Updating my portable station with a KX3

After receiving quite a good annual bonus, I looked at my wish list and decided to buy a new portable HF radio. Based on my massive satisfaction with the Elecraft K2, the decision was quite easy really. Yes, I’ve joined the KX3 brigade.


I ordered it in kit form from Waters & Stanton on Good Friday and it appeared at my front door the following Tuesday. I reckon it took about 3 and a half hours to assemble. Why would anybody buy it assembled?

Included in the purchase were the KXFL3 roofing filter, KXAT3 internal ATU and KXBC3 battery charger. I also bought the MH3 microphone.

I debated about the ATU and charger as I will mostly be using this portable. I nearly always use tuned antennas when portable and I will be using a LiFePo4 battery pack for external power. That said, there are bound to be occasions when I would like to tune up a piece of string; and I’m nervous about taking the (homemade) LiFePo4 4S1P pack through airport security. So, I may end up using someĀ Panasonic Eneloop Pro 2450 mAh NIMH batteries for overseas activations.

First impressions are excellent. The receiver sensitivity is superb: even better than the K2, which is pretty good.

Day One with contact lenses

I’ve been wearing glasses for about 15 years now. I have classic Presbyopia: also known as short arms šŸ™‚ My distance vision is still nearly perfect in one eye and not much worse in the other. My close up vision has been deteriorating for about 16-17 years though.

I moved over to Varifocals years ago because I was fed up with having to take my glasses off to look at somebody across a table and then having to put them back on to read a laptop screen. More recently I’ve had to add dedicated reading glasses and mid-vision computer glasses for when I’m at home and using two big monitors.Ā I’ve been considering switching to contact lenses for some time, and after a friend of mine also made the change and reported back that was all was well, I decided to stop hovering and to jump in.

My prescription was pretty current, so it was simply a matter of talking it through with the optometrist in Boots; trying out some test glasses; and saying yes. Pretty painless so far.

I’ve got single-use mono-vision lenses. The right hand one is optimised for distance and the left hand one is a compromise between reading and computer work. I had them fitted yesterday and spent a couple of hours with them in.

I had no major difficulties putting them in or taking them out. Once I had got used to handling them it was straightforward. It appears that I don’t mind touching my eyeball, so that’s good.

It was strange for the first few minutes but then my brain started to adjust for the differences, and by the end of the two hours I could see clearly and focus at all distances. I didn’t drive and I didn’t try the computer monitors though. That’s a job for today.