Posts Tagged ‘Elecraft’

Attention KX2 owners / users!

From Wayne N6KR on QRP-L this morning:

The latest KX2 field-test firmware allows power output to be set as high as 12 watts on 80 through 20 meters. (Max out is still 10 watts on 17-10 meters.) Supply voltage must be 12.8 V or higher on key-down. ~14 V supply recommended.

Yes, this is only about 1 dB, but it did help me snag XF1IM this morning on 20 CW.

We consider the change experimental at this point. Not all KX2s are guaranteed to hit 12 W on all of these bands, and this level is recommended for low duty-cycle use, i.e. hunt/pounce.

If you’d like to give it a try, please email me directly. (Editor's note: [email protected])

73, Wayne N6KR

So there you have it from The Man, himself!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Going about it the hard way…..WHY??

Last evening I finally had some time to get on the PC and check out what fellow ham radio bloggers were up too. For the past month I have been working every day and only having time to “fast read” a post and drop a short comment. While surfing the blog sphere last evening I came across KG3V’s blog, the subject of the blog caught my attention “Updating FTDX-3000 Firmware. Below is a link to what I only could call an “adventure”.
https://kg3v.com/2017/10/14/updating-ftdx-3000-firmware/

In the post Tom does a great job explaining how he went about the firmware upgrade and some issues he ran into. Tom also goes over the enhancements this firmware will forward to his FTDX-3000. It’s fantastic how far we have come in radio, in the past if you wanted the upgrades it meant selling what you had and purchasing the new and improved version. Today’s modern rigs can chat either over the internet or with pre-downloaded thumb drives and magic is worked within the rig to either over come an issue, enhance what is already there or add something new! Having said that I just can’t understand what the issue is with the process of the upgrade. It’s just not ham radio with our Nikon cameras to upgrade the firmware it’s…hold this while pushing that….make sure you don’t do this while doing that….and on and on and on. Resources are used writing the rigs new firmware upgrade, time and money is put into it and it’s to make the product better for the end user. If this is the case why the %&^* not make the process for the end user easy peasy!!

Having said the above and let me preface this with “I am not going to say what I am about to say just because I am a fan of Elecraft but if the shoe fits……” To upgrade my K3 or KX3 Elecraft has provided via their website a program that sits on your desktop, one of it’s functions is for firmware upgrades. The process is as follows:
1. Double click on desktop icon.
2. Click on Firmware tab.
3. Click on “Check versions now”
4. Below you will then see the firmware that is installed in your rig and new firmware that is available for your rig. You then click on “Send all new firmware to K3 or KX3.
Your rig will start to click, there will be “stuff” flashing on the rigs screen, sometimes even clicking noises from the rig and then your rig’s screen returns to normal and your done. I have owned Kenwood, Icom and Yeasu rigs and never has it been this easy and my question is WHY NOT!!! Now having said the above it is true I have not owned one of the above rigs for some time now so do comment if the process has changed…but is sure does not seem it has for the FTDX-3000 model rig!

OK I’m off my soapbox now….:))

Skunked on my day out.

The setup in the car
The CHA P loop 
On Saturday wife and I had some errands to do in the town we used to live in, it's about an hours drive from were we are now. Julie had an appointment that would last for approximately 2 hours so I felt bringing the Elecraft KX3 would help pass this 2 hour time slot. I brought along my new loop antenna from Chameleon CHA P loop antenna . (A review of this antenna is coming soon) The weather was great and I had my spot preplanned out, it was along a river that flowed through town and there was a nice picnic table there that I have used in the past. Once I dropped of Julie for here appointment it was off to the river, I found there was a wedding shoot going on and the table was not gone! I then had to scope out a new spot which did not take long. The new spot was in a parking lot at the entrance to a park, not the same view as the river side setup but it will do. I was keying out CQ for about 1.5 hours with no answers but I did hear some stations but they were already in QSO's. I did check the Reverse Beacon Network to make sure my CW signal was getting out and it was, the conditions were good as well but I guess it was just time for me to give my CW fist a workout. As always Murphy seems to make his visit at least once on my outings. On this day Murphy decided to make my CW operations a bit more challenging. For a long time I have been using the Palm Radio's Mini Paddle. I find this paddle to be very smooth and very well made. A number of years ago the folks at Palm Radio sent me their newly revised cable that goes from the rig to the paddle. It was lighter and more easy to work with and a great improvement over the more bulky cable that was being used in the past.  I have owned this cable for about 5 years without any issues until yesterday on my outing. The end that plugs into the paddle had come apart, the two parts are held together by a screw. I thought at the time I just failed to check the screw and it came loose. I did not have a mini screw driver with me so I had to very carefully plug the connector into the key. Once I got home and upon closer look I realized the connector was broken and the only choice I had was to glue the two pieces together. I did this and it worked fine but in the end this is a one time fix. Overall I made no contacts but it was nice to get out and just have the enjoyment of getting on the radio and it's very relaxing.
Reverse Beacon Network
The broken connector 

Skunked on my day out.

The setup in the car
The CHA P loop 
On Saturday wife and I had some errands to do in the town we used to live in, it's about an hours drive from were we are now. Julie had an appointment that would last for approximately 2 hours so I felt bringing the Elecraft KX3 would help pass this 2 hour time slot. I brought along my new loop antenna from Chameleon CHA P loop antenna . (A review of this antenna is coming soon) The weather was great and I had my spot preplanned out, it was along a river that flowed through town and there was a nice picnic table there that I have used in the past. Once I dropped of Julie for here appointment it was off to the river, I found there was a wedding shoot going on and the table was not gone! I then had to scope out a new spot which did not take long. The new spot was in a parking lot at the entrance to a park, not the same view as the river side setup but it will do. I was keying out CQ for about 1.5 hours with no answers but I did hear some stations but they were already in QSO's. I did check the Reverse Beacon Network to make sure my CW signal was getting out and it was, the conditions were good as well but I guess it was just time for me to give my CW fist a workout. As always Murphy seems to make his visit at least once on my outings. On this day Murphy decided to make my CW operations a bit more challenging. For a long time I have been using the Palm Radio's Mini Paddle. I find this paddle to be very smooth and very well made. A number of years ago the folks at Palm Radio sent me their newly revised cable that goes from the rig to the paddle. It was lighter and more easy to work with and a great improvement over the more bulky cable that was being used in the past.  I have owned this cable for about 5 years without any issues until yesterday on my outing. The end that plugs into the paddle had come apart, the two parts are held together by a screw. I thought at the time I just failed to check the screw and it came loose. I did not have a mini screw driver with me so I had to very carefully plug the connector into the key. Once I got home and upon closer look I realized the connector was broken and the only choice I had was to glue the two pieces together. I did this and it worked fine but in the end this is a one time fix. Overall I made no contacts but it was nice to get out and just have the enjoyment of getting on the radio and it's very relaxing.
Reverse Beacon Network
The broken connector 

Customer service excellance

An update from my last post regarding my Chameleon CHA P Loop antenna, the antenna bag zippers were repaired and the cost was 40.00 Canadian. I decided  to have some heavy duty zippers installed and I emailed DX Engineering and we agreed the cost would be 50/50. I submitted the bill to Maria at DX Engineering and to my surprise the total amount was covered! I emailed Maria about this and she told me she took the bill to her boss and he informed Maria to cover the whole cost. DX Engineering for sure is a class act!!
Lets move along to another class act.....I have been using Win4k3 suite software for rig control for over a year now. Tom VA2SFQ has software what will work with the Elecraft K3,K3S, KX3 and KX2. Tom has been updating the software on a very consistent basis. The software is very stable one just has to read Eham to see it's rated 4.9 out of 5. I have emailed Tom with some questions and he has replied very fast with a solution. Recently I had some issues and we were emailing back and forth to try to bring things to a resolution. On the weekend Tom asked me if I had Teamviewer (and I do) he wanted to use Teamviewer to take control of my PC and solve my issue once and for all. On Saturday evening I received a call from Tom on my cell and we linked my PC via Teamviewer and Tom took control. Tom stuck with me for 40 mins and he solved my issue and I was up and running again. I have never in all my days had this type of customer service. It is very obvious that Tom is committed to not only his software but to his customers. Tom was very pleasant on the phone as he sorted out the problem.

Customer service excellance

An update from my last post regarding my Chameleon CHA P Loop antenna, the antenna bag zippers were repaired and the cost was 40.00 Canadian. I decided  to have some heavy duty zippers installed and I emailed DX Engineering and we agreed the cost would be 50/50. I submitted the bill to Maria at DX Engineering and to my surprise the total amount was covered! I emailed Maria about this and she told me she took the bill to her boss and he informed Maria to cover the whole cost. DX Engineering for sure is a class act!!
Lets move along to another class act.....I have been using Win4k3 suite software for rig control for over a year now. Tom VA2SFQ has software what will work with the Elecraft K3,K3S, KX3 and KX2. Tom has been updating the software on a very consistent basis. The software is very stable one just has to read Eham to see it's rated 4.9 out of 5. I have emailed Tom with some questions and he has replied very fast with a solution. Recently I had some issues and we were emailing back and forth to try to bring things to a resolution. On the weekend Tom asked me if I had Teamviewer (and I do) he wanted to use Teamviewer to take control of my PC and solve my issue once and for all. On Saturday evening I received a call from Tom on my cell and we linked my PC via Teamviewer and Tom took control. Tom stuck with me for 40 mins and he solved my issue and I was up and running again. I have never in all my days had this type of customer service. It is very obvious that Tom is committed to not only his software but to his customers. Tom was very pleasant on the phone as he sorted out the problem.

Some DX contacts today.

I had some spare time today  and was able to get on the radio! Over the past month or so it has been lots of work and no time to play radio. Today while on 20m CW  I was able to snag HA7GN from Hungary, IQ0PG from Italy I was given special report number of UN90ARI1.  According to their site this qualifies me for there ARI 90 years award. The last contact of the day was IO0MDC again from Italy and this call was in celebration of 20 years for the Mediterraneo DX club. I was thrilled with
these short contacts and I really was only on for about 20 min's. On a side note.........I have posted in the past that I am the proud owner of an Elecraft K-pod. This thing works great and is a great asset to the shack. It has 8 programmable push buttons, at my age I loose track of what is on what button! I came up with an idea of adding some magnetic strips with the naming of each of the buttons. Since they are magnetic I can remove them when the button macro has been changed or rearrange them if need be.

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