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Author Topic: Is the KX3 all it's cracked up to be or fake?  (Read 88392 times)
N2RRA
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« Reply #90 on: February 03, 2013, 08:33:14 AM »



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.

The questions stems from a video I watched that was a side by side comparison of its receivers. The FT817ND would win in some cases and the KX3 of course had an edge at times on CW.

After watching that video I asked this question. Still confused??

If you have a up to date SDR radio and it can not have clear dominance in all aspects from a 12 year old radio.....what gives?

After reading Don Sr.'s - wa2Tpp review of the KX3 knowing he owns both of them and respect his opinions of course I have a different out look on it.

Although I'm still waiting for some one else who "has both" to do an extensive side by side comparison video to refute the existing video and prove it wrong.

Still waiting!
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AA4GA
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« Reply #91 on: February 05, 2013, 07:01:33 AM »

Although I'm still waiting for some one else who "has both" to do an extensive side by side comparison video to refute the existing video and prove it wrong.
I still have both, but only because I haven't taken the time to put all the FT817 parts together to photograph and list for sale. 

As I posted here after 18 days of use, the KX3 is a superior radio to the FT817 in almost every respect - certainly in receive performance. 
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AA4GA
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« Reply #92 on: February 05, 2013, 07:37:00 AM »

With QRP and portable antennas you just dont get receiver overload because the antenna limits the signal impact on the receiver.

Not everyone who operates QRP does so with a small antenna.  Even portable.  Not everyone who is interested in, or owns and uses, the KX3 does so portable.  I do, but it is also my primary radio at home.

Quote
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?

You appear somewhat out of touch with how many people choose to operate while portable.  For instance, I operate under the SOTA program, which generally requires less than an hour of operation.  Neither my FT817 nor KX3 have any problem with that amount of usage with the built-in AA-sized NiMH batteries I use with them.  I also have a variety of external battery packs I can use for longer operations if I choose to do that. 

Quote
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.

Speaking out of both sides of your mouth again?  Please reconcile your comments:  "Rechargeables are no fun" - as an apparent dig at the subject radio and "I can connect it to my car battery...for charging" - referring to your "manpack".  What, exactly, is the difference?

Quote
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.

I'm sorry I'm not up on photovoltaic systems, but I know there are many people who operate with portable solar panels charging their FT817s (and presumably KX3s, as the charging systems are similar).  So I believe what you suggest is being done.

Quote
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!

I don't believe English is your native language, so I'm going to type slowly with the hope that you will finally comprehend.  Most QRP operators are not interested in external amplifiers.  The generally accepted QRP output level is 5 Watts on CW, and that is a perfectly effective and practical power level to use on a daily basis.  Many of us choose to limit ourselves to that power level, and in fact, this forum is in place to "Compare notes about the world of 5w or less".

If I wanted to run over 5 Watts, I have a radio with that capability, but I choose not to use it because I currently prefer to use only 5 Watts or less output power - and have done so exclusively for the past two years.  Using simple wire antennas.  Over 4000 QSOs in over 150 DXCC countries.  That is effective enough for me to be happy.

Quote
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.

Of course you do if your intent is to operate for a shorter period of time.

Quote
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.

If that works for you, I think you should.  I'd also recommend the HF Manpack group on Yahoo Groups as a more appropriate forum for discussion of radios that interest you.

The bottom line is that the KX3 is the best self-contained HF radio on the market that operates primarily at QRP power levels.  It may not suit everyone, but no single radio ever could.

What I really don't understand is why you are so ashamed of your callsign - why do you insist upon anonymity? 
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WA2TPU
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« Reply #93 on: February 05, 2013, 07:09:25 PM »

To AA4GA.......
     Your last posting was one of the most honest sincere postings I've read as of late. Thank you for taking the time to put forth a posting that made total and complete sense that anyone that  could and should understand the English language. Once again Lee I tip my hat to you my Brother Qrper. Thanks again Lee.

I'll end this posting simply.....I am WA2TPU.......Yes! WA2TPU--- and have been WA2TPU for decades now. I am very proud to be WA2TPU - A TRUE 5 WATT QRP GREEN STATION with 299 countries confirmed using 5 watts or LESS. I CHOOSE TO OPERATE QRP BECAUSE I LIKE THE CHALLENGES AND REWARDS THAT QRP OPERATION HAS GIVEN ME FOR DECADES. Again, I AM WA2TPU AND I'M CURRENTLY USING A KX-3 AS MY MAIN TRANSCEIVER. THE KX-3 IS THE BEST RIG I HAVE EVER OWNED AND USED THUS FAR IN MY HAM RADIO EXPERIENCES OVER DECADES. PERIOD!

Best regards and many 72/73 to ALL......
Don sr. -- WA2TPU--
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WA2TPU
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« Reply #94 on: February 05, 2013, 11:40:53 PM »

To AA4GA.......
     Your last posting was one of the most honest sincere postings I've read as of late. Thank you for taking the time to put forth a posting that made total and complete sense to anyone who understands the English language. Once again Lee I tip my hat to you my Brother Qrper. Thanks again Lee.

I'll end this posting simply.....I am WA2TPU.......Yes! WA2TPU--- I've  been WA2TPU for many decades now. I am very proud to be WA2TPU - A TRUE 5 WATT QRP GREEN STATION with 299 countries confirmed using 5 watts or LESS. I CHOOSE TO OPERATE QRP BECAUSE I LIKE THE CHALLENGES AND THE REWARDS THAT QRP OPERATION HAS GIVEN ME OVER AND OVER . Again, I AM WA2TPU AND I'M CURRENTLY USING A KX-3 AS MY MAIN TRANSCEIVER. THE KX-3 IS THE BEST RIG I HAVE EVER OWNED AND USED THUS FAR IN MY HAM RADIO EXPERIENCES COMPILED OVER MANY DECADES. PERIOD!

Best regards and many 72/73 to ALL......
Don sr. -- WA2TPU--
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ZENKI
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« Reply #95 on: February 06, 2013, 03:14:10 AM »

All interesting views and offering a different perspective.

I think some people forget that is just a forum for exchanging ideas and views, not a decree from a wannabe dictator on his soap box.

How can we have free society if we cant express our thoughts or views. Its great that we can do this without name calling etc

Thanks for your perspective and i am sure many others enjoyed your post and perspectives.



With QRP and portable antennas you just dont get receiver overload because the antenna limits the signal impact on the receiver.

Not everyone who operates QRP does so with a small antenna.  Even portable.  Not everyone who is interested in, or owns and uses, the KX3 does so portable.  I do, but it is also my primary radio at home.

Quote
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?

You appear somewhat out of touch with how many people choose to operate while portable.  For instance, I operate under the SOTA program, which generally requires less than an hour of operation.  Neither my FT817 nor KX3 have any problem with that amount of usage with the built-in AA-sized NiMH batteries I use with them.  I also have a variety of external battery packs I can use for longer operations if I choose to do that. 

Quote
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.

Speaking out of both sides of your mouth again?  Please reconcile your comments:  "Rechargeables are no fun" - as an apparent dig at the subject radio and "I can connect it to my car battery...for charging" - referring to your "manpack".  What, exactly, is the difference?

Quote
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.

I'm sorry I'm not up on photovoltaic systems, but I know there are many people who operate with portable solar panels charging their FT817s (and presumably KX3s, as the charging systems are similar).  So I believe what you suggest is being done.

Quote
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!

I don't believe English is your native language, so I'm going to type slowly with the hope that you will finally comprehend.  Most QRP operators are not interested in external amplifiers.  The generally accepted QRP output level is 5 Watts on CW, and that is a perfectly effective and practical power level to use on a daily basis.  Many of us choose to limit ourselves to that power level, and in fact, this forum is in place to "Compare notes about the world of 5w or less".

If I wanted to run over 5 Watts, I have a radio with that capability, but I choose not to use it because I currently prefer to use only 5 Watts or less output power - and have done so exclusively for the past two years.  Using simple wire antennas.  Over 4000 QSOs in over 150 DXCC countries.  That is effective enough for me to be happy.

Quote
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.

Of course you do if your intent is to operate for a shorter period of time.

Quote
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.

If that works for you, I think you should.  I'd also recommend the HF Manpack group on Yahoo Groups as a more appropriate forum for discussion of radios that interest you.

The bottom line is that the KX3 is the best self-contained HF radio on the market that operates primarily at QRP power levels.  It may not suit everyone, but no single radio ever could.

What I really don't understand is why you are so ashamed of your callsign - why do you insist upon anonymity? 
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W1JKA
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« Reply #96 on: February 06, 2013, 04:03:33 AM »

A somewhat sidetracked question:

     Have any KX3 users previously used a K1? I am interested in any noticeable difference in the CW mode ONLY (power level aside) of the KX3 over the K1, i.e. inherent circuit noise,receiver sensitivity,filtering,drift etc.
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AA4GA
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« Reply #97 on: February 06, 2013, 12:32:10 PM »

I think some people forget that is just a forum for exchanging ideas and views, not a decree from a wannabe dictator on his soap box.
Hmmm. Pot, kettle?

When I wrote "in fact, this forum is in place to "Compare notes about the world of 5w or less"" I was quoting the published purpose of this forum - as posted by the owners of the forum.  They have chosen to limit discussions to that topic, and that is why I come here.  If I were interested in reading about QRO topics, I would look elsewhere.  And relative to 5 Watts, 20 Watts is QRO.

And what did you say your callsign is?

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W4DRH
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« Reply #98 on: February 09, 2013, 07:31:43 PM »

I am a relatively new ham. I have a TS 480HX and KX3. I bought it because it was a kit and I wanted the experience. I saw the video comparing the 817 and the KX3. I thought he did a good job trying to keep all things equal. It would have been better to go the other way and pull out all the stops on both radios. The KX3 will tune a lawn chair. The built in tuner is really fantastic.
I go to our ham club and get on a beam 10-20 meters. I have had a blast working psk and qrp. Someone mentioned before that is probable the antenna stupid not the reciever, so one way to look at this debate would go for the best antenna on a lesser radio. Elecraft really supports its customers and that also appealed to me. In the long run its all about enjoying the hobby not who has the fastest car on the block!
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HAMMYGUY
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« Reply #99 on: February 14, 2013, 07:32:37 AM »

I just sold my KX3. It certainly was an excellent QRP rig.  However since a person has to use a sound card to observe the panadapter it had all the problems associated with that.  Images were the worst issue for me, plus torroids, isolators on the cables, the purchase of an external sound card to see the wide bandwidth etc.  It reminded me of owning the SDR-1000 only worse.  At least Flex had recommended sound products that they knew would work properly...most of the time. 

But Elecraft doesn't toot that horn very loudly about the radio, they just provided the output as a feature.  It's marketed as a very nice QRP radio and it does that very nicely. 
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K6AQ
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« Reply #100 on: February 14, 2013, 09:57:49 AM »

I just sold my KX3. It certainly was an excellent QRP rig.  However since a person has to use a sound card to observe the panadapter it had all the problems associated with that.  Images were the worst issue for me, plus torroids, isolators on the cables, the purchase of an external sound card to see the wide bandwidth etc.  It reminded me of owning the SDR-1000 only worse.  At least Flex had recommended sound products that they knew would work properly...most of the time. 

But Elecraft doesn't toot that horn very loudly about the radio, they just provided the output as a feature.  It's marketed as a very nice QRP radio and it does that very nicely. 

Would something like the SignalLink work for that?
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HAMMYGUY
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« Reply #101 on: February 15, 2013, 12:24:58 PM »

No it wouldn't.  The Signalink is used for tying the RX/TX audio back to the computer for use. The IQ outputs are very wide bandwidth that require a high quality soundcard to display the panandapter.  Though many do use a built in sound card, it limits the bandwidth of the panandapter to about 48khz or less.  A laptop that I own would only allow 24khz bandwidth. 
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AA4GA
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« Reply #102 on: February 15, 2013, 12:44:33 PM »

Isn't that more a limitation of your computer than the radio?  I know I could see 48kHz BW on my old laptop...and it's not much.  But I only played with it for an evening or two...actually, might be fun to hook up for the ARRL DX contest this weekend!
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GILGSN
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« Reply #103 on: February 15, 2013, 12:56:24 PM »

Quote
Have any KX3 users previously used a K1?

I have a KX3 and still have my K1. I actually sold my K2 to buy the KX3. I was worried about selling the K2, but no regrets. I would not sell the K1, or if I did, replace it with a KX1.

The main differences for me are the extra bands of course, but mainly the filtering. Getting down to 50Hz is amazing, right out of the box! There is also slightly less attenuation narrowing the filter on the KX3. I rarely use SSB, so I don't care about voice capability.. I probably won't use my K1 much anymore, but it has it's uses. I would be hard pressed to decide which one has the best receiver, KX3, K2 or K1. They all are great. The KX3 has DSP, and that helps with noise. I like the internal batteries option. The ATU is a must for either of these radios.

After a couple months, I can say that I am very impressed by the KX3, and very happy I bought it instead of anything else. The big screen is great. It is truly portable, though a bit bigger than the K1. I don't think there is a better portable radio out there.

Once the 2m module comes out, it will be the ultimate...

Gil.
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W1JKA
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« Reply #104 on: February 16, 2013, 05:48:33 AM »

Re: GILGSN Reply #103

    Thanks for info. My K-1 will not be going anywhere soon. I am considering a KX3 for the SSB capability. Although I have no interest in or using SSB I can see the advantage of it being available in certain situations. You referred to "the ATU is a must", is this for specific antenna types only?  I ask this because I have a T-1 qrp tuner I occasionally use with EFs and EFHWs but mostly use frequency cut dipoles and hex beams  with my K-1 without a tuner and was wondering if there was something specific about the KX3 needing an ATU.  Jim

« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 05:50:59 AM by W1JKA » Logged
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