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Author Topic: KX-3?  (Read 15540 times)
N5RWJ
Member

Posts: 461




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« on: May 22, 2012, 02:52:04 PM »

What options would you buy for the KX3?
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WB9QVR
Member

Posts: 28




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 09:41:02 AM »

I plan to order a KX3 at some point.  I will definitely get the roofing filters as I think they're a a must-have for most any radio.  I will also add the internal antenna tuner (which it's certainly possible to live without if you use resonant antennae or if you already have a tuner of some sort).  I will also buy both the mic and the built-in paddles as I plan to run both voice and CW.  If you plan to run only one of those modes then obviously you could eliminate whichever 'appendage' you don't need.  I will likely get the battery charger as well just so I can use NiMH batteries and have a convenient way to charge them.  If you plan to use alkaline or other non-rechargeable cells then of course the charger would not be required.

In summary - the one option I would definitely get is the filters.  Whether or not you need to purchase anything else is really dependent upon your operating conditions.
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WX7G
Member

Posts: 5917




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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 12:19:56 PM »

KXFL3 roofing filter
KXAT3 autotuner
KXBC3 charger
KXPD3 keyer paddle
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ZENKI
Member

Posts: 906




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2012, 04:24:21 PM »

Its amusing to read that everyone thinks that you will have receiver problems on a portable QRP radio with a  portable antenna!

Your real problem is trying to be heard, not worrying about whether your receiver overloads!

What you really need more than roofing filters is the 100 watt amplifier.

Like the K3  when the test results come in, they will find that the stock filters and receiver is good enough for 99% of  daily use. Sharp roofing filters are fine if you  working a contest with a 200ft 4 high stack on 20 or 40 meters.

I would wait till the measured data comes in before spending too much money on roofing filters that are not needed. I have been using direct conversion  QRP radios on 40CW in Europe and never once did I ever wish I had a better receiver when using portable antennas.




What options would you buy for the KX3?
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AA4GA
Member

Posts: 118


WWW

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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2012, 09:31:28 PM »

Its amusing to read that everyone thinks that you will have receiver problems on a portable QRP radio with a  portable antenna!
You apparently don't contest...or have really poor antennas.  I own a couple QRP radios (and have used more) that are designed for portable use, and with a simple, single wire element could certainly use the better RX performance that a KX3 will presumably deliver.  ARRL Field Day and November SS come immediately to mind.  Your suggestion of my needing 100w is nonsense, as that would normally exceed the power levels of the entry classes in which I operate.

I will agree that the DSP in the K3 does an outstanding job without roofing filters.  But it is better with them.  As I suspect the KX3 will be.
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AD5X
Member

Posts: 1426




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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 10:53:49 AM »

Well, I ordered the KXFL3 roofing filter and KXAT3 autotuner, though I'm not really sure I need the roofing filter.  As a CW operator, I prefer a CW key on a cord for better layout for portable operation (and I really like my Palm Paddle).  Not interested in the KXBC3 charger either as I'd rather have a higher capacity external battery or an external power supply.  And if I really want internal batteries, I can buy 100 AA alkaline batteries for $20 at Lowes.

Phil - AD5X
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G7DIE
Member

Posts: 65




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 03:30:39 PM »

Its amusing to read that everyone thinks that you will have receiver problems on a portable QRP radio with a  portable antenna!

Your real problem is trying to be heard, not worrying about whether your receiver overloads!

What you really need more than roofing filters is the 100 watt amplifier.

Like the K3  when the test results come in, they will find that the stock filters and receiver is good enough for 99% of  daily use. Sharp roofing filters are fine if you  working a contest with a 200ft 4 high stack on 20 or 40 meters.

I would wait till the measured data comes in before spending too much money on roofing filters that are not needed. I have been using direct conversion  QRP radios on 40CW in Europe and never once did I ever wish I had a better receiver when using portable antennas.


I don't get it, are you simply attempting to troll the board, your stock answer to most QRP threads is more power, it just comes across a pointless trolling, it's neither helpful nor on topic, maybe QRP isn't for you, but it is for most people who lurk in this section of the forum Huh
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N5RWJ
Member

Posts: 461




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 09:53:39 AM »

What is the full price of a KX-3,  loaded?
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LA9XSA
Member

Posts: 376




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 11:40:00 AM »

All the options aren't ready yet. Also not everyone will need all the features. For example, if you'll only use it with the amplifier you probably don't need the internal battery charger.

Pricing information is found here: http://www.elecraft.com/elecraft_prod_list.htm#kx3
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 11:41:34 AM by LA9XSA » Logged
ZENKI
Member

Posts: 906




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 02:36:17 PM »

Where I live, its contest conditions  everyday of the year on 40 meters.  40 meters in Europe is the most hostile RF environment  for hams in the world because of population density and the sheer number of shortwave broadcasters. I can record signal levels just under 0dbm on my antennas on a spectrum analyzer. So I  would think when I am exposed to this kind of conditions all year around, I would know what works and what does not!

I did not suggest 100 watts,, I suggested that buying a smaller radio like the FT857 that has a small built in PA thats neat and tidy makes more sense.
What I also suggested is  that a power level of 20 watts  is much more workable solution than 5 watts. 20 watts enables reliable operation on all modes not just SSB. At 20 watts of power output,
you wont be slamming your head against a brick wall like you do with true legal QRP power or even 10 watts.

An intermediate class of operation like say something above 5 watts to about 30 watts makes a lot more sense than locking contest qrp power at 5 watts that makes no sense at all. Battery operation at 20 watts now is feasible because of advances in technology in both batteries and electronics. 5 watts made good sense of you were running something like a tuna tin on batteries. The KX3 is an excellent example of technology progress.  The KX3 would have made much more sense with 20 watts of output and  if it used a lithium ion battery pack. Carrying the KX3 will be easy, however the battery management and low power just puts the KX3 into the novelty radio class that is not an effective and convenient solution like a mil HF manpack. It would not make much to convert the KX3 into a convenient ready to go HF solution with say 20 watts of output.

If you talking effective  communications 20 watts should be the minimum output power level that balances things  like poor antennas, propagation and QRP.  This power level is used by every HF Mil manpack for very good reason.
Trials and studies of HF power by the military have been exhaustive and the conclusions clear. Hams like preaching voodoo that goes contrary to the laws of physics.  If hams chose a long and long road to operating with power less than 5 watts thats fine, but I would not promote it as fun and as a ideal solution to new hams. Its free world, and mine is just one perspective.




Its amusing to read that everyone thinks that you will have receiver problems on a portable QRP radio with a  portable antenna!
You apparently don't contest...or have really poor antennas.  I own a couple QRP radios (and have used more) that are designed for portable use, and with a simple, single wire element could certainly use the better RX performance that a KX3 will presumably deliver.  ARRL Field Day and November SS come immediately to mind.  Your suggestion of my needing 100w is nonsense, as that would normally exceed the power levels of the entry classes in which I operate.

I will agree that the DSP in the K3 does an outstanding job without roofing filters.  But it is better with them.  As I suspect the KX3 will be.

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LA9XSA
Member

Posts: 376




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 04:02:19 PM »

Where I live, its contest conditions  everyday of the year on 40 meters.  40 meters in Europe is the most hostile RF environment  for hams in the world because of population density and the sheer number of shortwave broadcasters.
What AA4GA is referring to isn't an adjacent broadcast band that needs rejecting, or static, but rather a packed amateur band where you want to work a station just a few cycles next to a strong local station. THAT is what he means by contest conditions. Of course if you live in a city, you might have a lot of RFI generating devices in the vicinity which can be helped with a separate filter.

I did not suggest 100 watts,, I suggested that buying a smaller radio like the FT857 that has a small built in PA thats neat and tidy makes more sense.
What I also suggested is  that a power level of 20 watts  is much more workable solution than 5 watts. 20 watts enables reliable operation on all modes not just SSB. At 20 watts of power output,
you wont be slamming your head against a brick wall like you do with true legal QRP power or even 10 watts.
Where I am you need thousands of watts and high gain antennas if you want to avoid that frustration. If you want to introduce awards and contests with a 20 watt power limit you are free to do so, and others are free to join you or not, but right now the power category limits tend to be at 1, 5 and 100 watts.

If you talking effective  communications 20 watts should be the minimum output power level that balances things  like poor antennas, propagation and QRP.  This power level is used by every HF Mil manpack for very good reason.
Note that the military manpack concept is not really made for the sort of portable DX work that most amateurs are after. It is made to provide reliable communication between military units in a limited area. It was limited by how much one dedicated radio soldier can carry on his back in rugged terrain, and limited by the battery technology of the time. When people buy a KX3, they likely want a trail radio that goes in a backpack together with the rest of their gear, and goes up on the camp site.

A military manpack should provide dependable foot mobile operation in a rugged package for a military unit, in a geographic area. It is carried by a dedicated person, and is supported by a logistics system that carries and recharges spare batteries. An amateur trail radio should provide portable best-effort operation world wide, depending on propagation, to an individual amateur, and has to be carried along with that person's survival and comfort items. A trail radio should be more rugged than a household item, but it doesn't need to be up to the same specifications as a military manpack.

The trend in military communications radios today also seems to be towards increasing digitalization, spread-spectrum technology, and indeed modularization. One radio unit might be used as a 5 watt manpack, or installed in a vehicle with a 50W or 100W amplifier. It's not true now (if it was in the past) that all manpacks are 20 watts and that 20 watts should be enough for everyone. Often you have to use satellites or aircraft to relay your signals.

A trail radio also should also be modular, so that if adverse propagation is expected one can bring along additional amplifier stages. If you'd like, you can use the KX3 to construct a manpack with a 100W or 20W amplifier stage, but crucially you can sacrifice this extra weight for more food and survival gear. Also since you're not under enemy artillery fire you have more discretion to put up elaborate antennas in the field.
Trials and studies of HF power by the military have been exhaustive and the conclusions clear. Hams like preaching voodoo that goes contrary to the laws of physics.
Since you keep rejecting scientific arguments pointing out the miniscule decibel difference between 20 and 5 watts, I guess this criticism applies to yourself as much as to anyone else. I'd like you to show me the results you're referring to, but I suspect you're misrepresenting them; what the military would be interested in would be the best compromise between range, dependability and portability for their type of use.

What really would be in hilarious extreme audiophile territory is if you're one of those people who think your radio's output stage power somehow improves its reception. How much output power must a radio have before you'd consider roofing filters, huh?  Roll Eyes The person on the other end might have no problem hearing your QRP signal, while your receiver is overloaded by strong local stations, and reception filters might just be what makes it possible for you to hear the other person and make a contact.

If hams chose a long and long road to operating with power less than 5 watts thats fine, but I would not promote it as fun and as a ideal solution to new hams. Its free world, and mine is just one perspective.
Using low power can be fun for new hams - it has been for me at least, with an affordable and easily portable radio, and experimenting with antennas and modes. To a new ham you need to point out that QRP is more of a challenge, but if the new ham is aware of that and willingly embraces that what's the problem? Amateur radio has many niches. What I would not do was pretend that just going from 5 to 20 watts would somehow make all frustrations go away. You don't see QRP and QRPp operators looking down on each other, so I wonder why the 20 watt community of one person acts this way.  Grin
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 04:25:01 PM by LA9XSA » Logged
K0JEG
Member

Posts: 631




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2012, 06:41:12 PM »

Where I live, its contest conditions  everyday of the year on 40 meters.  40 meters in Europe is the most hostile RF environment  for hams in the world because of population density and the sheer number of shortwave broadcasters. I can record signal levels just under 0dbm on my antennas on a spectrum analyzer. So I  would think when I am exposed to this kind of conditions all year around, I would know what works and what does not!

I did not suggest 100 watts,, I suggested that buying a smaller radio like the FT857 that has a small built in PA thats neat and tidy makes more sense.
What I also suggested is  that a power level of 20 watts  is much more workable solution than 5 watts. 20 watts enables reliable operation on all modes not just SSB. At 20 watts of power output,
you wont be slamming your head against a brick wall like you do with true legal QRP power or even 10 watts.

An intermediate class of operation like say something above 5 watts to about 30 watts makes a lot more sense than locking contest qrp power at 5 watts that makes no sense at all. Battery operation at 20 watts now is feasible because of advances in technology in both batteries and electronics. 5 watts made good sense of you were running something like a tuna tin on batteries. The KX3 is an excellent example of technology progress.  The KX3 would have made much more sense with 20 watts of output and  if it used a lithium ion battery pack. Carrying the KX3 will be easy, however the battery management and low power just puts the KX3 into the novelty radio class that is not an effective and convenient solution like a mil HF manpack. It would not make much to convert the KX3 into a convenient ready to go HF solution with say 20 watts of output.

If you talking effective  communications 20 watts should be the minimum output power level that balances things  like poor antennas, propagation and QRP.  This power level is used by every HF Mil manpack for very good reason.
Trials and studies of HF power by the military have been exhaustive and the conclusions clear. Hams like preaching voodoo that goes contrary to the laws of physics.  If hams chose a long and long road to operating with power less than 5 watts thats fine, but I would not promote it as fun and as a ideal solution to new hams. Its free world, and mine is just one perspective.




Its amusing to read that everyone thinks that you will have receiver problems on a portable QRP radio with a  portable antenna!
You apparently don't contest...or have really poor antennas.  I own a couple QRP radios (and have used more) that are designed for portable use, and with a simple, single wire element could certainly use the better RX performance that a KX3 will presumably deliver.  ARRL Field Day and November SS come immediately to mind.  Your suggestion of my needing 100w is nonsense, as that would normally exceed the power levels of the entry classes in which I operate.

I will agree that the DSP in the K3 does an outstanding job without roofing filters.  But it is better with them.  As I suspect the KX3 will be.


Lots of external amps out there, no need to be tied to the Elecraft 100W model.
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K5TED
Member

Posts: 690




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2012, 07:11:59 PM »

Afer spending $1300 on a KX3, I'll have just enough left over for a RM HLA-150+...
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ZENKI
Member

Posts: 906




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2012, 05:08:21 PM »

Thats what I was talking about too? I was just pointing out that on 40 meters in Europe as you well know,  your receiver faces this so called "contest" challenge on a daily basis plus the added penalty of facing extreme levels of signal levels from the shortwave broadcasters. They dont have this hostile RF environment in the USA except on contest  weekends.  In Europe on 40 meters CW, we dont have to wait for contest weekends really to test our receiver, thats our standard operating environment. The number of receivers  that can handle  the CQ WPX on CW on 40 meters in Europe is a very   small.   Any radio with a poor 2nd order intercept point or poor IMD dynamic range wont cope well in Europe. Most people who own so called poor radios dont even know that their receivers are blocking, because they really have no standard of comparison. The point still remains that with simple antennas, and portable operation most front ends can cope well enough unless the receiver is totally useless. The KX3 even with its good roofing filters and performance has way too much  receiver performance than is really needed. If some of that engineering was used to have a radio with state of the art Lithium batteries and more TX power that would have been a better use of  resources than pursuing receiver numbers that will never be encountered or  that is needed. I wonder sometimes  if people actually understand and read these specifications when you understand what levels the receivers are actually blocking at when they do these tests? How the AGC performs on CW is even more critical to how well a radio works in contest pileups than  extreme IMD dynamic range numbers. I wont go on and on, but I would say all this mine is better than yours number comparisons is getting tiring, its even more ridiculous when the radio runs on AAA batteries.

While Its nice what Elecraft have accomplished with the KX3's design, some simple question  can I operate all day on batteries and be heard is more of an important question than having the best receiver!

I dont know how  filters can prevent  EMC/EMI  or noise problems? I have never owned a radio that has a filter that can block man made noise?  There is nothing you can really do about noise problems in big cities. The EMC regulations
need to be enforced and tightened up. I can walk down the road into any store and see equipment for sale from China that has fake EMC stickers on them that dont meet any EU EMC standards. The KX3's roofing filters cant help much here, the roofing filters are there to protect the front end not filter out noise.

Its not what can and cant be done with 5 watts or QRP. The question is simply what is  an effective level of power for  reliable communications?  5 or 10 watts   is not  an effective communication power output for SSB for most  land
based hams. If you operate from near the sea side sure it can be very effective. We dont all have the luxury of operating from  piers looking over sea water. I have heard G4AKC and his buddies work pedestrian mobile from near the sea making reliable SSB contacts with very low milliwatt power,  however without the huge sea water advantage this would not be a  daily reality. 20 watts  regardless of where you are located is a very effective communication power limit that works well on all modes.



What AA4GA is referring to isn't an adjacent broadcast band that needs rejecting, or static, but rather a packed amateur band where you want to work a station just a few cycles next to a strong local station. THAT is what he means by contest conditions. Of course if you live in a city, you might have a lot of RFI generating devices in the vicinity which can be helped with a separate filter.

I did not suggest 100 watts,, I suggested that buying a smaller radio like the FT857 that has a small built in PA thats neat and tidy makes more sense.
What I also suggested is  that a power level of 20 watts  is much more workable solution than 5 watts. 20 watts enables reliable operation on all modes not just SSB. At 20 watts of power output,
you wont be slamming your head against a brick wall like you do with true legal QRP power or even 10 watts.
Where I am you need thousands of watts and high gain antennas if you want to avoid that frustration. If you want to introduce awards and contests with a 20 watt power limit you are free to do so, and others are free to join you or not, but right now the power category limits tend to be at 1, 5 and 100 watts.

If you talking effective  communications 20 watts should be the minimum output power level that balances things  like poor antennas, propagation and QRP.  This power level is used by every HF Mil manpack for very good reason.
Note that the military manpack concept is not really made for the sort of portable DX work that most amateurs are after. It is made to provide reliable communication between military units in a limited area. It was limited by how much one dedicated radio soldier can carry on his back in rugged terrain, and limited by the battery technology of the time. When people buy a KX3, they likely want a trail radio that goes in a backpack together with the rest of their gear, and goes up on the camp site.

A military manpack should provide dependable foot mobile operation in a rugged package for a military unit, in a geographic area. It is carried by a dedicated person, and is supported by a logistics system that carries and recharges spare batteries. An amateur trail radio should provide portable best-effort operation world wide, depending on propagation, to an individual amateur, and has to be carried along with that person's survival and comfort items. A trail radio should be more rugged than a household item, but it doesn't need to be up to the same specifications as a military manpack.

The trend in military communications radios today also seems to be towards increasing digitalization, spread-spectrum technology, and indeed modularization. One radio unit might be used as a 5 watt manpack, or installed in a vehicle with a 50W or 100W amplifier. It's not true now (if it was in the past) that all manpacks are 20 watts and that 20 watts should be enough for everyone. Often you have to use satellites or aircraft to relay your signals.

A trail radio also should also be modular, so that if adverse propagation is expected one can bring along additional amplifier stages. If you'd like, you can use the KX3 to construct a manpack with a 100W or 20W amplifier stage, but crucially you can sacrifice this extra weight for more food and survival gear. Also since you're not under enemy artillery fire you have more discretion to put up elaborate antennas in the field.
Trials and studies of HF power by the military have been exhaustive and the conclusions clear. Hams like preaching voodoo that goes contrary to the laws of physics.
Since you keep rejecting scientific arguments pointing out the miniscule decibel difference between 20 and 5 watts, I guess this criticism applies to yourself as much as to anyone else. I'd like you to show me the results you're referring to, but I suspect you're misrepresenting them; what the military would be interested in would be the best compromise between range, dependability and portability for their type of use.

What really would be in hilarious extreme audiophile territory is if you're one of those people who think your radio's output stage power somehow improves its reception. How much output power must a radio have before you'd consider roofing filters, huh?  Roll Eyes The person on the other end might have no problem hearing your QRP signal, while your receiver is overloaded by strong local stations, and reception filters might just be what makes it possible for you to hear the other person and make a contact.

If hams chose a long and long road to operating with power less than 5 watts thats fine, but I would not promote it as fun and as a ideal solution to new hams. Its free world, and mine is just one perspective.
Using low power can be fun for new hams - it has been for me at least, with an affordable and easily portable radio, and experimenting with antennas and modes. To a new ham you need to point out that QRP is more of a challenge, but if the new ham is aware of that and willingly embraces that what's the problem? Amateur radio has many niches. What I would not do was pretend that just going from 5 to 20 watts would somehow make all frustrations go away. You don't see QRP and QRPp operators looking down on each other, so I wonder why the 20 watt community of one person acts this way.  Grin
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ZENKI
Member

Posts: 906




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2012, 05:20:29 PM »

Yeah true we just need to avoid the CB rubbish. We have enough  morons promoting the CB rubbish amplifiers on this forum.

The KX3's design has enough potential to make  designing a small bolt on 20 or 30 watt PA a reality. The Elecraft style of construction would make it easy to expand the box size to fit in a smaller PA. I currently use 2 of Dewalts XR
18 volt 4 amp hour XR batteries to power all my portable radios. They last  forever, 4 of these Dewalt batteries  could run 20 watts of SSB  or CW output. I will order a KX3 when the dust settles and all updates and bugs have been sorted out. I dont need 100 watts for portable operation, if I needed 100 watts or more I would just get into my car and connect the antenna! Most people dont walk to their QRP operating sites!  If the KX3 was a true portable radio, a 100 watt amp should not even have been offered! The popularity of 20 watt to 50 watt amps for  the FT817 is testament to this fact.


""
Lots of external amps out there, no need to be tied to the Elecraft 100W model.
[/quote]
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