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The QCX Mini: A truly Miniature QRP CW Transceiver

In May 2020 the QCX was killed off in favor of the larger, easier to assemble QCX+, and as a result, Hans over at QRP Labs found himself in a bit of a quandry! A lot of people loved the new radio, but a surprisingly large contingent of hams said “It’s too big!” Their primary use of the original QCX was Summits On The Air (SOTA) and other portable activities that favored the small size and weight of the original QCX. And here the new QCX+ was larger and heaver. What to do?

The Solution: QCX Mini

Hans listened, and he got to work designing another variant of the QCX, the QCX Mini. Smaller, Lighter, but the same circuit and firmware just as the QCX+ is. Many surface mount parts are used, and they’re preinstalled at the factory. Check out this photo from QRP-Labs.com:

Truly miniature indeed. And with this announcement over at the QRP Labs groups.io page, we learn that they’ll be ready for sale by December 2020. Great work, in a short amount of time! Be sure to go over to QRP-Labs.com/qcxmini.html to read about the development of this new, smaller version of the QCX.

As a side note, I think this is a very cool product not because of what it is specifically, but rather why it is. Hans really listened to the community has even involved the community in the development as seen at the links above. Well done, Hans. That’s a great way to run any kind of business!

2 comments

  1. Thanks for the article! and Many Thanks to Hans!

  2. I’m looking forward to trying one out in the Spartan Sprint. The combination of high performance, low weight (outside the enclosure), and reduced power consumption (allowing a smaller battery to be used than the standard QCX) should make it a good rig for that event.

    The reduced power consumption comes from two things. Most of the op amps (except for the first one after the mixer, where the lower noise of the original part is important) are replaced by parts that use less power, and you can turn off the backlight with a menu option. It also switches to a black on yellow-green transflective LCD instead of the white on blue transmissive LCD to make that possible; the blue one can’t be read without backlighting.

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