I’ve been evaluating my collection of HF transceivers as I consider thinning the herd. The only thing that has held me back to this point is life experience. I’d rather have a root canal than sell ham radio equipment. Especially complex gear. Most buyers want something for nothing and then expect endless support. I once sold a TenTec Eagle to a fellow who, nearly a decade later, was still emailing me on occasion to ask how to turn on “this” or “that” function. If I had it to do over again, I would have smashed that beautiful transceiver on a rock and ended my suffering there.

But having collected thousands of dollars worth of hardware, I’m going to have to offer some of it for sale as those funds will be re-used for new equipment. One of the transceivers I’ve been thinking of selling is my KX3. Fully loaded. It’s a beauty. It’s also been setting in a closet for the last six months, unused. It’s old tech at this point and really should go. So yesterday afternoon I dragged it out to make certain it’s still in good working order.

In the first 30 minutes it was on the air I made a half dozen CW contacts. One of them, a 20 meter chat with Tom, VE4AKI in Winnipeg who was using an SW-3B and a wire. And just like that, I am again besotted with the KX3. The receiver is excellent and the audio immaculate. How am I ever going to sell this thing?

More Hardware Notes: Having taken stock of the computer hardware in use here, the weakest link was my MacBook Air. It’s a 2020 model, the first to use M1 Apple Silicon. I ordered it as soon as it became available and it has been my daily driver for nearly four years. My evaluation of potential replacements had me seriously considering a couple of unique designs from the global market, including a Fedora SlimBook that I really coveted. Hard. Until Apple announced the new speed-bumped M3 MacBook Airs. These became available for order this week and one of them will arrive here on Friday. They gave me $500 trade-in for my old MBA, a deal too good to pass on.

Even More Hardware Notes: The KiwiSDR 2 is now available for order ($395US). The first production run has been shipped. The second production run is available for ordering and a third production run is in progress so you might actually be able to get your hands on one. According to the RTL-SDR blog:

The KiwiSDR 2 is a 14-bit wideband RX only HF software defined radio created by John Seamons (ZL/KF6VO). The KiwiSDR has up to 32 MHz of bandwidth, so it can receive the entire 10 kHz - 30 MHz VLF/LF/MW/HF spectrum all at once. Other than the specifications, the main interesting feature about the KiwiSDR is that it is designed to be operated entirely as an online web based SDR which is accessed over a network connection. Owners can optionally share their KiwiSDRs online with anyone who wants to access it.

I’ve been keeping a closer eye on the SDR world as I’m finally coming round to the notion that the future of RF communications in amateur radio will eventually be this format of compatible hardware modules and software, as opposed to monolithic transceivers like those typically churned out. That’s not breaking news for those of you who have long been on the SDR bandwagon, but it’s illumination for me.

What can I say, I’m old.