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Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

KF9QL

Hello all, Tom here. I am new to all-things Elecraft and have been looking at the K3 vs KX3 options. I spoke with David at Elecraft this morning, and he was most helpful. He also suggested that I post here to ask for opinions. I've also been searching the forum archive as well, and will continue those efforts. I apologize in advance for a lengthy first post, as this not my usual level of verbosity...

I have been a HAM for 25 years now, but inactive for the past several years--and now getting back into things. I recently retired from practicing medicine due to a medical disability, and have earned a degree in Computer Science and started a small technology company out of a home office. My current project involves a biomedical device that can work as a remote monitor of a subject's status. Basically, I am trying to meet two needs here I suppose: Re-kindle my HAM radio hobby, and learn more about digital data transmission with an eye towards using HAM radio to help in that effort. As my level of knowledge about electronics is growing daily, I have been considering a build of either a K3 or a KX3. The radio would be used in my home shack, but I would also like to make it somewhat mobile in an RV...or even a normal auto. Obviously the KX3 is supremely qualified for this purpose, but I think the K3 probably is as well. And of course the K3 has much a greater potential for future expansion and capability. But to get started, it appears that it is very hard to beat the features and price point of the KX3.

So I guess what I am looking for is a bit of advice from experienced owners/users on which might be the better choice for me? I understand that the 100w amplifier intended for the KX3 is not yet in production--but of course that will change. My intention will also be to add in a 2m module at some point, and I understand that the KX3 module for 2m is not yet available either. However again, these things will change--and one can always find a small amplifier to use with the KX3 in the meantime. The price for a K3 build would be $500-1000 more than that for a KX3, but if this is my primary radio...is that money well-spent at this point? Also, in terms of possible research activities using digital data transmission, would the K3 be clearly superior to the KX3? David told me about the accessory in/out ports on the K3, which would indeed be convenient. However the size of the KX3 is very attractive for possible field-work, so it has that going for it--and having to use the main mic port is not the end of the world. But still, the K3 really isn't unwieldy by any stretch, so the size differential between the two might not even be an issue at all.

Anyway, I would appreciate whatever advice folks are willing to offer. I anticipate making a purchase sometime in the next 1-2 weeks, and have been reading everything I can find, and watching every YouTube video I can come across on either of these two units.

Thanks in advance for the help!

KF9QL
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

Buck - k4ia
You are going to get a ton of answers but here's my take (and I own both).

It all depends on what you want to do.  I would compare it to the choice
of a laptop computer vs a desktop or a 5-shot 38 revolver vs a 13-round
45 semi-auto.  Either one will get the job done but they have different
pros and cons.

If you want a light weight, low power consumption rig that is really
easy to move around, the KX3 is better.  It is perfect for hikers,
campers, backyard operators, battery power and all-around fun with much
better performance than the typical "trail" rig.  Not so sure how that
will change once you add the 100w amplifier.  I suspect it and the
larger power supply will be more of a desktop profile at that point but
without the additional performance of the K3.

If you want maximum flexibility, more power, more features you go for a
desktop.  The K3 has become the standard by which all other contest
quality rigs are measured.  Some of them are as big as suitcases.  The
K3 is small by comparison but it is lunchbox-sized compared to the KX3
which is more the size of a VHS tape.

Either one is an excellent choice but you wouldn't want to haul a
desktop up a mountain and you wouldn't want to use a laptop to do high
resolution gaming, video editing or multiple DVD burning.

So, ask yourself, what do you want to do?  Most will say you need both.

Buck
k4ia

On 10/16/2012 4:22 PM, KF9QL wrote:

> Hello all, Tom here. I am new to all-things Elecraft and have been looking
> at the K3 vs KX3 options. I spoke with David at Elecraft this morning, and
> he was most helpful. He also suggested that I post here to ask for opinions.
> I've also been searching the forum archive as well, and will continue those
> efforts. I apologize in advance for a lengthy first post, as this not my
> usual level of verbosity...
>
> I have been a HAM for 25 years now, but inactive for the past several
> years--and now getting back into things. I recently retired from practicing
> medicine due to a medical disability, and have earned a degree in Computer
> Science and started a small technology company out of a home office. My
> current project involves a biomedical device that can work as a remote
> monitor of a subject's status. Basically, I am trying to meet two needs here
> I suppose: Re-kindle my HAM radio hobby, and learn more about digital data
> transmission with an eye towards using HAM radio to help in that effort. As
> my level of knowledge about electronics is growing daily, I have been
> considering a build of either a K3 or a KX3. The radio would be used in my
> home shack, but I would also like to make it somewhat mobile in an RV...or
> even a normal auto. Obviously the KX3 is supremely qualified for this
> purpose, but I think the K3 probably is as well. And of course the K3 has
> much a greater potential for future expansion and capability. But to get
> started, it appears that it is very hard to beat the features and price
> point of the KX3.
>
> So I guess what I am looking for is a bit of advice from experienced
> owners/users on which might be the better choice for me? I understand that
> the 100w amplifier intended for the KX3 is not yet in production--but of
> course that will change. My intention will also be to add in a 2m module at
> some point, and I understand that the KX3 module for 2m is not yet available
> either. However again, these things will change--and one can always find a
> small amplifier to use with the KX3 in the meantime. The price for a K3
> build would be $500-1000 more than that for a KX3, but if this is my primary
> radio...is that money well-spent at this point? Also, in terms of possible
> research activities using digital data transmission, would the K3 be clearly
> superior to the KX3? David told me about the accessory in/out ports on the
> K3, which would indeed be convenient. However the size of the KX3 is very
> attractive for possible field-work, so it has that going for it--and having
> to use the main mic port is not the end of the world. But still, the K3
> really isn't unwieldy by any stretch, so the size differential between the
> two might not even be an issue at all.
>
> Anyway, I would appreciate whatever advice folks are willing to offer. I
> anticipate making a purchase sometime in the next 1-2 weeks, and have been
> reading everything I can find, and watching every YouTube video I can come
> across on either of these two units.
>
> Thanks in advance for the help!
>
> KF9QL
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/Elecraft-newbie-considering-K3-vs-KX3-tp7564208.html
> Sent from the Elecraft mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
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> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html

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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

Joe Subich, W4TV-4
In reply to this post by KF9QL

> The price for a K3 build would be $500-1000 more than that for a
> KX3, but if this is my primary radio...is that money well-spent at
> this point?

Absolutely.  Unless you are looking for a trail/backpack radio, the
added flexibility, features and user interface of the K3 is hands
down superior to the KX3.

> Also, in terms of possible research activities using digital data
> transmission, would the K3 be clearly superior to the KX3?

Yes, with its dedicated line out and line in capability - including an
independent digital to analog converter for data out - the K3 is vastly
superior to the KX3 for digital work.  Note however, I would not be
using any amateur rig for commercial experimentation as you will likely
want to be working at UHF or low SHF for the short to medium range
medical data communications.

73,

    ... Joe, W4TV


On 10/16/2012 4:22 PM, KF9QL wrote:

>
> Hello all, Tom here. I am new to all-things Elecraft and have been looking
> at the K3 vs KX3 options. I spoke with David at Elecraft this morning, and
> he was most helpful. He also suggested that I post here to ask for opinions.
> I've also been searching the forum archive as well, and will continue those
> efforts. I apologize in advance for a lengthy first post, as this not my
> usual level of verbosity...
>
> I have been a HAM for 25 years now, but inactive for the past several
> years--and now getting back into things. I recently retired from practicing
> medicine due to a medical disability, and have earned a degree in Computer
> Science and started a small technology company out of a home office. My
> current project involves a biomedical device that can work as a remote
> monitor of a subject's status. Basically, I am trying to meet two needs here
> I suppose: Re-kindle my HAM radio hobby, and learn more about digital data
> transmission with an eye towards using HAM radio to help in that effort. As
> my level of knowledge about electronics is growing daily, I have been
> considering a build of either a K3 or a KX3. The radio would be used in my
> home shack, but I would also like to make it somewhat mobile in an RV...or
> even a normal auto. Obviously the KX3 is supremely qualified for this
> purpose, but I think the K3 probably is as well. And of course the K3 has
> much a greater potential for future expansion and capability. But to get
> started, it appears that it is very hard to beat the features and price
> point of the KX3.
>
> So I guess what I am looking for is a bit of advice from experienced
> owners/users on which might be the better choice for me? I understand that
> the 100w amplifier intended for the KX3 is not yet in production--but of
> course that will change. My intention will also be to add in a 2m module at
> some point, and I understand that the KX3 module for 2m is not yet available
> either. However again, these things will change--and one can always find a
> small amplifier to use with the KX3 in the meantime. The price for a K3
> build would be $500-1000 more than that for a KX3, but if this is my primary
> radio...is that money well-spent at this point? Also, in terms of possible
> research activities using digital data transmission, would the K3 be clearly
> superior to the KX3? David told me about the accessory in/out ports on the
> K3, which would indeed be convenient. However the size of the KX3 is very
> attractive for possible field-work, so it has that going for it--and having
> to use the main mic port is not the end of the world. But still, the K3
> really isn't unwieldy by any stretch, so the size differential between the
> two might not even be an issue at all.
>
> Anyway, I would appreciate whatever advice folks are willing to offer. I
> anticipate making a purchase sometime in the next 1-2 weeks, and have been
> reading everything I can find, and watching every YouTube video I can come
> across on either of these two units.
>
> Thanks in advance for the help!
>
> KF9QL
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/Elecraft-newbie-considering-K3-vs-KX3-tp7564208.html
> Sent from the Elecraft mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

WB4SON
In reply to this post by KF9QL
Hi Tom,

Your scenario is pretty similar to mine -- I took a decade off, from 2001
until 2011, and when I got back I discovered all sorts of wonderful new
digital modes and exactly how much receivers had improved in that decade.
I had a couple of decent rigs from Kenwood and Icom, but they were pre-DSP
age rigs.  I decided to plunge back into things.

I joined the modern world by buying an Icom IC-9100 because it combined HF
and VHF/UHF into one box.  But the HF part of the rig was not much better
than what I had with my older Kenwood.  Yeah it had DSP, but the receiver
fell apart during busy contest weekends -- it would overload.  But at least
I was able to use it for satellite mode contacts on VHF/UHF.  Frankly that
rig cost as much as a new K3 did.  I also bought a FT817 and had an
absolute ball running QRP.  It was a great little rig and could run for
about an hour on internal batteries -- I took it and a BuddiPole antenna
everywhere I went, and would be on the air in 15 minutes after arrival
making a few CW contacts.  But the 817 receiver was also pretty bad,
especially on a busy band.  So I was looking for something better.

I finally bought a K3 and absolutely fell in love with it.  It is an
absolutely fantastic radio, arguably the best that exists for a CW operator
(some might give the Yaesu FT5000DX a slight edge on SSB but that thing is
about 4x the weight and volume -- it is massive).  You couldn't pay me to
give up my K3.  I liked it so much that I bought a KX3, and it is my new
best portable buddy.  I sold the FT817 to fund about 2/3 of the KX3
purchase.

If I could only have one it would be the K3 because most of my operation is
from the home and I'm very active on digital modes.  The KX3 is wonderfully
small, but that comes at with some compromises that would impact my day to
day operation.  That said, I've run it in several contests and it works
just about as well as my K3.

Ultimately you will need to decide where and how you will use your rig.
the KX3 is certainly optimized for portable/mobile operation.  The K3 is
capable of portable operation too (DXpeditions love it due to its
performance and weight/size), but it is more full-featured and perhaps
better suited for the ham shack.

73, Bob, WB4SON
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73, Bob, WB4SON
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

Andrew Moore-3
In reply to this post by Joe Subich, W4TV-4
On Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 5:27 PM, Joe Subich, W4TV <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Absolutely.  Unless you are looking for a trail/backpack radio, the
> added flexibility, features and user interface of the K3 is hands
> down superior to the KX3.


While the features and UI on the K3 are clearly more extensive, don't
confuse that with it being a better rig for all but trail/backpack use.
Elecraft already has a rig that's probably better for trail/backpacking:
the KX1 (though it's not as full-featured).

The KX3 may still win for those wanting a:

- rig with a simple user interface and few controls
- rig to run as a base station on solar power
- rig to run in confined quarters (like my tiny shack...)
- vacation rig
- mobile rig

As many have pointed out, step 1 is figure out what you want to do.

For me, if the rig was staying put in the shack, the K3 would be the
answer. If I envisioned it moving about from time to time - camping,
vacation, mobile, trailer, etc... - then the KX3 would be it.

If you want to focus strictly on performance, go K3.  But the KX3 is no
slouch. Buck's desktop/laptop analogy is a good one.

--Andrew, NV1B
maineware.net
..
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

Phil Hystad-3
In reply to this post by KF9QL
Tom,

So far I think you have gotten some good advice and opinions but I would
add one more vote for the K3 as being the first of hopefully many Elecraft
radios you will own.

I own both the K3 and the KX3.  But, I am still very new to the KX3, just
finished putting it together 4 days ago.  I am still learning how this thing
works.  And, I like this new KX3 as much as I like all my other radios but
if it came to a choice between the KX3 and the K3 I would stick with the
K3.

But, of course, owning both is far superior.  The only real question after
you buy your K3, is what is next in the pipeline of Elecraft equipment.
A K3 by itself seems too lonely.  Owning a K-line is so much better and if
you are new to all things Elecraft, a K-line is typically considered the
K3 with the addition of P3 (I think so) plus a KPA500 and soon a
KAT500.

However, no matter which one you get (first), you are not making a
mistake.

73, phil, K7PEH


On Oct 16, 2012, at 1:22 PM, KF9QL <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hello all, Tom here. I am new to all-things Elecraft and have been looking
> at the K3 vs KX3 options. I spoke with David at Elecraft this morning, and
> he was most helpful. He also suggested that I post here to ask for opinions.
> I've also been searching the forum archive as well, and will continue those
> efforts. I apologize in advance for a lengthy first post, as this not my
> usual level of verbosity...
>
> I have been a HAM for 25 years now, but inactive for the past several
> years--and now getting back into things. I recently retired from practicing
> medicine due to a medical disability, and have earned a degree in Computer
> Science and started a small technology company out of a home office. My
> current project involves a biomedical device that can work as a remote
> monitor of a subject's status. Basically, I am trying to meet two needs here
> I suppose: Re-kindle my HAM radio hobby, and learn more about digital data
> transmission with an eye towards using HAM radio to help in that effort. As
> my level of knowledge about electronics is growing daily, I have been
> considering a build of either a K3 or a KX3. The radio would be used in my
> home shack, but I would also like to make it somewhat mobile in an RV...or
> even a normal auto. Obviously the KX3 is supremely qualified for this
> purpose, but I think the K3 probably is as well. And of course the K3 has
> much a greater potential for future expansion and capability. But to get
> started, it appears that it is very hard to beat the features and price
> point of the KX3.
>
> So I guess what I am looking for is a bit of advice from experienced
> owners/users on which might be the better choice for me? I understand that
> the 100w amplifier intended for the KX3 is not yet in production--but of
> course that will change. My intention will also be to add in a 2m module at
> some point, and I understand that the KX3 module for 2m is not yet available
> either. However again, these things will change--and one can always find a
> small amplifier to use with the KX3 in the meantime. The price for a K3
> build would be $500-1000 more than that for a KX3, but if this is my primary
> radio...is that money well-spent at this point? Also, in terms of possible
> research activities using digital data transmission, would the K3 be clearly
> superior to the KX3? David told me about the accessory in/out ports on the
> K3, which would indeed be convenient. However the size of the KX3 is very
> attractive for possible field-work, so it has that going for it--and having
> to use the main mic port is not the end of the world. But still, the K3
> really isn't unwieldy by any stretch, so the size differential between the
> two might not even be an issue at all.
>
> Anyway, I would appreciate whatever advice folks are willing to offer. I
> anticipate making a purchase sometime in the next 1-2 weeks, and have been
> reading everything I can find, and watching every YouTube video I can come
> across on either of these two units.
>
> Thanks in advance for the help!
>
> KF9QL
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/Elecraft-newbie-considering-K3-vs-KX3-tp7564208.html
> Sent from the Elecraft mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html

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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

KF9QL

Thanks Phil...
I agree that the K3 does indeed seem like the way to go at this point, and the extra $$ is probably money well-spent. But that leaves me with another dilemma...how to outfit the K3?
Here's the basic order I came up with today. After talking David at Elecraft, I added the 100w power amplifier which kicks price up $450. But my question...is that really needed at first. I guess David's point (which seemed very valid when we talked) was that I should spend the extra money on the 100w amp, instead of some stuff for CW that I was going to opt for instead. I have never really practiced much CW to be honest, and would like to learn it. However David advised that it would be more important to get phone up & running, and working well--and THEN add on CW in the future. After considering his advice more today I think it's very sound indeed--and therefore was probably looking at this build list:

Elecraft K3
item# item description        unit price-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------K3/100 K3 100W Xcvr. (Modular Kit) $1999.95 (10w = 1549.95)KUSB Univ. Ser Bus Adapt. $39.95KXSER K144XV Serial Cable free MH3        MH3 Hand Mic                $59.95 KAT3   Internal Tuner $299.95=============================================== TOTAL       $2399.80   (10w = $1949.80)

Although it's a bit more than I was planning to spend initially, the 100-watt amp is an affordable add-on in the initial build. So it would be do-able. For comparison, if I were to go with a KX3 and leave off the CW components, the gear would come in at just under $1350--but of course that doesn't include a 100-watt amplifier, as they are not yet available for that radio. So it really isn't an "apples-to-apples" comparison at all...unless you simply consider the 10-watt K3 build. In that case it would be about $600 more for the K3, and I think it's been well-established that this extra money would be well-spent given that this would be my only HF rig.
Anyway, I'll hopefully be looking at Duane's K3 tomorrow if all goes well. Then I can make the final decision after that, and get moving.
Thanks again to everyone for the advice. It's very reassuring to draw on the wealth of experience that's so obvious in the users here.

Tom

> > Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>
     
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

Keith Heimbold
In reply to this post by KF9QL
I am a new ham (22 months) and own both radio models (actually two K3s and one KX3) and they are fantastic radios. However if I was to choose one over the other it would be the K3 over the KX3.

For reasons already cited including modular flexibility and tailor-ability, my built in 100W KPA100, multiple configuration with roofing filters that you choose, real dual receiver, product maturity, light weight and smallish size, and for ease of use for digital modes I would definitely pick the K3.

I use the KX3 in my truck and down the road i plan to take it on my business trips that require more air travel. It is an amazing portable rig but I am biased towards my K3s. They are a special breed of transceiver.  The ability to configure them to your operating style is what I think is amazing. Mass customization is MBA business strategy material and something we talked about 15 years ago in grad school and Elecraft has mastered this concept in the K3.

Either way you go you will likely be very happy. One last note...when I come home from a long week of business travel, I greet the wife and hold my new baby, say hi to the pups, and then when they are all sleeping I head to the shack to see my two friends K3, 1391 and 1526. And i know that all is good at the Heimbold house.

Keith
AG6AZ


Keith
AG6AZ

Sent from my iPhone please excuse typos

On Oct 16, 2012, at 1:23 PM, "KF9QL" <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hello all, Tom here. I am new to all-things Elecraft and have been looking
> at the K3 vs KX3 options. I spoke with David at Elecraft this morning, and
> he was most helpful. He also suggested that I post here to ask for opinions.
> I've also been searching the forum archive as well, and will continue those
> efforts. I apologize in advance for a lengthy first post, as this not my
> usual level of verbosity...
>
> I have been a HAM for 25 years now, but inactive for the past several
> years--and now getting back into things. I recently retired from practicing
> medicine due to a medical disability, and have earned a degree in Computer
> Science and started a small technology company out of a home office. My
> current project involves a biomedical device that can work as a remote
> monitor of a subject's status. Basically, I am trying to meet two needs here
> I suppose: Re-kindle my HAM radio hobby, and learn more about digital data
> transmission with an eye towards using HAM radio to help in that effort. As
> my level of knowledge about electronics is growing daily, I have been
> considering a build of either a K3 or a KX3. The radio would be used in my
> home shack, but I would also like to make it somewhat mobile in an RV...or
> even a normal auto. Obviously the KX3 is supremely qualified for this
> purpose, but I think the K3 probably is as well. And of course the K3 has
> much a greater potential for future expansion and capability. But to get
> started, it appears that it is very hard to beat the features and price
> point of the KX3.
>
> So I guess what I am looking for is a bit of advice from experienced
> owners/users on which might be the better choice for me? I understand that
> the 100w amplifier intended for the KX3 is not yet in production--but of
> course that will change. My intention will also be to add in a 2m module at
> some point, and I understand that the KX3 module for 2m is not yet available
> either. However again, these things will change--and one can always find a
> small amplifier to use with the KX3 in the meantime. The price for a K3
> build would be $500-1000 more than that for a KX3, but if this is my primary
> radio...is that money well-spent at this point? Also, in terms of possible
> research activities using digital data transmission, would the K3 be clearly
> superior to the KX3? David told me about the accessory in/out ports on the
> K3, which would indeed be convenient. However the size of the KX3 is very
> attractive for possible field-work, so it has that going for it--and having
> to use the main mic port is not the end of the world. But still, the K3
> really isn't unwieldy by any stretch, so the size differential between the
> two might not even be an issue at all.
>
> Anyway, I would appreciate whatever advice folks are willing to offer. I
> anticipate making a purchase sometime in the next 1-2 weeks, and have been
> reading everything I can find, and watching every YouTube video I can come
> across on either of these two units.
>
> Thanks in advance for the help!
>
> KF9QL
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/Elecraft-newbie-considering-K3-vs-KX3-tp7564208.html
> Sent from the Elecraft mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

Bill Frantz
In reply to this post by KF9QL
I have a base (12 watt) K3 and find 5 watts quite adequate for
my mostly PSK operation. With the sunspots the way they are, I
can reach the south Pacific on a good night. Narrow band modes
like CW and PSK work well with low power.

I spent my extra cash on the T1 tuner, the 2M option, the FM
filter, and the 250Hz filter. I also have the Elecraft cool aid
running in my blood so I have a P3 on order. My plan is to move
up to 100 watts when the sunspots die down. Right now I'm having
too much fun with QRP.

OTOH, I have had trouble being heard on the Elecraft SSB net.
But that's a wide band mode. Perhaps if I aimed my dipole toward
Oregon instead of Rhode Island it would work better. :-)

The choice between K3 and KX3 was easy for me. The K3 was being
delivered. :-)

Cheers - Bill

On 10/16/12 at 5:27 PM, [hidden email] (tom betka) wrote:

>Here's the basic order I came up with today. After talking
>David at Elecraft, I added the 100w power amplifier which kicks
>price up $450. But my question...is that really needed at first.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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up the
408-356-8506       | intelligence.  There's a knob called
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

Matt Maguire
In reply to this post by KF9QL
Hi Tom,

What are this "CW stuff" you are talking about below? If it is narrow
roofing filters for CW, then I think you can definitely leave these off
until later, and just rely on the K3 DSP filtering for now. I think the
only thing you really need to add to a basic K3 in order to do CW is a
paddle. I suggest the Bencher BY-1 is a good entry-level paddle that is
inexpensive but works FB. By adding the 100W amp now, it will be easier to
make contacts and build your CW skills.

If you are thinking of getting a K3, then grab a copy of Fred Cady's ebook
on the K3 from Lulu (it is cheap, especially if you use one of the readily
available discount vouchers).

73, Matt VK2ACL


On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 11:27 AM, tom betka <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Thanks Phil...
> I agree that the K3 does indeed seem like the way to go at this point, and
> the extra $$ is probably money well-spent. But that leaves me with another
> dilemma...how to outfit the K3?
> Here's the basic order I came up with today. After talking David at
> Elecraft, I added the 100w power amplifier which kicks price up $450. But
> my question...is that really needed at first. I guess David's point (which
> seemed very valid when we talked) was that I should spend the extra money
> on the 100w amp, instead of some stuff for CW that I was going to opt for
> instead. I have never really practiced much CW to be honest, and would like
> to learn it. However David advised that it would be more important to get
> phone up & running, and working well--and THEN add on CW in the future.
> After considering his advice more today I think it's very sound indeed--and
> therefore was probably looking at this build list:
>
> Elecraft K3
> item#           item description                                unit
> price-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------K3/100
>               K3 100W Xcvr. (Modular Kit)     $1999.95        (10w =
> 1549.95)KUSB             Univ. Ser Bus Adapt.
>  $39.95KXSER             K144XV Serial Cable                     free
>  MH3                     MH3 Hand Mic                            $59.95
>  KAT3            Internal Tuner
>  $299.95===============================================
>                      TOTAL          $2399.80   (10w = $1949.80)
>
> Although it's a bit more than I was planning to spend initially, the
> 100-watt amp is an affordable add-on in the initial build. So it would be
> do-able. For comparison, if I were to go with a KX3 and leave off the CW
> components, the gear would come in at just under $1350--but of course that
> doesn't include a 100-watt amplifier, as they are not yet available for
> that radio. So it really isn't an "apples-to-apples" comparison at
> all...unless you simply consider the 10-watt K3 build. In that case it
> would be about $600 more for the K3, and I think it's been well-established
> that this extra money would be well-spent given that this would be my only
> HF rig.
> Anyway, I'll hopefully be looking at Duane's K3 tomorrow if all goes well.
> Then I can make the final decision after that, and get moving.
> Thanks again to everyone for the advice. It's very reassuring to draw on
> the wealth of experience that's so obvious in the users here.
>
> Tom
>
> > > Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> >
>
> ______________________________________________________________
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> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
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> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

KF9QL

I think that paddle might be affordable as well. Once I get the radio up and going with an antenna here, then that would be the next step. The stuff I was talking about was a paddle from Elecraft, and a couple of the other filters as recommended on their site. I could indeed afford the antenna tuner and the 100w amp in the initial purchase, although not much more than that right now. But I think the list I provided would be a good start, although I would try to add a 2m module and a P3 in 2013.
Thanks for the post.
TB

Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2012 12:39:37 +1100
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3
From: [hidden email]
To: [hidden email]
CC: [hidden email]; [hidden email]

Hi Tom,

What are this "CW stuff" you are talking about below? If it is narrow roofing filters for CW, then I think you can definitely leave these off until later, and just rely on the K3 DSP filtering for now. I think the only thing you really need to add to a basic K3 in order to do CW is a paddle. I suggest the Bencher BY-1 is a good entry-level paddle that is inexpensive but works FB. By adding the 100W amp now, it will be easier to make contacts and build your CW skills.


If you are thinking of getting a K3, then grab a copy of Fred Cady's ebook on the K3 from Lulu (it is cheap, especially if you use one of the readily available discount vouchers).

73, Matt VK2ACL


     
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

Ignacy
I own both K3 and KX3.

K3 is mature radio. Works very well. But the design is a few years old.

KX3 is new radio with new design. Not mature. For instance, it has capability for extra receiver + digital work out of I/Q lines, but the software is not quite available or reliable yet. NB and NR are work in progress. Speech processor is not yet as good as in K3. The contest programs cannot easily send CW without extra hardware (with exceptions).  etc, etc. But with ALS-600 modified for low drive, one can add 600W to KX3 for $1k (used price).
 
IMHO, KX3 will look much more refined in a year.

Ignacy
 
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

N0AZZ
I have thought about this for several days and considering what you want in
a radio at this point and being you will have but a single one starting out.
I think the choice is fairly clear cut and it would be in favor of the K3
because you need a stable platform for use at home and in a Motor Home both
easy for a K3 and it has 100w now when needed. The interfaces give you more
choices now than the KX3 and I think that your need for a total QRP portable
rig comes second at this time. It may very well be needed later down the
road for testing of some of your devices and software but for development
the K3 would be a plus in my opinion.

73,
Fred/N0AZZ

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Ignacy
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 9:07 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

I own both K3 and KX3.

K3 is mature radio. Works very well. But the design is a few years old.

KX3 is new radio with new design. Not mature. For instance, it has
capability for extra receiver + digital work out of I/Q lines, but the
software is not quite available or reliable yet. NB and NR are work in
progress. Speech processor is not yet as good as in K3. The contest programs
cannot easily send CW without extra hardware (with exceptions).  etc, etc.
But with ALS-600 modified for low drive, one can add 600W to KX3 for $1k
(used price).
 
IMHO, KX3 will look much more refined in a year.

Ignacy
 



--
View this message in context:
http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/Elecraft-newbie-considering-K3-vs-KX3-t
p7564208p7564227.html
Sent from the Elecraft mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

Edward R Cole
In reply to this post by KF9QL
Tom,

I own both radios.  I bought my K3/10 two years ago and have had a
good time running 12w SSB with it.  Surprising many when I tell them
I am only running 12w.  I can check into the Elecraft net fairly well
with that.  IN the last year I have built a 300w PA kit and can run
270w out on 20m with 12w drive from either of my radios and that
makes my signal get thru every time.  I should mention I run a
3-element triband yagi which does not hurt.

You will like the K3 for digital modes and should opt for it, in my
opinion.  I got the transverter interface and second Rx along with
three filters for FM, SSB, and CW.  I added the TCXO-3 and later the
EXREF for super accurate frequency.  Those are important for some of
the narrowband digital modes like WSPR and JT65.

I am getting some experience with my KX3 mainly on 2m using a
modified 144-28 transverter (I added a PLL synth LO so I could
operate over the full 144-148 band by switching LO freq. and
installed a 13w RF module which drives nicely with 3w from the
KX3).  Eventually Elecraft will offer a 2m transverter module and
100w PA for the KX3 which turns it into a decent mobile radio.  The
K3 will work fine for mobile in a RV, though.

After having both radios I would not part with my K3.  The KX3 would
make a fine starter radio had it been available when I bought the K3,
but the K3 shines for running 600m thru mw from home.  Previous
radios were a FT-847 and FT-817, respectively, and the Elecraft
radios run circles around the old radios.

73, Ed - KL7UW

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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

af9w
Ed, what PA kit did you build?

73 de AF9W

Bob
KX3 #1736

On Oct 17, 2012, at 9:54 AM, Edward R Cole wrote:

> Tom,
>
> I own both radios.  I bought my K3/10 two years ago and have had a
> good time running 12w SSB with it.  Surprising many when I tell them
> I am only running 12w.  I can check into the Elecraft net fairly well
> with that.  IN the last year I have built a 300w PA kit and can run
> 270w out on 20m with 12w drive from either of my radios and that
> makes my signal get thru every time.  I should mention I run a
> 3-element triband yagi which does not hurt.
>
> You will like the K3 for digital modes and should opt for it, in my
> opinion.  I got the transverter interface and second Rx along with
> three filters for FM, SSB, and CW.  I added the TCXO-3 and later the
> EXREF for super accurate frequency.  Those are important for some of
> the narrowband digital modes like WSPR and JT65.
>
> I am getting some experience with my KX3 mainly on 2m using a
> modified 144-28 transverter (I added a PLL synth LO so I could
> operate over the full 144-148 band by switching LO freq. and
> installed a 13w RF module which drives nicely with 3w from the
> KX3).  Eventually Elecraft will offer a 2m transverter module and
> 100w PA for the KX3 which turns it into a decent mobile radio.  The
> K3 will work fine for mobile in a RV, though.
>
> After having both radios I would not part with my K3.  The KX3 would
> make a fine starter radio had it been available when I bought the K3,
> but the K3 shines for running 600m thru mw from home.  Previous
> radios were a FT-847 and FT-817, respectively, and the Elecraft
> radios run circles around the old radios.
>
> 73, Ed - KL7UW
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html

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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

dw-4
In reply to this post by KF9QL
Hi Tom,
I'm still running a barefoot K2 (cw only) with an amp I can add on when
needed.
After reading your last post (below) I agree with you that is sounds
like good logic to outfit yourself with a radio that you can immediately
have fun with.
So the SSB mode and additional CW mode sounds like it would support that
well.
On the question of whether to have more than QRP wattage, I can only
relate that I love to see the K2 working a station barefoot.
However, there are those times when I've connected with a station that
I'm really excited about, and that station is struggling to get reliable
copy.
Its wonderful at times like that to be able to flip a switch and bring
up my signal.
I had just that situation the other night and the station thanked me for
turning on the amp.
It might set your wallet back a little on the temporary.
But when you have it, you may be glad you opted for the 100-watts up
front.  :)

Duane - N1BBR




Message: 13
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 19:27:13 -0500
From: tom betka <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3
To: <[hidden email]>
Cc: [hidden email]
Message-ID: <[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"


Thanks Phil...
I agree that the K3 does indeed seem like the way to go at this point,
and the extra $$ is probably money well-spent. But that leaves me with
another dilemma...how to outfit the K3?
Here's the basic order I came up with today. After talking David at
Elecraft, I added the 100w power amplifier which kicks price up $450.
But my question...is that really needed at first. I guess David's point
(which seemed very valid when we talked) was that I should spend the
extra money on the 100w amp, instead of some stuff for CW that I was
going to opt for instead. I have never really practiced much CW to be
honest, and would like to learn it. However David advised that it would
be more important to get phone up & running, and working well--and THEN
add on CW in the future. After considering his advice more today I think
it's very sound indeed--and therefore was probably looking at this build
list:

Elecraft K3
item#           item description                                unit
price-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------K3/100
              K3 100W Xcvr. (Modular Kit)     $1999.95        (10w =
1549.95)KUSB             Univ. Ser Bus Adapt.                  
$39.95KXSER             K144XV Serial Cable                     free  
MH3                     MH3 Hand Mic                            $59.95
KAT3            Internal Tuner                        
$299.95===============================================                  
                       TOTAL          $2399.80   (10w = $1949.80)

Although it's a bit more than I was planning to spend initially, the
100-watt amp is an affordable add-on in the initial build. So it would
be do-able. For comparison, if I were to go with a KX3 and leave off the
CW components, the gear would come in at just under $1350--but of course
that doesn't include a 100-watt amplifier, as they are not yet available
for that radio. So it really isn't an "apples-to-apples" comparison at
all...unless you simply consider the 10-watt K3 build. In that case it
would be about $600 more for the K3, and I think it's been
well-established that this extra money would be well-spent given that
this would be my only HF rig.
Anyway, I'll hopefully be looking at Duane's K3 tomorrow if all goes
well. Then I can make the final decision after that, and get moving.
Thanks again to everyone for the advice. It's very reassuring to draw on
the wealth of experience that's so obvious in the users here.

Tom
--
 [hidden email]

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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

KF9QL

Yea, I think the sentiment has been pretty overwhelming that the extra $450 would be money very well-spent at this point. So that's a given it seems...

Thanks for the post.

TB

> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]
> Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2012 10:57:20 -0700
> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3
>
> Hi Tom,
> I'm still running a barefoot K2 (cw only) with an amp I can add on when
> needed.
> After reading your last post (below) I agree with you that is sounds
> like good logic to outfit yourself with a radio that you can immediately
> have fun with.
> So the SSB mode and additional CW mode sounds like it would support that
> well.
> On the question of whether to have more than QRP wattage, I can only
> relate that I love to see the K2 working a station barefoot.
> However, there are those times when I've connected with a station that
> I'm really excited about, and that station is struggling to get reliable
> copy.
> Its wonderful at times like that to be able to flip a switch and bring
> up my signal.
> I had just that situation the other night and the station thanked me for
> turning on the amp.
> It might set your wallet back a little on the temporary.
> But when you have it, you may be glad you opted for the 100-watts up
> front.  :)
>
> Duane - N1BBR
>
>
>
>
> Message: 13
> Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 19:27:13 -0500
> From: tom betka <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3
> To: <[hidden email]>
> Cc: [hidden email]
> Message-ID: <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
>
> Thanks Phil...
> I agree that the K3 does indeed seem like the way to go at this point,
> and the extra $$ is probably money well-spent. But that leaves me with
> another dilemma...how to outfit the K3?
> Here's the basic order I came up with today. After talking David at
> Elecraft, I added the 100w power amplifier which kicks price up $450.
> But my question...is that really needed at first. I guess David's point
> (which seemed very valid when we talked) was that I should spend the
> extra money on the 100w amp, instead of some stuff for CW that I was
> going to opt for instead. I have never really practiced much CW to be
> honest, and would like to learn it. However David advised that it would
> be more important to get phone up & running, and working well--and THEN
> add on CW in the future. After considering his advice more today I think
> it's very sound indeed--and therefore was probably looking at this build
> list:
>
> Elecraft K3
> item#           item description                                unit
> price-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------K3/100
>               K3 100W Xcvr. (Modular Kit)     $1999.95        (10w =
> 1549.95)KUSB             Univ. Ser Bus Adapt.                  
> $39.95KXSER             K144XV Serial Cable                     free  
> MH3                     MH3 Hand Mic                            $59.95
> KAT3            Internal Tuner                        
> $299.95===============================================                  
>                        TOTAL          $2399.80   (10w = $1949.80)
>
> Although it's a bit more than I was planning to spend initially, the
> 100-watt amp is an affordable add-on in the initial build. So it would
> be do-able. For comparison, if I were to go with a KX3 and leave off the
> CW components, the gear would come in at just under $1350--but of course
> that doesn't include a 100-watt amplifier, as they are not yet available
> for that radio. So it really isn't an "apples-to-apples" comparison at
> all...unless you simply consider the 10-watt K3 build. In that case it
> would be about $600 more for the K3, and I think it's been
> well-established that this extra money would be well-spent given that
> this would be my only HF rig.
> Anyway, I'll hopefully be looking at Duane's K3 tomorrow if all goes
> well. Then I can make the final decision after that, and get moving.
> Thanks again to everyone for the advice. It's very reassuring to draw on
> the wealth of experience that's so obvious in the users here.
>
> Tom
> --
>  [hidden email]
>
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

Matt Maguire
In reply to this post by Ignacy

On 18/10/2012, at 1:06 AM, Ignacy <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I own both K3 and KX3.
>
> K3 is mature radio. Works very well. But the design is a few years old.
>
> KX3 is new radio with new design.
> ...
> The contest programs
> cannot easily send CW without extra hardware (with exceptions).

I actually used N1MM with the KX3 in the Oceania DX CW contest last weekend (and in the
Oceania DX SSB contest the weekend before). It was the first time I had used a contesting program to generate CW, and I discovered that N1MM is a powerful program. To get it to work with the KX3, all that was required was a trivial circuit with just a single transistor and single resistor, which is pretty easy. In the end I'll probably get a Winkeyer or similar, but the simple transistor interface was a quick and easy way to get on the air and give automated CW contesting a go.

73, Matt VK2ACL
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

KF9QL
In reply to this post by dw-4

Hi Duane,

Yes, I agree about the 100-watt amplifier option. A guy wouldn't have to use it if it wasn't needed, but if it is needed it will sure be nice to have it. So it indeed seems to be a prudent investment at this point, even if it adds more to the initial cost than I initially planned. I guess it also saves the trouble of adding it in later...

Thanks for the post.

TB

> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]
> Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2012 10:57:20 -0700
> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3
>
> Hi Tom,
> I'm still running a barefoot K2 (cw only) with an amp I can add on when
> needed.
> After reading your last post (below) I agree with you that is sounds
> like good logic to outfit yourself with a radio that you can immediately
> have fun with.
> So the SSB mode and additional CW mode sounds like it would support that
> well.
> On the question of whether to have more than QRP wattage, I can only
> relate that I love to see the K2 working a station barefoot.
> However, there are those times when I've connected with a station that
> I'm really excited about, and that station is struggling to get reliable
> copy.
> Its wonderful at times like that to be able to flip a switch and bring
> up my signal.
> I had just that situation the other night and the station thanked me for
> turning on the amp.
> It might set your wallet back a little on the temporary.
> But when you have it, you may be glad you opted for the 100-watts up
> front.  :)
>
> Duane - N1BBR
>


     
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Re: Elecraft newbie considering K3 vs KX3

Ignacy
In reply to this post by Matt Maguire
Matt,
Did you use a separate USB/serial cable? Perhaps, a third party will come with one USB/serial cable that has extra wires, possibly with some small circuits like yours, that do the radio connection, CW and PTT simultaneously  Rumlog does software CW with KX3 but I don't know how well.

Did you run KX3 standalone in the Oceania contest?

I worked in Oceania CW last year as VK2/NO9E. Worked some 180 QSOs in 2-3 hrs using IC7000+ long wires. Got up last Sunday morning (6 AM GMT) and worked 15 stations with K3. Amp needed.

73,
Ignacy  

 

On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 2:44 PM, Matt Maguire <vk2acl@gmail.com> wrote:

On 18/10/2012, at 1:06 AM, Ignacy <no9e@arrl.net> wrote:

> I own both K3 and KX3.
>
> K3 is mature radio. Works very well. But the design is a few years old.
>
> KX3 is new radio with new design.
> ...
> The contest programs
> cannot easily send CW without extra hardware (with exceptions).

I actually used N1MM with the KX3 in the Oceania DX CW contest last weekend (and in the
Oceania DX SSB contest the weekend before). It was the first time I had used a contesting program to generate CW, and I discovered that N1MM is a powerful program. To get it to work with the KX3, all that was required was a trivial circuit with just a single transistor and single resistor, which is pretty easy. In the end I'll probably get a Winkeyer or similar, but the simple transistor interface was a quick and easy way to get on the air and give automated CW contesting a go.

73, Matt VK2ACL
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