So the gear-up for SOTA, Field Day and backpack HF is basically done. Possibly against my better judgment, I’ve cancelled my KX3 order. Or maybe I was thinking logically for once…
I ordered a KX3 exactly a month ago, titling that blog post “Christmas is Coming,” simply because of the long wait to get one of the highly desirable units. As of today it looks like about 140 KX3s have shipped, and these were all orders placed back in late December. With no estimation on how long it might be before mine ships, I figured it wasn’t worth it to wait what could be the duration of the summer for a portable rig.
The Yaesu FT-817NDs had become very scarce recently and none of the major radio retailers had them for sale. Something about a manufacturing/supply/component issue. Anyway, I was on HRO yesterday and noticed that the 817 was back in stock. I e-mailed the nearby Atlanta shop and the shop manager immediately wrote me back: “Got ’em in stock! … 4 here in the Atlanta store. Let me know ASAP as they are moving fast.”
I bypassed the website and called the Atlanta store and placed a phone order. For less than the price of a stock KX3, I was able to snag the 817, an LDG Z-817 antenna tuner, and a SignaLink, which I hope I can dual-purpose between the 817 and my 847 with the proper cabling. Within minutes the HRO guys sent me a shipping confirmation and told me to expect the rig in a day.
Then I popped over to buddipole.com and ordered the Buddistick package, a shock-cord mast and a guying kit. At this point, I STILL have cash left over from my KX3 budget.
To be honest, I’d rather have the KX3. But I’d also like to be in the field operating rather than waiting and wistfully reading the KX3 Yahoo group.
Worst case scenario, I use the 817 for the summer, enjoy it, make QSOs with it, use it for digital modes, take it to Field Day, climb some mountains, operate HF on my lunch break from the campus green, etc., and sell it off with the autotuner when the KX3 production has stabilized.
Photographer’s love dropping the cliche: “The best camera is the one you have with you.” I think that applies to radio also.
So my HF go-kit is looking like this:
- Yaesu FT-817ND
- LDG Z-817 autotuner
- Buddistick Vertical
- SignaLink USB audio interface
- Lenovo B570 laptop
- ABU rucksack
- 50 feet of RG8X
I’d like to get a solar charging solution at some point also.