What are your plans for the Elecraft KX3



Elecraft KX3

KX3 Transceiver (Preliminary)
Note: This is advance information. Specifications and option/accessory availability are subject to change without notice.
KX3 Ordering and Shipping dates will be Fall-Winter 2011

• 160-6 meters, SSB/CW/DATA/AM/FM modes
• 0 W PEP (100 W with KXPA100 amp)
• Only 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg)
• Current drain as low as 150 mA

I have been following the story about this rig ever since I found out about it. I am very excited about it, especially since the QRP community lost a source of rigs from Icom

The Icom 703 is no longer made. I have two of them. One has a SSB filter and the other a CW filter. If one breaks I’ll still have a back up. Although the 703’s are fine rigs and I have used them for years without the need for repair, Its nice to see a new rig coming to the QRP market.

I am eager to get my hands on this new Elecraft KX3. I have a Kx1 that I like very much but this new one has a lot of promise.

You can put your name on a waiting list at Elecraft at the web site listing above. I hate to wait when I have money for a new rig burning a hole in my pocket. As luck would have it, by the time my number comes up here. I’ll have spent it on something else.

Even worse, there is no price on this radio yet. We can only guess what it might be!
I am very satisfied with the KX1 and I look forward to the same quality from Elecraft on this new KX3 radio.

I’m curious!

How many readers of Amateur Radio.com are seriously interested in buying one of these babies! I think it would be fun to know how much interest this new offering from Elecraft has generated.

In your reply, tell us about how you plan to use this rig. Also include how many and what kind of QRP rigs you use and which modes you operate these rigs in. Is this the rig you have been waiting for?

I’m always interested in what other QRP’ers are doing and what they are thinking and planning. I’ll bet others would like to hear from you too.

Its been a long time since the FT 817 was introduced and likewise the Icom IC 703 in its various iterations.


de AA1IK

Ernest Gregoire

Ernest Gregoire, AA1IK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Florida, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

10 Responses to “What are your plans for the Elecraft KX3”


    I would be curious how much the list is the ft-817 is getting a bit dated I do not own one but I have been looking at QRP route going the linear amp route is out of my price range any suggestions

  • Steve:

    I currently own an ft-817 andlove it for what it is. However, having an additional 5w of power would be very nice to have. I am also o impressed with the size compared to the 817. If the price is reasonable, I will definitely consider buying one.

  • AC1N Josh:

    I plan on buying a KX3 when it become available. For me, it will be my primary (if not only) HF rig combined with the external amp and mag. loop antenna. I don’t operate HF mobile / portable now but I’ve thought for a while taking a rig like this (or an 817) on hikes might be fun, especially using it to demo ham radio to those I encounter along the way, and friends with whom I often go hiking (they might *finally* get their tickets!)

  • w8vfm:

    my name is on the list for a KX3!

  • Bob Hinkle KK8ZZ:

    Hey Guys… while I realize it’s not QUITE as portable as the KX3, the Flex-1500 and a net book run 10 watts with a receiver that is second to none, with no extra accessories needed – filters, etc. I have one I’ve been running QRP and it is an AMAZING little radio… you should hear the audio and see the display, even on the little net book !

    Cheers…Bob KK8ZZ

  • Ernest Gregoire, AA1IK:

    Preston; I have owned and operated the Ft817 and its a noisy radio. There is no other way to say it. The background hiss is very conspicuous and bothersome even with filters. I had both SSB and CW filters for mine.

    Its a rig that does a lot of things—————–poorly. I gave it away rather than selling mine, not wanting to take anyone’s money for it, and feel guilty.

    If you are planning on having only one QRP radio, consider an Icom 703. They are available by private sale.

  • Edwin Rivera, YV5HUJ:

    I’m a QRP and also QRO 100% CW operator since 1978 and after many years of QRPing using my oldie Heathkit HW-8, I’m using the KX1 for QRP since two years ago. Of course, there is a huge difference between both equipments. The KX1 is an extraordinary rig, exceptional in reception.

    I’ve read the KX3 specs and in fact it is in my wish list for fixed and portable QRP operation (adjusted to 5 watts out), nevertheless I’m waiting the formal price list for the transceiver and its options for taking a final decision.

    72, 73 es best DX, Edwin – YV5HUJ

  • Goody K3NG:

    My plan for the KX3 is to wait for a price, a released product, stable firmware, and objective user reviews before making a decision to buy one.

    I like the concept of a high performance QRP rig with QRO “docking” capabilities, but one thing that concerns me about the KX3 and outdoor use is the form factor and the fragility of the controls. Despite the 817 being long in the tooth and having a marginal receiver, its case can take a beating in a backpack. I’d be a bit afraid to put the KX3 through the same physical abuse.

  • ac2au:

    What the heck is the price???? ( like theman said if you have to askyou can’t afford it) I use mostly ssbon all bandsincluding VHF. I WANT ONE!!!

  • N5TGL:

    K3NG, gotta agree with you there. You could throw an 817 in a backpack and not even worry about it one bit. Some sort of case would definitely be required for the KX3.

    I’ll probably take some heat for this, but the appearance of the KX3 is just terrible. I realize that there is a look to Elecraft products, unfortunately that look is one of a project box. Reminds me of a mid-80’s Volvo. At least Yaesu and Icom have some sense of style. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m generally a function over form kind of guy, but their line could definitely use an update.

    With all that said, I think they’re positioning themselves well. The RX should be up to great Elecraft standards, and going with 10w makes it definitely more desirable…that’s 1 S-unit. The only thing I worry about is the likewise famous Elecraft price. Hopefully they keep it reasonable. I don’t want to pay $1,000 or anything around that for a QRP rig.

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