A recent posting to the GQRP Yahoo Group brought my attention to another inexpensive offering from China. This time it's Bangood's complete "Pixie" type 40m QRP transceiver for the incredible sum of $4.16 (U.S.)! The price includes all components, a nicely silk-screened PCB and free shipping. One really wonders how it is possible to make any profit with such an offering but it obviously is. However, all may not be what it seems. One purchaser, IK1ZYW (Paolo) who built the kit, described his findings in a recent blog posting of his building experience.
In spite of the problems noted above (with some now corrected), the kit still seems a bargain, if one takes the necessary care with construction.
Playing with QRP can often provide ham radio's best "fun for the money" as DX- capable transmitters can often be built for just a few dollars. I vividly recall the fun I had one winter while pursuing the first-ever Tuna Tin W.A.S. endeavour on 7040kHz.
I made many new friends on 7040 that winter and every weekend many of them would listen-in or call to see how my progress was going. The highlight of the adventure was late one Saturday night when I had three New England stations all answer the same CQ ... what amazing fun for a handful of parts at less than $10 ... not including the cost of a can of Tuna!
The little Pixie kit offered above has a power level fully capable of W.A.S. on 40m and with the decrease in solar conditions, 40m will just keep improving. If you purchase and build one of these kits, please let us know how your experience went. The 'interesting' construction notes may be found here.