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LCWO Discussion Forum [Atom LCWO Forum Feed]

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Thread: Has anybody ever built a Pixie or a super cheap CW TX-RX?

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Posted: 2018-04-21 18:15
I wonder if anybody has ever built a super cheap/disposable CW transceiver (like the Pixie). And if so, has it helped you with conquering the fear of CW?

Posted: 2018-04-21 23:00
Is there a radio club in your neighborhood? Go there, they will help you, with a sked or a direct over the table QSO. The "two boys at the kitchen table" method.

Or the by Ryan proposed use of a speech channel via Internet.

Small transmitters are nice, but your antenna must be good in order to prevent disappointment. A full size dipole on 40 m will be nice at night.

Posted: 2018-04-22 00:22

Yup, bit noisy and chirpy and not very stable.

What's this fear of CW ??

If anyone doesn't like your slow transmissions, messups with understanding abbreviation etc,
wave them goodbye and find someone else who isn't so unpleasant . . .

Posted: 2018-04-22 05:33
We have 8th to 12th grade students build pixie kits. They divide into teams and practice CW. After a few weeks we go back to the school and hold a competition. The kits have very limited range with 1/2 watt, single frequency, and no keyer. Unless you have a friend to communicate to practice with I do not see the value.

Go to websdr dot org and listen to real QSOs. Tune around, you can find nearly any speed. No sign up or registration required.

Try 80m or 40m at night or 20m during the day. Around 7050 kHz or 14,050 kHz is best for slow code. Go lower for faster.

Posted: 2018-04-22 21:27
Some easy Pixies don't have RIT. The XO frequency then has only a shift of ~100Hz between Rx and Tx, which makes the reception more difficult.

That Pixie from eBay does have a built in RIT and the reception tone seems to be ok. But the attached crystal is a 7023kHz. I would recommend a frequency between 7030 and 7035 kHz (in Europe).
The output power depends a little bit on the pa transistor. Up to 1 Watt should be possible from a 12 Volts battery and the right transistor like a 2N3866 or similar.

Another difficulty is the lack of any filter. You can hear crystal clear signals on both sidebands +/- 10 kHz. In case there is a contest, you might listen to 40-50 Signals in the same time.

One possibility would be, to combine the Pixie with an audio filter. For example:
Hi-Per Mite Active CW Filter
SOTAbeams LASERBEAM variable audio filter
Youtube: Building a Resonant CW Speaker

Posted: 2018-04-26 08:18
Pixie mods:


Posted: 2018-04-26 20:21
I've build a 40 meterband pixie. But i doubt it if it worked, never heard anything.

Posted: 2018-05-01 22:06
The Pixie was my introduction to CW & QRP. So far I've built three Pixies, two Rockmites, A Frog Sounds and a Micro Mountaineer and I have a QRP Labs QCX coming my way. These were a cheap way of practicing soldering to start with, this then developed my interest in learning CW. The kits can be hit or miss, most of mine were missing something, usually something easily replaceable like a resistor or capacitor. One kit came with parts for a different kit, and one came with no ICs. Two Pixies worked, but as I don't have a license as yet, I can't transmit so no idea how well it performs in that respect. But on my 40m dipole, I seem to receive pretty well in the evening. One rockmite went bang on powering up (certainly made me jump!), the other only receives. The Frog Sounds transmits but doesn't receive. Amazingly, the Micro Mountaineer (which had the missing components, was put together with bits salvaged from other kits and with no instructions) works! So, all good fun (even the ones that didn't work were fun building). The QRP Labs will be getting built slowly and more carefully than my usual slap dash style! So plenty of time swatting up for my licence and for learning morse.

Posted: 2018-05-02 16:45
Suggest the QRL Labs QCX (http://qrp-labs.com/qcx.html). The kit has received very good reviews in several publications. There are quite a number of YouTube videos about the kit. For me, a big drawback of kits can be finding an enclosure. The QRP Labs folks are working to address that at this time.

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