Date   

Re: K4 and Reliability on previous products?

Dick Diddams
 

I have had my K3 for almost 6-years and have had zero problems.  Total DX QSO's are 7,215 of which 6,976 were CW  Didn't keep track of USA contacts, which included numerous net operations. 

A K2 was purchased as a kit 15-years ago, and after having some original wiring issues (my fault) has worked flawlessly.  It is currently operated every few weeks for several hours; didn't keep records number of its QSOs. 

Before the K2 the rig was a Yaesu FT-1000D (now, 25 years old) - four times it has been repaired, the first time when it was 10-years old (2-times RF output issue & 2-times receiver problems.  The Yaesu was/is used primarily on 160-meters (dedicated station) with an amplifier...it is also operated a few hours every month or so.

Regards, 73 - W7QHE


For Sale P-3 Panadapter

 

Factory built P-3 Panadapter $450.00
If interested please contact me off list
Greg (K9ON) 
email: greg7412@...


Re: K3S parts

harry latterman <harrylatterman@...>
 

I don't expect the K3S will be discontinued nor the parts for the K3 or K3S for a long, long time, if ever. Parts might be a issue someday as mfg of them might decide to discontinue them from production. Elecraft will probably suck up a lot of them for the future when and if this happens. The chances of FPGA's and DSP chips will disappear much faster.  It will be a nightmare to all the SDR radios if and when that happens. Technologies in the field of FPGA's and DSP's are now moving faster then ever and chip mfg have only limited amount of wafer fab and it will be used for the latest and greatest parts at the time. That is my only concern about this new SDR technology.  Getting parts for them might be a nightmare some day.

Harry K7ZOV

On Sunday, May 19, 2019, 6:37:09 AM MST, dalej via Groups.Io <dalej2@...> wrote:


I don’t expect the K3 to be discontinued.  Look back at all the other product Elecraft has produced over the years, even the K1 is still in production I believe.  The K2 sure is.  Why would they drop a top of the reciever list K3 for a SDR type rig that won’t be as good if you have a neighbor ham or operate a multi station.

Dale, k9vuj




On 19, May 2019, at 8:04, HB <hbjr@...> wrote:

Has anyone heard if the K3 line will continue on as the K2 has or will it be discontinued?

I still have lots of upgrades to do to my K3S as money allows. I’m wondering if I need to run up the credit card before pieces and parts are gone?

Hank
K4HYJ







Wanted: K3 Factory built, 100-watt, Excellent condition.

Mark W2OR <reston2010mm-orders@...>
 

Wanted:  K3 Factory built, 100-watt, Excellent condition.  Please reply off line  My call sign (at) ARRL (dot) NET


Interview with Eric WA6HHQ about the K4 in the next episode of the Ham Radio Workbench podcast

George Zafiropoulos
 

We produce a ham radio podcast called the Ham Radio Workbench. The next episode with go live on Tuesday as usual.
The show will include an Interview with Eric WA6HHQ from Elecraft about the new K4 plus a bunch of other content.
You can listen to any of our 76 other episodes now and grab episode 77 with Eric's interview in a few days.
You can download the show to your iPhone / IOS device from iTunes or Android device from just about all podcast services.
www.hamradioworkbench.com
73
George KJ6VU

 
 


Re: K4 and Reliability on previous products?

Wes Stewart
 

My TS-870, both hands raised even after bouncing across the country several times in my RV and a number of FD operations with many relatively unskilled ops at the controls over a 13 year period.

My K3, sitting on left hand.  My K3S, sitting on right hand.

Wes  N7WS

On Sunday, May 19, 2019, 1:06:13 PM MST, Derek Bate <g4xeeg6lqg@...> wrote:


Over the years I have had radios from most major manufacturers and have had problems with all. I purchased the K3 second user about 4 years ago and have never had a problem with it.
It would only be fair to Elecraft to compare with other manufacturers on percentage terms of reliability which is very difficult to do. 
So those of us who have had no problems show your hands compared to what I think is a few concerns.
G4xee


Re: Elecraft K4

HB
 

Thanks for the feedback!

 

 

 

From: Richard Williams via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, May 19, 2019 1:33 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] Elecraft K4

 

Been using them for years  snd so far, no problem 

 

 

Dick, K8ZTT 

 

On Sun, May 19, 2019 at 11:09, HB

<hbjr@...> wrote:

I may be hijacking this thread a bit - I like the idea of the weighted knob. 

The knob Stan, K6WG, references ( https://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/8941 ) is quite a bit heavier than the factory part for the K3S.  Will the encoder support the weight without failing prematurely? Anyone know the spec for the encoder assembly?

Hank
K4HYJ

 


Re: Elecraft K4

Dale, K9VUJ
 

I have no plans to downgrade  :)

My K3 has many trouble free  hours on it and my K3s is gathering many hours as well without trouble.  

Dale, K9VUJ



On 19, May 2019, at 12:15, John Canfield <bucket@...> wrote:

I'm a bit surprised that some don't like the K3/K3S, I think my K3S is a terrific radio - it has a significantly better receiver than my TS-590s. Rob mentioned other purchase decision criteria - Elecraft support is top notch and being made in the USA is important to me as well (yes, I realize parts are sourced from all over the world.) Being small and lightweight makes shipping fairly inexpensive if it needs to go to the Elecraft hospital unlike some of the monster transceivers.

My only gripe (very minor) is about the rear panel - it's too crowded back there. Would I buy a K4? Absolutely. I just bought an Icom IC-9700, my first touch screen rig and I'm in love with the feature.

John
WB5THT


Re: Elecraft K4

John Canfield <bucket@...>
 

I'm a bit surprised that some don't like the K3/K3S, I think my K3S is a terrific radio - it has a significantly better receiver than my TS-590s. Rob mentioned other purchase decision criteria - Elecraft support is top notch and being made in the USA is important to me as well (yes, I realize parts are sourced from all over the world.) Being small and lightweight makes shipping fairly inexpensive if it needs to go to the Elecraft hospital unlike some of the monster transceivers.

My only gripe (very minor) is about the rear panel - it's too crowded back there. Would I buy a K4? Absolutely. I just bought an Icom IC-9700, my first touch screen rig and I'm in love with the feature.

John
WB5THT


Re: K4 and Reliability on previous products?

Derek Bate
 

Over the years I have had radios from most major manufacturers and have had problems with all. I purchased the K3 second user about 4 years ago and have never had a problem with it.
It would only be fair to Elecraft to compare with other manufacturers on percentage terms of reliability which is very difficult to do. 
So those of us who have had no problems show your hands compared to what I think is a few concerns.
G4xee

On Sun, 19 May 2019, 12:25 Jim M0CKE, <makidoja@...> wrote:
Hi Andy / all

What was you failure with the DSP board? mine started with the speaker and external speaker audio being very distorted, then over time this moved to the headphone jack, the only jacks that worked were the line out, I swapped the DSP board between radios and the issue followed the board, so we ordered a new board form Elecraft, interestingly they didn't want the failed board back to try and diagnose the issue, which kinda tells me this isn't an unknown issue.

The issue with tarnishing of the PCB pins was sorted by the gold plating but TBH this should never have been an issue if designed like this at step 1, let face it they knew the radio would be taken to hostile environments, shacks with huge temp fluctuations and the use of the non gold plated pins should have been realised, cost to the company must be a few pence per radio for this, instead many thousands had the issues of the PA power and other problems "in the field" and prob at the most inconvenient of times (Mine as on the Fair Isle DXPed !!).

The FPF failure was an odd one, it just stopped communicating with the memory chip and the biggest problem was if so so much as breathed on the PCB the tracks lifted, the only time I've really come across this is with really cheaply made PCB's .. oh and I've had alot of PCB's made with finer tracks than the K3 front panel and never had track lifting issues like we did with this PCB, it smacked of cheap!

I find it hard to believe that out of 4 K3 and 1 K3S we have been that unlucky, the 3 x k3 have done Hundreds of thoudands of QSO's in general operation, DXPeds, Contests and special Events, these are used every week without faiil.

Dont get me wrong, the performance is excellent and I plan to keep the k3 we have but looking to the future, would I spend £6k on a radio when I was unsure of the quality, I dont think I would. I  know without doubt that the k4 will perform but will it be that far ahead of the competition that the k3 was ... I don't think it will be

Will it increase my DX count, QSO count or Contest score over the K3 .. again I doubt it.

I know the K3 and it's quirks so for me it's still the radio of choice for contesting / DXPeds

One thing I've never understood is why the power output adjustment spike has never been fixed, if you touch the power level whilst the radio is in RX, on the next TX it will Spike to full power tripping amps etc .. only way to adjust is whilst transmitting but this still gives small spikes ..  Is it a design floor or software?

Other issues I have with the older K3's are cold starts, if the shack is cold, say 5 - 10 degress, I have to power up the k3 at least 30 minutes before I want to use it, if RTS is set for PTT and DTR is set for CW, tuning the radio VFO will make the radio transmit, I see this on 2 of the K3's I have, that are fully loaded. I have another K3 similar age that is basic with some filters, this doesn't do it.

All the K3's are first owner so no one else has messed with them.

I'm slightly envious of all those owners that have never had a single issue.

Jim M0CKE

 


Re: K3S parts

Dave (NK7Z)
 

So was I...

73s and thanks,
Dave (NK7Z)
https://www.nk7z.net
ARRL Technical Specialist
ARRL Volunteer Examiner
ARRL Asst. Director, NW Division, Technical Resource

On 5/19/19 8:12 AM, HB wrote:
My thoughts exactly.  BUT, there are many factors to consider that we may not know.  There is a market obviously for both types of receivers in the market.
I was hoping someone from Elecraft might chime in here....Wayne.....Eric....Vic......
Hank
K4HYJ


Re: Elecraft K4

Ray Maxfield
 

For $90 Bucks ?   nata!
 

From: HB
Sent: Sunday, May 19, 2019 8:09 AM
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] Elecraft K4
 
I may be hijacking this thread a bit - I like the idea of the weighted knob. 

The knob Stan, K6WG, references ( https://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/8941 ) is quite a bit heavier than the factory part for the K3S.  Will the encoder support the weight without failing prematurely? Anyone know the spec for the encoder assembly?

Hank
K4HYJ


Re: K4 and Reliability on previous products?

Andy GD0TEP
 

Jim,

 

In reply:-

If I turned the VFO the noise from the speaker went very quiet, BUT, if I quickly swapped VFOs and back again, it returned to normal, right up till I turn the VFO again. The same thing happened if I swapped mode, or changed band.

And the K3 MCU showed DSP2 as ‘greyed out’

 

I’ve a video that shows how it was at the time (the radio was driving a 70mhz transverter at the time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngIRxUyy9Lo&feature=youtu.be

73

Andy

http://gd0tep.com

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jim M0CKE
Sent: 19 May 2019 11:26
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] K4 and Reliability on previous products?

 

Hi Andy / all

What was you failure with the DSP board? mine started with the speaker and external speaker audio being very distorted, then over time this moved to the headphone jack, the only jacks that worked were the line out, I swapped the DSP board between radios and the issue followed the board, so we ordered a new board form Elecraft, interestingly they didn't want the failed board back to try and diagnose the issue, which kinda tells me this isn't an unknown issue.

The issue with tarnishing of the PCB pins was sorted by the gold plating but TBH this should never have been an issue if designed like this at step 1, let face it they knew the radio would be taken to hostile environments, shacks with huge temp fluctuations and the use of the non gold plated pins should have been realised, cost to the company must be a few pence per radio for this, instead many thousands had the issues of the PA power and other problems "in the field" and prob at the most inconvenient of times (Mine as on the Fair Isle DXPed !!).

The FPF failure was an odd one, it just stopped communicating with the memory chip and the biggest problem was if so so much as breathed on the PCB the tracks lifted, the only time I've really come across this is with really cheaply made PCB's .. oh and I've had alot of PCB's made with finer tracks than the K3 front panel and never had track lifting issues like we did with this PCB, it smacked of cheap!

I find it hard to believe that out of 4 K3 and 1 K3S we have been that unlucky, the 3 x k3 have done Hundreds of thoudands of QSO's in general operation, DXPeds, Contests and special Events, these are used every week without faiil.

Dont get me wrong, the performance is excellent and I plan to keep the k3 we have but looking to the future, would I spend £6k on a radio when I was unsure of the quality, I dont think I would. I  know without doubt that the k4 will perform but will it be that far ahead of the competition that the k3 was ... I don't think it will be

Will it increase my DX count, QSO count or Contest score over the K3 .. again I doubt it.

I know the K3 and it's quirks so for me it's still the radio of choice for contesting / DXPeds

One thing I've never understood is why the power output adjustment spike has never been fixed, if you touch the power level whilst the radio is in RX, on the next TX it will Spike to full power tripping amps etc .. only way to adjust is whilst transmitting but this still gives small spikes ..  Is it a design floor or software?

Other issues I have with the older K3's are cold starts, if the shack is cold, say 5 - 10 degress, I have to power up the k3 at least 30 minutes before I want to use it, if RTS is set for PTT and DTR is set for CW, tuning the radio VFO will make the radio transmit, I see this on 2 of the K3's I have, that are fully loaded. I have another K3 similar age that is basic with some filters, this doesn't do it.

All the K3's are first owner so no one else has messed with them.

I'm slightly envious of all those owners that have never had a single issue.

Jim M0CKE

 


Re: Elecraft K4

Richard Williams
 

Been using them for years  snd so far, no problem 


Dick, K8ZTT 


On Sun, May 19, 2019 at 11:09, HB
<hbjr@...> wrote:
I may be hijacking this thread a bit - I like the idea of the weighted knob. 

The knob Stan, K6WG, references ( https://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/8941 ) is quite a bit heavier than the factory part for the K3S.  Will the encoder support the weight without failing prematurely? Anyone know the spec for the encoder assembly?

Hank
K4HYJ


Re: K3S parts

HB
 

My thoughts exactly.  BUT, there are many factors to consider that we may not know.  There is a market obviously for both types of receivers in the market.

I was hoping someone from Elecraft might chime in here....Wayne.....Eric....Vic......

Hank
K4HYJ


Re: Elecraft K4

HB
 

I may be hijacking this thread a bit - I like the idea of the weighted knob. 

The knob Stan, K6WG, references ( https://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/8941 ) is quite a bit heavier than the factory part for the K3S.  Will the encoder support the weight without failing prematurely? Anyone know the spec for the encoder assembly?

Hank
K4HYJ


Re: K3S parts

Dale, K9VUJ
 

I don’t expect the K3 to be discontinued. Look back at all the other product Elecraft has produced over the years, even the K1 is still in production I believe. The K2 sure is. Why would they drop a top of the reciever list K3 for a SDR type rig that won’t be as good if you have a neighbor ham or operate a multi station.

Dale, k9vuj

On 19, May 2019, at 8:04, HB <hbjr@...> wrote:

Has anyone heard if the K3 line will continue on as the K2 has or will it be discontinued?

I still have lots of upgrades to do to my K3S as money allows. I’m wondering if I need to run up the credit card before pieces and parts are gone?

Hank
K4HYJ


K3S parts

HB
 

Has anyone heard if the K3 line will continue on as the K2 has or will it be discontinued?

I still have lots of upgrades to do to my K3S as money allows. I’m wondering if I need to run up the credit card before pieces and parts are gone?

Hank
K4HYJ


Re: K4 and Reliability on previous products?

Mark van Wijk
 

One can continue showing off K3 issues  ( I personally experienced 3 different ones), bit instead I'm more interested in:

- what does Elecraft do with such feedback from the field?
- is there a categorization, relevancy, prioritization, search for a root-cause?
- what does Elecraft do with that knowledge in future designing, manufacturing etc?

things go broke
repair
learn from it
use knowledge

73 Mark PA5MW


Re: K4 and Reliability on previous products?

Jim M0CKE
 

Hi Andy / all

What was you failure with the DSP board? mine started with the speaker and external speaker audio being very distorted, then over time this moved to the headphone jack, the only jacks that worked were the line out, I swapped the DSP board between radios and the issue followed the board, so we ordered a new board form Elecraft, interestingly they didn't want the failed board back to try and diagnose the issue, which kinda tells me this isn't an unknown issue.

The issue with tarnishing of the PCB pins was sorted by the gold plating but TBH this should never have been an issue if designed like this at step 1, let face it they knew the radio would be taken to hostile environments, shacks with huge temp fluctuations and the use of the non gold plated pins should have been realised, cost to the company must be a few pence per radio for this, instead many thousands had the issues of the PA power and other problems "in the field" and prob at the most inconvenient of times (Mine as on the Fair Isle DXPed !!).

The FPF failure was an odd one, it just stopped communicating with the memory chip and the biggest problem was if so so much as breathed on the PCB the tracks lifted, the only time I've really come across this is with really cheaply made PCB's .. oh and I've had alot of PCB's made with finer tracks than the K3 front panel and never had track lifting issues like we did with this PCB, it smacked of cheap!

I find it hard to believe that out of 4 K3 and 1 K3S we have been that unlucky, the 3 x k3 have done Hundreds of thoudands of QSO's in general operation, DXPeds, Contests and special Events, these are used every week without faiil.

Dont get me wrong, the performance is excellent and I plan to keep the k3 we have but looking to the future, would I spend £6k on a radio when I was unsure of the quality, I dont think I would. I  know without doubt that the k4 will perform but will it be that far ahead of the competition that the k3 was ... I don't think it will be

Will it increase my DX count, QSO count or Contest score over the K3 .. again I doubt it.

I know the K3 and it's quirks so for me it's still the radio of choice for contesting / DXPeds

One thing I've never understood is why the power output adjustment spike has never been fixed, if you touch the power level whilst the radio is in RX, on the next TX it will Spike to full power tripping amps etc .. only way to adjust is whilst transmitting but this still gives small spikes ..  Is it a design floor or software?

Other issues I have with the older K3's are cold starts, if the shack is cold, say 5 - 10 degress, I have to power up the k3 at least 30 minutes before I want to use it, if RTS is set for PTT and DTR is set for CW, tuning the radio VFO will make the radio transmit, I see this on 2 of the K3's I have, that are fully loaded. I have another K3 similar age that is basic with some filters, this doesn't do it.

All the K3's are first owner so no one else has messed with them.

I'm slightly envious of all those owners that have never had a single issue.

Jim M0CKE

 

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