Elecraft KH1 CW Message Memories

Yesterday, I updated the firmware in my Elecraft KH1 with a beta release we’re evaluating in the KH1 volunteer test group. This beta release includes CW message memories and CW send/receive decoding. At first blush, both seem to work really well.

I updated my KH1 while having lunch at my buddy Vlado’s (N3CZ) QTH. Elecraft makes the process so simple: download their utility, download the firmware file, connect the supplied USB cable to the PC and the radio, and make one setting change on the KH1 for it to receive data. That’s pretty much it.

I loaded the firmware right before I walked out the door and then programmed the message memories at K-3378 where I had less than 20 minutes to perform an activation (that video will be posted soon). I had no notes, no manual, and sorted out how to record the messages with no problem whatsoever. The process is very intuitive. I even recorded all three messages correctly on the first go.

I’d already given thought to what messages would go where–one message is very specific to the KH1.

Here’s what I recorded in the three message memory slots:

  2. “BK TU TU 72 DE K4SWL”
  3. “AS AS DE K4SWL”

Number three is there for when I need to change log sheets in the KH1 logging tray!

AS is a CW Prosign that means, “Wait” or “Hang on.” Since it’s a Prosign, you send AS as one character (dit dah dit dit dit)–no space between the A and S.

I just hit that #3 memory then take my time flipping log sheets!

On my other field radios with CW message memories, I tend to give memory #1 a CQ POTA, memory #2 a CQ SOTA, then the third memory a 73/72 message.

In the early days of POTA, I used my “CQ POTA DE K4SWL” message memory a lot in beacon/repeat mode because we had a mere fraction of the hunters we have today.

These days, I find that I only end up calling CQ POTA two or three times–just enough for the RBN to pick me up. Once spotted? I almost never need to call CQ again and if I do, it’s easy enough to do that by hand. POTA has grown in numbers so much since the early days.

There’s no SOTA CQ on the KH1 for this same reason. I find I only need to call CQ enough for the RBN to find me.

Anyway, just a random Friday note for you!

I had a problem uploading my latest SOTA activation video with the KH1. I hope to have it published later this weekend or on Monday at the latest.

Have a great weekend–I hope you have a moment to play a little radio!

Cheers & 72,

Thomas (K4SWL)

5 thoughts on “Elecraft KH1 CW Message Memories”

  1. Thanks for the update Thomas, with every report and review you provide, my desire for a KH1 increases; for me it will fill a niche only partly filled by my MTR3B!

    Keep up the reports, they are gladly received by this community.

    72 Richard MM0RGM

  2. I do believe the KH1 will be my first Elecraft transceiver purchase. Going to have to wait a while to afford it but I will get it.

  3. Pretty neat description of the KH-1, looks like you have fun with it, I’ve had my KX3 for many years, and it seems to fill all the needs. ‘AS’ brings back memory of my early Navy day, I was an admin person who like to dabble in “signalman” up on the ship’s bridge. As our destroyer was nested with 4 others dockside, I could recognize your ship flashing light callsign, not to mention it was pointed right at me. I learned early how to turn on the light and send “AS” and then run down and find a “real signalman”… Fond memories.. Thanks for the report 72s..

  4. Does the utility let you type in the messages like with the KX2?
    Back when I got my KX2 it took me 20 minutes to record a simple CQ POTA into slot 1 on the kx2.

    My three messages are always:
    BK RR TU TU ES 73 EE

  5. It’s impressive how user-friendly the firmware update process is for the Elecraft KH1. The integration of CW message memories and decoding sounds like a significant enhancement, especially for field operations. The way you programmed the message memories on-the-fly, without needing a manual, really speaks to the intuitive design of the KH1. The specific use of the ‘AS’ Prosign in the third memory slot is a clever and practical touch for field activations. It’s fascinating to see how the evolution of POTA has changed the usage patterns of such features. Looking forward to your SOTA activation video with the KH1

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