Christmas is coming…

The long wait begins. Yes, that’s right. I’ve ordered the Elecraft KX3. If you believe the hype, it’s the rig that Jesus himself would have run if he’d been a ham radio operator.

And I didn’t wimp out on the features either. I ordered the roofing filters and the antenna tuner too. Now, when will it ship? Your guess is as good as mine.

I’d hoped to be doing some SOTA activations by now, and I wanted to operate “from a backpack” for field day this summer. I looked for an FT-817ND a few months back, but every online retailer is out of stock on that rig. Then I started hearing about the buzz about the KX3.

Sure, I wasn’t instantly in love with the boxy chassis — only slightly more attractive than the militaristic metal-box charm of my LDG autotuner. But dayum — that display puts everything else to shame! The layout has real knobs, buttons and a big VFO dial. The SDR internals. The portability. The superiority of the receiver. I dare say this rig is probably going to give my FT-847 a fine thrashing in the reception department.

Oh and I’ve come around to the looks of it now: Unpretentious, elegantly engineered, stately. Not a bunch of molded, injected plastic crap that looks like spare parts from an H.R. Geiger alien model kit.

I’ve even re-committed myself to learning CW, just so I can lay hands on that sweet little machined paddle keyer.

Being a newbie ham and moderately liddish, I don’t deserve a KX3. But I’ve ordered one. I made the decision last week and pushed the button this morning. Now the long wait begins.

If you are one of the souls who purchased the rig back in December when they began accepting orders, you’ve waited nearly five agonizing months for your KX3. Shipments for those orders only started going out last week, and Elecraft is predicting it may take weeks for those orders to be fulfilled. From their web site, posted just the other day:

December 27th was the first day we took KX3 orders and we received many hundreds that day, so we’ll be working our way through those first day orders for the next several weeks.

Please be patient as we ramp up production. During the first several weeks we will be slowly ramping up shipping as we begin manufacturing and get everything stabilized on the production line. We will then continue to ramp up production over the following weeks to our final production.

Dang. A single day of orders is causing weeks of logjam. I don’t have patience.

My step-father, a lapsed ham himself, had a saying when we were kids and we “wanted something real bad.” Simply put, he would tell us: “Christmas is coming.” As a kid, hearing that utterance in February or April was like a crack of damnation, because Christmas was a looong time away.

And that’s how I feel now, because it looks like it might be December before my KX3 gets here. Heheh.

In other news, I made a few decent QSOs this weekend:

Friday night I logged my first contact with a station in Montana, NB7V.

Saturday morning I met up with the local club and we worked a local charity bike ride. I was feeling a bit squirrelly afterwards and arrived back home in time to make about a dozen rapid-fire QSOs, mostly from a pair of state QSO parties happening: Georgia and New Mexico.

I also had a neat contact with the  Brunswick Shores Amateur Radio Club, N4GM, who were activating the “Old Baldy” Lighthouse (USA 039) in North Carolina.

I also managed to bust pile-ups on two Titanic-related stations, both in Maryland: The Titanic Wireless Association, K3MGY, and special event station W3R. I finished the afternoon with a Mexico station, 6H6IARU, celebrating the 87th Anniversary of the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union, IARU.

I made a single contact with an Argentina station Sunday, LU2HOD, and had no luck at all Monday evening.

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