Postcard Field Report: Pairing the Elecraft KX3 and Tufteln Random Wire

Believe it or not, the 2023 Hamvention and Four Days In May is only ten days away at time of posting.

Where in the world did the time go–?

If you’re going to Hamvention, I hope to meet you there. When I’m not floating around, I’ll be hanging out at the Ham Radio Workbench/Halibut Electronics table: 3011.

I’m super excited about attending, but I’ve so much to prepare in advance. Every day between now and then is planned out to the max with family activities and projects.

That, and being an introvert (this might surprise some of you), I have to mentally prepare myself for hanging out with 30+ thousand other human beings. I’ll need ten days for that alone. If I appear tired at Hamvention or FDIM, you’ll know why! Ha ha!

Postcard Field Report

I’ve got a load of videos in the pipeline and to keep from falling behind publishing them, you’re going to see more of my slightly shorter “Postcard Field Reports” for the next couple of weeks during my travels.

These postcard reports contain all of the core information, just less wordy.  (In theory!)

Tuttle Educational State Forest (K-4861)

On Wednesday, April 5, 2023, I had a bit of time in the early afternoon to do a POTA activation. Tuttle Educational State Forest was low-hanging fruit as my errands that day took me within a stone’s throw of the park.

I arrived a bit before noon and took some time to record a Hike and Talk video (which will be published in the next couple of weeks).

After the hike, I set up my Elecraft KX3 and paired it with my Tufteln End-Fed Random Wire antenna.

I get a lot of questions from readers about the length of my Tufteln EFRW antenna radiator and counterpoise; Tufteln has several options to choose from.

My EFRW antenna has a 31′ radiator and a 17′ counterpoise.

I include the full set-up in my (lengthy) activation video below.


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On The Air

I started my activation on 17 meters which, turns out, was pretty quiet. Nonetheless, I logged four stations in about ten minutes on the air.

Next, I moved to 20 meters which was in much better shape. I worked an additional 21 stations in 18 minutes for a grand total of 25 logged!


Here’s what this activation looked like when plotted out on a QSO Map.

Activation Video

Here’s my real-time, real-life video of the entire activation.  As with all of my videos, I don’t edit out any parts of the on-air activation time. In addition, I have monetization turned off on YouTube, although that doesn’t stop them from inserting ads before and after my videos.

Note that Patreon supporters can watch and even download this video 100% ad-free through Vimeo on my Patreon page:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thank you

Thank you for joining me on this activation! I appreciate the fact that you take time out of your schedule to hang with me during my POTA and SOTA activations.

Of course, I’d also like to send a special thanks to those of you who have been supporting the site and channel through Patreon and the Coffee Fund. While certainly not a requirement as my content will always be free, I really appreciate the support.

As I mentioned before, the Patreon platform connected to Vimeo make it possible for me to share videos that are not only 100% ad-free, but also downloadable for offline viewing. The Vimeo account also serves as a third backup for my video files.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

Cheers & 72,

Thomas (K4SWL)

3 thoughts on “Postcard Field Report: Pairing the Elecraft KX3 and Tufteln Random Wire”

  1. Thanks for sharing.
    I was not aware of the Tufteln line of antenna products for portable ops. They will be my go-to for EFRW, EFHW, winders, etc.

  2. Thomas
    I know you are a fan of the Tufteln antennae, and you have used different ones in your activations. But in trying to recall the different ones you have I used, I am not clear which might be your favorite or best one to start with? There’s the :
    EFRW QRP Long wire and EFRW with 9:1 transformer ?
    EFHW with 49:1 or EFHW QRP antenna EFHW 49:1 Fat BOY ?

    Can you offer any preferences>
    Paul w2eck

    1. Hi, Paul,

      They both work very well.

      If you have an ATU in your radio (or an external one) the 9:1 random wire is nice because it’s not as long as, say, a 40M EFHW, but will easily match from 40 meters up.

      An EFHW is nice if you lack an ATU, because the 40M version is resonant on 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters.

      You might consider getting both! 🙂


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