I’ve been sat twiddling my thumbs waiting for my Pixie transceiver kit to arrive so that I could crack on with my computer CW project, which has allowed me to hit the forums and have a general scout around as to how best to utilise it or even pimp these things for other applications.
By absolute coincidence the guys at FPARC posted an idea on the club forum yesterday suggesting that the Pixie kit would be an ideal club project for those new to construction or looking to complete Intermediate Licence builds. There was also the suggestion of a workshop tent at the forthcoming field days and then the idea of a Pixie net and test transmissions across the parade ground at the fort. Brilliant!
Like everything once a pool of like minds get together the ideas start flowing including the brilliant suggestion of using a piece of free DSP filtering software on a Netbook to give a much clearer reception of a single signal as the front end on a Pixie is “as wide as a barn door”. Again an excellent idea.
One suggestion I stumbled on in kb2hsh’s blogspot was the idea of using a K1EL K16 keyer kit between the Pixie and the Morse key to allow a paddle or Capacitive Touch Key to be used with it as, in its native form the Pixie will only work with a straight key.
Ironically this diminutive device replicates nearly all the features of the Winkeyer which I commented on in my first post about computer generated CW.
Although I’m not planning to use it for all of the features at the outset it’s useful to have around as a potential “evolving” project. Again its another waiting game while the USPS delivers!
Now as much as I’d love to splash the cash and by a really nice Morse key to join my growing pile of kit, I am actually starting to get the hang of my touch key and the action is making sense. Ironically the CW Geeks Guide to choosing a Morse key makes comment about how it takes real practice to make dits and dahs that are the same length over and over and reports of arm ache after about 30-40 mins use with a straight key. Added to that I built my Capacitive Touch Key and it’s a waste not to use it.
There are loads of good sites out there discussing everything to do with Pixie Transcievers, and a select few are here for reference
I also stumbled across literature relating to one of the iconic homebrew QRP transceivers, the Forty-Niner
Once again there are a host of Chinese clones available as above but at the minute I’ll stick to my Pixie and Frog builds as, at the end of the day they all do pretty much the same thing.
The Foxx range of kits are still popular and companies such as Kanga still supply them.