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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | NATIONAL NCX-3 Help

Reviews Summary for NATIONAL NCX-3
NATIONAL NCX-3 Reviews: 11 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $$ 395
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K3CLT Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2014 10:52 Send this review to a friend
great radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was not a ham at the time but was stationed in Okinawa 1966-67. There was a ham in our company and he had a NCX-3 set up in the barracks. I would go up there and listen to the signals. He would tell me to listen for "3" calls. When I would hear one he would check the signal level and it it was strong he would call the station and ask if they had phone patch ability. We would call my dad in Pittsburgh. My dad thought that was the neatest thing to be able to talk over all those miles.
I just regret that I don't remember the hams name or call sign who provided me this opportunity.
K1LNC Rating: 4/5 Jan 19, 2014 07:25 Send this review to a friend
Pretty  Time owned: more than 12 months
First licensed as a novice in 1959. The NCX-3 was my first sideband rig. I used a EV664 mike. It was beautiful and worked fine. Tubes, of course--and it required half an hour to get stable--but it did work and introduce me to sideband. Primitive by today's standards but--in the mid sixties--it was great.
K0YHV Rating: 3/5 May 18, 2012 14:35 Send this review to a friend
My first rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I picked up one of these at the 1981 Davenport, IA hamfest as my first transceiver. Had lots of problems with it-bad chirp, transmit frequency was off from the receive frequency. Made 2 local QSOs on it and that was it. It was built like a tank, had that tube smell when it warmed up, and felt like a real radio.

I would like to get one again someday for old times sake, and hopefully it will work correctly. I don't think it is much of a CW rig, though, and that is my main mode.
K7TCE Rating: 4/5 May 18, 2012 07:35 Send this review to a friend
Fond Memories  Time owned: more than 12 months
As a teenager in 1964, hamming with WWII surplus gear, I could not have been more excited and proud of acquiring this radio (used). Ergonomically and esthetically, it was among the best. I wonder if many of today's hams will ever experience the weak-signal experiences we had with tube radios back in the day before digital synthesizer/digital processor noise, and RF spectrum pollution. Ham Radio was an analog hobby back then. All the gadgets I have in front of me today will never be the equal of the wonder of it all. They were simpler times, and this was a wonderful radio. As I remember, the NCX-3 did a creditable job on AM, and IMHO is a most worthy candidate for a restoration project.
NV7SY Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2012 07:32 Send this review to a friend
Really a "NEAT" Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I took a day off of work and drove to my nearest Ham Radio emporium and traded in my old kit transmitter and receiver for this brand-new Triband SSB rig. I got it home and immediately put it on the air and was thrilled with the simplicity of operation and the quality of it's construction. I made hundreds of contacts with it before I got transferred (Navy) to an area I couldn't put up an antenna. I heartily recommend this rig...

Did I neglect to tell you that this was in 1964? I was station at the Naval Facility in Cape Hatteras at the time.

Cheers from Sam, Chief Radioman (SS), USN-Retired. The "(SS)" means Submarine Qualified.
W9MT Rating: 3/5 May 17, 2012 19:58 Send this review to a friend
Good beginner rig for 1971 !!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought mine used. Like National's ads in QST said: "It's got guts !" The point to point wiring was beautiful. Be careful how you pick it up if the radio is out of the chassis and powered up. It's easy to get one's sweaty finger thru the rectangular hole next to the driver tune cap and get zapped with 280V low DC. Mine had severe trouble with TVI in the old 1970's days of analog TV. I tried a brute force filter in the output of the final to notch out a bad 3rd harmonic from 20m which killed channel 5 in Chicago. Nothing I tried seemed to work until I started tracing out the schematic and found that National tried to save money by eliminating 2 10uH chokes going to the filaments of the vfo tube. (They were on the schematic. Brown wire was in the radio.) Bought two of those, put 'em in, and the TVI vanished. (Go figure.) The other disconcerting thing the NCX-3 did was peg the s-meter really hard for a few seconds upon powering up the NCXA AC supply. A related issue was that zeroing the s-meter was not possible with the pot on the rear chassis. A 47K half-Watt resistor in the s-meter circuit was getting overheated to about 91K from this voltage zap on power up. Finally increasing its Wattage to 1W absorbed the jolt on power-up, while not exceeding the resistors increased dissipation capability. Zeroed nicely and stayed zeroed after that. Did I mention that the audio on receive and transmit was really sweet? The receiver was also good for a radio of this era, along with good transmit, once I found that pesky TVI source. I learned a lot working on this rig and traded up to an NCX-5 Mk next rig in a long series of radios in my "doing this hobby" for 40 more years up to today. The blue cabinet paint was handsome on the desktop, too. (But then National was famous for its cool-blue cabinet paint.) Enjoy.
K7NG Rating: 4/5 Feb 17, 2012 07:52 Send this review to a friend
Surprisingly good  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned a NCX-3 from 1971 until 1975. I bought it well-used from a guy I was in electronics school with, and it showed that it had been 'rode hard and put away wet' a few times. I used it in both mobile and base installations, and frankly, I BEAT on it... It kept on ticking. It moved around a couple hundred Hz when used mobile, apparently due to changing voltage on the tube filaments, and I gave up on doing more than rudimentary CW with it, but I used it on SSB quite a lot, a move up from the Heathkit 80 & 40M 'single banders' that I'd been using.

Really, for all I put the rig through, and same treatment from the previous owner, I'm surprised it survived - but survive it did, and did a pretty darn good job as a very basic SSB transceiver.
I got $50 for it (and the AC and DC power supplies)at a ham swap meet, which I used toward my first 2M FM radio.
N5PTV Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2011 12:29 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio from the 1960's  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased a NCX-3 from the TRW Hamfest/Swapmeet in Redondo Beach, CA in 1989. I was 11 years old, and it was my first radio. I paid a wopping $35 and that came with a power supply and mic. The seller actually wanted a couple hundred dollars for the setup, but wanted to help a new young ham. He asked me how much money I had,said that was fine and I had my first radio. I used it for several years mainly on CW. Compared to the newer radios I have owned in 20 plus years as a ham, sure the performance doesn't stack up. However, it did what it was supposed to do, and did it well. It never broke, and was very reliable. Remember that National built the NCX-3 as an economy radio. The selling point was "why pay for bands you don't need when the solar cycle is winding down." I am rating it a five, because it was reliable, and the performance was as expected since it was a budget radio.
WA4THR Rating: 4/5 Dec 23, 2010 05:59 Send this review to a friend
Solid radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a used NCX-3 around 1974 when I upgraded to Advanced, and it was my first SSB rig. It was (and still is) a very attractive radio and performed solidly during the sunspot minimum when bands above 20 went unused. With a fan dipole on the roof I always got nice reports and the rig punched out a strong signal on SSB. It was pretty useless on CW, though, with no filtering and a VOX delay T/R switch scheme. I sold it to another new ham a couple of years later and got a Ten Tec Triton I that allowed 80-1o coverage and amazing CW performance. I didn't miss the NCX-3 from an operating point of view, but I still thiink it was one of the more attractive designs during the tube-rig era.
K7UA Rating: 4/5 Oct 29, 2009 10:28 Send this review to a friend
OK in 1970  Time owned: more than 12 months
An NCX3 was my first SSB rig. I bought it used from a ham store while I was in high school (1966). I built an Eico power supply that went with the 753 to run it. Every penny counted back then. I used it through college. Relatively inexpensive at the time for 3 band coverage. It was an ok rig, but nothing to brag about.
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