After writing my Yaesu 817ND & Elecraft KX3 comparison post I received a number of questions on how I keep my Elecraft KX3 protected when out and about on SOTA summits.
I use my KX3 out portable, normally in quite harsh conditions on SOTA summits through out the year. I’ve also taken it abroad to 3 islands on EA8 and to CT7. So for me protection of my expensive investment (well, the KX3 isn’t cheap is it?!) is paramount and I have three stages.
1. Side KX (Gem Products)
Gem Products produce protective side handles for the KX3 which protect the controls if the rig was to ever roll over… this is a possibility on SOTA summits. The handles also come with a Polycarbonate front cover which snaps into place between the handles. This is great when carrying the KX3 in a bag as it protects the display and controls. Here’s the blurb from the website:
“The LEXAN Polycarbonate Cover is the same material used in fighter cockpit windshields and bank teller window bullet proofing for the second layer of protection.”
Fighter Cockpit wind shields, bullet proofing?! That’ll protect the KX3 nicely! I’ve operated from SOTA summits on Lanzarote and Portugal that also had military installations and from the High Willhays on Dartmoor which is an army training area so you never know!
2. ThinkTank Strobe Flash Pouch
This is originally intended as a bag for camera flashes but is also the right dimensions to snugly fit the Elecraft KX3. This bag seems to be used by a number of KX3 owners to keep it protected as can be seen on the Amazon reviews.
The pouch adds padding to the setup to protect it from biffs in the rucksack.
The front pocket has space to fit the microphone as well.
3. Dry Bag
This is the final stage of protection for my KX3. Operating year round in the UK means you inevitably encounter rain, sometimes it can be torrential on the walk up to a SOTA summit. The dry bag gives me confidence that no matter how hard and driving the rain is my KX3 is safe and dry inside my rucksack.
I use the 5L Friendly Swede Dry Bag which is a good size for the KX3. The material is strong industrial grade 500D PVC tarp (IPX5 waterproofing standard), which is good enough for me!
My protection is probably a bit over the top for most ops, but this is due to the conditions in which I operate and the setup works well for me and has been proven in fierce conditions. If I could only have one of these it would be the Gem Side KX handles and cover. This goes a long way to protecting the rig in your rucksack and protects it from mishaps on mountains.
I hope this has been useful to some KX3 owners. What do you use to protect yours?