Elecraft: KX3 + PX3

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N4GIX

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Well I just managed to score a pristine KX3 on eBay for $1400, and will likely win the bidding for a new Panadapter PX3 for another $400. I hope I made a wise purchase:
S/N 5378 was bought brand new by me and has never been in the field. Everything with this radio was factory assembled except for the heat sink and side plates which I installed. I have used it exclusively for digital modes and it served as my base station. It is in perfect condition and everything works correctly. I also purchased the Elecraft KX3 paddles and the Nifty desk stand. It has all filter, a charger and clock. I am a non-smoker and this radio is in excellent condition. I am also including the power cord and the original Elecraft shipping box.Also included is Fred Cady's "The Elecraft KX3 Portable"220 page booklet. It has also had the factory "KX3 VFO Temperature Compensation" procedure done to reduce VFO errors in digital mode.
 

prcguy

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Believe it or not the Elecraft KX3 is near the top of the list of receivers tested for tough contest grade performance. Its also got very loud and punchy transmit audio, people will think you are running 100w when its only 10w.

If you get the great PX3 panadapter, make sure you get all the factory cables and go through the amplitude and phase alignment on the PX3 to get the most performance with the radio.

I have some good tx eq settings for the radio, PM me if interested.
prcguy
 

N4GIX

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Believe it or not the Elecraft KX3 is near the top of the list of receivers tested for tough contest grade performance. Its also got very loud and punchy transmit audio, people will think you are running 100w when its only 10w.

If you get the great PX3 panadapter, make sure you get all the factory cables and go through the amplitude and phase alignment on the PX3 to get the most performance with the radio.

I have some good tx eq settings for the radio, PM me if interested.
prcguy
Thanks! I've heard some great things about them, and having looked at even the "kit" prices, they are quite literally 'out of this world' of my financial reality at least.

Oh yes, I just won and paid for the PX3 ($400):
This is the Elecraft Panadapter that goes with the KX3 transceiver. It was factory assembled and is very useful for finding CW signals and includes features such as high resolution color display 2-200 KHZ span, fast sweep rates and 8 programmable keys for quick setup. A very nice compliment to the Elecraft KX3 transceiver. It also includes the cord to go to the KX3 and the original Elecraft shipping box. This unit has had very little use as I have started doing digital almost exclusively and do not need a panadapter. So, it is in excellent condition.
One of the chief reason I wanted this is because of its portability. I live in a horribly RF noisy area, so will likely spend most of my time in a public park where I can have a reasonable chance to at least hear my contacts! Of course it's also possible that with the filters installed it may well work better than my FT-847 did.
 

wrath

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The KX3 is a sweet little rig , you can put it in a nice break case with a multiband antenna and power and work QRP from really weird places , congratulations on an awesome purchase , enjoy that bada $$ little radio .

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prcguy

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If your new KX3 and PX3 did not come with the optional side handles and Lexan covers, I would highly recommend them. The handles will save an expensive trip to the factory if you drop the radio on its face and the Lexan cover should withstand a shot from a high power pellet gun to the radio face. Here is where to get them: https://gemsproducts.com/
prcguy
 

prcguy

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The KX3 will leave an FT-847 completely in the dust in receiver performance.
prcguy



Thanks! I've heard some great things about them, and having looked at even the "kit" prices, they are quite literally 'out of this world' of my financial reality at least.

Oh yes, I just won and paid for the PX3 ($400):

One of the chief reason I wanted this is because of its portability. I live in a horribly RF noisy area, so will likely spend most of my time in a public park where I can have a reasonable chance to at least hear my contacts! Of course it's also possible that with the filters installed it may well work better than my FT-847 did.
 

N4GIX

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If your new KX3 and PX3 did not come with the optional side handles and Lexan covers, I would highly recommend them. The handles will save an expensive trip to the factory if you drop the radio on its face and the Lexan cover should withstand a shot from a high power pellet gun to the radio face. Here is where to get them: https://gemsproducts.com/
prcguy
From the description in the first post, those have been installed already. I've already determined however that the major week point is the internal battery holder and the questionable wiring thereof. I just read a horror story about a ham who discovered that the rechargeable batteries exploded inside the KX3 and Elecraft stated that the radio was completely trashed... then refused to honor their warranty because, fine print...

I will either beef up the wiring (and find a way to better route them) or remove the battery holder and simply use external battery power.

I've also read that their mic leaves a lot to be desired, so I'll be looking for a better 3rd party mic for it.
 

prcguy

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Why think small like the park when you can have your own radio island. Here is one of my favorite videos of an Elecraft in use, although this is the smaller KX2. But it must be nice to have your own private ham radio island with a tiny Elecraft rig. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rumdRbqLI00
prcguy


One of the chief reason I wanted this is because of its portability. I live in a horribly RF noisy area, so will likely spend most of my time in a public park where I can have a reasonable chance to at least hear my contacts! Of course it's also possible that with the filters installed it may well work better than my FT-847 did.
 

prcguy

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I've run AA Eneloop batteries in my KX3 but prefer external power from a LiFePO4 12V7 pack. I find the stock hand mic to have very good audio and its plenty rugged. The radio will benefit from some transmit EQ and compression settings where it will talk to just about anything it can hear.

Elecraft has the best service and warranty in the business. I've been on an Elecraft related forum asking questions about odd behavior of my radio and Elecraft looked me up in the forum, found my name, found my phone # and called me to get more info about the problem. They then gave me suggestions on testing and we found I had damaged my K3 by feeding too much power into its receiver from running full legal limit on an antenna very close to the one my K3 was on. I've had several instances where Elecraft seeked me out to find a resolution to my radio problems. Nobody else in the business goes to that extent for its customers.
prcguy


From the description in the first post, those have been installed already. I've already determined however that the major week point is the internal battery holder and the questionable wiring thereof. I just read a horror story about a ham who discovered that the rechargeable batteries exploded inside the KX3 and Elecraft stated that the radio was completely trashed... then refused to honor their warranty because, fine print...

I will either beef up the wiring (and find a way to better route them) or remove the battery holder and simply use external battery power.

I've also read that their mic leaves a lot to be desired, so I'll be looking for a better 3rd party mic for it.
 

N4GIX

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Okay, tomorrow I'll go ahead and order the stock mic from Elecraft. If necessary, Bob Nagy (AB5N) has a nifty upgrade for the stock mic that gives a warmer tone with less 'echo chamber' to the audio. http://www.7000mic.com/

I'll wait until I get delivery and can check, but I don't believe he ordered the automatic tuner, so that will be yet another "must have" since I'm forced to use "random wire in a tree" for the most part.
 

prcguy

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Interesting on the mic upgrade, I've got a drawer full of electret capsules and they are probably better than what's used in these amateur mics. But I worked with a couple of local friends who know my voice real well and they helped me use the built in 8 band equalizer in my K3, KX2 and KX3, where I'm told these radios sound just like me but through a loud bull horn. I can send you my eq files to play with and you might find you don't need to change any mic parts.

The tuner is a must but my go to antenna for the KX2 and KX3 is a 40, 20, 15 and 10m end fed that usually doesn't need a tuner. Its 63ft long and rolls up into a plastic chalk line reel from Home Depot. I also use an RG-174 type minature coax feedline so the whole antenna system is very small and lightweight. It also performs like a full size dipole on 40m and has some gain lobes on the higher bands. Its basically a home made 100w version of the PAR 4 band trail end fed.

With this type of antenna you can use bare stranded wire and spool out the entire length for a resonant 40, 20, 15 and 10m horizontal. Or for just 17m you can spool out about 26ft of wire and hang it vertically or for 10m spool out about 17ft. Any half wavelength of wire from about 5Mhz on up will match great and will also resonate on various harmonics of the fundamental length.
prcguy

Okay, tomorrow I'll go ahead and order the stock mic from Elecraft. If necessary, Bob Nagy (AB5N) has a nifty upgrade for the stock mic that gives a warmer tone with less 'echo chamber' to the audio. http://www.7000mic.com/

I'll wait until I get delivery and can check, but I don't believe he ordered the automatic tuner, so that will be yet another "must have" since I'm forced to use "random wire in a tree" for the most part.
 
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wrath

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Well, I'm sixty-eight already, so figure I may as well spend the money now so I can hopefully get a few years use from this gear... :D
Hams age differently than most folks , in ham years your only as old as your newest Radio! So happy birthday!

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N4GIX

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I went back and reread the posted description and learned that the automatic tuner option was installed at the factory, so that's one less item to purchase. :)

I'm anxious for Monday now, since that's the day of expected delivery!
 

N4GIX

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I've heard and read about Elecraft's approach to customer care, but experienced it first hand today.

Yesterday evening I placed an order for the microphone for the KX3 I bought, and today Elecraft called me to make certain I had ordered the right item...

...since they could find no record of me having bought anything from them before, much less a KX3! I joked with the young lady that "...perhaps they had thought I was confused thinking their microphone would work for my Icom or Kenwood."

Astonishingly, she replied "Well, it probably would work with your Kenwood since the pin outs are the same." :eek:

Anyway, I told her that I'd bought serial #5378 from a gentleman on eBay and she said that was one of their more recent serial numbers, and that I'd gotten a terrific deal!
 

prcguy

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I've brought up questions about unusual behavior with one of my Elecrafts and after a few emails with customer service they handed me off to one of the owners of the company to discuss technical details. You will not find better customer service than Elecraft anywhere. They have also sent me an internal assembly to one of their amplifiers to swap out and test to avoid me having to send my equipment in.
prcguy

I've heard and read about Elecraft's approach to customer care, but experienced it first hand today.

Yesterday evening I placed an order for the microphone for the KX3 I bought, and today Elecraft called me to make certain I had ordered the right item...

...since they could find no record of me having bought anything from them before, much less a KX3! I joked with the young lady that "...perhaps they had thought I was confused thinking their microphone would work for my Icom or Kenwood."

Astonishingly, she replied "Well, it probably would work with your Kenwood since the pin outs are the same." :eek:

Anyway, I told her that I'd bought serial #5378 from a gentleman on eBay and she said that was one of their more recent serial numbers, and that I'd gotten a terrific deal!
 

N5TWB

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All these accolades for the KX-3 sure have me hoping to win the one in our hamfest drawing next month.
 

KB7ZZG

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The tuner is a must but my go to antenna for the KX2 and KX3 is a 40, 20, 15 and 10m end fed that usually doesn't need a tuner. Its 63ft long and rolls up into a plastic chalk line reel from Home Depot. I also use an RG-174 type minature coax feedline so the whole antenna system is very small and lightweight. It also performs like a full size dipole on 40m and has some gain lobes on the higher bands. Its basically a home made 100w version of the PAR 4 band trail end fed.

With this type of antenna you can use bare stranded wire and spool out the entire length for a resonant 40, 20, 15 and 10m horizontal. Or for just 17m you can spool out about 26ft of wire and hang it vertically or for 10m spool out about 17ft. Any half wavelength of wire from about 5Mhz on up will match great and will also resonate on various harmonics of the fundamental length.
prcguy
I'd like to know more about your chalk line antenna. Thanks!
 
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