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Author Topic: Best light radio for DXpedition  (Read 33309 times)

Posts: 2850

« Reply #75 on: December 21, 2017, 05:02:30 PM »

Windows 7 and windows XP do more than I need already.  I am not that big into programming and those other things, and I would guess 95% if not more of computer users are the same way.

True as far as it goes.

Support on those things is getting downright painful. 

Basically, no new gear is available.  And, you must be lucky because I usually have some damn thing fail in the motherboard 5 to 7 years out.  Hardfiles are not immortal, either.  Basically, I tell everyone still running these things to have a backup plan in place.  The more old gear you have running, the more you are going to have to buy when the darn computer finally bites the dust.

And, there are things you might find yourself wanting that just do not run on those old boxes or runs poorly at best.

Posts: 766

« Reply #76 on: December 22, 2017, 06:14:07 PM »

Interesting that my thread became active after two years.

I found some solutions.

For 100W, FT-891 + Z11Pro + LiFEPO3. 3 x 6 Ah are legal on airplanes. Can be 10 lb. Nice filters including APF, voice and CW memories, good speech processor and integration with ATAS 100(120) antenna. The last one weighs about 4 lb with lip mount and automatically tunes 40-10.
For a KW level, KX3 + Expert 1.3K-fa + EFHW-4010 or- 8010 antenna. About 30-40 lb. Used at CE0Y/NO9E - see article in Oct CQ magazine or QRZ page.

But KX3 is not perfect. Unpleasant radio with strong signals - recently traced to AGC PLS ON. Also only two voice memories and mediocre speech processor. TT715 makes KX3 a rocket but TT715 has a fatal design flaw where it stops working randomly.

Ignacy, NO9E


Posts: 4

« Reply #77 on: December 23, 2017, 09:56:41 PM »

I travel alone and my latest combination was K3S/10 + SPE 1.3K-FA (non FCC model).   K3S/10 is a stripped down rig with just one 500Hz filter and no 100w brick inside.  Very light rig - around 4-5lbs.   Power Supply for K3/10 is KX33 which works from 100-250v. Saves weight and space even further as it is no larger than an ordinary laptop charger.
K3(S) is a no brainer rig for expeditions, but it all depends how you travel.  If you travel alone, the safest route is to bring everything fragile as a carry on and this is where the problems begin.   The SPE 1.3 with ATU alone is still 12Kg when you include its carry-on bag.  I am not sure how would I be able to handle that if airline strictly imposed a 7Kg carry on weight like some do.

I was contemplating a KX3 instead of K3 but I never had a chance to try one and I was not sure how well it handles CW pileups and contest environment. 

Nick, VE3EY

Posts: 768

« Reply #78 on: December 24, 2017, 05:06:42 AM »

a Helberling PT-8000A


If no one is doing it that way, there is a probably a very good reason.

Posts: 159

« Reply #79 on: December 25, 2017, 02:35:33 AM »

I quite recently sold my ALS 500 and bought a 1 kW Juma 1000 PA . It weights just 12 pounds!
Together with a 1.5 pound Elecraft KX3 this makes a vy lightweight DXpedition kit capable of 1 kW output. With 2-5 W input from the KX3 the output will be 1 kW from the Juma.
I will bring this gear to 6O6O Somalia next week. The KX3 will be a backup radio, and the main radio will be an upgraded K3. Unfortunately the KX3 doesn't have a separate RX input.

Posts: 343

« Reply #80 on: December 26, 2017, 05:37:19 PM »

I just finished running a Yaesu FT891 mobile for the first time.  Was mainly on the county hunters CW frequency handing out counties, but also made a few QSOs here and there.  Nice radio, the built in CW memory keyer is nice, pretty good receiver on it, DSP noise reduction does work, and having the main buttons like VFO/MEM on the top made it easier to see the buttons from where the radio was sitting in the minivan.  I think this would be a great DXpedition radio as well.

73 John AF5CC

Posts: 853

« Reply #81 on: December 29, 2017, 04:06:39 AM »

i had an elad fdm duo a small sdr capable radio. this is a lot of radio with the software it can have multiple recievers etc.
sdr aside  stand alone this is a good solid rig very light  1.2 kg 7 watts max great tx audio and great hearing lacks a pre amp but still very good. i used this to activate several parks with a little microset 28-200 amp. they arent to dear 1150 euro  great filters nice for cw etc. only draw back is the vfo lacks feel audio not super loud external speaker or headphones needed worth consideration.

btw i traded it for a kx3 not jumping up and down re the kx3 but a fine rig . i need knobs and dials...............

Posts: 766

« Reply #82 on: January 05, 2018, 02:27:11 PM »

Juma sounds good but needs a matched antenna. 1.3k-fa has 3:1 antenna tuner + options for 3 antennas, optionally one for receive.

I recently operated with IC-7000 in Stew 160m contest camping on a beach in FL. Signals were fantastic, with DX 10-20db up compared to my home antenna. But IC-7000  needed ATT and then was not sensitive enough. Likely poor front end letting in broadcast AM stations. Hard to blame a mobile radio for poor front end. KX3 did fine but only 10 W.

Ignacy, NO9E
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