QRP Labs QRSS/WSPR Kit (Part 2 – the User Interface)

Continued from Part 1

The user interface for the unit is a two-line LCD display, and two pushbuttons. The LCD is a good looking White on Blue backlit display. There are construction options to set autodimming of the backlight, and I may go back and set that up. As I built it, the display never dims.

The operating manual is 46 pages long, reflecting the large number of modes and options that are supported. The unit can transmit in a number of QRSS, Hellschreiber, Opera, PI4 and WSPR modes. The FSK setting for FSK QRSS are configurable, and there are many other options including setting up automatic frequency calibration based on the GPS time signal,

It took several passes through the configuration options while reading the manual to become familiar with how to configure everything. I was initially a bit frustrated but quickly became accustomed to it. It’s a good UI considering that there are only two buttons for navigation and entering data. Fortunately, users aren’t likely to have to reconfigure it very often once it’s set up.

I set mine up to use the GPS to automatically calibrate the oscillator frequency, and to send WSPR on all six HF bands.  I chose WSPR because I wanted to use WSPRnet to see what the propagation is like from my house. I’m driving a G5RV antenna that’s about 30 feet above ground level (when I’m not on the air using it as my 40m/80m antenna).

The manual mentions that for testing it’s possible to set it up to beacon using QRSS FSK CW, with a frequency shift of zero. This results in a constant output and was useful for testing.

I put the transmitter on the air overnight, and was really happy to see reception reports from as far away as New Zealand! Then I decided to put it on the test bench, which began an adventure covered in more installments to follow.


About Steve

I'm Steve Conklin, AI4QR I'm employed by Salesforce, on the SRE team for Heroku. Interests include Linux, open source software and hardware, electronics and music, and amateur radio.
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