Operating Notes: Happy Holidays, calling CQ, K3s

I hope everyone is having a happy and safe holidays. Here at KB6NU, we celebrate both Christmas Eve and Christmas. Christmas Eve is with my family, Christmas with my wife’s family. It’s twice the fun! ┬áHere are my operating notes for today:

  • One thing I’ve noticed lately is other stations calling CQ right near the frequency where I’m calling CQ. Often, I’ll answer their call, and usually they come right back to me. This leads me to wonder why they didn’t call me in the first place. They obviously could hear me, if they’d tuned to my frequency. Usually, they’re sending slower than I was sending, but I’m always happy to slow down to whatever speed they want. Who knows?
  • Does it seem you that there are more Elecraft K3s on the air than other rigs? It seems like half the stations I work anymore are using K3s. This morning, for example, both K1JD and WT2W were running K3s. I’m seriously considering getting one myself.
  • Double the pleasure. A couple of days ago, I ran across KO1U on 20m. We had a short, strained QSO. The band wasn’t quite yet open, and signals were kind of poor. After ending that QSO, I moved down to 30m and started calling CQ. Who’s the first station to reply? KO1U, of course. :) The signals were a lot better on 30m, and my noise level was a lot lower, too.


  1. Hi,
    I am new to ham and would like to know what K3s are which you mentioned in your email.

    • You know, I was going to include a link to the Elecraft website, but got lazy. Thanks for keeping me honest. I’ve just updated the post with that link.

      The K3 is their flagship HF transceiver. They are really great rigs.

  2. By the way, almost the minute I posted this, I had the exact same experience I described about someone calling CQ near the frequency where I was calling. And, just like I described, I called the station, and he came right back to me. He gave me a 579, so he certainly was able to hear me call CQ, if he had been listening.

  3. Dave, N8SBE says:

    Re: CQ’s — maybe they just want to ‘own’ the frequency when the QSO is over. Go figure…

    Re: K3’s — I’ve made a point of ‘counting’ the K3’s I see in various station pictures published in QST. Even though not always announced in the accompanying article, I’ve notice a preponderance of K3’s in DXpedition photographs. I’ve noticed that Kenwood in particular is attempting to crack that market segment that favors ‘bullet-proof’ front ends in smaller, lightweight packages. I’d say that Elecraft has started an interesting trend, and it will be interesting to see where it goes. I certainly enjoy my K3, and encourage anyone considering a radio to look into one.

  4. I like my K3. It is as near-perfect (although imperfect) radio as I have ever used. It’s just about the right size for the home shack and small/light enough to travel. It’s exceptionally clean on transmit (necessary for DXped use) and amazing on receive. It’s a CW operator’s radio. And, I think that’s why you hear so many on the air. A lot of people don’t like the ergonomics, but I think it is second to none for ease-of-use under fire. It demands to be used.

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