The Elecraft KX2 version of Scott’s chest plate/manpack

Many thanks to Scott (KA9P) who writes:

As a follow-up to my previous post: this chest pack is still a bit of a work in progress but has been tested and works as is. I didn’t want the non-IC-705 owners to feel left out 🙂

The Condor MCR-3 chest plate can be used with a Condor T & T pouch (30 bucks) for most QRP rigs with a KX format.

The Condor T & T pouch is a frequently reviewed favorite of hikers and hunters – YouTube videos abound. The key feature is the way the pouch opens from a chest plate, or just straps, to form a tray. I expect you could modify other clamshell pouches of other sizes with an adjustable cord to do the same thing. I haven’t seen other pouches built to do this, yet.

The “tray” section contains a number of MOLLE loops as well as some loop material. This makes it easy to fashion your own radio attachment system. I have been using some hook material fastened to the back of KX2 for now, but am working on something that locks in, rather than tempt fate.

A Buddistick can be easily inserted in the chest plate as it was on my IC705 chest rig.

When closed, it protects a KX2 well. The fit on mine is relatively tight, but that is because I have a Buddistick adapter plate permanently mounted to the KX2 for HT operation.

A few things worth knowing so one doesn’t need to engage in an arduous voyage of self-discovery:

    • The tray can be made more stable by inserting something stiff in the pocket of the bottom case half.
    • And probably more important – the case is floppy if not secured to the chest plate at the outer loop positions. Four in the middle won’t cut it, because the back of the pouch will bend with the weight of the rig.
    • By ensuring there are attachment points on both sides of each string, the string can’t pull the top away from the plate.

I think the pics tell the story. I still prefer running the IC-705, but having the radio protected by a case that can contain all the dedicated accessories is a big win for the KX2. So is having everything available off the shelf.

SO many choices 🙂

72 Scott

Very cool! Thank you, Scott. I love how you’ve used these off-the-shelf pouches and chest packs to make what ends up looking like a very custom system!  

5 thoughts on “The Elecraft KX2 version of Scott’s chest plate/manpack”

  1. Pretty cool. I’m not into pedestrian mobile but if I ever pick it up then it is good to know that I have something to base my setup off of.

    I have a bad knee that has been with me since my Army days. When it decides to buckle on me I go down. I would hate to face plant on top of my radio. Could get expensive…and painful.


  2. Scott great ideas thanks for sharing, and Thomas thanks for giving this avenue for others to share their thoughts with us all.
    What an excellent bl9g especially for us beginner QRP Hams.

    Fr Richard

  3. I also am not into pedestrian mobile for HF or QRP, do with HT of course.

    I just got a chest bag, but was made for HT and 2nd pouch for accessories. I will use mainly for EmComm work.

    But I do like seeing some go pedestrian mobile, is interesting.

    thanks for the article.

    73, ron, n9ee

  4. The KX2 really does lend itself to some neat ways to deploy thanks to its size and feature set. Thanks for sharing another interesting option.

    On another KX2 topic-they have indeed released an official firmware update supporting the as-of-yet unreleased internal battery charger. Keeping an eye on the Elecraft website for when that circuit board upgrade is available.

    Will be nice to leave your KX2 in whatever your deployment case or pack is without removing and disassembling to charge!

    73, Dave

  5. Another great article Thomas. I’ve used chest rigs off and on over the years, both in civilian life and while on active duty. The Hill People gear rig was always one that most peeps would use. But recently I have been looking at this rig by Helikon – Tex , called the Numbat. It’s also one of the few chest rigs that have a drawstring cord that is adjustable for when you open up the pouch. Never thought of operating a rig while ped mobile myself, but think this would be another option if you didn’t want to wear a chese plate (hot and sweaty) with the chest pouch. Thanks again.

    73, Todd KH2TJ

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