October Leaf Colors at Lake James: Pairing the Elecraft KX1 and Chelegance MC-750

This past fall was a busy season for me.

So busy, in fact, I completely overlooked an activation video I filmed two months ago (on Monday, October 23, 2023)!

That said, one of the things I love about making field reports and recording videos is re-living activations a second time. It’s fun to remember the site conditions, the weather, the radio/antenna choices, and all of the folks I might have logged.

I enjoyed stepping back in time a couple of months for this one!

Lake James State Park (K-2739)

That Monday was the first day I surfaced to fit in an activation after fighting a respiratory bug the previous week. I felt much better and tested negative for Covid, so I made my way to Hickory to help my parents with some tasks.

On the way that morning, I stopped by Lake James to play a little POTA with one of my favorite radios in the world: the Elecraft KX1.

On October 23–as I mention in the video–the QRP world had only just learned about the new Elecraft KH1 and I had yet to receive the almost-production unit I ordered as a field tester.

I knew that once I received the KH1, I’d be using it heavily for a few weeks, so I wanted to fit in a little KX1 time in advance!

POTA in Color!

The weather and fall colors at Lake James were absolutely stunning!

New KX1 Tufteln Cover!

Back when I filmed this video, it had only been one week since the W4 SOTA campout where my friend Joshua (N5FY) gave me a few prototype snap-on protective covers for my KX1s.

These covers are very clever because they protect all of the important front-panel components yet remain very low-profile so add little bulk to the radio.

Image: Tufteln.com

Joshua provides two new screws for the front panel (you simply replace out the stock KX1 screw); the cover magnetically snaps onto the higher-profile screws and seats itself securely.

Image: Tufteln.com

I demonstrate my cover in the activation video.

At the time, this was a product Joshua was considering adding to the Tufteln line-up–since then, he’s made it available to order–click here to check it out.

At present, Joshua offers the covers in two colors: black and light brown. Mine are the light brown color.

You’ll notice in the video that Joshua added my callsign to the covers he gave me. I don’t think the production covers are customized with your callsign because Joshua makes these in batches. You would need to check with him about customization–I assume there would be an extra charge and lead time for that because it would require modifying the file and printing a one-off cover.At any rate, I love the covers and have added them to all of my KX1s. Note that I used a Sharpie to write the name of each radio on the cover–this makes it very easy to tell the difference between my KX1 models (they’re named Ingrid, Greta, and Ruby)!


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On The Air

It was early enough in the morning that I decided to spend some time on the 40 meter band to work POTA “locals.” I deployed my Chelegance MC-750 with the 40 meter coil.

I tested the SWR and discovered it was high due to a loose connection on the end of the cable assembly–I fixed that and the SWR came down to 2.5:1. With the MC-750, I could have easily lengthened or shortened the whip to get a perfect match, but instead I took the lazy (& speedy) route and simply used the KX1 ATU to get a 1:1 match.

Even though I’d spent a long time talking about the KX1, KH1, the Tufteln cover, etc. in the  video, I actually didn’t have a lot of on-the-air time. (Typical me to talk away my activation time!).

I started calling CQ POTA and the contacts started rolling in.

Within ten minutes, I’d already worked ten contacts.

I worked a couple more, then called QRT. Looking at the time, I had to end this activation earlier than I’d hoped. I needed to hit the road again.

I packed up in short order, but still took a few moments to enjoy the beauty of that lovely autumn morning.


Here’s what this five watt 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 hope you enjoyed the field report and my activation video as much as I enjoyed creating them. I enjoyed reliving this Octeber activation.

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.

Thanks for spending part of your day with me!

Here’s wishing all of the you best of the Holiday Season!

Cheers & 72,

Thomas (K4SWL)

3 thoughts on “October Leaf Colors at Lake James: Pairing the Elecraft KX1 and Chelegance MC-750”

  1. Great field report Thomas!

    I really love the new KX1 cover! Joshua needs to make covers for the QCX Mini & QMX, (maybe he has)… I know I’d buy one.

    72 de W7UDT (dit dit)

  2. For Thomas and anyone else who has a KX1 and the Begali Adventure paddles. ..I wasn’t aware until recently that Begali makes a bracket to mount the Adventure paddles to the KX1. It’s inexpensive (for Begali!) and now they have a US distributor which makes it easier to get products. It took a bit of fiddling to get the bracket secured to the radio but obviously a huge improvement over the original KX1 paddles. I’ve been using the Adventure with my KX2 for a while and now I can use it on the’1’ !

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