Elecraft broke the news yesterday that a new 160m-6m rig will be debuted at Dayton this year. Here is some information that I've been able to obtain; more will follow:
The KX3 has QRP roots, but can also be a full-throated 100W transceiver with a QRP use case. It's a lineal, though not direct descendant of the K3. It has similar RX
characteristics as the K3, but with cut-down controls. It uses the K3 display, but has more integrated housing contents, and is also battery-powered!
The basic model is 160-6m, 10W TX
, all modes. 100W is achieved with an external PA, designed to be floor or bulkhead mounted.
The receiver achieves most of the characteristics of the K3, but has fewer roofing filter options. Basically, these would come out to CW, Data, SSB
, and Wide (AM
The size can be considered almost handheld at 1.5 x 7 x 2-3 inches.
Typical uses could be on the picnic table, mobile, biking, hiking (on the go), or a base station. It has a BNC antenna hard-set into the housing, so whip or telescoping antennas could be used, as well as any coaxial feedline. It is battery-powered with custom pack (Li-Poly) or could use AA batteries as an emergency supply. It has a recharger built in with a battery type selector switch. MIC/PTT, key, power, phones connectors are on the left side, BNC is on the right.
The KX3 re-uses the K3 LCD and most of the annunciations are used, but not all. It has a built-in speaker with enough acoustic output to use anywhere.
Ergonomics for the KX3 are similar to K3 but could be considered to be a little more compressed. There will be a transport case, vehicle mount, and microphone accessories; some of these may come with the unit at purchase. There is also a removable built-in paddle for CW.
The target audience for the KX3 is fairly broad. First is the "starter" market as a base rig, then there's the mobile market as a 100W unit, and the RFPack market for bikers, sportsmen, and hikers. It have broad appeal and with this size it will give all of the QRP competition a run for their money, especially when you factor in K3 like RX
sensitivity, IMD, etc.
Currently there is only complete speculation on pricing, but estimates of a sticker price under $1000 have rumored. Obviously we won't know for sure until the unit is released for sale, which may happen before year end. *edit: Direct word from Dayton 2011 Hamvention is that the base price will be around $700.
Hopefully more information will be forthcoming!