A short newsletter this month as time is forever short and I leave for Friedrichshafen early tomorrow morning, lots to do... this newsletter is also supplemented by the Dayton FDIM/Hamvention 2019 report at http://qrp-labs.com/dayton2019.html.
1. QRP Labs at Friedrichshafen HAM Radio, 21-23rd June
2. QRP Labs Hans G0UPL receives CW Ops award
3. Dayton (Xenia) FDIM/Hamvention, 16-19 May 2019
4. Balloon flights update: final flight tests of QRP Labs tracker
5. Social media, Feedback, unsubscribing
QRP Labs will be exhibiting at the HAM Radio hamfest in Friedrichshafen, Germany on 21, 22 and 23rd June. The booth is in the main A1 exhibition hall and very close to the entrance doors, a great location (ahem, not like at Dayton!). So be sure to visit QRP Labs first, just steer right a bit after you come through the entrance!
A good selection of most of the QRP Labs range of kits will be on hand to purchase and/or admire as usual. Or just stop by and chat!
It was my great honour to attend the awards banquet of the CW Ops club at Dayton on Thursday 16-May-2019 and receive the CW Ops award, in recognition of outstanding achievement in advancing the art of CW.
As I keep saying, I'd never qualify for entry into CW Ops club as my CW is just nowhere near fast enough (25wpm is needed)... I spend too much time designing and developing, and not enough time on air. So I was initially feeling intimidated but esteemed CW Ops members were very welcoming, and I was soon feeling relaxed (and well fed). I felt inspired to try and improve my CW; after not getting on air at all for a single QSO during 2018, I started a New Year 2019 resolution with the target to average at least 1 QSO per day during the year. So far I am at 278 QSOs year to date, all CW with the QCX - from Japan to US and all over Europe. So my skill is gradually improving.
The award was given in recognition of the contributions to CW made by the QCX 5W CW Transceiver kit, which at only $49 and with its high performance and host of features, has encouraged many new people to try CW for the first time; and indeed some have even started their entry into the amateur radio hobby due to this kit. The QCX kit continues to be very popular, from the launch in August 2017 to date, a total of 7,610 QCX kits have been sold!
The CW Ops club June issue of their newsletter "Solid Copy" is now published,and includes four mentions of Hans G0UPL in connection with the award and hamvention, on pages 3, 28, 31 and 35 (Thanks to Peter GM0EUL for pointing this out). You can download the newsletter, without being a member, at https://cwops.org/wp-content/
Many thanks again to the CW Ops club, it is really an honour and an inspiration to receive the award.
I had a fantastic time as usual at the Dayton FDIM/hamvention, with David VE3KCL manning the QRP Labs booth with me (THANKS Dave!).
I presented an FDIM seminar on Thursday 16-May-2019, on the topic of the forthcoming QSX all-band all-mode transceiver design. Vendors' evening was busy on the Thursday evening, then 3 days of hamfest craziness.
For more on Dayton 2019, please see this article http://qrp-labs.com/dayton2019.html where you can:
- Download the FDIM presentation slides, and the accompanying 34-page article for the conference proceedings book
- Link to the Ham Radio Workbench podcast, where you can listen to the audio recording of my presentation
- More photos of the CW Ops award for advancing the art of CW (see above)
- Photos from FDIM vendor's night and the QRP Labs booth at the hamvention
- YouTube video interview with Faith Hannah KD3Z of Ham Radio (dot) World http://hamradio.world/
- YouTube video interview with Frank KB4VU of the ICQ Podcast https://www.icqpodcast.com/
Following a lot of late night discussions (err, and early morning, all day, etc) between Dave VE3KCL and Hans G0UPL at Dayton in May, we'll make a final push to get the QRP Labs High Altitude Balloon tracker into production. This development has been going on for several years and often takes a back seat to more urgent kit developments; but it's time to get it finished now.
Right, this is a photo of the latest (and hopefully FINAL) prototype which will fly shortly. The protrusion from the board at the top is a micro-USB socket for configuration, and can be snapped off for weight-saving just prior to the flight.
The PCB is 1.3 x 0.97 inches (33 x 25mm) excluding the USB socket section. The final production module will be considerably smaller, but this one is sized like this to make it easier to build and handle by humans!
U3B25 by Dave VE3KCL
U3B25 was launched by Dave VE3LCL on 28-Feb-2019 and just never ends! This is a prototype test flight of the QRP Labs tracker.
U3B25 has now completed 8 laps of our planet, and is proceeding along merrily on its 9th lap. It has traveled 334,000km at an altitude just under 12,000m, flying now for 3.5 months. During all this time the hardware and firmware have performed flawlessly every day, never a single glitch.
- BLUE: Lap #1
- RED: Lap #2
- YELLOW: Lap #3
- PALE BLUE: Lap #4
- PINK: Lap #5
- LIGHT BLUE: Lap #6
- GREEN: Lap #7
- DARK PINK: Lap #8
- ORANGE: Lap #9 (ongoing)
For more details and live tracking, see: http://qrp-labs.com/flights/u3b25
U3B26 by Dave VE3KCL; U3B26 completed a circumnavigation of the world too, landing on its 14th day in Iran. See http://qrp-labs.com/flights/u3b26
U3B27 by Dave VE3KCL: U3B27 contained some important experimental changes designed to improve the endurance of the tracker after sunset. Typical flights lose power an hour after sunset (or more accurately, an hour after the angle of the sunlight on the solar panels becomes too low to generate sufficient power). At this time there are two problems:
- Lack of battery capacity to power the transmitter
- Temperature drops too low for the battery to work anyway
So U3B27 used a larger, 150mAh LiPo battery and a much larger enclosure, filled with aerogel insulation. The increased insulation maintains the temperature inside the box about 15C over ambient temperature. We observed that the flight continued transmitting each night for 4 hours after solar power ceased. It is nice to see the smoother looking track, because the night-time gaps in tracking are so much shorter. On some of the days U3B27 transmitted for 18 hours out of 24. The altitude (11,300) was a little lower due to the increased weight. U3B27 completed a circumnavigation but succumbed to high altitude icing on 08-Jun--2019. More details of U3B27 http://qrp-labs.com/flights/u3b27
Stella 19 and Stella 20 by Dan DL6OW: Dan DL6OW has done well with his two most recent launches, Stella 19 on 09-Jun-2019 and Stella 20 on 12-Jun-2019. Despite some GPS issues on Stella 19 it has still reported intermittently, last heard from over southern Russia near the black sea. Stella 20's most recent report is from Mongolia on 17th June. See http://qrp-labs.com/flights/stella19 and http://qrp-labs.com/flights/stella20 for more details, photos and tracking of these flights by Dan DL6OW.
Social media: QRP Labs has the following presence on social media. If you use these social media then please join or follow QRP Labs! Announcements such as new products, balloon launches, etc., will be made first in these media!
1) QRP Labs groups.io discussion group https://groups.io/g/QRPLabs for discussion and support on all QRP Labs products
2) QRP Labs Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/QRPlabs/
3) QRP Labs is @qrplabs on Twitter https://twitter.com/qrplabs
4) QRP Labs on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/QRPLabs
Feedback: As always, please do write with any comments, ideas, criticism, feedback of any kind!