New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

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New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

Arno Dienhart
 

Hello,

 

I am a new ham, retired, and this is a kind of bucket list thing: I might
have one or two years left and want to get back into CW that I know well
from my time in the (German) Navy. I have been looking hard at a K2 and
would be able to build it but that would not be the reason to get it. Life
is short and I'd prefer to just assemble a KX3. What I like about the K2 is
that it is designed for CW, and I would not add SSB, nor the amp, but the
ATU.

 

I also own a dual band HT, which I use for local ARES volunteer work and
scanning the PD band. Other than that, I'm not really into verbal rag
chewing, be it local or DX (blame my snotty CW attitude).

 

Only today did I realize what the KX3 is. Assembling it would be just fine.
While the smaller size is not necessarily a buying point for me, I wouldn't
mind it (I will take it outdoors). What I don't really need or want are the
other modes (SSB, data, and SDR), so I wonder whether I am getting the wrong
radio with a KX3 that is not a dedicated CW machine.

 

If all I did were CW, with DX ambitions nevertheless, which do you think
would be the better radio for me?

 

Thank you in advance for your suggestions and ideas, and also further
questions, if you have them.

 

73,

 

Arno

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Re: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

Gil G.
On Thu, 2013-05-30 at 11:23 -0600, Arno Dienhart wrote:
> If all I did were CW, with DX ambitions nevertheless, which do you
> think would be the better radio for me?
>
Hello Arno,

You might want to look at the K1 (or KX1). I have built a K1 and a K2,
and the K1 is easier and faster to build. It outputs 6W, and that is
enough for DX anywhere. It's a neat little radio.

Gil.

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Re: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

ny4g
In reply to this post by Arno Dienhart
I am a relatively new ham - licensed in 2009 as a Tech and Extra in 2010.  My two cents and being a 96% CW Op (3000 QSOs in 3+ years with only 20 or so SSB QSOs), if I had to do it all over again and having the opportunity to buy a KX3 or a K2 at the same time - I would buy the KX3 (hands down).  At the time I bought the K2, the KX3 was not around.  The K2 is a good rig and at the time it was designed 10 years ago, no one came close to its overall capability.  Now, the KX3 is in its shoes.  From the pure enjoyment of operating, casual contesting, field day, and especially the SDR capabilities, the KX3 wins in my book.  I still have the K2 and still enjoy operating it.  These days, I just keep reaching for the KX3.  
I guess if you don't care about SDR, and SSB or PSK and other digital modes - then the K1 could be the minimalist ticket.  The K2 would have more bands (even without the SSB option), and would have 10 and 12 m (not possible on the K1).
The KX3 just allows all the options to be open if and when the time comes for them.
Ariel NY4GDXCC-QRPWAS-QRPSKCC TribuneKX3 #1211K2 #7105

> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]
> Date: Thu, 30 May 2013 11:23:21 -0600
> Subject: [Elecraft] New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3
>
>  
>
> Hello,
>
>  
>
> I am a new ham, retired, and this is a kind of bucket list thing: I might
> have one or two years left and want to get back into CW that I know well
> from my time in the (German) Navy. I have been looking hard at a K2 and
> would be able to build it but that would not be the reason to get it. Life
> is short and I'd prefer to just assemble a KX3. What I like about the K2 is
> that it is designed for CW, and I would not add SSB, nor the amp, but the
> ATU.
>
>  
>
> I also own a dual band HT, which I use for local ARES volunteer work and
> scanning the PD band. Other than that, I'm not really into verbal rag
> chewing, be it local or DX (blame my snotty CW attitude).
>
>  
>
> Only today did I realize what the KX3 is. Assembling it would be just fine.
> While the smaller size is not necessarily a buying point for me, I wouldn't
> mind it (I will take it outdoors). What I don't really need or want are the
> other modes (SSB, data, and SDR), so I wonder whether I am getting the wrong
> radio with a KX3 that is not a dedicated CW machine.
>
>  
>
> If all I did were CW, with DX ambitions nevertheless, which do you think
> would be the better radio for me?
>
>  
>
> Thank you in advance for your suggestions and ideas, and also further
> questions, if you have them.
>
>  
>
> 73,
>
>  
>
> Arno
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> 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: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

Jeff Ellis
In reply to this post by Arno Dienhart
Arno,
One thing about the SDR part of a KX3 you may be overlooking is it can be updated and improved all the time with new firmware downloads. You may also find the  DSP and filtering of the KX3 might add to the enjoyment of CW. Also having the I/Q output gives the ability to have a panadapter to help you find signals or to jump quickly between them when listening. You may also come to enjoy digital modes in the future. With the KX3 you can send RTTY and PSK31 via a paddle and it will decode on the display. It makes those two modes like alternate CW.

Just some thoughts.

73

Jeff, K7GDE

On May 30, 2013, at 10:23 AM, Arno Dienhart <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Only today did I realize what the KX3 is. Assembling it would be just fine.
> While the smaller size is not necessarily a buying point for me, I wouldn't
> mind it (I will take it outdoors). What I don't really need or want are the
> other modes (SSB, data, and SDR), so I wonder whether I am getting the wrong
> radio with a KX3 that is not a dedicated CW machine.
>
> Arno

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Re: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

stan levandowski
In reply to this post by Arno Dienhart
Arno, I'm looking at your email and reading between the lines:  You want
to make the most of the time you have left and you want to reconnect
with a meaningful time in your life which is spelled "CW".  I am also a
former US Navy RM and I operate 100% QRP CW.  I own (and use) all the
Elecraft transceivers and that's the problem:  They are all so wonderful
I can't bear to part with any of them.  Having said all this, I find
myself constantly reaching for my KX3.  It has the performance, the
all-important dual watch which makes DXing a split incredibly efficient,
and it's been working with no issues since I got #0325.  The ATU can
load anything.  The automatic spotting function is outstanding. In my
opinion the KX3 *is* designed for CW.  I just totally ignore the SSB and
other modes stuff.  If I were in your situation I would buy the KX3.
73, Stan WB2LQF

On Thu, May 30, 2013 at 1:23 PM, Arno Dienhart wrote:

> Hello,
>
>
> I am a new ham, retired, and this is a kind of bucket list thing: I
> might
> have one or two years left and want to get back into CW that I know
> well
> from my time in the (German) Navy. I have been looking hard at a K2
> and
> would be able to build it but that would not be the reason to get it.
> Life
> is short and I'd prefer to just assemble a KX3. What I like about the
> K2 is
> that it is designed for CW, and I would not add SSB, nor the amp, but
> the
> ATU.
>
> I also own a dual band HT, which I use for local ARES volunteer work
> and
> scanning the PD band. Other than that, I'm not really into verbal rag
> chewing, be it local or DX (blame my snotty CW attitude).
>
>
> Only today did I realize what the KX3 is. Assembling it would be just
> fine.
> While the smaller size is not necessarily a buying point for me, I
> wouldn't
> mind it (I will take it outdoors). What I don't really need or want
> are the
> other modes (SSB, data, and SDR), so I wonder whether I am getting the
> wrong
> radio with a KX3 that is not a dedicated CW machine.
>
>
> If all I did were CW, with DX ambitions nevertheless, which do you
> think
> would be the better radio for me?
>
> Thank you in advance for your suggestions and ideas, and also further
> questions, if you have them.
>
>
> 73,
>
>
> Arno
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> 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: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

Tim Hague
In reply to this post by Jeff Ellis
The KX3 is a fantastic CW radio, the DSP filtering combined with the roofing filter makes it very hard to beat, 50 Hz bandwidth with no ringing!

Best regards, Tim Hague, M0AFJ
Skype m0afj.Tim
Sent on my iPad


On 30 May 2013, at 18:54, Jeff Ellis <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Arno,
> One thing about the SDR part of a KX3 you may be overlooking is it can be updated and improved all the time with new firmware downloads. You may also find the  DSP and filtering of the KX3 might add to the enjoyment of CW. Also having the I/Q output gives the ability to have a panadapter to help you find signals or to jump quickly between them when listening. You may also come to enjoy digital modes in the future. With the KX3 you can send RTTY and PSK31 via a paddle and it will decode on the display. It makes those two modes like alternate CW.
>
> Just some thoughts.
>
> 73
>
> Jeff, K7GDE
>
> On May 30, 2013, at 10:23 AM, Arno Dienhart <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Only today did I realize what the KX3 is. Assembling it would be just fine.
>> While the smaller size is not necessarily a buying point for me, I wouldn't
>> mind it (I will take it outdoors). What I don't really need or want are the
>> other modes (SSB, data, and SDR), so I wonder whether I am getting the wrong
>> radio with a KX3 that is not a dedicated CW machine.
>>
>> Arno
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> 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: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

Gustavo Villada
In reply to this post by Arno Dienhart
Hallo Arno, Genosse Seemann.
As several have tell you, a KX3 will fit better than a K2... and KX3 you
dont need to soldering...

73
Gus / LU6AGV
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Re: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

Phillip Lontz
I have the K2, K3 and the KX3... I do CW ... Almost never SSB... All three are great and I can play with any of them at anytime.
I,almost always choose the KX3 over the others. I don't know why... I just do. It's not about reason... Cause reason would have a cause. If I have to sell one... I don't know which one would go... It's kinda like trying to sell your sister,or brother. Thought call.

Sent from my iPad

On May 30, 2013, at 12:24 PM, Gustavo Villada <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hallo Arno, Genosse Seemann.
> As several have tell you, a KX3 will fit better than a K2... and KX3 you
> dont need to soldering...
>
> 73
> Gus / LU6AGV
> ______________________________________________________________
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>
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Re: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

Mark Hogan
In reply to this post by Arno Dienhart
I have had my mike plugged in once...made one contact, it worked.
I put it in the Rose KX3 bag and hooked up a key and have not looked back.
It's a great cw rig.
I also have a KX1 another great rig

Mark Hogan N5OBC


On Thursday, May 30, 2013, Arno Dienhart wrote:

>
>
> Hello,
>
>
>
> I am a new ham, retired, and this is a kind of bucket list thing: I might
> have one or two years left and want to get back into CW that I know well
> from my time in the (German) Navy. I have been looking hard at a K2 and
> would be able to build it but that would not be the reason to get it. Life
> is short and I'd prefer to just assemble a KX3. What I like about the K2 is
> that it is designed for CW, and I would not add SSB, nor the amp, but the
> ATU.
>
>
>
> I also own a dual band HT, which I use for local ARES volunteer work and
> scanning the PD band. Other than that, I'm not really into verbal rag
> chewing, be it local or DX (blame my snotty CW attitude).
>
>
>
> Only today did I realize what the KX3 is. Assembling it would be just fine.
> While the smaller size is not necessarily a buying point for me, I wouldn't
> mind it (I will take it outdoors). What I don't really need or want are the
> other modes (SSB, data, and SDR), so I wonder whether I am getting the
> wrong
> radio with a KX3 that is not a dedicated CW machine.
>
>
>
> If all I did were CW, with DX ambitions nevertheless, which do you think
> would be the better radio for me?
>
>
>
> Thank you in advance for your suggestions and ideas, and also further
> questions, if you have them.
>
>
>
> 73,
>
>
>
> Arno
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email] <javascript:;>
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>


--
Mark Hogan
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Re: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

Michael Babineau-2
In reply to this post by Arno Dienhart
Arno :

I am a K2/10 user (and builder) and it is a fantastic CW radio. I have also had the opportunity to use a KX3 to make a few QSOs and
I can report that it is also a fantastic CW radio. In fact the nicest thing that I can say about the KX3 is that it sounds like an analog
radio, except that you can narrow the filters down to 50Hz and there is absolutely no ringing (typical of SDR).  It doesn't matter
that it has SSB capability or that it is an SDR it is still an excellent CW rig.  Unless you really have your heart set on building a
K2, and your budget allows, I would say go with the KX3. I you don't really plan to do any portable operating, then maybe also consider
whether a K3/10 might be a better fit for your needs than the KX3.

Best of luck in your decision. I am sure that you will be pleased with either a K2, KX3 or K3.

Michael VE3WMB (K1, KX1, K2 owner)
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Re: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

Mike Studer
In reply to this post by Arno Dienhart
I have a K3, KX3, K2 (QRP version with internal ATU and battery), and a KX1.
For a CW operator like myself the KX3 is preferred over a K2.
Both the KX3 and K3 have a feature called CWT (CW Tuning).
It allows precise tuning of a received CW signal.  Either manually via a
visual display or automatically by pressing the SPOT button.  (while in
CWT mode).
I love that feature. It's fast and it's easy.
Plus the KX3 has very nice filtering and DSP. ie., it's quiet.
I can also hook the KX3 up via it's RXIQ port to a good computer sound
card and use the computer to monitor all the CW portion of the band at
once.  ie., CW Skimmer software.
I hope this helps.
73,
Mike

On 5/30/2013 10:23 AM, Arno Dienhart wrote:

>  
>
> Hello,
>
>  
>
> I am a new ham, retired, and this is a kind of bucket list thing: I might
> have one or two years left and want to get back into CW that I know well
> from my time in the (German) Navy. I have been looking hard at a K2 and
> would be able to build it but that would not be the reason to get it. Life
> is short and I'd prefer to just assemble a KX3. What I like about the K2 is
> that it is designed for CW, and I would not add SSB, nor the amp, but the
> ATU.
>
>  
>
> I also own a dual band HT, which I use for local ARES volunteer work and
> scanning the PD band. Other than that, I'm not really into verbal rag
> chewing, be it local or DX (blame my snotty CW attitude).
>
>  
>
> Only today did I realize what the KX3 is. Assembling it would be just fine.
> While the smaller size is not necessarily a buying point for me, I wouldn't
> mind it (I will take it outdoors). What I don't really need or want are the
> other modes (SSB, data, and SDR), so I wonder whether I am getting the wrong
> radio with a KX3 that is not a dedicated CW machine.
>
>  
>
> If all I did were CW, with DX ambitions nevertheless, which do you think
> would be the better radio for me?
>
>  
>
> Thank you in advance for your suggestions and ideas, and also further
> questions, if you have them.
>
>  
>
> 73,
>
>  
>
> Arno
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> 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: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

W4TZM
In reply to this post by Arno Dienhart
Arno,

I'll be a bit contrarian here.  My first Elecraft rig was the KX3 which I wanted for portable work.  I've since built a K2 with the PA and ATU, but it's CW only. The KX3 goes in the field with me and the K2 stays on my desk as my primary rig.  There are a couple of reasons for this:

1) I built my K2 and I'm proud of that. I enjoy knowing that I understand how it works and how to troubleshoot it when things have gone awry. Its my baby.
2) As you put it, the K2 is sort of a classic type of radio, at least compared to the other things on offer today. CW is a beautifully simple mode and that's why I like it and it fits with how I want to spend my time in the hobby.

That said, the KX3 is a phenomenal CW rig and I don't think anyone could say you'd be wrong to get one.  The display is exceptional and presents all the information you could want in an easy to understand manner.  Though it does more stuff than the K2, the primary functions for CW on the KX3 are almost as easy to manipulate as with the K2. I spend my working life in Information Technology.  While I've used the I/Q on the KX3 to prove I could do it, I don't find myself wanting to use it very much. I steer away from that in my hobby.  See #2 above.  Same goes for digital modes.

The K2, for now, remains my rig of choice when I'm not portable.

Have fun!

Tommy W4TZM


On May 30, 2013, at 1:23 PM, Arno Dienhart <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> Hello,
>
>
>
> I am a new ham, retired, and this is a kind of bucket list thing: I might
> have one or two years left and want to get back into CW that I know well
> from my time in the (German) Navy. I have been looking hard at a K2 and
> would be able to build it but that would not be the reason to get it. Life
> is short and I'd prefer to just assemble a KX3. What I like about the K2 is
> that it is designed for CW, and I would not add SSB, nor the amp, but the
> ATU.
>
>
>
> I also own a dual band HT, which I use for local ARES volunteer work and
> scanning the PD band. Other than that, I'm not really into verbal rag
> chewing, be it local or DX (blame my snotty CW attitude).
>
>
>
> Only today did I realize what the KX3 is. Assembling it would be just fine.
> While the smaller size is not necessarily a buying point for me, I wouldn't
> mind it (I will take it outdoors). What I don't really need or want are the
> other modes (SSB, data, and SDR), so I wonder whether I am getting the wrong
> radio with a KX3 that is not a dedicated CW machine.
>
>
>
> If all I did were CW, with DX ambitions nevertheless, which do you think
> would be the better radio for me?
>
>
>
> Thank you in advance for your suggestions and ideas, and also further
> questions, if you have them.
>
>
>
> 73,
>
>
>
> Arno
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> 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: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

gt-i
In reply to this post by stan levandowski
Arno,
I both own the K2 and the KX3. maybe you saw my recent post about using
them in the WPX CW contest.
The great thing about the KX3 is that Elecraft is constantly working on
software improvements.
You can disable FM and AM - just checked SSB cannot be disabled at the
time but my be thats a new feature request :-)
I have not even yet connected a mike to my KX3 - I only plan to do this
once the 2m module is in my hands. So far a 100% CW machine. CW
memories, RIT/XIT, full or semi break-in, CW Rev, variable pitch all
like the K2, extras are CW Auto SPOT (tuning aid), great filtering from
50Hz to 2,8kHz just by turning the PBT knob, APF, noise reduction and
even basic CW decoding (maybe not of interest to you but just to make
the list complete). A general improvent over the K2 is the custom LCD
display and all knobs and buttons are imho much better to use.

73 & have fun
Gernot, DF5RF

Am 30.05.2013 20:15, schrieb stan levandowski:

> Arno, I'm looking at your email and reading between the lines:  You
> want to make the most of the time you have left and you want to
> reconnect with a meaningful time in your life which is spelled "CW".  
> I am also a former US Navy RM and I operate 100% QRP CW.  I own (and
> use) all the Elecraft transceivers and that's the problem:  They are
> all so wonderful I can't bear to part with any of them.  Having said
> all this, I find myself constantly reaching for my KX3.  It has the
> performance, the all-important dual watch which makes DXing a split
> incredibly efficient, and it's been working with no issues since I got
> #0325.  The ATU can load anything.  The automatic spotting function is
> outstanding. In my opinion the KX3 *is* designed for CW.  I just
> totally ignore the SSB and other modes stuff.  If I were in your
> situation I would buy the KX3. 73, Stan WB2LQF
>
> On Thu, May 30, 2013 at 1:23 PM, Arno Dienhart wrote:
>
>> Hello,
>>
>>
>> I am a new ham, retired, and this is a kind of bucket list thing: I
>> might
>> have one or two years left and want to get back into CW that I know well
>> from my time in the (German) Navy. I have been looking hard at a K2 and
>> would be able to build it but that would not be the reason to get it.
>> Life
>> is short and I'd prefer to just assemble a KX3. What I like about the
>> K2 is
>> that it is designed for CW, and I would not add SSB, nor the amp, but
>> the
>> ATU.
>>
>> I also own a dual band HT, which I use for local ARES volunteer work and
>> scanning the PD band. Other than that, I'm not really into verbal rag
>> chewing, be it local or DX (blame my snotty CW attitude).
>>
>>
>> Only today did I realize what the KX3 is. Assembling it would be just
>> fine.
>> While the smaller size is not necessarily a buying point for me, I
>> wouldn't
>> mind it (I will take it outdoors). What I don't really need or want
>> are the
>> other modes (SSB, data, and SDR), so I wonder whether I am getting
>> the wrong
>> radio with a KX3 that is not a dedicated CW machine.
>>
>>
>> If all I did were CW, with DX ambitions nevertheless, which do you think
>> would be the better radio for me?
>>
>> Thank you in advance for your suggestions and ideas, and also further
>> questions, if you have them.
>>
>>
>> 73,
>>
>>
>> Arno
>>
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Re: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

Arno Dienhart
In reply to this post by W4TZM
Dear all,

What can I say! I am overwhelmed by the friendliness and generosity of you
all with offering your good advice, help, even offering to let me use your
TXCVR for a while. And then, of course, overwhelmed by the almost-unanimous
recommendation of one transceiver for my situation: the KX3.

Well, my (pre-assembled) KX3 will be shipped on Monday, with ATU, roofing
filter and charger. Serious learning will ensue to get my General ticket,
and to get familiar with the KX3's features, of course. Both should be fun.

Next major obstacle will be the antenna(e). Which, I hope, will also be fun.
I will see (and hear).

Again, thank you all. I have a hunch that I will be back with more questions
;)

73,
Arno
Kg7bjm




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Re: New ham but seasoned CW r/o, between classic K2 and progressive KX3

Arno Dienhart
In reply to this post by Arno Dienhart
KX3 #4458 arrived today. Still working on antenna(e), so cannot RX or TX
yet, but the "package" is wonderful.

 

Thank you all again for your advice.

 

73,

Arno

KG7BJM

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