Re: Looking to upgrade

Bob McGraw - K4TAX


Well your question posted here is like getting into a bee hive and expecting to find honey.  You will get answers and opinions from many different operators. 

The nice thing about the K3S, in addition to its superior performance,  you can start with a basic radio and upgrade it to your own needs and preferences.  I moved to the K3S from a long history of another US made notable radio brand.  Up until I put the K3S on the desk, I felt that I owned and used a very good performance radio.   Well, I quickly found out the K3S is head and shoulders above the others in performance.   The receiver is super quiet.   The TX and RX audio is excellent.  And I found it to be a radio which I could configure exactly with options to my needs.   It is not loaded with whistles and bells that I don't need.   Thus I am no longer restricted to the "cookie cutter" radios of other brands and models.

With the K3S you won't need the interface for digital and RTTY modes thus eliminating equipment and cables and connectors.   It is handled by a single standard USB cable between the radio and computer.   And as you go to the digital modes, any TX EQ and compression is negated and the correct mode and input is automatically selected.   The values of your choice will be restored when you return to SSB.    Your AL-1200 will drive easily with the K3S.  And you can configure the K3S power output per band so the amp is correctly driven based on the band and drive requirement. 

As to customer support and forward thinking, the Elecraft K3 which is near 10 years old, can be upgraded in hardware to the performance of the current K3S.  With other brands, you'll be lucky to have support for a 10 year old radio,  much less the ability to upgrade the hardware in the future. 

The K3S manual is available for free download on the Elecraft site.  I suggest you download it, print it out and read it.  It discloses what the radio can do.   It is very easy to configure and easy to use.  Menus are simple and in English and not in meaningless acronyms.

With my station configuration, a K3S transceiver, KPA500 solid state amp, and KAT500 ATU, with 2 wire antennas and a 4 element 6M yagi, I can work 160M through 6M with touching anything but the VFO knob on the radio.   Everything precisely follows and in effect  my antenna system appears flat from 160M - 6M,  I run 500 watts just as though I had a 500 watt transceiver, any mode.  And I have only one cable between the radio and computer. 

Note what many to most of the DXpeditions are using for equipment.   There is a reason for that decision.   The Elecraft K3S can deal successfully with the worst of environment, both physical and electrical, and provide outstanding performance under difficult conditions.

Bob, K4TAX
K3S - 10163
KPA500 - 3519
ATT500 - 1807

On 8/27/2018 8:57 AM, HB wrote:
This is my first post to the group.  I am considering buying a new HF rig. 

My operating position consists primarily of an Icom IC-7600.  I have used it for several years and really like the user interface.  BUT, its performance in the presence of strong signals - especially adjacent signals is poor in my opinion.

I saw (and heard) a demonstration of a K3s in a very strong adjacent signal environment and the adjacent signal was completely rejected - no interference at all.  I am seriously considering replacing my 7600 with a K3s (like buying American too!) but am overwhelmed at the number of options available. 

I have enjoyed just about any operating style and radio configuration available (except having a "real" dual receive) with the 7600.  My other accessories that I will use with a new radio include: AL-1200 amplifier, PK-232sc+ (soundcard, HF packet, FSK RTTY, and a little PACTOR), PC running DXLabs, and a Heil Proset.  I operate primarily SSB with some digital.  With digital, I send a fair amount of RTTY (really like the sound of FSK RTTY with the PK-232sc+).  I'm trying to get back into CW - never learned much past 5WPM and I struggle with that today.  I also do a little 2m SSB, but my old Drake 2m SSB rig (running a Henry 2m amplifier) lacks some function and I would like to add that to a station rig.  I use a couple of beverage antennas for listening and a dipole and a few beams for transmitting.  I don't want to go backwards or have to give up any flexibility.  The newer 7610 seemed like the next rig for me, but the strong signal issue remains.  I have never really looked at a K3 - seemed liked an expensive little box with not very many bells and whistles, but after hearing one, I may be wrong.

Convince me to switch!!


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