Monday, February 20, 2023

Testing out the new QDX GoBox

I love QRP Lab's stuff and and I've really enjoyed the QDX! I recently took my QDX and built it into a weather-resistant case I picked up at Harbor Freight. I used marine-grade HDPE plastic to create a panel that fit in the lid of the box. The box happened to have small cylinders in each of the corners, so I used by tap kit and cut some threads in them for screws. Then I mounted the QDX, a RaspberryPi-4 computer and 7-inch HMDI screen that runs on 12 volts. I routed all the wires behind the panel and down to the box. 

For the time being, I'm using pull-apart foam to hold things in place but I'm considering a more permanent panel in the bottom as well. Using a 6-amp/hour LiFePO4 battery, I powered everything in the box. The Pi and the screen run on a USB plug connected to the battery and the QDX runs at 12v via a buck converter to keep the voltage from spiking and risk blowing the power transistors. 

Stations which heard by signal on 30m
I took the setup to my local park and hung my End-Fed-Half-Wave (EFHW) multi-band antenna in a tree and configured it for 40 meters. I fired up WSJT-X and almost instantly I was decoding FT8 stations. I made a few contacts before switching to 10 Mhz. Fortunately, 30 meters was HOT with station consistently loud across the band. I then switched to JS8Call and, again, there were lots of stations. I sent a heartbeat and got a dozen responses. Sadly, I called CQ for about 15 minutes with no takers. 

Still, I seemed to be getting out nicely, especially according to PSKReporter. With the sun starting to set, I packed things up nd headed to the house. All in all, I am very pleased with the rig and the whole setup. Now I'm looking forward additional trips out into the wild!

Stations which heard by signal on 40m