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KX3 On The Way!

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by AC9SF, Sep 8, 2018.

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  1. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My KX3 showed up, too. Very nice piece of kit, to borrow an expression from across the pond.

    One of the somewhat amusing things I learned was that there is a status LED for the internal battery charger which is visible through one of the mounting holes for the KXPD3 (!). I don't think this is something you need to see for routine operating, but you can check it for error codes or if you are curious about what the battery charger is doing.

    Also, the default CW WGHT is set to 1.25, so I set it to what I believe is "standard Morse" or 1.00. I'm probably too green to understand why nonstandard Morse timing is good, but I do know other keyers make this setting adjustable.

    As the KX3 only has one key input (well, unless you do something with the KXPD3 connector), the operator has to toggle a menu value to change from the internal keyer to a straight key. After assigning the menu item to PF1 or 2, this just takes a button press, a knob twist and another button tap to jump from TIP=DOT to HAND, so it isn't too bad if you hear a SKCC member and want to quickly switch to your straight key. (And, of course, you have to have both keys connected in parallel if you want to eliminate fooling around with plug/unplug.)

    Also, there is the nifty KX3 Utility program which provides for writing and loading KX3 macros, in addition to being a bare-bones CW/PSK/RTTY terminal. I believe it will be possible to write a macro which would set HAND with one press of PF1.

    The menu is a lot easier to use on an actual KX3 than I thought it would be by reading the manual ahead of time. Kudos to Elecraft. I'm looking forward to using this for many years.
    WW2PT likes this.
  2. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most of the menu settings on Elecraft rigs are of the “set-and-forget” variety. (Does one really need dedicated front panel controls to set AGC rise time and and Iambic A/B keying?) On my KX2, there are a couple of menu settings that I do tweak regularly, RF Gain and XIT chief among them. For these, I just use the PF functions to access them easily.
    KU3X likes this.
  3. MI6OTW

    MI6OTW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello all .I'm planning on getting a KX3 within the next couple of weeks and was wondering if the rig needs extra filters for CW . I mainly use cw and at the moment have a 500hz filter in a ft817nd that I couldn't do without .
    Note my current call is 2i0otw thanks in advance
  4. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    As I understand things, the optional roofing filters improve operating in crowded band conditions by rejecting strong nearby signals which might interfere with weaker ones.

    A quote from the Elecraft Reflector:

    These filters are ahead of the DSP at baseband. They protect the ADC from overload and should result in better Blocking Dynamic Range (BDR), which has been a weakness of most SDRs.

    Note that if you add the roofing filters later, you have to do some calibration.

    The KX3 has an adjustable DSP passband, which can be set as low as 50 Hz for CW mode, so it will work for CW without the roofing filters. Just not as well if there are strong signals near the weak one you are trying to work.
    KU3X likes this.
  5. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are getting a top of the line QRP radio. Do yourself a favor, "Get the dual pass band filters" when you order the radio. I feel they are well worth it. I have them in mine.

    I also think the tuner is important. I only use resonant antennas, but from time to time, when I set up portable, even with my resonant antennas I can run into a minor SWR issue. As for the on board battery option. All those batteries are good for is keeping the clock on time. You can only make a few Q's with the internal batteries. I do have the clock / battery charger option in mine, but I ALWAYS use an external LiPo battery.

    Barry, KU3X/QRP
    WW2PT likes this.
  6. MI6OTW

    MI6OTW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you very much for the replies regarding the filters. I have now made my mind up to order both the filter and atu with the radio and will hopefully be ordering them soon .Christmas will be early this year
  7. MI6OTW

    MI6OTW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Kx3 arrived mid week pre built with atu and filter options installed. Really impressed so far, apart from the built-in speaker which for a radio this price should be much better. Using ear buds and a extension speaker I purchased years ago for another radio. Might purchase a good quality headphone but for now I'm getting to grips with the menu functions and like a kid with a new toy . Have made a few contacts on cw and now have the option of twice the power of my ft817. I'm glad I got the kx3.
    WW2PT likes this.
  8. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Elecraft manual for the KX3 says the internal speaker is intended for a quiet environment. I agree that it is marginal.

    You can get a pretty good pair of speakers from West Mountain Radio, which are supposed to be RFI immune, for $40 -

    I usually use headphones, which offer better audio than the internal speaker and also block out other noises. However, they weigh more than the radio so I use ear buds in the field.
    WW2PT likes this.
  9. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I’m not crazy about the KX2’s speaker, and folks who own both radios claim it’s better than the KX3’s. Built-in speakers are always a compromise, even on most big rigs. They almost always point in the wrong direction, they are by necessity small in size, and frankly shouldn’t be used except as a last resort. I’m pretty sure every radio I’ve owned that was made prior to the 1980’s didn’t even have a built-in, not even the old boat anchor receivers which actually had room for one.
  10. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Congrats! I would just like to have that receiver. I dont need any more power.

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