KX3 testing

What a great way to start out the 2013 Portable Radio Season

Well it was sunny and warm…  Warm being the relative term…  It was around -8 deg c  in the sun if you were out of the wind…  Recently Jose VA3PCJ and myself have had to cancel our plans for an RF outing for many reasons but most of them were weather related so we figured that it would not get much better than this…

One thing we did find out is that our favourite operating location at the Mer Blue Swamp was swamped…  It seems many more people snowshoe and Cross Country Ski than just walk the nature trails…  The parking lot was packed and we ended going back into town and setting up in a public school parking lot… 


Photo courtesy VA3PCJ

This worked out fairly well with the snowbanks ( about 6 feet high approx) giving us a reasonable wind break from the south and east.  There were houses to the north of us  and we were open to the west where we got the most benefit from the sun which made the operating tolerable.


The rig of the day was the Elecraft KX3 along with the Par end fed QRP antenna.


Photo courtesy VA3PCJ

This is the 10-20-40m qrp version but it will work on 12-15-17m with the excellent auto tuner in the KX3.  The antenna today was in a vertical configuration as we were using the 43 foot telescopic pole that normally supports the S9 vertical that Jose would be using.  It supported the Par just as well…


After getting everything set up I made a contact with Shawn VE3PSV who lives in Cambridge Ontario on 7.055 ssb which is the frequency (as you know from earlier posts) for the Trans Provincial Net.    The second contact was made with Nick VE3NJG on 7.055 who lives in London Ontario.  Concidering where I was and the fact I was running 5w into a vertical I was very pleased with the reports…

I then QSY’d over to 14.342.5 usb and started calling CQ on the HF Pack calling frequency and got an immediate response from W0MNA   in Leavenworth Kansas who also was using a KX3.  Gary also had a  FT 817 and so we had a qreat QSO discussing the pros and cons of both rigs.  Discussions aside this was also a QRP to QRP ssb QSO of a distance of just over 1000 miles or 1600 kms.  Not too bad for a day with not the best band conditons…

My second contact was with a Florida station whose call I got written down wrong .  He was a solid S5 and was also a QRP Station.  I could of sworn I had the call right but… Not according to QRZ.com at least.  Its been a while since I have done any portable logging in the cold.  Guess I just found another thing to work on…

We also heard WB4GCF on 17m and W7KDL on 10m but the conditions were not the best and all I can give them is a SWL report as we could not make the contacts.

About an hour after we started setting up the sun started to drop and with the temps quickly dropped and so we packed up and headed back home…


So far after 3 test drives I can only say good things about the KX3.  Great Filtering and no one has complained about my audio so far…  Thinking this might become part of my shack before the summer…  I am a bit concerned about the minor issues with the quality of the audio from the internal speaker.  I am hoping this is a fixable issue.  Its not a deal breaker but it is annoying…


On another topic for a second…   It seems that LoTW is getting back up to speed again.  I now have 102 confirmed DXCC out of 147 claimed in the log.  The only missing QSOs for me are the ones I made on December 29th when I was giving out contacts in the RAC Canada Winter Contest.  Still wish my remaining 9 states (which are in the log) would confirm so I could apply for my WAS at the same time that I apply for my Mixed DXCC.


Its been a while since I had a chance to get out and play radio…  Although I almost froze…

I guess its time I got used to Winter Operating again…It  was fun and also good practice for the upcoming SPAR Winter Field Day


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One Response to “KX3 testing”

  1. Giving the FT817 some fresh air « VA3QV's Weblog Says:

    […] Today was a 817 day as the KX3 seemed to be hearing everyone but was having issues making any contacts…  Loop VS End fed I guess and the End Fed won or…  Murphy was visiting the KX3 today…  We will be looking at this again as we know the loop works but something … dunno what was not working properly as the KX3 could not make a contact and last weekend I made lots of contacts with the same radio… […]

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