KXPA100 versus other options

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KJ5T, Apr 6, 2020.

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  1. KJ5T

    KJ5T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am starting this thread at the risk of repeating stuff from other threads. I will note the usual other threads are "is a QRP radio a good choice for a beginner" or a beginner asking "Should I buy an amp for my QRP rig" or "What budget amp should I get for my QRP rig". This thread is a slightly different direction.

    This past weekend I decided to play in the in the SSB Sprint contest, I decided to operate with my FT-857D instead of going QRP. I ran 50 watts with the 857D into a hamstick dipole on the balcony. Being in an apartment and knowing that things aren't grounded like they probably should be I don't want to run too much power and draw attention from neighbors.

    Anyways back on point, and I will try to avoid the long winded stories. The tl;dr version is I like the KX2 and even pushing 50-75 watts would be nice at times. I absolutely do not need the KXPA100 or any amplifier and I probably am not going to rush out and spend the money. I am just curious to hear thoughts from the crowd, especially those who may have experience with "QRP Amps"

    The KXPA100 is of course the appliance operators choice who has the money. It costs more than the KX2 loaded but if you get the assembled version it is as plug and play as they come. Even the kit doesn't look hard (no soldering) but heck for $60 more why not get it factory built?

    Then there is the XPA-125B, more reasonably priced. It is designed to be paired with the X5105. Part of me kind of wants to get my hands on the combination for some operating, wonder how much of the price I could recoup say with a month of use. A very quick Google search did not reveal anyone pairing this amp with the Elecraft KX2/KX3. Maybe less "plug and play" but I don't see why it wouldn't be feasible.

    There is also the Hard Rock-50 kit. For hams that are capable of building a kit it is the way to go, at $557 "loaded" for the KX2/KX3. Of course you also have to build it. Add another $40 if you want premade coils. For us appliance operators it isn't the best choice. I only have a solder gun that isn't the right tool for the through-hole soldering, in theory I could borrow my friend's soldering station and obviously do some practice runs with maybe some cheap through-hole kits that are out there. I can do through-hole soldering it has just been a long time. I always had the issue of using TOO much solder.

    There are tons of kits out there on ebay, people link to them from time to time. Feel free to share experiences about those.

    Maybe I should set a goal, if I get proficient enough to make CW contacts I can treat myself with a new radio or amp (HA!)

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