Friday, September 30, 2016

KX3 Assembled and Operational

My Elecraft KX3 is built and ready.

I wasn't feeling well this week so I did the work over a few evenings, which was easy to do when you assemble the kit one half at a time. Total it was probably a little over 2 hours from start to finish building it and I would guess I also spent about that much time reading the two manuals (assembly and operations). So all told about 4 hours work between Tuesday and Friday.

I hope if I'm feeling better this weekend I'll get a chance to play with it for a few hours and test out the aftermarket heat sink while doing some digital mode QSO's.

So far my first impressions are that it's smaller than I expected but has more features, both of which make me very happy.

There are a few more official accessories that I would like to add, but I'll need to save some money or put a few of them on my Christmas list for Santa.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Elecraft KX3 Assembly Part One

The KX3 kit and the 3rd party heat sink has arrived. I am very pleased with Elecraft's excellent packaging and documentation.

Special thanks to Fred VE7FMN from Simply Manufacturing for his very well designed and built Cooler KX Plus heat sink. His kit also includes everything needed plus tools.

Over the last two evenings I started the assembly of the KX3, at first I opened and inspected the contents of the kit and got stuff sorted and organized. Elecraft sorts the bits and pieces in the box, but opening and verifying the contents helped when I got started as I knew where everything was and that I had everything needed to complete the build. Elecraft does a great job of sorting the parts into the two halves of the radio so I could unpack the parts needed to complete each half of the build.

Last night I started the build and got the first half of the radio assembled. For me it was a typical assembly where I made a few small errors, found them quickly and then swapped the part for the right one and continued. The display cover was a good OCD moment for me as I tried to remove every bit of dust from between the screen and the clear cover. I knew going forward that would bother me to no end if I could see something in between.

I have started on the back half of the radio and will resume maybe tonight or tomorrow.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Ultimate Explorer Vehicle: Test Driving Bran Ferren's KiraVan

KX3 Accessories

You've got to protect your Elecraft KX3 investment, especially if you plan to take it outdoors and camping. When I ordered my KX3 a few weeks ago I spent a lot of time doing research on 3rd party options to protect my new radio.

For mine I ordered the WINDCAMP Workshop side covers and plastic shield, it's a four piece kit with the following;
  • Extended left side replacement panel
  • Extended right side replacement panel
  • Clear plastic face cover
  • Fabric carrying bag.

I also ordered a Cooler KX Plus from Fred VE7FMN at Simply Manufacturing. I think his heat sinks are a cut above the rest and I enjoy supporting a business here in my own province.

Simply Manufacturing

Friday, September 16, 2016

They're Made Out of Meat

That Radio From My Bucket List - The Elecraft KX3

Elecraft KX3 - Compact Transceiver

I've got a thing for Elecraft... I might as well admit I'm a bit of a fan boy. I've always wanted one and my interest increased when they released the KX3 a few years ago. It was small but rugged, loaded with state of the art features, and I really really wanted one.

This spring Elecraft released the even more compact KX2, but it wasn't just the size that attracted me to the KX3 it was the features, and while the KX2 is smaller and less expensive it just didn't have all the features that I wanted like the KX3.

Elecraft KX2 - Ultra Compact HF Transceiver
About a month ago I started to clean house in the Ham Shack and I was able to sell some extra and duplicate items through Radio Amateur Swap Canada. An older HF radio, a couple tuners, a mobile VHF radio, and a few other odds and ends. I even cleaned up some older PC's under my work bench and sold those as well. Before long the money was adding up and I realized I was getting close to a goal, I finally had made enough to order a KX3. 

One of the great things about Elecraft is that they still build radios in kit form. Their kits are really just assembly kits since all the circuit boards and soldering work is already done. But you can save a hundred dollars or more buying their kit versions and doing that final assembly yourself. It also gives you a better understanding of the radios parts and pieces if you ever want to perform some upgrades down the line. And trust me, I will perform some future upgrades as I can afford them. Most notably the Auto Tuner upgrade, the Dual-Band Roofing Filter, and maybe even the 2m Module to add VHF support as well.

Right now I get to play the waiting game while my kit is shipped from California. Fingers crossed it gets here safe, secure, and fast (hi hi). Until then I have the manuals to read.


Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Root Canal X-Ray

After more than two weeks and 4 trips to the dentist chair I think we're done (crossed fingers).

Another 'new' experience that I'm not eager to repeat the dreaded Root Canal.

Thanks to my Dentist Dr. Dale (VE7OWE, what a great callsign for a dentist!) and Dr Leung the Endodontist.