backlight current is 15mA, so running that through a switch could save a little.  But then, with a battery pack of three 3,000mAh Li-ion batteries, it will run this thing in Rx for 23 hours.  That's plenty of operating time.

Tx power and current are about the same for all bands:
5.0W   @ 15V,     520mA  65% efficiency
4.25W @ 13.8V,  475mA  65% efficiency
2.75W @ 11V,     400mA  63% efficiency
1.75W @ 9V,       350mA  56% efficiency
1.0W   @ 7.5V    300mA   44% efficiency

It looks pretty bullet-proof since it's rated for operating from a 7V - 16V power supply.  That's a really wide range.  I like that it will operate down to below the voltage of a discharged 3 Li-ion pack (about 7.5V).  I get to use the whole pack.

There's so much information in the manual that I can tell I'm going to learn a lot about radio circuit design :D
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: cockpitbob on August 28, 2017, 11:00:03 AM
NEXT KIT TO SHIP
    serial number
   184
 :P
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: caulktel on August 30, 2017, 06:16:01 PM
I just finished reading the circuit description in the manual, wow! Hans has really thought this radio out, in fact there are a lot of features for the price. I really like the class E final amp. A couple of years ago I built the NM0S NS-40 CW transmitter which is also class E amp and very efficient, 5 watts out of a IRF-510 that runs cool without a heat sink. I'm kind of surprised Hans didn't one Mosfet vs three of the smaller BS-170's. Anyway, this is going to be a cool radio. Building in the tools to balance the I/Q phase is a nice touch too. All for 51 bucks:-)

Joel
N6ALT
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: swxx on August 30, 2017, 09:59:27 PM
I think backlight is as much as 35mA. There is this suggestion too aside from switch:

Quote
Modern LEDs as used in today's LCD displays will provide fairly bright
illumination at currents of 3 to 10 ma.  Try using a larger resistance
value in series with the backlight LED.  Usually 1K in series with a 5V
or 2.2K with 12 volt source is adequate for both day and night viewing.
Experiment to see what is best for your particular situation.

Also this can be made dual band (not instant switch over, but still...) without too much trouble, here regarding 20/30m:

Quote
You won't be able to use the band pass filter T1 on either band. It is single band because it is quite sharp (see spectrum analyser traces in the manual). You could probably find a number of turns for the tuned winding of T1, which allowed the trimmer capacitor to tune for either 20m or 30m. Measured tuning ranges are also published in the manual. BUT, it would mean that when you want to change band, you would need to re-peak the BPF each time using the self-alignment menu item "8.7 Peak BPF".

You could build the LPF for 20m and operate 30m into it but you may not achieve adequate harmonic suppression on 30m band.

The Class-E resonant circuit is quite broad and you could find a compromise-value, it would probably result in a little loss of efficiency and power, but may be acceptable.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: gil on August 31, 2017, 03:39:18 AM
Quote
I'm kind of surprised Hans didn't one Mosfet vs three of the smaller BS-170's.

Steve Weber uses the same scheme for his MTR series. I bet that's where he got the idea...

Gil.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: cockpitbob on September 01, 2017, 11:43:20 AM

NEXT KIT TO SHIP - Still
    serial number
   184
No change in 4 days :P
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: swxx on September 01, 2017, 08:58:29 PM
These are being shipped from China so I wonder what the situation there is. If your number is 493+ then that's in the second batch which is allegedly in 2 weeks time. How many are in that batch? One would hope 500 otherwise we're in trouble.

The rate at first was averaging 10 sent out per day, but that was a small time sample so no good indication of longer term. If it is, and now it has dropped way below that average, we won't get our QCX this year. So they certainly need large quantities AND full time sending out, which I don't know how that can be afforded easily even in China.

I think the better option if they can arrange it, is to have this done across the border in Laos. The postage is crazy cheap, and the cost of living is less. That's how some of the Pixies are sent out.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: caulktel on September 02, 2017, 05:01:40 PM
Sparks and all,

QRP Labs was on Yahoo groups, but has move the group to https://groups.io/g/QRPLabs

Good move in my opinion.

Joel
N6ALT
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: cockpitbob on September 26, 2017, 10:05:43 AM
I got the email that my kit shipped yesterday(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/Emoticons/party_zps2d69794f.gif) (http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/Emoticons/party_zps2d69794f.gif)
The email asks that I email them when it arrives so they can track shipping time statistics.  I like these guys.



NEXT KIT TO SHIP
    serial number
   318
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: caulktel on September 26, 2017, 10:31:27 AM
These are being shipped from China so I wonder what the situation there is. If your number is 493+ then that's in the second batch which is allegedly in 2 weeks time. How many are in that batch? One would hope 500 otherwise we're in trouble.

The rate at first was averaging 10 sent out per day, but that was a small time sample so no good indication of longer term. If it is, and now it has dropped way below that average, we won't get our QCX this year. So they certainly need large quantities AND full time sending out, which I don't know how that can be afforded easily even in China.

I think the better option if they can arrange it, is to have this done across the border in Laos. The postage is crazy cheap, and the cost of living is less. That's how some of the Pixies are sent out.

Actually, they are being shipped from Tokyo Japan.

Joel
N6ALT
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: gil on September 26, 2017, 10:35:51 AM
Mine shipped too but nothing so far...
Gil

Sent from my SM-G928F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: caulktel on September 26, 2017, 10:44:23 AM
Mine is going to be a while, number 628.

Joel
N6ALT
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: gil on September 26, 2017, 02:28:08 PM
Christmas... 2019...
Gil

Sent from my SM-G928F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: cockpitbob on October 04, 2017, 03:32:08 PM
I just got a box from Tokyo 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

Lately I've been working my a$$ off nights and weekends.  I think I'll take some time for myself this weekend and build it (even though I have an un-built Frog Sounds and a Pixie that needs debugging.)



NEXT KIT TO SHIP
    serial number
   506
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: caulktel on October 04, 2017, 05:28:55 PM
Congratulations Bob,

I hope you enjoy building it. Mine will be awhile yet, but that's okay I'm in no hurry. I think I'm going to mount the display and all controls off board so I can put it in a nice case later.

Joel
N6ALT
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: cockpitbob on October 04, 2017, 10:39:37 PM
Anyone already have plans for the enclosure?  I signed up for the QRP-labs group(like a yahoo group) and someone there found a metal enclosure that's a perfect fit.  There's pic in the link below, but I'm not sure you can see it without joining.
https://groups.io/g/QRPLabs/topic/qcx_perfect_encosure/6080634?p=,,,20,0,0,0::recentpostdate%2Fsticky,,,20,2,0,6080634 (https://groups.io/g/QRPLabs/topic/qcx_perfect_encosure/6080634?p=,,,20,0,0,0::recentpostdate%2Fsticky,,,20,2,0,6080634)

Here's the link to the box:  $11.46 shipped from China
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Split-body-Extruded-Aluminum-Box-Enclosure-Case-Project-electronic-DIY-110-88-38/380955959898?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D45728%26meid%3D43bf45d8db544dbaa54e6904f2953a22%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D171357381954&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Split-body-Extruded-Aluminum-Box-Enclosure-Case-Project-electronic-DIY-110-88-38/380955959898?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D45728%26meid%3D43bf45d8db544dbaa54e6904f2953a22%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D171357381954&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851)

I'm toying with the idea of designing a 3D printed box.  It won't be metal/shielded, but it will be lighter and I can incorporate a battery compartment or make room for an EFHW coupler.  I also don't feel like trying to put a neat, perfectly square hole for the display in an extruded box or fuss with getting the length of a bunch of standoffs just right :P  OTOH, I've found 3D designing an enclosure is very time consuming and tedious (at least for me ::))
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: gil on October 05, 2017, 05:19:50 AM
Thanks Bob! I still don't have mine. It's been 25 days since shipping...

Gil.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: caulktel on October 05, 2017, 05:15:39 PM
Soon
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: Steve 7931 on October 20, 2017, 09:47:31 AM
OK. After reading through this topic, I have placed an order for the QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver kit. Today.
I just had to join in the fun.
I am new to this site and fairly new to the hobby, licensed in 2014.  However I did build my first 80 m radio transmitter in. 1968 !!!  It took till I retired to find the time to study and pass the Exams. Now a full UK Licence holder and holder of a French callsign as I have retired to France.

My radios include a Kx1,  a K2 , and  MTR 5 B  ,  all for QRP Operation in the field.

As a longtime Scout, I have long interest in Survival and Prepping Subjects with radio being the latest addition to the skills levels acquired.

73 Steve
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: cockpitbob on October 20, 2017, 10:03:14 AM
Hi Steve, and WELCOME aboard the board! ;D
That's a great selection of radios you have.  The only thing missing is a Pixie, 49er or Frog Sounds so you can claim you've made HF contacts on a radio you built for less than $20 ::)
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: Steve 7931 on October 20, 2017, 10:23:18 AM
Hi
Done that !!! Sir,

Cant say it was a big success however
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: gil on October 20, 2017, 11:31:05 AM
Hi Steve, where are you located in France?

My kit was returned to Japan! Sent again a couple days ago... Now I have to wait another two weeks!  :(

Gil.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: cockpitbob on October 20, 2017, 01:52:43 PM
My kit was returned to Japan! Sent again a couple days ago... Now I have to wait another two weeks!  :(

Gil.
Nuts!  Sorry to hear that.  It seems they have a problem with their supplier's shipping.  Not the first time this has happened, I believe.
Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: gil on October 20, 2017, 04:56:07 PM
My kit was returned to Japan! Sent again a couple days ago... Now I have to wait another two weeks!  :(

Gil.
Nuts!  Sorry to hear that.  It seems they have a problem with their supplier's shipping.  Not the first time this has happened, I believe.
Right... They probably sold a thousand... I hope I get it... You'd think the Japanese would be efficient... Seems like China is getting ahead for shipping reliability...

Gil

Sent from my SM-G928F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
Post by: Steve 7931 on October 20, 2017, 05:18:20 PM
Hi,
Sorry to hear that Gil about the delivery problems, at least you will not be too far ahead of me in the build timming !!!
I need to wait till middle of November I think before mine. is shipped, then plus two/three weeks before arrival.

I live about 40 miles inland of La Rochelle , near Vovent  85120

I was hoping eventually that we make contact on the airwaves, a perfect distance for trialing regional distance comms.

I have much in common with you I think ( Flying , sailing,  radio, ) so it may be some time before we run out of things to chat about !!!

Check out QRZ.COM   M0ZSM  for a short bio

Steve