Trish & Tammy's


Welcome to our KX3 Page

Elecraft KX3

     Our Elecraft KX3 joined our radio family in July of 2013 after getting a chance to see one first hand at a local QRP group meeting.  We'd looked at them online a few times but hands on can be an important aspect.  Hands on answered the first question I had about the radio "What's that thing sticking out of the bottom of the radio?"  Well, it turns out it's a very slick removable iambic keyer .  Other questions such as capabilities usability answered themselves over the next few hours.

It was a tough sell on us as we already had a Yaesu FT-817ND which has treated us well for many years and has in fact been my favorite radio.  The two big points that sold us on the KX3 were they are an American company who does everything they can to source and manufacturer components from the U.S.A.  The second point was that it had been a long time since I'd built a kit and I was looking for something fun to build.  It didn't hurt that one of their employees was at the event and the other owners were raving about Elecraft's support being top notch.

After selling some equipment that we no longer use we placed the order for the KX3 kit.  Right from the beginning Elecraft was on top of their game, even spotting that we requested two day shipping when they knew ground shipping would only take two days.  They reached out to us and refunded the difference, sure enough the kit arrived on the second day :-)

The kit itself is not very complex and requires no soldering.  For reference I do have a strong background in electronics, including spending 8 years in the electronics assembly industry.  The assembly manual is written fairly well however if I had to pick out a single aspect of the build that was a bit challenging it would be selecting the proper screws and standoffs.  The screws and similar bits are packaged in envelopes for the various sections of the build which helps but it can still be easy to choose the wrong fiddly bit.

Being an experienced builder and excited to be working on the project the entire assembly time was about 2 hours for the basic kit and all available internal options.  At this time the 2m module was not yet available.

Our first QSO with our freshly built KX3 happened right after tightening the last screw on the chassis.  We had our Buddipole setup on our deck in an 80m dipole configuration.  Without making any changes to any of the options, simply powering on, tuning in our favorite 80m frequency, and keying up.  The receiving station had no problem picking us up ~600 miles away.  20 miuntes later after setting the menus, mic gain, speech compression, and reconfiguring the Buddipole for 40m the radio had it's second QSO.   Once again we got right in, no problems, this time at around 800 miles.  Our new friend (the KX3) seemed to know the value of first impressions ;-)