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A Tale of Two Pixies

I was on Twitter the other, well, year. and I saw that Richard GW1JFV had posted a photo of something he'd gotten in the mail. It was a kit from http://lxqqfy.com. They're a Chinese outfit that makes electronics kits for radio amateurs. Now, I'm always a sucker for a cheap kit, as evidenced by the assortment of unbuilt kits I have on my shelves, and they've reproduced some classic kits that are no longer available elsewhere. So, in my ongoing effort to actually establish two-way radio contact using gear I built myself, I bought an S-Pixie. I talked about this in my last post at http://www.ka8kpn.org/node/51

Well, after I wrote that I thought "hey, I can just replace the inductor with a wire, and the output filter won't work, but I'll get power in the output" but I had some trouble getting the old inductor out because I don't yet know how to remove components from the board with the tools that I have, and I think I had a solder bridge, and, well, I let some smoke out. After messing with it for a while, I decided that the thing to do was to buy another S-Pixie kit and build it and see what happens.

So, I got a package in the mail the other day and it was the new kit. Yesterday, I raced through the construction and at the end I hooked it up, and IT WORKED. I had a nice sine wave at about 750 mW coming out of the BNC jack. Until I held the key down for about ten seconds and there was a pop and a cloud of smoke coming from Q2, the active element in the final amplifier. Ooops. I did some digging around, and it turns out that they do that.

So, I'm back to figuring out how to get components off the board without damaging it. Wish me luck.