In the last post I reported that I had made contact with the T32C team on 40M with 4W from my Norcal 2N2/40, and also with 4W on 80M from my Tut80. The goal was to make a contact with them on every band I have capability for here, which meant just one more band – 20M with the first beta version of Jason NT7s’ CC-20. Last night I achieved that goal, and was surprised at how easy the mechanics of it was with this monoband QRP rig. What made it easy was Jason’s recent addition of XIT to the firmware. If you push and hold the tuning encoder in for half a second, on releasing it, you hear a morse code “R” in the headphones and the front panel LED lights, indicating that you are in RIT mode. Holding it in for another half second gives you an “X” in the headphones, and the LED flashes, indicating that you are in XIT mode, giving you independent control over your transmit frequency.
Here’s where it gets neat. While in RIT or XIT mode, if you briefly depress and release the tuning button, you can listen on either your transmit or receive frequency, which is very useful for finding out where stations are calling during a split-frequency operation in XIT mode. Press the tuning knob once, and you hear an “R”, meaning that you’re listening on the receive frequency. Push it again and you hear a T, which means that you are now listening on the transmit frequency. Also, while in RIT or XIT mode, pushing the FREQ/OK button (one of two front-panel pushbuttons) will trigger a readout of the frequency difference between your receive and transmit frequency in morse code. When operating normally, this button triggers a direct readout of the operating frequency. If you look at this new picture of my first beta version, you’ll see one addition; the front panel LED to indicate RIT/XIT mode. You’ll also notice that I forgot to install the screws on the side of the case for the photo. The screws have been off recently, as there have been several firmware updates while Jason fine-tunes the firmware:
It has been fun watching the CC-20 slowly take shape and for a compact and trail-friendly radio, I do believe this is about as full-featured as they come. This is not a final spec – that will have to come from Jason, but here’s a rough list:
*Rx current consumption ~ 40mA
*Tx output power 2W
*Full band coverage (14 – 14.35MHz) from a rock-solid DDS VFO with fast (100Hz) and slow (20Hz) tuning steps
*Readout of operating frequency in Morse code, also readout of difference between receive and transmit frequencies in RIT and XIT modes
*Readout of battery voltage in Morse code
*Built-in keyer with two programmable memories (I think this will be increased to 4 memories for the final production version)
*This kit will make extensive use of SMT devices. Models available for 40, 30, 20 and 15. Not sure if Jason’s planning an 80m version
* The board will come with the micro-controller installed and pre-loaded with the firmware, though the source code will be freely available for those who want to write and share their own code.
If I had a multi-band HF rig, I’d be gunning for a clean sweep with T32C on all HF bands on CW. The one band on which I’d really like to make contact with them on though is 160M. It would be a real challenge from this QTH.
As well as our current beta-testers Mikey WB8ICN, Paul K3PG, and Brian N1FIY, we will be welcoming John AE5X and two more beta testers for the second round of testing before the CC-series becomes available as a kit. Fun times!