QSX (QRP Labs SSB Xcvr) is a 40m SSB transceiver. It will have an optional 10-band (160m-10m) filter module, and an optional extruded aluminium enclosure. This will make an all-band HF all-mode 10W High performance transceiver.
The kit inherits all the functionality of the famous QCX single-band CW transceiver kit but adds SSB, AM, FM, PSK31 and RTTY. This will be the lowest cost all-HF radio available but also high performance and packed with features. These are the planned features of QSX:
- Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology with standalone Digital Signal Processing (DSP), no PC required
- Very high performance 24-bit Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) and 24-bit Digital to Analog Converter (DAC)
- 40m (single band); or with optional extra board, 160-10m (10-band, including 60m)
- Modes: SSB, CW, AM, FM, PSK31, RTTY, WSPR beacon
- Power output: 10W from 13.8V supply (power output is adjustable by the firmware)
- Single power supply needed, 12V to 14V
- USB host interface and connector, for USB keyboard to allow PC-less operation on PSK31 and RTTY
- USB device interface and connector, for PC CAT Control
- QSX can appear to a PC as a high performance 24-bit USB sound card and radio - for digital modes from a PC e.g. FT8, either demodulated or as I-Q for PC SDR programs
- Built-in CW IAMBIC keyer (or straight keying also possible) with raised-cosine key-envelope shaping
- DSP features (selectable sharp filters, AGC, Speech Compression, Noise Reduction etc.)
- Dual microphone inputs (mobile phone headset with VOX, or RJ45 connector for Kenwood/Yaesu mics)
- Dual VFO (A/B/Split), frequency and message memories
- Through-hole assembly only
- Built-in test equipment features for alignment, debugging and general purpose use
- Detailed assembly manual
- Macro facility for user defined sequences of operations, or redefinition of controls
- Front panel: 16 x 2 LCD (yellow/green backlight), 2 rotary encoders, 4 buttons, mic/earphones socket
- Soft-power on/off switch, the radio saves its state automatically on switch off, so that it starts up in the same state next time
- Free firmware updates for life, very simple firmware update procedure via a USB memory stic
QSX is still in development! The above list is subject to change. The following is a FAQ with information about QSX.
When will QSX be available?
We don't have an exact date, it depends how long it takes to finish all the above features and manufacture it etc. *Hopefully* something like November 2018, but this could change. Any updates will be published on this page.
Can I pre-order?
No. We aren't taking pre-orders at this time. Previous experience has shown that taking pre-orders before the development is finished adds to the stress and administration workload. The effort is better spent focusing on finishing the development!
What's this about YOTA 2018?
The QSX (40m version) was constructed by the attendees of the Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) 2018 summercamp buildathon in South Africa in August 2018 (therefore technically, a wintercamp). The full set of features wasn't completed in time for the summercamp but will be made available to the attendees over the coming weeks as it is developed.
Can I be a beta-tester?
Thanks but we don't need any more beta testers at this time!
What about X, Y, Z feature, and when will QSX be available, when can I order it?
Email us. But questions will be answered only if they are not already handled by this FAQ page. This way, we can concentrate on the hard work of finishing the development.
How much will QSX cost?
We aren't sure exactly yet. It is expected to be somewhere in the region of $75 or the 40m single-band version. Addition of the 10-band filter module and the anodized black aluminium enclosure should take it to around $150 in total. These are ballpark figures and subject to change.
How will firmware updates be installed?
QSX firmware updates will always be free for life. The firmware update procedure is very simple. No special hardware or software is required! Just copy the firmware file (with .QSX suffix) onto a USB memory stick, plug it in the back of the QSX, and select the firmware upgrade option in the Setup menu. The crypto bootloader we developed installs the new firmware in Flash memory.
Is the firmware Open Source?
In common with other QRP Labs projects, QSX firmware is not open source. It's sometimes a contentious issue for debate, and we are aware of the pro's and con's. For now we have taken the decision to NOT publish the source code.
What are the performance specifications?
QSX is designed to have high performance, and be compliant with all regulatory requirements such as FCC regulations on spurious emissions. Exact specifications will come later.
Here are some photos of the QSX transceiver (40m single-band version) in the prototype extruded aluminium enclosure. Since I cut the rectangle and button holes and screw holes by hand, the precision isn't very good. The final manufactured version with factory cut and silkscreen printed front and rear panels will look nicer. There are currently three boards: the front panel board, rear board, and PA board.
These photos show the PA Board. More details on this, later.
YOTA 2018 buildathon photos
These pictures show some of the 2018 Youngsters On The Air summercamp happily working on their kit. YOTA 2018 summercamp was hosted by SARL in Johannesburg, South Africa. The buildathon day in South Africa was 12-Aug-2018. Finishing the kit in the allocated time was always going to be impossible. Some constructors could not be dragged away from their workbench. I went to sleep at 1am, leaving 12 people still soldering in the conference room. There were still some pictures of people continuing until 3:30am and I heard that a few did not sleep at all that night! So, some finished it; others continued in spare time on subsequent days; others took it home to finish gradually at their own pace. All participants were given the choice of three QRP Labs kits: Clock kit or Ultimate3S kit for 20m or QSX kit, in ascending levels of difficulty. By far the most popular choice was the QSX.
Faith Hannah AE4FH interviews QSX designer Hans G0UPL at YOTA 2018