KX3 Heat Sink

If you operate your Elecraft KX3 in a portable environment (and perhaps even if you don’t) there are a few must-have add-ons which really help protect your KX3.  You are probably already aware of the popular KX3 KX Endplates and KX Cover available from Scott, AK6Q and his Gems Products website.  I received both as a Christmas present from my darling wife and love what they do for my KX3.

In addition to operating SSB phone via my KX3 on SOTA activations, I also enjoy grabbing my Buddipole a battery and heading outdoors for some picnic table portable operations in a park or really just about anywhere.  In this setting I typically bring along my laptop and operate PSK-31 or JT-65.  However, one thing I’ve noticed (and have been concerned about) is how the KX3 has the potential to heat up when running these digital modes (even at 5w or less).  This is especially evident in the warmer months of the year.

A few weeks ago I was browsing the KX3 Facebook page and learned about an add-on heat sink designed, built and sold by a fellow ham in Canada.  This OM’s name is Fred Meier, VE7fmn.  I contacted Fred via email and he quickly provided a detailed response on how he designed his KX3 heat sink and provided cost and availability information.  While I did find one other heat sink being marketed for the KX3, I believe Fred’s version is more effective at dissipating the heat from the KX3 and it looks great while doing it.

Here’s what Fred’s KX3 heat sink looks like installed on my KX3.

2014-04-27 13.06.33


2014-04-27 13.07.33

Fred’s KX3 heat sink is well built and designed to be durable.  The fins on the heat sink are not going to bend or break off and only adds an additional 8 ounces of weight to the KX3. 

I’ve conducted a few tests while in the shack and had the KX3 running PSK-31 and JT-65 at 10w and never received the overheat warning.  I couldn’t run above 5 watts inside or outside the shack without the heat sink installed.  I’ve yet to test the KX3 with heat sink installed outside in a portable setting, but I’m confident I will not have any issues.  If you would care to read another review of VE7fmn’s heat sink, please go here.

As I’ve stated, I love operating portable with my KX3 and I’m Happy, Happy, Happy to have this wonderful add-on to help keep my KX3 Cool, Cool, Cool.

Until next time…



Category(s): Amateur Radio, Gadgets, SOTA
Tags: , ,

6 Responses to KX3 Heat Sink

  1. Jerry, have enjoyed following your KX3 adventures.. great blog! I am curious if before you obtained the heatsink if the KX3 and the sideplates/cover still fit in the SIGG box? I myself will definitely get the SIGG box, just wondering if I also need the endplates and cover for double protection? thanks in advance!
    Randy, KF4O

    John Leonardelli says:

    Did you ever complete the Sigg box project?

  2. I , too, am interested in what became of the box. The way I measure my kx3 with Fred’s heatsink and the endplates, the 3″ measurement of that aluminum box you had would not cut it if I wanted foam in the box with the kx3.

  3. Hi Kevin, My apologies for the delay in getting back to you. My KX3 with the heatsink and the endplates and the plastic cover all fits nicely into the SIGG box. I use a thin piece of foam in the bottom and a few pieces along the side to keep it from moving side to side. I can snap a photo for you if you would like. Let me know if the email address on QRZ is good for you.


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