Unhappy With Your KX3?

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
59 messages Options
123
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Unhappy With Your KX3?

Kevin Kleinfelter
I'm interested in buying the KX3, but it is a lot of money for me; I want
to be sure not to make an expensive mistake.  So I started searching the
net for someone who is unhappy with his/her KX3.  The closest I got was
someone who said he hated his KX3 and was going to send it back -- until
Elecraft contacted him, helped him make a config change, and now he loves
it.

So... If you are unhappy with your KX3, please respond with why.  (I'm not
looking for things that could be tweaked to make it better. I'm looking for
"Here's why I really wish I had NOT bought my KX3" or "Here's why I really
wish I had bought xyz instead.")

If you don't want to post it to the list, please send it to me at
do-not-like-kx3 [at] kleinfelter [dot] com.
TIA
Kevin
KK4KIK
______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

Rick Stealey

You're posting this on the wrong reflector OM.
You would have better luck over on the Icom and Yaesu reflectors,
but don't hold your breath.

Rick  K2XT
     
______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

Rick Stealey
In reply to this post by Kevin Kleinfelter

Since I saw the original post I've been thinking........
IF (a big IF) you managed to locate ONE OWNER who fit your criteria and he responded to you,
what are you going to do, trust his judgement or opinion of the other ONE or TWO THOUSAND
on the other side of the fence? !!

The KX3 was designed by Wayne Burdick.  He is on here every day, reading, listening
to his customers and responding, making them happy.  If you don't get a KX3 what are
you going to get, an FT-817?  Who designed your 817?  How do you contact HIM if
you have a question or a concern?    Where do the factory design teams for the FT5000 or
the TS990 hang out?  Could you pass along the reflector name or the web site?

Rick  K2XT
     
______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

Tony Estep
On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 2:30 PM, Rick Stealey <[hidden email]> wrote:

> ...If you don't get a KX3 what are you going to get, an FT-817?...

========
ROFLMAO!

Tony KT0NY



--
http://www.isb.edu/faculty/facultydir.aspx?ddlFaculty=352
______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

Don Wilhelm-4
NAH, the decision is only between a K3 and a KX3 - both "top of the
line" transceivers.  Want one for home only, the K3 is the obvious
choice -- want one that will do both home and portable, the KX3 is the
best.  Yes, with the KX3 choice, you will have to wait a bit for the
battery charger, and the 100 watt amplifier and tuner, and there are not
direct connectors that are usable for data modes - for the K3, the 100
watt amp and tuner are already "there" and the connection possibilities
are greater than that for the KX3.   The 817 is "old iron" and does not
rate up there with Elecraft gear in the Sherwood (and ARRL) ratings.  
Yes, the test results for the KX3 are not yet in, but I believe you will
not be disappointed.  You will not find a comparable radio that you can
hold in your hand and run on batteries.  I believe the KX3 will be shown
to be able to compete with contest grade receivers when all the "i's"
are dotted and the "t's" are crossed.

I have done only rudimentary measurements on my KX3, but it "blows the
socks" off everything else I have other than the K3.  I have tested
dynamic range and  MDS, and it exceeds my FTY-817, FT-900, and FT-847 by
a wide margin.  Yes, it is better than the K2, but not by a whole lot. I
have not attempted to do the other principle tests that are done by
Sherwood and the ARRL.  I have done the testing that is meaningful to me.

The K3 is better, but is not a radio that you can hold in your hand, so
comparing the K3 and the KX3 is sort of an "apples to oranges"
comparison IMHO.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 8/3/2012 4:13 PM, Tony Estep wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 2:30 PM, Rick Stealey <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> ...If you don't get a KX3 what are you going to get, an FT-817?...
> ========
> ROFLMAO!
>
> Tony KT0NY
>
>
>

______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

HarryW
In reply to this post by Kevin Kleinfelter
Hi Kevin,

Actually, I think this list is very appropriate for your question. I think
far too many people are looking at the KX3 through rose colored glasses, to
use a tired old phrase. I received KX3 kit, serial number 557, on June 29th,
by coincidence my seventieth birthday. The parts list and the actual
inventory did not match but the kit went together anyway. There seemed to be
many hardware errors that were miraculously made up by a package of "extra"
hardware. And there was quite a bit of left over hardware. Odd

I found the assembling of the two halves to be quite vexing. The speaker and
battery wires caused major problems as they kept getting into the way. It
seems they will always be an issue. In addition, the legs, dangling as they
do, hold the case fasteners at an odd angle and exacerbate an already vexing
problem. Clearly the legs could use a better mechanical design, independent
of the case fasteners. Once assembled the KX3 powered up with no issues but
I was stunned by the poor audio. The distortion was unacceptable at any
level above a low, unlistenable volume. I thought it might be the speaker so
I attached external, powered speakers and got the same result. I have read
on this list that one should just use earbuds or headphones. As one who uses
two hearing aids, earbuds are unacceptable and I don't think I should be
forced to use headphones in a very quiet radio room. The speaker has to
work! And now I find I need to install the grille cloth because of bad
directions. Someone also suggested grinding or filing away portions of the
case around the speaker. I'm not about to do something so drastic on a piece
of electronic gear!

The result of all that was I have set the radio aside and consider it
useless in its present form. I have read of firmware revisions but they seem
unacceptable at this point. Revision 1.10 was noted just today as causing a
fatal flaw in certain KX3's and the advice was to wait for revision 1.12
which will not be out for a while. Duhhhhh. In reading the various emails it
seems that for every step Elecraft takes ahead in firmware, they take almost
a step back in issues the new revision creates. In addition, there are still
things not implemented. I wonder how the editors of QST would feel if they
knew Elecraft advertisements in their magazine were claiming features that
were not available yet? I can't recall Yaesu, Kenwood, or Icom ever doing
that.

Here in Maine the KX3 would be classified as a blivet, two pounds of
you-know-what in a one pound bag. If it had been made just a quarter or half
inch longer, taller, or deeper it would be a far better radio. Perhaps
Elecraft could offer a back case that is one quarter of an inch deeper as a
retrofit. I'd buy one.

I am not trying to say that the KX3 is not a good radio, it's just not ready
for "Prime Time". It will be awesome when it is fully implemented but when
will that be? If I have any advice for Elecraft it would be to sit down and
list all the issues, with all their products, and set firm dates for
resolving them, and then stick to that schedule. Elecraft gives the
impression of having too many balls in the air, all the time, and thus are
being forced to nibble at the issues.

To answer your last question, there is no XYZ radio that I wish I had
bought. Nothing has the capabilities/specifications of the KX3 at the
present time. It's the KX3 or a giant step back to the FT-817ND.

So there you have it Kevin. I own a $1400 paperweight that may someday be
transformed into a great radio. My advice to you is to wait a bit longer to
see how the radio evolves.

73,
Harry White
K1RSA

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Kevin Kleinfelter
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 1:11 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [Elecraft] Unhappy With Your KX3?

I'm interested in buying the KX3, but it is a lot of money for me; I want to
be sure not to make an expensive mistake.  So I started searching the net
for someone who is unhappy with his/her KX3.  The closest I got was someone
who said he hated his KX3 and was going to send it back -- until Elecraft
contacted him, helped him make a config change, and now he loves it.

So... If you are unhappy with your KX3, please respond with why.  (I'm not
looking for things that could be tweaked to make it better. I'm looking for
"Here's why I really wish I had NOT bought my KX3" or "Here's why I really
wish I had bought xyz instead.")

If you don't want to post it to the list, please send it to me at
do-not-like-kx3 [at] kleinfelter [dot] com.
TIA
Kevin
KK4KIK
______________________________________________________________
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

______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

Andrew Moore-3
Hi Harry & all --

I, too, represent Maine, and must point out that when you say "Here in
Maine the KX3 would be classified as a blivet" you aren't speaking for all
Mainers.

I agree that Kevin's question (what don't you like about the KX3) is
entirely appropriate. He's asking a simple question from another angle and
doesn't deserve to be jumped on by anyone making the assumption that he's
biased against the radio.

I bought a new truck in '05 that needed two fixes within probably 1,000
miles. Yes it was frustrating, but that's why they offer a warranty, and it
was honored. New products, especially those pushing the state of the art,
probably aren't perfect. A wise high school teacher once told me everything
in life is a tradeoff. He even repeated it, for emphasis. Can't count the
number of times since then that I realized he was right.

In the end, best vehicle I ever had, hands down.

I'm a relative newcomer to Maine (2006), but from what I gather, we take
the good with the bad, deal with the nor'easters and rough winters, and tap
our Yankee ingenuity when it comes to making stop-gap fixes before official
ones are available, or even in their absence. We make things work. In my
case, it simply involved about six inches of blue painter's tape. If I
cared about how it looked, I might have used black vinyl tape instead, but
I'm a Mainer :)

I'd urge people to not put the blame on the speaker due to (in some cases)
the case resonating/vibrating - the speaker, to me, is clearly plenty
powerful for the radio room. It's small but it's no slouch. The problem is
more likely with the spacing on the halves of the enclosure. I too think
filing/grinding is extreme and I wouldn't want to go there.

I'll take excellence over perfection, because excellence is attainable. In
my personal opinion (and everyone's got one), Wayne and Eric have done that
with the KX3 and their other products.

Disclaimer: My KX3 was factory assembled, not a kit. That said, the only
gripes I've had were that the encoder was mechanically scratchy and the
case resonated at high volumes. While ideally these issues wouldn't exist
from the factory, I solved both with relatively little effort (thanks to
the forum), and if I had to pick one radio from my past 24 years of hamming
to live with, the KX3 would be it, no question. Your mileage may vary,
everyone's got an opinion, etc...

I love this radio and it's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Thanks,
Elecraft, for delivering excellence.

73,
--Andrew, NV1B
..


On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 8:59 PM, Harry White <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Kevin,
>
> Actually, I think this list is very appropriate for your question. I think
> far too many people are looking at the KX3 through rose colored glasses, to
> use a tired old phrase. I received KX3 kit, serial number 557, on June
> 29th,
> by coincidence my seventieth birthday. The parts list and the actual
> inventory did not match but the kit went together anyway. There seemed to
> be
> many hardware errors that were miraculously made up by a package of "extra"
> hardware. And there was quite a bit of left over hardware. Odd
>
> I found the assembling of the two halves to be quite vexing. The speaker
> and
> battery wires caused major problems as they kept getting into the way. It
> seems they will always be an issue. In addition, the legs, dangling as they
> do, hold the case fasteners at an odd angle and exacerbate an already
> vexing
> problem. Clearly the legs could use a better mechanical design, independent
> of the case fasteners. Once assembled the KX3 powered up with no issues but
> I was stunned by the poor audio. The distortion was unacceptable at any
> level above a low, unlistenable volume. I thought it might be the speaker
> so
> I attached external, powered speakers and got the same result. I have read
> on this list that one should just use earbuds or headphones. As one who
> uses
> two hearing aids, earbuds are unacceptable and I don't think I should be
> forced to use headphones in a very quiet radio room. The speaker has to
> work! And now I find I need to install the grille cloth because of bad
> directions. Someone also suggested grinding or filing away portions of the
> case around the speaker. I'm not about to do something so drastic on a
> piece
> of electronic gear!
>
> The result of all that was I have set the radio aside and consider it
> useless in its present form. I have read of firmware revisions but they
> seem
> unacceptable at this point. Revision 1.10 was noted just today as causing a
> fatal flaw in certain KX3's and the advice was to wait for revision 1.12
> which will not be out for a while. Duhhhhh. In reading the various emails
> it
> seems that for every step Elecraft takes ahead in firmware, they take
> almost
> a step back in issues the new revision creates. In addition, there are
> still
> things not implemented. I wonder how the editors of QST would feel if they
> knew Elecraft advertisements in their magazine were claiming features that
> were not available yet? I can't recall Yaesu, Kenwood, or Icom ever doing
> that.
>
> Here in Maine the KX3 would be classified as a blivet, two pounds of
> you-know-what in a one pound bag. If it had been made just a quarter or
> half
> inch longer, taller, or deeper it would be a far better radio. Perhaps
> Elecraft could offer a back case that is one quarter of an inch deeper as a
> retrofit. I'd buy one.
>
> I am not trying to say that the KX3 is not a good radio, it's just not
> ready
> for "Prime Time". It will be awesome when it is fully implemented but when
> will that be? If I have any advice for Elecraft it would be to sit down and
> list all the issues, with all their products, and set firm dates for
> resolving them, and then stick to that schedule. Elecraft gives the
> impression of having too many balls in the air, all the time, and thus are
> being forced to nibble at the issues.
>
> To answer your last question, there is no XYZ radio that I wish I had
> bought. Nothing has the capabilities/specifications of the KX3 at the
> present time. It's the KX3 or a giant step back to the FT-817ND.
>
> So there you have it Kevin. I own a $1400 paperweight that may someday be
> transformed into a great radio. My advice to you is to wait a bit longer to
> see how the radio evolves.
>
> 73,
> Harry White
> K1RSA
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email]
> [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Kevin Kleinfelter
> Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 1:11 PM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [Elecraft] Unhappy With Your KX3?
>
> I'm interested in buying the KX3, but it is a lot of money for me; I want
> to
> be sure not to make an expensive mistake.  So I started searching the net
> for someone who is unhappy with his/her KX3.  The closest I got was someone
> who said he hated his KX3 and was going to send it back -- until Elecraft
> contacted him, helped him make a config change, and now he loves it.
>
> So... If you are unhappy with your KX3, please respond with why.  (I'm not
> looking for things that could be tweaked to make it better. I'm looking for
> "Here's why I really wish I had NOT bought my KX3" or "Here's why I really
> wish I had bought xyz instead.")
>
> If you don't want to post it to the list, please send it to me at
> do-not-like-kx3 [at] kleinfelter [dot] com.
> TIA
> Kevin
> KK4KIK
> ______________________________________________________________
> 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
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> 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
>
______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

wayne burdick
Administrator
In reply to this post by HarryW
Harry White wrote:

> I think far too many people are looking at the KX3 through rose  
> colored glasses....

Harry,

I'm sorry your experience with the KX3 has been less than rosy.

I agree that Elecraft customers can be an enthusiastic bunch, but  
praise for the KX3 is not limited to our reflector -- KX3 users' posts  
in blogs, on eHam, etc. have been highly positive. We're very pleased  
with the response. Of course we always learn from from critique than  
praise, so thank you for not pulling any punches.

Note that you could return the rig to have any and all issues  
corrected immediately, under warranty. Meanwhile, I'd like to respond  
to a few of your comments.

Fortunately, the kit and documentation issues you mentioned have all  
either been corrected or are in the works. We revise the printed  
documents very often, and anything that is an immediate issue for  
builders is posted as an alert.

KX3 audio from the headphone jack with powered speakers should  
absolutely not be distorted. (On the contrary, we get raves daily from  
users about how clean it is.) You may have AGC THR set too high in  
combination with high AF and RF gain. Try AGC THR = 4 or 5, and also  
make sure AGC is turned on (AGC MD = ON). With external powered  
speakers or 'phones you should get tons of outstanding audio.

The internal speaker is intended as a backup, not as the primary  
transducer. It is of necessity quite small, and should be used at  
lower volume levels. I have already apologized for the issue with the  
speaker grille (we removed it, then added back in when we determined  
that it was not the main cause of vibration some users had  
experienced). If you have an issue with case vibration even at very  
low audio levels, please contact support.

Regarding the legs: They are admittedly unusual, but were heavily  
optimized for the application. They are both rugged and lightweight,  
something that isn't always easy to achieve. Once you've used them a  
few times, deploying them becomes second nature.

Again, if you still have unsolved issues, please take them up with  
support (or with me) so we can get the benefit of your feedback.

73,
Wayne
N6KR


______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

stan levandowski
In reply to this post by Kevin Kleinfelter
OK.  Here I go.  Am I unhappy with my KX3?  You betcha!!  Totally
disgusted!

To begin with, it has ruined QRP ham radio.  QRP used to be a very small
and exclusive niche.  Elecraft - especially with the KX3 - has brought
QRP into the mainstream. Now QRP ops can do everything the nominal "100
watt op" can do and their numbers are increasing!   It used to be a very
skillful challenge to break a pileup on rare DX with 5 watts. Cruising
up and down the band to locate the station being worked on split in
order to improve the chances of my peanut whistle signal being heard
against the "100 watt norm" community was an expert skill.  Well, the
dual watch function of the KX3 makes it a no brainer now!  And how about
that automatic zerobeat button?  There's another skill gone down the
drain!  Now let's talk about filtering capability. In the old days, the
best filter was between the operator's ears.  The KX3 has roofing
filters that narrow down all the crap presented to the first stage and
the subsequent DSP processing can make just about any signal workable.
Hey, it's all electronics -- where's the operator skill????  Now let's
turn to the transmitter.  It has no personality at all.  It's perfect.
How the heck can all my usual QSO buddies identify me without some
chirp, a little click, or some drift?  Why heck, just last night I
worked a K3 (#2867) in New Zealand from New York - ZL2AGY.  You see,
that's the whole problem in a nutshell.  Five watts in New York with 44
feet of wire in the attic *should not* be able to enjoy a ragchew with
New Zealand.  It just ain't right!

My KX3 is for sale - factory built and aligned.  Fully optioned.  Asking
$4800.  (I'll use the proceeds to buy three more - one dedicated to the
car; one for portable/trail; the third one for the shack.  I'm good in
"qr zed dot com".   Send the check there.

73, Stan WB2LQF


On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 8:59 PM, Harry White wrote:

  I own a $1400 paperweight that may someday be
> transformed into a great radio. My advice to you is to wait a bit
> longer to
> see how the radio evolves.

AND KEVIN WROTE:

> So... If you are unhappy with your KX3, please respond with why.
______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

tjdooley
In reply to this post by HarryW
I think that Harry has some good points.  I am not an Elecraft kool-aid drinker, but I do have more than a few products from Elecraft.  Not all of them, as not all products meet my needs.  I do have the ones I do because I like most of the products and most of the products.  Are the products of Elecraft perfect?  No, but damn close and beyond the other choices out there.  Is the Elecraft option the cheapest option out there?  No!  Is the Elecraft option the best value?  I think so for the products I own.  Duh, that's a given, as I have spent my money in my best interest.

Is the KX3 fully mature?  No, but it is getting there.  The one thing I can say confidently is that the KX3 will  become more and more mature.  It is one of the reasons to spend money with Elecraft as you have a product that can be updated.  My opinion is that Eric and Wayne will make the KX3 the most it can be.  That will be an incredible radio unmatched by anyone or any company.

I am not saying that Harry is wrong, but I am saying that if you understand the Elecraft model, you cannot do better, in my humble opinion.  OK, I like kool-aid but it is not grape.  Are my glasses rose colored?  No, but I do like Rose's carrying cases and covers!  Enjoy the ride.  I have not been disappointed.

Regards and respectively submitted

73
Tom
K4TJD




Sent from my iPad

On Aug 3, 2012, at 8:59 PM, "Harry White" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Kevin,
>
> Actually, I think this list is very appropriate for your question. I think
> far too many people are looking at the KX3 through rose colored glasses, to
> use a tired old phrase. I received KX3 kit, serial number 557, on June 29th,
> by coincidence my seventieth birthday. The parts list and the actual
> inventory did not match but the kit went together anyway. There seemed to be
> many hardware errors that were miraculously made up by a package of "extra"
> hardware. And there was quite a bit of left over hardware. Odd
>
> I found the assembling of the two halves to be quite vexing. The speaker and
> battery wires caused major problems as they kept getting into the way. It
> seems they will always be an issue. In addition, the legs, dangling as they
> do, hold the case fasteners at an odd angle and exacerbate an already vexing
> problem. Clearly the legs could use a better mechanical design, independent
> of the case fasteners. Once assembled the KX3 powered up with no issues but
> I was stunned by the poor audio. The distortion was unacceptable at any
> level above a low, unlistenable volume. I thought it might be the speaker so
> I attached external, powered speakers and got the same result. I have read
> on this list that one should just use earbuds or headphones. As one who uses
> two hearing aids, earbuds are unacceptable and I don't think I should be
> forced to use headphones in a very quiet radio room. The speaker has to
> work! And now I find I need to install the grille cloth because of bad
> directions. Someone also suggested grinding or filing away portions of the
> case around the speaker. I'm not about to do something so drastic on a piece
> of electronic gear!
>
> The result of all that was I have set the radio aside and consider it
> useless in its present form. I have read of firmware revisions but they seem
> unacceptable at this point. Revision 1.10 was noted just today as causing a
> fatal flaw in certain KX3's and the advice was to wait for revision 1.12
> which will not be out for a while. Duhhhhh. In reading the various emails it
> seems that for every step Elecraft takes ahead in firmware, they take almost
> a step back in issues the new revision creates. In addition, there are still
> things not implemented. I wonder how the editors of QST would feel if they
> knew Elecraft advertisements in their magazine were claiming features that
> were not available yet? I can't recall Yaesu, Kenwood, or Icom ever doing
> that.
>
> Here in Maine the KX3 would be classified as a blivet, two pounds of
> you-know-what in a one pound bag. If it had been made just a quarter or half
> inch longer, taller, or deeper it would be a far better radio. Perhaps
> Elecraft could offer a back case that is one quarter of an inch deeper as a
> retrofit. I'd buy one.
>
> I am not trying to say that the KX3 is not a good radio, it's just not ready
> for "Prime Time". It will be awesome when it is fully implemented but when
> will that be? If I have any advice for Elecraft it would be to sit down and
> list all the issues, with all their products, and set firm dates for
> resolving them, and then stick to that schedule. Elecraft gives the
> impression of having too many balls in the air, all the time, and thus are
> being forced to nibble at the issues.
>
> To answer your last question, there is no XYZ radio that I wish I had
> bought. Nothing has the capabilities/specifications of the KX3 at the
> present time. It's the KX3 or a giant step back to the FT-817ND.
>
> So there you have it Kevin. I own a $1400 paperweight that may someday be
> transformed into a great radio. My advice to you is to wait a bit longer to
> see how the radio evolves.
>
> 73,
> Harry White
> K1RSA
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email]
> [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Kevin Kleinfelter
> Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 1:11 PM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [Elecraft] Unhappy With Your KX3?
>
> I'm interested in buying the KX3, but it is a lot of money for me; I want to
> be sure not to make an expensive mistake.  So I started searching the net
> for someone who is unhappy with his/her KX3.  The closest I got was someone
> who said he hated his KX3 and was going to send it back -- until Elecraft
> contacted him, helped him make a config change, and now he loves it.
>
> So... If you are unhappy with your KX3, please respond with why.  (I'm not
> looking for things that could be tweaked to make it better. I'm looking for
> "Here's why I really wish I had NOT bought my KX3" or "Here's why I really
> wish I had bought xyz instead.")
>
> If you don't want to post it to the list, please send it to me at
> do-not-like-kx3 [at] kleinfelter [dot] com.
> TIA
> Kevin
> KK4KIK
> ______________________________________________________________
> 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
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> 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
______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

Larry W2LJ
In reply to this post by HarryW
On 8/3/2012 8:59 PM, Harry White wrote:
> Here in Maine the KX3 would be classified as a blivet, two pounds of
> you-know-what in a one pound bag.
Wow!

I know that Elecraft fans can be over enthusiastic, at times.  But that
comment is a bit over the top, IMHO.

The radio may have some developmental faults, but "two pounds of
you-know-what"?

Hardly.

Larry W2LJ

Just sayin'


--
73 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

http://w2lj.blogspot.com/
http://www.w2lj.qrpradio.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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

Kevin Kleinfelter
In reply to this post by Kevin Kleinfelter
Thanks for your thoughts Rick.

I'm looking to discover regrets before I drop $1300-$1500 on a recreational
purchase (i.e. a new toy).  I'm not looking to demonstrate that some radio
is better or worse than the KX3.  (I'd have to define a specific goal, in
order for better/worse to be meaningful.)

99.99% of the time, when I buy something non-trivial, I have *some*
regrets.  No matter what radio I buy, I expect to have some regrets.  I
expect to find some feature of another radio that I wish my radio has.
 What I'm looking to do is to flush out possible regrets before I buy.

Sometimes, I'm motivated by seeking 'satisfiers'; sometimes, I'm motivated
by avoiding disappointments.  For big expenses, it's those big
disappointments that I fear.

I do not expect that any *real* radio will have zero haters.  Some new
radio that's about to come out may have zero -- until it comes out.  I
don't plan to not-buy a radio (or any other product) because one (or two or
twenty) people hate it. I do want to understand the things they
passionately dislike about it.

The point that almost all of the people who stay on this list will be
Elecraft fans is well taken, and I will make an effort to search for KX3 on
lists focused on other manufacturers products.

I agree that one of the things Elecraft has going for it is its real (not
just marketing speak) commitment to customer satisfaction.  Wayne
demonstrated that again in this very thread!

Whatever I buy will be my first radio and it will have to be my last, until
my 8 year-old completes college.  I can find plenty of positives about the
KX3, and, if I buy one, they will be pleasing.  I'll have to live with any
regrets for a long time, so I want to understand them before I commit.

Thanks again for your thoughts, and thanks to the others who have shared
theirs!
Kevin
KK4KIK

On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 8:16 PM, <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 15
> Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2012 19:30:34 +0000
> From: Rick Stealey <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Unhappy With Your KX3?
> To: "[hidden email]" <[hidden email]>
> Message-ID: <[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
>
> Since I saw the original post I've been thinking........
> IF (a big IF) you managed to locate ONE OWNER who fit your criteria and he
> responded to you,
> what are you going to do, trust his judgement or opinion of the other ONE
> or TWO THOUSAND
> on the other side of the fence? !!
>
> The KX3 was designed by Wayne Burdick.  He is on here every day, reading,
> listening
> to his customers and responding, making them happy.  If you don't get a
> KX3 what are
> you going to get, an FT-817?  Who designed your 817?  How do you contact
> HIM if
> you have a question or a concern?    Where do the factory design teams for
> the FT5000 or
> the TS990 hang out?  Could you pass along the reflector name or the web
> site?
>
> Rick  K2XT
>
______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

Phil Shepard
In reply to this post by wayne burdick
I have a recent bit of evidence.  I have kit built s/n 268.  I love this
radio.  Today, it did what I needed from a top of the line trail radio.  I
was activating a SOTA summit in the foothills of the Cascades here in
Oregon.  This summit was covered with radio installations of various kinds.
RF noise was horrible in the 20M CW band segment.  I was interested in
summit to summit (S2S) contacts since a lot of SOTA folks were active today.
This means both sides are QRP with low wire antennas.  In other words, weak
signals are the norm.  The noise (QRN) was a problem; but with the KX3
connected to either of the antennas I was using (a 20M EFHW wire and an
88'inverted V doublet fed with twin lead, up about 30'), I was able to crank
the bandwidth down to 500 Hz or narrower and significantly reduce the noise
level, allowing the SOTA stations to come through.  The internal antenna
tuner was great at getting a match too.  The radio had enough tools to allow
me to have a succesful activation with several S2S QSOs in the mix.  A lot
of radios would have not been so forgiving.

Is the radio perfect?  I don't know, but it gets the job done well.  Before
the KX3, my trail radio was a K2 - not too shabby itself, but the KX3 seems
better.  The legs always work correctly for me as I sit on the ground and
work SOTA stations.  I don't usually use the speaker, but it isn't bad when
I do.  This radio is smarter than me, I think.  Thanks to Elecraft for such
a leap forward.

73,
Phil, NS7P
K2, K3 and KX3 ownwer, so I guess I drank the cool aid!

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]]On Behalf Of Wayne Burdick
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 6:53 PM
To: Harry White
Cc: [hidden email]; 'Kevin Kleinfelter'
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Unhappy With Your KX3?


Harry White wrote:

> I think far too many people are looking at the KX3 through rose
> colored glasses....

Harry,

I'm sorry your experience with the KX3 has been less than rosy.

I agree that Elecraft customers can be an enthusiastic bunch, but
praise for the KX3 is not limited to our reflector -- KX3 users' posts
in blogs, on eHam, etc. have been highly positive. We're very pleased
with the response. Of course we always learn from from critique than
praise, so thank you for not pulling any punches.

Note that you could return the rig to have any and all issues
corrected immediately, under warranty. Meanwhile, I'd like to respond
to a few of your comments.

Fortunately, the kit and documentation issues you mentioned have all
either been corrected or are in the works. We revise the printed
documents very often, and anything that is an immediate issue for
builders is posted as an alert.

KX3 audio from the headphone jack with powered speakers should
absolutely not be distorted. (On the contrary, we get raves daily from
users about how clean it is.) You may have AGC THR set too high in
combination with high AF and RF gain. Try AGC THR = 4 or 5, and also
make sure AGC is turned on (AGC MD = ON). With external powered
speakers or 'phones you should get tons of outstanding audio.

The internal speaker is intended as a backup, not as the primary
transducer. It is of necessity quite small, and should be used at
lower volume levels. I have already apologized for the issue with the
speaker grille (we removed it, then added back in when we determined
that it was not the main cause of vibration some users had
experienced). If you have an issue with case vibration even at very
low audio levels, please contact support.

Regarding the legs: They are admittedly unusual, but were heavily
optimized for the application. They are both rugged and lightweight,
something that isn't always easy to achieve. Once you've used them a
few times, deploying them becomes second nature.

Again, if you still have unsolved issues, please take them up with
support (or with me) so we can get the benefit of your feedback.

73,
Wayne
N6KR


______________________________________________________________
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

______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

stan levandowski
In reply to this post by Kevin Kleinfelter
Hey Kevin, all kidding and smart-alecky comments aside - the KX3 is the
rig that *will* last you until that eight year old has his college
degree!  True, nothing is "perfect" but some products (and companies!)
approach that level and Elecraft and its KX3 are not likely to
disappoint you between now and when your kid graduates.  Consider that
every time you download a KX3 software update you essentially have a
'new radio."  Elecraft products sell themselves based upon technical
innovation,  performance, and customer service.  Yes, this "family" that
inhabits this Reflector may, at times, seem overly cohesive and fanatic.
But stop and think...what made them so darn happy?????

73 and good luck in your search for the 'right' rig for you,

Stan WB2LQF


On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 10:34 PM, Kevin Kleinfelter wrote:

> Thanks for your thoughts Rick.
>
> I'm looking to discover regrets before I drop $1300-$1500 on a
> recreational
> purchase Please help support this email list:
> http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

Jim Brown-10
In reply to this post by HarryW
On 8/3/2012 5:59 PM, Harry White wrote:
> I have read
> on this list that one should just use earbuds or headphones. As one who uses
> two hearing aids, earbuds are unacceptable and I don't think I should be
> forced to use headphones in a very quiet radio room.

I think you're being very unfair on this issue, Harry, although I think
it's great that you pointed out this limitation in response to the
question. This radio is designed for backpacking, and for use with
earphones.  It is designed to maximize battery life.  It is NOT
primarily a desktop radio intended to be used with its internal speaker,
or even with a passive outboard speaker. That is a consequence of the
design to maximize battery life .It can certainly be used with one or
two powered loudspeakers if that's how you want to use it.

I'm surprised that you don't like headphones. My 70 year old ears, which
also have some hearing loss, love headphones.  Indeed, I've ALWAYS
primarily used headphones in my ham shack, even at age 15!

It's also designed to be used with an outboard power amp and outboard
100W antenna tuner, neither of which are ready for sale. With those
accessories, and with an amplified speaker, it can be used in a car.

I don't have my own KX3 yet, but I've been playing with a loaner from a
neighbor.  Last weekend we had it out on a mountaintop working into 15
ft vertical whip plus a wire thrown into the bushes. The IOTA contest
was on, so we responded to several calls on 15M, and it took only about
ten minutes to work K4, PY, and JA.  This week I've had it hooked to my
big antenna farm, and the receiver has been just great.

I'm not happy with the back-packer's paddle for use at home, and I'd
like to be able to plug my usual paddle into it when I'm using it on a
desk to use the internal keyer.  The backpacker's paddle works very well
for backpacking though.

73, Jim K9YC
______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

Andrew Moore-3
In reply to this post by stan levandowski
Toss a wire into a tree, hook up a straight key and enjoy the unique
character and the opportunities that the KX3 offers. If it's mainstream,
then more people get to enjoy it.

The Internet used to be exclusive.

--Andrew, NV1B
..


On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 10:01 PM, stan levandowski <[hidden email]>wrote:

> OK.  Here I go.  Am I unhappy with my KX3?  You betcha!!  Totally
> disgusted!
>
> To begin with, it has ruined QRP ham radio.  QRP used to be a very small
> and exclusive niche.  Elecraft - especially with the KX3 - has brought
> QRP into the mainstream.
>
>
______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

Tony Estep
In reply to this post by Kevin Kleinfelter
On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 9:34 PM, Kevin Kleinfelter <[hidden email]>wrote:

> ...Whatever I buy will be my first radio and it will have to be my last...

=========
Then go straight to the top, Kevin, and get a K3. It is the best ham
transceiver available and will be for some time, so you can be sure of
having no regrets. Moreover, you can get the basic 10w version with one
receiver and then add goodies as you go, a feature that is not available
with alternatives. The KX3 is a terrific radio and I love mine; I have
experienced none of the objections mentioned in a previous post, and I'd
note that most of them are either esthetic preferences or can be cured by
proper adjustment, construction, and/or operation. However, any radio
designed for portability and low current drain has compromises. The K3 is
an all-out performance radio -- and it's still highly portable and features
pretty low current drain. Get a K3, and don't worry, be happy.

Tony KT0NY


--
http://www.isb.edu/faculty/facultydir.aspx?ddlFaculty=352
______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

k6dgw
In reply to this post by Kevin Kleinfelter
On 8/4/2012 2:34 AM, Kevin Kleinfelter wrote:
> Thanks for your thoughts Rick.
>
> I'm looking to discover regrets before I drop $1300-$1500 on a recreational
> purchase (i.e. a new toy).  I'm not looking to demonstrate that some radio
> is better or worse than the KX3.  (I'd have to define a specific goal, in
> order for better/worse to be meaningful.)
Fair question Kevin.  My experience with reviews/experience reports is
that the only ones that count are from people I know, and I know how
they use the item in question.  eHam is full of reviews, virtually all
from people I don't know.  While looking for an all-band vertical, I
started reading them for various candidates ... they ranged from "Put it
together in 3.7 minutes and made DXCC by the end of the day," to
"Absolutely the worst antenna I've ever had, worse than my dummy load."  
There was no way I could make sense of it.  I did finally get a GAP
Titan, contrary to a number of reviews I had no trouble understanding
the assembly instructions, son-in-law and two grandsons mounted it for
me on the roof, and I've managed 6 new DXCC on it in 3 months.  By
comparison, I've managed twice that number on the tribander.  The
vertical is noticeably noisier [one of the many complaints on eHam], but
of course it *is* a vertical ... duh!.

I don't have a KX3, but I do have a K3.  If you want to know the biggest
characteristic of my K3 that I didn't like, it would be its weight ...
or, more accurately, the lack of it.  It moves when I do TAP and HOLD on
the switches, which isn't a big deal, moving it back into place is easy,
it just annoys me.  I fixed it with some non-slip cloth-like stuff.  
Took 3 tries to find the right material.

If I were you, I'd locate friends you know who have a KX3 and talk to
them ... as in a two-way conversation.  Their likes/dislikes may or may
not affect your needs/wants, but at least you can talk it out with
them.  Again, after all the bruhaha dies down on the list, it was a fair
question.

73,

Fred K6DGW/7
TDY Sparks NV taking care of granddaughter


______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

KU7Y
In reply to this post by HarryW
Hi Kevin,

Let me just add a little bit.

I have #62, factory built.  I have not seen any real issues with this rig.
And it seems like every time there is a new software version, I get a new
rig!

Sure, there are some very minor issues.  None were show stoppers for me and
many, if not most, have already been addressed.

And there is still much more in the works!  So I'll be getting a new rig
several more times.

This is my first Elecraft rig and I have no regrets at all.  It is much
better than my FT100 and when I get back to AZ and get the FT-1000MP fixed,
I'm sure it will be at least that good as that rig.  I have a feeling that
the RX is better but until a side by side comparison, it's only a guess.

Would the K3 be a better radio for shack use?  Sure, and you can start
"small" and add more and more features.  So it comes down to what you want
the radio for.

Best advice I can give is to go visit people who have one or the other and
see how they "feel" to you.  There is no one rig that is "just right" for
everyone.

OK, back in my hole,

Ron, KU7Y
SOWP 5545M
Arizona Outlaws Contest Club
Brenda, AZ (Winter)
Caldwell, ID (Summer)
[hidden email]
http://www.hatpinsandmore.com
KX3 #0062

______________________________________________________________
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Unhappy With Your KX3?

Frank Precissi
In reply to this post by Kevin Kleinfelter
On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 7:34 PM, Kevin Kleinfelter <[hidden email]>wrote:

>
> I'm looking to discover regrets before I drop $1300-$1500 on a recreational
> purchase (i.e. a new toy).  I'm not looking to demonstrate that some radio
> is better or worse than the KX3.  (I'd have to define a specific goal, in
> order for better/worse to be meaningful.)
>
>
I'm in the same boat as you are, and are looking to replace both my FT-817
and my IC-746pro.  Heres what sold me on the KX3 and soon the K3 just by
reading this, the KX3 and K3 yahoo groups.

1. The owner (one of) of the company expressed concerns for someone who had
issues with a product that he sold.

2. The staff actively monitor the mailing-lists and not only help people
out by explaining what goes on behind the curtain (like with the ATU), but
help evolve the product to what WE want vs what THEY want.

When it comes down to the brass tacks (having my IC-746pro sent back to
have the VFO encoder replaced not once, but twice and me footing the bill
both times), good customer service will keep me coming back.  So really,
you can spend a little less and have 'a radio', or you can spend a little
more to have a radio with the backing of not only the company but a very
devout following as well.

Just my 0.02,

Frank
KG6EYC
______________________________________________________________
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
123