Pixie CW Transceiver: Choices for Antenna?

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KE0SBX, Nov 11, 2019.

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  1. KE0SBX

    KE0SBX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good day everyone!

    I recently dug out one of my Pixie QRP CW Transceivers from storage. I would like to put one on air, but I can't without an antenna (obviously!). I have tested both kits with my shortwave radio and a dummy load. They both appeared to work, so I did some research. Searching online, I've read that a 1/2 wave dipole antenna is appropriate for a Pixie to transmit a decent distance. These antennas also appear to be more efficient than the other options that I've considered.

    The major problem that I'm having is space. I have a huge limitation on space where I live, both inside and especially outside of my house :eek:. I don't live in HOA but I do live in a neighborhood where the houses are a bit closer in proximity. I have read that 1/4 wave dipoles are not as efficient as a 1/2 wave and end-fed wires are far from efficient.

    I would love to operate on HF Radio, especially CW, but it seems that antennas are going to be a challenging and painstaking process. What are your opinions? All answers are greatly appreciated!

  2. W0AEW

    W0AEW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, if you rule out all the antennas that are impossible for your situation, then all that's left are the possible. Of the possible, you have efficient and inefficient antennas. Rather than say efficient vs. inefficient, let's say those that require a matching device and those that don't in order to achieve an SWR acceptable to the radio. If you'd rather not use a matching device (e.g., "tuner"), what antennas are left? If you don't mind using a matching device, what antennas are left?
  3. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Have you considered horseback riding? *bewildered*

    -One should always strive to have the best antenna system that is practical for ones' location and personal situation.

    -In general, antenna choice does not depend on the radio model.

    -Inefficient antennas, and poorly installed antennas make for poor performance and frustrated operating experiences.

    -One can build antennas for a fraction of the cost of building them, particularly wire antennas.

    ARRL antenna books:
    ARRL Antenna Book. A reference that can be used for decades...

    20 projects

    Recommended if you just absolutely positively can't get anything better installed.

    -HF wire dipoles are probably the simplest, cheapest and most effective antennas for the effort. Putting up a one or two band 1/2 wavelength dipole is the start of learning and good operating experience.

    -Keep in mind that you can't cheat physics. Antennas that are compressed or labeled "Junior", or claim "160m to 6m performance" will have significant limitations in either bandwidth or performance or both.
    AJ6KZ likes this.
  4. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recently posted in the Antennas and Feed Lines forum page "80/40 Shorty Folded Dipole" plans.
    You will need to search backwards 3 pages to find it.
    Maybe of help to you.
  5. N8TGQ

    N8TGQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was able to manage 5 states with my 40 meter Pixie. It took 2 years of on and off trying though and that was with a decent 40 meter dipole.
    This is a tough way to start in QRP! Not being able to change transmit frequency and hearing 5 or 6 other stations at one time is hard especially if you're just starting out.
    Put up the most efficient antenna you can and good luck! Maybe set up a sked with someone very local to start out.
  6. W4XXV

    W4XXV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would start with "what options do I have to elevate an antenna? What lateral distance do I have to work with?" and work from there.
    example: Do you have any trees? Can you support 1,2,3 lifted ends in-line, sort of a line, etc.? Do you have a pole you could put up/take down?
    If you only have one elevation point, you're kind of left with an end-fed antenna or an inverted-V.
    I know that a lot of people are worried about neighbors seeing antennas, but with QRP levels, you can go really thin with the wire to where they won't notice. If they do, they can always ask you to bring it down.
    The best advice is this... "Get SOMETHING in the air!"

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