Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fun with radio - part 1

Yesterday I spent an afternoon working with David Rowe building a Pixie 2;

The Pixie 2 a tiny direct conversion radio intended for training new HAMs in under standing radio and building electronics. The initial build was a little bit troublesome as the oscillator wasn't. This makes it quite hard to build the rest of the radio, as it can be built in stages; the oscillator, the PA/detector, the audio amplifier.

Well the afternoon turned out to be quite productive and with a working radio picking up Davids Pixie transmitting from a foot away on the work bench. It puts out a whopping 200milliWatts and the output waveform on the oscilloscope was very sinusoidal.

David has a full amateur radio license and is a very cluey electronics engineer. I have my foundation license, so while I'm not worried about building a transmitter yet, I am quite interested in software defined radio(SDR) and QRSS. Which is what this project/journey is all about.

Whats next? Well as I now have a DC radio with audio output, SDR being the end goal, the next thing to build is the audio interface to the laptop so I can get the Linux QRSS client running...

kim vk5fnet

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