Date   

Re: [Elecraft_K3] Re: New Rig needed TS 990 or K Line?

Stephen Bloom
 

In the interest of fairness ..here are some good reasons NOT to buy a K3

 

1)       You *WILL* be ensnared into the “Cult of the K3.”  (Some of the long time contesters think we get a little too fanboish)

2)      You will go through the ongoing mental anguish of …I REALLY want to run legal limit, but the K3-KAT500-KPA500 combination is just so bloody easy to use.  It IS only one S unit right?

3)       You will spend a good bit of money on your station, though a lot less than you might for similar or less performance, then realize the one thing you REALLY need is a second fully loaded K3 for SO2R or remoting

4)      Well OK, maybe one more thing as well.  After having a bunch of fun with the K3 at home, you might stumble across a KX3 and think “Look at the specs on this thing!  I NEED one for a covert DXpedition the next time I go with Dennis Rodman to P5.  Items 3 and 4 lead to the biggest problem of all ..

5)      Once you are ensnared into the cult, with the resulting time and expense, you could end up homeless/spouseless etc.  The downside of course is not having a place to sleep or someone to sleep with.  The upside is more time to operate.

 

 

73

 

Steve KL7SB

 

 

From: Elecraft_K3@... [mailto:Elecraft_K3@...] On Behalf Of Rick Tavan N6XI
Sent: Sunday, December 22, 2013 7:42 PM
To: Elecraft_K3@...
Subject: [Elecraft_K3] Re: New Rig needed TS 990 or K Line?

 

 

The K3 has slightly better specs in most parameters but that's not why you should buy it. You should buy it because Elecraft support is awesome - both on the customer reflector and from HQ. You should buy it because it is light enough to move anywhere, any time - across the desk, the house or the planet. No hernia. You should buy it because it evolves, getting better and better - bugs get fixed in the next free software release, not the next product. You should buy it because it's modular - you can include the stuff you need and not pay for what you don't need. There are more reasons, but these are the ones that keep me coming back to the Big E. 

 

GL & 73,

 

/Rick

 

--
Rick Tavan N6XI
Truckee, CA


Re: New Rig needed TS 990 or K Line?

Gary
 

I've owned two K3/P3's (an early <sold> and current version with P3SVGA, 2nd receiver, all filters and most options), TS-590, and recently a TS-990. If you want an excellent setup for all the reasons stated earlier go K-Line...flexible, factory support, complex build, performance, results, future enhancements. 


If you want a Kenwood that performs well for the $, go TS-590. If you want essentially two TS-590's in a box with a nice interface, features, and bling, go TS-990 for big $. 


I compared my 590 and both K3's. The K3 extracts CW better, especially when weak and in the QRN. The P3 setup with external VGA monitor offers eyes into the Band.


I ran my 590 and 990 side by side for almost a month on 160-20M CW and SSB. The 590 always heard everything as well as the 990, QRN or quiet. But, the 590 does have an ALC transmit spike unless the carrier or mike gain are set low. The 990 is better behaved in that regard.


I've also kept an IC-765 and Yaesu MK-V Field as I enjoy them for what they are...very good for their era. An IC-781 would be my last radio. That's unless Elecraft offers something better than the K3.


73, Gary NL7Y


Re: New Rig needed TS 990 or K Line?

Rick Tavan
 

The K3 has slightly better specs in most parameters but that's not why you should buy it. You should buy it because Elecraft support is awesome - both on the customer reflector and from HQ. You should buy it because it is light enough to move anywhere, any time - across the desk, the house or the planet. No hernia. You should buy it because it evolves, getting better and better - bugs get fixed in the next free software release, not the next product. You should buy it because it's modular - you can include the stuff you need and not pay for what you don't need. There are more reasons, but these are the ones that keep me coming back to the Big E. 

GL & 73,

/Rick

--
Rick Tavan N6XI
Truckee, CA


Re: [Elecraft_K3] New Rig needed TS 990 or K Line?

mikerodgerske5gbc
 

The 990 varied quite a bit by band. If your really interested in it, Rob Sherwood has run one in the last three contests. You could contact him. 

Most everyone likes the Elecraft K line. 

73
Mike R

Bluegrass white snow
      - Patty Loveless

On Dec 22, 2013, at 9:16 PM, <endoexperience@...> wrote:

 

I've been reading the mail lately and have been surprised at how many  fairly well known contesters have changed their rigs and gone with the K3. Many had 7000 series Icoms and 5000 Yaesu rigs have switched over....Hmmm. 

I've reviewed the Sherwood data and his presentation at Dayton Contest University.  The rig does seem to perform extremely well but I'm not sure my ears could hear the difference in the numbers. Still, the numbers of K3s being purchased by people whose scores I see in the top ten boxes seem to go up with every passing test.  "XX gave up his 5000s for 2 x K3s". " XXX has a multi multi - all stations equipped with K3s". I'm mostly a phone contester but I also love CW and would probably do more  CW tests with a better receiver (maybe?)

I've been using a 1000D  for 20 years and I really love the layout and radio. I find it VERY intuitive , but its getting old and has trouble on crowded bands during tests.  Its time to upgrade. 

I also see that Kenwood has a new rig TS 990  that looks pretty phenomenal. I don't know many people that have one and I have to make a choice - I can go with the K Line ( K3/100 w, Panadapter, 500 W amp and HP Auto tuner....for about the same amount as a TS 990. 
I already have an amp (Command Tech -HF 2500 same vintage but rarely use it due to gov't power  restrictions....don't ask) so I DO have the ability to do QRO.....so power isn't an issue...though I DO like the "automatic" 500 W ability .

Yeah, the 990s is a behemoth and can't be easily transported but is the K3 THAT much better a rig?

Why is the K3 a better choice?

Rob VE4GV


Re: [Elecraft_K3] New Rig needed TS 990 or K Line?

Frank Precissi <vadept@...>
 

I'll list a few points to consider:

1. Support.  Eric and Wayne frequent this list.  They are the founders and designers of the K3.  If you have a technical question that uses a bunch EE words, they can answer it vs handing it off to the "PR" person.
2. Upgradeability. I have no idea how much a TS990 costs, but you can easily drop 4k into a K3 if you get every feature.  The rig can be a bare bones 10w portable rig, to a fully loaded 100w rig with dual receivers, 5 crystal filters for each reciever, 2m module, IF out, etc etc etc.  Oh, and all that fully loaded goodness is exactly the same size as the bare bones 10w model.
3. The interface is intuitive.  Stuff are in menus that need to be in menus, and stuff are buttons that need to be buttons (knobs).  Sure it doesnt have that visual "WOW" factor of OLED displays and cool graphics.  But you are out to make contacts, not impress your friends with your rigs bling.

I'm sure you'll get a ton more points.  I had an IC746pro and the filter adjustment procedure just killed my soul (hold a button, spin the vfo).  I upgraded to a K3/100 and have never looked back.

Just my 0.02

Frank
KG6EYC


On Sun, Dec 22, 2013 at 7:16 PM, <endoexperience@...> wrote:
 

I've been reading the mail lately and have been surprised at how many  fairly well known contesters have changed their rigs and gone with the K3. Many had 7000 series Icoms and 5000 Yaesu rigs have switched over....Hmmm. 

I've reviewed the Sherwood data and his presentation at Dayton Contest University.  The rig does seem to perform extremely well but I'm not sure my ears could hear the difference in the numbers. Still, the numbers of K3s being purchased by people whose scores I see in the top ten boxes seem to go up with every passing test.  "XX gave up his 5000s for 2 x K3s". " XXX has a multi multi - all stations equipped with K3s". I'm mostly a phone contester but I also love CW and would probably do more  CW tests with a better receiver (maybe?)

I've been using a 1000D  for 20 years and I really love the layout and radio. I find it VERY intuitive , but its getting old and has trouble on crowded bands during tests.  Its time to upgrade. 

I also see that Kenwood has a new rig TS 990  that looks pretty phenomenal. I don't know many people that have one and I have to make a choice - I can go with the K Line ( K3/100 w, Panadapter, 500 W amp and HP Auto tuner....for about the same amount as a TS 990. 
I already have an amp (Command Tech -HF 2500 same vintage but rarely use it due to gov't power  restrictions....don't ask) so I DO have the ability to do QRO.....so power isn't an issue...though I DO like the "automatic" 500 W ability .

Yeah, the 990s is a behemoth and can't be easily transported but is the K3 THAT much better a rig?

Why is the K3 a better choice?

Rob VE4GV




--
CW: NAQCC #6554 | SKCC #10435 | FISTS #16155 | SOC #1038 | FPQRP #3186
Digital: FHC #4224 | 30MDG #6370 | DMC #5698
Gear: K3 #7164 | KX3 #1787


Re: [Elecraft_K3] New Rig needed TS 990 or K Line?

william conkling <bconk75@...>
 

Start with comparing placement on the Sherwood list.  K3 is nearer the top, and then compare price.

Does TS990 have two IDENTICAL receivers?  K3 can!

Can you even lift a 990?  K3 fully loaded weighs in at less than 10 pounds.  My old TS570 was around 16 pounds.

I am a happy K-Line owner.

...bill nr4c

On Dec 22, 2013 10:43 PM, <endoexperience@...> wrote:
 

I've been reading the mail lately and have been surprised at how many  fairly well known contesters have changed their rigs and gone with the K3. Many had 7000 series Icoms and 5000 Yaesu rigs have switched over....Hmmm. 

I've reviewed the Sherwood data and his presentation at Dayton Contest University.  The rig does seem to perform extremely well but I'm not sure my ears could hear the difference in the numbers. Still, the numbers of K3s being purchased by people whose scores I see in the top ten boxes seem to go up with every passing test.  "XX gave up his 5000s for 2 x K3s". " XXX has a multi multi - all stations equipped with K3s". I'm mostly a phone contester but I also love CW and would probably do more  CW tests with a better receiver (maybe?)

I've been using a 1000D  for 20 years and I really love the layout and radio. I find it VERY intuitive , but its getting old and has trouble on crowded bands during tests.  Its time to upgrade. 

I also see that Kenwood has a new rig TS 990  that looks pretty phenomenal. I don't know many people that have one and I have to make a choice - I can go with the K Line ( K3/100 w, Panadapter, 500 W amp and HP Auto tuner....for about the same amount as a TS 990. 
I already have an amp (Command Tech -HF 2500 same vintage but rarely use it due to gov't power  restrictions....don't ask) so I DO have the ability to do QRO.....so power isn't an issue...though I DO like the "automatic" 500 W ability .

Yeah, the 990s is a behemoth and can't be easily transported but is the K3 THAT much better a rig?

Why is the K3 a better choice?

Rob VE4GV


New Rig needed TS 990 or K Line?

endoexperience@...
 

I've been reading the mail lately and have been surprised at how many  fairly well known contesters have changed their rigs and gone with the K3. Many had 7000 series Icoms and 5000 Yaesu rigs have switched over....Hmmm. 

I've reviewed the Sherwood data and his presentation at Dayton Contest University.  The rig does seem to perform extremely well but I'm not sure my ears could hear the difference in the numbers. Still, the numbers of K3s being purchased by people whose scores I see in the top ten boxes seem to go up with every passing test.  "XX gave up his 5000s for 2 x K3s". " XXX has a multi multi - all stations equipped with K3s". I'm mostly a phone contester but I also love CW and would probably do more  CW tests with a better receiver (maybe?)

I've been using a 1000D  for 20 years and I really love the layout and radio. I find it VERY intuitive , but its getting old and has trouble on crowded bands during tests.  Its time to upgrade. 

I also see that Kenwood has a new rig TS 990  that looks pretty phenomenal. I don't know many people that have one and I have to make a choice - I can go with the K Line ( K3/100 w, Panadapter, 500 W amp and HP Auto tuner....for about the same amount as a TS 990. 
I already have an amp (Command Tech -HF 2500 same vintage but rarely use it due to gov't power  restrictions....don't ask) so I DO have the ability to do QRO.....so power isn't an issue...though I DO like the "automatic" 500 W ability .

Yeah, the 990s is a behemoth and can't be easily transported but is the K3 THAT much better a rig?

Why is the K3 a better choice?

Rob VE4GV


Re: [Elecraft_K3] Audio Protection Assembly and parts list question

Mel Farrer <farrerfolks@...>
 

Dave,

I talked to the people at Elecraft and they gave me "E numbers" for the part U1.  It turned out to be incorrect.  I have the ability to handle parts down to 0805.  Below that it turns out to be salt and pepper, hi.  I don't do gate arrays, but single ended SMD's are a regular fare.

Only with a microscope of course and a steady hand, hi.  Yes, you need the vacuum solder sucker and correct Metcal soldering tips.

The latest add on to correct the potential of audio IC failure is the audio protection assembly, Elecraft internal part number is E850506.  I do not have the installation information and will get it tomorrow.  I will wait to get the correct LM4950 before doing the dis-assembly and repair.  While the dis-assembly is a chore, it is good that we have the Elecraft support to walk us though it. 

I always check to the power.

Mel, K6KBE



On Sunday, December 22, 2013 5:56 PM, Dave Hachadorian wrote:
 
The speaker amp is on the schematic for the DSP Board.  The IC is an LM4950TS.  I’m sure you could specify that you want U1 on the DSP Board.  Are you sure you are up to doing this installation yourself?  I thought I was pretty good, but decided to pass, after removing U1, and taking a good close look at how close together those solder pads are.
 
Now what is this protection PCB you are talking about?  I don’t see anything like that on the web site.
 
Dave Hachadorian, K6LL
Yuma, AZ
 
 
 
Sent: Sunday, December 22, 2013 3:08 PM
Subject: [Elecraft_K3] Audio Protection Assembly and parts list question
 
 
After the diagnoses that the U1 had failed and contacting Elecraft for the protection PCB, it arrived without any installation instructions??????  Unless someone has them I will have to wait until tomorrow and contact them direct........

Second, I have exhausted all efforts to locate a K3 parts list.  Not withstanding going through endless menus without luck trying to find any reference to the "EXXXXXX" part ordering information.  While ordering the above assembly I also ordered the U1 by a number given me.  No joy, the part sent was not U1. 

Anyone found the EXXXXXXX parts list on their web site?  I know it must be there. 

Mel, K6KBE



Re: [Elecraft_K3] Audio Protection Assembly and parts list question

Dave Hachadorian
 

The speaker amp is on the schematic for the DSP Board.  The IC is an LM4950TS.  I’m sure you could specify that you want U1 on the DSP Board.  Are you sure you are up to doing this installation yourself?  I thought I was pretty good, but decided to pass, after removing U1, and taking a good close look at how close together those solder pads are.
 
Now what is this protection PCB you are talking about?  I don’t see anything like that on the web site.
 
Dave Hachadorian, K6LL
Yuma, AZ
 
 
 

Sent: Sunday, December 22, 2013 3:08 PM
Subject: [Elecraft_K3] Audio Protection Assembly and parts list question
 
 

After the diagnoses that the U1 had failed and contacting Elecraft for the protection PCB, it arrived without any installation instructions??????  Unless someone has them I will have to wait until tomorrow and contact them direct........

Second, I have exhausted all efforts to locate a K3 parts list.  Not withstanding going through endless menus without luck trying to find any reference to the "EXXXXXX" part ordering information.  While ordering the above assembly I also ordered the U1 by a number given me.  No joy, the part sent was not U1. 

Anyone found the EXXXXXXX parts list on their web site?  I know it must be there. 

Mel, K6KBE


Re: [Elecraft_K3] Audio Protection Assembly and parts list question

Mel Farrer <farrerfolks@...>
 

Thanks Dave, but that is the general index and not detailed for ALL of the applicable parts associated with the K3 PCBs by Elecraft part number with the "E" prefix.  It has some but not all.  I ordered the PCB by a "E" prefix.  The problem is that if you do a FIND search no E part numbers come up!!!!


Mel, K6KBE



On Sunday, December 22, 2013 4:44 PM, David McAnally wrote:
 
I do not have experience with this mod, but it appears the instructions may be at <http://www.elecraft.com/K3/k3_app_notes.htm> under <http://www.elecraft.com/K3/mods/AF_Output_Mod_Rev_C.pdf>

Reference the K3 assembly manual for the parts list. Appendix A I think.  <http://www.elecraft.com/K2_Manual_Download_Page.htm#K3>


Regards,
David McAnally
My Public PGP Key ID: 260CB2B6


On Sun, Dec 22, 2013 at 4:08 PM, <farrerfolks@...> wrote:


After the diagnoses that the U1 had failed and contacting Elecraft for the protection PCB, it arrived without any installation instructions??????  Unless someone has them I will have to wait until tomorrow and contact them direct........

Second, I have exhausted all efforts to locate a K3 parts list.  Not withstanding going through endless menus without luck trying to find any reference to the "EXXXXXX" part ordering information.  While ordering the above assembly I also ordered the U1 by a number given me.  No joy, the part sent was not U1. 

Anyone found the EXXXXXXX parts list on their web site?  I know it must be there. 

Mel, K6KBE





Re: [Elecraft_K3] Audio Protection Assembly and parts list question

WD5M David M.
 

I do not have experience with this mod, but it appears the instructions may be at <http://www.elecraft.com/K3/k3_app_notes.htm> under <http://www.elecraft.com/K3/mods/AF_Output_Mod_Rev_C.pdf>

Reference the K3 assembly manual for the parts list. Appendix A I think.  <http://www.elecraft.com/K2_Manual_Download_Page.htm#K3>


Regards,
David McAnally
My Public PGP Key ID: 260CB2B6


On Sun, Dec 22, 2013 at 4:08 PM, <farrerfolks@...> wrote:


After the diagnoses that the U1 had failed and contacting Elecraft for the protection PCB, it arrived without any installation instructions??????  Unless someone has them I will have to wait until tomorrow and contact them direct........

Second, I have exhausted all efforts to locate a K3 parts list.  Not withstanding going through endless menus without luck trying to find any reference to the "EXXXXXX" part ordering information.  While ordering the above assembly I also ordered the U1 by a number given me.  No joy, the part sent was not U1. 

Anyone found the EXXXXXXX parts list on their web site?  I know it must be there. 

Mel, K6KBE



Audio Protection Assembly and parts list question

farrerfolks@...
 

After the diagnoses that the U1 had failed and contacting Elecraft for the protection PCB, it arrived without any installation instructions??????  Unless someone has them I will have to wait until tomorrow and contact them direct........

Second, I have exhausted all efforts to locate a K3 parts list.  Not withstanding going through endless menus without luck trying to find any reference to the "EXXXXXX" part ordering information.  While ordering the above assembly I also ordered the U1 by a number given me.  No joy, the part sent was not U1. 

Anyone found the EXXXXXXX parts list on their web site?  I know it must be there. 

Mel, K6KBE


Re: GPS 10 MHz reference

James Patterson, M1DST
 

I also drive mine with a Trimble Thunderbolt, distribution amp and a 4x20 LCD monitor which displays a very accurate clock and includes an NTP server.  I had fun working on the project.


For details, see my website...


or 


I've open sourced the hardware and software although there is a kit available to make it easier for people.

James
M1DST

(apologies if this dual posts, it never showed up in my stream so I've tried again using the website)


Re: [Elecraft_K3] External Speakers

Dale J. <dj2001x@...>
 

Hi Jay,

Nice speakers they are. How are they for RFI?

I've tried M-Audio, but tend to get a little RF in them and talkback which is rather disrupting. I'm using a couple of four inch speakers from AES, not the best sounding, but they get the job done. I mostly use a headset and the speakers when I'm monitoring and on the phone or typing on my computer...

73
Dale, K9VUJ

On 22, Dec 2013, at 9:21, Jay Terleski <jayt@arraysolutions.com> wrote:



I find these small powered speakers are just the ticket for the K3 audio. Plenty of power to fill the room when I am working on other stuff.

http://www.monoprice.com/Product/?c_id=115&cp_id=11504&cs_id=1150402&p_id=605300&seq=1&format=1#largeimage

Not expensive but sound very nice. I route my PC audio through them too.

--
Jay Terleski
Array Solutions
214 954 7140




Re: GPS 10 MHz reference

James Patterson, M1DST
 

I also drive mine with a Trimble Thunderbolt, distribution amp and a 4x20 LCD monitor which displays a very accurate clock and includes an NTP server.

For details, see my website...


or 


I've open sourced the hardware and software although there is a kit available to make it easier for people.

James
M1DST


Re: [Elecraft_K3] External Speakers

Mel Farrer <farrerfolks@...>
 

Hi Jay, 

I bought the X-mini for the KX3 and it works well with the K3 also.

http://x-mini.com/product/x-mini-max-capsule-speakers

Mel, K6KBE


On Sunday, December 22, 2013 7:22 AM, Jay Terleski wrote:
 
I find these small powered speakers are just the ticket for the K3 audio. Plenty of power to fill the room when I am working on other stuff.


Not expensive but sound very nice.  I route my PC audio through them too.

--
Jay Terleski
Array Solutions
214 954 7140




External Speakers

Jay Terleski <jayt@...>
 

I find these small powered speakers are just the ticket for the K3 audio. Plenty of power to fill the room when I am working on other stuff.


Not expensive but sound very nice.  I route my PC audio through them too.

--
Jay Terleski
Array Solutions
214 954 7140


Re: [Elecraft_K3] GPS 10 MHz reference

bruce.beford@...
 

My Trimble Thunderbolt GPSDO feed the ext ref on my K3, and my HPSDR systems, among other do-dads. I have a small LCD display that is controlled by a PIC chip, fed by the RS232 output of the Thunderbolt. It keeps me posted on the status of the Trimble, and also happens to display the time....


There was a guy out of China selling them for a while, but I don't see them right now. It was originally published it as a DIY project on the web. A little Google search turned up this:

http://www.ko4bb.com/Timing/GPSMonitor/

I see he also now sells an advanced kit, as well.



Of course, this doesn't automatically update the clock in the K3, but- with this staring me in the face all the time, I don't rely on the clock in the K3. I use the K3 to display other things...


73,

Bruce N1RX


KAT new beta firmware v. 1.42

Dale J. <dj2001x@...>
 

I just installed the latest BETA firmware version 1.42 for the KAT500. I did a tune on one of my MARS frequencies, quite a ways away and below from the ham band which meant it was a shortened antenna for that frequency and it found a match with the astounding bypass SWR of 15.04, it tuned it to 1:1, excellent!!

This is a top notch auto tuner. None finer.

Great job Elecraft!!

Dale, k9vuj


Re: [Elecraft_K3] GPS 10 MHz reference

Mel Farrer <farrerfolks@...>
 

I think I will look into putting a 10 MHz reference clock chip to 32+ KHz and drive the PCB and take the cheap clock chip out....  A thought.

Mel



On Saturday, December 21, 2013 2:39 PM, "mikerodgerske5gbc@..." wrote:
 
Just think, if the clock were extremely accurate, you'd forget how to set it so you see they are actually doing you a favor. HiHi!

It's probably close enough for guvment work. Harty har har!

Merry Christmas
Mike R

Bluegrass white snow
      - Patty Loveless

On Dec 21, 2013, at 11:42 AM, <farrerfolks@...> wrote:

 
Hi Carl,

The clock in the K3 is notoriously inaccurate.  My Trimble GPS is routed throughout the shop equipment.  Would like to run a cable to the ham op position to my K3.



Mel, K6KBE


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