The official Elecraft site lists all the mods and updates for the KX3, but doesn’t collect those with serial numbers in one spot. I’ve made a list of the ones documented.Continue reading
A Nite Ize Gear Tie seems to do a decent job of supporting the MFJ-1820T 20 m whip antenna on my Elecraft KX3. I first tried forming it into a bipod, but then got the idea of attaching it to the SideKX endplates. Success!
I’m using a Nite Ize Gear Tie 12 inch because I had one. The fatter one didn’t really fit through the handles.
The whole setup is pretty cheap. $25 for the antenna and $6 for two gear ties. It isn’t as efficient as a 20 m dipole, but it is kind of cute.
Want speakers for your rig? No need to wait. For about the cost of a tank of gas, you could be sitting back and enjoying armchair copy.
The internal speaker in my KX3 is good but not great, plus the rig has stereo effects which you can’t hear through the single speaker. The headphone jack provides 100 mW per channel, which is not enough to drive speakers to a reasonable listening level.
This is my under $35 setup for an external audio amp and stereo speakers. Of course it would work for any other rig.
If you plan to transmit on your radio, you need a way to test your transmitter without radiating a signal. You do that by transmitting into a “dummy load”. I had a 20 Watt dummy load, but I needed one to handle 100 Watts, so I built a $40 kit in June. This was the first serious soldering I had done in years, maybe decades.
I built the Oak Hills Research RFL-100 kit. A pre-built 100 W dummy load is usually $150-200. This kit is $40.
This is long, but it combines multiple recommendations from the KX3 and Elecraft mailing lists into a single procedure.
First, update to the latest KX3 firmware. There was a new compression algorithm in 1.50 and fixes in 1.61 and 2.30.
Then, get your KX3 manual. If you can’t find a paper copy, download the latest KX3 Owner’s Manual. You will be looking up a few menu settings.
The audio adjustments are done in separate steps:
- Transmit audio equalization (TX EQ).
- Microphone bias config.
- Microphone gain.
- Compression level.
With a $6 cable, you can get cleaner microphone audio from your CM500 headset, or any other electret mic or headset, plus add a jack for a PTT switch.
The Yamaha CM500 is a very popular headset for amateur radio use. It is rugged, effective, and affordable — $60 at B&H Photo and $55 at Amazon. B&H has a much more accurate description of the product.