Support QRP CoA Everywhere

Monday, 3 February 2014

Southwold 2014

Wind was 40mph gusting 50mph+






The wind blown sand killed my KX3 after a while as got inside.

This after disassembling.





The fine sand was covering everything and had gotten into the controls. The multi mode rotary press buttons stopped working completely. I had to remove all the grains of sand and wash and then dry the areas. So warning... watch out KX3 and beach sand don't mix.

I forgot to take photos as was more worried about getting it working again. The rotary controls would not rotate (tuning was ok) and the push button switch well it didn't.

Used compressed air, a vaccum (with a fine tube), iso propol alcohol and a soft tooth brush to clean it all up.

12 comments:

Ian Harling said...

Hopefully all ok with the rig now? 73..Ian . G7HFS.

M1KTA said...

Seems to be OK but not 100% sure yet I couldn't depress or turn the smaller controls at the time, and there was a lot of sand inside the case. Not sure if those components are totally sealed or not.

I had mentioned I was looking at a better way of enclosing the KX3 for sea side use, actually due to salt spray (why to be honest I had no serious worries about a disassemble).

I am working on a latex 'glove' that fits over the KX3 completely to exclude anything from getting into it.... using a made up top cover template, perhaps I should speed that up. The effect happened in less that 30 mins... and you can see how I was sitting using the radio... wind coming from behind me.

Ian Harling said...

Well I hope it is all ok when you have a chance to test it thoroughly . Here in Eastbourne we have the chance to operate down by the water . A few summer's back I put up an inverted L and it was 132 ft .We had some good contacts on all bands and also got an S7 report into VE with 500mw using an 817...Good luck with the portable operation and hope to catch up on the air sometime..73 . Ian.

M1KTA said...

I 'MIGHT' send the top uPC board off to Elecraft and ask them to replace all four rotary controllers as they are still a little 'crunchy' even though visibly appear clean. I had thought they were enclosed but I am guessing sand power got into the rotary shaft??? Or I'll simply snip them out and replace, with all the 0402 stuff on the boards I do not want to be tring to desolder the pins on them. On my second KX3 I have already fitted thin over sized PTFE washers and a thin retaining screws to keep sand etc out.... and started to cover up some of the obvious holes. Conditions were DRY but windy which is why all the sand is fine wind blown stuff. Great radio but why oh why put it into a clam shell case with no WX protection as it is a /P rig.

Phil Wheeler said...

Ugh! Elecraft needs to produce a "splash and dustproof" model, like some of my cameras. You're a brave soul to be out in that weather, and no gloves! Nice website, BTW.

73 - Phil w7ox

M1KTA said...

Phil, temp was about 5'C probably (felt it) well below freezing with wind chill. I had gloves but not on when photo taken (wife took it then retreated to the car 100m away). I did have gloves I used later. Yes IMHO it does need a WX proof enclosure but it was a radio not really designed for any /P operating expect fine and dry. I do have a clear box and a clear bag I use mine in if it is wet but on this occasion I never considered the sand was to be an issue until it became one ....

Igor said...

I don't understand why don't you bring some portable chair and table since you got there by car. That would make your operation a lot more comfortable and your rig safer. I presume there would be a lot less sand particles at the heigt of 1m.

Anonymous said...

Good idea Igor but was hard enough holding onto the green mat I sat on let alone a table and chair.

Graham Boor said...

Operated from that position several times, when it blows it blows, last time from the car park near the RNLI and museum about 100 yards from where you are sat, should imagine that's where the XYL was.

Hope the rig is OK,
Nice blog and website

Graham Boor said...

Operated from that position a few times, when it blows sand gets every where, last time I stayed in the corner of the carpark near the RNLI and museum close to the beach and harbour wall, should imagine that is where the XYL was.

Hope the rig is OK, nice blog and website.

Graham G8NWC

ON6UU said...

Some protection would indeed be advisable in the future since this is not a 1£ rig.... ..

i hope it will be ok and has no probs.

73
ON6UU

M1KTA said...

The KX3 works again... but the far right push buttom control is not stable yet. I might disassemble again and reclean it you can usually press to adjust the tuning of the A or B vfo if operating split etc easily... it works but does not always switch (the OFS and B LED one).

The power socket seems to be temperamental now. I had thought I wanted to replace it anyway, fit a grommet and a pig tail with anderson power poles so I might just get on with it.

The grey push buttons on the top board did not lift (quick check) but there was a constant 'bead' of sand grains right around the edge. I used tweezers to remove all the grains. The band pass filter and atu torroids had sand in between the windings too and all over the glue used on some of the windings.

The small speaker was full of sand.

The LCD was un-marked thankfully although before I took it apart there were sand grains between it and the perspex cover.