Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: why do I not want a KX3  (Read 7660 times)
KJ4SKP
Member

Posts: 75




Ignore
« on: October 09, 2012, 05:24:52 AM »

I'm shopping for a new HF rig and recently saw the KX3.  There is a lot of data/info on HF radio's out there and I'm a little overwhelmed. I have a mobile radio Yaesu 8900 but want something that is HF oriented. My goals are to be able to reach out across the pond and make contacts in europe etc.  The thought of packing up the HF and taking it to another location would be cool but  I don't necessarily need the mobility of the KX3 however I have read reviews mentioning that the KX3 has the performance of many larger base station radios.  I don't have the budget for a 2K radio so the price point of the kx3 is also attractive.  If you were in my shoes which radios would you consider and why not the KX3 or an SDR radio in particular?  Sorry for the noob questions but I look to your infinite wisdom to help.


Logged
KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 06:45:50 AM »

I'm shopping for a new HF rig and recently saw the KX3.  There is a lot of data/info on HF radio's out there and I'm a little overwhelmed. I have a mobile radio Yaesu 8900 but want something that is HF oriented. My goals are to be able to reach out across the pond and make contacts in europe etc.  The thought of packing up the HF and taking it to another location would be cool but  I don't necessarily need the mobility of the KX3 however I have read reviews mentioning that the KX3 has the performance of many larger base station radios.  I don't have the budget for a 2K radio so the price point of the kx3 is also attractive.  If you were in my shoes which radios would you consider and why not the KX3 or an SDR radio in particular?  Sorry for the noob questions but I look to your infinite wisdom to help.

Unless you operate QRP and portable, I would look elsewhere besides the KX3.  It is not meant to be a base/fixed radio.

Also, some of the luster of the KX3 is wearing off.  There are more and more reports of poor opposite sideband suppression (image rejection) on the Elecraft mailing list due to the KX3's QSD/QSE based architecture.   This is OK when operating portable with relatively inefficient antennas, but will be noticeable with a decent antenna like you would have with fixed use.  There is also an issue with noise caused by tuning the VFO on the higher bands.  It is so bad, that Elecraft implemented a VFO tuning noise reduction that can be turned on.  Unfortunately, it has a tendency to mask signals while tuning.  Some users have reported not being able to hear even S9 signals on 10 meters because of the VFO tuning noise issue and the funky effects of the VFO tuning noise reduction (when enabled).   There is also poor frequency stability causes by heat generated from the KX3 PA affecting the KX3's si570 based VFO.  It causes problems for some digital modes that require more frequency stability than what the KX3 can maintain.

For its intended purpose (QRP/portable) that KX3 is a nice rig.  I would not use it for fixed operation.

Monitor the Elecraft mailing list for a while before making a decision.  More and more problems are coming to light as guys are getting more experience with the radio and the newness of the KX3 is wearing off.  This is a prime example of how misleading the Sherwood list can be for those starting out and looking to choose the 'best' radio.  The KX3 certainly does not have the performance of more expensive fixed/base radios if you take into account the image rejection problems, the VFO noise problems, the power output, the poor frequency stability, and the inferior ergonomics compared to a bigger radio.

Gene

Logged
NI0Z
Member

Posts: 583


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 07:21:43 AM »

You can look in my website and follow my little journey using the KX3 as a base station.  In summary the main disadvantages I see is that you'll have to buy a amp to run it more than 12 watts.  It adds to the cost.  On the flip side if you already run a computer in your shack then it's pretty much only the cost of a few cables to have a Panadaptor.

Between running my Flex 5000 and my KX3 as a base station, I see little difference other than the power issue.  If you get it as a base, you will want the roofing filter option.  The ATU really depends on whether you already have one, or want something for field use QRP.

There is the speaker issue as well.  I don't see that being fixed anytime soon.  Oddly enough I think it's not a speaker issue but rather an issue related to the audio dynamics of the KX3.

I don't use CW so I can't comment there.  Other digital modes work well, there is a slight frequency drift issue that they believe they will fix.  The drift issue my be more serious if you want to use CW.

The receiver for SSB and for Digital modes is quite excellent.  

Seriously, the primary intended use for this radio is QRP and not as a base station even though with thought, money and effort you can make it very functional as a base station.  The values I see of taking this route is you can buy those extra things a little at a time verses a larger upfront investment.

All that said, if you are really looking for a base station, have no care for a Panadaptor then the Kenwood would look to be a really nice value option.  Many here can help you on that one of you want more info.  Personally, in the sub 2000 range I would look at the Yaesu and Kenwood lines.  You may even consider finding a good clean used unit as you can get more radio for your money that way if your a thrifty shopper.

I have provided all of the above to help you sort through the compelling reasons why one would be tempted to look at the $900 price and dive in verses looking for a real base station rig.  If you do the math, here is what you end up paying.  Add the the build fee, $100, add the roofing filter, $129, a lot money for a mic, lets say $60 minimum, add $800 for an amp, add $20 for accessory cables.  Your close to $1900.   

To provide a summary answer.  You wouldn't want to buy a KX3 as a base station because simply, it's not a base station and you can buy something more integrated and functional for the same or less money.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 07:33:11 AM by NI0Z » Logged

KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012, 09:58:14 AM »

The good news is that the KX3 shipping time is down to 30 days now.

Gene
Logged
K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 2078




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2012, 12:00:08 PM »

The good news is that the KX3 shipping time is down to 30 days now.

Not good news. Perhaps the word is getting out that the Emperor has no Clothes and fewer and fewer hams want a KX3. There is after all a limited market for anything QRP....  Wink

Stan K9IUQ
Logged
KJ4SKP
Member

Posts: 75




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2012, 12:03:04 PM »

excellent info gentlemen.  Thanks for the feedback and insight. My search goes on, and on.

Logged
N4OI
Member

Posts: 214




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2012, 12:17:17 PM »

excellent info gentlemen.  Thanks for the feedback and insight. My search goes on, and on.



Base = K3  Grin
Logged
ZENKI
Member

Posts: 997




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 06:29:31 AM »

mobile = k3

Its the radio with the worst ever ergonomics for base use. Everyone has their own opinions on this, this is my opinion.

I am waiting for the K4 maybe that will be a true home based radio.

I could however imagine a  K3 with dual P3's (one for spectrum and a separate P3  for  waterfall and rig info + TX monitoring)  new  front panel, 200 FET amplifier  and all in one box with a in built power.
What would even be better is a 10 inch touch screen K3 that combined the P3 and K3's designs. The modular concept should remain this way it would be easier to address any improvements or failures in various parts of the radio.

The K3 design has  lots of potential if all the marketing and packaging options are examined. The problem is that all the Elecrafters are more worried about fighting with the "elecraft haters" rather than making the product better with suggestion and product criticisms.

Very few products in the world can get it right with  the first release onto the market. It seems that the K3's design is trapped by being carved into rock by its owners and designers. The K3  could be rig for all people if some K3 owners opened their minds to the possibilities rather than just wanting to be  elecraft criticism attack dogs. Any criticism of the design has hardly effected the sales of the radio thats why its perplexing why so many owners react so negatively to the many suggestions and requests  for  and an improved K3.  Trying to bludgeon people into  believing that a radio is perfect when it is not does more marketing harm that good. We live in the information age not the brainwashed age.

Yaesu, Kenwood and Icom have been doing this for decades. If you sat down and studied their circuit diagrams you would  soon realize that the improvements in model X has become model Y with some minor changes. It was very rare to have a completely new clean slate design per new model. Why should elecraft designs be the exception and exempted from  this practice? It just makes good economic sense recycling old products into new exciting and improved products.



excellent info gentlemen.  Thanks for the feedback and insight. My search goes on, and on.



Base = K3  Grin
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!