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eHam Forums => QRP => Topic started by: N3AEG on September 29, 2013, 03:23:38 PM



Title: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N3AEG on September 29, 2013, 03:23:38 PM
I’m looking for my first HF radio and I’m leaning towards either the Yaesu FT-817ND or Elecraft KX3.

A little background, I just earned my general ticket a month ago.   I live in a condo (3rd or 4 floors) and have restrictions again any external antennas.   I can probably get away with an end fed wire wrapped around the balcony.  I’m also most likely going to order an Alexloop antenna regardless of this radio I end up with.  This is why I’m looking at a QRP portable radio.  Mostly I will be listening, but I still want the ability to transmit.

Having never used an HF radio, the whole concept of tuning in a frequency, filters and RIT is totally new and it’s going to be a learning experience. 

With that being said, I’ve done a lot of research into radios (both base, mobile and QRP) and have it down to either the FT817ND or KX3. 

Starting with the KX3, I sat down and figured out the configuration I wanted and then I tried to match the features in the 817 to see what a comparable configuration would cost.


KX3
----
KX3 (factory assembled) - $999.00
Internal Tuner - $170.00
Roofing Filter - $130.00
Charger/battery option - $60.00
Batteries - $50.00
Microphone - $60.00

817ND
-------
Radio - $660.00
CW Filter - $170.00
SSB Filter - $170.00
External Tuner - $130.00
ADMS Software - $40.00
(I realize you can’t put both filters in the radio, but the KX3 filter handles both)

Based on current pricing, the Yaesu is about $320 cheaper ($1,170 vs $1,488)

Each radio has its pros and cons, so I’m looking at input on which radio would be a better solution for a first time operator.   I’m not overly worried about the price difference, so I’m only concerned about the features and usability of the radio.  From what I read, the KX3 will out shine the 817ND and is 10w vs 5w.  I think right now, my preference would be the KX3.   I wanted to get some input to make sure I'm not overlooking something.


Thanks,

Leo


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AF6WL on September 29, 2013, 03:44:31 PM
Your are doing the right thing asking - as a by the numbers approach does not tell you everything.

I have both and can assure you the KX3 is far more more pleasurable to listen to.
Even before you turn on any noise reduction , the built in AF filters and equalization are far preferable to the wide band audio noise the FT817 puts out.
The lower phase noise on the KX3 also make the band sound cleaner.

Building a KX3 is very easy - just screwing boards together.
The Roofing filter won't be needed with loop antenna; you can always add it later.
These should bring the price closer.

You can only fit one optional filter in the FT817 ( unless you go for the W4RT board )
The FT817 must be due for a replacement soon.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W4KYR on September 29, 2013, 03:55:19 PM
If you are going to work with a compromised antenna. You might need more than 5 or 10 watts to get out on some nights. If you are going to work PSK31 or CW then yes you probably can get by with 10 watts with a compromised antenna.

Why go out and spend money for the filters if might not need them? Buy whatever radio you decide on and then if you need the filters then buy them.

My personal thinking is to have two radios with one having power to 100 watts. Supposed you move later on and decide you want more power? Or suppose 5 or 10 watts is not making it on SSB but with maybe 25 or 35 watts just might.

I would not spend money on ADMS software or filters. I would spend $100 +/- on a Signalink USB and check out all the great digital modes that are out there (regardless what radio you decide to buy).

If you are going to decide on the FT 817ND . Then don't get no options for it. Save the money and also get a USED  full powered rig like the Icom IC-718, Alinco DX 70 or the Kenwood TS 50 for $500 and up.  In case you need higher power, you'll have it...

If you decide to get the KX3 it will be more modern than the FT 817ND . It has more features than the FT 817, although the FT 817ND has more bands than the KX3. Get the amp for the KX3 if you are going to go that route. But whatever you decide on, get the Signalink and you can do PSK 31 on low power and get out pretty far on digital modes. And if you go with the KX3 get the internal tuner.

And if you get 50 responses, you might also get 50 different answers.

Good Luck








Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N3AEG on September 29, 2013, 04:24:25 PM
My only reason for including the roofing filters into the radio is that Elecraft would install them when I buy the radio.  With that being said, exactly what do the roofing filters do?

I should have added to the initial post that I don't need the 2m/70cm bands since I already have a Yaesu FT-8900R at home.

Because my primary antenna will most likely be the Alexloop, I'm limited to 20w output.  At some point down the road, if I can figure out a way to hide an antenna, I would be open to picking up a used base station for the added power.

Hopefully in the next 3-4 months I'll start studying for the Extra exam.  After than I plan to start learning CW so at this point I'm pretty much going to use SSB and maybe play with the digital features.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KK0G on September 29, 2013, 04:39:12 PM
If you say the cost difference has little impact on your decision then it's a slam dunk.......... get the KX3, it has a FAR superior receiver. For portable work the KX3 is also much more trail friendly with it's controls on top rather than the front panel. Current draw is also a big concern for portable work and the KX3's 150 mA is 3 times less than the FT-817's 450 mA.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KH6AQ on September 29, 2013, 05:01:42 PM
I've owned two FT-817D transceivers and I presently have a KX3. To me the FT-817 is a toy that's cute but it's not much fun to operate. The CW keyer speed control is accessed by a menu while the KX3 has a dedicated CW knob. The FT-817 runs 5 watts SSB with no speech processing while the KX3 runs 12 watts with very effective RF speech processing. The KX3 is a real radio that's suitable for any type of operation including contesting.



Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W4KYR on September 29, 2013, 05:04:14 PM
The KX3 does PSK31 out of the box. So you might not need the Signalink unless you want to work other modes. Check out Youtube, they have videos about the KX3. This will get you more familiar with the radio and its operation.

As far as antennas, some people swear by the Buddipole, others prefer end fed or dipole. Videos about these antennas and more are also available on Youtube.

This might interest you:
"3846.9 mi PSK31 on .1 Watt ! "

http://radiopreppers.com/index.php?topic=470.0

Some ham was able to have a contact with just  1/10th of a watt using the KX3.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AF6WL on September 29, 2013, 06:57:55 PM
My only reason for including the roofing filters into the radio is that Elecraft would install them when I buy the radio.  With that being said, exactly what do the roofing filters do?

The roofing filters are low pass filters that are switched in before the A-D converters.
The only make a difference differentiating weak signals in crowded bands with strong signals e.g. field day and contests.

When you use the wide span SDR functions with a external PC you won't be using the roofing filters.
There is an advantage in buying them at the get go, as Elecraft will do the IQ response cal for you radio and the your filters. You can do this yourself if you buy them later, but you need a signal generator.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: K5TED on September 29, 2013, 07:16:05 PM
The FT-817ND or any other low power rig including the Elecraft is a bad choice for first HF rig unless you plan to spend fruitless hours with your compromised antenna making very few, if any contacts on a normal day.

If you have $900 to spend on a brand new radio, buy a FT-450D. IF filtering, Roofing filter, internal ATU, 100w, HF+6m.







Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N2RRA on September 29, 2013, 08:05:09 PM
The FT-817ND or any other low power rig including the Elecraft is a bad choice for first HF rig unless you plan to spend fruitless hours with your compromised antenna making very few, if any contacts on a normal day.

If you have $900 to spend on a brand new radio, buy a FT-450D. IF filtering, Roofing filter, internal ATU, 100w, HF+6m.







Problem here is....as he clearly states his living conditions a 100 watt rig is sure to create problems for him and his neighbors guaranteed. Even 50 watts is most likey going to do the job at reaking havoc. In some cases dependent on frequency range may exclude the issue, but sure the RFI is gonna screw with his rig, power supply, TV, radio etc....

Running QRP will be the safest for him both operating and keeping his neighbors clueless.

Don't let the nay Sayers tell you that QRP is not for the beginner ham. I started out running QRP and even though the solar cycle was much different then the QRP woes were still very much present. In fact if you look me up on YouTube I have many videos that prove all those nay Sayers that QRP is not gonna work under the worst conditions quite contradictory. Last 10 years have been the worst and still able to bust pile ups with 5 watts against guys running 1500 watts with yagis on 50ft towers.

All in the field with compromised antennas!

If you don't care about the 2m/70cm band and money's not an issue then the KX3 is the way to go hands down if it's gonna sit on your desk. If you plan on going on hikes and stuff the KX3 is the way too go, but the FT-817ND is for me because it's all bands I use rolled up in one. I've even contested with it and has it's lack of filter capability compared to the KX3 stop it and me from high contact numbers during a low weak solar cycle? HELL No!

That too I prove in my videos!

So if money is not an issue buy both. If you wanna see what a 100 watt radio is gonna do for you In your apartment that would be a good idea. Just crank it down to QRP if need too.

Just too many options and too many variables to consider unless you just dive into the radio of your choice. There's never an easy solution nor can anyone predict what's best for you.

Just buy a radio and see for yourself.

73 and good luck!





Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: K0JEG on September 30, 2013, 06:35:14 AM
The KX3 does PSK31 out of the box. So you might not need the Signalink unless you want to work other modes. Check out Youtube, they have videos about the KX3. This will get you more familiar with the radio and its operation.
Quote

Also does a fair job of decoding CW, and can use paddles for sending PSK31.

And they still say they're going to release the 2 meter module, which will get you all but 70cm.

But the price is still going to be a great deal higher since you're not going to find many on the used market. I watched the classifieds boards and Ebay and found a decent FT817 for a lot less than the new list price a few months ago. A cute radio, but very hard to use if you're not used to Yaesu's menu system, and the buttons are overly small for my hands. I think for SOTA activation or other portable use the KX3 is the way to go. For digital/weak signal modes in a house the FT817 could be just the ticket if you're starting out.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N1DVJ on September 30, 2013, 07:44:53 AM
You really need to consider what you want the radio for...

If it's for performance, then it's hands down and the KX3.  And the KX3 does offer some ergonomic advantages, like a built in ATU.

If you think 2M and 440 is important, then go with the FT-817.  There is something to be said for a 'slingable' radio with a shoulder strap, at least for 6M and up.  But don't think you're going to have that on HF.  And any ATU you consider will be external to the 817.

I personally have an FT-817 and a K2.  Different radios, with different enticements.  I have an external ATU for my FT-817.  I built the T1 from Elecraft for it.

Since you imply you are going to use this in your home, which has issues, I'd say go the KX3.   But if you were buying this to be a 'hiker' radio, then the FT-817 might fit better to your needs, but realize the FT-817 totally sucks when it comes to battery life.  If you are going in and 'setting up', then the KX3 might be a bit better fit.  Since I don't own a KX3, I can't say for sure, but when I camp, I've previously carried in my K2 (with built in ATU) and one of those 'lunchbox' batteries to jump start your car.  Lasts for the whole week easy at the Boy Scout camp.  I made a 40M dipole with 24ga speaker wire split I throw in the trees and feed with real light duty 300 ohm twinlead, then have a bannana post to BNC plug for the back of my K2.  Works gangbusters.




Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N3IG on September 30, 2013, 08:11:45 AM
     I have both (just got the KX3), the 817 has 2 meters and 70 cm but if you have a radio for these bands the KX3 blows it away on hf with all the options. The tuner in this radio will probably load your balcony rail if metal (would not be real efficient but would do it).

     Some will say to just buy a cheaper 100 watt rig and turn it down but in your situation I think you are going right direction. Reason being that you can get a 12 volt SLA battery and a LNR 10-20-40 end fed antenna for a trip to the park. A wire in the trees is going to give better performance the your compromise antenna at home. Don't get discouraged with the ones that don't reply because it just makes the ones that do more exciting.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N1DVJ on September 30, 2013, 11:05:26 AM
First off, the Elecraft tuners will tune up an amazing variety of antennas.  While some manufacturers say 3:1 is the max they will tune, the Elecraft tuners usually tune 9:1, and the tuner portion of the new 100W amp says 10:1. 

And don't worry about what is good or bad.  A bad antenna is still better than no antenna.  I've tuned up a downspout as a stealth antenna.  On a camping trip I just clipped an alligator clip to an electric fence (after making sure it was inactive!) and used that.  In one building I took an old IF transformer and unwound it and threw a small weight into a tree.  Heck, that stuff was light enough that if people walked into it they probably thought it is just a tough spider web.  But hey, it works!  Sure, wire from an IF transformer (the OLD stuff, like from a 1930's tube radio) that was a phenolic tube with multiple donuts on it, it won't last, but you should be able to get a few days of operation from it.  You'd be surprised what you can 'sneak up'.  Hey, at one point I made a 15M dipole and duct-taped it to the ceiling of my bedroom, diagonally, and let it drooped down opposing corners.  Worked a number of eastern states up through Virginia from Ft Worth with that, running only 50W.

Eric and Wayne from Elecraft used to show the K2 at shows by just plugging in a telescoping whip into the back with the ATU.  Something is better than nothing, so just play and have fun.

It may be crap, but it will be your crap, and it will still be better than no crap!




Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W4KYR on September 30, 2013, 12:08:48 PM
Helium balloon + Wire + Late at night = Good Signals and no nosy neighbors


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N3AEG on September 30, 2013, 03:22:39 PM
That's for all of the advice and feedback.  I've decided to go with the KX3 unless I can find a good deal on a used 817 this weekend at a local hamfest.  If not, I'll order the KX3 and Alexloop on Monday.



Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KK6GNP on September 30, 2013, 03:43:09 PM
I went ahead and ordered a KX3 today as well.  I needed a unit that would be able to serve me in both field and base use, and it's hard to argue against the quality of this Elecraft.  I'm excited for the kit to arrive so I can put it together!


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KE7TMA on September 30, 2013, 03:49:44 PM
I own both of these radios, and the KX3 is much better all around.  It does 10+ watts on DC power, 5 on batteries.  It has better filters, a quieter receiver, and built in digital modes with the CW paddles.  It also decodes CW in case the other guy is too fast.  Also, I like to hook it up to my iPad running iSDR as a panadapter.  This is a really cool way to operate and it allows you to get a much better picture of the band's conditions, as well as seeing other stations in operation off your tuned frequency.

The 817 is a decent little rig, but it is blown away in every important area compared with the KX3.  Operating with a compromised antenna and 3w of power, I can reliably have QSOs with stations hundreds and thousands of miles away on CW.

If you really need the 2m / 70cm operation in the same box obviously the 817 is a better choice.  However I'd rather use an HT as well as base station.

10w is plenty of power to start out with, and if you need more you're going to need an amp with either rig.  The main difference is that the KX3's receiver is on par with any transceiver made, at any price, and the 817 can be ranked as moderately good at best.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: K5TED on September 30, 2013, 04:49:43 PM
The OP's QTH actually offers a couple of good antenna options. For one, there is a 4 story downspout. Is it plastic or aluminum?

The balcony is a bit cramped for good magloop performance, with walls on 3 sides, but the eave is close and the structure has a broad roof just right for slinging a weighted length of magnet wire backwards from the balcony eave, over the top if possible, then tuning with an appropriate coupler or tuner. It would likely never be noticed.

Use a balun to feed it, if end-fed. The holy grail in this setup would be if the downspout is metal, and could be used as a counterpoise to 30' to 40' length of magnet wire slung over the rooftop.

I disagree that "10w is plenty of power" for this particular situation, but the good thing about ham radio is that you can ask for advice, then evaluate it, and if you make a mistake, all is not lost. It's just a hobby. You can try many alternatives til you hit one that works.

If you look around my QRZ or homepage you'll see QRP is not foreign to me. Just stating my experience with working low power from a compromised location (see the 4NEC model of my "over the top" wire at the bottom of the QRZ page).

The FT-817ND would truly be a poor choice for a fixed station in this QTH (I own one), and the KX3 will likely not be much better on HF unless some really creative antenna deployment is used.







Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: K5TED on September 30, 2013, 04:54:05 PM
Helium balloon + Wire + Late at night = Good Signals and no nosy neighbors

Be careful with that!!! (static buildup)


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AK4YH on October 01, 2013, 12:17:20 AM
Hello,

First, you won't need the roofing filter. The existing filters on the KX3 are excellent and can go down to 50Hz! Only hard-core contesters need roofing filters. I use a $1.50 microphone with my KX3, works like a charm (I got two for $3, shipped). The "kit" version (I can't bring myself to call it a kit) is just bolting things together, no big deal and you save $100.

As many have mentioned, as far as performance, the KX3 wins hands down. You also get 12W with an external battery... On CW it doesn't really matter, but it can help with SSB.

Now, deppending on how you will use your radio, if you plan on operating away from a power supply, the KX3 uses 150mA of current on receive, VS. 450mA for the FT-817ND, which means that the KX3 will run three times longer on the same battery! That is a big difference.

The KX3 internal battery charger isn't that great and you might want to skip it. It's just an unbalanced time-set charger. Better use alkalines or/and a small external battery. A Lipo 3S pack is light and small and since the KX3 seeps current, you won't need to buy a big one.

I also hesitated between the two, but since I like camping for a week at a time, the lower current draw of the KX3 made the difference for me. The KX3 also has a giant screen and that is a big plus. The firmware is still evolving and udating it is easier than stealing ice cream from a baby. The Elecraft ATUs will tune a wet noodle. I once accidentally tuned a 25' length of coax with nothing plugged on the other end! And that was with the less capable K1 ATU...

2m/70cm is nice, but I like using an HT, wich allows me to listen to both at the same time. I do hope the KX3 2m module is released soon though, just to try 2m CW..

The only extra I'll suggest you buy for a KX3 is a Pelican 1200 case, because it is far from waterproof! Otherwise I am glad I got it instead of the Yaesu. I love Yaesu radios, but the KX3 is simply better.

Gil.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KH6AQ on October 01, 2013, 07:35:26 AM
I would skip trying to run the KX3 with internal alkaline cells. They go flat after a very short time and are essentially useless unless all you want to do it receive.

On Field Day I ran my KX3 at 5 watts with the internal 1200 mA-hr NiMH cells. It ran 4 hours per charge in heavy contesting mode. Had I used 2800 mA-hr NiMH cells it would have gone 9-10 hours per charge.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N1DVJ on October 01, 2013, 08:25:30 AM
For radios and cameras where I can use an AA cell, I personally use the Lithium X4 cells  Under $5 at Walmart for 4 of them.  They also have an X8 for about twice the price.  The reason I use the X4s is that if you forget or bump the thing on, it's cheaper to have the X4s go dead.

But if weight or physical pack space is an issue, then the X8 cells might be a better choice.

Be aware that alkaline AA cells have a high internal resistance that really limits how my current (and power) you can get out of them.  But AA cells have a big advantage.   You can get them almost anywhere.  Hiking a trail in the woods?  If you can find a trailhead store, you can almost certainly find AA cells.  If I wanted to make up a 'pack' that would give me more power, I would use "C" cells.  "D" cells would last longer, but you may want it to be light.  A 'strip' of 2xC cell holders on a strap might give you a decent time operating.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KJ4FUU on October 02, 2013, 10:46:41 AM
I have a Yaesu FT817ND. I would recommend the KX3, not because I don't like the 817, but because the KX3 is a few years more up-to-date than the 817.

Additionally, if I recall correctly, the KX3 draws a lot less current on receive than the 817, so you'll get more battery life.

The 817 has a lot of the settings buried in menus. As many buttons and knobs as the KX3 has, I think it's still simpler to operate.

-- Tom

P.S. I just recently bought a new radio: The Ten-Tec Argonaut VI, which, while it doesn't cover 6, 12, or 60 meters, and no AM without an optional filter, I think is simpler to operate than the KX3 for what I do, and I've been happy with it.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W4KYR on October 03, 2013, 04:34:05 AM


I am interested in the KX3, but I also want the Vertex VX-1210. Can't have both...


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AD6KA on October 04, 2013, 01:04:32 PM
Helium balloon + Wire + Late at night = Good Signals and no nosy neighbors

Be careful with that!!! (static buildup)

And with high tension wires! ::)
This a plan best done on the beach........


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KE7TMA on October 06, 2013, 11:56:10 AM
Hello,

First, you won't need the roofing filter. The existing filters on the KX3 are excellent and can go down to 50Hz! Only hard-core contesters need roofing filters. I use a $1.50 microphone with my KX3, works like a charm (I got two for $3, shipped). The "kit" version (I can't bring myself to call it a kit) is just bolting things together, no big deal and you save $100.

As many have mentioned, as far as performance, the KX3 wins hands down. You also get 12W with an external battery... On CW it doesn't really matter, but it can help with SSB.

Now, deppending on how you will use your radio, if you plan on operating away from a power supply, the KX3 uses 150mA of current on receive, VS. 450mA for the FT-817ND, which means that the KX3 will run three times longer on the same battery! That is a big difference.

The KX3 internal battery charger isn't that great and you might want to skip it. It's just an unbalanced time-set charger. Better use alkalines or/and a small external battery. A Lipo 3S pack is light and small and since the KX3 seeps current, you won't need to buy a big one.

I also hesitated between the two, but since I like camping for a week at a time, the lower current draw of the KX3 made the difference for me. The KX3 also has a giant screen and that is a big plus. The firmware is still evolving and udating it is easier than stealing ice cream from a baby. The Elecraft ATUs will tune a wet noodle. I once accidentally tuned a 25' length of coax with nothing plugged on the other end! And that was with the less capable K1 ATU...

2m/70cm is nice, but I like using an HT, wich allows me to listen to both at the same time. I do hope the KX3 2m module is released soon though, just to try 2m CW..

The only extra I'll suggest you buy for a KX3 is a Pelican 1200 case, because it is far from waterproof! Otherwise I am glad I got it instead of the Yaesu. I love Yaesu radios, but the KX3 is simply better.

Gil.

I am not a "hard core contester" and I noticed a large improvement when I installed the roofing filter in my KX3.  If you live anywhere near broadcast antennas, plasma TVs, radar installations, and so on, the roofing filter is a great aid.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KE7TMA on October 06, 2013, 11:57:36 AM


I am interested in the KX3, but I also want the Vertex VX-1210. Can't have both...

Lots of people have both a hatchback and a big pickup truck, same deal here.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: SWL377 on November 08, 2013, 04:24:43 PM
I've had a lot of fun with a used FT 817 (not FT 817ND)  that cost me $400 and a PAR end fed dipole for 10 20 40M. It's not as good as a KX 3 but it is "good enough" and provides handy VHF and UHF coverage on road trips. The earlier 817 (non ND) goes for quite a bit less than the ND models and I've had zero problems with mine. I used the 817 for 2M SSB parachute mobile contacts during the 2010 VHF QSO Party. Cant do that with a KX3 without spending a lot for an extra module.  http://forums.qrz.com/archive/index.php/t-251093.html (http://forums.qrz.com/archive/index.php/t-251093.html)

AF6IM
www.parachutemobile.com (http://www.parachutemobile.com)



Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W9LSL on November 11, 2013, 06:11:33 AM
I'm enjoying the heck out of my KX3, but I still wouldn't mind having an 817 as a second portable rig.  817s are a modern day classic.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AF6WL on November 11, 2013, 07:24:33 AM
Even though the FT-817 is nominally larger than the KX3, I find the slimmer profile of the FT-817 makes it easier to slip into a backpack pocket ; the KX3 with the protective end plates is a bit of a brick.

I have also been doing some side by side comparisons of my KX3 and old 2002 FT-817.
The KX3 sounds so much smoother  - and surprisingly easier to tune i.e. zero in on SSB speech.

Three things narrow the gap:
  • My FT-817 internal speaker adds a lot of distortion - my task this week is to find a mylar cone replacement ( doing so worked wonders for my K1 )
  • I get a lot of high frequency hiss - permanently dialing in 200Hz offset in the extended menu, or use front panel IF shift, cuts this down a lot.
  • Turning the RF gain control back acts like a noise gate; quite effective on the lower bands


Now all I have to do to get my FT-817 back on the air is replace the W4RT battery pack which has gone high resistance, shutting down whenever the rig is keyed   :(


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AF6WL on November 11, 2013, 07:39:49 AM

I am interested in the KX3, but I also want the Vertex VX-1210. Can't have both...

Last week a message went out from Bonnie Crystal on the VX-1210 yahoo group saying that the radio has now been discontinued - so the odds of getting it are diminished.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W4KYR on November 11, 2013, 09:33:08 AM

I am interested in the KX3, but I also want the Vertex VX-1210. Can't have both...

Last week a message went out from Bonnie Crystal on the VX-1210 yahoo group saying that the radio has now been discontinued - so the odds of getting it are diminished.

Thanks for the info I don't really have the money for it anyway. It was one of those items that you wish you could get but can't for one reason or another. I'm sure we all have our dream setup ideas, mine was the VX-1210, SCS Pactor 4, roll up non breakable solar panels and one of those military spec tough book laptops.



Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N0EVH on November 13, 2013, 12:30:54 PM
Have had both rigs for some time.  Both are nice, but the KX3 outshines in ergonomics, ability to hear and select weak stations.  I love the I/Q output for monitoring around the shack.  Strong point of the KX3 of course is portable use where it has no competition in multiband all mode transceivers.  The tuner on the KX3 will tune a paper clip to a school bus!  Unless you just have to have the small loop I would go with an EFW.  You will find the loop about 3 to 4 S units down from a wire antenna.  That is a lot to give up when running QRP.  You will certainly enjoy the radio, have fun.  If you want to try a no cost small loop get a bent bicycle rim and build one from internet plans.  They do work.....but low power ops should always go with the best antenna possible.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: WB4TJH on November 30, 2013, 10:30:11 AM
Go with the Elecraft. It has a world class receiver, ten watts out, and is backed up by one of the best companies in the business, and is US made. I have an Elecraft K2 and it is has the best receiver I have owned in the past 40+ years.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: ZENKI on December 06, 2013, 06:22:26 PM
Why bother with these impractical ham radios.

Receiver performance means very little when you are operating portable with restricted antennas.

I just bought myself a new HF Manpack thats the ultimate HF portable radio.  The DSP noise reduction on this radio just leaves the KX3 and FT817 for dead.
Its also vastly more practical and reliable.

http://www.codanradio.com/product/2110manpack/

The best part is that it runs 25 watts output on SSB. 25 watts is just brilliant.

Elecraft should come up with  a packaging kit for the KX3 that turns it into a 25 watt manpack. A 100 watt amp with a  KX3 is a ridiculous concept. The  overall concept of the KX3 would fail in 1 day of  bush walking in a tropical jungle. The connectors on my KX3 already have green gunge and rust spots just from casually  operating on my sailboat. If I left it sitting in a box on my sailboat it would probably be faulty just from sitting in the box. Non of the boards are conformal coated so has no ability to resist weather and a corrosive atmosphere. The FT817 has the same problems.

Anyway I have no worries, i have retired all my junk ham radios as desk play things. I own a real radio. Its shame ham radio companies do so little market research and are stuck on their own individual planets with  no lateral thinking ability. All we hear is excuses about no market,  how expensive it  is to do this thinking and research. All research and thinking thats 30 years old. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.

TenTec could have done the same with the Argonaut 6. Yet all they chose to do is release something that is  as cheap as a CB radio.   What good is excellent receiver performance when if you drop the radio or the radio gets wet  when you operating. I would would have been happy to pay double the price for the Argonaut or KX3 if they did a better job at packing  these radios for real hard use in the field. The radios also need better battery packs. How ridiculous is it that a company expects you to run  your radios on AA  batteries. especially a 10 watt radio. A AA battery accessory pack would have made sense but for the price I would have expected a lithium or SLA battery.

I am happy I have a fantastic radio with no faults. I am very impressed with the CODAN. If you serious ham investigate the CODAN HF manpack you will not regret the purchase. It can even do ALE. Its a fantastic radio that has no equal   from any ham manufacturer.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W7ASA on December 06, 2013, 08:06:53 PM
That looks like an EXCELLENT manpack.  I've operated only older, legacy manpacks and other mil HF gear, once-upon-a-time, when I was in that "business". The new generations of manpack radios are simply amazing with auto-linking, data, built-in CRYPTO, spread spectrum on some models, usually fast-hoppers and etc.

Manpacks are fun for some hams and the international appeal of the HFpack group shows that there is a niche' market for them.  To compare mil manpacks with Elecraft however, seems an 'cocoanut -v- oranges' argument: both hang from trees - yes, but very different. KX3 was never designed to be competition for a military manpack, because it's not servicing that market. Now, if a person DOES need or want a portable, channelized radio transceiver capable of operation in jungle, at sea in extreme temperature/humidity and is designed to take a great deal of physical abuse yet to keep working,  then yes -  full mil-spec manpacks are designed for that. CODAN, BARRET, HARRIS et al have a mil/para-mil/NGO market focus which hams like you enjoy - cool!  

I don't speak for Elecraft, but it's clear that the KX1 & KX3 are not even remotely designed for that market - and never intended to be. The cost, weight, size and current consumption etc. for manpacks are generally considered excessive for most hams doing civilian/recreational backpacking, for example.  Paul - W0RW/pm out wandering the Rockie Mountains with one of several military manpacks is a delightful exception, who I have talked with a few times, usually in CW while he is slowly being covered in snow during in howling winds...   :o

Looking at the CODAN spec-sheet, the weight listed with one 8 A/H battery was just over 10.3 pounds, to which must be added the essential mil-spec accessories for actual operation like handset - or phones, key & antenna(s) . We're probably beginning the day with 13-15 pounds of radio gear, not counting the ability to recharge in the field. That's very light compared to what I carried decades ago as a soldier, but in an entirely different Size, Weight and Power class from what casual ham hikers and SOTA guys are likely to carry in addition to their backpacking gear for fun.

I'd love to hear more about your CODAN manpack, how you use it and perhaps some of the design features and how they integrate into ham use.  CW filtering informaiton was lacking in the spec sheet I saw, so if you could discuss your experiences with that, it would be helpful. Your preferred antenna types for pedestrian as well as for camp are also something I am curious about.  In decades of carrying HF radios, I still prefer the basic dipole, high and in the clear for all but easy NVIS shots, though a half-square run from the ATU post against a counterpoise wire has helped me much on long-haul/low take-off angle shots in times past.  I never did talking while walking until I did this for fun as a civilian. As a civilian, it was enjoyable mild-exercise while hamming or when car camping.  I did exactly ONE civilian backpack trip with an old PRC-74 and spares in my rucksack -ONE. I was a tough-guy back then.  These days, to be perfectly honest, I would not even attempt that, so I have my light weight, small, 'Up-Armored' KX1 instead.



73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

Ps.  I always prefer the best, most selective receiver I can have with me.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AA4GA on December 07, 2013, 06:04:06 AM
Why bother with these impractical ham radios.

Impractical?  I've used one or the other of the two subject rigs as my primary transceiver for almost three years now, and have completed over 6000 QSOs in 170 DXCC counties, all running 5 watts to an 80m doublet up 45' or so.  What's impractical about that?

Quote
Receiver performance means very little when you are operating portable with restricted antennas.
But what if you are operating with larger antennas, whether portable or not?  What if you are operating in close proximity to other strong stations?

Quote
The best part is that it runs 25 watts output on SSB. 25 watts is just brilliant.
Congratulations on the new radio - however, I'll remind you that 25 watts, while fairly low power, is not considered QRP by most sanctioning bodies (QRPARCI, contest sponsors, the stated purpose of this forum, etc.) when defining "QRP". 

Quote
The  overall concept of the KX3 would fail in 1 day of  bush walking in a tropical jungle.
What does that have to do with anything?  I'm fairly certain that the vast majority of KX3 owners don't live anywhere near a tropical jungle, nor to they have any plans of spending any time there.

Quote
Its shame ham radio companies do so little market research
I find it pretty amazing that the radio manufacturers have been so successful with "little" market research.  Please, tell me, what exactly do you know about the various manufacturers' market research?

Quote
What good is excellent receiver performance when if you drop the radio or the radio gets wet  when you operating. I would would have been happy to pay double the price for the Argonaut or KX3 if they did a better job at packing  these radios for real hard use in the field.
So, just because you would be happy to pay that difference, you think the rest of their customers would be?  You think that their sales and profit margin would be greater had those radios been twice as costly?  This is based on your market research, or just what *you* want?

Quote
The radios also need better battery packs. How ridiculous is it that a company expects you to run  your radios on AA  batteries. especially a 10 watt radio. A AA battery accessory pack would have made sense but for the price I would have expected a lithium or SLA battery.
I use 8xAA Eneloops in my KX3 successfully all the time when I go out for remote operating - usually from a SOTA summit.  I have never depleted the battery, although I do usually carry a LiPo backup for "just in case"...but I've never had to use it.

Quote
I am happy I have a fantastic radio with no faults.
A quick review of the brochure indicates that the radio does, in fact, have faults.  First, it's just way too big!  Second, I did not see anything that looked like a "VFO" knob, nor even any UP/DOWN frequency control.  Is it even possible to "tune a band" with that thing, or is it only a channelized radio?  If the latter, it is very impractical for amateur service, no matter how good the specs are or aren't.  Obviously, this company did absolutely zero market research, as it seems like it would make a horrible QRP rig.

Or, just maybe, the amateurs aren't the people that these folks are marketing to...not unlike the the fact that Yaesu and Elecraft don't market to the "manpack" crowd.  Nah, that can't be it.  They obviously didn't do any market research.

Here's a question for "ZENKI":  Do you have an amateur license?  If so, what is your call sign?  Judging from your radio preferences and failure to identify yourself here, I find it hard to believe you are a licensed amateur.  Prove me wrong.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KD7TWI on December 07, 2013, 10:21:03 PM


I just bought myself a new HF Manpack thats the ultimate HF portable radio.  The DSP noise reduction on this radio just leaves the KX3 and FT817 for dead.


Me thinks thou art a schill.  I don't know if you have a license, no mention of experience with either radio, doubtful you purchased a manpack and if you did I am quite sure it was not nearly in the same price range of either of the other two radio's in question.  I am betting I could get 3 KX3's or 4 FT-817's for the price of one milspec manpack.   Who is impractical?   ::)


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: K7LZR on January 25, 2014, 03:48:34 PM
OP: I'm sure that you've long since made your buying decision but I'll add to the discussion. The KX3 is a nice little rig but not nearly as versatile as the FT-817nd. Nor is it as ruggedly built.

As to receiver performance, truth is that there is little if any real world difference between the two in terms of weak signal performance, especially on CW with narrow filters selected on both radios. The FT-817nd works very well on HF if you understand how to use it correctly.

The KX3 is a great HF rig, no doubt. But the FT-817 is that also and so much more.



Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KB1GMX on January 25, 2014, 05:58:17 PM
Nest info I could get put the Codan-2110 at about 4500$ (new) minimum.  I can kill several
KX3s, FT817s, FT857s, or even IC7200 with cash left over.  In fact for that kind of money I
could have all of those and pick which suites me for the proposed trip.

Having used a large population of green radios plus a prc1099 at beck and call all of them do
not easily cruse up or down the band for an active QSO.  You can easily pre-program a band or
frequency but moving around is a PITA.  Some only go in 100hz steps, not so great for SSB
and split is a real pain if at all possible.  All of the green radios (some are black or beige) are
rugged but far from battery friendly those that are like their brand battery (not cheap).

If you going to drop your radio in water there are waterproof cases that are inexpensive
and allow a personal pick of radio and even store the battery, tuner, and antennas.

An enterprising ham could make a replacement outer case for his or her favorite radio
to make it like the manpacks. 

Likely the best comment I can make is... Its a hobby and one can do what ever they please
and enjoy.


Allison
 


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W4KYR on January 26, 2014, 11:06:08 AM

An enterprising ham could make a replacement outer case for his or her favorite radio
to make it like the manpacks. 


Indeed some have, I found this 'Manpack FT 817' in Google Images.


(http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/txned0p69q4/hqdefault.jpg)


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KE7TMA on January 27, 2014, 10:29:18 AM
Here's a clever KX3 manpack mod:  http://www.oe2atn.at/tom/gobox/


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AF6WL on January 27, 2014, 12:47:41 PM
Here's a clever KX3 manpack mod:  http://www.oe2atn.at/tom/gobox/


Sorry, that does not count as  a manpack in my book; it's a radio in a nice box.

However the W4KYR's picture does count for me as a manpack as the radio, battery, tuner and whip antenna mount are all in one package.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: VE9AAE on January 27, 2014, 06:57:18 PM
Found this short video of that manpack.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=txned0p69q4



Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KE7TMA on January 29, 2014, 04:56:39 PM
Here's a clever KX3 manpack mod:  http://www.oe2atn.at/tom/gobox/


Sorry, that does not count as  a manpack in my book; it's a radio in a nice box.

However the W4KYR's picture does count for me as a manpack as the radio, battery, tuner and whip antenna mount are all in one package.

With a little imagination I'm sure you could easily adapt this idea and screw an antenna mount onto the box.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AK4YH on March 02, 2014, 08:25:06 PM
It all depends of course on your intended use. If you plan on operating from batteries in the field, then you need to look at receive current draw first. The KX3 beats the FT-817nd hands down. The KX3 will also filter CW down to 50Hz! The only issue with the KX3 for field operations is that you will need to get a Pelican case for it and forget about operating in the rain. The FT-817nd might be more robust in that regard. I think the FT-817nd is a great all around radio. The KX3 is a CW monster. I own a KX3, but I am not sure I would spend as much again on a radio that does SSB, because I only use CW. I would probably get a KX1, paired with my FT-270 2m handheld.

When I got the KX3 I had the same dilema, FT-817 or KX3. I only got the KX3 because of the excellent receiver and CW. It was a hard choice, as the Yaesu offers a lot for the price.

Gil.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KB9CZ on March 16, 2014, 09:10:20 AM
This has been an interesting dialog.  I, too, have somewhat the same problem as the original question:  live in a concrete and steel high-rise, close neighbors, and enough inter mod, light dimmers, etc. to just about kill the hobby.  I bought an FT-450D never having been on the air in my condo.  I cannot use it because of the ambient noise and interference.  I have made a few contacts using it portable, but it's not a good field radio.  I then started looking at the FT-817D because I am a dedicated Yaesu fan, but this discussion has pretty much convinced me that the KX3 is better suited for my "take it to a park" and have some fun.  Now all I need is some iPad to KX3 software to do some digital modes.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KE7TMA on March 17, 2014, 04:07:29 PM
It all depends of course on your intended use. If you plan on operating from batteries in the field, then you need to look at receive current draw first. The KX3 beats the FT-817nd hands down. The KX3 will also filter CW down to 50Hz! The only issue with the KX3 for field operations is that you will need to get a Pelican case for it and forget about operating in the rain. The FT-817nd might be more robust in that regard. I think the FT-817nd is a great all around radio. The KX3 is a CW monster. I own a KX3, but I am not sure I would spend as much again on a radio that does SSB, because I only use CW. I would probably get a KX1, paired with my FT-270 2m handheld.

When I got the KX3 I had the same dilema, FT-817 or KX3. I only got the KX3 because of the excellent receiver and CW. It was a hard choice, as the Yaesu offers a lot for the price.

Gil.

I'm not sure that the 817 is rain resistant to any greater degree than the KX3.  The 817 has an opening on the top for the speaker and to admit rain, as well as the faceplate which has no useful weather proofing that I could tell.  It also lacks any kind of industry standard IP rating for dust or moisture.  I used to own an 817 and currently own a KX3.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N6PG on April 07, 2014, 01:36:39 PM
I have the FT-857 and the KX-3. I really like both radios. I've used the FT-817, but I haven't owned one. The KX-3 is amazing. Everything is inside the box, so you can throw some wire up in a tree and you're off and running. Battery, tuner, radio... All you need is some wire.  Great article here for portable random wire ant http://www.hamuniverse.com/randomwireantennalengths.html

If you know cw, qrp won't be frustrating. I always seem to get a QSO when I call or tag on to someone signing off. The KX-3 has been the easiest field setup I've had. If I have more time, I setup my Buddipole ant.

I haven't tried SSB on qrp. I do use the FT-857 at 100 watts with an A123 battery. That makes a nice portable setup, but much heavier.

Enjoy!
Scott


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: K7LZR on June 08, 2014, 01:31:49 PM
Yeah well this has got to be one of the coolest things ever done to manpack an FT-817:

http://www.tristate.ne.jp/ja8fev/hamradio/ft817m/ft817m.htm (http://www.tristate.ne.jp/ja8fev/hamradio/ft817m/ft817m.htm)

Can't do this with a KX3.



Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KE7TMA on June 08, 2014, 04:04:09 PM
Yeah well this has got to be one of the coolest things ever done to manpack an FT-817:

http://www.tristate.ne.jp/ja8fev/hamradio/ft817m/ft817m.htm (http://www.tristate.ne.jp/ja8fev/hamradio/ft817m/ft817m.htm)

Can't do this with a KX3.



Maybe nobody has, but I see no reason why they "can't" do you?  The same methodology could be implemented quite easily with a KX3 instead of an 817 don't you think?  I mean the finished product would look a little different but the idea would be the same.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AF6WL on June 08, 2014, 05:38:42 PM
Yeah well this has got to be one of the coolest things ever done to manpack an FT-817:

http://www.tristate.ne.jp/ja8fev/hamradio/ft817m/ft817m.htm (http://www.tristate.ne.jp/ja8fev/hamradio/ft817m/ft817m.htm)


While it looks the part, it's all window dressing; extra weight and bulk -  no extra battery capacity, ATU or whip mount  etc.

Back to the topic of KX3 vs FT-817ND : I'm increasingly finding I prefer the sound of my FT-817 ( I have an upgraded speaker ) particularly with weak signals ; the analog architecture just sounds better than the KX3 digital signal.

As a side topic : I read on QRZ that the FT-897D is discontinued in Japan.
Given there are discounts on the FT-857D, I wonder how long the FT-817ND has to go before it's out of production.
http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?439132-Yaesu-FT-897d-Discontinued-( (http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?439132-Yaesu-FT-897d-Discontinued-()


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KE7TMA on June 08, 2014, 10:03:09 PM
Yeah well this has got to be one of the coolest things ever done to manpack an FT-817:

http://www.tristate.ne.jp/ja8fev/hamradio/ft817m/ft817m.htm (http://www.tristate.ne.jp/ja8fev/hamradio/ft817m/ft817m.htm)


While it looks the part, it's all window dressing; extra weight and bulk -  no extra battery capacity, ATU or whip mount  etc.

Back to the topic of KX3 vs FT-817ND : I'm increasingly finding I prefer the sound of my FT-817 ( I have an upgraded speaker ) particularly with weak signals ; the analog architecture just sounds better than the KX3 digital signal.

As a side topic : I read on QRZ that the FT-897D is discontinued in Japan.
Given there are discounts on the FT-857D, I wonder how long the FT-817ND has to go before it's out of production.
http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?439132-Yaesu-FT-897d-Discontinued-( (http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?439132-Yaesu-FT-897d-Discontinued-()

I think you would need to hook both radios to the same external speaker to tell which has a better signal.  I found that the KX3 has much, much better audio than the FT-817ND when both are hooked to the same decent external speaker.  I tend not to use internal speakers, as the audio quality is poor in my opinion.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W1AJO on June 09, 2014, 06:52:53 AM
I am biased toward the FT-817ND.  Bought my first one in 2004, my second one 6 weeks ago.

The 817ND needs two mods IMHO: the W4RT two filter board and the BHI internal DSP.  This adds $450 to the cost.  I just got my 817 back from W4RT with these mods.  Highly reccomened.

That makes them about the same price.  It then boils down to your personal preferences.  The KX3 is a fine radio. If I wasn't so invested in 817 accesories I might have gotten a KX3 6 weeks ago.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: REMOVED_ACCOUNT_2015-01-09 on June 19, 2014, 11:52:00 AM
FT-817ND without any questions.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AF6WL on June 19, 2014, 12:20:38 PM

I think you would need to hook both radios to the same external speaker to tell which has a better signal.  I found that the KX3 has much, much better audio than the FT-817ND when both are hooked to the same decent external speaker.  I tend not to use internal speakers, as the audio quality is poor in my opinion.

Also prefer the FT817 on headphones 


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N6PG on June 19, 2014, 12:21:11 PM
FT-817ND without any questions.

Really? I seem to question everything and change my mind often... After operating both radios I've gone the other direction. It just goes to show how we are all looking for different features! Having a choice is great!
73,
Scott N6PG


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N1DVJ on June 19, 2014, 12:30:36 PM
I think it depends.  I don't have a KX3, but I have a K2 and an FT-817.  If I'm going camping, in a tent, where I'll be set up for a while, the K2 wins hands down.  I use one of those 'car jumper' things about the size of a lunchpail and I can run all week on one charge.  Well, all week around other activities.  The built in tuner also is a big plus.

But on a hike?  The FT-817 is the hands down winner.  I have the Elecraft tuner and cable for the 817, and I can throw a dipole up in a couple of trees and be on the air in minutes.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KC2UGV on June 20, 2014, 05:55:07 AM
I think it depends.  I don't have a KX3, but I have a K2 and an FT-817.  If I'm going camping, in a tent, where I'll be set up for a while, the K2 wins hands down.  I use one of those 'car jumper' things about the size of a lunchpail and I can run all week on one charge.  Well, all week around other activities.  The built in tuner also is a big plus.

But on a hike?  The FT-817 is the hands down winner.  I have the Elecraft tuner and cable for the 817, and I can throw a dipole up in a couple of trees and be on the air in minutes.

I think this is probably one of the best answers to which one is better.  Each is better, in a particular use case.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: K6AER on June 22, 2014, 08:26:29 PM
QRP is fun when you have an efficient antenna.

I would buy a used IC-706 or a FT-857D. You can always turn down the power. Your apartment antenna will be at best 30% efficient as a regular dipole. Other hams can run power but if they cannot hear you they cannot work you.

Another thought is buy a used IC-7000. All of these radios come with filters. The DSP on the IC-7000 is very good.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: FP5CJ on December 21, 2014, 03:28:35 AM
The FT 817 needs for sure BHI DSP to equalmore or less  the KX3 receiving....with the price difference in favor of the 817,buying a small HF amplifier to go along with the  QRP rigwill be very appreciated at one moment or, at another , for sure... (maybe more appreciated than an auto tuner..)
MFO
GL73
JP


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: FP5CJ on December 21, 2014, 04:47:42 AM
HI again!
I have a FT 817ND that gives me almots 200 watts on some HF bands, when I use it with an outside small outboard amplifier , of course.. and that gives me ususally 2 s units more signals compared to the same situation with a barefoot factory no MOD FT 857 100W rig...or with any similar unmodified japanese 100W TX....;(:-)so; then the difference of signal between barefoot and not, is of 4 points on the s-meter of the OM on the other side..
(well,of course, the wire antenna must be well tuned with lowest  SWR..)*
I just want to mention,too, that I use only a small MFJ 25 AMPS PS..for both 817 and small AMP... and  am quite pleased with such station, lightest ever......so far .;anyway (hi!)
MHO
73
JP


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: FP5CJ on December 21, 2014, 04:51:22 AM
just want to mention that my signal oTA is very clear with amplifier;. I always have good reports..and congratulations..


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AD6KA on January 06, 2015, 12:36:26 PM

I would buy a used IC-706 or a FT-857D. You can always turn down the power. Your apartment antenna will be at best 30% efficient as a regular dipole. Other hams can run power but if they cannot hear you they cannot work you.

Another thought is buy a used IC-7000. All of these radios come with filters. The DSP on the IC-7000 is very good.

Please tread carefully if you go with a used 706.
Parts for the 706 are getting scarce, and the Final PA transistors
for plain 706's thru the low serial number MKIIG's are
Unobtanium.
Neither from the device manufacturer nor Icom, nor, well.....anywhere.
And there is no suitable drop in replacement.
(Last time I checked a few years ago.). Sorry, I've forgotten that serial
number cutoff, but it shouldn't be too difficult to research.

I bear no truck with the 706 Series, it's quirks are well documented,
but it fit my needs at the time......until the ex-buddy who I leant it to
burned out the finals while working 40m phone into a very short mag mount
CB whip on his truck....and this after he had given an expressly worded "blood oath" that he would never operate mobil with the rig......Eh, forgive and forget. (THAT took some time. I'll never lend anyone a rig again... but I digress........)

Icom completely redesigned the PA board mid-production run
on the MKIIG's....with diferent PA devices. The "new" PA boards are
not backwards compatible.
(Been there, done that, got the T shirt and everything,
had to sell it for parts).

I cannot speak for the 857D...though they too are getting long in the tooth.
However they do have a solid loyal fan base.

If I were going to go the "Small 100w rig and turn down the power" route,
I'd pick something newer (as K6AER suggested) if I had the jingle.

GL ES 73, Ken  AD6KA



Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W8JX on January 07, 2015, 04:18:00 AM

If I were going to go the "Small 100w rig and turn down the power" route,
I'd pick something newer (as K6AER suggested) if I had the jingle.


Also consider that a 100 watt rig turned down to 5w will likely use a good bit more power than a true QRP rig particularly on transmit which is a consideration when portable. 


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AD6KA on January 08, 2015, 09:04:44 PM

If I were going to go the "Small 100w rig and turn down the power" route,
I'd pick something newer (as K6AER suggested) if I had the jingle.


Also consider that a 100 watt rig turned down to 5w will likely use a good bit more power than a true QRP rig particularly on transmit which is a consideration when portable. 

Excellent point.......spot on.
I gotta get out and operate in the woods more often like in the old days!:)


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W8JX on January 10, 2015, 07:42:44 AM

If I were going to go the "Small 100w rig and turn down the power" route,
I'd pick something newer (as K6AER suggested) if I had the jingle.


Also consider that a 100 watt rig turned down to 5w will likely use a good bit more power than a true QRP rig particularly on transmit which is a consideration when portable. 

Excellent point.......spot on.
I gotta get out and operate in the woods more often like in the old days!:)

Its a shame that no one ever marketed a modern portable 20 watt rig that could play QRP with better power consumption efficiency than a 100  watt  mobile turned done to 5 watts and yet be capable of adding a full S-unit of output on demand. There seems to be a big whole between 5 watt and 100 watt rigs.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: G4AON on January 10, 2015, 10:05:29 AM
Its a shame that no one ever marketed a modern portable 20 watt rig that could play QRP with better power consumption efficiency than a 100  watt  mobile turned done to 5 watts and yet be capable of adding a full S-unit of output on demand. There seems to be a big whole between 5 watt and 100 watt rigs.
The 100 Watt K3 switches out the PA when the power is set below about 12 Watts.

73 Dave


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W8JX on January 10, 2015, 10:08:55 AM
Its a shame that no one ever marketed a modern portable 20 watt rig that could play QRP with better power consumption efficiency than a 100  watt  mobile turned done to 5 watts and yet be capable of adding a full S-unit of output on demand. There seems to be a big whole between 5 watt and 100 watt rigs.
The 100 Watt K3 switches out the PA when the power is set below about 12 Watts.

73 Dave

Yes but point is why not a portable rig with a 20 watt PA and heatsink and size/weight. It would be better for a only rig than just 5watts.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: WA7NDD on January 11, 2015, 10:08:40 AM
I bought a 706 MIIG when they fist came out as my main station.
I could not wait to get rid of it. Traded for a FT-720 which I kept for
years. The 706 receiver on a big antenna sounded like mashed potatoes,
over driven. I have had an FT-817ND since 2008. Put it on a big antenna
and it works just fine, or any other type of antenna. Added a 30 watt kit amp
and use from my RV. I have looked at the KX3 and the price is not worth it
after having my 817.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AE5YJ on January 11, 2015, 01:18:37 PM
FWIW, if you plan any digital operation, the stock config KX3 has issues. As it heats up it drifts enough to keep you from decoding JT65/JT9 signals. Now you can buy a heat sink and go through this ridiculously tedious temperature calibration routine, but for the price of that radio it should be stable out of the box. So, in all other respects, the KX3 will blow away the 817, but be advised the work you have cut out for you if you need precision for digital modes.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KC5MO on January 12, 2015, 06:34:02 AM
Hands down the KX3 is my choice. I had a 817 and found it to be a power hog and the lack of filters was not good. The KX3 has great audio especially with headphones, the filters are very good and it is easy on batteries ( RX is under 200mAh ) and having 10-12W helps offset feed line loss when you have 50' or more of RG-58. I have the ATU, Battery charger and filters in mine and don't regret adding any of them. I do suggest a good external battery such as Bioenno batteries and a good antenna. I have had excellent results with the KX3 helper 40-6 antenna.
I do plan on adding the 2meter module soon.

Here is the link to the batteries and antenna
http://www.bioennopower.com/ (http://www.bioennopower.com/)
http://kx3helper.com/endfed-40-6m-antenna/ (http://kx3helper.com/endfed-40-6m-antenna/)




Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AD5X on January 12, 2015, 08:01:09 AM
Here's an interesting article on the performance of the 9:1 unun from 160-10 meters:

http://vk6ysf.com/unun_9-1.htm

Phil - AD5X


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W8JX on January 12, 2015, 08:13:35 AM
and having 10-12W helps offset feed line loss when you have 50' or more of RG-58.

News flash, the power loss with 50+ feet of 58 is only a issue in your mind. This loss issue on HF is way over stated.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N3AWS on January 19, 2015, 10:26:57 AM
Just a suggestion:

Have you looked at the Ten Tec Argonaut V?  This is a small, light weight (5 lbs) HF rig with all bands from 160 - 10 meters (60 meters might require a firmware update if not already performed).  It requires 13.8 volts DC and would easily run an amp with it's 20 watts output (1 watt low power).  It has IF DSP.  It offers CW, SSB, AM, FM, and AFSK and easily interfaces for digital modes.

If you are interested check out the April 2003 review in QST.

73 and have fun!

Jim N3AWS


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: IZ8FFC on January 27, 2015, 01:16:16 PM
Here there is a nice comparison.
http://yaesuft817.com/wp/elecraft-kx3-vs-ft-817/ (http://yaesuft817.com/wp/elecraft-kx3-vs-ft-817/)

KX3: best receiver and 10 watts output and AUTO TUNER
FT 817: portable, easy, cheaper and TRUE QRP


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N2GIG on February 01, 2015, 12:15:25 AM
That looks like an EXCELLENT manpack.  I've operated only older, legacy manpacks and other mil HF gear, once-upon-a-time, when I was in that "business". The new generations of manpack radios are simply amazing with auto-linking, data, built-in CRYPTO, spread spectrum on some models, usually fast-hoppers and etc.

Manpacks are fun for some hams and the international appeal of the HFpack group shows that there is a niche' market for them.  To compare mil manpacks with Elecraft however, seems an 'cocoanut -v- oranges' argument: both hang from trees - yes, but very different. KX3 was never designed to be competition for a military manpack, because it's not servicing that market. Now, if a person DOES need or want a portable, channelized radio transceiver capable of operation in jungle, at sea in extreme temperature/humidity and is designed to take a great deal of physical abuse yet to keep working,  then yes -  full mil-spec manpacks are designed for that. CODAN, BARRET, HARRIS et al have a mil/para-mil/NGO market focus which hams like you enjoy - cool!  

I don't speak for Elecraft, but it's clear that the KX1 & KX3 are not even remotely designed for that market - and never intended to be. The cost, weight, size and current consumption etc. for manpacks are generally considered excessive for most hams doing civilian/recreational backpacking, for example.  Paul - W0RW/pm out wandering the Rockie Mountains with one of several military manpacks is a delightful exception, who I have talked with a few times, usually in CW while he is slowly being covered in snow during in howling winds...   :o

Looking at the CODAN spec-sheet, the weight listed with one 8 A/H battery was just over 10.3 pounds, to which must be added the essential mil-spec accessories for actual operation like handset - or phones, key & antenna(s) . We're probably beginning the day with 13-15 pounds of radio gear, not counting the ability to recharge in the field. That's very light compared to what I carried decades ago as a soldier, but in an entirely different Size, Weight and Power class from what casual ham hikers and SOTA guys are likely to carry in addition to their backpacking gear for fun.

I'd love to hear more about your CODAN manpack, how you use it and perhaps some of the design features and how they integrate into ham use.  CW filtering informaiton was lacking in the spec sheet I saw, so if you could discuss your experiences with that, it would be helpful. Your preferred antenna types for pedestrian as well as for camp are also something I am curious about.  In decades of carrying HF radios, I still prefer the basic dipole, high and in the clear for all but easy NVIS shots, though a half-square run from the ATU post against a counterpoise wire has helped me much on long-haul/low take-off angle shots in times past.  I never did talking while walking until I did this for fun as a civilian. As a civilian, it was enjoyable mild-exercise while hamming or when car camping.  I did exactly ONE civilian backpack trip with an old PRC-74 and spares in my rucksack -ONE. I was a tough-guy back then.  These days, to be perfectly honest, I would not even attempt that, so I have my light weight, small, 'Up-Armored' KX1 instead.



73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

Ps.  I always prefer the best, most selective receiver I can have with me.


I don't mean to bring up a 100 year old post.. but that "Rambo radio" is pretty cool. This coming from someone who has  moved over to Motorola gear for VHF/UHF long ago...

 





Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: KC8VWM on February 04, 2015, 06:19:42 PM
I have never needed a high end receiver when working QRP. I was never in the situation where I had the need to pull in the weak ones near the bottom of the noise floor. I figure, if they are that far down in the mud, they are almost 100% likely not to hear me calling them with 5 watts anyways.

Also since I am not using a Mosley Tribander on a 70 foot tower at the picnic table in the campground when working QRP, I have never experienced a situation where I wished I had a higher quality receiver to extinguish overloaded signals, and QRM from my receiver.

I have only desired to use a CW filter for increased selectivity when working CW.
   


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: NO9E on February 06, 2015, 08:10:01 PM
Quote
Here's an interesting article on the performance of the 9:1 unun from 160-10 meters:
http://vk6ysf.com/unun_9-1.htm
Phil - AD5X

He uses an iron core T200-2  that has way too little inductance on the lower bands. With ferrite cores, which can be way smaller from QRP,   the losses are way lower. Elecraft has 4:1 BL1 or BL2 on very simpler ferrite cores. Losses are like < 0.25db from 1 to 30 MHz. Their version of 9:1 would have higher loses but most likely < 1 db.

Ignacy, NO9E


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: AD5X on February 07, 2015, 07:31:16 AM
Quote
Here's an interesting article on the performance of the 9:1 unun from 160-10 meters:
http://vk6ysf.com/unun_9-1.htm
Phil - AD5X

He uses an iron core T200-2  that has way too little inductance on the lower bands. With ferrite cores, which can be way smaller from QRP,   the losses are way lower. Elecraft has 4:1 BL1 or BL2 on very simpler ferrite cores. Losses are like < 0.25db from 1 to 30 MHz. Their version of 9:1 would have higher loses but most likely < 1 db.

Ignacy, NO9E

Hi Ignacy - I agree with you.  But for some reason, the popular core in these 9:1 ununs is the T200-2, even though it doesn't make sense.
Phil - AD5X


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: WB6BYU on February 07, 2015, 01:32:54 PM
The losses and shunt inductance of the T-200-2 core may improve the
SWR on the lower bands where the antenna is less than 1/4 wavelength.

When your only performance criteria is SWR and not efficiency, radiation
pattern, common mode current rejection, or how strong your signal is
at the receiving station, it might not be a bad choice.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: K1BQT on February 07, 2015, 05:59:27 PM
It just depends on what tool you want in your toolbox. The KX3 is clearly a superior performing HF radio. If you chase serious DX or spend all of your time "hamming", the KX3 will make you a happier guy. The FT-817 is a Swiss-army radio that does a lot more stuff admittedly not as well.

That said, if I could have but one radio in the world, it would be a FT-817 -- and that's what I do have. I set mine up for 10-W out on HF, installed a 3 kHz Collins SSB filter, got a decent dynamic mike for it, and added a nice-sounding extension speaker (DSP and a CW filter are good options). The 600-Watt FET amplifier under the desk doesn't hurt ether when QRP becomes tedious. With the FT-817 you get AM broadcast, entry-level all-mode HF, VHF, and UHF coverage, general SW coverage, FM broadcast, Airband, and some public service FM. With a good filter, it delivers decent (if not superb) SSB reception with very good transmit audio. In reality, it's a FT-847 in paperback. But, when the band is scummy, that may not be enough.   ;)



 


 


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: WA2TPU on February 09, 2015, 04:51:49 PM
WA2TPU    Rating: 5/5    Feb 9, 2015 11:42    Send this review to a friend
BEYOND WOW!     Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my KX3 for a couple years now. I previously stated herein this review forum that it was the BEST rig I had ever owned. Sincerely those are FACTS and has not changed. Now a update, the KX3's PERFORMANCE IS ABSOLUTELY BEYOND ANYTHING I'VE EVER EXPERIENCED. PERIOD!!And I've been a ham for many decades.MY KX3's TRULY SUPERB UNBELIEVABLE FILTERING IS SO FANTASTIC IT ALLOWED ME TO FIND OPEN SLOTS IN THE AWFUL NASTY TERRIBLE PILE-UPS OF THE K1NAVASSA DX-pedition. Don't believe me? I'm in their Logs on 3 different bands using SSB Qrp.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: K5TED on February 09, 2015, 09:44:51 PM
Apples and oranges. Exercise in Elecrafturbation.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: W8JX on February 10, 2015, 04:18:14 AM
Apples and oranges. Exercise in Elecrafturbation.

Just like Chevys and Fords where you love them or hate them.


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N2GIG on February 13, 2015, 07:27:09 PM
I'm glad I stumbled on the thread....   lots of good information  here... 


Title: RE: FT-817ND vs KX3
Post by: N2ADV on February 18, 2015, 11:13:11 AM
I now have one of each and have had time to use both side by side.

Both are great rigs. The KX3 does a little better in a crowded environment on a "good" antenna and I found the noise floor seems to be lower and I can dig out JT mode signals with the KX3 but it's not THAT huge of a difference and I'll be likely to grab either one heading out the door.

I like the controls of the KX3 a lot more because most of the stuff I really need is right on the front panel when I am sitting at home, but, to be honest, if I'm running portable, it does not make that huge of a difference.

The screen on getting KX3 is a lot easier to see, obviously.

In the shack, the KX3 is what I am using for QRP experimentation because it has the IF output that I can use for HDSDR.