Friday, July 17, 2009

My Tuna Can Ham Radio (Pixie 2)

Pixie 2 Transciever
I built one of the ever popular Pixie 2 Transcievers this week. It is setup for 3.597Mhz using a colorburst crystal. The enclosure is made from two tuna cans. I used a step drill from harbor freight on the can which made REALLY clean holes. I will always use one of those for sheet metal work in the future. The rig is a stock Pixie 2 except I used a 22pf cap in parallel with the slide switch for a 600Hz receive offset. I think this is an essential mod if you want to use the rig. I have had a partial QSO with the rig when Barney, N8HP helped me test it out. The outgoing signal is very nice, clean, and at the rated power. The receive required him to run about 0.5W on his rig for me to hear him. He was getting me at 3 S units above the noise. The audio is extremely low -- I do not hear ANY STATIC most of the time. My tests of the input sensitivity put it at about 1mV required to get any sound at all. It needs about 10mV to have a really useable signal. I am amazed his 0.5W made around the 10mV I needed from 12 miles away. My scope said the peak to peak voltage require was about 200mV. I have photos below of the assembled rig.