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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Pixie2 Help

Reviews Summary for Pixie2
Pixie2 Reviews: 37 Average rating: 3.2/5 MSRP: $10
Description: Ultra simple HF QRP transceiver
Product is in production.
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KE8AOL Rating: 5/5 Feb 11, 2019 06:00 Send this review to a friend
Chinese Pixie 2 (eBay)  Time owned: more than 12 months
Cliffs Notes version of this review:
If you took Gilligan's Island seriously and yelled angry epithets at the TV, this kit is probably not for you. If one were to analogize this kit as an automobile, it would be nothing like a Cadillac but much more like the wooden thing that Stymie and Spanky rode, freewheeling down that incredibly long hill.


I bought 2 of these. Both had all of the listed parts. Expect about 4 weeks to arrive in the USA.
I am happy with the whole experience involving this kit.

>NOT INCLUDED with this kit, but necessary: A key. A power supply (9 v battery and clip connector or an AC adapter that is at least 9 volts to 12 volts maximum). A 9v (NEDA 1604) will not last long...a NiMH rechargeable would be smarter. An antenna and lead-in (I used very cheap 75 ohm tv coax). Headphones.

>The pc board is very nice but some might find the solder pads a bit small.

>Unless you have a plan for enclosing this, buy the kit that includes the clear plastic case...very much worth the extra cost.

>SOME OF THE COMPONENTS WERE SKETCHY. From past experience, I checked the components and, as before, many of the ceramic disc capacitors were way off of the stated values. This is potentially problematic in coupling stages and the harmonic filter network as they can throw off intended impedences and how much signal is passed on to the following stage. Some of the resistors are marked in the odd Chinese 5 stripe fashion. NONE OF THE COMPONENTS ARE SORTED OR LABELED. An ohmmeter and capacitor tester would be quite handy.

>The 7023 kHz crystal is fairly useless in the USA because it is only proper for those who are licensed to use 7000 to 7025 kHz. Even so, 7023 kHz is not the best place to be with a milliwatt transceiver. There are HC49/US crystals that are fairly cheap on eBay or
I use machined female header pins in the crystal and S8050 PC board holes to facilitate changing crystals and the S8050 if it overheats.

>The v4 no longer has BNC antenna and power supply jacks. Instead, identical pin/pigtail combos are used. This facilitates flexibility in fitting the board into an enclosure and deciding what type of connector you desire.

>Power output is 800mW (claimed) so bear in mind that the S8050 can barely tolerate that in real-world usage. Mine measured 410 mW. A bad SWR might cause sudden failure. A SS8050 would be better, perhaps. I believe that the tiny, cheapo ceramic disc capacitors are enduring voltages close to their limits. FOR THESE TWO REASONS ALONE, DO NOT APPLY MORE THAN 12 VOLTS.

>I managed a 300+ mile, half-hour contact on the first day of usage with RG59 coax and a simple dipole.

>The receive audio is borderline torture. The volume cannot be adjusted. Loud pops in headphones when keying are unpleasant. Substantial AM broadcast band (MW) interference persists during gray line propagation and into the night. THERE IS A NO-COST FIX for this (info is on the internet) that involves moving the diode that connects to the IC. There is much help and information about the Pixie 2 on the internet. Aside from that, the receive is good for a $4 transceiver. Transmitted key tone is very good.

>For those who aren't familiar with QRPp (under 1 watt RF output) operation, don't expect to make hundreds of contacts with these $4 kits. Performance varies seasonally and throughout the day and night. During the winter, I can hear my signal on webSDR receivers that are hundreds of miles away, every day. This is a $4 kit, so expect $4 worth of performance and you will probably be happy that you tried this ingenious circuit.
W9RAS Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2017 09:06 Send this review to a friend
Remove that annoying broadcast interference!   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First I am not sure the one I have is a Pixie2 I bought it on Ebay . I give the Pixie a 5 rating because 1-it is CHEAP got one on Ebay ASSEMBLED for 8 dollars DELIVERED I just got it in the mail 2 days ago.
2- It works! and 3 - It is fun QRP rig !
My antenna is a dipole at 40 feet and I worked 2 stations so far without to much hassle . I added 2 tiny IC type pin sockets the little round kind clipped out of a bigger IC socket for the crystals and made a oval hole in the case so I can change crystals easy. The crystals are pushed thru a piece of yellow tape folded over itself and labelled so they are easy to insert and pull out and I can read the frequency . Now how to get rid of the broadcast interference in my case I have a small MFJ antenna tuner Model 900 I was thinking maybe a bandpass filter would help with the broadcast interference then I thought of the antenna tuner aligned it with a MFJ 259 antenna analyzer tried it and it worked ! no more interferance then made another contact no problem . I checked on antenna tuners and the thru loss is miniscule and the SWR now is 1:1 at 7050 and less than 1.3:1 from 7 to 7150 . My dipole checks at 1.7 : 1 at 7050 it is tuned at 7.110 so SWR is much better across the whole CW portion with the tuner and like I say NO broadcast interference of course you may be much closer to an AM broadcast station than I am but a tuner should help . Making contacts I recommend listening a lot calling CQ does not seem to work well so LISTEN when you hear a station that you can turn the little trim pot and zero beat with then he is within a few hundred hertz of your frequency if he is coming in good call him thats it .... I have had it on the air less than an hour total so far and made only the 2 contacts however it is a NICE TINY FUN QRP RIG the PIXIE !
Its great 73 Bob W9RAS
NG9D Rating: 3/5 Mar 6, 2016 13:19 Send this review to a friend
Chinese Version Notes  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
There is a new version available from various sources in China on Ebay for as little as $3.56 including economy shipping. I got two on Amazon for $7.00. Anyway, The ones available from China are direct conversion CW transceivers. The schematic diagrams are on the web: The Y1 crystal oscillator Q1 transistor is always powered. On Transmit, closing the telegraph key powers the single stage power amplifier Q2 transistor by grounding the emitter and amplifies the crystal oscillator output. It has simple QSK, since closing the key also shorts the audio amp LM386 input to mute audio.

The amplified transmitter signal is fed thru the Pi output filter to a 50 ohm antenna and about 800mW is produced with a 12V power supply. Transmitter works fine, and it is rock bound without adjustment. There is no chirping common to some other one or two transistor transmitters.

On receive, whenever the key is open, the transmitter power amp circuit is used as the receiver detector. Received signals come from the antenna in thru the Pi filter. The emitter current to the PA transistor Q2 is limited by emitter resistor R5 and the power amp base-emitter junction is used as the detector. Input RF signals are mixed with the crystal oscillator signals then amplified by LM386 audio amp IC into a pair of earbuds or headphones.

There is no audio filtering, so the product of ALL received signals in the 40m band are fed into the audio amp and one is treated to full Hi-Fidelity reception! As an added "bonus", DC receivers hear both sidebands, so (a human being) will hear at least 20kHz of band simultaneously, 10 or more kHz above AND below the transceiver's frequency! The little trimmer pot W1 provides about 1kHz of adjustment for the receiver's offset. I posted a number of the build, transmitter and receiver tests here, including the recordings of Pixies on the air

This kit, from China, has only 7.023 kHz crystals. If a novice built one, they would be likely be totally confused by plethora of signals on other frequencies - none of which they could ever work using the Pixie. At least, in the Extra portion of the band, the guy building and using it should theoretically understand the concept and not be disappointed in the results! But in any case, I suppose a cheap little kit like this is a motivational project that might stimulate thinking or even lead to other more practical QRP transceiver kits like an MFJ Cub.

73, Lynn NG9D
M0JHA Rating: 5/5 Oct 2, 2012 03:30 Send this review to a friend
has fun written all over it   Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Anyone that has a bad word against this rig doesn't know the meaning of fun :)

Stock it's quite a poor performer with contacts hit and miss but with a few simple mods this simple trx can really be transformed. The RIT mod is a must in my eyes and grounding the xtal through a switch and polyvaricon gives a usable freq shift for tweeking replying stations in .

I have made contacts DL,OK,ON,F and plenty of inter G using this rig and all i can say it's a fantastic little bit of kit guaranteed to put a smile on your face IF the mods are done and a simple dipole .

We can't get these in the UK but have had a few sent over by other kind amateurs and im just preparing to mod and house a second pixie but with a cap for both tx and rx ..

using the rig with no sidetone i thought would be a problem but it didn't take long to get used to using it without ..

check out my pixie on my qrz page and also at , look under pixie 2 ..
N2EIK Rating: 4/5 Jul 24, 2010 03:37 Send this review to a friend
A project  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Pixie IS do-able. It can be junk-boxed but for ten bucks I'd give the kit a try. HSC has the kit for 9.95 plus shipping, Rocks not included. I had a gazzilion colorburst xtals laying around and that would be fine for starters but decided to bite the bullet on the HSC bag-o-rocks too.The kit NEEDS tweakiing and TLC. Its NOT ever going to be your "main rig", its an experimentors dream. Im not going to give a blow-by-blow but I want to say this:

1) subscribe to the minimalist qrp yahoo group
2) google and read-read-read
3) HAVE FUN with it! dammit! , the answers are out there.

(hint: put ferrite beads all over the place, put a 10ufd cap from pin 7 (lm86) to ground and put the damn thing in an altoid can, it NEEDS a groundplane to help cut down on BC interference)

KA6KBC Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2009 09:24 Send this review to a friend
Fun Kit Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a Fun little kit. I do agree that for a first timer it might be a little harder, but with some help you can make a working Radio.

You need to be able to solder and trouble shoot a little, but it’s worth the time. Also you need to know a little about reading a schematic as some of the instructions could be clearer.

It is a cheap kit - The $10 price is not completely correct. $10 for the PCB/Parts then $3 for the Crystal (I put a socket on mine as I have a collection of “Rocks”). Then you have to buy connectors/Wire/Sockets/Solder/enclosure. I would guess in a box with the connectors/Switches you will be closer to $20.

I had to cherry pick transistors, but can get about 400 mW with a 9V Cell. Also some beginners might have some trouble as the Radio does not have a SideTone so you just hear clicks while sending CW. Also the RIT is limited, but you can do a limited freq shift with a switch and a cap.

I have really had fun with this "Radio" - It works. I can Transmit and Receive. However I must say at this point I have not yet made a QSO, but still working on it.


Bill - KA6KBC
N1IG Rating: 2/5 Mar 29, 2009 05:34 Send this review to a friend
nothing spectacular  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was looking for an easy kit for my son and i to complete as our first go at kit building. the pixie2 from halted fit the bill for inexpensive and not very complex. the 2 kits arrived 3 weeks after i placed the order and one of them was missing a 820pf cap, but that pixie2 worked (kind of) anyway. the instructions were easy to understand and it only took about an hour to put it all together. one kit had an awful lot of clicking at first, but that was corrected by fixing a few solder joints. the radios are marginal and one of them seems to warble more than click on tx. all in all it was ok as a first build experience, but nothing i'd really expect to ever use on a regular basis. will make a great paperweight and novelty item to show people, that's about it.
KB5JO Rating: 3/5 Jan 29, 2009 06:36 Send this review to a friend
Cheap fun  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Have built four of various flavors for 40 and 80M, none from kits. Three manhattan style, and one using a PCB from Far Circuits. Cost from 10-20 USD. One of mine "ticked", corrected after fixing a bad solder connection. Easy to troubleshoot, there isn't much fix. All of mine produced from 200-400 mW output, easily made QSOs.

I've had fun fooling with these little transceivers, they're not K3s but quick gratification to build and operate. Enjoying the diversion from stuffing parts into a kit.
VA7AAX Rating: 2/5 Oct 29, 2008 20:41 Send this review to a friend
ok for practice building...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I built this from parts in my junkbox. I couldn't get it to work. The only thing I go working was the oscillator. The Lm386 kept "ticking". Never ever experienced such a thing from LM386. Probably I messed up my wiring, but will never know...

You are much better off with the QRP kits Tuna tin II kit. For $25, you get the all the hardware and parts and everything!
or you can also get the $17 one with only the parts and circuit board.
W8ZNX Rating: 0/5 Aug 9, 2008 01:42 Send this review to a friend
don't waste your money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
was given another dead pixie ll
played with it for a hour or so
to get it working

if you want to call it working

local am broadcast stations
overload / wipe out the receiver

even after hooking it to a high pass filter
that ive used on hb simple dc receivers
the broadcast stations make the receiver unuseable

come on
any old tuna tin
with a TenTec any band DC receiver will run rings around it

don't waste your time and money
there are lots of better dirt simple
cheap lash ups / kits out there

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