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Author Topic: Best light radio for DXpedition  (Read 27290 times)
W4VKU
Member

Posts: 393




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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2015, 06:19:25 PM »

Elecraft K3's have become the choice for all leading DXpeditions.

Not so much the choice for DXpeditions but they are the company that is currently sponsoring a lot of DXpeditiions with free radios to use.  Steppir is the company that is now offering free antenna's to use.  Hence why you see those two companies on almost every DXpedition.   Years ago it was Icom and at one point Yaesu.  Obviously any DXpedition will quickly take up the offer of free radios from whatever company offers them, but it's misleading to think that makes them the best radio if your going to actually be shelling out cash.  I know for CW work the K3 may be good, but for SSB work it certainly would not be my first choice of radio.  The listening fatigue alone would shorten my ability to work pileups by several hours.


73s
Rob

I am not sure if they offer free loaner radios. Atleast not for me Smiley

ICOM was the one that was willing to offer a loaner. Kudos to them for the generous gesture.
Kenwood was totally unresponsive.
Yaesu & Elecraft will offer subsidies, but the rigs will need to be paid for.

The issue with expedition rigs are that no one will want to buy them after, thinking
that they are beat up(if exposed to salty air or harsh environment) Smiley

I am sure the big expeditions most likely have much better traction with the vendors than I do

73s
krish
w4vku
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 06:36:54 PM by W4VKU » Logged
ZS6DX
Member

Posts: 100


WWW

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« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2015, 07:19:26 PM »

Elecraft K3's have become the choice for all leading DXpeditions.

Not so much the choice for DXpeditions but they are the company that is currently sponsoring a lot of DXpeditiions with free radios to use.  Steppir is the company that is now offering free antenna's to use.  Hence why you see those two companies on almost every DXpedition.   Years ago it was Icom and at one point Yaesu.  Obviously any DXpedition will quickly take up the offer of free radios from whatever company offers them, but it's misleading to think that makes them the best radio if your going to actually be shelling out cash.  I know for CW work the K3 may be good, but for SSB work it certainly would not be my first choice of radio.  The listening fatigue alone would shorten my ability to work pileups by several hours.


73s
Rob



100% TRUE!

And I agree on the listening fatigue, it is the main reason I do not want a K3 in the shack, or on an expedition, tried one for a while and it becomes really tiresome, went back to another radio with a quiet RX, less "white noise" and the difference was huge.....

If I want to spend long hours in front of the radio the K3 won't be my first, or even second choice...

73, Rudi de ZS6DX/V51VE
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N5PG
Member

Posts: 1035




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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2015, 08:57:09 PM »

Elecraft K3's have become the choice for all leading DXpeditions.

Not so much the choice for DXpeditions but they are the company that is currently sponsoring a lot of DXpeditiions with free radios to use.  Steppir is the company that is now offering free antenna's to use.  Hence why you see those two companies on almost every DXpedition.   Years ago it was Icom and at one point Yaesu.  Obviously any DXpedition will quickly take up the offer of free radios from whatever company offers them, but it's misleading to think that makes them the best radio if your going to actually be shelling out cash.  I know for CW work the K3 may be good, but for SSB work it certainly would not be my first choice of radio.  The listening fatigue alone would shorten my ability to work pileups by several hours.


73s
Rob



100% TRUE!

And I agree on the listening fatigue, it is the main reason I do not want a K3 in the shack, or on an expedition, tried one for a while and it becomes really tiresome, went back to another radio with a quiet RX, less "white noise" and the difference was huge.....

If I want to spend long hours in front of the radio the K3 won't be my first, or even second choice...

73, Rudi de ZS6DX/V51VE

Most interesting, have heard similar from a local friend about K3 rcvr audio, he said he just couldn't get it to sound decent. I have an FT-1000MP MkV and love it but ideally would like something smaller in size but I can't see going back to just one receiver !!
73, Paul
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 08:59:44 PM by N5PG » Logged
KJ6HZ
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2015, 10:04:11 PM »

In his book Micro-DXpeditioning Uncovered, published in 2008, G3SXW recommended the Elecraft K2/100.  It's a fair bit smaller than the K3 and was said to have quite a good receiver.  Does anyone have any thoughts on that rig?  It seems to have been eclipsed by the later K3 but I can't help but wonder if its smaller size and lighter weight might still make it a contender.
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NO9E
Member

Posts: 734




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« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2015, 03:58:31 AM »

I used K2/10 in a number of places including CX, ZS, SV9, TA... One with Li-Ion batteries inside + AT.  It copies very well as its AF seems very linear and AGC excellent.
For QRP I replaced K2/10 by KX3. Much smaller and versatile but perhaps I enjoyed K2/10 more.

K2/100 would need an external AT.

No problem with K3 audio here.

Ignacy, NO9E
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W8JX
Member

Posts: 12220




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« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2015, 05:43:31 AM »


Based on A/B switch test between my an older Yaesu FT-990 and a TS-480. On receiving weak signals,
the signals are buried in the noise on the 480 and are discernible on the FT-990.


You must have not been using 480 properly. I have pulled signals out of noise that other rigs could not when used properly. (it has DNL, NB and NR1 and all are adjustable) Also what you quote is not better sensitivity but rather better noise suppression at that time it the configuration you were using. 
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
W8JX
Member

Posts: 12220




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« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2015, 05:49:48 AM »


ICOM was the one that was willing to offer a loaner. Kudos to them for the generous gesture.
Kenwood was totally unresponsive.
Yaesu & Elecraft will offer subsidies, but the rigs will need to be paid for.

The issue with expedition rigs are that no one will want to buy them after, thinking
that they are beat up(if exposed to salty air or harsh environment) Smiley


Icom has lost a lot of ground and they need PR so I am not surprised they offered. Kenwood sells rigs as fast as they build them so they need no PR here. When you consider that some take poor care of a rig on a DXpedition they do not own, so I am not surprised Yaesu and Electricraft want you to buy them up front. Rig is potentially a write off that they do not want to take.
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
N4OGW
Member

Posts: 425




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« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2015, 06:06:38 AM »

Do people complaining about the K3 actually use them for long periods of time? Here I have no problem with K3 audio. And I use two of them for contests, spending 24+ hours straight listening to two of them SO2R Smiley Operating SO2R in a contest I switch back and forth constantly so it is a very good way to compare radios.

Before using two K3's I used two K2's and then a K2 and a K3 together. The K3 was noticeably more pleasant than the K2 in contests. The K2 is fine if there is no QRM, but in contest QRM the K3 gives me a much quieter experience than the K2...filters on the K2 not as steep.

Before that I used a K2 and a TenTec Omni VI. The K2 receiver was noticeably better than the Omni so I sold the Omni to get the second K2.

Tor
N4OGW


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W8JX
Member

Posts: 12220




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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2015, 06:13:15 AM »

Do people complaining about the K3 actually use them for long periods of time? Here I have no problem with K3 audio.

With headphones?
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
WO7R
Member

Posts: 2625




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« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2015, 07:32:06 AM »

Quote
With headphones?

I wondered about that.  There are, after  all, designed headphones for ham radio that cut off high frequencies, which would tend to negate the problem even if it exists.  Presumably, a DXpeditioner is going to have headphones.

My priority would still be to make sure I could hear as many stations as possible.  Operator fatigue is a genuine issue, but one way to guard against that is with suitable headphones if K3 doesn't cut off the highs appropriately.  You're going to take headphones anyway, so why not pair them with the rig?
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W2IU
Member

Posts: 68




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« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2015, 12:34:58 PM »

A couple of items:
1) I have a TS-480 and like it. Was thinking of pairing it with elecraft's AF-1 for even better filtering for cw.
2) Where do Dxpeditions sell their rigs? Wouldn't mind a used one with a little salt on it!
John
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KD8MJR
Member

Posts: 5064




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« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2015, 12:52:10 PM »

Elecraft K3's have become the choice for all leading DXpeditions.

Not so much the choice for DXpeditions but they are the company that is currently sponsoring a lot of DXpeditiions with free radios to use.  Steppir is the company that is now offering free antenna's to use.  Hence why you see those two companies on almost every DXpedition.   Years ago it was Icom and at one point Yaesu.  Obviously any DXpedition will quickly take up the offer of free radios from whatever company offers them, but it's misleading to think that makes them the best radio if your going to actually be shelling out cash.  I know for CW work the K3 may be good, but for SSB work it certainly would not be my first choice of radio.  The listening fatigue alone would shorten my ability to work pileups by several hours.


73s
Rob

I am not sure if they offer free loaner radios. Atleast not for me Smiley

ICOM was the one that was willing to offer a loaner. Kudos to them for the generous gesture.
Kenwood was totally unresponsive.
Yaesu & Elecraft will offer subsidies, but the rigs will need to be paid for.

The issue with expedition rigs are that no one will want to buy them after, thinking
that they are beat up(if exposed to salty air or harsh environment) Smiley

I am sure the big expeditions most likely have much better traction with the vendors than I do

73s
krish
w4vku

Krish not sure about the smaller expeditions but I do know that Elecraft lends out units for the larger one's.  They really don't have to worry about the resale of these radios because they are just cleaned up and put down for loan out to the next dxpedition.  I also know that sometime a few guys on the dxpedition will buy the radio they used from the company for a 20% or more discount.  I guess they want it as a souvenir of their adventure.

73s
Rob
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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
W4VKU
Member

Posts: 393




Ignore
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2015, 04:49:59 PM »

Elecraft K3's have become the choice for all leading DXpeditions.

Not so much the choice for DXpeditions but they are the company that is currently sponsoring a lot of DXpeditiions with free radios to use.  Steppir is the company that is now offering free antenna's to use.  Hence why you see those two companies on almost every DXpedition.   Years ago it was Icom and at one point Yaesu.  Obviously any DXpedition will quickly take up the offer of free radios from whatever company offers them, but it's misleading to think that makes them the best radio if your going to actually be shelling out cash.  I know for CW work the K3 may be good, but for SSB work it certainly would not be my first choice of radio.  The listening fatigue alone would shorten my ability to work pileups by several hours.


73s
Rob

I am not sure if they offer free loaner radios. Atleast not for me Smiley

ICOM was the one that was willing to offer a loaner. Kudos to them for the generous gesture.
Kenwood was totally unresponsive.
Yaesu & Elecraft will offer subsidies, but the rigs will need to be paid for.

The issue with expedition rigs are that no one will want to buy them after, thinking
that they are beat up(if exposed to salty air or harsh environment) Smiley

I am sure the big expeditions most likely have much better traction with the vendors than I do

73s
krish
w4vku

Krish not sure about the smaller expeditions but I do know that Elecraft lends out units for the larger one's.  They really don't have to worry about the resale of these radios because they are just cleaned up and put down for loan out to the next dxpedition.  I also know that sometime a few guys on the dxpedition will buy the radio they used from the company for a 20% or more discount.  I guess they want it as a souvenir of their adventure.

73s
Rob

Rob, I tried to follow-up for the K3, but nothing materialized. So it is all a matter of "if you are in the circle" deal.
My take is, if I am hauling a radio half way around the world, I might as well sell it to a local at cost basis
down there because for starters, it renders it affordable for the ham down there and is yet another radio that can
come up on the air for the Dxers worldwide.

73s
krish
w4vku
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W8JX
Member

Posts: 12220




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« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2015, 04:55:43 PM »


I have a TS-480 and like it. Was thinking of pairing it with elecraft's AF-1 for even better filtering for cw.


Are you using optional 270 or 500hz filter. Both have sharp skirts and when coupled with built in AF DSP can get pretty tight.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
W2IU
Member

Posts: 68




Ignore
« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2015, 05:32:51 PM »


I have a TS-480 and like it. Was thinking of pairing it with elecraft's AF-1 for even better filtering for cw.


Are you using optional 270 or 500hz filter. Both have sharp skirts and when coupled with built in AF DSP can get pretty tight.

No filter right now. I have a KX1 for my primary rig. Yes, that is not a typo as I LOVE the filtering on that bad boy. Thought it might be fun to build a kit filter instead of the 270 or 500hz filter as I do not have one installed on the TS480. Which one would you go with?
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