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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Elecraft KX1 Help


Reviews Summary for Elecraft KX1
Elecraft KX1 Reviews: 88 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $279
Description: A unique 3-band HF CW transceiver optimized for backbacking and lightweight travel; only 9 oz., 1.3"H x 5.2"W x 3"D. Includes DDS VFO, internal battery, optional internal automatic antenna tuner, plug-in keyer paddle. Covers entire 20/30/30 m ham bands (30 m optional), plus SWL segments.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.elecraft.com
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N0EVH Rating: 5/5 May 23, 2010 16:40 Send this review to a friend
All in one package  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have owned and operated my fully equipped KX1 for over four years. Yep, it cost some bucks but you will find all the features you need for a trail friendly radio. I tried to wear out my first set of lithium AA's and finally gave up after two months and replaced them. So if you are out and about alot you have no reason to worry about power sources.

The tuner will match most antennas especially the simple wire ones that are so portable. Everything works as advertised by Elecraft so a great rating of 5 it is. Notice a 5 rating means great, not perfect as some have assumed.

I fabricated an extended bottom case for mine and it holds 8 AA batteries. The increased voltage provides 3 to 5 watts on the trail. Not necessary, but it gives confidence!

So, shop and compare....but be sure to buy something because there are so many great places to operate out there on the trail.

John N0EVH
 
AA2LD Rating: 5/5 Mar 6, 2010 12:52 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic radio; great experience  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built this myself and it was a learning process but everything went well. Somehow, when I later installed the 30meter option, I screwed things up and sent the radio to Elecraft, where they checked it over and tuned it up for a minimal charge. Fantastic Service!! I have made great contacts hooking it up to my Windham 80 Dipole at 35 feet and my reports are all 599. I have two Pelican 1060 cases which are perfect: one for the radio and one for the a portable wire antenna, key, and cheat instruction manual. I have had so much fun with this radio and would definitely take it with me as an emergency piece of communication equipment hiking or on a boat (I read the article about the hiker who was disabled with a fracture and was out of cell phone range---he got a message to his wife with a KX1). If anything, this radio has made me want a K3 when I upgrade from my K2/100. Thank you, Elecraft, for great products and service.
 
W4VAB Rating: 5/5 Aug 13, 2009 13:11 Send this review to a friend
Big features in a very small package  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I like to operate QRP on the CW bands when I travel. Last year I built a TenTec 1340 QRP kit and took it on a trip to Colorado. It worked well but I wanted the capability of operating on more than one band and a frequency readout. I purchased the four band version of the Elecraft KX1 with the antenna tuner and had it assembled by Allen Wilcox. It is hard to believe that such a small package can provide so many features! I operated on 40 and 20 meters using a PAR 10/20/40 end fed dipole and added several new states to my list of states worked QRP from Colorado. I also had nice contacts with Hungary and Jamaica. The little rig is expensive but the performance and features that it provides make it worth the price. The only criticism that I have is that it could use a bit more audio.

Hugh, W4VAB
 
KC2RSP Rating: 3/5 Jul 6, 2009 02:49 Send this review to a friend
Good concept... but  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was excited as usual to try new toys for my up coming general upgrade. So I got to try this wonderful thing for several weeks. It looks really nice and its fairly small. This seems great for practicing CW.

I never tried a non imported transceiver, or as some bitter white men call them a "rice box". I have yet to find any food in my other "appliance" radios... sigh, because I could have gone for some white rice, they are expensive in the market. But I noticed imported Radios make a great tray for a Sushi lunch.. so maybe we can start calling them "sushi trays"? =)

I didn't build it, so I don't have a mis placed loyalty to it nor do I hype up a product simply because its "Proudly made in the U.S.", so my views are honest/objective. I liked this product purely due to its uniqueness. Its small, draws little current and looks nice. Though I hear some home made units draw even less power, smaller and they are water resistant.

But as others have said, if bought new the price does seem very high for what it does. It also feels flimsy. There was even a rattle inside the unit, but it seems to work OK anyway. The key doesn't feel as nice as some larger keys, but it seems to get the job done, especially for a novice like me who hasn't been spoiled by some really nice key.

The bottons and display does seem a bit cheesy for this pricey unit, but again it gets the job done.

The unit is simple enough that it can be repaired in the garage given the proper test tools. And this seems to be a big plus for a lot of old hammers from the days when most units were maintained at home.

I would recommend this to new hams or cw wannabes that want to practice for CW. Practicing on the PC using the keyboard or mouse sucks.

I would have given it a 5 out of 5 if the unit was tougher and had water resistance. It wouldn't hurt if the display was a dot matrix LCD with more features. The sound could be a bit cleaner. And if the unit was even smaller it would be great, because its current size makes one wonder if taking the 817nd, which is a little larger, maybe worth the trouble.

I'll probably get this if and when I get my general and I am fluent in cw. Because I am not much of a rag chewer, but I wouldn't mind keying a very short conversation.

Maybe a lithium rechargable battery that attaches to the unit so I wouldn't have messy wires?
 
K7FD Rating: 5/5 Apr 19, 2009 17:45 Send this review to a friend
KX-1...time for an outing to the park!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Spring is here with summer not too far behind! Now's the perfect time to grab the KX-1 and head out for some portable fun; this radio HAS IT ALL for the QRP CW enthusiast...

Don't be fooled by its small package...it contains MANY features and pleasant surprises for the operator. Not too mention a receiver that is music to the ears, complete with built-in adjustable filtering.

So pack a lunch, pack the radio and find a park bench! You'll have the most fun per buck that can be had on the ham bands, guaranteed!

73 John K7FD
 
WD6DBM Rating: 5/5 Nov 28, 2008 17:12 Send this review to a friend
The Gold Standard  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The radio is great--you can read the other reviews. What I want to mention is Elecraft support, which is superb! I got prompt email responses with my questions, and really good advice. The manual is the best out there, period. It's in the Heathkit class of builder manuals. When I plugged my newly completed KX1 into my 40M antenna, I promptly worked a station 1000 miles away on 2W using the internal battery pack. What fun! Even if you don't like winding toroids (like me) you can get an excellent set of toroids for the KX1 from thetoroidguy (order form is in the KX1 kit). I put in the tuner and 30M options, and I would say definitely get the tuner, it is so easy to use! I love this radio.
 
V73NS Rating: 5/5 Nov 9, 2008 12:34 Send this review to a friend
Great Kit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Recently finished KX1 #2104 with the internal ATU and love it. It is what it is, a light weight QRP rig with many features. If you're looking for big rig performance - buy a big rig, but portable QRP operations this little gem is awesome. I like it better than the K1 I built a few years ago.

The tuner is a MUST for this rig, so be sure to order one. It's not expensive and adds very little weight.

It's ideal for a traveling rig where I just want to "get on the air". The KX1, paddles, 12' of RG174, banana to BNC connector and wire for the dipole all fit in a Pelican 1060 case I had handy. If I was going to activate an island and expect to make thousands of QSO's I'd take the IC-7000, but for casual traveling the KX1 will go with me.

First QSO's were Hawaii and Australia, both ~2200 miles and RST's were 559 and 579.
 
KA3MEN Rating: 5/5 Sep 17, 2008 12:02 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Let me say from the start, I did not build the radio. Jerry McCarthy WA2DKG built and tested the radio for me. Jerry has built more than 30 Elecraft units...Certified solderer with 30 years experience in aerospace industry...
The radio has all the bells and whistles added.
The KX1 is a great back pack rig. I love the cw key for this rig. I found the manual to be top notch and very little learning curve to use the menus. The radio is not a great rig for swl but I did not buy it for swl. With quality ear buds I find the radio easy to copy cw. I can take this rig anywhere any time and enjoy cw.
 
PA1SK Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2008 08:14 Send this review to a friend
its a marvel  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The other day there was a KX1 offered on internet.I got it, very well built and complete with 30/80 meters,tuner and keyer.The receiver works outstanding on the very crowded 7 mHz band.Very nice filter for cw as well as ssb and even am is detected well.The sensivity exceeds that of my good old Argonaut.The noise level is all right.That little keyer is constructed very well! I made a lot of 80 m.qso's with 3 watts.So much quality in such a small case.I did not enjoy buiding it myself.The KX1 is a real marval!
 
KB3I Rating: 5/5 Jul 4, 2008 10:10 Send this review to a friend
QRP bliss  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I picked up my KX1 at Dayton this year, after being bitten by the QRP bug. I got the auto tuner, paddle, and the 30-80 kit, the latter on sale for 1/2 price at Dayton.

The kit instructions were crystal clear, and the radio went together perfectly. It's amazing how well engineered this radio is both electronically and mechanically.

Everything worked the first time, and the receiver performance is excellent for a rig this size and price. I couldn't be more pleased.

I took the radio to work and was up on the garage roof top working 40 and 20 in 5 minutes. Running on LiPo external batteries did great for Field Day as a 1B station.

I can't recommend this radio any more highly.

73, Ira KB3I
 
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