Author: Razvan

Elecraft KX3 vs Yaesu FT-817ND

Update:  After a few years of owning the FT-817nd and using alot of other equipment, I revisited this topic: Yaesu FT-817, Elecraft KX3 and other portable HF radios I am looking lately at a transciever for portable operations this summer, and after some reading and thinking I also found a discussion on one of the blogs I follow, where Roger G3XBM posted about the FT817 vs KX3.  This is an interesting issue as the Yaesu FT-817 is basically the definition of portable QRP transcievers, and the Elecraft KX3 is one of the hottest ones out there at the moment, offering a very high-performance reciever in a small and medium-priced package due to SDR-based technology, wich is one of my main interests in ham radio. The first issue one might look at is the price point; an assembled Elecraft KX3 + MH3 microphone + KXBC3 charger is US$ 1120, a standard FT-817ND already comes with mic, charger, battery and an antenna for about US$ 600. An external tuner is an option for both for about the same price, but the KX also has the option of an internal tuner. If you like to mess around with electronics, have some spare time and want to save about US$100 on the KX3, you can get it as a kit and assemble it yourself. Because the two represent different generations of ham radio...

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Lightweight beam antennas: Moxon vs Spiderbeam

The 2013 solar maximum is almost here, the 10 meter band will be booming soon and you cannot let it go by without using a decent antenna; it would be a shame, considering how cheap it is to build yourself a decent performing beam in this band.Today I am looking at two of the most efficient designs that a homebrewer can use for such an antenna: the 3 element Moxon and the Spiderbeam; both are variations of the 3 element Yagi and require just a mast, 4 fiberglass fishing rods and some wires to get going.  Of course, this will mean that both will offer a visible performance increase over a vertical, but either of them will be lightweight enough to use in portable operations or at home, requiring a much cheaper rotator and having less footprint than a solid full Yagi. Lightweight 10m band antennas: 3el Moxon and Spiderbeam The images speak for themselves as how these two antennas are supposed to look like and I won’t go into details about their history or building instructions, there is alot of that around the internet already. What i’m interested in is their performance, so I ran a few simulations with EZNEC; the settings are these: –  15 meters above medium ground (0.005 / 13)– 1mm copper wire with 0.3mm PVC insulation–  tuned for optimal SWR from 28 to 28.5MHz...

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