KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

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KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

Steve KC8QVO
I am loading up for a 10 mile backpacking trip this weekend and was going through some weights this evening, along with cleaning my Simmerlite stove and digging up some of my other gear.

When I have gone on trips in the past I have taken my FT-857D. My favorite antenna is a Jumper dipole (sectional - has spade connectors between each consecutively lower frequency band segment 6 to 40 meters) and that is what I will continue to use, though I may try some other ideas as time goes on.

My set up before was right about 15lbs. This included the FT-857D, battery, mic, key, antenna, and support rope.

My total station weight for the KX3 is just 3.7lbs! This includes the following:
Jumper dipole and 50' of 550 chord = 11.4oz
KX3 with KXPD3 = 28.4oz
Power wire = 1.1oz
Mic/cable = 5.4oz
Headphones = .4oz
8AA batteries = 7.8oz
6w solar panel = 5.3oz
Total oz is 59.8, or 3.7375lbs.

That is pretty cool.

One caveat is the internal charger is not installed in the rig yet, so it will go up a tad in weight when I get that. I am also thinking of using my AA's externally with 2x 4 battery cases. This way I can charge them easier off the solar panel.

What I am probably going to do for this weekend is still use my 7Ah SLA - that comes in at 85.8oz, or 5.36lbs. It is a big weight gain, but when I am in camp at night and the sun isn't out I can run all I want and not drain it.

I am sure weights will fluctuate a bit, but given the weight of the rig and the low current consumption its amazing what all can go along and at minimal weight. Some die-hard backpackers would still say this is too much weight, but I am also a die-hard Ham so I'll take my 10lb weight loss and still be 4lbs or so over what I could be for the enjoyment of Ham radio on the trail.

Steve, KC8QVO
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Re: KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

stan levandowski
If you left the mic and cable home, you could have saved an additional
5.4 oz.    ;)

Enjoy your hike!

Stan WB2LQF


On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 10:28 PM, Steve KC8QVO wrote:


> My total station weight for the KX3 is just 3.7lbs! This includes the
> following:
> Jumper dipole and 50' of 550 chord = 11.4oz
> KX3 with KXPD3 = 28.4oz
> Power wire = 1.1oz
> Mic/cable = 5.4oz
> Headphones = .4oz
> 8AA batteries = 7.8oz
> 6w solar panel = 5.3oz
> Total oz is 59.8, or 3.7375lbs.
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Re: KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

Joe K2UF
HEY !!  I was going to say that.  ;o}

73  Joe K2UF

No trees were harmed in the sending of this e-mail; however, many electrons
were inconvenienced.


-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of stan levandowski
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 10:37 PM
To: [hidden email]
Cc: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs
off my pack weight

If you left the mic and cable home, you could have saved an additional
5.4 oz.    ;)

Enjoy your hike!

Stan WB2LQF


On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 10:28 PM, Steve KC8QVO wrote:


> My total station weight for the KX3 is just 3.7lbs! This includes the
> following:
> Jumper dipole and 50' of 550 chord = 11.4oz
> KX3 with KXPD3 = 28.4oz
> Power wire = 1.1oz
> Mic/cable = 5.4oz
> Headphones = .4oz
> 8AA batteries = 7.8oz
> 6w solar panel = 5.3oz
> Total oz is 59.8, or 3.7375lbs.
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Re: KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

Mike Morrow-3
In reply to this post by Steve KC8QVO
Steve wrote:

> I am loading up for a 10 mile backpacking trip this weekend...

It's a modest distance if elevation changes aren't too abrupt and the
temperature is tolerable.

> When I have gone on trips in the past I have taken my FT-857D.

A mobile-rig monster that weighs more than 4.5 lb and draws more than 1 amp
just on receive!  I have never before heard of anyone using anything remotely
similar for backpacking.  I've used for a decade a K1 and resonant dipole
assembly and 4.5 Ah SLA, plus a small HT and a small AM/FM radio.

> My set up before was right about 15lbs. This included the FT-857D, battery...

I asked some time ago what sort of battery was used to support a rig that draws
over 1 amp just on receive.  My K1 draws about 70 mA with signals and backlight.

> Total oz is 59.8, or 3.7375lbs.

Are you sure about the accuracy of those last 75/10,000ths of a lb.? :-)

> What I am probably going to do for this weekend is still use my 7Ah SLA...

A common 4 to 4.5 Ah SLA would seem better suited.  That 7 Ah SLA could not
supply a FT-857D for anything but a negligible amount of time.  But the KX3,
with receive current draw one-fifth that of the FT-857D, will be entirely
serviceable for a few hours of causal ops for several evenings with a 4.5 Ah
SLA before any recharge will be needed.

> ...when I am in camp at night and the sun isn't out I can run all I want
> and not drain it.

That sounds a little hyperbolic.  I've always found that a battery always goes
away faster than one hopes.

> Some die-hard backpackers would still say this is too much weight...

I wouldn't.  I carry a small 5W 144/440 FM HT (with DC power cord and clips
to the SLA battery, plus long-range non-rubber-duck antenna) programmed
with ham and public service frequencies for the area.  I carry a small AM/FM
good-performance AM/FM broadcast radio.  (The small new SDR-technology Tecsun
PL-380 and PL-390 are great, especially the PL-390 with its larger ferrite
bar AM antenna.)

Someday when I have a KX3, I'll probably prefer the K1 for backpacking.

The summer months are bad camping and hiking months...especially in 2012.
After the faux winter the US just had, insects, ticks, chiggers, etc. are
out in greater numbers than they've been in decades.  Plus its hot and
area stream levels are way down.  Fall and winter are my months.

Mike / KK5F
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Re: KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

Jessie Oberreuter-2
In reply to this post by Steve KC8QVO

On Wed, 25 Jul 2012, Steve KC8QVO wrote:

> KX3 with KXPD3 = 28.4oz
> 6w solar panel = 5.3oz

      I have some similar hikes coming up this fall, and I'm starting to
think about what I want to bring along for hf.  I usually backpack the K1
with internal batteries and tuner.  If I want to go smaller/lighter, I
take a ruggedized 40m SST instead.  This year, a KX3 may be a possibility!
FWIW, I've never run the K1's internal batteries dry on a camping trip,
even with a few nights of radio.  'Course I'm usually with other folks, so
introvert time with the radio is limited to about three hours a day.

      What solar panel are you using?  I wouldn't expect to get too many
hours of good light [here in the Pacific Northwest], since we'd be hiking
during the best sun, and I tend to avoid direct sunlight whenever I can.
It would make sense, however, if we spent a day at camp before turning
back around.  I've certainly run a great many portable contests on solar!
      I have a flexable panel that I could tie to the back of my pack if I
thought it would get enough light while hiking to make a difference.
Powering the internal KX3 charger from a panel while hiking could be a
worthwhile experiment.

      I can't believe you lugged an 857 on a hike! Before the KX3, if you
really wanted 5-10 watts of SSB on a hike, it was hard to go wrong with
one of MFJ's adventure radios!  'Course, I try to limit my average pack
weight to 30lbs :).

  - kb7psg

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Re: KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

Rick Dettinger-3
In the 1950's, intrepid hams like Wes Hayward, W7ZOI, used to haul tube gear up mountains!
These rigs would have had interesting power requirements; several heavy batteries.  We have it pretty good today, with our K1's and a small AA battery pack.  

73,
Rick Dettinger   K7MW



On Jul 25, 2012, at 10:22 PM, Jessie Oberreuter wrote:

>
>      I can't believe you lugged an 857 on a hike! Before the KX3, if you
> really wanted 5-10 watts of SSB on a hike, it was hard to go wrong with
> one of MFJ's adventure radios!  'Course, I try to limit my average pack
> weight to 30lbs :).
>
> - kb7psg
>

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Re: KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

Steve KC8QVO
The reason for the FT-857D is it is what I had. By the way, the current draw on receive is closer to 1/2 an amp, 500mA, not 1 amp.

My 857 has been over hundreds of miles in the backpack through the Appalachians, some of KY, and southern Ohio. A more typical trip for us is 3 days in the Appalachians and around 16-22 miles.

The solar panel is a few of Powerfilm's 150mA panels taped together. They are like solar bumper stickers. Here is a picture from when I was in Canada back in June:
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o117/KC8QVO/Canada%202012/IMG_9209.jpg

I used solder wick to join the panels in parallel - it will take flexing to allow the panel to fold up - a flat pack 2 sections wide.

The solar panel is in the bottom left of the picture. The antenna is a Buddistick with a paddle as a support. I wasn't backpacking here, just camped for 4 days.

Here is a better picture of the hammock:
http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o117/KC8QVO/Canada%202012/IMG_9217.jpg

It is a Warbonnet Blackbird double layer with a Big Mamajamba tarp and door kit. Its been through a tropical storm (or, what was left of it, Lee last Fall in the Smokies).

Steve, KC8QVO
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Re: KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

Keith Heimbold
Now you are really ready for the zombie apocalypse. At that low weight you can out run the zombies easily.

I am looking forward to putting together a similar station. Where did you purchase the solar panels?

Thanks,

Keith
AG6AZ

Sent from my iPhone please excuse typos

On Jul 26, 2012, at 4:10 AM, "Steve KC8QVO" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The reason for the FT-857D is it is what I had. By the way, the current draw
> on receive is closer to 1/2 an amp, 500mA, not 1 amp.
>
> My 857 has been over hundreds of miles in the backpack through the
> Appalachians, some of KY, and southern Ohio. A more typical trip for us is 3
> days in the Appalachians and around 16-22 miles.
>
> The solar panel is a few of Powerfilm's 150mA panels taped together. They
> are like solar bumper stickers. Here is a picture from when I was in Canada
> back in June:
> http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o117/KC8QVO/Canada%202012/IMG_9209.jpg
> http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o117/KC8QVO/Canada%202012/IMG_9209.jpg 
>
> I used solder wick to join the panels in parallel - it will take flexing to
> allow the panel to fold up - a flat pack 2 sections wide.
>
> The solar panel is in the bottom left of the picture. The antenna is a
> Buddistick with a paddle as a support. I wasn't backpacking here, just
> camped for 4 days.
>
> Here is a better picture of the hammock:
> http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o117/KC8QVO/Canada%202012/IMG_9217.jpg
> http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o117/KC8QVO/Canada%202012/IMG_9217.jpg 
>
> It is a Warbonnet Blackbird double layer with a Big Mamajamba tarp and door
> kit. Its been through a tropical storm (or, what was left of it, Lee last
> Fall in the Smokies).
>
> Steve, KC8QVO
>
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/KX-3-Thank-you-Elecraft-for-dropping-over-10lbs-off-my-pack-weight-tp7559790p7559806.html
> Sent from the Elecraft mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> ______________________________________________________________
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> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
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Re: KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

ny4g
I am not sure why nobody mentioned the KX1.  It has 4 watts output, 4 bands, weighs next to nothing, 55 mA on receive, and with a 4500mA SLA (1 lb) or the equivalent LiFePo which is half the weight and Par Ef-40-20-10 and a spool of wire for 80m the entire group is perhaps 2 lbs or so - now that is light (no mic, no external key - just the KXPD1.  The only thing lighter will be a XCVR single bander in an Altoids tin.

Ariel

KX1 #2608
K2 #7105
KX3 #???

Sent from my iPad

On Jul 26, 2012, at 9:45 AM, "Keith Heimbold" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Now you are really ready for the zombie apocalypse. At that low weight you can out run the zombies easily.
>
> I am looking forward to putting together a similar station. Where did you purchase the solar panels?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Keith
> AG6AZ
>
> Sent from my iPhone please excuse typos
>
> On Jul 26, 2012, at 4:10 AM, "Steve KC8QVO" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> The reason for the FT-857D is it is what I had. By the way, the current draw
>> on receive is closer to 1/2 an amp, 500mA, not 1 amp.
>>
>> My 857 has been over hundreds of miles in the backpack through the
>> Appalachians, some of KY, and southern Ohio. A more typical trip for us is 3
>> days in the Appalachians and around 16-22 miles.
>>
>> The solar panel is a few of Powerfilm's 150mA panels taped together. They
>> are like solar bumper stickers. Here is a picture from when I was in Canada
>> back in June:
>> http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o117/KC8QVO/Canada%202012/IMG_9209.jpg
>> http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o117/KC8QVO/Canada%202012/IMG_9209.jpg 
>>
>> I used solder wick to join the panels in parallel - it will take flexing to
>> allow the panel to fold up - a flat pack 2 sections wide.
>>
>> The solar panel is in the bottom left of the picture. The antenna is a
>> Buddistick with a paddle as a support. I wasn't backpacking here, just
>> camped for 4 days.
>>
>> Here is a better picture of the hammock:
>> http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o117/KC8QVO/Canada%202012/IMG_9217.jpg
>> http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o117/KC8QVO/Canada%202012/IMG_9217.jpg 
>>
>> It is a Warbonnet Blackbird double layer with a Big Mamajamba tarp and door
>> kit. Its been through a tropical storm (or, what was left of it, Lee last
>> Fall in the Smokies).
>>
>> Steve, KC8QVO
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> View this message in context: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/KX-3-Thank-you-Elecraft-for-dropping-over-10lbs-off-my-pack-weight-tp7559790p7559806.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: KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

Steve KC8QVO
Keith Heimbold wrote
I am looking forward to putting together a similar station. Where did you purchase the solar panels?
Keith,

The solar panels came from Powerfilm directly. I picked them up at Dayton 2 years ago, 25 sections/panels per pack and I got 2 packs. If I put them all together it would be about 30 watts. I don't have them all put together, though, just the sections I've been using.

Here is the website:
http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/oem-components.php
They are the MTP15-75's. I thought they were 150mA each, but they're only 50mA. There is a 150mA version though. That might offer more wattage per ounce.


ny4g wrote
I am not sure why nobody mentioned the KX1.  It has 4 watts output, 4 bands, weighs next to nothing, 55 mA on receive, and with a 4500mA SLA (1 lb) or the equivalent LiFePo which is half the weight and Par Ef-40-20-10 and a spool of wire for 80m the entire group is perhaps 2 lbs or so - now that is light (no mic, no external key - just the KXPD1.  The only thing lighter will be a XCVR single bander in an Altoids tin.

Ariel
Ariel,

The KX1 is a great option too. I had the pleasure of operating one for a weekend. I did not get to take it on a trek, just at home. I borrowed it for a presentation on Ham radio I did at OSU. At the time I had not made the migration to Elecraft myself. I was highly considering a KX1 because of its size and weight for the trail. However, I took in to account how I use my radios and where I use them the most. The KX1 would have been a trail-only rig. I had been wanting a K2 so I weighed the options and the K2 won. Now I am pretty glad I held off on the KX1 now that the KX3 came along. I did miss the solder melting, but it was also nice to power up and do something with the rig the same day I opened the box.

That having been said, the KX3 is my ideal backpacking rig - and even beyond that. Elecraft packed so much in to this little rig that it is hard to call it a compromise. I don't mean this to be negative in any way, but I would call the K1 and KX1 compromise rigs for the reason that they aren't full-featured rigs (select bands and CW only, vs. all bands all modes). When you look at what the KX3 has to offer, in as small and light of a package that it is, you really have to look twice to realize that, no you aren't dreaming, it really does THAT too.

To each their own, but I think I've come across the best thing since sliced bread. My backpacking buddies can even join in the fun - it does SSB so I don't have to throw the headphones on and tap out CW in confinement. The next time I get flown around for work I can throw this in my luggage, not take up too much space or weight, and not feel like I left anything behind. Same goes for weekend trips to visit family and friends. It's small and light, without missing a thing. Once the 2m module comes out I can even leave an HT behind.

Steve, KC8QVO
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Re: KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

rrhaloha
This post has NOT been accepted by the mailing list yet.
In reply to this post by Steve KC8QVO
What are you using for "Headphones" and what have you tried you didn't like?
Aloha, Richard
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Re: KX-3 - Thank you Elecraft for dropping over 10lbs off my pack weight

Steve KC8QVO
I use earbud style headphones made by Sony with some soft rubber cup things. Normally I would not use them, but I wanted as compact of a package and these work for that. I don't know what the model is, they were around $30-40 and have a volume control on the wire.

Steve, KC8QVO