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Author Topic: The elecraft dilemna...  (Read 19659 times)
VE7SGI
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #45 on: March 21, 2017, 10:14:19 PM »

I built my K2 and I wouldn't have missed that experience for the world. It may sound romantic but there IS something special about building your own rig ! When you finish the first stage and get to power it up to test your build so far you get to see the display come alive - it's magic.
You will know this radio better than any other radio you will ever own and on top of that it's a great little performer. It's not going to put my Orion or Flex 5000 out of business in the contest role but it's very light and current efficient and outperforms virtually every other QRP portable. Do yourself a favour and build a K2 !
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OZ8AGB
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Posts: 334




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« Reply #46 on: March 22, 2017, 07:11:42 AM »

I built my K2 and I wouldn't have missed that experience for the world. It may sound romantic but there IS something special about building your own rig ! When you finish the first stage and get to power it up to test your build so far you get to see the display come alive - it's magic.
You will know this radio better than any other radio you will ever own and on top of that it's a great little performer. It's not going to put my Orion or Flex 5000 out of business in the contest role but it's very light and current efficient and outperforms virtually every other QRP portable. Do yourself a favour and build a K2 !

Indeed!  Cool
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KG4NEL
Member

Posts: 506




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« Reply #47 on: March 24, 2017, 04:57:00 PM »

So ended up getting a kx3. After weighting all the options it matched what i needed the most. Ill keep hammering away on my own homebrew stuff to keep the iron hot and after next deployment when i have a little more time will see if i can swing a k2 kit.

In saying that, the kx3 is incredible! Very much enjoying using it. Cw is great and ssb on it is really nice as well. Havnt bothered using any digital modes.

Now have a fun kit that fits in a photo strobe belt bag. And can easily travel with it. Love using it in the shack also! Keep it powerd from 4 lipo cells with two diode voltage reducer at full charge. Last several days from charge and moderate use!

I just placed my order for a KX3 today Smiley

I love my Think Tank Urban Disguise, but my Canon has taken up permanent residence there.
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KG4NEL
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Posts: 506




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« Reply #48 on: March 24, 2017, 04:57:40 PM »

I've carried a lot of mil-manpacks and they are designed for combat, to be carried by young EXTREMELY strong soldiers with high endurance - not hams.

Some of us see the inside of gyms Wink
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W7ASA
Member

Posts: 459




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« Reply #49 on: March 25, 2017, 07:48:55 PM »

Working out is great. Though I've never had to be airdropped into and fight my way out of Gold's, I was a gym rat for quite a while and miss it ( health reasons)


However , the question here is the research model and market share of military manpack  vs the market research for Elecraft products. Elecraft continues to do brilliant work servicing a market not generally well served by large, heavy HF radios with no dial. The less than 3dB gain increase of 25 Watts of some SSB manpacks, is more than offset by using the KX3/KX2 with a wire antenna rather than the 8 to 10 foot miitary whip. CW is the best "amplifier".

Form fits function.




73

Ray

Ps. On the other hand ; Paul - W0RW (?) is often /pm in CW with various manpacks
From Pikes Peak and other amazing venues! Ham radio is amazing.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 07:56:19 PM by W7ASA » Logged
W9ZIM
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Posts: 159




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« Reply #50 on: March 31, 2017, 10:19:49 AM »

Years from now when we look back at the K2, what Yaesu/Kenwood/Icom rig will it be compared to, ie its closest equivelant? I'm asking because I just looked at the price of a K2 outfitted in the same way that most other rigs - 100 watts, SSB and 160m capability - and the cost is around $1500.

This is the part I find both baffling and frustrating.  You would think that building it ourselves would make it cheaper than the pre-built competition, but if I'm going to spend $1500 on a radio, why not get a Yaesu that is already assembled, calibrated, and has every imaginable bell and whistle?

Well, I suppose I only have myself to blame.  I was one of the original purchasers of the K2 kit back when it actually was lower priced, and I had a great time building it.  Great looking radio, easy to operate, I could modify it myself.  I used it off and on for a few years and then got laid off from my job, money got tight, so I sold it.  At the time my wife said, "Are you sure?  This is a temporary situation, and I don't want you to regret it."  I should have listened to the wife, because over a decade later, I still regret it.  Now I'm looking at trying to bring the magic back, but that price tag is daunting.
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ZENKI
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Posts: 1424




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« Reply #51 on: March 31, 2017, 04:35:20 PM »

Try carrying a 80 through to 10 meters only "only 3db gain" antenna up a hill or try and fit it in your backpack. This only "3b" argument is a nonsense when you are talking about any communications circuit. Better SNR  results in more reliable communications its that simple and if technology   can deliver that  extra 3db why not. I suppose if your a purist you can argue that you 5 watt radio is just an excessive use of resources and you may as well climb up a tree  like a monkey and use a jungle drum and CW!

The other point is that a 25 output radio can  have its power turned down as well!

Its not the "manpack"  military gung ho  mentality  that is important its the packaging ideal. IE one convenient box. Hams here seem to think that this is some kind of prepper or  wannabe soldier boy thing. Its not about that, its about convenience, packaging, technology and  convenience. Do you want to hand crank you car like the old days? probably not but  hams are operating using equipment in such a backward fashion.

The EMCOMM bandwagon of  building 1 box emergency radio kits is  basically the same thinking. This technology can deliver this 1 box solution today. Military HF manpack radios operate from DC to 512mhz  with everything needed in  1 box. A IC703, FT817 could  achieve these goals without all the "military" BS nonsense.

Take a look at this new HF Manpack radio from Namibia, a  African country

http://www.sat.com.na/leopard.html

70 hours of operation, all bands all modes ALE

Now how can you argue with the above convenience and design brilliance? You can have this thing standing on the charger at the front door. Grab it with your jack and hat and be out the front door on 2 minutes flat. You can have this radio operating in less than 1 minute on any band and any mode. Anyone who says that this concept is not brilliant  and would argue that ham grab bag full of QRP junk is better is an idiot I am sorry to say.

I am never going to suggest that a 9ft whip on a manpack is going to beat a wire antenna. Its a lousy antenna period.  Its the HF manpack box and the wire that is the magic combination. Do hams really think that the military forces most use and communicate with the radio strapped to their back with a whip?  This is the least used way of using a HF radio. Most of these manpack radios have base cradles and mobile cradles with 400 watt amplifiers that are used with center fed or end fed long wires just like hams. Just like QRP hams figured out that the best antenna was a bit of wire the military discovered 50 years ago that a wire antenna was  the best antenna. The military understands the laws of physics better than most hams who think that they can turn 5 watts into 25 watts and also turn  a Ebay packet antenna into  a 3db beam.

Now will due respect to hams who come up will all sorts of stupid and nonsensical ideas of what  technology can deliver today, hams dont get it and portable QRP operators dont get it yet. Hams can sometimes be very ignorant people for what is supposed to be a technical hobby. Our ignorance can be so backwards to the point that we are just becoming  poorly educated consumers and the same old companies sell the same old crap to these ignorant consumers. Hams need to get out into the real world a bit more and explore what technology is delivering today.

There are many ways to skin the cat, hams  and QRP radios have been skinning the cat the wrong way. Maybe one day they will enjoy the convenience of a real HF manpack radio to understand what this nirvana is all about. But  hey its free world they can continue to drink the cool aid and snort the drugs from the ham radio manufacturing lobby that sells the same old worn out thinking and  crap every year. Maybe  one day they will get it, and think why cant i they buy 1  portable radio that has 25 watts of output  on all bands through to 500mhz including digital modes in box including batteries that allows them to operate for 48 hours? This must be evil thinking. OMG!


quote author=W7ASA link=topic=113707.msg988004#msg988004 date=1490496535]
Working out is great. Though I've never had to be airdropped into and fight my way out of Gold's, I was a gym rat for quite a while and miss it ( health reasons)


However , the question here is the research model and market share of military manpack  vs the market research for Elecraft products. Elecraft continues to do brilliant work servicing a market not generally well served by large, heavy HF radios with no dial. The less than 3dB gain increase of 25 Watts of some SSB manpacks, is more than offset by using the KX3/KX2 with a wire antenna rather than the 8 to 10 foot miitary whip. CW is the best "amplifier".

Form fits function.




73

Ray

Ps. On the other hand ; Paul - W0RW (?) is often /pm in CW with various manpacks
From Pikes Peak and other amazing venues! Ham radio is amazing.
[/quote]
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N2DTS
Member

Posts: 736




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« Reply #52 on: March 31, 2017, 04:56:09 PM »

So what does that radio sell for, $25,000.00?
I doubt its $700.00 like an Elecraft.
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W9ZIM
Member

Posts: 159




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« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2017, 05:11:36 PM »

Now will due respect to hams who come up will all sorts of stupid and nonsensical ideas of what technology can deliver today, hams dont get it and portable QRP operators dont get it yet.
Do you really think today's hams use what they use because they are ignorant of the wonders of modern technology?
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W7ASA
Member

Posts: 459




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« Reply #54 on: April 01, 2017, 07:48:56 PM »

In THIS link, the Radio Firm of Zenki & Zenki are finalizing their their new QRP-Magnum (The MOST POWERFUL QRP rig in the wooooooorld!)

https://youtu.be/mjCRUvX2D0E

Elecraft is DOOMED!

and it comes in this convenient SOTA / Invasion of Afghanistan configuration (EZ if you're a Special Operations soldier.)



It's a little heavier than the KX-2, but you'll NEED all that lead shielding because of the plutonium power pack.

With customer support found ONLY only in Namibia.

Poor Elecraft, Zenki-Tronics has cut them out of the market.

Built it - built it, build it!  Zenki - Elecraft must be closing shop now, for fear that you will.




'I cannot violate the laws of physics, Cap'n! ' (but Zenki can.)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 08:04:05 PM by W7ASA » Logged
AF6WL
Member

Posts: 223




Ignore
« Reply #55 on: April 02, 2017, 12:57:05 AM »

In THIS link, the Radio Firm of Zenki & Zenki are finalizing their their new QRP-Magnum (The MOST POWERFUL QRP rig in the wooooooorld!)

'I cannot violate the laws of physics, Cap'n! ' (but Zenki can.)

Sorry but this seems like an outdated viewpoint whereas  Zenki's arguments apear valid based on today's technology.

100 watt-hours of battery can be done in 2lbs these days.
Elecraft have finally broken the fear of Lithium batteries ( fires , litegation etc. ) by going to a established OEM source for the KX2 pack.

No one questions the validity of running 100 Watts mobile into a -10dBi system; whats so offensive about running 25W portable into a less than perfect rapid deployment antenna.
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W7ASA
Member

Posts: 459




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« Reply #56 on: April 02, 2017, 07:05:06 AM »

The first point is that if the market is there , then build it. Military modeling for HF manpack used in combat has little to do with recreational ham , especially where Morse/CW is concerned. Batteries are lighter , for which I am grateful. However, larger battery systems require more charging capacity.

Point two :Anyone can market anything ( legal ) so if this is seen as an unserviced market niche merly front the funds and go into business. That seems a reasonable solution.

Finally: Zenki has his feelings but in every and all debates on this topic - for years - he shuns  the simple math of gain , drain and what difference it may or may not have on intelligibility on the far end of the radio link. In short: math matters, dB vs Size, Weight and Power are design points and define what is going to Service a particular need.

This is a QRP forum. I don't rail against contests in the contest forum or preach QRP in the QRO forum. I love mil manpacks and was an HFPack fan for any years. That's great.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 07:19:58 AM by W7ASA » Logged
W7ASA
Member

Posts: 459




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« Reply #57 on: April 02, 2017, 08:29:32 AM »

Remember too, that this is the QRP forum. Some flexibility is normal and welcomed. However, we don't go to the QRO forums and preach QRP, nor do we encourage anti-contest postings in the contest forum. Remember too - Zenki has been treated very respectfully in the past years as he makes the same blanket statements - repeatedly , but that never seems to matter to him , so a little ARGUMENTUN AB ABSURDIUM is used from time to time.

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KG4NEL
Member

Posts: 506




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« Reply #58 on: April 03, 2017, 05:21:07 PM »

Now will due respect to hams who come up will all sorts of stupid and nonsensical ideas of what technology can deliver today, hams dont get it and portable QRP operators dont get it yet.
Do you really think today's hams use what they use because they are ignorant of the wonders of modern technology?

There are so many points that could be taken apart there, I won't even try.
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AC6AN
Member

Posts: 42




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« Reply #59 on: April 05, 2017, 05:18:25 PM »

Quote from: ZENKI
hams dont get it and portable QRP operators dont get it yet. Hams can sometimes be very ignorant people for what is supposed to be a technical hobby
The keyword is "hobby". The rules are set for different reasons than best technology available. Perhaps they are set for developing better skills, arbitrary as these may be.
Your argument translated to golf (hobby) is that robots can shoot balls better than humans and GPS-guided balls can hit the target hole at 100%. Yes, but that's not the goal of that hobby.
QRPers turn down power to miliwatts just for the challenge. To some, making a QSO is not the goal, making it at a certain power is!
Just like for some contesters running a contest without 1500 watts is a waste of time. Their goal is max score at any cost, obviously a different aspect of the hobby.
We each find a niche in the hobby that pleases up and we pursue that. If you like 100 watt portables, then go for it. It's just as valid as running QRP levels or hitting balls with a club.
Just don't insist that everybody should enjoy what brings you pleasure. Some people just don't like golf... Live and let live... Grin

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