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Breaking news from Elecraft - New KX3 mobile/portable HF rig!

Discussion in 'Ham Equipment' started by Moleculo, May 19, 2011.

  1. Moleculo Administrator Staff Member

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    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 and TX 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/FM)

    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!


     
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  2. Robb Yup

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    I suspect you are considering changing out the radio in your Jeep with this new Elecraft?
    Sounds logical.

    Is it a kit - too; or fully assembled?

    Elecraft gonna send you one to review?

    Does it have a USB port to allow expanded controls for use as a base?
     
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  3. EDUK8TR Administrator

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    Let us know how the review of this rig goes.
     
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  4. TonyV225 Supporting Member

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    It seems all the manufactures are crawling out of the woodwork with surprises lately (y)
     
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  5. Moleculo Administrator Staff Member

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    We'll have to see about changing out the mobile rig. One nice thing about the Icom 7000 is that it also has 2m/440. From what I've been told, there are no plans to include 2m/440 in the KX3, although I'm sure things can change. I have some serious doubts that Elecraft will send the site one for review - that hasn't been their M.O. in the past. I'll probably have to wait to review it until I purchase one. That's what all the site advertising helps pay for, anyway. I'll find out what I can about PC interfaces.
     
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  6. N0NB Active Member

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    Hopefully someone will get some pics posted later today. I'm interested in seeing what it looks like even though I probably don't have the motivation at this time to own one.
     
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  7. MrSuburban Guest

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    Ok can i buy your scraps?
     
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  8. Moleculo Administrator Staff Member

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    A little bit of more information:

    The PC interface is a 3.5mm stereo serial interface, similar in design to several other rigs.

    Wayne from Elecraft also mentioned that, "The MOSFET 10-W amp stage includes an output transformer with both 1:4 and 1:1 windings. When using low power, or when running from internal batteries, the 1:1 winding is used, which optimizes efficiency at
    about 5 W, greatly reducing transmit current drain. The 1:4 winding is
    used when running higher power (using an external supply)."

    The radio itself weighs 1.5 pounds and puts out 10+ watts. To achieve 100 watts, the radio actually uses a separate 100 watt amp, which will also have an antenna tuner built in (might be an option). The amplifier will work with any QRP radio. (like the Yaesu FT-817, for example).
     
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  9. Moleculo Administrator Staff Member

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    #9
  10. RatsoW8 Supporting Member

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    Very unique concept and I'm sure it's well engineered like all their stuff. When I first looked at the pictures the first thing that I noticed was the fixed display. Wonder why they didn't design it to tilt up slightly?
     
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  11. Moleculo Administrator Staff Member

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    Note the pricing edit in the original post - price around $700!
     
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  12. N0NB Active Member

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    There is a video about 10 minutes in length accessible from QRP ARCI (actually on YouTube). As for the fixed display the entire unit has retractable legs so it will sit at an angle on a picnic table and such. Wayne demonstrates the legs. Also a mobile bracket is in the works that will mate to various RAM Mount accessories.
     
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  13. Happy_Hamer Administrator Staff Member

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    I think they dropped the ball, with no VHF/UHF option.

    ICOM dropped the ball on the 703 with no VHF/UHF and now it is discontinued,,,,,,,,

    The 817 still hammers forward

    Just sayin
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
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  14. AudioShockwav Extraterrestrial Admin Staff Member

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    Bump.


    73
    Jeff
     
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  15. N0NB Active Member

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    In this thread (third reply) Lyle KK7P states the KX3 was used to activate a summit for Summits On The Air. He said the rig being an engineering prototype has its warts but all the operators who used it are enthusiastic about it.
     
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: elecraft kx3

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