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Ordering

How to I order?
What payment methods are accepted?

Shipping

What do the status codes "Pending", "Complete" and "Shipped" mean?
How long will my kit take to arrive?
Why hasn't my kit been sent yet?
What is my tracking code?
My order hasn't arrived yet! Where is it?
Where are QRP Labs kits shipped from?
According to the tracking, my order has been stuck in Istanbul for ages! Why? 

Ultimate 3/3S kit

My U3S kit looks like it is working Ok on WSPR, and I measure power output, but I get no WSPR spots
My WSPR reception reports show drift - can I reduce it?
How much power output should I get on each band?
I added more BS170 in the PA but don't get more power.
Only THREE transmit screens show in the configuration, why can't I see 16?
The WSPR map shows me quite a long way from my actual location... why?
I accidentally applied 12V to my U3S and it won't work anymore... what can I do?

Low Pass Filter kit

What power output can the LPF kit handle?

How do I order?

Ordering is all done online at the QRP Labs shop! You can pay in US dollars, Euros, or Pounds Sterling.

What payment methods are accepted?

Add the items you wish to purchase, to your shopping cart. Then click "Checkout" and enter your shipping details etc. Finally, choose a payment method:

If you have trouble with these and wish to arrange payment by any other means, please Contact Us

My U3S kit looks like it is working Ok on WSPR, and I measure power output, but I get no WSPR spots

The most probable cause of your issue, is that you have not calibrated the frequency. If your kit is transmitting at an incorrect frequency (outside the 200Hz wide WSPR sub-band) then nobody will hear/report it. The 27MHz crystal in the Si5351A Synth kit usually oscillates 4 or 5kHz too high e.g. 27,004,500. The 27MHz crystal in the OCXO/Si5351A Synth kit usually oscillates maybe 2kHz too low e.g. 26,998,000.

A GPS such as the QRP Labs QLG1 can be used to calibrate the frequency. Otherwise, you will need to do it manually as described in the documentation. Even if you have connected a 1pps from a GPS receiver, you still need to set the configuration parameters properly. You must enable GPS by setting GPS mode to a non-zero value (The first parameter of "GPS {Mode Baud}". For most GPS receivers, set it to mode 2. Secondly you have to use a non-zero Frame parameter (the first parameter of "{Frame Start}". The "Cal {Step Time}" parameter must also be set correctly. The default "Cal {Step Time}" is "00 010" which will do a calibration for 10 seconds, but since the "step" is zero, no actual calibration will take place! 

You should set "Cal {Step Time}" to something like "30 240" initally. That means the "step" is 3.0Hz and the calibration time is 240 seconds. Make sure the gap between your transmissions is at least 6 minutes, to allow the calibration to complete. After the end of each transmission cycle, you would see the calibration take place. The progress bar gradually fills the screen, lasting 6 minutes. At the end, it will display the frequency change, and your new reference frequency. Gradually the frequency will converge to the correct value. After that the correction amount displayed will be sometimes positive, sometimes negative; usually a small value. 3Hz each step, for 240 seconds, means the maximum error that can be corrected in each calibration is 720Hz. So it will take maybe 1 hour (i.e. 6 calibration cycles) to reach the final value, something like 27,004,000 or 27,005,000 for the Si5351A Synth, for example.

Once the correct calibration is reached, you can set it to a finer value e.g. "01 240" that means 0.1Hz steps. This will keep the frequency accurate with slow temperature-related drifts. So please check your Ref Freq value - if it is not 27,004,000 or 27,005,000 etc then it means the calibration isn't done. Then check your "Cal {Step Time}", and run some calibrations as described above.

My WSPR reception reports show drift - can I reduce it?

Yes you can! 0Hz drift reports are possible even all the way up to the 2m band. Please refer to App Note AN001

The WSPR map shows me quite a long way from my actual location... why?

This is because the WSPR protocol normally only sends 4-character locators and a 4-character Maidenhead grid square can easily be 100 miles wide, or more. You can trick the WSPRnet map to record your 6-character Locator. Please refer to App Note AN002 for a tutorial about this. 

How much power output should I get on each band?

It depends how many BS170 transistors and what PA voltage you are using. Also there will be variations due to your LPF inductor winding precision and other variations. Furthermore, QRP power levels aren't easy to measure accurately, and everyone will measure something different anyway. But you can get some approximate idea of what I measure here from these two pages:
ultimate3/u3info/u3pa.html
ultimate3/u3info/u3sbifilar.html

Marcel ON7DY measured the following power output with 1 BS170 transistor at 5V, and 3 transistors at 12V:

Band 5V on one BS170 12V on 3 BS170
m mW mW
10 96 380
15 174 609
20 180 698
30 362 1410
40 381 2000
80 390 2130

I added more BS170 in the PA but don't get more power.

Adding more BS170 spreads the power dissipation between more transistors. It doesn't increase the power much, by itself. It also increases the capacitance (e.g. three BS170 gates in parallel triples the capacitance), which may actually decrease the power at higher frequencies e.g. 10m. In order to increase power output you have to increase the PA voltage as well! See: ultimate3/u3mods.html#morepower

Only THREE transmit screens show in the configuration, why can't I see 16?

There are 16 possible transmit configuration screens in the U3S but only three are shown in the menu, by default: screens 0] 1] and 2]. In order to show more screens you must adjust the TxS parameter, which has default value 02. Set it to 15 for example, to show all 16 screens. Just scroll through the configurations until you see the screen with TxS on it (right hand parameter of 5 parameters all in one menu item). Please also refer to the Operating manual.

I accidentally applied 12V to my U3S and it won't work anymore... what can I do?

Oops! Well you aren't alone. This has happened so many times to so many people, that I am adding it to the FAQ! Maybe you connected the U3S to a variable power supply and forgot to set it to 5V. Or maybe you had a power supply for the PA section and had it shorted to the 5V supply pins. Either way, the result is the same - the Ultimate3S is fried! 

Now the good news is that usually you do not need to throw it away and start again. In all our experience of helping people with this frequent issue, some items always survive, some are always fried, and some are sometimes fried, sometimes Ok (often depending on how long the 12V abuse was sustained). Many of the modules making up the Ultimate3S system are available for purchase separately. 

1) Processor: the processor is generally fried by the application of 12V. The datasheets say the maximum power supply voltage is 5.5V. 12V is a lot more than 5.5V and the processor chip doesn't like it, even for a very short time. You can purchase a new processor chip in the shop or program your own blank one.

2) LCD module: Although this is a 5V module, in our experience, sometimes this survives over-voltage, sometimes it does not. If you see rubbish on the display, garbled characters or random dots, then that is a fair indication that you have fried it. Similarly if you see nothing at all. On the other hand if you see on the screen the top row of 16 black boxes, and the bottom row blank, then there is a good chance that your LCD module survived! This is the default display on the LCD module, in situations where a microprocessor has not tried to send any instructions to display something meaningful. In the event that your LCD module is dead, you can buy a replacement 2 x 16 module from many suppliers, or inexpensively from eBay or others. The HD44780-compatible displays are very common, and the 2 x 16 format used in the Ultimate3S kit matches the commonly available types. Most have the same pinout and the same connector locations. You will need to carefully remove the 16-pin connector from the defunct display (it CAN be done! Slide off the plastic housing and remove each pin one by one, carefully - so that you can put the pins back in the plastic housing later). An alternative is to purchase the "QRP Labs Control Unit" in the QRP Labs shop. This is the basic kit bag that makes up the main board of the Ultimate3S. It includes the U3S PCB, LCD module, and other components. Note that it does NOT include the FT37-43 toroid or the processor, both of which are available separately. You can re-use your existing toroid without needing a new one. If you have a relay installed on your Ultimate3S board, and want to replace the board by buying a new QCU kit, then the relay will be hard to remove, so I suggest buying a new relay too

3) Si5351A Synth module: USUALLY this survives over-voltage. This is because the module has an on-board LM317LZ voltage regulator chip which lowers the supplied voltage to 3.3V for the Si5351A Synth chip. This LM317LZ is rated to withstand 12V (and more). In some cases the Si5351A Synth chip itself can be damaged, for example if 12V has somehow burnt through the processor chip and got back to the output pins of the Si5351A Synth chip. But this is unlikely. The Synth is tested by the processor in the Ultimate3S at power-up. When you have replaced the processor (see step 1 above) then an error will be reported if the Si5351A is damaged. In the rare event the synth module is fried, the Si5351A Synth kit is available separately in the shop

4) Low Pass Filter (LPF): this always survives, it cannot be damaged by using a 12V supply for your Ultimate3S

5) Relay-switched LPF kit: this usually survives just fine, since the relays are usually deactivated (their default "off" state) in the event the processor is fried. In any case the relay coils can probably withstand 12V temporarily without damage. So there is usually no need to replace the relay-switched LPF kit

6) QLG1 GPS Receiver kit: If you have one of these connected, the actual RF module will be Ok as it has an LM317LZ voltage regulator ahead of it. But the 74ACT08 level converter chip might have been upset by the 12V. In any case it is easy to see if it is Ok or not, since you can just watch the LEDs. Red should be always on. Yellow should pulse once per second. After a few minutes when satellite lock is achieved, the green LED flashes in time with the 1pps signal. 

What power output can the LPF kit handle?

The LPF kits can handle at least 10W.

What do the status codes "Pending", "Complete" and "Shipped" mean?

"Pending" means that you chose the bank transfer payment option, but your payment has not yet been received. 
"Complete" means that your order was correctly placed and payment was received. You will receive a confirmation email with the contents and shipping address etc.
"Shipped" means that your order has been shipped. You will receive a notification email with the tracking code. 

How long will my kit take to arrive?

Kits are normally shipped within 1 business day, if everything is in stock. If an item is not in stock (it is on pre-order), this will be normally be mentioned on the ordering page. When shipped, you will receive a notification email with the tracking code. Once shipped, please see shipping statistics here to see how long other shipments have taken to your country.

If your order includes the Enclosure and Accessories kit (including sets such as the Deluxe 6-band U3S set), please note that the enclosure and accessories kit is shipped separately from China; these are normally sent once per week, on the Monday or Tuesday after your order. Again please check the shipping statistics to see how long it will take to arrive. 

Why hasn't my kit been sent yet?

Normally kits are shipped within 1 business day of the order. If yours has not been shipped, it is possible one of the items in your order is out of stock, awaiting fresh supplies. n this case there would normally be a notification on the ordering page for the relevant item.

The enclosure (case) kits are shipped separately from China, once per week usually on Mondays or Tuesdays.

You will receive an email when your order has been accepted and payment made. At this stage your order status will be "Complete". Sometimes spam filters are over-enthusiastic and might put it in your spam folder - so it's worth checking that. When your items are shipped, you will receive an email notification (to the email address you provided on your order). The order status will be changed to "Shipped", and you will receive a tracking code. 

Note that the enclosure (case) kits are shipped from China and you get a separate email notification when they ship. If your order contains both the enclosure kit and other kits, then the "Shipped" status of your order is set when the rest of the kits are shipped, not the enclosure kit.

What is my tracking code?

When your order is shipped, you will receive a notification email containing your tracking code.

The enclosure (case) kits are sent separately from China. Adding a tracking code to the box is cheap in China. So we do have a tracking code for the enclosure shipments from China. Please contact us if you want to know your tracking code. Generally the tracking code isn't very useful, it shows when the package leaves China only. You have to use the postal service website in your own country to track it there, and by the time there is any tracking information, you probably already have the package in your hand! The tracking code has been useful though on some occasions, to help find a package which has taken a long time to arrive, or was returned due to an addressing error, etc.

My order hasn't arrived yet! Where is it?

Yes, our biggest headache: slow shipments! You can see how long past shipments have taken to your country on our shipping statistics page. You'll notice that some countries are a lot faster than others. Also in many cases there is a wide variation in shipping times. All that is beyond our control! Once the package has been shipped, it is generally beyond our control. You can get an indication of how long it will take, on the shipping statistics page

If you ordered the enclosure (case) kit and you chose the cheaper surface (sea) shipment option, then please be aware that this DOES take a long time, this is normal. 10 weeks is quite reasonable as you'll see from the statistics. Even air shipment from China is slower than the air shipment of the rest of the kits. 

On rare occasions shipments can get lost in the post. It does happen sometimes, unfortunately. We encourage you to wait as long as possible because very often it's just a case of a slower than average shipment, for whatever reason it is taking longer than usual to find its way through the postal system. But once you've really waited, sometimes we have to conclude the package is lost. We'll send you another one to replace it. Contact us.

Where are QRP Labs kits shipped from?

1) Most QRP Labs kits are shipped from Turkey
2) Enclosures kits (except QCX enclosure) are shipped from China, where they are custom-manufactured for QRP Labs. 
3) Certain kits are from time to time shipped from a US stockist, domestically to US customers only

Regardless of where your kit is shipped from, you should not normally have to pay any taxes or import duties.

According to the tracking, my order has been stuck in Istanbul for ages! Why?

No - you are misreading the tracking information. Please enter your tracking code on the shipping page. The tracking contains two sections. One is the tracking information query ran on the postal service in the destination country. The other is the tracking information query ran on the postal service in the origin country. Until the shipment arrives in your country, the most accurate and complete information will be found on the Origin section. 

The latest tracking entries are at the top; however, sometimes entries are out of sequence so always check the date and time on each entry to determine the latest one. 

You will find that typically around 3 days after posting, is the final tracking entry in the Origin country. It says: "The item was forwarded to the destination country". This means the package was put on a plane and left Turkey! It is not stuck. 

Now there is sometimes a long delay (weeks, even) before a new tracking entry appears, in the destination country. Typically the tracking entry only appears when the package is in the hands of the destination country's post service. The delay normally occurs while waiting for customs to clear the package. This can take a long time, for many reasons - they could be experiencing a particularly busy period such as the lead-up to Christmas, or industrial action, backlog after public holidays such as Christmas/New Year. Sometimes it also seems that political events play a factor too, foreign policy changes can also appear to affect customs processing times. 

Your package is not stuck in Istanbul, it is waiting somewhere - most probably in your country - do not worry, it will arrive soon. Again, you can get some idea for how long other people's packages have taken to your country, at the shipping statistics page