About

Page Contents
Roles & Contributions
Product Design Fred, VE7FMN
Adrian, 5B4AIY
CNC Programming Daniel, VA7DVV
Manufacturing Fred, VE7FMN
Sales & Support Fred, VE7FMN
Website Hosting Bengt, K7ADD
Analysis & Testing Adrian, 5B4AIY
Documentation Gary, KI4GGX
3D Modeling Gary, KI4GGX
Webmaster Gary, KI4GGX
VE7FMN
Hi I’m Fred, VE7FMN.  I know absolutely nothing about websites or the worldwide web, but I do know about “moving heat” from having worked for 27 years in the radiant floor heating industry.  I also know how to make customers happy, from having previously worked administrating warranty claims for the world’s largest privately-held boiler manufacturer.
Being interested in digital modes, I eventually discovered the reality of my new KX3’s thermal limitations.  Especially on 6 meters!  At the time there were no effective aftermarket solutions to the problem, so I set about applying my expertise to create my own.
It is only through the kindness of others – primarily 5B4AIY, K7ADD, and KI4GGX – that I have this website where you can get a sense of what sets my heatsinks apart from the myriad of aftermarket offerings; and purchase them online.
My Credentials
  • 27 years in the radiant floor heating industry taught me the same concepts required to design an optimal heatsink for the KX3:
    • ΔT (i.e. temperature difference)
    • Heat Flow (conduction both along the baseplate and up the fins)
    • Convection (in particular, too many fins too closely spaced, will restrict airflow and negatively impact performance)
    • Radiation (an important factor in the absence of forced air cooling; if the fins are too closely spaced, then most of the heat radiated by one fin will be reabsorbed by the fins adjacent to it)
  • Before that I spent 10 years at Viessmann Manufacturing, which at the time was the world’s largest boiler manufacturer.  There I administered warranty claims.  Viessmann manufactured 316 Ti stainless steel tanks, so I know all about alloys and corrosion.
The Cooler KX™ Story
A while back I joined the local club here in Chilliwack, British Columbia.  (This was before I’d ever heard of Elecraft.)  Anyway, the club has two K3/100s and I was allowed to sign one out on loan, for evaluation.
It was amazing!  Even though I was limited to 10 Watts into to a compromise attic antenna, I could still make contacts.  Heck, I even got a comeback from a guy in California … Wayne, N6KR.
Unfortunately, all too soon I had to give the K3 back.  Even worse, I couldn’t afford one of my own.  But then, someone from the club sent me a link to a colorful brochure announcing the KX3.  To me, this seemed like a compact next-generation K3/10.  Best of all, it was within my budget!
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It took me a while to comprehend the reality of the KX3’s thermal limitations when running high duty cycle modes; especially above 30 MHz!  At the time there were no aftermarket solutions, so I began to ponder designing a heatsink of my own.  For several weeks thereafter, I fell asleep thinking about this project.
Once the details were worked out, Daniel (VA7DVV) and I began writing the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling instructions that would make it a reality.  Finally the moment arrived – I inserted a block of aluminum in the machine and waited as my vision came to life for the first time.
My Fascination with Radio
My love of radio goes back to 1961, when I was given an old Phillips AM broadcast receiver.  You could only get local stations on it during the day, but everything changed when the sun went down.  As the band came to life, the smells of that bygone technology – dust burning on vacuum tubes and hot Bakelite – would fill my senses.  Gradually, far away stations began appearing when I tuned between the local stations.  From my second story bedroom in Vancouver – I could hear baseball game announcers in San Francisco, and even a few stations as far away as Los Angeles.  I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it … ah, the magic of radio!
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I studied electricity in eighth grade Industrial Ed class, and then electronics a year later.  (I might still have the 9 volt power supply project I built way back then?)  That same year I discovered something even more amazing than the old Phillips – voices coming from a toy spaceship that used no batteries and had no power cord!  Later I would learn that this was a crystal receiver, but at the time it was pure magic to me.
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I was first licensed in 1995 as VE7FMN; same as today.  After briefly experimenting with packet radio, life got in the way and I shut the station down … almost before getting started.
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More recently:
  • In 2010 my wife Susan (VE7SZM) and I left our family farm and moved into town.  Our current home is on a postage-stamp-size lot in comparison.  There are no trees, and we would require a zoning permit to erect any sort of antenna support structure; guyed or self-supporting.
  • Having given up on the dream of a linear amp and a tri-bander on a tower, Sue and I attended Sea-Pac for the first time in 2011 (this was before she was licensed).  It was an inspiring weekend, and I returned from the event with new-found enthusiasm, more determined than ever to address my antenna situation.
  • In 2013 I briefly tried out a K3 – borrowed from our local radio club – using the non-resonant doublet Sue and I had since erected in the attic.  Shortly thereafter I drank the Kool-Aid and got a KX3.  (Or was it the other way around?)  Either way, that little radio has launched yet another wondrous adventure.
simply better manufacturing
Cooler KX, Cooler KX Lite, and Cooler KX Plus are trademarks of Friedhelm Meier (VE7FMN) and Gary Hvizdak (KI4GGX).
Copyright © 2014 - 2015 by F. Meier and G. Hvizdak.  All rights reserved.