Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The role of the BLOG, and the pace of the project.

I got few panicked emails overnight concerning the DIXIE/PIXIE project, and a few kudos. Thanks for the later, and please allow me to try and explain the former. In the emails many folks pointed out that I had left out a lot of crucial details, this is true and it is by design.

Perhaps I did not make myself clear, the plan for the blog will be the fountain for my FUTURE updates, detailing the construction of the radio. So by definition a work in progress, a living document, the website you see today is but the start. As well as taking our time to understand the circuit as we build it. Therefore, there will be THEORY OF OPERATION sections -- IMHO many ham websites are rich in style and construction tips, but assume the builder understands the underlying electrical principals. -- I will also use the this forum to introduce main stream QRP ideas like QRSS, and more obscure issues like proper care and feeding of the LM386 OPAMP - which likes to squeal unless properly padded.

Of course not knowing how this will all end, I do not have a complete outline. However, I have already been working on the some of the first initial steps like how to make Manhattan Pads, a small power supply for experiments, and possibly a stand alone audio amp or oscillator circuit to get us warmed up.

The BLOG will perform double duty as a WIKI, as any one not reading this in the fall of 2009 should read the BLOG backwards, and each entry will numbered x.y, where x is major and y is minor.

As for the pace, everyone is welcomed to go at their own pace. As for me, I am planning on building three (3) PIXIEs between now and the first expected public & group build  (GB) at the STS in March 2010. The first 2 for experimentation, and the 3rd for pictures, so it will be prettier. - The blog assumes the follower will not be able to attend a structured group build in person and labors alone, therefore I will strive to be thorough. I will create a separate Power Point presentation for those few times when I present this concept in person. After the initial STS/GB I will begin to focus on mods like a 30m version for real worldwide QRSS reach, and a 2 chip CMOS keyer, and side-tone. This might seem slow, but I want to enjoy the journey, for every one step on the blog there may be hours of setup, ie construction, test, picture, measure, document re-peat process, etc. -- For those in a hurry I would suggest one of the other fine PIXIE sources list on the blog as "Other People's Pixie".  I will also make mistakes, to which you will all have a front row seat to, therefore there may be many re-dos and start overs, but real life is messy.

So sit back, grab a cup of hot green tea and join me every few days throughout the winter.

-- Blog Entry 0.1 --

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