for the Elecraft® KX3 Transceiver
by Friedhelm Meier (VE7FMN)
The Elecraft KX3 is a revolutionary HF transceiver whose uniquely minimalist form-factor places global communication into a palm sized package that is equally at home in your shack as it is in your pack. The KX3 unequaled in its features per unit of size. Cleverly this software defined radio is continuing to evolve to better meet the needs of the amateur community. Most recently a firmware update has improved KX3s native digital capabilities and boosted the output on some bands.
Elecraft have addressed the additional cooling needs that the new output power levels impose by supplying a larger cooling plate with new delivered rigs, and making them available for purchase for the existing customer base.
However, the KX3 community has spoken: the factory supplied heat sinks only provide adequate cooling to allow conservative utilization of its impressive capabilities. In order to exploit the full potential of the KX3 additional cooling is necessary to avoid nuisance automatic power roll back and shutdown. To provide improved protection for all of the components inside the radio, not just the power amplifier chips, we designed additional passive cooling in the form of a replacement heatsink.
The Cooler KX™ heat sinks provide sufficient cooling power to enable extended full power key down cycles in FM, AM, CW, PSK, RTTY, and evolving digital modes. Cooler KX™ heat sinks really unleash the capability in your KX3 even with the recently increased power output.
If your KX3 is your back up or part-time rig, or you are a casual operator you likely do not need additional cooling. On the other hand if your KX3 is your primary station rig, if you contest, if you are an advanced CW or PSK operator and especially if you intend to be able to operate prolonged full power as in emergencies and under poor propagation conditions you will most certainly benefit from the additional cooling provided by a Cooler KX Plus™ heatsink.
If you want to be able to choose the band, mode, power level, and any expedient antenna, order your Cooler KX Plus™ heat sink today!
An independent engineering evaluation has concluded that the top-performing aftermarket KX3 heatsink is the Cooler KX Plus™. (The Cooler KX Plus™ placed first, while the Cooler KX Lite™ tied for second place.) Both Cooler KX™ models are offered in two grades of finish – painted and unpainted – thereby accommodating a range of performance requirements and budgets. Several discussions on the “FAQs” page make it easy to decide which combination of model and finish will best fit your needs:
Illustrated step-by-step instructions make installation quick and easy; no messy thermal grease or tedious paint removal are necessary. Premium stainless steel mounting hardware (two Keps nuts and four socket-head screws) is included. Both Cooler KX™ models are mechanically compatible with the two Side KX accessories, i.e. end plate handles and polycarbonate cover.
In theory, upgrading the KX3’s factory-supplied heatsink should nearly double its operating life, although the exact benefit depends on which heatsink you choose, and how hard you push the finals. On the flip side, in practice upgrading the heatsink can also more than double the transmitter’s high-duty-cycle max output power capability.
Elecraft is a registered trademark of Elecraft, Inc.