I recently acquired a new toy donated to me by the presentation giver at our last club meeting. The presentation was on our new builders group that our club is putting together. Thanks to Craig Thibodeaux (KM4YEC) and the help of Dale Knight (AB4DK), our club is learning to build the equipment that we have come to use and love. So during the meeting we had a few giveaways that consist of different electronic devices. It just so happened that my number was drawn out of the hat so to speak. I won a small bag of parts and components that create what is called a Pixie CW Transmitter. After getting it home and searching through the bag of resistors and capacitors I realized there are no instructions. What do I do now?

So with limited resources and no access to internet, I realized I have no knowledge of resistors and how to read the value of each one. A day or so went by and I managed to come up with a basic schematic for my little pixie 4.3. still with no knowledge of how to read the values of the resistors and capacitors it dawned on me that I have a handful of old ARRL handbooks that I acquired through a good friend Ed Bradley (W4VGI). I sat down and looked through them and found exactly what I needed. With my not so steady hand and a little solder I began the assembly process of my first radio build. An hour or so later viola! I had in fact created a full functioning radio. Now all that is left is to test it out. I went and grabbed the dummy load and a power supply as I proceeded to hook it up. Still with the satisfaction of assembly on my face, I flipped on the power and it worked! Or so I thought. I hooked up the key and it transmits just fine however there is no oscillation. Now all that is left for me to do is troubleshoot. So I conclude with this. When left with what to do now, stop and think about who or what might help you through your problem. Thanks to Craig for the chance to build something really cool.



Jeremy Livesay

L.A.R.C. Club Director

One thought on “What Do I Do Now?”

  1. Back in my day, a one word response would all that is necessary: Cool…

    And this is the reason the Pixie was chosen as the First Project for the Builders Group. It was chosen as your experience has shown, it has so few parts, and is so simple, and yet as a fully operating CW transceiver it is very rewarding, very fast, very easily completed, and eventually it will be useable to put on the air and make a few very rewarding contacts. Without a Group, many projects die on the vine, before producing any whine…but, with the support of a willing Builders Group of ‘We Can’ Hams, you will soon be able to not only have your Pixie on the air, but be able to repair it yourself, and even explain how the circuits (of which there are again, SO FEW), to repeat, even be able to explain how the circuits work to allow the little bag of parts to Communicate with the World, with a finished radio that you can hold in palm of your closed hand….REWARDING….for the builder, and rewarding for me, to be a small part of spreading something that I am so passionate about. Pass the roll of solder….please!


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