Elecraft KX1 Gives Audible
CW Feedback About Settings
This article is for blind and vision-impaired amateur radio operators interested in the Elecraft KX1 CW Transceiver. It can give Morse code reports about the operating frequency, menu, and switch settings.
The KX1 is a portable multiband CW transceiver for QRP operation at 4 watts or less. It is small and light. The overall size is 1.4" H x 5.8" W x 3.0" D, and without options it weighs 9 oz.
It can also receive upper and lower sideband modes as well as some signals in the broadcast AM band. Options include an internal antenna tuner and detachable paddles that can also be used as a hand key.
The KX1 Web page has links to the downloadable User Manual and reviews of the radio.
Building the Kit
Elecraft only sells the KX1 as a kit. From the compact size and low power it is evident that some components are very small. The assembly instructions and photos in the User Manual give details.
The Elecraft Web site has a list of "Builders for Hire" in 16 countries, many of whom offer this service free to disabled or older hams.
Audio CW Feedback
The KX1 has an efficient system of audible CW signals and tones to let you know the frequency, menu parameters, and switch settings. Audible Morse code is sent in response to the use of all controls, including menu configuration. The CW speed is adjustable from 10 to 40 words per minute in 5 wpm steps.
Tapping the Band switch announces the operating frequency in MHz and kHz. A separate Frequency Announce Mode uses "tics," which are various tones that signal how far you have tuned across the band.
In Menu mode, turning the VFO knob scrolls through the 16 menus. With CW feedback on you hear Morse code that identifies each menu. To hear the parameter setting for a particular menu, such as the CW feedback speed in the CFB menu, stop scrolling and press the EDIT key. To change the speed, turn the VFO knob (while pressing the EDIT key) until the speed you want is announced.
New Elecraft KX3
The Owner's Manual for the KX3 lists an "SW Tone" audible Morse feedback feature in the menu.
A unique audible Morse code feedback system makes it possible for blind and vision-impaired hams to use the "trail-friendly" Elecraft KX1 CW transceiver.
Peter DeNeef, AE7PD, is an Extra Class amateur radio operator in the U.S. This Web site has no ads or conflicts of interest.
Email: HamRadioAndVision "at" gmail "dot" com.