Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cooler KX plus heat-sink

The Cooler KX plus heat sink installed 
From my previous posts my readers know I am now in the process of delving back into the digi modes with my Elecraft KX3. With the digi mods there are long duty cycles and thus the PA's in rigs sure do get a "hot" workout. In the KX3 if the heat goes to a certain point the power is rolled back to not damage the PA's in the rig. There are other events that can cause the rig to roll back power but operating in the digi modes is sure high on the list. Not wanting to operate on reduced power and not to say bringing the rig to this point really can't be good for it I have a choice operate a lower power or find some way to keep the finals cool. The heat sink on the KX3 is good but not great and therefore a
Cooler KX plus compared to stock
product called Cooler KX comes into the picture. This is a very easy upgrade to the KX3 and has been designed to not take away from the KX3's styling. The company is Canadian and Fred VE7FMN has done a very professional job on adding extra cooling ability to the Elecraft KX3. There are 2 heat sinks that are offered and they are the Cooler KX lite and Cooler KX plus. I ordered the Cooler KX plus and am very happy with my purchase. Once I placed my order Fred was in contact with me via email asking very important and clarifying questions to make sure my installation went without a hitch. The heat sink arrived very well packaged and with all the hardware needed for a trouble free instal. The instructions that came via email from Fred were very well layer out and easy to understand. I am never excited when ever I have to take apart either my Elecraft K3 or KX3 as this is the time things can get damaged. The heat sink upgrade is fairly straight forward and easy to do compared to let say the sub-receiver addition to the K3 now that to me was a nail biter. The heat sink instal involved removing two nut and bolt configuration to release the
Two PA's fastened to heat sink 
two PA's from the heat sink and then 2 more screws that secure the heat sink to the radio. It was basically the reverse to instal the new heavy duty heat sink from Fred. If you own an Elecraft KX3 I would recommend this upgrade as no matter what mode you are operating in your PA finals will be cooler and thus a longer life for the KX3.

11 comments:

  1. Hello Mike, that is a good descision. Heat is never good for any electronics. I wish my FT-817 had some extra cooling. Although I never noticed it really get hot under any circumstances. My IC-706 though is a heater of it's own. It gets hot even when not operating but only RX. I got a Alu plate below the radio which I connected with a piece of old heatsink to the heatsink of the radio. That way it stays cooler. But when contesting it is so hot I can't even touch the heatsink. It's a miracle my IC-706 is still alive after 15 years regulary abuse...73, Bas

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    1. Good evening Bas, I was very pleased to see this product out and available it's a nice feeling knowing the rig will not over heat. Does the IC-706 roll back its power when it gets to hot??
      Mike

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    2. Not that I noticed. But I'm certain it's not good for all the electronics. Isn't it possible to adjust the temperature roll back in the menu for your KX3? 73, Bas

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    3. Good evening Bas, the roll back in the KX3 as far as I know is set to a temp that cannot be changed and if you can adjust it I would imagine the folks at Elecraft would advise you don't play with it. The best thing to do without this heat-sink is to keep the power at a low level to reduce any heat.
      Mike

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  2. I was thinking about getting one of these. However, I don't do digi modes and I kept close watch on my KX3 which served as our CW station for Field Day. After 275+ contacts the casing on the PA side wasn't even what you would call "warm". But, if I did a lot of digital? I would think one of these would be a necessity.

    73 de Larry W2LJ

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    1. Good morning Larry, I agree and I also had no heating issues when I was using the KX3 for strickly CW. It was only when I ventured down the digi road that the heat was very noticeable.
      Mike

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  3. We use the KX3 for SOTA and other field operations and have noticed that it gets too hot when directly exposed to the sun. On mountain summits there usually is no place to hide from the sun; only few square feet available usually. any After some 20 QSO's it gets waay to hot. THis is ia nice solution. Will pass the info, thanks!
    Mark

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    1. You can check out the website that Fred has put together and it's very informative.
      Mike

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    2. 10 degrees lower temperature means double lifetime for all components.
      Heatsinking is a good practice. That is why recommended for other modes, too.
      Minimalists can do without.
      Benny OH9NB

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    3. Benny that's very important when rigs cost a lot of money and warranty will not cover failure do to user overheating the finals.
      Mike

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  4. The kids received a Cooler KX Plus™ for Christmas and 10 year-old Hope (KM4IPF) learned how to install it yesterday with a little help from Daddy. She made a video and posted it to the kids' YouTube channel, https://youtu.be/_0u-faUQODs.

    Listen for the kids on the air either with their own callsigns (WX4TVJ, AE4FH, KM4IPF, or KM4TXT) or with the family club callsign of WK1DS!

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