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Reviews Categories | QRP Accessories | PAE-Kx31 KX3 Heatsink Help


Reviews Summary for PAE-Kx31 KX3 Heatsink
PAE-Kx31  KX3 Heatsink Reviews: 16 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $89.95
Description: The PAE-Kx31 gives the Elecraft™ KX3 up to 400% longer key-down transmit time than stock (band dependent) when cooled by natural convection. It is a billet-aluminum piece black-anodized to compliment the appearance of the rig. It is designed for the majority of operators and will allow for greatly extended transmit time in any digital mode or band at the full 10W output. It incorporates several features not found on competing heatsinks:

Designed using thermal modeling software for best performance.
Ratio of base mass to fin area optimized for the duty cycle of digital modes.
Rounded cross-section for no-snag use in fabric cases, and no sharp corners to cut or damage adjacent objects (including humans!).
When mounted on Elecraft™ KX3 along with GemsProducts™ SideKX plates and cover, the combo will fit in a standard Rose’s KX3 case.
Custom-color black anodized instead of powder-coated for superior thermal performance.
Radiusing compliments the design of the Elecraft™ KX3 and the GemsProducts™ SideKX.
It’s design interlocks with and greatly enhances the impact resistance of the SideKX Cover.
Low profile at each end for an interference-free fit with the PAE-Kx35 Mobile Mount (in beta testing).
Optimum compromise for most all operators between stock appearance and enhanced transmit time.
The Kx31 is supplied with correct longer replacement black-oxide stainless steel screws and a packet of heat-transfer grease.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.proaudioeng.com
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WU6X Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2014 20:21 Send this review to a friend
Enhanced DATA Modes Performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Before the ProAudio Engineering heat sink addition to my KX3, key-down PSK testing at 3 watts into 50 ohm load quickly brought the radio to 51 deg C, hot to the touch and close to shutdown. After adding the heat sink, key-down PSK into a 50 ohm load at "10 watts" got the PA.I temp to only 43 deg C and it was still going strong ... at twice the power out with no thermal issues. This is a must have, quality after-market product for the KX3 if you want to work data modes at more than 3 watts. Build quality matches the quality of the radio.

Three install options are available: 1) remove the old heatsink and install the new one; 2) add heat sink compound during installation; 3) remove paint at contact area. AND add heat sink compound. I opted for Option #3 for maximum heat transfer, removing the external paint on a small patch around the transistor mounting area (masking the area and using paint remover) and then adding heat sink compound (included) to both the transistors and the PAE heat sink before mounting. Excellent install instructions ... excellent product, it looks "factory" and it works!
 
OE9FWV Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2014 13:14 Send this review to a friend
very good construction  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I installed the heatsink today, instructions are detailed, there are 3 options to choose (I chose option 1 without removing paint from the KX3 housing) The heatsink adds little to the size of the KX3, it has rounded fins looks good and improves cooling of the finals.
 
W9AC Rating: 5/5 Aug 22, 2014 05:42 Send this review to a friend
Well designed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Excellent CNC machining and PAE's version of the KX3 heat-sink uses the proper black-anodized surface treatment for maximum thermal emissivity. The instruction set is clear and allows the owner to choose one of several mounting methods.

 
WA5PQL Rating: 5/5 Aug 22, 2014 04:48 Send this review to a friend
First Class Product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The heat sink was very easy to install. (Used method no. 3) I can now transmit full power using my KX3 in PSK mode and hold long QSO's without overheating. This product is a must-have for KX3 owners.
 
ON4VP Rating: 5/5 Aug 21, 2014 21:06 Send this review to a friend
Turns my KX3 into a workhorse  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I think the Elecraft KX3 is a nice little radio that has a lot of potential but no radio is perfect and also the KX3 has its flaws. To me one of them is the heat building up when doing CW or digital modes and trying to use the 10 watts output.

While for normal ssb operation most KX3 owners will never experience power cut off, when making digital mode or CW qso's the finals of the KX3 rapidly warm up to a point where the radio cuts back the power to 5 watts or even stops transmitting.

The PAE-Kx31 KX3 heatsinc is a nice design that accommodates the KX3 just fine. The rounded shapes at the corners and the finish of the product are of high quality and make the KX3 looks great. The thermal performance can be up to almost 4 times that of the original design depending on which of the 3 provided approaches you will choose to install the heatsinc.

The heatsinc is well packed for transport and included are a nice documentation, all the screws and thermal paste to finish the build.

Once the heatsinc was in place I noticed a large improvement of dissipated heat and running the KX3 in WSPR for tx periods of two minutes every time the PA temperature never surpassed the 37°C. That's pretty impressive while originally I came close to 55°C at almost the cut off temp of 60°.

I now feel very confident in using the KX3 for digital modes and more intensive CW use.

Although the price is a bit steep and for us Europeans we also have to add some import taxes, I still believe the added value is great considering the quality of the product and the performance improvement. Time between order and delivery was about 3 weeks including custom clearance. Good email response from the seller.

I recommend this product.
 
W8OQ Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2014 08:28 Send this review to a friend
Works Well  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This heatsink is very well designed and the manufacturing quality is excellent. I used installation method #3 which required removing the RF circuit board and scraping the black coating from inside the back panel - a fairly easy procedure. I like to use QRP RTTY with the KX3 and it has never reached the temperature limit with this heatsink. The KX3 also has a reputation for frequency drift while using some of the digimodes such as PSK, JT65 and WSPR. I am hoping that the smaller temperature rise will alleviate some of the drift. The installed heatsink looks like OEM. Good product.
 
PA3BWK Rating: 5/5 Jun 24, 2014 15:56 Send this review to a friend
Exeeds spec's  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Altough I love my KX3 the lack of cooling is annoying when you want to operate full power in CW for instance.
First I opted to buy the German qrpprojects heatsink for less money.
Bummer, that was slightly better but did not met my expectations. Although it is not cheap I decided to go for the PAE-Kx31 heatsink.
It was promptly delivered, very well packed and documentated. The heatsink itself is A-Grade in quality and finish AND performance.
My advice is to go for option 3 to install this heatsink, that is not the easiest option but not difficult for us ham's.
It will ensure you the maximum performance.
After installing I conducted my own test. I can assure you that the PA unit of the KX3 is well designed too....I decided to put the brick on the key. It took almost 20 minutes to go from room temperature 21C to 60C....
IMHO it changed the character and use of this transceiver.
Hopefully Elecraft will incorporate this in their design or at least sell this as an option for their KX3 range.
This is a 'must have' for all KX3 owners!
 
K4KRW Rating: 5/5 Jun 11, 2014 16:29 Send this review to a friend
Amazing Quality - In every way  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What a quality product! The instructions are great. It was packed very professionally for shipment. The amount of care put into this product from end to end is simply amazing. I chose option 3 for installation and it took less than 2 hours (really taking my time). I really like the look of the rig with the new heat sink in place. I think some chrome exhaust pipes would really set it off :-). Thanks Howard!
 
G7DDN Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2014 02:05 Send this review to a friend
Works in the UK too!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What a fantastic piece of engineering! Howard, its designer, should be very proud of it.

You really wouldn't know that it wasn't meant to be part of the KX3 itself. The packaging and even the little instruction leaflet (with which I was impressed both for its ease of reading and its quality of print!) both show much attention to detail.

Attention to detail also extends to installation, where no less than 3 different methods are outlined. I went for installation option 1 as I don't do Digimodes very often, I just want to keep my KX3 as cool as possible when in bright sunshine operating CW and SSB. I was becoming irritated with the power folding back in the middle of QSOs when operating in warm conditions. No such issues now!

I chose this heatsink over others not only due to its compatibility with other KX3 aftermarket products like the Side KX but also it's specifications, which Howard clearly explains on his excellent website. For me, the decision was an easy one and has been vindicated upon installation.

Sometimes folk here in the UK are apprehensive about ordering from the US. Not because of the quality of the equipment, but because of the stinging import duties & hidden charges that get added. Thankfully the PAE-Kx31 was only an extra £18 when it arrived. I had some issues with HM Customs here in the UK and though that was no fault of Howard's, he was even able to offer viable alternatives should I have fallen foul of their incompetence!

Order with confidence, especially if you in the UK!
 
WB0OEW Rating: 5/5 May 24, 2014 21:18 Send this review to a friend
almost 5x longer with Olivia  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased May 16, arrived May 20, installed May 21 using Option 3 (removing powder coat from rear case). Executive summary: before installation it required 4.5 minutes for PA.I to go from 31 C to 60 C. After installation, same test required 22 minutes.

Test conditions: 5W nominal output, 1.6A @ 12.6V input; 14.09 MHz; tested indoors with ambient temp about 80 F; transmitted continuous CQ loop with fldigi REPEAT macro running Olivia 16-500 into dummy load with SWR 1.0:1.

Definitely pleased.
 
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