QRP Labs news (New QCX-mini)

Hi all

QCX+ announced in pre-order by QRP-Labs

73 Éric


Hello Eric,
Thanks for relaying the info.
I have a QCX (not the + one) to built; do you know what is the difference?
73 from F6HBI Gerald

I thought Hans previewed some sort of multi-band multi-mode SDR radio a while back. Did that not get into production?

Hi Gérald @F6HBI
There is the differences with between QCX and QCX+

. New kit: QCX+ replacing the QCX
From: Hans Summers
Date: Thu, 14 May 2020 19:45:11 UTC

Hi all,

9,937 QCX kits have been sold since the launch in August 2017. The current batch of kits are almost at an end. Despite the huge number of kits sold to date, the ongoing demand is still very strong. It became apparent to me that regardless of what other new kits come later, there will always be a place in many radio ham’s hearts for a high performance, mono-band QRP CW transceiver kit. With its high performance, easy to build and use, CW decoder (including practice mode) and keyer, etc etc., the kit has also proven attractive to newcomers to amateur radio and/or CW.

But I wanted to fix some of the things that have always nagged me at the back of my mind since the start. For the YOTA 2017 summercamp hosted by RSGB in UK, I was under such tight budgetary and time constraints that I had to compromise on certain things. Particularly the inconvenience of fitting the QCX into an enclosure due to the connectors on the two sides, with controls and LCD all at different heights. This has been a distinct disadvantage in many people’s mind (though also unleashing much creativity among mechanically inclined constructors).

QCX+ is the replacement for the QCX. No more QCX kits will be made. You can read about the QCX+ here QCX+ 5W CW transceiver kit .

The QCX+ development is complete, it is currently in production and will be shipping in mid-June. I am making this announcement now, to allow pre-orders, since the current batch of QCX kits is now practically finished.


QCX+ is the same circuit as QCX.
QCX+ runs the same firmware as QCX.
QCX+ operates just like a QCX.

The changes in QCX+ are as follows (summary, see QCX+ 5W CW transceiver kit for full details):

  • Optional beautiful extruded aluminium enclosure
  • Much larger PCB. The PCB area is more than doubled. This permits a less dense component installation, following feedback from some constructors who found the QCX PCB rather densely populated. The main PCB is 13 x 10cm (compared to 8 x 10cm in QCX).
  • Thicker PCB traces (at least 16mil, rather than 12mil in QCX)
  • Traditional front-panel arrangement: vertical front panel PCB holds LCD and controls, rear horizontal PCB has the main circuits. Pin-headers connect the two.
  • Power on/off button on front panel
  • All connectors are on the rear PCB edge
  • Two additional 3.5mm stereo jack connectors for PTT (50W PA) and CAT control.
  • 2.1mm barrel connector for power
  • 7805 bolts to rear panel for heatsinking
  • Three BS170 PA transistors and the MPS751 keying envelope transistor are now bolted flat on the PCB for heatsinking purposes - reducing probability of overheating
  • Lots of pin headers and test pads for debugging, extending, experimenting, modifying etc., including modifying the purpose of the rear panel 3.5mm jack connectors
  • Plenty of space for modifications and experiments
  • C24 increased to 470uF (quieter Tx/Rx transitions in full-QSK mode)
  • Incorporates IC3 pin 13-14 10K resistor mod PTT signal mod

Due to the 2.2x increase in PCB area, additional inter-board connectors, switches, hardware etc., there is a modest increase in price from $49 to $55.

The price of the optional enclosure kit is $25. The combination of QCX+ and QCX+ Enclosure is still cheaper than the combination of QCX and the most popular enclosure (BaMaTech aluminium enclosure).

Manufacturing is already underway and PRE-ORDERING is now open, for shipment in mid-June 2020. See QCX+ 5W CW transceiver

Comments welcome

73 Hans G0UPL

73 Éric


Hi Richard
Yes Hans working on the QSX
Take a look here :

73 Eric


Another link to find a complete data for the new QCX+

73 Éric

Lots of hardware differences (as noted above), but the same electronics and software.

I also have a Rev 5 QCX (not plus), a related GPSr kit, a Slop Bucket (that eventually arrived via various approximately antipodean parts of the world), a touch key, and possibly one or two other radio-related electronics projects waiting to be built in my Copious Free Time…


The QSX is certainly taking a while, almost a year since the last update. Still, better late and working than early and a dog’s breakfast.
73 de OE6FEG

There’s some interesting hackery going on on the QCX mailing list with software and modified QCX boards to get SSB working. For instance, see GitHub - threeme3/usdx: Simple and experimental (class-E driven) SSB transceiver.

I like it. Wish I had soldering skills for SMT components!

There are two SMD components but both are preinstalled. I just ordered the kit since that is true.

73, Dave AE9Q

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My bad. I took a closer look at the photos and what I thought were SM components are actually what appear to be connection points for other components like a PTT switch(??).

Hi all,
Hans just add a new accessory for the QCX+ :
From: Hans Summers
Date: Mon, 18 May 2020 20:11:58 UTC

Hi all

The QCX+ dev board kit is now a reality see QCX+ Dev Board at US $9 and is also an option when purchasing a QCX+ kit. I completed the PCB layout and sent it off to be manufactured. Production of this kit is easy and schedule is the same as the QCX+ (mid June shipping). This kit consists of PCB, mounting hardware and some connectors (see below).

Anyone who wishes to add this to their existing QCX+ order may do, by sending me US $9 via PayPal to my usual email address AND you must also send me an email too. Privately, not in this thread please! Anyone who has already emailed me about it, has no need to email me again. I will take care of those already.

The following description is copy and pasted from the shop page:

The QCX+ development board kit is for anyone who wishes to experiment or modify their QCX+. The development board kit consists of a kit of parts including a PCB with the following features:

  1. High quality, double-sided PCB sized 95mm x 120mm (see PCB CAD exported diagram in the photo attached)
  2. Through-hole plated holes with solder pads on top and bottom sides, on a standard 0.1-inch (2.54mm) matrix
  3. Ring of holes around the outside edge are all connected to ground
  4. Holes in the PCB are drilled to allow a screwdriver adjustment of the C1 trimmer capacitor, and the three trimmer potentiometers
  5. holes for fitting pin header connectors that mate with connectors on the main QCX+ PCB, for
    a) Power (Gnd, +5V, 12V
    b) Si5351A Clk0/1/2 outputs)
    c) I2C bus
    d) ISP header
    e) Frequency counter, DVM and RF Power inputs
    f) I and Q outputs (IC5 pin 1 and 7)
    g) I and Q path phase shift outputs
    h) CW filter input and output
    i) Audio amplifier input and output
    j) GPS header
    k) CAT control and PTT signals
    l) All pins of the PTT, CAT and Audio connectors

The dev kit consists of the following items:

  • 95 x 120mm PCB
  • 4pcs 12mm nylon hex spacer for mounting the PCB above the main QCX+ board
  • 8pcs 6mm M3 nylon screw
  • 8pcs 2-way female header connector
  • 1pcs 20-way male header connector (may be broken into smaller pieces as desired)

For anyone that needs more connectors, these are standard and very commonly available items so you will be able to get them, no problem.

It will be very interesting to see what people make using the dev boards!

73 Hans G0UPL

73 Éric

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He announced a temperature controlled crystal oscillator (TCXO) for the QCX+ the day after the dev board.

The QCX+ 25MHz TCXO module option provides frequency accuracy and stability to your QCX+

This is a tiny, ready-assembled PCB measuring 14.8 x 10.5mm, containing two capacitors and a Temperature Controlled Crystal Oscillator (TCXO).

Installation in the QCX+ is very simple. It replaces the 27MHz crystal and 0.1uF capacitor C2. The TCXO module has a cut-out so that it fits over the Si5351A chip on the main QCX+ board. Three pads (Ground, VDD and Out) on the TCXO module are connected to the main QCX+ PCB by soldering off-cut wires through the corresponding pairs of holes.

The TCXO module was tested from 4.5C to 65.5C. The graph above shows the corresponding output frequency change, in parts-per-million (ppm). Basically from 4 to 65C it was within +/- 0.25 ppm.

USD $8.25


It is good news that the QCX will live on as the QCX+.

Hi all
Latest news from QRP labs :
QRP Labs July 2020 newsletter July 2020 newsletter
73 Éric F5JKK

“Therefore I have undertaken to consider carefully whether it is feasible to produce another batch of the original QCX kits, or perhaps a new smaller layout QCX using SMD components.”

I hope Hans does release a SMD QCX. I would definitely buy one then.


Hi all QCX followers (QCX, QCX+)

You may have soon a Mini QCX :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: his name is QCX-mini !
Take a look here :

73 Éric F5JKK

Edit :
here the message from Hans Summer G0UPL :

QCX-mini update
From: Hans Summers
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:23:28 UTC

Hi all

I am excited to provide an update on the QCX-mini project QCX-mini 5W CW transceiver kit

Again to stress: QCX-mini has the same schematic (almost), firmware, operation and performance as QCX and QCX+. It is just a different physical manifestation. This is not a major R&D effort. It is a pleasant breather. The tasks are limited to mechanical re-engineering and some re-documentation later. So please don’t all start yelling at me about what I ought to be spending my time and energy on instead.

To summarize: I laid out a PCB. Two in fact (it’s a sandwich). And got some made. I have ordered two sets of components and one set arrived yesterday; the other (the bulk of the R and C, SMD parts from Farnell UK) will arrive in about 1 week. I designed an enclosure and made technical drawings, and my usual enclosure factory has produced a prototype to my specification, which is in the post and will likely get here in about 2 weeks from now.

So far everything fits together very well and at this stage I do not anticipate any major roadblocks.

It’s a really beautiful little radio! I am looking forward to hauling myself to a nearby mountain to try it out.

73 Hans G0UPL


Thanks for the info Eric. I have already built two “old” QCX and like them very much. Even though I don’t do much CW. The QCX-mini looks interesting. Ideal for SOTA. I continue to wait for the QSX and hope it will be released soon.

73 Marcel DM3FAM

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Hi all,
Last update on QCX Mini :+1:

here the latest news on dev :

73 Éric