Greyline QRP “Boots” and the KX-3

Win4K3Suite Audio Monitor

Every morning I hear plenty of DX stations in OC, Pac and Asia calling CQ. So far I’ve been batting about 88% – I can catch the DX 7 out of 8 times. Some, like VK, ZL, JA, KH. KL, VE7 and XE1 have been simple. Yesterday, YB did reply, but never got my call right.

I love the fact that these are all simplex!

I think this is a great batting average – better than I had expected. It really helps to have the antenna up high, and the night and morning greylines are king – I am sure its like having an amplifier on – “Boots” as the early QRPers like Doug DeMaw used to call them in QST Articles way back in the 70’s.

The Terminator . . .

I does help that the days are getting shorter too – this summer there seemed to be more noise on 40M, and I have not seen the ZS stations spotted like I used to – and I really miss that. My dream would be a long path morning CW QSO with ZS – but I’d take short path at night here.

One thing that I have been playing with is the RF Gain vs. Preamp settings on the KX-3. The sweet spot seems to be where the Preamp is on, but the RF Gain is turned down to -8. This has the effect of raising the signal and lowering the noise. Its a bit counter-intuitive, but I suspect that there are many combinations between RF gain, preamp and filtering that can help with S/N Ratio (Signal to Noise Ratio) – raising the signal above the noise.

I am very pleased that I had another “happy accident” and ended up with the KX-3 instead of the KX-2. I am sure the KX-2 is a fine rig – but for in the shack – the KX-3 offers more bang for the buck than my old K3 had. In fact, years back, when I took a KX-3 to Bend, Oregon, where we visit once a year, and then Moab, I’ll never forget the feeling when I turned it on and thought it sounded a lot better than the K3. I am not sure exactly why – I just know the KX-3 really is a special kind of radio.

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