Antenna switch

I played in the 80 Meter QRP Foxhunt tonight and was quite successful. I ended up bagging both pelts, but it was a close call.

Jim N0UR in MN was first in the bag and was pretty easy. He was using the “standard” 1 kHz “up” split and it was just a matter of working him.

Ray K9XE in IL was another matter. Ray was loud, but was buried under some even louder local QRN. I wasn’t getting a feel for hearing Ray, no matter how I adjusted the K3. With time running out, I decided to switch on over to the KX3. Both radios are new to me, but over the past few months I have acquainted myself with the KX3 just a bit more.

In a matter of minutes, using the Dual Watch feature, and by adjusting the passband tuning, I was able to isolate Ray’s signal. I was also able to determine his split via Dual Watch, as mentioned before, and nabbed his fur with six minutes to go.

There are various reasons that I prefer the K3 as my main station rig. One of the best features, for me, is the built in antenna switch. I can switch between the vertical and the wires in an instant, and use whichever antenna is best suited for the job.

The KX3 only has the single antenna input. To switch between all my antennas, I will have to acquire a better antenna switch than what I currently have. I am thinking of perhaps a Daiwa or a Diamond. In the past, I had been using a no name, bargain brand switch with my K2. Quite by accident, I had found out that when I removed my Butternut from the antenna switch, and connected the vertical directly, the difference was like night and day. Due to the poor quality of that particular switch, it was as if I had an attenuator in line. Needless to say, that switch got tossed. The remaining one that I am using now, is better quality but only has two positions – I need at least three.

I think a Diamond or Daiwa will do a better job and will allow me to use the KX3 more often from the shack. It’s a great rig for Fox hunting!

73 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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