(How's that for an creative page title?)


THE HEAVY DUTY PIXIE2 40 Meter CW QRP Transceiver

( AN / PIXIE-2 )


(State count as of 1/17/07)

For all the fun you could want out of ham radio, from a $9.95 kit... the PIXIE2:

The kit includes the circuit board and all components except for a crystal. You can build the radio for the band of your choice from 160 to 10. Add connectors, crystal, controls and can ( the 4 "Cs" ) of your choice. Many hams build these rigs into Altoid mint cans for a pocket sized CW QRP transceiver. There are endless modifications and tech hints for building / operating these wonder-rigs. Check out: http://www.qsl.net/we6w/text/pixie.html for a great overview of what can be done.


I just got this one back! It had been visiting WA3JJT in Erie, PA for a couple years. Steve just sent it back to me to take traveling this summer. It's the 40 meter version of the OHR-100A. This radio is sold by Oak Hills Research http://www.ohr.com in the form of a very easy to assemble kit. It is available in several bands. I have the optional electronic keyer installed in mine. Also the OHR DD-1 digital frequency display mounted on top of the raido is a great help. This is the radio I used to contact F6ARC in Gallardon, France while running .005 watt and a double bazooka antenna. I'm sure that my mountain top location and his big yagi antenna helped. The output power is adjustable from 0.0000 to 5 watts.



Here is my newest addition to the QRP collection. The ICOM IC-703. This one has a maximum power output of 10 watts CW and SSB, lower on AM. It has a built in automatic antenna tuner, that so far has been able to match anything I have thrown at it. The receiver is fantastic, but I had to add a 500Hz CW filter because the stock SSB filter is just toooo wide for serious CW work..

The little box, attached to the left side of the radio, is a "Zero Beat" detector. It is a Ramsey TD-1 tone adjusted to 750 Hz to match my keying offset. When the received CW signal is at 750 Hz, a red LED blinks following the incoming keying. The decoder is very sharp and assures fast easy tuning to the proper frequency. The board costs $9 from Ramsey. I hooked it to the 13 pin accessory jack on the IC-703 for power and audio connections.




Below is a new addition to the IC-703 setup (27 JAN 05). I know an amplifier doesn't belong on my QRP page, but I decided that sometimes ( like for skeds ) a bit more power can be helpful. I found the RM Electronics (Italy) KL-300P amp on ebay. You can find them often for around $110 to $120. Specs say it is designed for 3 to 21 Mhz ( yea right ) and you can get 140 to 300 watts output on CW. Actually, you can get about 250 if you don't mind radiating signals everywhere from DC to daylight. The output was filthy. Enter the model FL1 low pass filters from Communications Concepts. The are available for 160 / 80 / 40 / 20 / 15 / 10 meters and cost $12.95 per band in kit form . The box under the KL-300P contains filters for 80, 40 and 20. The 20 meter filter is also good for 30 meters. I assembled them with a bandswitch which includes a "Bypass" position for operating without the amplifier on other bands. With the proper filter selected I get roughly 150 watts output at 7 watts of CW drive. The output is extremely clean. I have not yet done any testing of the amplifier on SSB.


I guess I can't leave well enough alone. HAD to get the Ten Tec Argonaut V ( I use the excuse that I might want to do some SSB QRP work, but you will notice there is no mic plugged into it. Love the receiver, the IF DSP at 200Hz bandwith turns just about any CW signal into a clear channel event. The radio also does a Great job as a general coverage AM receiver for short wave listeners. It's a pleasure to operate! Click the picture above to link to Ten Tec's page for further details.

I use software from N4PY to make the operation of this "easy to operate" rig even easier. Mainly I use it for memory management and as a "at a glance" display of everything the rig is doing. For info on this and other software, plus all sorts of useful data on the rig, check out; http://www.n9vv.com/argonautv-resources.html

The LDG Z11 Auto Tuner ( sitting on top of the Argonaut V ) is a super QRP antenna tuner. You can pretty much hook it up and forget it's there. Too bad they discontinued it. Havn't heard any reports on their new tuner that replaced it.






E-Mail to Bob WB8CAC.