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KX3 Wire Antenna

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KX3 Wire Antenna

Jim - W6VAR
This weekend I took my KX3 on a camping trip and used the 24' wire antenna and 16' / 33' counterpoise wires I used for my KX1.

I was able to tune reasonably well on 20 meters and even 30, but was unable to tune less than 3:1 on 40. Wayne used to recommend 24-28' for the KX1. What length are people finding success with matching using the KX3 tuner?

Jim
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Re: KX3 Wire Antenna

sussman
This post has NOT been accepted by the mailing list yet.
I recently did the same thing -- tried to follow Elecraft founders' exact recipe they mention in the KXAT1 manual for longwire backpacking.

I bought the Wireman #534 "silky" wire, and hoo boy, it is thin.  Feels like teflon-coated guitar string.  I cut 26' of it, attached a stack of washers (1 oz) to the end, and attached the other end to a Pomona 3430 connector, making it easy to attach a longwire to the KX3's BNC.  It was really easy to swing over a 20' branch!  I then attached a 16' length of the same "silky" wire to the KX3's upper right screw (as the KX3 manual suggests for grounding) and threw it over some bushes as a counterpoise.

Like you, I had no problem using the KX3's internal tuner to get great SWR on 17, 20, and 30 meters.  But 40 was sketchy -- most of the time it couldn't get lower than 4:1.

Nevertheless, I'm pretty thrilled at how tiny these longwires are;  they curl up into something that fits in my jeans pocket, or can be stuffed into my tiny KX3 waistpack.  No more toting around Buddisticks for me.  :-)



On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM, Jim - W6VAR [via Elecraft] <[hidden email]> wrote:
This weekend I took my KX3 on a camping trip and used the 24' wire antenna and 16' / 33' counterpoise wires I used for my KX1.

I was able to tune reasonably well on 20 meters and even 30, but was unable to tune less than 3:1 on 40. Wayne used to recommend 24-28' for the KX1. What length are people finding success with matching using the KX3 tuner?

Jim


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Re: KX3 Wire Antenna

Chip Stratton
In reply to this post by Jim - W6VAR
I had the same problem with a 25 ft wire, but after lengthening it to 41
feet the KX3 tunes all bands from 80 to 10 to less than 2:1 SWR.

Be sure to do a second tune if the first one doesn't get you where you want
to go, sometimes that makes a difference.

When portable (but not backpacking) I have three 16' wires going into a
banana plug that I spread out as ground radials. I also have 6 feet of coax
going from the radio to a barrel connector where the banana plug adapter is
attached and sits on the ground. Less strain on the KX3 BNC and a little
easier to manage. All of those things can affect the antenna's impedance to
some degree. There is some loss in the length of coax from the radio at
very high antenna SWR, but the trade-off is acceptable.

73
Chip
AE5KA
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Re: KX3 Wire Antenna

sussman
This post has NOT been accepted by the mailing list yet.
In reply to this post by Jim - W6VAR
I recently did the same thing -- tried to follow Elecraft founders' exact recipe they mention in the KXAT1 manual for longwire backpacking.

I bought the Wireman #534 "silky" wire, and hoo boy, it is thin.  Feels like teflon-coated guitar string.  I cut 26' of it, attached a stack of washers (1 oz) to the end, and attached the other end to a Pomona 3430 connector, making it easy to attach a longwire to the KX3's BNC.  It was really easy to swing over a 20' branch!  I then attached a 16' length of the same "silky" wire to the KX3's upper right screw (as the KX3 manual suggests for grounding) and threw it over some bushes as a counterpoise.

Like you, I had no problem using the KX3's internal tuner to get great SWR on 17, 20, and 30 meters.  But 40 was sketchy -- most of the time it couldn't get lower than 4:1.

Nevertheless, I'm pretty thrilled at how tiny these longwires are;  they curl up into something that fits in my jeans pocket, or can be stuffed into my tiny KX3 waistpack.  No more toting around Buddisticks for me.  :-)
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