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Author Topic: K2 as main DX/contest rig?  (Read 5439 times)
K3STX
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Posts: 1050




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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2012, 10:15:14 AM »

Looks like I am ordering a KX3 tonight, hooray! It does not come with a RX antenna input, but that is an easy fix. Hard to see much wrong with this rig. When you add up the cost of a K2 with 160 meters, audio filter, and RS-232 interface the KX3 is actually cheaper.

paul
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N4OGW
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Posts: 314




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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2012, 02:52:16 PM »

Looks like I am ordering a KX3 tonight, hooray! It does not come with a RX antenna input, but that is an easy fix. Hard to see much wrong with this rig. When you add up the cost of a K2 with 160 meters, audio filter, and RS-232 interface the KX3 is actually cheaper.

paul

Yes, cheaper for the 10W radio. But there isn't a KX3 equivalent to the K2/100 available yet, because the 100w amplifier (KXPA100) isn't out yet. It seems the KXPA100 will be both a 100W amp and an ATU, suggesting it won't be as cheap as a K2/100 without the ATU.

Tor
N4OGW
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AD9DX
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Posts: 1509




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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2012, 02:57:12 PM »

Looks like I am ordering a KX3 tonight, hooray! It does not come with a RX antenna input, but that is an easy fix. Hard to see much wrong with this rig. When you add up the cost of a K2 with 160 meters, audio filter, and RS-232 interface the KX3 is actually cheaper.

paul

Yes, cheaper for the 10W radio. But there isn't a KX3 equivalent to the K2/100 available yet, because the 100w amplifier (KXPA100) isn't out yet. It seems the KXPA100 will be both a 100W amp and an ATU, suggesting it won't be as cheap as a K2/100 without the ATU.

Tor
N4OGW


While true, if I know what the OP is doing, the KXPA100's delayed release will allow him to recover his funds to buy at a later date.  Let us all know what you think of the rig, I would like to get a K2 or KX3 as a back up/ portable rig. 
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
NI0C
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Posts: 2418




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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2012, 03:12:57 PM »

For a 100 watt amplifier, consider this new product from Ten Tec:
http://www.tentec.com/products/160%252d6-Meter-Solid-State-Linear-Amplifier.html

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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K3STX
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Posts: 1050




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« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2012, 04:00:24 PM »

Today Elecraft told me that the 100 watt amp should be available by the end of this year. There is a 2 month wait (at least) for the rig anyway, my amp can give me 100 watts out and I already have my tuner. YeeHa!

Paul
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NU1O
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Posts: 2749




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« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2012, 04:42:41 PM »

For a 100 watt amplifier, consider this new product from Ten Tec:
http://www.tentec.com/products/160%252d6-Meter-Solid-State-Linear-Amplifier.html

73,
Chuck  NI0C

$800 for a 100 Watt amplifier is expensive.  Why not buy one from Ameirtron which will cost about the same and put out much more power?

73,

Chris/NU1O
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NI0C
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Posts: 2418




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« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2012, 08:43:05 AM »

NU1O wrote:
Quote
$800 for a 100 Watt amplifier is expensive.  Why not buy one from Ameirtron which will cost about the same and put out much more power?

That's a fair question, Chris. It's a difference of scale.  The Ameritron amplifiers are designed to produce a QRO signal (500-1500 watts) from a standard 100 watt transceiver, while the new Ten Tec amp takes a QRP signal and raises it to the 100 watt level. 

Note that the OP (Paul, K3STX) already has an Ameritron AL-811 amplifier.

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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NU1O
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Posts: 2749




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« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2012, 11:01:21 PM »

Note that the OP (Paul, K3STX) already has an Ameritron AL-811 amplifier.

73,
Chuck  NI0C


After reading all the posts again I do see he has an AL-811 and he thinks he could get 200 Watts out with the 12 Watts from the KX3.  That's a good solution until he frees up some capital.

Interestingly, I had a 3 way QSO today on 15 meters with one guy in VA, and another in MO who was using the KX3. The ham is MO was doing checks between his KX3 and another rig with 100W. I could not copy him when he was only running 12 Watts but he wasn't strong with 100 Watts to begin with. That is about 9 db of gain so it's not surprising I couldn't copy him with low power.  Conditions were much better between MO and VA and the ham in VA said it was hard to hear the difference between the KX3 and the rig running 100W.

I love my K3 so I'm biased, but if I did any operating from my QTH on Cape Cod I would buy a KX3 without hesitation.  The KX3 looks like it would be a lot of fun operating CW with a simple dipole hung from nearby trees.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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KJ6HZ
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2012, 02:18:03 PM »

Did I miss it or did nobody mention that you can't add a second receiver in the K2?  To me that's a huge deciding factor for a DX'ing rig.  Probably not as big a deal for contesting though unless you can use it to chase multipliers.  I no longer wear out my VFO A/B button trying to chase a split pile-up and have a much better idea what's going on in the pile-up by hearing both sides at once.

I would rather have a used rig with a second receiver and slightly worse RX specs than a new rig with a single great receiver, especially with my limited antennas. 

At Visalia DX University this year one of the speakers (sorry, I don't recall who) described the "game changing" performance improvements for DX'ing.  Adding a second receiver was one.  Diversity reception was another.  I'll wholeheartedly agree with the second receiver.  It will be a while before I can comment on diversity reception. 
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N4OGW
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Posts: 314




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« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2012, 03:10:11 PM »

Did I miss it or did nobody mention that you can't add a second receiver in the K2?  To me that's a huge deciding factor for a DX'ing rig.  Probably not as big a deal for contesting though unless you can use it to chase multipliers.  I no longer wear out my VFO A/B button trying to chase a split pile-up and have a much better idea what's going on in the pile-up by hearing both sides at once.

I would rather have a used rig with a second receiver and slightly worse RX specs than a new rig with a single great receiver, especially with my limited antennas. 

At Visalia DX University this year one of the speakers (sorry, I don't recall who) described the "game changing" performance improvements for DX'ing.  Adding a second receiver was one.  Diversity reception was another.  I'll wholeheartedly agree with the second receiver.  It will be a while before I can comment on diversity reception. 

Yes, the K2 doesn't have a second receiver, but you can add a tap to the IF for a SDR receiver (I did it on mine). That gives you easily a panadapter which is even more helpful in a big pileup.

Tor
N4OGW
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NU1O
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Posts: 2749




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« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2012, 03:33:49 PM »

I don't have a second receiver installed in my K3. Perhaps it's a case of not knowing what I'm missing out on but I do have the Panadapter and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.  I don't have diversity reception, either.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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K3STX
Member

Posts: 1050




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« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2012, 08:11:36 PM »

If I had the money to buy a rig with a second RX I wouldn't be buying a KX3, I'd get a K3!!! But the KX3 does have "Dual watch" +/- 15 kc; better than nothing. I too have never had a 2nd RX (or panadapter) so I also don't know what I am missing.

Paul
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NI0C
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Posts: 2418




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« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2012, 06:09:05 AM »

NU1O wrote:
Quote
I don't have a second receiver installed in my K3. Perhaps it's a case of not knowing what I'm missing out on but I do have the Panadapter and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.

Same situation here, Chris. 

I have tried using my K2 as a second receiver with the K3, by splitting the Rx antenna between the two, and routing the audio to stereo headphones.  It was fun for a while, but I never liked hearing the pileup at the same time as the DX, either mixed together in both headphones, or routed separately, L/R. 

For weak signal DX work (especially on 160m), I want both ears concentrating on just the DX.  The panadaptor does a great job of displaying the pileup visually-- I don't need or want to hear it at all times.  Of course, when I do want to hear it, I use the "REV" button.

I've have wanted the second Rx in the K3 when using APF on weak DX.  (APF requires using the FINE tuning rate (1 Hz increments), but I never want to use FINE for tuning the pileup!)

Quote
I don't have diversity reception, either.

Neither do I. Now there's perhaps the best reason for the second Rx in the K3; however I don't have much room on my property for experimenting with receiving antennas. 


73,
Chuck  NI0C

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K3STX
Member

Posts: 1050




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« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2012, 01:11:36 PM »

FWIW, i bought the Kenwood TS-590S a few days ago. It's got all I need in one box, no need for additional tuner, 100 watt amp, etc... As it is it is SO small (compared to my TS-850S), it will take some getting used to. But I like it fine so far. Not in love yet, but fine. My first foray into DSP; not sure I like it.

paul
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PD2R
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2012, 01:54:18 PM »

Did I miss something? In a previous post you stated that you were buying a KX3. What made you change your mind if I may be so bold to ask?
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