A delta loop antenna is not particularly suitable for SOTA. It requires much more space than a vertical and the set-up is more complicated.
Nevertheless I’d like to show this design here because sometimes space (and weight) don’t matter and a low take off angle is welcome. One possible scenario could be the VK/ZL/JA <> EU S2S event.
Having played with the KX3 for a couple of weeks I wanted to try it outdoor. But Hiking comprises some risk for the rig: rain and snow, shock and vibration and scratches from other things in the rucksack. The first attempt with bubble wrap worked but was not to my full satisfaction. A box was needed!
I searched the web for availalbe solutions (which are quite a few) and found Tom’s great Go Box: http://www.oe2atn.at/tom/gobox/ – the most professional one I found.
However, I had something different in mind: The box should look understated in order not to attract thieves on a long hike or a stay on a camping site. By accident I tripped over an empty first aid box. Slightly too big for the KX3 but apart from that very nice.
Old first aid box – used to store all kinds of stuff
Some pieces of foam were at hand and with a few cuts and a little bit of glue the protective padding was made.
The KX3, a short power cable and the Palm Pico Paddle fit nicely into the box.
: From time to time, while turning the dial, I noticed that VFO A seems to get stuck at a certain position. The frequency reading in the display „jumps“ back several 10 Hertz then moves on again and „jumps“ back. This can happen several times. Suddenly the failure disappears and the VFO works as intended.
This video from KC9W describes exactly my situation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COPj2skxWys
One explanation was that the old version of encoder has been used inside my KX3. But taking a close look revealed that it is already the new version. (Link to ELECRAFT’s KX3 VFO Encoder FAQ)
Other possible explanations for this weird behaviour include excessive mechanical stress to the encoder.
When opening the Go Box, I found that the VFO A knob has left a mark in the foam in the lid. Possibly, under such pressure, the foam is no longer able to absorb external shock. Instead, pressure applied to the lid will be transferred directly to the VFO A knob and the encoder.
As a counter measure I removed the foam from the lid (as can be seen in the picture below). Now there is some space between lid and VFO A knob even if the lid is closed. Instead, I put a large piece of foam on top of the bezel. If the lid is closed the foam will be compressed and keeps the KX3 in its place. But it no longer applies any pressure to the VFO A knob. If this temporary solutions works, I’ll have to think about something more professional…