Amateur Radio in America's Paradise



Posted by R P Davis on December 1, 2013 at 8:10 AM

For the CQ Worldwide DX Contest CW portion, I had the privilege of once again being invited to join Philip, KT3Y/KP2M and Fred, K9VV/NP2X to compete in the Multi-Single, High Power category from Radio Reef, Philip's rental QTH and home of KP2M.

We did fairly well last year and had a lot of fun. This year, not so much.

That's Fred, K9VV/NP2X at left in the mult station chair, with Philip, KT3Y/KP2M running on the right.

About 20 hours in, I was running on 10m when I observed what sounded like the band going completely dead. Signals dropped from extremely strong to barely-there. I paid it no heed, because I'd heard 10 die before.

The trouble was, the spots never stopped. Either other stations had weird propagation - always possible, but unlikely - or something was wrong. It was at that moment I noticed the error code "HI RFI" scrolling on the K3.

Fred checked, switching the mult station K3 to 10m and tuning around. He could hear fine.  Uh, oh.  After waking Philip up and conducting further diagnosis, we concluded the run station K3 was toast.  So we swapped the mult station K3 over and slotted the Radio Reef backup rig - an FT1000MP - into the mult slot.

Two hours later, the second K3 gave up the ghost, exhibiting the same symptoms. Rather than continue with only the MP - with its 500hz CW filter only - we decided forlornly to call it a day. Which was a shame, because we were on a good track.

The moral of the story - The Elecraft K3 is a rugged, outstanding transceiver. But you cannot use them in a multi-op environment without good bandpass filters. If you do, you'll blow out the front end. 

Categories: Contesting

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