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Re: [CQ-Contest] K3 initial comments

To: "Bill Parry" <BPARRY@RGV.RR.COM>, "'Tree'" <tree@kkn.net>,<cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] K3 initial comments
From: Steve Harrison <k0xp@dandy.net>
Date: Thu, 05 Jul 2007 15:52:40 +0000
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
At 10:01 AM 7/5/2007 -0500, you wrote:
>I am not a person who likes to change radios very often but I am really
>excited about this one. I am a little worried about the small size of the
>knobs, so I want to see one that I can use but I think that this is going to
>be my new one!

Small knobs are now my bain, to the point where I've replaced several of
the stock knobs on my radios with larger ones. For example, most radios (at
least, pre-uP-controlled synthesizer-vintage) have RIT knobs no larger than
3/8" diameter and some only 5/16 or even 1/4" diameter. Adjustment of these
is often very critical and, over hours of contesting, fatiguing.

I've found it MUCH easier to adjust my RITs after replacing the small knobs
with the largest ones I can fit snugly on the shafts (even if the knob has
setscrews). My TS-680S now sports a 7/8" knob nearly 4 times the radio's
age from an old Hewlett Packard test instrument but boy, is the RIT now
easy to use  8-)))) Same for my TS-130 although its knob isn't quite as
large nor old.

Years ago while doing serious V/UHF contesting, a modified TR-9130 was my
main 2m radio but its stock 1-1/4" main dial would quickly become tiresome
over hours of twiddling. Fortunately, I found a much-larger knob which also
had a bellcrank that fit perfectly, from a Korean war surplus amplifier. It
looks odd, but feels good and my big paw fits and grips it easily. Wouldn't
want a picture of it on the cover of CQ, but that's highly unlikely, anyhow

An easy-to-adjust RIT is important to me because I do a lot of DXing in
between contests while using a 50 Hz active audio filter. It's way less
important during contests but even during the recent RAC job, I found half
a dozen callers as much as 700 Hz off my frequency. Split VFOs are nice
(such as the TS-680 has) and can be used in lieu of the RIT but you not
only wind up tuning over a much-wider range (and thus risk going far from
your transmit freq); you also then have to keep punching the A=B, SPLIT, or
A/B buttons. Merely having to swing the RIT knob back and forth takes less
effort and no matter how far you twiddle it, you won't wind up too far off
your transmit frequency.

Of course, if you're loud enough to have good runs on all bands, you rarely
have to use the RIT to begin with. So either be LOUD, or have good-feeling
knobs  8-)

Steve, K0XP
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