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Author Topic: Is the KX3 all it's cracked up to be or fake?  (Read 92783 times)
ZENKI
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Posts: 980




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« Reply #75 on: December 29, 2012, 02:03:13 AM »

Dont worry guys the K4 is due out soon and Ten Tec has a new QRP radio, all is well.

In the meantime you will need to get busy building a  new kilowatt amplifier, the sunspot cycle has fizzled away.

Life is too short for battery operation.
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AA4GA
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« Reply #76 on: December 29, 2012, 05:37:49 AM »

Ah, the unidentified anti-QRP troll is back!
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W1JKA
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« Reply #77 on: December 29, 2012, 07:08:12 AM »

Re: AA4GA
                 ZANI must be frustrated,he probably didn't get his new QRO rig for XMAS.
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WA2TPU
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« Reply #78 on: December 29, 2012, 10:26:16 AM »

To ALL my fellow Qrpers here on this post and else where of course.....

I'm ending 2012 on positive note....not only did I survive the Mayan calendar....but I had pretty good year chasing DX adding  5 new countries....to top that off.... yesterday I called April at Elecraft and placed an order for my KX-3. Certainly, after it arrives I'll give it a real work-out and let all of you fine folks know what I think about it.

I want to wish ALL my ham Brothers and Sisters both my  Qrpers and the QRO Kilowatt Gang a Happy, Healthy, SAFE and Successful New Year.

Best regards and many 72/73.
Don sr. --WA2TPU -- A TRUE 5 WATT QRP GREEN STATION.
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AA5JR
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« Reply #79 on: January 02, 2013, 11:32:56 AM »

FAKE.

Just a pretty box with buttons.

Jeez. Grin
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W1JKA
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« Reply #80 on: January 02, 2013, 12:31:26 PM »

    At last! Somebody finally answered the original question.
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K6AQ
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« Reply #81 on: January 07, 2013, 01:57:03 AM »

Actually, I'm considering starting to do SOTA so this question is relevant to my interests. Smiley

At this point I'm leaning towards the KX3 + HT option. The FT-817ND doesn't have NOAA weather (and it looks like the coming 2M addon for the KX3 won't either), which would be extremely important in an inclement weather situation. Not to mention the lower current draw that the KX3 provides. The 817ND is cheaper though, at least without the extra options...

Anyway, like others have said, the decision really depends on your operating needs.
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AB7KT
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« Reply #82 on: January 11, 2013, 07:30:24 AM »

As I mentioned earlier, I ordered a KX3 after I read this thread. In my opinion, it is everything it is cracked up to be. It is a fantastic rig. I haven't turned the FT-817 on again after getting the KX3.
In the first week I owned the KX3 I made almost 200 CW contacts running five watts (two small contests for over half of those contacts). I enjoyed the KX3 so much that I have operated it exclusively since I got it. I only have one antenna here, an 80 meter dipole fed with window line. I ran the window line to a balun and then coax to the KX3 with it's onboard autotuner. In other words I am having so much fun with the KX3 that I don't have any of my other rigs hooked up to an antenna anymore.

I even made ONE SSB contact using the KX3: I worked 5T0SP (Mauritania) on 40 meter SSB runnning 5 watts and a very small microphone intended for use on a laptop computer (dipole antenna). Now this was at the very end of the DXpedition when they were begging for calls with no takers (I didn't  bust a pileup or anything). And I did give my callsign about five times: but it was a good contact.

When I was buying my KX3, I sort of justified it to myself saying that I would sell the FT-817 and the KX1 to help defray the cost of the KX3. But after getting the KX3, I don't think I will sell anything. The '817 is a terrific rig and I think I will leave the KX3 in the shack and continue to use the FT-817 portable. And for very simple, very light use, I will use the KX1.

If you are looking for a high end, no holds barred QRP rig, the KX3 is the one to buy. If your needs are different, only you can make that decision.
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I thought you said this was a weak signal mode ? I HAVE a weak signal and he still didn't hear me.

FWIW: My callsign is AB8KT
WA2TPU
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« Reply #83 on: January 11, 2013, 10:21:30 AM »

To All------

The answer to the original questioned posed here is.................................................YES!! YES INDEED THE KX-3 IS TRULY ALL ITS CRACKED UP TO BE AND MORE!!  I am the proud owner of serial number 3195 and I've put it thru the "wringer" here at my Qth. Bluntly put.....thus far, TO DATE ....ITS THE BEST TRANSCEIVER I'VE EVER OWNED. I AM VERY IMPRESSED WITH MY KX-3...A WELL DONE AND FANTASTIC AMERICAN MADE RIG.PERIOD!

Best regards and many 72/73.
Don sr. --WA2TPU -- A TRUE 5 WATT QRP GREEN ALL AMERICAN STATION.
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KC2SIZ
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« Reply #84 on: January 25, 2013, 08:18:38 PM »



So the question is.....

How can such a modern radios receiver not shine in leaps and bounds over such an older receiver.?

I do know that there are other features I have no doubt the KX3 will out shine an FT817ND such as noise blanker and side rejection of near by signals. Sensitivity all though is usually the first thing we look at when buying a transceiver and according to B.S. Sherwood Engineering data on their site those numbers just ain't jiving if a newer radio can't out shine an older one. In my experience I never fully believed in Sherwood's data sheet and yes on a service monitor equipment looks better maybe showing true values but I go by real world data.


I find your question confusing. There are a lot of old radios out there that work extremely well and that will probably never be "blown out of the water" by any rig manufactured now or 100 years from now. Of course the radio manufacturers don't want you to believe this, as it pays them big dividends to make everyone believe that their gear is "obsolete" after a few years.
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ZENKI
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« Reply #85 on: February 01, 2013, 04:40:54 PM »

All radios work regardless of the brand, performance numbers or whatever. I think some people are expecting too buy a brand X radio and when they turn it on they expect miracles?
This is never going to happen even if you bought a RF harris 20,000 dollar HF manpack.

With QRP and portable antennas you just dont get receiver overload because the antenna limits the signal impact on the receiver. Now a radio like the KX3 would work fine if you took the KX over to K3LR's QTH
and connected it to his 40 meter stack. Thats the kind of antenna that would cause a radios front end to crumble in the heat. This is never going to happen  on a picnic table with wire strung up into the tree.  I own  a 
SPY RADIO Type B MK II from WWII and it works as well on 40 meters as any other QRP radio.  Even this antique does not overload to the point where you would say I need to go buy a KX3. You really need to confront the limitations of portable operation before stating one radio is going to be better than another.  The laws of physics limits the receiver performance more so than the engineers ability to design a great receiver. Poor antennas, man made noise and keyclicks and IMD will  be noticed long before your QRP  receiver collapses. The only receiver that I owned that collapsed was a regen and a crystal set, and who uses these today for QRP operation?

The KX3 like the FT817 is a nice toy to own because its cheap and affordable. Just like everyone has a HT, the KX3 and FT817 have the same level of affordability. Unfortunately their practicality is another issue. Radios like the KX3 and FT817 will probably be placed in the same draw as the 2meter or multiband HT and rarely be used because they impractical for most of us. They can be pulled out on rare occasions when needed  and you feel like banging
your head into a brick wall while using crap antennas. Obviously if you use a decent antenna like dipoles your success rate improves, which is how  most people do their qrp operation.

While its nice owning a cutesy small radio, the real limitations  with these kinds of portable radios is their battery life. In this regard  the KX3 is klutz because it has poor battery charge management and poor  battery selection options.
WHo cares if you can fit a radio into a wristwatch if you cant operate it for longer than 5 minutes? This essential point is a forgotten by many designers of portable ham equipment.

 Its exactly the reason why I prefer my old AEG HF manpack radio. I can just about use it for  a whole day without worrying the batteries going flat. I can connect it to my car battery, plane battery or AC for charging. I carry spare battery module which gives me another  24 hours of operation. Now with the KX3 i have to feed it AA batteries all day, and if you use name brand batteries you will go broke. Rechargeables are no fun either, most of the ones that you buy at discount stores are Chinese junk that fail after 3 or 4 charges if you are  lucky. All this just equals huge hassles and major annoyance factors. It would have been easier if the KX3 had a build in  battery pack and smart charging system with the options of plugging in a Solar panel, 12 to 50 volt DC source  or a AC source  and all of  this in 1 box. These days with portable solar panels that have  built in MPPT regulators/chargers you could have been operating and charging the KX3.

Now if you add all these features to the KX3 or FT817 you hardly have a portable solution. You have mess of electronics laying in a big pile thats a nuisance to carry. You would need a pack mule to carry all the options and bits and piecse if you going for a serious trail walk. Now I can only imagine how the mess that you carry worsens when you carry a HF amp. I am not worried about receiver performance I am more worried about  my back from all the extra weight I will be carrying with all the required accessories to make the radio effective!

You dont have a portable solution if you cant operate  a radio for at  least 24 or 48 hours without being a near a recharge facility. When ham radio manufacturers start building a product like this they will get my money, in the meantime   I  will just continue with my homebrew/surplus junk that does the job in more effective manner like most QRP/portable operators. The KX3 is not  silver bullet miracle that solves  all the problems and limitations that confront real portable operators.. You cant rest your laurels on receiver performance only! In my world. a self contained  HF manpack is the ideal portable  HF setup, and 20 watts   is more than enough to make the whole exercise enjoyable.

If it was me contemplating buying a KX3, I would just wait till all the novelty factor wears off. There will be a lot of them for sale when owners dump them for whatever reason. This is exactly what happened to the FT817. Everyone rushed out and bought them and  only the serious operators stuck with them. The rest ended up on the second hand bargain market. I have already seen 2 KX3's advertised for sale.




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K6AQ
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« Reply #86 on: February 01, 2013, 04:59:55 PM »

The KX3 like the FT817 is a nice toy to own because its cheap and affordable.

The base model KX3 is at least $300 more new compared to the base FT-817ND, more if you have Elecraft build it for you.

Obviously if you use a decent antenna like dipoles your success rate improves, which is how  most people do their qrp operation.

Preaching to the choir?

While its nice owning a cutesy small radio, the real limitations  with these kinds of portable radios is their battery life. In this regard  the KX3 is klutz because it has poor battery charge management and poor  battery selection options.
WHo cares if you can fit a radio into a wristwatch if you cant operate it for longer than 5 minutes? This essential point is a forgotten by many designers of portable ham equipment.

KX3's current draw is as low as 150mA. 3000mAh NiMH batteries in the battery holder would give you a significant amount of operating time. You may have had a point if you were talking about the 817, though.

Its exactly the reason why I prefer my old AEG HF manpack radio. I can just about use it for  a whole day without worrying the batteries going flat. I can connect it to my car battery, plane battery or AC for charging. I carry spare battery module which gives me another  24 hours of operation.

With the KX3 battery module you can do the same thing.

Rechargeables are no fun either, most of the ones that you buy at discount stores are Chinese junk that fail after 3 or 4 charges if you are  lucky.

So buy better ones online? There is such a thing as false economy.

All this just equals huge hassles and major annoyance factors. It would have been easier if the KX3 had a build in  battery pack and smart charging system with the options of plugging in a Solar panel, 12 to 50 volt DC source  or a AC source  and all of  this in 1 box. These days with portable solar panels that have  built in MPPT regulators/chargers you could have been operating and charging the KX3.

Again, KX3 battery module.

Now if you add all these features to the KX3 or FT817 you hardly have a portable solution. You have mess of electronics laying in a big pile thats a nuisance to carry. You would need a pack mule to carry all the options and bits and piecse if you going for a serious trail walk. Now I can only imagine how the mess that you carry worsens when you carry a HF amp. I am not worried about receiver performance I am more worried about  my back from all the extra weight I will be carrying with all the required accessories to make the radio effective!

So don't carry an amp? There's a reason why this section is called QRP.
 
You dont have a portable solution if you cant operate  a radio for at  least 24 or 48 hours without being a near a recharge facility. When ham radio manufacturers start building a product like this they will get my money, in the meantime   I  will just continue with my homebrew/surplus junk that does the job in more effective manner like most QRP/portable operators. The KX3 is not  silver bullet miracle that solves  all the problems and limitations that confront real portable operators.. You cant rest your laurels on receiver performance only! In my world. a self contained  HF manpack is the ideal portable  HF setup, and 20 watts   is more than enough to make the whole exercise enjoyable.

So QRP isn't for you, and that's okay. To me, these all seem like non-issues.
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N5RWJ
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« Reply #87 on: February 01, 2013, 05:24:59 PM »

To KE4VVF....

Are you aware that Ten Tec is going to be releasing its Argonaut 6  before Christmas or just after the New Year. Its suppose to have the basic configuration and properties of Ten Tec's Eagle but strictly a Qrp transceiver. You might want to consider it too.
And no I'm not some die hard Ten Tec fan pushing their products. I just wanted you to think about looking at the Argonaut 6 also in your quest to get your first dedicated Qrp rig.
Best regards and many 72/73.
Don sr. --WA2TPU -- A TRUE 5 WATT QRP GREEN STATION.
Some may wonder what affect a new model Ft-817ND, will have on the QRP market?
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W1JKA
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« Reply #88 on: February 02, 2013, 10:39:18 AM »

Re: N5RWJ

      I don't know what effect a new model FT 817ND would have in the QRP market but can guarantee it would have quite a large effect here in this QRP forum.
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WA2TPU
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Posts: 218




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« Reply #89 on: February 02, 2013, 01:34:13 PM »

to W1JKA......
Boy! Your last posting clearly hit the nail squarely on its head!! Mercy!! Indeed it surely would cause quite a bit of stir pertaining to more  postings herein this forum if there was a new version of the FT-817 brought forth by Yaesu. I do expect that Yaesu and Icom will produce something new soon to answer  the newest American made Qrp transceivers- the Argonaut 6 and KX-3. It just would be good business on their parts from a logical sense/ progression of thought. Anyway, that's what I  think.
Best regards and many 72/73.
Don sr. --WA2TPU -- A TRUE 5 WATT ALL AMERICAN MADE QRP GREEN STATION.
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