Another question for the Elecraft brigade: K1 vs. KX1

Started by raybiker73, October 26, 2013, 05:41:58 pm

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raybiker73

I had another thread started about the projects I'd like to tackle this winter, but there was one more I didn't mention: I'd like to build a kit radio. In a perfect world, it would be a KX3, but that's just a bit too hard on the discretionary budget right now, so I'm going with either a K1 or a KX1.

I'd love to hear opinions from people who've used both. I know Elecraft stuff is good quality, so I'm not worried about that. I'm just at an impasse as to which rig would be more suited for my purposes. It would be mostly used as a portable unit, but I'd probably fire it up in the shack once in a while, too. It wouldn't see much in the way of "tough" camping, but would probably spend a good bit of time in a day pack or a saddlebag.

I have an FT-817 that I currently use, and don't get me wrong, I love it. It's a great little machine. But, it's also a battery hog (comparatively speaking). If I'm going on a longer trip, where I might actually want to take the mic along with me, the FT-817 is perfect. For the most part, though, my portable ops are an afternoon and an occasional overnight, and the mic either stays in the bag or stays home. So, I'd like to get a dedicated portable CW rig.

What I like about the KX1 on paper is smaller size. What I like about the K1 on paper is 15m instead of 80m.

Any opinions and shared experiences would be greatly appreciated. Even if you'd like to suggest something else, like a Mantiz or a TenTec 4040 or whatever, that's cool. I'm open to suggestions.


- Ray

KC9TNH

Quote from: raybiker73 on October 26, 2013, 05:41:58 pmSo, I'd like to get a dedicated portable CW rig.
Commenting only because that's kinda funny.  Unless I need a bunch of watt things for Chris due to QSB, my Elecraft IS my dedicated CW rig whether in the ruck or on the desk.

Since you mentioned 15m, I'd have to suggest the K1.  If you want to do any reeeeeeeally long-haul DX or anything 17 or 15 is the ticket.  15 when it's in, and 17 is always busy, very seldom in the garbage during its times of day. (There's a reason the .mil keeps a piece of 18mHz carved out for themselves.)  I see 17 & 15 are both "in" tonight, but 17 is more often than 15.  But 15 is great too.

Anyway, my $.02, for that I'd go K1.  And if you're light camping, it's not like the K1 is large - only compared to the KX1.

Nice decision problem to have. :)

gil

Though choice.. I really liked my K1 because of the speaker.. 15m was nice too of course. What annoyed me was the drifty VFO. Sure, it stabilized after a while, but it took some time. Except for that, it is an excellent radio. I'd like to build a KX1, because of the size, DDS VFO and SW listening. If only they had a K1 with a DDS VFO and SWL! Or a surface-mount KX1 for even smaller size! Elecraft should combine the two radios and call it a KX2.

Depending if Steve Weber comes up with a new three-band MTR or not, I might get a KX1... He doesn't put SWL in his rigs for some reason... That would be great. I think that while camping, short-wave listening is very nice to have. His tri-Bander is nice by the way.. See it at http://qrpkits.com

By the way I don't consider the KX3 to be a real kit...

Gil.

raybiker73

Quote from: gil on October 26, 2013, 11:09:55 pm
Depending if Steve Weber comes up with a new three-band MTR or not, I might get a KX1... He doesn't put SWL in his rigs for some reason... That would be great. I think that while camping, short-wave listening is very nice to have. His tri-Bander is nice by the way.. See it at http://qrpkits.com
Gil.


I like the specs on the Tri-Bander a lot, but I haven't yet talked to anyone who's used one. Same with the PFR3, which appears to be for the most part an ugly duckling cousin to the KX1  http://www.qrpkits.com/pfr3.html

KK0G

I don't have a K1 nor have I ever operated one, but I love my KX1. I truly believe that at this point in time it's the best trail friendly rig out there. No it's not a perfect "main shack rig" but I've been using mine here in the shack quite regularly and it fills that role pretty well. The only reason I haven't been using it for my nightly sked with Wes lately is because we had to switch to 80 meters due to changing propagation and I don't yet have the 30/80 meter module installed (it's on it's way now).


The Hendricks kits are also very good, I built a Weber Dual Band in 20/40 meters that works very well, neat little rig. What it lacks is good ergonomics; the VFO knob is to the left of the display and is a very small knob the same size as the volume knob. This makes it near impossible to see the display while tuning with your right hand. Before I purchased my KX1, I seriously considered the PFR-3 but I could not get past the use of up/down buttons for the VFO as opposed to a big knob.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G