Elecraft KX1 – extreme portable qrv on Curacao Island.

Introduction

The Elecraft KX1 is an extreme versatile, ultra-light and powerfull HAM Radio transceiver. I took it with me during a short holiday to the Netherlands Antilles in March 2008. The KX1 has an onboard antenna tuner and with the transceiver you can transmit CW with the bulid in keyer. My KX1 is configured to work on the 40, 30 and 20 meter amateur bands. Apart from transmitting, you can also listen to phone amateur radio station and even broadcast station on frequency bands close the configured HAM bands. For more information surf to Elecrafts website.

Carrying the rig around

For transportation of the rig and the additional equipment and accessories such as antennas, spare batteries and earphones, I bought a photo camara case at my local photography shop. This bag can easily carry all stuff needed to take the KX1 with you while hicking, bicking or riding and you can even take it has hand luggage on the plane! Included in the case are:

  • KX1.
  • Paddle.
  • Earphones.
  • 8 Lithium cells AA, 1.5Volt. (spare)
  • 2 Antennas (7m = 23ft of wire on reel).
  • BNC to banana adapter.
  • BNC 50 ohm terminator.
  • KX1 reference card.
  • The 2 wire antennas can be used in a dipole configuration connected to the KX1 using the BNC-banana adapter. The 50 ohm terminator is usefull to adjust the KX1 internal tuner before tuning the Buddistick.

    In the pictures below you can see how everything fits in the bag. Click on the pictures to enlarge.


    Accessories in the front.

    KX1 in main compartment.

    Including a VX2 porto.

    And the paddle in a bag.

    It is even possible to store my Yaesu VX2 handy in the same bag. In that case I will also put some small V/UHF antennas in the pouch.

    PJ2/PA3ANG

    The intention to go to Curacao was not to activite this Island or to start a big DX pile-up. I was only QRV for some limited periods of time and used not the wire antennas but a Buddistick in stead. Here you can see the setup and even the OM while being on the air.


    Buddistick
    facing the ocean .

    Setup with KX1.

    Logging using a Palm T|X
    and pen + paper.

    PJ2/PA3ANG.

    The log

    I made in total 12 QSO´s in CW and mostly on 20 meters. In the log are:
    W1AEC, VC3E, TI8/DL4MO, 8R1AD, KA3ARF, V25OP, K8CW, K0RU/M, EA5/UT2X, HK4CZE, OM4MF and VP5/W5SL.
    The last two are on 40 Meters.

    In fact I should have used the callsign PJ2/PA3ANG/P/qrp as I was running only 2 watt RF on battery power.

    QRP DX Activity

    Operating under the CEPT rules as HB0/PA3ANG from Liechtenstein during one of my frequent business trips to this wonderful country in 2002.

    Battery powered, 2.5 Watt, 5 Mtrs of wire hanging in a tree at 1600 Mtrs ASL. Most contacts where made on 14 Mhz (20 meters). Only 3 qso’s on 18 MHz.

    The Rig

    The famous FT817. Easy to carry as hand luggage in the plane!
    The Antenna

    Sony AN-61 Compact Antenna 10 mtrs of wire on a handy reel.

    Operation

    As soon as the HB0 callsign went on the air, announcements were made on the DXCluster network. PA3ABH operated as pilot station in order to monitor the condition of my signals and helped in finding a clear frequency. I actually had to do split operation on order to cope with the pile-up!

    The QSO’s made (The Log)

    Stations worked on 12 March 2002 from 16.40 GMT till 17.40 GMT.
    EA5KM IZ5CYZ SM5BTX PA3FGJ EA5FWW
    S57U OH6XY 7S5ARA DL8UFO EA5/PA3GKM
    9A4SS IK8BPY PA3HHE DK1ML HA7WFG
    DL6ZFG S51NA JT1JA CT1FIJ SP3CQP
    IZ8EEL I0PJR ON4CAS CT1CBI SP9AI
    I5XFD IT9VCE 9H1AL ON4CMT IK0VWM
    EA3BMT DJ9RQ G3GJY SM2DR EA3DIX
    OK2JS ON8XA 9H1JC 9A2GF PA9JJ
    PA0EHF IK7SBU 9A3MN EA7ABX G0RCP
    PA3ABH DH1JU I0JTV SP3RBG M0AWX (18MHz)

    Not bad for a first try to operate from HB0 land.
    In just one hour time worked almost 50 stations from 16 different countries, with Mongolia JT1JA as best DX.

    Stations worked on 13 March 2002
    from 16.40 GMT till 18.00 GMT.

    LY1CM
    F5NIM
    M5ITE
    EA6AFA
    F8CMA
    IK0VBT
    G4CWD/QRP
    M0EVI
    EA5FY
    IZ6EDA
    DF5YA/QRP
    M0RDX
    UR6QE
    M0BSV
    I0SYQ
    DH8SA
    YU1FW
    7X0DX
    PA1KW
    G0UJK
    Stations worked on 2 April 2002
    from 16.15 GMT till 17.20 GMT.

    M0EVI
    G3ZQQ
    OM8ON
    F6DWB/P
    OZ1MIC
    M3EMK
    SP2XDX
    7X2DG (18MHz)
    GI0VJE (18MHz)

    The later days was pretty more relaxing. Not a big pile up and some time to test other bands to operate.