I arrived home last night after having been out of town all week. The new Elecraft KX3 had arrived on Thursday and had to sit unopened until I got back and could give it the attention it deserved.

In short order I had it out of the box and connected to power, antenna, and a key. Out of the box it was set to 40 meters CW mode and as soon as I applied power I could hear a station just off to the side calling CQ.

Mind you, I have never operated a KX3 and there are a lot of controls and options on the face of that little panel. One of the buttons, ATU TUNE, was sort of obvious so I tuned the antenna, which took all of two seconds, touched the key and returned the call.

He came right back with a good signal report and we chatted a moment. Not a bad start, 45 seconds after I turned the power on, I work my buddy Jim, W4QO in North Georgia. It was about an hour later when I discovered my power output was set to five watts.

Given all that, I declare the KX3 era in my shack to have commenced and W4QO goes into my log as the very first contact of this new age. By the way, he’s already confirmed our QSO via LoTW so things are off to a great start.

The adventure continues…