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Author Topic: Anyone own a KX3 and an Argonaut VI?  (Read 5106 times)

Posts: 159

« on: July 20, 2014, 08:02:27 AM »

I am trying to decide between either a KX3 or an Argonaut VI. It would be mainly used for portable use while car camping and as a backup rig. The main modes I would operate are CW and PSK (using a NUE-PSK).

BTW if I get the KX3 I would get the internal tuner and if I get the Argo VI I would buy it in the next week as it is on sale for $818 (with shipping) and includes a 700hz filter. If I get the VI I would also get a Elecraft T1 tuner. Buying a KX3 in that configuration is $1098 and the VI with the T1 is about $990 so there is only $100 difference.

I am aware that there a a lot of feature differences between the two rigs. The VI does not have 60, 12 and 6M. However I have never operated on 60, 12 will soon be dead and I can't see getting on 6 with a QRP rig while portable. I also know that the KX3 can send PSK via paddles but I am not very good with those and that is why I would get a NUE-PSK. The KX3 can operate with internal batteries and that is not available with the VI but I have a number of portable 12v batteries so that is not a big concern for me.

So my question is what do you like and dislike about the rigs? If you had to do it over again and could only buy one which would you get?

« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 09:05:21 AM by N8FNR » Logged

Posts: 1038

« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2014, 03:12:59 PM »

I will only comment on 6M...  I ran for years using a TT model 526 (AKA 6n2) at 20W and before than used
a 1208 transverter (20M to 6M)  running at a mere 10W so on 6M on 10W is very doable.  That said on 6M
a two or three element yagi buys a lot of signal when on a hill and can be made very portable.  I've worked
a lot of people that were using old 551s (10W), icoms,  and MFJ9406, FT817s, and even KX3s at roughly
10W or less.

However VHF is a preference of mine and may not be for everyone so the presence or lack of 6M is
more personal choice and not a slam against a radio. 

The question I like to ask for people preferring a radio with DC to Daylight is "what antenna do you plan to use?"?
Only to get an answer like mostly 40 and 20....  Seems having every band is just excess.

With that said power is not much an issue its about the antenna and that applies to every band.

There are actually four choices.  The ArgoVI, KX3,  FT817, and FT857 for portable ops.  Each offers
a lot of different features and ergonomics.  I might add that in the woods differences in receivers are
meaningless unless its a 3A field day site.   Also since I have an Eagle, 6n2, FT817 and used many others
I can only say use what YOU like as they all work. 

Also consider what your going to use for an antenna.  Money spent there can be a great operating convenience
it if fits what your doing and where.  Examples of what I mean.  Don't bring a dipole to an island where you are
the tallest thing. On the same vein a loaded vertical works on said flat island if you use a counterpoise or can
be very near (or above) salt water.  If there are trees consider the LNR EF40/20/10 end fed half wave, cheap
and easy to deploy even if there is only one 20ft tall tree.  From everyone I know random length wires are not
terribly effective.


Posts: 194

« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2014, 09:16:31 AM »

I have owned a lot of Ten Tec gear over the past 44 years, both qro and qrp gear, and I really like their radios. But I feel Ten Tec dropped the ball on the new Argonaut 6, leaving off 12 and 60 meters. Six meters is not an issue with me, but I want a fully operational HF qrp radio, and that means both 60 and 12 meters. Right now, I have an Elecraft K2 and it is an incredible radio. But of the choices you list, I would choose the KX3 hands down because its receiver is top of the line, and it includes ALL HF capabilities.  If the  new Argonaut had 12 and 60, I would be very tempted to buy one.
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