KX3 With Windcamp Battery Box.

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by N8AFT, Sep 29, 2018.

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  1. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    Would like to hear from KX3 owners who've added the Windcamp battery box using 18650B cells.
  2. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, when mine gets here on the banana boat I'll write up a little review.
    The box with charger and nine 18650B cells aren't low cost items but I'll feel safer having Li-Ion cells
    enclosed outside of the rig.
    The advantage of going this route vs. the inboard NiMH battery pack is an increased duration of operating time.
    We'll see how it all works out.
    The PX-3 Pan Adapter arrived in Monday's post so some more learning to do.
    The PX-3 also enables one to work PSK-31 as an added bonus! That sold me right away...
    The mode requires just the addition of a fold-up or mini USB keybd. No PC required so it's vy trail friendly.

  3. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Looks like a nice power supply.

    You may have to fabricate some kind of sunscreen for the PX3. Its color display doesn't work too well in direct sunlight.

    Also, Elecraft made no provisions for powering the PX3 from the KX3. You have to build or buy some kind of Y-cable to power both from the same source. Pro-Audio Engineering has a very short one, which works with the KX3/PX3 positioned side by side or with the PX3 stacked above. If you need a power splitter, that may meet your needs.

    You are probably aware that the KX3 can do a primitive scrolling display of PSK31 in the secondary display area (VFO B) and you can send PSK31 from the internal keyer. But it is not as easy to use as either the PX3 with a keyboard or a netbook running the KX3 Utility program in terminal mode.
  4. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Dean, Tnx for reply. Yes, I plan to make up a split DC cable. I was surprised at how little current the PX-3 requires.
    I can't use a bug yet so the keyboard will be they way to go for me. I received the roll-up keybd in yesterday's post.
    Maybe a plastic mini keybd will work better than this rubber one which I have yet to experience using.
    It requires a hard surface under it so there goes any handheld or on lap keying unless I tack it to a clipboard.
  5. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    While this one isn't on the "Elecraft approved keyboard list", it works fine with the PX3 and it was only $17 -

    I heard someone yesterday on 80m at around 20 wpm, which is just a little too fast for me at this point. So, I tried out the KX3's CW decode feature and found out it isn't very good at handling a bug. (What I clearly heard as a K would occasionally show as TA, for example.)

    As PSK31 and RTTY timing are more uniform, the KX3 decodes them better. I monitored a few RTTY QSO's during a recent contest and this feature does work. I haven't found any PSK31, yet.

    I was surprised that the KX3 doesn't try to decode an external key, whether it is a hand key, bug or external keyer. It only decodes its internal keyer in the transmit direction.

    I'm planning to get active in SKCC, but I normally use paddles. I plan to start off with a straight key for one of their events, or switch to one if I'm given a SKCC number during the QSO. I have the paddles and straight key connected in parallel to avoid plug/unplug on the rather congested side panel.

    The KX3 requires a menu setting to turn off the internal keyer and use a straight key, but one of the PF keys can be set to bring this up and then a spin of the VFO A knob either L or R sets Tip=DOT or HAND. I guess those who use an external keyer can just leave the KX3 set to HAND.

    I'm using an external 7.5 Ah SLA battery to power my KX3 on a picnic table. So far, I have not taken the PX3 to the field. Maybe next summer I will have to try that.
  6. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    The decoder does pretty good but you have to tweek it from reading well on one fist/speed to another I've found.
    Sometimes adjusting to the point of it reading needs to be adjusted a tad more.
    So it's not a set it and forget it adjustment, at least for me.
    Also, speed dither and mistakes/bad habits of the sender will definitely throw it a curve.
    What about those who always send E-N instead of R? It'd could never read that as an R!
    K is also wrongly sent by the hacks or 'swingers' as T-A so don't blame the equipment yet.
    I'd suggest practice adjusting for W1AW code bulletins to get a real handle on it @ 18wpm.
    Not sure if your use of a paddle would disqualify the other party in claiming an SKCC exchange.
    Pretty sure it would disqualify you from claiming the exchange for your personal points tho.
    The PSK frequencies I've found listed are active day or night even on 160.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  7. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    Bezos has enough money.
    I'm not supporting him or his flawed business model anymore.
    I've kicked the Amazon habit after learning about his laborers needing to rely on food stamps to get by.
    Area shops are still a very good thing and they need our local money.
    Perhaps if he ever pays his help a living wage instead of hoarding more $ than any one man needs I'll change back.
    Proud To Be Union.
    IBEW Local 784.
    KV4PD likes this.
  8. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The only adjustment I can find, other than tight filtering, is the threshold. There is no "speed range" like CWGet has. I don't believe I'm blaming the equipment, just realizing it isn't as good as what's between my ears. And the decode feature wasn't a selling point, for me.

    My SKCC plan is to use a straight key, exclusively, for all of their events. No keyer memories, all hand-generated Morse. However, I understand if I hear a call with an SKCC number, it is OK to switch to a straight key and try to answer them.

    If my understanding of this is incorrect, I am more than willing to learn how to do it right.
  9. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sounds like you have it right. Don't be too discouraged about the reader not getting it right everytime, mine does not either.
    I did finally copy PSK-31 the other day. Must be it's not as popular as it once was... (?)
    FB on the straight key. I use a J-36 bug with the bug's legs tied.

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