Saturday, June 02, 2012

It lives !!!

As anticipated, the remainder of the KX3 build did not take long at all.  If truth be told, I am technically not finished - I still have to calibrate the roofing filter. But I am done to the point where I have a working radio.

I left off at the point where I had to install the battery holders and the KXAT3 auto tuner.

That is them installed.  I am not sure if I am going to bother with internal batteries.  The option is available to me if I ever decide to; but that li-on battery I bought is so small and light!  And if I don't have to open the case - that makes me happy, also.  You can see the auto tuner to the right.  Here's a close up:

It's quite a piece of work!  Once I turned the KX3 on, I had to go through the menu and select it so that the radio "knew" it was there.  The tricky thing was that once you turn it "on", for the first time, you have to turn the radio off and then back on, so that it initializes with it there.  A bit different than selecting options with the K2.

Next came the roofing filter board:

There it is, right behind one of the battery holders. When you install the KXFL3 you have to take out one of the chassis screws.  It is replaced with a much longer one that actually extends through a hole in the KXFL3 circuit board.   This is to prevent the roofing filter circuit board from becoming jostled loose accidentally if the going gets rough on the trail.

Then came connecting the two halves with the ribbon cable, which was a snap.  Connecting the battery holders to their connector and then mating the two halves together and buttoning the radio up.

The first thing to be done was to hook up the battery, cross my fingers and say a small "No smoke, please!" prayer.  When the moment of truth arrived, the display came up and static came out the speaker. No smoke, no disasters, no disappointment.  From there, it was off of the workbench and onto the shack table we go!

I hooked up the DCP paddles and antenna and made a contact on 20 Meters in whatever 4 land QSO party is going on this weekend.  I have it written downstairs; but I think it was K4SAV. Second QSO was on 40 Meters - G5LO in Great Britain.

There's going to be a learning curve here because this is definitely more complex and sophisticated than my K2.  For now, I just want to make a few QSOs and play around a bit.  I will intensely study the Owner's Manual and will probably try to calibrate the roofing filter tomorrow.  Right now, it's back down to the shack to play!

Thanks to all of you who went for this ride with me, beginning last year, when I started saving and selling things to raise the needed funds.  Thanks for sticking with me as I ordered and began the, what seemed to be, interminable waiting period.

Now that the radio is built and seems to be working, I can truly say it was worth the wait and am looking forward to many hours of fun filled QRPing.

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


  1. Anonymous11:36 PM

    Great to see that your KX3 is alive and well Larry, and that you have finally reached the destination of this particular journey!


  2. Anonymous1:01 AM

    Congratulations! That sure looks like a nice rig!


    Todd, N0IP

  3. Congratulations on completing your KX3 Larry. Like you I'm not sure if I'll populate the battery holders. I have a "QRP battery pack" consisting of 10 X AA NiMH cells in a case, which can be charged without opening the KX3 case (I don't think anyone has the internal charger yet.)

  4. Good morning Larry, it looks great and congrats on getting a few contacts with it. The pic's are great and I must say things sure are packed in there. It must had been an engineering marvel to get all the parts and pieces to fit.

  5. WTG Larry - have fun!