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Friday, December 30, 2011

Elecraft KX3 On Order

It's winter here and I'm already thinking about spring!

After 10 years I'm retiring my faithful K1 for a brand new Elecraft KX3. See http://www.elecraft.com/KX3/kx3.htm for the details.

I'm excited. The KX3 It covers all amateur bands, 160-6 meters, operates phone, data and CW, and it is software defined and DSP-based. It will allow me to do digital/PSK31 from the picnic table without an attached computer and the the receiver looks like it should be great.

The first thing on my list was the ATU. With it I should be able to easily load into my favorite end fed half wave antenna. Next was the roofing filter. QRM can always pop up. I ordered the KX3 assembled to make certain everything was aligned right and that it worked straight out of the box. Why the mic? The rig supports CW, phone and data. This will allow me to try a little QRP phone operating, especially if demoing the rig.

Unfortunately the estimated ship date is almost two months away. I'll have to wait.

Monday, December 12, 2011

AWA Bruce Kelley Memorial CW QSO Party

The last two weekends I operated in the AWA Bruce Kelley 1929 QSO Party. This is always a great time to get an early rig on the air and work others doing the same.

On the first weekend I operated as K5CF from Poteau, OK using Vance's type TNT transmitter running about 6 watts using a single type 10 tube. While I heard W0LS, KB0RON, N8YE and KB0MM fairly well I could never get a response to my calls. Power out looked OK so Vance's Gap Titan DX vertical on 80 may have been the problem.

This past weekend I was back in Rochester, MN using my Hartley transmitter to make ten contacts. This event allows any receiver to be used. This year I used my 1941 simple superhet. I have only a fairly low end fed wire antenna and my contacts reflected this. Seven were right here in MN, two were in OH and one "DX" contact was in SC.

What might I change? The antenna is always an issue. I have a 29' base loaded vertical this winter but the recent snow seems to have detuned it. I'll need to check it out before the LC CW Contest in January.