Opportunism, bravery, insanity: putting the "eXtreme" in Elecraft's KX and AX gear

Since the beginning, Elecraft products have been used under difficult field conditions. There's the usual rain, insects, and insomnia of Field Day, of course. Murphy at his best. But our customers have gone well beyond this, conquering uncharted territory, experimenting with new technology, even recruiting diminutive ungulates as pack animals.

Feedback about these experiences has helped us hone our ultraportable transceivers; they've gotten smaller, lighter, and more capable, leading to the present KX3 and KX2. We've also answered the call for a truly compact, multi-band pedestrian mobile antenna with the introduction of the AX1 and its accessories.

No doubt -- with your help -- our gear will continue to evolve. Tell us about your operating adventures. And misadventures. What worked best? Where could things have been improved? For example, when you were clinging to a tree limb using an inverted vertical last winter, could you still hear signals above the blizzard? On that ironman run, did you need an antenna that deploys with one hand? Maybe an integrated speech-to-FT8 converter? And when you embellish your tales beside a campfire, should your detachable keyer paddle double as a bottle opener?

A few of your stories will find their way into our monthly newsletter. All of them will help inform and inspire the next generation of Elecraft's outdoor product line.


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1 comment

  • When we arrived @ Hamvention 1999 in Dayton, Ohio we met up with an old friend, Hank K8DD (sk-2010). He told us to be sure and take a look at the Elecraft booth and their new transceiver kit. On Saturday, the 15th of May, my spouse Milly (KC8MMH) said let’s go see what there is at the Elecraft tables. Upon seeing my interest in the K2 Kit, she said “Happy Birthday” and bought me a complete 10W kit. Since then it has gotten a lot of use at home and all over the northern states on Summer vacations, including to Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Finland. It’s never failed me and the internal tuner could tune any piece of wire that I could string up.

    In 2012 the KX3 transceiver appeared and I bought one that Fall ~ it has been a delight to use on CW-QRP and in 2013 I added the KXPA100/AT amplifier for SSB. Well, on the 16th of May, 2019 I read the announcement of the K4 coming to Hamvention. That night Milly said to me ~ I’m not going to the event with you tomorrow, but why don’t you order one for your birthday? I met Eric, WA6HHQ as soon as I arrived at the Elecraft booth and he showed me the many features of the K4 ~ I’m amazed ~ but didn’t put down our card with a deposit. When I arrived home again that night, she asked IF I had ordered a K4 ~ I said no; but since then the order has been placed.

    As I begin my 83rd journey around the Sun I look forward to receiving the K4 in the Fall; maybe by Milly’s birthday. I know it’s going to be another fine Elecraft product and I hope to make a lot of use of it in the coming years.

    73, Jan K1ND ~ ex-W8SWN, 9M2JJ, WA1VZV ~

    Jan, K1ND

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