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Old 20-09-2019, 02:57   #1
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What about Elecraft KX3 (or KX2)?

At some time I (might) need to replace the old Kenwood TS-50.

- as space is at premium I thought about the Elecraft KX3 or KX2 (and a KXPA100 100-W Amplifier). Would that be a good rig for a boat?

- another transceiver which looks interesting, is the ICOM IC-705 which should come out in 2020. Any comments on this future device?

- (The super compact Yaesu FT-857D looks great (and is quite cheap) but appears that it pulls a lot of energy, is difficult to operate and has a so so receiver - thus fell out of the 'replacement choice').

I intend to use it with the Pactor III for Sailmail but it should be ok also for normal ham usage. The boat has an antenna tuner and an isolated backstay. I don't have (much) practical experience right now (just the license) and would of course have to learn quite a few things before starting.
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Old 21-09-2019, 15:10   #2
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Re: What about Elecraft KX3 (or KX2)?

For what you are going to pay for a new KX3, you could get an IC-718 used. I replaced my TS-50 with an older IC-707 (featured down version of the 718). What sold me on the 707 was the lack of many knobs, simple display, and front facing speaker. It works fine with my Signalink and Winmor (ARDOP).

At home I have the FT-857D and although a nice radio, I really don't like it. Yeah, the front face detaches but just about everything is done via software. If you don't play with it you forget how to do the simplest of tasks. However, once the thing is all programmed, one can use CHRIP to save the settings and restore the saved settings if something goes wrong.

Anyway, I would recommend looking for a good used rig that if there is corrosion you can get another for the same price or cheaper. Maybe get two and keep one stored in an air tight container as a spare.

JMHO
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Old 23-09-2019, 03:29   #3
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Re: What about Elecraft KX3 (or KX2)?

Thank you for the reply. The IC-707/718 is too large but I like the recommendation to buy a good used one, after some more thought the KX3 with amplifier is too expensive (for a 'non-professional' ham). Someone told me about the TS-480HX in a private message and with the detachable panel I think this could be a very good option when size is a concern.

Dimensions and weight:
- (existing) Kenwood TS-50, 18 x 6 x 23.3 cm, 2.9 kg
- ICOM IC-718, 24 x 9.5 x 24 cm, 3.8 kg
- Kenwood TS-480HX, 18 x 7.5 x 3.7 cm (panel), 18 x 6.1 x 26 cm (unit), 3.7 kg (both)
- Elecraft KX3, 18.8 ◊ 8.9 ◊ 4.1 cm, needs amplifier
- (future) ICOM IC-705, 20 x 8 x 8.5 cm, 1 kg, also needs amplifier, likely not cheap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.D View Post
For what you are going to pay for a new KX3, you could get an IC-718 used. I replaced my TS-50 with an older IC-707 (featured down version of the 718). What sold me on the 707 was the lack of many knobs, simple display, and front facing speaker. It works fine with my Signalink and Winmor (ARDOP). [...] Anyway, I would recommend looking for a good used rig that if there is corrosion you can get another for the same price or cheaper.
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Old 23-09-2019, 15:30   #4
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Re: What about Elecraft KX3 (or KX2)?

The 480 looks like a good option. But any radio that has a detachable control head is a space saver. I know some do not think highly of the Alinco rigs, but they also have detachable control heads.

Keep searching, you will find a rig that will suit what you want to accomplish. And another question, do you really need 100 watts? Something to think about especially if you have a good antenna and most excellent isolated sea ground.
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Old 23-09-2019, 17:35   #5
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Re: What about Elecraft KX3 (or KX2)?

If the budget permits it the 480HX is a great mobile ham rig. It will be my next purchase...
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Old 23-09-2019, 17:46   #6
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Re: What about Elecraft KX3 (or KX2)?

I own a KX3 and a K3-S - both are simply excellent radios.

I think you are correct in saying you would need the KPA-100, to give you a little more usable power (the KPA 500 is a delight, but I am not sure if its electronics and salt air would be a good long term idea).

As there is a K4 coming out very soon - there are lots of well looked after K3 and K3-S on the market.

I built my KX3. - it is more of a simple push and fit (no soldering involved) - should you like a more hands on approach.

I can not comment on the other radio, as I ditched them all after my 1st Elecraft.

Happy shopping
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Old 23-09-2019, 19:22   #7
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Re: What about Elecraft KX3 (or KX2)?

Also, look at used SEA-235s, one of my favorite radios. A proper marine unit, full computer control, works well with Pactor, digital modes and also Software ALE... not that many consumer units can handle the bandwidth.
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Old 29-09-2019, 21:35   #8
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Re: What about Elecraft KX3 (or KX2)?

There is a Yaesu FT-100D for sale on ebay. Small form, looks like a pre 857/897.
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