Although I’m at heart a QRPer, I do occasionally serve up more than 5 watts. It’s rare, though.
A few years ago, I purchased an Elecraft KXPA100 amplifier with the optional built-in ATU. I did this in lieu of considering a 100 watt rig since, at the time, I had no 100 watt transceivers.
My thinking was the KXPA100 could serve both my Elecraft KX3 and KX2–pushing them into 100 watts of service when needed. The KXPA100 is also super portable and operates quietly (no fans).
I purchased the KXPA100, connected it to my KX3 in the shack, and then barely used it.
Last year, I realized the KXPA100 could serve me well during Parks On The Air (POTA) activations when conditions were poor for SSB (they were very poor at times in the spring and summer) so I took it to the field a few times. That was before I started using CW during my activations, though.
Since I’ve started using CW, I haven’t taken the KXPA100 to the field once. I also haven’t used it in the shack since then.
I do now have other QRO radios at my disposal: the Icom IC-756 Pro my buddy Matt so kindly gave me in 2019, and the Mission RGO One transceiver I continue to test and evaluate for the manufacturer.
The KXPA100 is unique in that it can pair with almost any QRP radio. I do like that fact because I’ve a lot of QRP transceivers.
These days, about the only time I run anything north of 10 watts is to possibly chase weak signal DX or participate in contests like the 13 Colonies event where I’m up against blowtorch stations in SSB. I tend to do that at the QTH, not in the field.
Should it stay or should it go?
The only reasons I feel I should keep the KXPA100 is because, in my mind, I feel like it essentially turns my KX3 into a poor man’s K3. It can also directly connect to my KX2 and even the FT-817ND via a command cable for seamless control. That and, occasionally, there may be a good reason to take it to the field.
Still: I feel like if I’m not using it, I should sell it to someone who can. It would also free up $900 or so to re-invest into my gear. That would certainly come in handy!
I would appreciate your thoughts and comments.