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Author Topic: Is the KX3 all it's cracked up to be or fake?  (Read 95374 times)
N5RWJ
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« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2012, 09:47:35 PM »


So, when is the new FT-817 ND/3 coming and what should be hot?
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N2RRA
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« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2012, 04:19:26 AM »


So, when is the new FT-817 ND/3 coming and what should be hot?


That's a great question!

YEASU was the first to have a battery operated transceiver in such a small package with it features. So when they do come out with it I suspect it's gonna be more efficient much like the KX3 and have better selectivity and filtering. One could only assume , but like any marketing strategy it's gonna be better and very competitive.

Too answer your first question!

When sales go down after a 10 year run then their come out with the new one, but for now it's still a HOT seller.

73!
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AD5X
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« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2012, 11:32:09 AM »

Had the SG-2020ADSP2, FT-817. IC-703 and now the KX3.  Prior to the KX3 my preference was the IC-703 because of the display size and internal autotuner.  But the KX3 is now the best.  The internal autotuner is great, as is the size.  And that large display is the way to go for my aging eyes.  Of course, the size, current consumption, and performance characteristics of the KX3 don't hurt either!

Phil - AD5X
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N2RRA
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« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2012, 12:02:19 PM »

Had the SG-2020ADSP2, FT-817. IC-703 and now the KX3.  Prior to the KX3 my preference was the IC-703 because of the display size and internal autotuner.  But the KX3 is now the best.  The internal autotuner is great, as is the size.  And that large display is the way to go for my aging eyes.  Of course, the size, current consumption, and performance characteristics of the KX3 don't hurt either!

Phil - AD5X

Glad you brought up the ICOM 703+ because the 703 beats the FT-817 in a few areas but size, weight and lack of VHF/UHF bands sets it back a little depending on your purpose and physical fitness to carry it far distances.

You said the 703 which the 703+ had a couple improvements. What is your take between the KX3 and 703?

By what margin between the two makes the KX3 more superior despite the fact it's more custom programmable?

Thanks!
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AD5X
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« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2012, 04:24:15 PM »

Glad you brought up the ICOM 703+ because the 703 beats the FT-817 in a few areas but size, weight and lack of VHF/UHF bands sets it back a little depending on your purpose and physical fitness to carry it far distances.

You said the 703 which the 703+ had a couple improvements. What is your take between the KX3 and 703?

By what margin between the two makes the KX3 more superior despite the fact it's more custom programmable?

Thanks!

The early IC-703 didn't have 6-meters.  The later IC-703 or 703+ as some called it had 6-meters and corrections to a bias circuit that caused failures in the IC-703 sometimes.  I like the size and display of the KX3.  And as I am mostly of the CW persuasion, I like the front panel speed control (had to go into a menu on the 703).  And the silent PIN-diode QSK.  And the continuously variable passband filter, and peaking filter.  The dual receive is really nice when chasing DX.  Then there is a very effective speech processor (I do occasionally use SSB).  And the firmware updates are extremely easy.  I've only had the KX3 for a month, so I'll have more info as time goes on.

Phil - AD5X

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N2RRA
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« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2012, 01:39:28 AM »

Very well!

I know the 703 or at least the 703+ was the QRP'ers choice for HF. Then again could've given the K1 and K2 good run for its money.

Look forward to an A & B comparison between the two.

Thanks and 73!

N2RRA
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2012, 02:11:40 AM »

"Make  some contacts on the satellite passing over head in about 3 minutes."
With the FT-817 batteries run down already? The KX-3 owner could use an 2m/70cm HT if it's an FM satellite, or put a transverter on the KX-3. And if the satellite has a microwave uplink, both guys would need a transverter anyway.

The right answer to the question would be that instead of getting in a "pissing contest" they would combine their radios so that they could work the satellite full duplex (listen to the downlink while transmitting). If it was a linear transponder or inverting transponder, they could perhaps transmit with the FT-817 and listen with the KX-3s more selective receiver.
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KCJ9091
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« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2012, 07:20:17 AM »

LA9XSA,
First, while I was merely a witness to the exchange, not involved, and found it amusing, I have made through Field day the past few years on one 7ah battery that was charged by solar panels with the 817.  Have yet to need to take the second one off the panel during the weekend.

Second, when you get to showing attitude and ragging on someone else don't be surprised if you get attitude back.  HOWEVER, in the situation mentioned above the gentleman selling the KX-3 replied respectfully giving the reason for HIS choice. 

Third, while the solutions you suggest are workable each requires additional equipment be stuffed in the limited space in a pack and carried up the hill, further increasing the limited power resources at hand.

The point is, chose the one YOU want and let the other guy choose the one HE wants without  lecturing him on how stupid his choice was.  Side note, when you do issue said lecture then be presented with a reasoned response either be prepared to politely reply or accept the others point of view, don't just storm off in a huff.
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2012, 09:25:58 AM »

A 7 Ah lead acid battery and an adequate solar panel weighs quite a bit more than an HT and perhaps a little spare Li-ion battery for it. I have an FT-817 and a 7 Ah lead acid battery too, and when I go hiking I leave the lead at home and bring some spare dry cell or NiMH batteries instead; I'm going to get a LiPo pack too.
The FT-817ND was the best solution when I got it, but today I would be choosing a KX-3 and an HT instead. More performance and operating time for the weight.
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N2RRA
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« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2012, 10:37:19 AM »

A 7 Ah lead acid battery and an adequate solar panel weighs quite a bit more than an HT and perhaps a little spare Li-ion battery for it. I have an FT-817 and a 7 Ah lead acid battery too, and when I go hiking I leave the lead at home and bring some spare dry cell or NiMH batteries instead; I'm going to get a LiPo pack too.
The FT-817ND was the best solution when I got it, but today I would be choosing a KX-3 and an HT instead. More performance and operating time for the weight.

Now that I've read some pointers there's only one thing you're not getting with the KX3 that you can with the FT-817ND.

When I'm hiking my purpose is too work HF and VHF/UHF ,but all side band and CW. For one, operating SSB/CW is always gonna grant you greater rewards and satisfaction to marvel at. So when I hike I take with me my Elk 5el. log periodic that just is amazing.

Working repeaters to me SUCKS! You can gain greater distance working weak signal work (SSB/CW as referred) than you will with repeaters. Not to mention if you catch 2m and 432mhz (70cm) during Tropo, Aurora, or e-scatter propagation. You can usually plan your hike trips by predicting ,or knowing the right times to catch Tropo on a regular basis whether it's minimal or great conditions. Offering rare ,or uncommon grid squares is a blast and puts you on the map. So there's more activity making those hikes never boring. Yes, you can even work the repeaters also and not have to carry the HT.

You're never gonna get that with the KX3 unless you're carrying extra crap it seems. I shouldn't say never, but who needs to carry a transverter in addition to all the other gear?

Wanna work sats then the HT would do the job with dual band receive there's no problem at full 5 watts and the ELK.

Guess the KX3 only necessity would be if you're strictly a base QRP'er and contester ,but for SOTA and casual hike QRP and operating I think the FT-817ND is still full of gems in the worlds smallest package.

73!
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KCJ9091
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« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2012, 02:36:48 PM »

Does your HT do 2m/70cm SSB/CW?
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N2RRA
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« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2012, 03:40:54 PM »

Does your HT do 2m/70cm SSB/CW?

No...that's my point!

With an FT-817ND you don't need an HT ,or KX3 with a transverter or transverters because it lacks 2m/440. The FT-817ND is and can be my HT. My hike pack has a pouch in front where it goes allowing me to see and change VFO hands free. I don't even need to pull it out or hold it because the face of the radio faces up. You can't do that with the KX3 which makes the FT-817ND so much more versitle.

An HT for me would only be necessary if I were to work birds. Why would you need to lug anything else with the FT-817ND?

You have it all in one package even digital if you humped a small interface. That would make up for the missing HT weight wise. This all depends of course what you wanna operate but for the most part what does the FT-817ND lack for basic operation? Nothing!
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2012, 05:07:13 PM »

The FT-817 lacks lower current draw and weight, better selectivity, a built-in tuner and better front panel. Polar satellite passes are rather short, so if I was only going to operate satellites and tropos, I'd bring the FT-817 and still bring an HT for full duplex, since the current draw isn't the limiting factor, pass time is; perhaps I'd even bring an FT-857 instead of the FT-817 since on low passes you might need more than QRP power on an FM satellite with a portable antenna.

The Kenwood TH-F6A/TH-F7E does SSB/CW reception, and I've done satellite operation using an FT-817 and IC-7000 on the uplink and the TH-F7E (European version of the TH-F6A) on the downlink.

If I was going for a SOTA activation, I'd want a KX-3 and a Kenwood TH-D72E instead, but I'll make do with just my FT-817ND for now. (Spending limits, you know.)
The FT-817ND is and can be my HT.
How much scan time do you get out of the battery? Even if you don't like working repeaters the primary reason why I'm looking or an HT is to have something on 2m/70cm that has a longer standby time, can do built-in APRS, and finally can be used for full duplex operation on satellites.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 05:10:44 PM by LA9XSA » Logged
N2RRA
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« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2012, 06:36:29 PM »

The FT-817 lacks lower current draw and weight, better selectivity, a built-in tuner and better front panel. Polar satellite passes are rather short, so if I was only going to operate satellites and tropos, I'd bring the FT-817 and still bring an HT for full duplex, since the current draw isn't the limiting factor, pass time is; perhaps I'd even bring an FT-857 instead of the FT-817 since on low passes you might need more than QRP power on an FM satellite with a portable antenna.

The Kenwood TH-F6A/TH-F7E does SSB/CW reception, and I've done satellite operation using an FT-817 and IC-7000 on the uplink and the TH-F7E (European version of the TH-F6A) on the downlink.

If I was going for a SOTA activation, I'd want a KX-3 and a Kenwood TH-D72E instead, but I'll make do with just my FT-817ND for now. (Spending limits, you know.)
The FT-817ND is and can be my HT.
How much scan time do you get out of the battery? Even if you don't like working repeaters the primary reason why I'm looking or an HT is to have something on 2m/70cm that has a longer standby time, can do built-in APRS, and finally can be used for full duplex operation on satellites.

Again! The topic is based on a radio for HF/VHF/UHF SSB/CW/Digital mode capability. Not Satellite work!

You can always make provisions for satellite capability from a wide range of ways ,but when you try too make your case based on consumption and weight you're still not talking apples and oranges.

The KX3 is more conservative on power, but Elecraft says "Up To 150ma" meaning it's "not" 150ma all the time, but more like 250ma with features turned "on" like lighting and such. The FT-817ND is 450ma with its features turned on, but with squelching 250ma both based on receive. There are mods to reduce the current draw bring it a bit lower on the FT-817.

In the end between the two in transmit current draw you're talking about a 1 amp difference which an amp is an amp and can save you maybe an extra hour ,or two. That I guess is still quite a bit of pleasurable talk time.

I found this from an owner who done some testing:


"The KX3 already has far lower receive-mode current drain than most all-
band/all-mode transceivers, but you can further reduce it in several  
ways:

   - use headphones (10-100 mA saved depending on volume level)
   - turn off the LCD backlight (25 mA)
   - turn off the RX I/Q port when not needed (10 mA; see MENU:RX I/Q)
   - turn off the preamp (5 mA saved for the 20 dB preamp,
     10-15 mA for the 10-dB preamp)
   - turn off the RX isolation amp (10-15 mA; see MENU:RX ISO)

Using all of the above techniques, receive-mode current drain can be  
as low as 150 mA, varying a bit per-band."

So all the claims people are throwing out are not false ,but a bit misleading.

The FT-817ND seems to still compare fare and not so drastic on power as some make it out to be. For SOTA you're not spending 10 hours on a mountain so the amount of time you will be operating on either radio will supply the same sufficient amount of talk time. Unless of course if your spending the night on one!


Still, you're stuck with out 2m/440 on the KX3 which is big when running SOTA especially if you're into giving out grid squares. That extra activity you can't take advantage of when hiking ,or in an emergency. No F6A is gonna give you that either when all you have is receive SSB/CW. Thats useless!

Come to think of it when you look at consumption and don't necessarily need the fancy CW read out ,or wide range of selectivity options since the FT-817ND did so well without for so many years the FT-817ND still doesn't do too bad with all its features. Not to mention all still in such a small box.

Weight, you're talking only a few ounces!

The more we talk about this the more I'm finding and learning.

73!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 06:39:41 PM by N2RRA » Logged
LA9XSA
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« Reply #44 on: November 10, 2012, 06:27:30 AM »

Again! The topic is based on a radio for HF/VHF/UHF SSB/CW/Digital mode capability. Not Satellite work!
The posts I replied to there were focusing on satellite work - that's why I said if I was going in the wilderness with a radio to focus on satellite work I'd bring an FT-817 or FT-857, while for more general work I'd like a KX-3. Both with additional HT.

The FT-817ND seems to still compare fare and not so drastic on power as some make it out to be. For SOTA you're not spending 10 hours on a mountain so the amount of time you will be operating on either radio will supply the same sufficient amount of talk time. Unless of course if your spending the night on one!
Or going to a summit that needs a longer walk, or doing a multi-summit activation. Also consider the duty cycle: Running a SOTA activation may include more transmitting than just tuning around answering CQs.

Still, you're stuck with out 2m/440 on the KX3 which is big when running SOTA especially if you're into giving out grid squares. That extra activity you can't take advantage of when hiking ,or in an emergency. No F6A is gonna give you that either when all you have is receive SSB/CW. Thats useless!
The F6As CW and SSB recieve gives you full duplex on the inverting and linear transponders as I said, but it could also be used to save the battery of the FT-817 by tuning around the HF band looking for stations to answer. It does transmit on FM though. I did say that I'd rather want an AM/FM HT with APRS if I was doing SOTA rather than just satellite work. That way I can be tracked while I walk to the summit, and I can also do some 2M FM simplex QSOs on it. I could even self-spot with APRS then.

Again, did you compare the standby time for the 817 with the standby time for the HT?

Come to think of it when you look at consumption and don't necessarily need the fancy CW read out ,or wide range of selectivity options since the FT-817ND did so well without for so many years the FT-817ND still doesn't do too bad with all its features. Not to mention all still in such a small box.
If you don't need the better performance, lower weight, lower power draw, internal tuner, and less fiddly front panel, then why debate it at all?

Weight, you're talking only a few ounces!
Remember the weight of batteries too.

The more we talk about this the more I'm finding and learning.
It sounds a bit like you're trying to convince yourself of something. Why don't you borrow a KX-3 or somthing and try it out in the types of operations that you like doing, and then compare the whole user experience to the FT-817?
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