Thursday, 21 April 2016

40m Activity QRP

20m has been dead for almost a month with very low sunspot activity. Tonight I tried 40m which was a bit better. I'm running a KX3 into a compromised internal antenna which consists of a 24 foot run of wire plus a single 16 foot radial connected direct to the KX3 with no coax; the long wire runs from the KX3 to a bookshelf in my shack and then runs to the opposite wall in an 'L' shape. The radial just lies on the carpet. This matches well for 20m with the KX3's ATU and I get a reasonable SWR of 2.0 on 40m.

I'm 6 countries short of my DXCC on this antenna at 5w. Almost there.

A good S5 from France and Belgium on 5 watts from Edinburgh Scotland before the propagation dropped off.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Morse Runner for Mac OS

Somebody will no doubt release a Mac OS version of Morse Runner, it would not be difficult to develop. In the meantime, Mac users could try QRQ

Author, Contact, Feedback

qrq was written by Fabian Kurz, DJ1YFK <>
Marc Vaillant, KB1OOO contributed code to make it work under Mac OS X.
Lukasz Komsta, SP8QED contributed code for the native Windows version.

KX3 new mods added - 2m module plus side plates

The  2m module arrived. Fitting it was a bit fiddly. It involves taking out the ATU circuit board. The trickiest bit was installing and routing the antenna and oscillator cables.
Once the cables were in the 2m circuit board was installed.
While I had the case open I decided to install the new replacement side plates.

This was fairly straight forward but I needed a 10mm socket to remove the external nut for the mike socket.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Adding the Pro Audio Eng Enhanced Heat Sink to the KX3

After experiencing high temperature warnings on the KX3 finals on data modes I decided to replace the existing Elecraft heat sink with the Pro Audio version. PSK31 produces high duty cycles on the finals. Let's face it, the rig is designed for CW and a bit SSB. Pro Audio sell the PAE-KX31, a chunky  air-cooled heat sink that should extend the transmit time on the KX3.

There are 3 options to install the heat sink with different performance benefits. I opted for the simple swap of the existing one. It's fairly straight forward. Pro Audio provide 4 replacement screws, one is longer than the other 3. This one has to go into the socket in the hole closest to the 12vDC power point.

Note: you need to open up the KX3 casing as the 2 middle screws have retaining nuts on the reverse side. Make sure these are properly secured before powering your rig up. A loose nut could fry your rig!

These nuts are a bit of a fiddle to get back on. Especially the one which almost touches the capacitor. You'll need a pair of narrow nose pliers to hold the nuts while you insert the screws.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

UK to VK on 5 watts QRP

Amazing QRP contact between the UK and VK on 5 watts from a car with only a mag mount mobile whip. This proves the strong salt water gain theory.