Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 ... 11 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Is the KX3 all it's cracked up to be or fake?  (Read 86147 times)
KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2012, 09:45:17 AM »

One other thing I read about PSK31 decoding in the box. You can use the paddles to send PSK31, but you can also use the computer interface to send (somewhat) plain text and have it transmitted. It's not quite like hooking up a dumb terminal, but I think it should be fairly trivial to hack a terminal program together on an Android phone (or just use the Windows software) to make it happen. There are already people working on this. So it turns PSK31 into a one USB cable solution, with no screwing around with soundcard interfaces, tweaking levels (oh, yea, I was watching that video before and had the volume cranked up... Sorry guys I didn't mean to blow out the band for the last half hour), and Windows system sounds going over the airwaves.

Similar system could also be used for CW.

That is another cool attribute the KX3 has for working PSK31. I guess maybe for those that work strictly PSK type digital it may be worth while more. I'm not a big digital type guy so it would kinda be like a novelty option unless the world was in serious turmoil and digital needed to be the primary mode on the road for a prepper, but on the top of a mountain waiting for that text to roll across the screen being it's not a big screen would make for a waste of time. If you really think about!

Gene,

See what I'm saying that it didn't blow it away in leaps and bounds. I would expect it too for the price and technology primarily based on what you receive in both modes. All the other crap don't mean anything if you don't have a clean and strong enough signal. Glad you watched it!

Look guys,

I'm not saying don't buy one because again I may, but will I rush out now and pay the astronomical prices and wait months or a month or two.....No! It's just crazy!

Guess if I had the money to burn like that maybe I would've and maybe not. I've had the thousands for my IC-7600 when it came out ,but waited to see what others reported. Thats being a smart consumer!

This post was to see how many others have both currently and I've yet heard from anybody else that has both currently in their shack. I like too evaluate things based not by just one person, but by a few. Maybe this guy on YouTube has a bad KX3...who knows! So if we can get a couple others too say their too have the same experience then we know it's not just isolated to that one individual.

Thanks for all your responses!

73,
N2RRA

BTW: I won't be getting rid of my FT-817ND!  Cheesy

These side by side comparisons on YouTube are very interesting.  Input from someone who owns one of the radios, but not the other is subject to opinion.  Seeing the direct  side by side comparison is more useful.

Gene
Logged
N1EU
Member

Posts: 16




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2012, 10:01:24 AM »

I recently bought a used FT817 and one of our club members brought his KX3 to the last meeting for show and tell. Strictly from a first impressions standpoint the KX3 is:
  • Heavier, although it included the autotuner, roofing filters and a "full power" battery pack (the FT817's internal battery limits output).

As long as you don't order the nuclear-hardened lead-case KX3 option, the KX3 is SIGNIFICANTLY lighter than the FT817.  I've weighed them both myself.

73,
Barry N1EU
Logged
N2RRA
Member

Posts: 645


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2012, 10:14:32 AM »

IF you weighed them then what was the exact number difference?
Logged
AA4GA
Member

Posts: 118


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2012, 10:38:29 AM »

I watched the video and it's pretty inconclusive.  All the differences in signal levels seem attributable to QSB, bandpass differences, and tuning frequency differences.  The usable sensitivity of both seems pretty close...which is limited by band noise, not RX sensitivity.

The video does nothing to illustrate the most telling difference:  of selectivity - how well the RXs hold up when tuned near strong signals - that is the more important performance characteristic.  It is for me, and I would think it should be for everyone.

I'm not saying don't buy one because again I may, but will I rush out now and pay the astronomical prices and wait months or a month or two.....No! It's just crazy!

First, as I mentioned in my previous post, the $ difference isn't that great:  $80 more for a KX3 vs. FT817ND for as comparably equipped as you can get the two rigs.  I'd pay that much if the only difference in the rigs was the larger display on the KX3!

Second, the wait time for a KX3 is currently two weeks according to their website.  They've pretty much caught up with the demand.

But, hey, that's why several radio companies can exist (or camera companies or car companies...):  different people like different things. 

If I get a KX3, I may or may not keep the FT817, I haven't decided yet.  If I do sell it, I'm sure that I would do some pretty extensive A-B listening before making the decision.  I'll let y'all know when that happens.
Logged

N2RRA
Member

Posts: 645


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2012, 11:09:06 AM »

I watched the video and it's pretty inconclusive.  All the differences in signal levels seem attributable to QSB, bandpass differences, and tuning frequency differences.  The usable sensitivity of both seems pretty close...which is limited by band noise, not RX sensitivity.

The video does nothing to illustrate the most telling difference:  of selectivity - how well the RXs hold up when tuned near strong signals - that is the more important performance characteristic.  It is for me, and I would think it should be for everyone.

I'm not saying don't buy one because again I may, but will I rush out now and pay the astronomical prices and wait months or a month or two.....No! It's just crazy!

First, as I mentioned in my previous post, the $ difference isn't that great:  $80 more for a KX3 vs. FT817ND for as comparably equipped as you can get the two rigs.  I'd pay that much if the only difference in the rigs was the larger display on the KX3!

Second, the wait time for a KX3 is currently two weeks according to their website.  They've pretty much caught up with the demand.

But, hey, that's why several radio companies can exist (or camera companies or car companies...):  different people like different things.  

If I get a KX3, I may or may not keep the FT817, I haven't decided yet.  If I do sell it, I'm sure that I would do some pretty extensive A-B listening before making the decision.  I'll let y'all know when that happens.


It's not an $80. difference between the two.

You get the FT-817ND 160m-70cm with battery tray, internal battery, up/dn microphone, charger, and 6m,2m, and 70cm antennas for $670.

The Elecraft KX3 - Just the radio stock if modular $800. assembled $900. plus you don't get a battery charger which is $60. and you don't get a microphone which is also optional for $60. plus you're not getting 2m or 70cm plus no antennas for 6m as you do the FT-817ND.

So your paying $390. extra for a microphone and charger along with the price difference. Total: $1,020. not including +tax and shipping when you're paying $670. which is quite a difference when you see what you get for the FT-817ND.

When you put the filters in a FT-817ND it changes the radio drastically and puts this little guy into a different class. Really giving  the KX3 a good run for its money, but of course lacks the cute little bells and whistles.

You're the only one so far that after watching the video is kind of on the fence ,but thats okay! It is kinda of inconclusive in a few ways, but I did say that early in the post. Still you can't beat what you hear and what you see. The QSB wasn't moving that rapid when he's flipping the switch in milli-second intervals so what you hear is damning for the KX3.

The FT-817ND gave it a good run for it's reputation and still for such an older radio still made the KX3 question weather it's really all that better. Wining is winning weather it's by a hair ,or not and the FT-817ND still one in quite a bit.

Seeing is believing!

I look forward to your assessment when you have both.

73,
Logged
N1EU
Member

Posts: 16




Ignore
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2012, 12:35:56 PM »

IF you weighed them then what was the exact number difference?

KX3: 1lb 9oz (with auto-tuner)
FT817: 2lb 1oz

FT817 is 8oz heavier

Barry N1EU
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3880




Ignore
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2012, 01:41:52 PM »

I don't see any comparison of current draw, battery life and minimum voltage required.

I suspect the KX-3 will win hands down.

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
N1EU
Member

Posts: 16




Ignore
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2012, 01:58:07 PM »

I don't see any comparison of current draw, battery life and minimum voltage required.

I suspect the KX-3 will win hands down.

73 de Jim, N2EY
Receive current of KX3 is 1/3 of FT817.  It's worth bearing in mind that the KX3 will fall back to 5W max output if battery is under 11V during transmit.
Logged
AA4GA
Member

Posts: 118


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2012, 07:56:18 PM »

It's not an $80. difference between the two.

You get the FT-817ND 160m-70cm with battery tray, internal battery, up/dn microphone, charger, and 6m,2m, and 70cm antennas for $670.

The Elecraft KX3 - Just the radio stock if modular $800. assembled $900. plus you don't get a battery charger which is $60. and you don't get a microphone which is also optional for $60. plus you're not getting 2m or 70cm plus no antennas for 6m as you do the FT-817ND.

So your paying $390. extra for a microphone and charger along with the price difference. Total: $1,020. not including +tax and shipping when you're paying $670. which is quite a difference when you see what you get for the FT-817ND.

When you put the filters in a FT-817ND it changes the radio drastically and puts this little guy into a different class. Really giving  the KX3 a good run for its money, but of course lacks the cute little bells and whistles.
Actually, no.

First, because the KX3 comes with pretty doggone good filtering stock (I know, I've heard it), so you'd have to add the cost of a CW filter to 817 as I did above.  I wouldn't own a radio without a CW filter.

Next, as I mentioned, I don't operate the 2m or 70cm bands, so that is worth nothing to me, nor is the rubber duck antenna.  Nor do I operate SSB and wouldn't purchase a microphone for the KX3.  You're right about the charger...I forgot that, as I've already got one I could use...you could get one for 20 bucks or less.  If you wanted the internal charger for the KX3, yes it is more money, but it has more functionality than the FT817.

So, call the difference 140 bucks instead of 80. 

What do you get for the $140 difference?

Well, you don't get more sensitivity - but that doesn't matter.  Specs on the Yaesu are .25uv; I don't actually see a published spec for the KX3, but Sherwood lists it at .9uv I believe, so point to the FT817.  But, if the noise floor is 1 to 1.5uv or more (which is likely), that extra sensitivity is wasted.  Saying the FT817 is more sensitive, while quite possibly true, is a non-starter:  both radios are noise limited!

By all accounts I've read, the KX3 performs better in the presence of strong signals - a very useful performance characteristic.  If I'm trying to listen to an S-1 signal with an S-9+10dB signal only a kHz away, I believe the KX3 do a better job - that video certainly didn't illustrate such a scenario, but it's *very* common on the bands.  Again, I haven't tested the two radios side-by-side (nor has anyone else posting in this thread AFAIK), but I'm pretty certain that will be the case.

What else?

What do you do with an FT817 when the 500Hz filter is too narrow?  You can switch to a 2.2kHz bandwidth, which is likely too wide.  With the KX3, you just dial in, say, 800Hz for comfy listening in a non-crowded band.  What if the band is crowded, and the Yaesu's 500Hz filter doesn't discriminate enough?  With the KX3, just crank the BW down as needed...just twist a knob, you don't have to go hunting through menus to make the change.

What if you're wanting to call a DXpedition that is working split?  You can do that with the Yaesu:  you have to press a Function key, twist a knob until the proper controls are active, and *then* you can switch VFOs, control split operation, etc.  With the Elecraft, just press the VFO buttons to do what needs to be done.  What if you want to listen not only to the DX station, but to your position relative to other callers simultaneously?  Can't be done with the Yaesu; the KX3 offers such functionality.

What if you want to experiment with different power levels?  With the Yaesu, you press the same Function key as above, twist to find the group of commands that controls the power, then you can cycle between four discrete power levels from 250mW to 5W.  With the Elecraft, press one button and twist a knob to effectively select any power level you desire between 100mW and 10W.

How about RIT?  With the Elecraft, activate it and turn a knob.  With the Yaesu, you have to make sure you're controlling RIT and not PBT.  And the button presses are press and hold, not simply press-on, press-off.

What if you're CQing along at 30 wpm using the internal keyer and a station calls you at 18 wpm?  On the Elecraft, just turn down the speed knob.  On the Yaesu, press and hold the Function key, then select the CW speed option from probably around 30 possible choices, change the speed with the VFO knob, the press the Function key again.  Whew!  Do you want to send a CQ automatically from memory?  Can't with the Yaesu...no problem with the Elecraft.

Do you want to connect your radio to a computer for rig control / log interface?  Just use the supplied cable with the Elecraft - you can do that with the Yaesu too...after you purchase an optional interface.  That's another $30 erosion in the price difference between the two radios...and that's for a serial interface - better allow some more money if you need to connect to your computer via USB.  And yes, I consider this necessary functionality in a radio.

How about you're activating a SOTA summit?  You've just walked 5 miles uphill, put up a 30' wire sloper and start CQing.  The Yaesu consumes close to 2x the current the KX3 does - do you want to carry 2x the battery weight in your pack for the same operating time?

And while you're on that hill setting up, do you want to connect your 30' wire to a tuner, the tuner to a feedline and the feedline to the radio?  That's what I have to do with my FT817.  If I had a KX3, I'd opt for the internal antenna tuner and just connect the antenna wire directly to the rig.  Yaesu doesn't even give you that choice:  you've got to carry more stuff if you're not using a resonant antenna.

Would you like a pan-adapter type display?  The KX3 has I/Q outputs that plug directly into a computer, allowing such a display with free software.  You could probably use the same software for the same display on the Yaesu:  If you tapped into the radio's IF somehow and used something like a Softrock SDR to output I/Q.  Hope you like to tinker.

These are just a few of the advantages the KX3 has over the FT817, at least for me and the way I operate...there are many more.  If it is important for you to have 2m or 70cm coverage in this radio, then obviously the Elecraft doesn't cut it.  Other than that, I see no usable advantage in the FT817 over the KX3.  None. 

Don't get me wrong, I've got an FT817 and do actually like the rig - I've made a bunch of QSOs with it, and worked a lot of DX in the 20 months I've owned mine.  But I would much rather have a KX3 - at least if it performs the way I suspect it does.  And even if the two rigs were absolutely equal in RX performance, the convenience and flexibility of the KX3 would definitely be worth the difference to me. 

So, why don't I own a KX3?  Well, unfortunately, I just don't have the discretionary funds available right now.  And that's the only reason.  FWIW, I do have a guitar for sale that will alleviate that shortfall when it sells (drop me an email if you're interested in a world-class squareneck resonator guitar!).    Within a couple weeks of that date, I anticipate I'll have the KX3 and the FT817 side-by-side to really determine which one performs the best.  And if it's the Yaesu, I'll definitely keep it...otherwise, the KX3 will become the main rig.
 
While slightly more money, the KX3 is obviously more bang for the buck than the FT817.  And I'm no Elecraft fanboy - the only thing of theirs I own is a T-1.  But I've owned at least four Yaesu HF rigs over the years and liked every one of 'em.  But for my current operating habits, it's pretty clear to me that the KX3 is the best rig for me...with the caveat that that assumes relatively equal RX performance or better.

Quote
You're the only one so far that after watching the video is kind of on the fence ,but thats okay!
I'm not on the fence at all!  Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the video poster ultimately sell the Yaesu and keep the KX3?

KX3 FTW!
Logged

KF7DS
Member

Posts: 191




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2012, 09:38:38 PM »

I have both the 817ND and KX3 and run them through the same antenna at my home. RX sensitivity and selectivity go the KX3 by a good margin. I can better isolate and tune in weak signals better on the KX3 that are barely audible on the 817ND.

Very low current draw compared to the 817nd - that in itself sold me on the xcvr.

And, I like both and will keep both.

Don KF7DS
Logged
N2RRA
Member

Posts: 645


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2012, 12:54:17 AM »

 Cheesy LOL!

Lee,

I liked the ending best of all..... (KX3 FTW)! LOL!

Good list of reasons to buy a KX3 for sure. I've always purchased radios to evaluate myself instead of inquiring and sometimes two of different types to make my own comparisons ,but economy is different these days.  Undecided

Guess I'm just gonna have to wait, but that video is still making me question it which brings my attention too Don KF7DS.

Don,

Can you make a video to place on YouTube showing an A/B comparison between the two using the same antenna so we can hear that large margin difference? As of now other than your word which I do  believe I'd like too see if maybe there are good and bad runs of the KX3.

The video we're talking about doesn't show the KX3 blowing the FT-817ND out the water when hearing signals in CW or SSB plus noise levels sometimes giving it too the FT817ND. Just saying what I saw and heard!

73!
Logged
AE4RV
Member

Posts: 962


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2012, 06:33:47 AM »

I imagine that to really show the difference you need to try both in a QRP sprint. Doing some random SSB or pedestrian CW probably won't show much difference. Where the KX3 probably shines is in weak signal, crowded conditions work.
Logged
KCJ9091
Member

Posts: 0




Ignore
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2012, 07:10:38 AM »

At a recent hamfest I overheard this conversation.

Guy walks up to a table with a very nice KX3 and some accy sitting on it.
He asks "why are you selling the KX3?"
Seller "I just bought an 817 and don't need it anymore."
Looker "An 817 why would you get rid of a far better radio for that piece of junk?" 
            then goes on a 5 minute rant about how the KX3 is a far better radio and the
            817 can't hold a candle to it.
Seller "It take it your are KX3 user."
Looker "yes."
Seller  " Ok, let me ask you a question.  We are out in the wilderness with our rigs and HF
            is dead, what do you do?"
Looker "Enjoy the surroundings until bands to open back up, I guess. What do you do?"
Seller reaches into a bag and pulls out a hunk of PVC pipe and folds out some wires and Says "Make  some contacts on the satellite passing over head in about 3 minutes."
Looker glares and walks away.

I about cracked up. 
Logged
N2RRA
Member

Posts: 645


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2012, 07:37:23 AM »

At a recent hamfest I overheard this conversation.

Guy walks up to a table with a very nice KX3 and some accy sitting on it.
He asks "why are you selling the KX3?"
Seller "I just bought an 817 and don't need it anymore."
Looker "An 817 why would you get rid of a far better radio for that piece of junk?" 
            then goes on a 5 minute rant about how the KX3 is a far better radio and the
            817 can't hold a candle to it.
Seller "It take it your are KX3 user."
Looker "yes."
Seller  " Ok, let me ask you a question.  We are out in the wilderness with our rigs and HF
            is dead, what do you do?"
Looker "Enjoy the surroundings until bands to open back up, I guess. What do you do?"
Seller reaches into a bag and pulls out a hunk of PVC pipe and folds out some wires and Says "Make  some contacts on the satellite passing over head in about 3 minutes."
Looker glares and walks away.

I about cracked up. 


LMAO!!! That is pretty funny!
Logged
N2RRA
Member

Posts: 645


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2012, 07:39:16 AM »

It's amazing how maybe those same people either talked about the FT-817 being a great radio at one time then all of a sudden it's a piece of junk.

People!!  Roll Eyes
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 ... 11 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!