Sunday, June 03, 2012

On the air

It rained and thunder stormed here today, on and off, in fits and starts. That prevented me from doing the yard work that I was planning to accomplish - boo hoo!  :)

So I spent some time on the air, getting used to the new radio.  Fate would have it that band conditions would be on the less than optimal (read that as: crappy) side today.  But I did manage some QSOs both foreign and domestic.  Hungary, Italy, and England were successfully worked.  The domestic QSOs were brief QSO Party contacts for the most part.  They let me know that I was getting out and being heard; but not very satisfying.

I did have another short QSO with Terry W9UX last night on 30 Meters.  I was calling CQ and he answered me and asked, "Larry, is that your new KX3?".  Obviously, Terry is a regular reader of this blog.  I answered him that yes, it was and he was my first "real" QSO - something other than "UR 599 TNX QRZ?"

I'll have to send him my QSL card - the funny thing is that my QSL cards have the image of my K1 on them.  I still have a bunch, so I am not going to discard these just because of that. It's still QRP, which is what the idea behind the card is supposed to be about.

The KX3 is really cool and I'm getting used to it rather quickly. It has really great features like the APF or Audio Peaking Filter that will really help to dig a weak CW signal buried in the noise. I like being able to decode RTTY and watch it scroll at the bottom of the LCD display.  I also like the CW Tuning Aid, where you tap a button and the KX3 automatically zero beats the person you're trying to work.

As the radio is configured now, as a strictly QRP radio, I cannot hook up two antennas like I can on the K2,  and I use that feature a lot to switch back and forth between the Butternut and the wire. I suppose I could always go back to using a mechanical manual coax switch; but by going that route, I would be incurring some signal loss, and I would rather not do that.

There is a button on the KX3 that will allow you to switch between two antennas, but that is enabled only when  the 100 Watt autotuner is used.  As of right now, I have no plans to make this a QRO radio, so the main shack radio will be the K2, unless a K3 should come waltzing into my life for some unforeseen reason.

The other thing that I am looking forward to in the near future is making some contacts on 6 Meters, which I have never done in the 34 years that I have been a Ham.  This is the first radio that I have ever owned that is 6 Meter capable.  The other thing I want to do is hook this netbook up the the KX3, just to see how Ham Radio Deluxe interfaces with it.  I never installed the RS232 option in the K2, so I was never able to have rig control until now, either.

Lots to look forward to!

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

1 comment:

Julian Moss said...

I think that the signal loss at HF with the popular and inexpensive CO-201 coaxial switches is negligible. They are rated for up to 1KW at 600MHz. I have two of them used "back to front" to switch two antennas between the K2 and K3, though currently the KX3 is the recipient of the K2's dipole feed.