Saturday, 7 May 2016

More Pixie fun

I haven't been on my blog recently but that doesn't mean I have not been actively seeking more QRP adventures. I had been enjoying messing about with a Pixie 2 given to me by M0SIY when he almost died laughing at the strange chirping signal it produced. The good news was I was able to get it to play ball and started to modify the little rig to cover more frequencies with switched crystals and a ceramic resonator to allow me to cover more frequencies with the little gem.

The picture shows, left to right,my amplified speaker, 30m, 40m and 20m versions of pixies lined up next to the key. Indications on my meters suggest I'm getting 500-600mW from the rigs with 12v input voltage about 200-300mW with a 9v battery.

So during my trials I was enjoying the fact that the kits are so cheap that you can mess about with them until you can't find anything else to do with them but without adding any stress on the bank balance. I ordered three other boards, some inductors, crystals and variable caps and set about getting a pixie on 80m, 40m, 30m & 20m. I found that changing the crystals and adding a variable capacitor inline with the crystal was enough to get it working but I also needed to changed the pi output filter with differing values of caps and inductance but this is far from hard work and most rewarding for the efforts.

I haven't been able to make any contacts of value and have had a handful of Reverse beacon network spots but the real fun has come from throwing such simple rigs together and the knowledge that has been gained in the process of building VXOs and optimising the rigs.

The best outcome overall is the awesome fun I have had over the last few weeks messing about with the kits, the next stage will be to add an AF narrow filter for the CW reception to improve and to stop me listening to what feels like a whole band at once. 

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