It’s Working!

Apart from an astoundingly simple audio alarm and several car stereo installs, I’ve never built any actual electronic devices.

So I’m actually rather impressed that I managed to cobble together a Pixie_4.1 from parts and with only a schematic and some rather worthless Chinese-language only instructions:

E4GA1lNISMCba95Lt25wkwIt even works, as well. I’m sure nobody was nearly as surprised as I was.


No idea how much power it puts out — maybe 250mw or so. Which, on the 40m band is quite sufficient to get out. Fun fact: No amount of power in the world will get out if there’s no path for the energy to travel. I once had a QSO from Denver, CO to South Africa (about 15,000 km) with only 250mw.

Anyway, back to the Pixie: I did switch out the originally-included 7.023MHz crystal for the 7.030MHz (upper left quadrant) to keep in my license band. I’m not ready to upgrade to Extra, so for now, I’ll stay in the General area of the bands.

There are a few things I’ll do as well:

  • Change out the crystal to something like SIP connectors so I can easily swap crystals out.
  • Add a 9V connector.
  • Add a BNC type connector to aide with connecting an antenna rather than the two-pin connector.
  • Somewhere I’ve an Altoids tin that I’ll see about putting it in.

These are incredibly inexpensive, and, for me, rather relaxing to go about sorting through parts, assembling, soldering, de-soldering, testing… perhaps I’ll see about even building another. Just because.

Next, I’m quite interested in having a go at assembling the QRP Labs QCX CW Transceiver kit (greater complexity) and even a DSO138 Oscilliscope (SMD and smaller components) as well. Obviously, I’ll need to improve my CW skills, and I even have a J-37 key that K0AOG gave me many years ago… but I don’t have the needed manual dexterity or hearing (different story), but I’ll get to that.

Oh, Amazon… you so funny…

I use Amazon for everything.

Seriously, everything.

Well, except for certain food-stuffs.

So, anyway, I’ve observed that Amazon is placing a greater dependence on USPS to help with the package deliver. When it was FedEx or UPS handling delivery, the tracking info was spot-on.

If we were to go out to retrieve a delivered parcel, and find it’s not there, it means one of a few things: It wasn’t delivered. Or, it was delivered but snatched by porch-pirates. Or it was misdelivered.

But now with USPS is in the mix, the tracking info is, well, less than spot-on.

Now it says “Delivered” or perhaps “Your package was delivered and is ready for pick up” but neither of them mean that it was delivered at all. Now what it likely means is that the parcel was handed off to the USPS to handle the last-mile delivery to the consumer.

Delivered could well say, “Your order is somebody else’s problem now.”

So, we’ll return to the old-days of “we’ll get to it when we feel like it”. And don’t even think about the number of packages that will be eventually discovered in dumpsters or wastebins.