04 January 2023


I giggle when I read things like this: 

For those who have trouble reading the screen capture, it goes like this:

"I forwarded a few questions from HF Pack list members to a Special Forces commander whose unit has been using KX2s in the field for three years. He passed along the following additional comments:

"We prefer to use Off Center Fed Dipoles (OCF). They work for us because they present a consistent, predictable mismatch on the frequencies we use. I made a few small baluns out of binocular cores that are 4:1, which handle the output of the KX2 on Voice, CW and digital all day long. Typically the dipoles area strung up arms-reach-high in the field, which gives us easy 300 - 400 mile range in our KX2 nets. If we're fortunate enough to have a tree, that OCFD with a center height of 10 to 15 feet or so works perfect for NVIS, at least for us.

"You'd be proud to know my KX2 has survived remote jungles, 14-er peaks in Colorado, -30 degree F temps, a helicopter crash, and gunfights / IED blasts... I think the radio has held up better than I have."

Wayne, N6KR, is one of the co-founders of Elecraft and is the main designer of the KX2. He posted this on the HFPack Groups.io site back in 2020 in response to some folks who were looking for more information on the US Army Special Forces use of the KX2 as a back-up radio. The topic recently re-surfaced on the Elecraft KX Groups.io site.

I find it funny (the giggle part) that today, folks who use the Icom IC-705, the Lab599 TX500, the Yaesu FT-818 and other QRP rigs struggle to put together a deployable package that includes the radio, tuner, battery, cables, connectors, etc. and end up with a pile of stuff the size of a desktop printer, while all of that fits inside of the KX2, a radio you can hold in the palm of one hand.

This is one of the reasons why in today's era of IC-705 SDR do-everything QRP market dominance, the KX2 - a 7 year old design - is perpetually on back-order.

Also note the use of an OCF dipole. No sooper-dooper sneaky-pete million dollar Special Forces antenna solution. Just a plain-jane dipole. The US Army is actually very pragmatic about antenna designs for their radios - you just can't cheat physics. If an antenna's gotta' be a quarter wavelength, it'll be a quarter wavelength.

W8BYH out

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