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

Show all reviews of the Elecraft KX1

You can write your own review of the Elecraft KX1.

K0JQZ  Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2013 05:46  Send this review to a friend!
Great Trail Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built my KX1 and it was fun to build. The manual is well written and the instructions were clear. I had one part missing and an email to Elecraft had the part on the way the next day, no questions asked.
I have used the KX1 extensively over the summer doing Summits On The Air (SOTA) activations. I have used it with many different portable antennas (End Fed, Buddistick, doublets and linked dipoles) and have had a lot of fun with it. I have used it (with the VFO lock feature) in my pocket with external paddles when there was nowhere to sit.
I recently purchased a KX3 so the XYL would be able to join in on the SOTA fun using SSB however, if it was not for the XYL, I would keep using the KX1 for my main go to radio for outdoor activity. I now keep it in my truck and use it on lunch breaks or on solo SOTA activations.

1. Small
2. Ultra-Light weight
3. Rugged (It has been dropped many times / snowed and rained on and it below freezing temps)
4. Built in tuner (makes it easy to use a variety of different antennas)
5. Low power consumption (receive and transmit)
6. Has 30 and 20 meters (two of my most used bands)
7. Ability to change VFO tune rate
8. Easy to change WPM / use R.I.T. / and adjust the filter, without going through a menu
9. Attachable paddles

CONs: (this is more of a wish list)
1. Knobs: Just my preference but I find that buttons instead of knobs makes for a better “trail friendly” radio. However, the VFO LOCK feature is helpful so this is really just a personal opinion.
2. Digital Readout: More digits on the freq readout (I tend to get confused above 10,000 feet)
3. Battery: Take advantage of new battery technology (Li Po etc) with a balanced charger and/or solar option (I have found myself using small LiPo packs used for remote control cars and planes and they provide enough longevity for several hours of use.
4. Band choice: (80 Meters is almost useless to me for portable work due to antenna size) I would like to have the ability to choose the bands and if I could choose 40, 30, 20, 17 and/or 15 meters. That is more of a personal choice based on my usage and antenna deployment.
5. The memory keyer does not allow for many characters. Barley enough for a short CQ.

I will not compare it to the FT 817ND since that is a very different radio. I have used a FT-817ND and found it lacking or my purposes (heavy, battery consumption, poor CW performance and menu system) however, I am sure it works fine for others. The closest radio I have to the KX1 is the ATS4b
The ATS4 is cheaper, harder to build, more bands, no tuner, buttons instead of knobs, less power consumption, no filter, smaller and lighter and menu system extensive. If I used a tuned antenna the ATS4 is my choice. For everything else the KX1 is the go to radio.
The KX1 is one of my favorites and I will continue to use it. It has replaced my K1 and I will take it on the trail if the XYL is not with me over the KX3 due to size, weight and the fact that I do not operate SSB much.
Thanks Elecraft for a great trail radio.


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