Is The Elecraft KX-3 the Best Portable QRP Rig Ever?

The Amazing Elecraft KX-3 QRP Transceiver

Years ago – when I when I was hot and heavy in the DXCC Honor Roll chase – I purchased a KX-3 so I would have “something” when I traveled away from home. I used it when visiting several places in Oregon and Utah. I distinctly remember thinking “This rig sounds a lot better than the K3”. At the time, the KX-3 was the low price leader – but the ICOM IC-7300 now owns that title.

Its quite astounding how it competes with so many more expensive DX rigs, and while the Sherwood Receiver Test Ratings might be useful – or maybe not – its still a good data point anyway. The real test is whether you can accomplish your goals (and that’s a question) – and mine is the FREQ 300. And the answer to this question is “Yes, Absolutely”. Not only that – the rig is just plain fun.

The Begali Adventure Mono on the KX-3

I’m no FT8 hater – but a CW lover. Ham Radio IS CW as far as I am concerned. That’s just my opinion.

The Win4K3Suite adds so much to the KX-3 experience

I tried the Icom IC-7300 version of the Win4K3Suite, and deleted it pretty quickly – it just didn’t add that certain “juju” that the K3Suite adds to Elecraft rigs. Let me qualify what I mean by “Best QRP Rig ever” – I use the rig indoors – so I don’t mean best SOTA QRP rig – because I see the SOTA folks don’t like the openings and non-weather “resistant” aspect of the KX-3 and KX-2. Neither rig would be good if it were raining out – or even misting out – too many openings. So – lets say I would use this rig in an RV – or a rented house – or even inside a tent.

I love my Erie Lackawanna Logbook

I just sent out the first big batch of QSL cards for the first 20 FREQ 300 QSO’s, and I also just put my first FREQ 300 QSL card – K7TRI in this very nice antique leather binder – in archival postcard / photo sleeves:

Going for that “antiqued” look

This time around I am playing by my own rules 100% – and you know what? I am having a LOT more fun than when I was toiling over the DXCC Honor Roll list. To be fair – I think I can only feel this way because I did “tough it out” getting to Honor Roll. I wouldn’t feel this way of I didn’t have something to compare it to.

Another thing that I compare it to is 160M DXCC – that really separates the men from the boys – especially on the West Coast.

Speaking of 160M – I do know what I would want in a KX-4 – and I’ll write another blog post next about that. Hint – its about how all of sudden – and for the first time since 2001 – my QTH is now swamped with QRN at night when neighbors turn on all kinds of noisy shit (LED lights, etc).

Stay tuned – I will.


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