Elecraft KX1 conversion

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Elecraft KX-1 CW transceiver. This is an example of previous work and is not for sale. Contact me if you are interested in a custom build similar to this.

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An HF Rig You Really Can Take Anywhere!

The Elecraft KX1 is a backpacker's dream: an ultra-light, multi-band CW station with internal battery and automatic antenna tuner. But it's also the perfect rig for shorter hikes, emergency use, and just plain fun. The top-mounted controls and plug-in paddle are ideal for beach chair, picnic table, or trail-side operation. You can use the KX1 standing up, or even while relaxing in bed. (Tired of your paperback? Turn on the logbook lamp and work some night-time DX!) 

The 4-band KX1 — with internal automatic antenna tuner, internal batteries, and clip-on keyer paddle — represents a new level of integration in QRP transceivers. The enclosure measures just 1.2 x 3 x 5.3 inches (3 x 7.5 x 13 cm), and the transceiver weighs just 9 ounces (11 ounces with both the optional ATU and keyer paddle installed).

“Big-Rig” Features, Operating Convenience

The KX1 includes a superhet receiver with variable-passband crystal filter, RIT, S-meter, DDS VFO w/3 tuning rates, 3-digit display, memory keyer, battery voltage monitor, and a 1 to 4-watt transmitter with full QSK. The VFO covers the full 20 and 40 meter ham bands, with receive-only tuning of nearby SWL segments. 30 and 80 meters are available as options. (See our KXB30 and KXB3080 options.)


KXB3080 Option Adds 30 M + 80 M and Wide Band RX Coverage

With the introduction of the KXB3080 option, the KX1 now covers up to four bands. The dual-band KXB3080 module, covering 80 and 30 meters, is installed in the same location as the 30-meter option (KXB30). 

With the KXB3080 installed, the rig’s DDS VFO allows reception from 1.0 to 16.5 MHz, which includes many popular shortwave broadcast bands. While signals far outside the ham bands are slightly attenuated, it is still possible to copy strong stations even in the commercial AM broadcast band. The KX1 transmits only in CW mode, but can receive SSB and AM signals, thanks to its variable-passband crystal filter.

KX1 revision 1.02 firmware is included at no charge with the KXB3080 option (and is included with all KX1s shipped after Feb. 7, 2006. S/N 1373 and later) . The new firmware also adds a scanning feature, useful for monitoring quiet bands. Scanning proceeds in “live” (un-muted) fashion, allowing the operator to hear even very weak stations. In emergency situations, scanning could help the operator find a strong local station they could contact even with weak batteries or an inefficient antenna.


Low Current Drain Extends Operating Time

The KX1 is highly efficient, drawing typically 34 mA on receive. The LED display adds only 1 to 2 mA in low to moderate lighting conditions. (VFO frequency and switch presses can also be announced in audio Morse code.) Thanks to the low current drain, you can operate casually for some 20 to 30 hours from internal batteries at the 1 to 2 watt level.


Integrated Options Reduce Station Weight

With the KXAT1 ATU option installed, you can use a lightweight random-wire antenna, in many cases eliminating coax, poles, and loading coils. The KXPD1 paddle option weighs just 1 oz. and is reversible for left-/right-handed use.