Time to get in Line

Excitement in the shack! We’ve had a new addition. I have had my Elecraft K3 for quite a while. Nothing but positive words about it. It has never let me down.

We’ve all heard about the K-Line. I am assuming that the term K-Line is an omage to the Collins S-Line.

Through my research of MARS, I know that the Collins S-Line was the choice of MARS stations. Collins even had a repair shop located at the major air base outside of Saigon.

Although I have never operated any Collins gear, from what I’ve read it was built like a tank but clearly was designed to have aesthetic appeal. Elecraft is aiming to achieve the same.

I’ve started my attempt at building my K-line with the addition of the Elecraft amp and tuner. Both easily interface with each other and the K3. This allows for seamless band switching and tuning.

While only a 500 watt amplifier, I have already noticed an notable increase in my ability to make contacts and get to the top of the pileup. Band conditions helped, I’m sure – but it was still enjoyable making contacts with South Africa, Findland, the Canary Islands, and Aruba. Stateside contacts have also seemed to be easier to make with a little extra punch.

Scott Hedberg, NØZB, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Kansas, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Time to get in Line”

  • n2lxm:

    I never operated a K3, but have hear nothing but good reports on them. I own a Collins KWM-2A, 312B station Console, and 30L1 Amp. As far as tube gear goes, this I think is the top of the line. I enjoy siting in he shack on cold winter nights, with the dials all a glow. And remember back to the M.A.R.S. station, K2USA / AA2USI Fort Monmouth NJ. Spent many hours in front of the Collins gear running phone patches from Nam and Europe. Will have to try out a K# one of these days, see how it matches up.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Many longs years ago I got to play with Collins radios while in M.A.R.S. in Arizona. I like the feel, looks and sounds…Never had deep enough pockets to get one. Not even now…However I did a straight trade for my T-T Eagle and got a nice K3. Found a sale on a P3 with uninstalled SVGA and when my 92 year old mother passed away she left me enough for the KPA500 and KAT500. All I can say is this station is beyond my wildest dreams. All the pieces play like they are in one box. The KPA500 and KAT100 does a fantastic job. I put up a very sloppy G5RV and 80-10 meters will load with any effort at all on all bands. I do a lot of trading…maybe too much at times…But I can assure you my K-Line is not now, nor do I ever see it ever being traded or sold. It is just to good a setup…

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