Elecraft KX-2

The diminutive Elecraft KX-2

My “very serious” DXing days lasted from 2001 – 2013 for Honor Roll, and I stayed high energy “OCD” throughout about 2016, mainly because of my involvement as co-organizer of VK0EK. Heard Island is my last ATNO.

My wife said I could go to Heard Island, and after some soul searching I knew where I drew the line. I was an unapologetic armchair DXer, and had zero interest in going – I was actually kind of surprised, because I had had some thoughts previous about some day going on a DXpedition.

So, what was all that DXCC jazz about?

The Challenge.

I loved those years and have fond memories. Besides work, there are very few things in my life that I stuck with that long. In fact, that “run” was about as long as my first marriage. I find that pretty funny, actually.

Getting the SW-3 on line was a pretty easy challenge, but the Gold Dust Twins were a bigger deal. They were fun for the education and the challenge.

I see QRP and improving my CW as the next challenge. It really works because at the bottom of the cycle, any HF QSO is great, and QRP makes it even a bigger deal.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my IC-7300 – it’s a keeper, especially since mine cost $900 something – the best value rig I’ve ever had.

I found a KX-3 is as new condition for half what it plus it’s accessories would cost, so one will arrive here next week.

The Red Hot 40 and NorCal40A are collector items like the Gold Dust Twins – cool rigs to put on the air from time to time.

Let’s see where this QRP path takes me.

7 Comments on “Elecraft KX-2

  1. Hello Rich, interesting read. Especially what you write about the IC-7300, I’m still saving some money for it and have been playing with a borrowed one last month. I think it is the radio I want for the next 10-20 years hopefully. I think it will be a good purchase. I’ve done QRP with some success especially a few years ago. 5W or even less from my FT-817 gave me a lot of pleasure when I reached and accomplished the 100 DXCC in 100 days challenge and finished it in only 79 days. CW is something I still want to learn, I should be more serious with that. But there are so many other things in live and in this hobby. Live is just too short…. you can’t do it all. You got some nice QRP radios and I love the gold dust twins of course although it is completely different and QRO. If you ever able to work Bouvet Isl. with it think about making a video, it will be epic. 73, Bas

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow – 100 entities in less than 100 days is awesome – I certainly like that challenge. In fact, QRP DXCC is something worth working for – I think I will try that.

    Yes, my big goal is 3Y0I using the Gold Dust Twins – hopefully in November – which is the time frame I heard is the next attempt. Of course – its “catch as catch can”.

    I have had all of the top radios – and for DXCC in 160M I really did need more than the IC-7300, but for less than $1000 US, the 7300 still amazes me as far as value goes.

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    • OK you and Clarke, K1JX have planted the seed for a new operating activity that I will start on with the KX-2. I’ll blog about it tonight!

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  3. KX3? KX2?

    Either way, I think you’ll be happier with the receiver if you adjust the AGC settings away from the factory defaults. This can be done in the menus. A very good resource for information about this is on the late KE7X’s web page:

    http://www.ke7x.com/home

    Look under the “Miscellaneous K3 Information” for the AGC discussions. Most of the same applies to the KX3.

    I also think you might surprised at how much you can work with QRP. I’m at year 3 and a half and am at 253 Mixed, with 8BDXCC, all using just the KX3 and a dipole. If I can’t work a DX station, well waddya expect? If I do, big cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • OK, now you and Bas, PE4BAS have instigated a new operating activity for me. I’ll blog about it tonight after work!

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      • I just looked. It took me about two and a half months to hit 100 DXCC counters when I first started with the KX3. That was at the end of 2015, so there were a few sunspots left.

        With your better antennas, I think you can beat that.

        As a comparison, I tried something similar back in the early 80’s just before I got married. Instead of the operation being portable, it was at my parents house where they’d let me put up a small Telrex tribander (TB4-EC – a reflector for each band and a trapped driven element) at about 56′. Back then, it took exactly 30 days. This was before spotting nets and all that jazz. Back in the days when there was lots of CW activity every day and night…

        Good luck! I *know* you’ll have fun.

        Liked by 1 person

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