Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Marking time with a Pixie..

Noticed that John Clements, KC9ON, who produces the outstanding aftermarket boards capable of reaching back in time and bringing the Heathkit HW-7s and HW-8s back from the stone age, has come up with some interesting products for the low-end Chinese kit market. These are principally his Pixie Switch which turns the $5 Pixie kit into a little radio capable of four channels.

John also offers a kit package including the Pixie kit and his switch and three 40 meter crystals: 7030 Kc, 7055 Kc, and 7110 Kc. The intent is to use the 7023 Kc crystal in the Pixie to round out the four frequencies. Intrigued, I sent off for several copies of the Pixie plus switch package, a couple of extra switch boards and a crystal pack. In addition to that, I got a Chinese Frog Sounds QRP kit off of eBay that should arrive sometime in the next decade.

Anyway, I gave one Pixie plus switch to N6VCW to keep him busy and, since I had some spare time waiting for NorCal 40A parts to come, I put the other package together. Here are some pictures.

Now, I am not sure if the kit works correctly or not. It seems to be constantly on transmit so I have to go back and debug the circuit but, for as simple as it is, I followed the parts placement diagrams very carefully. I am guessing I will have to review the circuit and double check the details. But, suffice to say, it was good soldering practice and seems to emit a clean signal. It hears quite well on 40m -- at least from my signal generator -- and the front end is as wide as a barn door. There's also the added bonus of being able to listen to KFI out here in Southern California on 640 Kc.

So an Collins 75S-1 or a Hammarlund HQ-180 it ain't!

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