Long wait is over, the 144 MHz transverter module for my Elecraft KX3 has arrived!
|KX3-2M transverter module shipment kit|
The transverter module came in the way all Elecraft users have got used to; well packed, all small bits and pieces in ziplock bags and with very detailed installation manual.
The transverter board is a very high-tech piece of electronics not only due to the physical size constraints, but the RF performance is quite outstanding, merely required as the sole RF performance of KX3 is so outstanding.
I have the optional antenna tuner board and the roofing filter installed in the KX3, both needed to be removed during the installation to access the LO signal output connector and to install the SMA antenna connector.
Both the antenna cable and the LO signal cables use UMC (Ultra Miniature Coaxial) connectors which are small but tough.
Mating the contacts first time requires impressive amount of force comparing the connector size. The LO cable connector is below the roofing filter board, which was required to be removed during the cable installation.
The transverter board fits directly on top of the optional antenna tuner board, utilizing the same connections the tuner board uses.
The power transistor of the transverter is attached to the side wall of the radio body between the antenna connectors, and there's also a screwhole ready for that.
I noticed later when getting the radio back to one piece that the transverter antenna cable is bit on the way of the loudspeaker and extra care needs to be taken when closing the lid so the cable won't get squeezed between the metal sheets.
Finalizing the installation required me to upgrade the firmware of the radio, which was no pain using the KX3 utility. The installation manual clearly went through step by step the required parameters to be entered so that the transverter module would be recognized and available.
I briefly tested both FM and narrowband operations and everything looks good. Getting FM to work was bit tricky but thanks to the manual again I was able to get both repeater offset and PL to work :) I'm getting old as I need to read manuals!
When I get a chance I will do some basic measurements on the performance of the transverter module to proof the sensitivity and output power. According to the manual it should put out 3 W on 12V, and about 1 W on 10V which is the case when running on batteries.