QCX in QRP Labs enclosure, by Greg W3NW

A lot of people have asked whether the QRP Labs enclosures can be used for the QCX. My answer has been, not easily - the problem is that the audio gain potentiometer in the QCX is slightly too large to fit in the available space to the left of the LCD module. Greg W2NW has shown how to resolve this problem, by using a smaller potentiometer. He also replaced the supplied rotary encoder with an optical rotary encoder type, which required no circuit or firmware modifications. I like the method of mounting the PCB in the top half of the enclosure, which keeps the LCD wires as short as possible. Greg writes:

"QRP Labs enclosure works very well for QCX even allowing enough space for an optic encoder.
PCB is mounted on the top shell of the enclosure.
Right and left internal PCB holding ridges on the bottom shell filed down slightly in the front to accommodate optic encoder and the volume pot as shown.
Mouser part numbers:
5K audio pot - 313-1200F-5K (supplied one is a bit big)
optic encoder - 62A01-01-050S
My QCX gives out 3 wts on 20 m, has great sensitivity, very low noise level and excellent unwanted side band suppression.
I changed audio filter for 480Hz as per directions on 4stateQRP web site with no issues."

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QCX-40 by Ed WA4MZS

40m QCX enclosure by Ed WA4MZS

Ed says: "Wired the cabinet for either AC operation or for DC with an external battery, selectable by a switch on the rear panel." 

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Beautiful small QCX enclosure job by John PD7MAA

John fitted the QCX in this small aluminium extruded enclosure, with the help of some button and shaft extenders. See the full story on John's blog at http://pa-11019.blogspot.com.tr/2017/08/qrp-labs-qcx-5-watt-cw-trx-kit.html

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Interesting QCX enclosure by Nigel M0NDE

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Nice compact enclosure by Vasil LZ1WF

Plastic enclosure, with 16V 2000mAh battery, and travel paddle.

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Smart custom-made PCB enclosure by Ken WA4MNT

Ken provides detailed construction information in this document (CLICK)

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FREE QCX case by Lou VK5EEE

Lou writes: 

"Finally hit on a FREE case that actually comes supplied with the QCX":

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It has SEVERAL advantages:

  • FREE (comes supplied with the kit)
  • Can be easily painted, labelled
  • Kept blank "as is" for spy radio set
  • Can open lid for access to LCD
  • Can cut display hole for LCD
  • Can plug in external key if desired
  • Can easily fit internal 9V PP3 battery
  • Extremely light weight
  • Fits into a large trouser or jacket pocket
  • Otherwise can be concealed in underwear
  • Easy to smuggle across borders
  • Can be set up with probe as "test gear"
  • Address can be removed for deniability
  • Inside of lid can be used for "cheat sheet"
  • No special tools required to "drill" holes
  • Protects against flies, eyes, spies
  • With umbrella protects against rain, snow
  • With ear phones is completely incognito
  • For traveling can be padded out with foam
  • Perfect fit, no need to adjust dimensions
  • Press lightly on lid to activate message 1

"I'm quite happy with it, and had been wondering about it for some time. Having now tried it, it is definitely a keeper. And all along we've been thinking the QCX comes without a case!"

QCX 30 in Hammond case by Robin HB9DEF

"I have recently completed my QCX for the 30m Band (Firmware: 1.00). I have mounted the PC board on a copper laminate board (see photo), which is placed inside a Hammond box. The LCD is mounted using plastic nuts and screws (M3) and rubber grommets as spacers. A discarded PC ribbon cable forms the connection to the LCD on the box side. The cable is routed underneath the copper board. All other connections to box sides are screened."

"The back of the Hammond box has on the LHS (as viewed in the photo) a DB9 PC male socket for the GPS antenna. I use a 5m DB9 shielded cable to a small plastic box housing the GPS board and antenna. Placing another DB9 socket on the GPS plastic box was a bit of a fiddle. Next to this socket is the power socket.  On its right is a fuse holder. Then a stereo jack socket for the paddle key. This is followed by a binding post for earth connection. On the right is a BNC socket. The RX gain control is on the left of the front panel and the rotary encoder on the right of the LCD. The encoder is mounted on a piece of Vero board to hold the shielded cable end."

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3-D printed QCX enclosure by David EA7HYD

"Box made with a small self-built 3D printer. I am very happy with my QCX kit. In the tests of the first day, transmitting with a yagui of 3 elements, OM gave me a distance of 7,500 km (4,350 miles) I did not believe it !! I worked with 13 volts, which gave me a power of 3.6 watts. I hope to get the same results in the field with a wire antenna (HI HI)."

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3-D printed QCX enclosure by Dave G8XUL

"My QCX in 3D printed case. The objective was to case the QCX with all controls mounted on the board and without shaft extensions. The box has room for a LIPO battery and has a connector for my GPS."

The design files are available on thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2661221 

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QCX-40 #943 in the 4 State QRP group's Little Blue Box, by Jim W0EB

Enclosure: http://www.4sqrp.com/Enclosures.php 

"Well, this enclosure for your QCX is doable, but definitely not for the faint of heart or for someone without at least a drill press (I have a small milling machine, even better) and a decent set of drill bits and files. Extreme care must be taken in making sure everything fits without interference."

"I ran into several cases where I had to rethink my original plan and remove something until I had another plug in place (power jack vs one of the ribbon cables for the display). Close, but it worked. The one thing you will have to do is mount the supplied volume control somewhere other than the front panel. I happened to have a miniature 5K volume control WITH on/off switch and a matching knob to fit the 1/8" diameter shaft. The push button switches are the microswitch type and just barely fit but they did work. I had to mount them a bit higher than I wanted to in order to clear the QCX PC board with the terminals on the switches. I also left the key and earphone jacks intact on the QCX board, drilling access holes in the two side panels to keep from having to run more wires over things on the board. The only place to install them otherwise would be on the back panel and that would put them close to the RF output. This way, I seem to have lucked out and now everything is shielded and I have a very clean sidetone during transmit and the RX audio is outstanding!"

"It was a three day project but it's done now and it works very well. One advantage of having it in an enclosure made of double sided PC board, once the lid is on, NO MORE RF OVERLOAD during transmit. Very clean receive audio, no clicks or pops even with the ribbon cable to the display running right over the top of everything as you can see in the pictures."

"I have ordered a 20 meter QCX and when I finally get it, I plan on putting it in the next size larger (Red) 4SQRP box (I do have one on hand) as that one will give plenty of room for everything and even space for a battery pack."

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Beautiful QCX-40 acrylic enclosure by Shig JA1XRQ

Shig has done a beautiful job on his QCX-40 enclosure. He also documented it thoroughly in this PDF document, and on his website

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20m QCX in eBay enclosure by Paul M0PNN

"Finished my 20m QCX apart from labelling the controls. First qso was with UR5LEH followed by IV3ZJJ all working fine as far as I can tell all fun apart from winding T1. I did think the audio was low until I heard a loud cw signal Wow that will teach me to have the volume up so far. The case I used is from ebay UK search for "ST643 5.8" DIY Metal Electronic Project Enclosure Box" though it does come from China. I had to fill the holes for the box feet because they were too close to the board holes. I drilled the holes for the board and used them for the plastic feet as well."

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40m QCX in aluminium case, by Nick VK4PLN

"Here is the inside of the case, see the speaker and its amp board, borrowed 5v from the gps socket for it, It came from a Dell Optiplex. It is wired into the switched phone jack so turns off when headphone are plugged in. I did try running it without the amp but has to turn the gain ot so high that the amps started clipping...
I am very happy with the result. The LCD is a good 11mm higher off the main board, I used a set of Arduino Stackable header pins to extend the LCD pins, Lifted it the perfect hight. The LCD is mounted to the lid, 4mm hex nuts are "JB welded" (metal epoxy) to the cover, and lcd fastend to this...
Also using a switched pot for GAIN knob and power on/off..."

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QCX-30 by G4GIR

"The enclosure is an RS Pt No 411-6632 TS1 sloping front panel, 58 mm rear height and 35 mm front height.
Have added facilities to select the test options from the front panel and fitted a 3A variable voltage regulator to adjust the power output.
Also fitted the VU2ESE AGC design in series with C21. The AGC is a very useful addition.
I have a small milling machine to machine the enclosure and the engraving was carried out courtesey of my brother (cost me a few beers).
It’s working very well with best QRB VK3AXF @ 16897km."

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QCX-30 by Martin G0PJO

"The box is a Hammond 1590BB (119 x 94 x 34mm) that I bought here:

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QCX in fleamarket case, by Earl 4Z4TJ

"I mounted the board in a case I picked up at a fleamarket and have been enjoying listening to the QCX this weekend. (some kind of Italian CW contest this weekend...) I am really impressed with the receiver performance. One issue I have noticed is that when a very strong station (i.e. S9+++) comes on frequency I have to tear the earphones off.:

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Rotary encoder dimensions

Someone was asking about rotary encoder dimensions, to help with designing an enclosure for their QCX. The image below is a dimensional drawing of the rotary encoder supplied in the QRP Labs kit. CLICK for larger version. 

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