Last night, NCRC wrapped up a three meeting long Club Build Project of a 40-meter QRP Transceiver “Pixie” kit.
We packaged the inexpensive Chinese QRP kit with sockets for the crystal and final transistor, plus two additional crystals (7.030 and 7.040) to go along with the stock Extra Class-only 7.023 crystal. About two dozen of them were purchased by members.
Over the past three meetings, we set up multiple assembly and test/rework stations. All but four kits worked immediately after assembly. Two had cold solder joints. One had a solder bridge. The only “mystery” turned out to be a LM386 that was on the high-side of its maximum current spec, which caused its power source to collapse. Everyone managed to get the right components into the right locations and there were no missing parts. All of the kits produced from 300 to 400 milliwatts of output power.
Willy, W1LY, and Bob, WB4SON, have been messing around with improvements for the Pixie kit for several months. Most of them have been documented on Bob’s website; you can see them here.
The Club wishes to thank our gracious host, KVH, for assisting us with assembly stations and space for the project, along with all the club mentors that were involved.
What might our next Club Build project be? Something Arduino-ish, perhaps?
Just a reminder that we will be having our meeting Monday March 13th at KVH Manufacturing, 75 Enterprise Drive, Middletown, RI, at 7 PM.
Following a brief business meeting, we will begin Pixie Assembly. We will have 8 assembly stations with mentors to help in the process. If someone has already completed their Pixie and wants to test it, we will have the equipment on hand to do so.
Speaking of the Pixie, don’t forget the section on our website which has a significant amount of information to help the assembly process, including a manual. http://w1sye.org/?page_id=3054
See everyone at the meeting!
Just a reminder that our monthly meeting will be Monday February 13 at 7:00 PM at KVH Manufacturing: 75 Enterprise Drive, Middletown, RI
PLEASE check the website before you leave for the meeting
— there is a small chance that we might get hammered with more snow Monday morning. We always post the meeting status in the news section of the website.
So what are Pixie Nights?
For the next three club meetings, in addition to a very short business meeting, we will be working on a Club Build project — A “Pixie”, which is a small, inexpensive, low power transceiver kit that can be used by anyone holding an Amateur Radio License.
For February’s meeting we will be holding a hands-on tutorial in soldering skills (and desoldering skills too). KVH has been nice enough to setup a large number of solder stations with tools for us to use. This is a unique opportunity, especially for those who have never done any electronic kit building. Mentors will be on hand to guide you through the process.
In addition, John, WA1ABI, will be giving an introduction to the Pixie hardware to give you a good understanding of how the circuitry works.
Subsequent meetings will cover assembly of the Pixie, as well as Debug and Test.
For $10, you can’t go wrong, and will be able to point to the tiny Pixie radio, knowing you built it with your own hands, and have a low power transceiver that members have been using to make contacts hundreds of miles away.
If you would like to purchase a Pixie kit and join the fun, we have them in stock. This is really a very fun assembly project, and we will be working with you hand-in-hand to teach you how to solder, how the kit goes together, and help get it on the air. To purchase your Pixie, please use the Paypal button on our website at this URL: