I don’t think so

In my e-mail box was a special announcement from Elecraft. Today they announced they were taking orders for the KXPA100 amplifier for the KX3, and the KXAT100, the auto tuner for the amp.

The amp is $700 and the tuner is another $300.

At this point, I don’t think these are in the cards for me, for a couple of reasons.

1) Price – I just don’t have an extra thousand bucks laying around. Of course, I could always part ways with something, like my K3, but I’m not too crazy with that idea.  I bought it soon after my Mom passed, so it holds a lot of sentimental value.

2) Practicality – I like the idea of having two rigs. My K3 and my KX3 are mutual backups. If something were to happen to one, I still have the other. If I were to sell the K3 in order purchase the KXPA100 and the KXAT100, I would no longer have a backup. I also like having a main station rig and a dedicated portable rig.

3) Personal – I need to be happy with what I have and not always be on the lookout for “more”. I am very fortunate to have what I already own, and while it may be less than some, it’s still a lot more than even others. I need to enjoy what I have and get off the “consumer hamster wheel” of always wanting more.

72 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].

9 Responses to “I don’t think so”

  • hb9lcf:

    wise thougths larry!
    i just have “one” rig – the kx3 and i use it just for everything. but there are a lot of occasions i’ld like some more power…

    but i’ll also not bay now the new amp – will wait for some feedback of other hams. but if it’s a good choice… who knows?

  • N5TGL Michael:

    $1,000 for an amp + autotuner is a joke. $700 for a 100w amp is also a joke. Way, way, way overpriced.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    I have been tracking this AMP+ATU combo for a while and commented on the price before they actually released it. The Amp+ATU features are typical Elecraft. Outstanding from what I can see. The combo is primed for not only the KX3, but the FT-817, IC-703 and many other radios. But my feeling is at a $1000+ dollars for 100 watts they shot themselves in the foot. At $550 to $650 for this small wonder of a amp/atu I think they would sell many thousands with no effort for years to come. At $1000+ we have a DUH moment about to happen. Time will tell. I would like it and the 2 meter option to round off the KX3. Someday I might pick up a realistically priced used one. But if someone really needs a 100 watt option then there are cheaper ways, including a used radio, Amps from Italy, and other places. Not so great, but they work, are on the air everyday and lot less $$$ to shell out. I do know from the Yahoo group a number of people pre-ordered. Must be nice to have deep pockets. My 2 cents…

  • k8gu:

    There is nothing unexpected about the pricing of this combo if you look at the K3 PA and ATU options. I was not interested when I saw the first engineering models. Forget cost, it’s too big. #3 is the best reason not to buy, though…

  • Ron W0EAX:

    Cost wise, a person could purchase an Icom IC-7000 and have 1.5 to 100 watts output, 160 tthrough 440 for a lot less than the KX3, Amp and ant. tuner. IC-7000, bigger, consumes more power more frequices, less money

    Ron W0EAX

  • John Mann-KK4ITN:

    So happy with my TS-140s and power supply. Thats my base. For mobile I use the same radio in the truck. For camping the same radio. Paid $275 and built the power supply. Econo keyer + new 9v battery + my vibroplex and buddies I am in HOG HEAVEN.
    The price market is what ever it will bear. Right now Elecraft is bearing down real hard.
    In my day Collins was the big dog – But my HW-101 got threw just fine.
    Now the fad is work the world from your pocket while you are climbing the top of the world.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Did a little fast research. Assuming you have KX3 (if not I HIGHLY recommend getting one) and also want 100 watts consider this. For $1000 or less you can get a new FT-450D, IC-718, IC-7200, IC-7000, TS-480SAT or FT-897D. Used even less. If you are QRP the radio PS, battery life and running time is very important. If you are 100 watt QRP let’s be real. You will be on a 20 amp plug in supply, in a car with a battery and alternator or if on battery…just get a bigger battery 1 am or so for the RX is not great, but it’s key down that sucks the battery the fastest.

    My feeling getting any Elecrat products, if possible, is a great investment and the radios are awesome. The KX3 is especially so. It is today’s Collins. This includes customer service and technical service second to none..PERIOD! So you pay more and get more… However this AMP/ATU is a bit too much for my pocket book. And they keep raising prices, which means they are narrowing the market place for new radios. Used K3’s and KX3’s are not everyday common, like the new Kenwood TS-590S. They hold their price and get listed and sold quickly.

    These are just some passing thoughts for what they are worth.. Maybe not much. But I felt I needed to add some more food for thought. Thank you for your time

    73 Harry

  • Karl N7DMA:

    Ahhh, grasshopper! Now you begin to see! I do admit, though, that I struggle with the same thing.

    I know that you know, but enjoy what you have. Personally, I enjoy my FT-857D, and my TT R4020. The ‘857 is my home rig, and the ‘4020 is my hiking companion. I have a 2 meter rig in the truck to chat with friends to and from work.

    It ain’t about what you have, but how you use it. If it brings you joy, then relish the joy. Don’t buy into the whole “gotta have it all” mentality. But only you can decide what is enough.

    I see all these pictures on the internet of well equipped shacks, with gear from every era, stacked floor to ceiling. I’m sure it brings the owners a lot of pride, but some amount of soul is missing from those fine collections. I have to wonder if they really use all of that stuff, and what are they trying to compensate for?!

    My personal favorites? The pictures of the humble shacks, simple stations assembled on an old computer desk… even better when there is a beat-up old set of bencher paddles in the mix.

    Keep the K3. It has a special meaning.

    Wanna know how to best spend $1,000? Spend it on your family. Rent a cabin in the woods for a week, go fishing, take a couple of hikes with the wife and kids. That will create memories that will last a lifetime. Take pictures of the experience, to embarrass the kids when they get older. They’ll thank you for it someday. Rigs come and go.

    Take the KX3 and a simple antenna to play with in the down time.

    It’s all about priorities, I guess!

    I do have to admit, though, I do miss the K1 I sold when I downsized!



  • Dave WX5DL:

    Good advice Karl!

    When my kids were young, I bought a travel trailer and took the family camping all over the US. I reserved one small cabinet for radio equipment and installed an Icom 735, manual tuner & bencher paddles. In the evenings after the kids went to bed, I made new friends and talked to old ones on my wire hung in the trees. It wasn’t until they were adults that they told me one of the best memories was laying in bed listening to me use my radio.

    Now I enjoy QRP cw & phone on my Ten Tec Argonaut V. It is a fantastic little radio and my main HF rig. I was in the market for a 100W amplifier and considered the Ten Tec version as a likely companion to my Argonaut but after much consideration, I elected to invest in the KXPA100 w/ATU. It is a lot of money but the quality is unsurpassed, QSK is silent and it has a heat-sink instead of a fan; another plus in my opinion. I have no doubt that if I ever want to sell the amp, I will find a buyer quickly and at a price not too much lower than I paid. I have the added satisfaction of operating an American-made station: Astron, Ten Tec, Elecraft, Heil, Bencher. I’m not a “big gun” but my station makes me smile!

    Dave WX5DL

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