When I got back into ham radio, I joined the local club here in Chilliwack, British Columbia. (This was before I’d ever heard of Elecraft.) Anyway, the club has two K3/100s and I was allowed to sign one out on loan, for evaluation.
It was amazing! Even though I was limited to 10 watts into to a compromised attic antenna, I could still make contacts. Heck, I even got a comeback from a guy in California … Wayne, N6KR.
Unfortunately, all too soon I had to give the K3 back. Even worse, I couldn’t afford one of my own. But then, someone from the club sent me a link to a colorful brochure announcing the KX3. To me, this seemed like a compact next-generation K3/10. Best of all, it was within my budget!
--- - - - ---
It took a while for me to comprehend the reality of the KX3’s thermal limitations. Especially when running high duty cycle modes above 28 MHz! My first thought was to inquire whether there were any aftermarket vendor solutions, but at the time there were none. So I set about to design and produce a heatsink of my own. For several weeks thereafter, I fell asleep dreaming about this project.
Eventually I had a vision of what I wanted, and set about writing the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling instructions that would make it a reality. Finally the moment arrived – I inserted a block of aluminum in the machine and waited as my vision came to life for the first time.