05 September, 2014

So you want to play with a Pixie 2?

My own surface mount version of the Pixie2
Here's a guide in table format to minimalistic single-band amateur radio transceivers. The Pixie 2 and related kits are fun to build, yet they perform well enough to be used, although with some effort, for real contacts.

The idea of using the power amplifier transistor as a mixer seems to come from George Burt - GM3OXX - whose five transistor FOXX was described in 1983 in SPRAT. The basic design of the oscillator, PA/mixer and the simple keying has been more or less unchanged since Oleg Borodin - RV3GM - described the four transistor Micro-80 in 1992 in SPRAT. Then Dave Joseph - WA6BOY - replaced two of those transistors with the LM386 audio amplifier in the Pixie 2 (QRPp 1995). Most later versions are variants of these designs.

Here's the table of Foxx, Micro 80, and Pixie 2 kits: