It's not an $80. difference between the two.
You get the FT-817ND 160m-70cm with battery tray, internal battery, up/dn microphone, charger, and 6m,2m, and 70cm antennas for $670.
The Elecraft KX3 - Just the radio stock if modular $800. assembled $900. plus you don't get a battery charger which is $60. and you don't get a microphone which is also optional for $60. plus you're not getting 2m or 70cm plus no antennas for 6m as you do the FT-817ND.
So your paying $390. extra for a microphone and charger along with the price difference. Total: $1,020. not including +tax and shipping when you're paying $670. which is quite a difference when you see what you get for the FT-817ND.
When you put the filters in a FT-817ND it changes the radio drastically and puts this little guy into a different class. Really giving the KX3 a good run for its money, but of course lacks the cute little bells and whistles.
First, because the KX3 comes with pretty doggone good filtering stock (I know, I've heard it), so you'd have to add the cost of a CW filter to 817 as I did above. I wouldn't own a radio without a CW filter.
Next, as I mentioned, I don't operate the 2m or 70cm bands, so that is worth nothing to me, nor is the rubber duck antenna. Nor do I operate SSB and wouldn't purchase a microphone for the KX3. You're right about the charger...I forgot that, as I've already got one I could use...you could get one for 20 bucks or less. If you wanted the internal charger for the KX3, yes it is more money, but it has more functionality than the FT817.
So, call the difference 140 bucks instead of 80.
What do you get for the $140 difference?
Well, you don't get more sensitivity - but that doesn't matter. Specs on the Yaesu are .25uv; I don't actually see a published spec for the KX3, but Sherwood lists it at .9uv I believe, so point to the FT817. But, if the noise floor is 1 to 1.5uv or more (which is likely), that extra sensitivity is wasted. Saying the FT817 is more sensitive, while quite possibly true, is a non-starter: both radios are noise limited!
By all accounts I've read, the KX3 performs better in the presence of strong signals - a very useful performance characteristic. If I'm trying to listen to an S-1 signal with an S-9+10dB signal only a kHz away, I believe the KX3 do a better job - that video certainly didn't illustrate such a scenario, but it's *very* common on the bands. Again, I haven't tested the two radios side-by-side (nor has anyone else posting in this thread AFAIK), but I'm pretty certain that will be the case.
What do you do with an FT817 when the 500Hz filter is too narrow? You can switch to a 2.2kHz bandwidth, which is likely too wide. With the KX3, you just dial in, say, 800Hz for comfy listening in a non-crowded band. What if the band is crowded, and the Yaesu's 500Hz filter doesn't discriminate enough? With the KX3, just crank the BW down as needed...just twist a knob, you don't have to go hunting through menus to make the change.
What if you're wanting to call a DXpedition that is working split? You can do that with the Yaesu: you have to press a Function key, twist a knob until the proper controls are active, and *then* you can switch VFOs, control split operation, etc. With the Elecraft, just press the VFO buttons to do what needs to be done. What if you want to listen not only to the DX station, but to your position relative to other callers simultaneously? Can't be done with the Yaesu; the KX3 offers such functionality.
What if you want to experiment with different power levels? With the Yaesu, you press the same Function key as above, twist to find the group of commands that controls the power, then you can cycle between four discrete power levels from 250mW to 5W. With the Elecraft, press one button and twist a knob to effectively select any power level you desire between 100mW and 10W.
How about RIT? With the Elecraft, activate it and turn a knob. With the Yaesu, you have to make sure you're controlling RIT and not PBT. And the button presses are press and hold, not simply press-on, press-off.
What if you're CQing along at 30 wpm using the internal keyer and a station calls you at 18 wpm? On the Elecraft, just turn down the speed knob. On the Yaesu, press and hold the Function key, then select the CW speed option from probably around 30 possible choices, change the speed with the VFO knob, the press the Function key again. Whew! Do you want to send a CQ automatically from memory? Can't with the Yaesu...no problem with the Elecraft.
Do you want to connect your radio to a computer for rig control / log interface? Just use the supplied cable with the Elecraft - you can do that with the Yaesu too...after you purchase an optional interface. That's another $30 erosion in the price difference between the two radios...and that's for a serial interface - better allow some more money if you need to connect to your computer via USB. And yes, I consider this necessary functionality in a radio.
How about you're activating a SOTA summit? You've just walked 5 miles uphill, put up a 30' wire sloper and start CQing. The Yaesu consumes close to 2x the current the KX3 does - do you want to carry 2x the battery weight in your pack for the same operating time?
And while you're on that hill setting up, do you want to connect your 30' wire to a tuner, the tuner to a feedline and the feedline to the radio? That's what I have to do with my FT817. If I had a KX3, I'd opt for the internal antenna tuner and just connect the antenna wire directly to the rig. Yaesu doesn't even give you that choice: you've got to carry more stuff if you're not using a resonant antenna.
Would you like a pan-adapter type display? The KX3 has I/Q outputs that plug directly into a computer, allowing such a display with free software. You could probably use the same software for the same display on the Yaesu: If you tapped into the radio's IF somehow and used something like a Softrock SDR to output I/Q. Hope you like to tinker.
These are just a few of the advantages the KX3 has over the FT817, at least for me and the way I operate...there are many more. If it is important for you to have 2m or 70cm coverage in this radio, then obviously the Elecraft doesn't cut it. Other than that, I see no usable advantage in the FT817 over the KX3. None.
Don't get me wrong, I've got an FT817 and do actually like the rig - I've made a bunch of QSOs with it, and worked a lot of DX in the 20 months I've owned mine. But I would much rather have a KX3 - at least if it performs the way I suspect it does. And even if the two rigs were absolutely equal in RX performance, the convenience and flexibility of the KX3 would definitely be worth the difference to me.
So, why don't I own a KX3? Well, unfortunately, I just don't have the discretionary funds available right now. And that's the only reason. FWIW, I do have a guitar for sale that will alleviate that shortfall when it sells (drop me an email if you're interested in a world-class squareneck resonator guitar!). Within a couple weeks of that date, I anticipate I'll have the KX3 and the FT817 side-by-side to really determine which one performs the best. And if it's the Yaesu, I'll definitely keep it...otherwise, the KX3 will become the main rig.
more money, the KX3 is obviously more bang for the buck than the FT817. And I'm no Elecraft fanboy - the only thing of theirs I own is a T-1. But I've owned at least four Yaesu HF rigs over the years and liked every one of 'em. But for my current operating habits, it's pretty clear to me that the KX3 is the best rig for me
...with the caveat that that assumes relatively equal RX performance or better.
You're the only one so far that after watching the video is kind of on the fence ,but thats okay!
I'm not on the fence at all! Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the video poster ultimately sell the Yaesu and keep the KX3?