Date   

Re: [Elecraft_K3] Re: Rig ergonomics and performance comparison

Rick <mrfarm@...>
 

It will be interesting to see an improved scope, particularly if it can read below the noise. I would have to say that my Pro 2 will display anything above the noise (along with the noise) and you can watch signals go in and out of the noise in real time. Having the scope always available is something that is unlikely to be duplicated any time soon by the competition at that level of performance.

In fact, are you sure that the ICOM spectrum scope is not from a DSP engine? I believe that they are using some fairly decent DSP to create such a good display.

The thing that I find more interesting with the add on software/hardware, is the ability to act as a VNA! Now that is pretty impressive.

73,

Rick, KV9U



bill_w4zv wrote:

I agree for a "built-in" scope, but I believe both resolution
bandwidth and dynamic range will be significantly better using
SDR-based displays. For those who want to locate weak signals buried
in noise, the Softrock/Rocky combination will be FAR superior to any
of the built-in scopes available today. If you look at the displays
at the bottom of the Rocky page I referenced you will see what I mean.

73, Bill



Re: Rig ergonomics and performance comparison

bill_w4zv <w0zv@...>
 

--- In Elecraft_K3@yahoogroups.com, Rick <mrfarm@...> wrote:


In fact, are you sure that the ICOM spectrum scope is not from a DSP
engine? I believe that they are using some fairly decent DSP to create
such a good display.
No it's analog from 64.5 MHz RF taken before the roofing filter.
Minimum resolution bandwidth is 500 Hz versus 20 Hz in Rocky. 20 Hz
RBW also means the noise floor is >13 dB lower than the Pro2's
minimum RBW of 500 Hz.

73, Bill


Re: Rig ergonomics and performance comparison

bigfork04
 

--- In Elecraft_K3@yahoogroups.com, Rick <mrfarm@...> wrote:

Assuming you like the ergonomics of a given rig, the one parameter that
I look at the most is the close-in IMD3 (Third Order Intermodulation
Distortion).

Currently the Ten Tec Orion series is about the best overall, but this
is only for the ham band only receiver. Some don't like the ergonomics
of the rig but others prefer it, so part of the selection process
has to
be based on what you like (assuming you try it out first and as far
as I
know only Ten Tec has a month trial period with return privileges if
you
are not satisfied for any reason). IMD3 for 20/5/2 kHz spacing is
92/96/95 and the TOI (Third Order Intercept) using the ARRL method of
calculation is +20/+20/+21

The FT-2000 looks physically impressive but the IMD3 and TOI seem
shockingly low for a rig in this price class. Curiously, the ARRL
Review
does not comment on how poor it is considering the IMD3 of 95/85/64 and
TOI of +16/+11/-22

The ICOM Pro Series can no longer compete with some of the newer
transceivers in the $2000 - $4000 price class in terms of IMD3 with 20
and 5 kHz numbers like 103/77. I would expect the 2 kHz IMD3 to be low,
perhaps in line with the FT-2000? The TOI for 5 kHz is -18 dB. The Pro
Series may be preferred by some for the ergonomics and of course
nothing
can thus far touch the spectrum display for one built-in to the rig.

Just for the record, I have a Pro 2 and find it to be quite good for
casual use although a bit large for portable use and heavy on the
receive power consumption. I also have a Ten Tec Argonaut V with
some of
the poorest IMD3 and TOI numbers of any modern rig, but it is fun to
use
for casual QRP and near QRP power levels, but it has some very
amateurish design issues.

The Ten Tec Omni VII is the one rig that seems to have pretty good
numbers for an under $3000 general coverage receiver at 91/84/82 and
TOI
of +11/+6.5/+6.5 although the K3 will be better in that category.

My rig preferences are somewhat different than the average ham as I
prefer a rig with nominal 12 vdc power and keeping receive draw
reasonable, portability and lightweight for emergency use, ease of
interfacing for digital modes, solid performance, and excellent
spectrum
display. The K3 is not going to be able to compete with that last item
but it sure looks good for the others. Just sending in an ICOM 756
Pro 2
to the repair shop costs around $50 ... just for the shipping! If you
can repair most everything yourself (swapping out boards and replacing
mechanical parts), the value is increased even more for those of us who
do a fair amount of servicing.

73,

Rick, KV9U

Jon Pellant wrote:
I ordered a K3 on the heels of field day. I have been wanting to get
a 'real' HF radio for a while as I currently only use a Yaseu
FT-857D.
I had been looking at the TenTec Orion, FT-2000, and ICOM 756ProIII.
Durring field day, I got to use the ProIII, FT-2000, and K2. I was
very
impressed with the K2's bang for the buck and blindly ordered a K3 on
faith.
As it looks from the Elecraft web site you won't be alone ordering
blindly, I am one of them to.


Spectrum Display, contd'

K8TB <k8tb@...>
 

I'm debating on whether to wait for Elecraft's display, or go for this unit, which would tap the IF:

http://www.rfspace.com/sdriq.html

$ 400. But you need a cabinet and a CPU/display.

They share a "problem" with Elecraft in that they are rather backlogged.

Tom K8TB


Re: [Elecraft_K3] Spectrum Display, contd'

Ken Bourne <kbourne@...>
 

It looks like the RFSPACE SDR-IQ covers 500 Hz to 30 MHz. If you want to
view 6 meters for band openings, you're out of luck with this unit.

Ken, W6HK

I'm debating on whether to wait for Elecraft's display, or go for
this unit, which would tap the IF:

http://www.rfspace.com/sdriq.html

$ 400. But you need a cabinet and a CPU/display.

They share a "problem" with Elecraft in that they are rather backlogged.

Tom K8T


Re: [Elecraft_K3] Spectrum Display, contd'

David Ferrington, M0XDF
 

I will wait, one because I'm a Mac user and havn't seen much in the way of
scopes for Mac and two, because I think I'll have enough one my plate,
learning the rig and Morse at the same time.


On 4/7/07 03:49, "K8TB" <k8tb@bosscher.org> sent:

I'm debating on whether to wait for Elecraft's display, or go for
this unit, which would tap the IF:

http://www.rfspace.com/sdriq.html

$ 400. But you need a cabinet and a CPU/display.

They share a "problem" with Elecraft in that they are rather backlogged.

Tom K8TB


--
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice,
but in practice there is.


Re: [Elecraft_K3] Re: Spectrum Display, contd'

David Ferrington, M0XDF
 

Sorry, what is the Band scope called - can't see it for looking


On 4/7/07 10:19, "CR" <vk3he@yahoo.com> sent:

There might be a chance that K8ZOA comes up with something special for
the K3 as well. His current offering already is a great bandscope.

http://www.telepostinc.com/


Craig VK3HE

--- In Elecraft_K3@yahoogroups.com, "David Ferrington, M0XDF"
<M0XDF@...> wrote:

I will wait, one because I'm a Mac user and havn't seen much in the
way of
scopes for Mac and two, because I think I'll have enough one my plate,
learning the rig and Morse at the same time.


On 4/7/07 03:49, "K8TB" <k8tb@...> sent:

I'm debating on whether to wait for Elecraft's display, or go for
this unit, which would tap the IF:

http://www.rfspace.com/sdriq.html

$ 400. But you need a cabinet and a CPU/display.

They share a "problem" with Elecraft in that they are rather
backlogged.

Tom K8TB


--
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice,
but in practice there is.
--
It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be
reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)


Re: [Elecraft_K3] Spectrum Display, contd'

Larry Phipps <larry@...>
 

If it's plugged into the K3 IF output port, then it will display whatever band is selected on the K3. This goes for any external bandscope. I don't think your $400 will buy much more than you would get with a Softrock in terms of performance, and the Softrock will set you back $11, plus some free software. I suspect there will also be some custom options in the future for the PowerSDR open source software which may address K3 use.

The RFSPACE is a broadband design, and you don't need a broadband SDR to cover 100 kHz of bandwidth around the K3 IF frequency. It might be more susceptible to strong signals outside the displayed band but inside the K3's front end filtering... although the parts it uses are good (preamp has a IP3 of 35 dB). I believe the Softrock front end has a 3rd order bandpass filter centered on the K3 IF.

I have ordered a Softrock v6.2 for K3 to play with while I wait for my K3, http://www.softrockradio.org/node/49. I will try it with the K3 while I wait to see what Elecraft comes up with. BTW, I have a K8ZOA panadapter for my K2 and it's pretty slick, but it was a one-time run and I don't know if there will be another. Someone mentioned Jack's panadapter and linked to my website. If you go to my website there is a link to Jack's, but Jack's website is www.cliftonlaboratories.com.

73,
Larry N8LP



Ken Bourne wrote:

It looks like the RFSPACE SDR-IQ covers 500 Hz to 30 MHz. If you want to
view 6 meters for band openings, you're out of luck with this unit.

Ken, W6HK

> I'm debating on whether to wait for Elecraft's display, or go for
> this unit, which would tap the IF:
>
> http://www.rfspace.com/sdriq.html
>
> $ 400. But you need a cabinet and a CPU/display.
>
> They share a "problem" with Elecraft in that they are rather backlogged.
>
> Tom K8T


First Beta-tester impression is out

Per Brix
 

Finally something is slipping out - and then from the well-known N6TR.
I think his remarks tells alot about the K3 actually seems to be what
we all are hoping, I think.

http://lists.contesting.com/pipermail/cq-contest/2007-July/074675.html

Too bad I wasnt fast enough for the first production batch. But then
again I am happy I didnt miss the second run...

Regards es 73's de oz5abo,
Per


Re: Spectrum Display, contd'

Jon Pellant <w1jp@...>
 

Okay-- you have sold me! I need a project to do before getting my k3 as
I have to wait 'til Oct (3rd run).

Which one did you get (that will be usable with the k3)?

--- In Elecraft_K3@yahoogroups.com, Larry Phipps <larry@...> wrote:
<snip/>
I have ordered a Softrock v6.2 for K3 to play with while I wait for
my
K3, http://www.softrockradio.org/node/49. I will try it with the K3
while I wait to see what Elecraft comes up with. BTW, I have a K8ZOA
<snip/>


Re: Spectrum Display, contd'

bill_w4zv <w0zv@...>
 

--- In Elecraft_K3@yahoogroups.com, "Jon Pellant" <w1jp@...> wrote:

Okay-- you have sold me! I need a project to do before getting my k3 as
I have to wait 'til Oct (3rd run).

Which one did you get (that will be usable with the k3)?
Guys I would hold off a bit on the Softrock40 kit. KK7P who is K3's
lead firmware designer is also quite knowledgeable about Softrock and
SDR. Lyle told me that there may be some issues with the present
Softrock design needing better isolation so that unwanted products are
not fed from the Softrock back into the K3. Everyone at Elecraft is
so busy getting the basic product out now that they have not had time
to look at what is needed, but I'm sure someone will do this
eventually. On the other hand, it only costs $11 so you won't lose
much if the present Softrock does not work.

Here's a reference link to KB9YIG's comments on Softrock and K3 (he's
the Softrock designer):

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/message/11334

Hi Bill,

I have a SoftRock Lite kit for use with the K3 IF signal. The kit
provides a
center frequency of about 8.191 kHz and when used with a soundcard
that can
sample at 96 kHz gives a view of signals in the 8.143 MHz to 8.239 MHz
range. Kit cost is $11 and a kit may be ordered via PayPal to
raparks@... The price includes US/Canada mailing expenses. For
DX locations I need to ask for an additional $1 to help with the
mailing cost.

An open question is what signal and Z level are available at the K3 IF
output? There may need to be some interface issues to resolve with
the above SoftRock Lite kit for use with the K3.

Thanks and 73,
Tony KB9YIG

----- Original Message -----
From: w0zv
To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 7:51 PM
Subject: [softrock40] Softrock kit for new Elecraft K3

Has anyone configured a kit for the new Elecraft K3 which will have a
wideband buffered IF output of 8.215 MHz? This promises to be a very
popular rig and I am sure many will want to use a Softrock on the IF
output as a panadapter.

http://www.elecraft.com/K3/K3FAQ#panadaptor

73, Bill W4ZV

P.S. to Tony...you might want to set this up as a separate option
since I expect the demand may be high.


Re: [Elecraft_K3] Re: Spectrum Display, contd'

Larry Phipps <larry@...>
 

Jack, K8ZOA addressed this on his website in the Updates section, http://www.cliftonlaboratories.com/softrock_lite_6_2.htm. He shows the leakage of the LO in the Softrock at -39dBm... a hefty signal to inject into the K3 IF chain! I believe he recommends an isolation amp like the one he used in the Z90 Panadapter to take care of this. Maybe he will offer a version of the amp for K3 use.

73,
Larry N8LP



bill_w4zv wrote:

--- In Elecraft_K3@yahoogroups.com, "Jon Pellant" wrote:
>
> Okay-- you have sold me! I need a project to do before getting my k3 as
> I have to wait 'til Oct (3rd run).
>
> Which one did you get (that will be usable with the k3)?

Guys I would hold off a bit on the Softrock40 kit. KK7P who is K3's
lead firmware designer is also quite knowledgeable about Softrock and
SDR. Lyle told me that there may be some issues with the present
Softrock design needing better isolation so that unwanted products are
not fed from the Softrock back into the K3. Everyone at Elecraft is
so busy getting the basic product out now that they have not had time
to look at what is needed, but I'm sure someone will do this
eventually. On the other hand, it only costs $11 so you won't lose
much if the present Softrock does not work.

Here's a reference link to KB9YIG's comments on Softrock and K3 (he's
the Softrock designer):

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/message/11334

Hi Bill,

I have a SoftRock Lite kit for use with the K3 IF signal. The kit
provides a
center frequency of about 8.191 kHz and when used with a soundcard
that can
sample at 96 kHz gives a view of signals in the 8.143 MHz to 8.239 MHz
range. Kit cost is $11 and a kit may be ordered via PayPal to
raparks@... The price includes US/Canada mailing expenses. For
DX locations I need to ask for an additional $1 to help with the
mailing cost.

An open question is what signal and Z level are available at the K3 IF
output? There may need to be some interface issues to resolve with
the above SoftRock Lite kit for use with the K3.

Thanks and 73,
Tony KB9YIG

----- Original Message -----
From: w0zv
To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 7:51 PM
Subject: [softrock40] Softrock kit for new Elecraft K3

Has anyone configured a kit for the new Elecraft K3 which will have a
wideband buffered IF output of 8.215 MHz? This promises to be a very
popular rig and I am sure many will want to use a Softrock on the IF
output as a panadapter.

http://www.elecraft.com/K3/K3FAQ#panadaptor

73, Bill W4ZV

P.S. to Tony...you might want to set this up as a separate option
since I expect the demand may be high.


Re: Spectrum Display, contd'

Julian <julian@...>
 

I think it's a great idea to use an inexpensive kit to add this
feature to the K3 but am I missing something here? Surely the
bandwidth covered by the SoftRock kit will only be a few kHz whereas I
seem to recall the display on the 756Pro could be opened up to 100KHz,
possibly even more?

Julian, G4ILO
G4ILO's Shack: www.g4ilo.com
Ham Directory: www.ham-directory.com


Re: Spectrum Display, contd'

bill_w4zv <w0zv@...>
 

--- In Elecraft_K3@yahoogroups.com, "Julian" <julian@...> wrote:

I think it's a great idea to use an inexpensive kit to add this
feature to the K3 but am I missing something here? Surely the
bandwidth covered by the SoftRock kit will only be a few kHz whereas I
seem to recall the display on the 756Pro could be opened up to 100KHz,
possibly even more?
I believe the Softrock/Rocky combination with a Delta 44 sound card
will cover 96 kHz bandwidth. With a Edirol 66 sound card it will
cover 192 kHz. Either combination should be significantly better than
the 756Pro display in both resolution bandwidth and noise floor.

As N8LP mentioned in reference to K8ZOA's measurements in a previous
post, we do not want a 39 dBm signal being injected back into the K3's
IF chain. If that got through the roofing filter, it would be strong
enough to activate the analog AGC that prevents the DSP's ADC from
being overdriven. Much better isolation is needed beyond the basic
Softrock kit as it exists today but that can be achieved with an
isolation amp. The K3 is going to be too popular for someone not to
solve this issue evenutally, but I would be cautious in assuming the
Softrock kit will work as presently configured.

73, Bill


Re: Spectrum Display, contd'

bill_w4zv <w0zv@...>
 

--- In Elecraft_K3@yahoogroups.com, "bill_w4zv" <w0zv@...> wrote:

I believe the Softrock/Rocky combination with a Delta 44 sound card
will cover 96 kHz bandwidth. With a Edirol 66 sound card it will
cover 192 kHz.
Sorry I was thinking sample rates above. Since sample rate must be
twice the highest frequency, the display bandwidths are half the
above...48 kHz with a Delta 44 and 96 kHz with a Edirol 66.

73, Bill


Re: [Elecraft_K3] Re: Spectrum Display, contd'

Toby Deinhardt
 

I believe the Softrock/Rocky combination with a Delta 44 sound card
will cover 96 kHz bandwidth. With a Edirol 66 sound card it will
cover 192 kHz.
Sorry I was thinking sample rates above. Since sample rate must be
twice the highest frequency, the display bandwidths are half the
above...48 kHz with a Delta 44 and 96 kHz with a Edirol 66.
With I&Q you can display 192kHz at a sample rate of 192k samples, i.e. 96kHz LSB
and 96kHz USB.

vy 73 de toby


Re: [Elecraft_K3] Re: Spectrum Display, contd'

Larry Phipps <larry@...>
 

You were right the first time, Bill. Since you're sampling two signals (I&Q), you don't have to divide by two. I got caught on this one before, too ;-)

73,
Larry N8LP



bill_w4zv wrote:

--- In Elecraft_K3@yahoogroups.com, "bill_w4zv" wrote:

> I believe the Softrock/Rocky combination with a Delta 44 sound card
> will cover 96 kHz bandwidth. With a Edirol 66 sound card it will
> cover 192 kHz.

Sorry I was thinking sample rates above. Since sample rate must be
twice the highest frequency, the display bandwidths are half the
above...48 kHz with a Delta 44 and 96 kHz with a Edirol 66.

73, Bill


Re: Spectrum Display, contd'

bill_w4zv <w0zv@...>
 

--- In Elecraft_K3@yahoogroups.com, Larry Phipps <larry@...> wrote:

You were right the first time, Bill.
I thought so but remembered VE3NEA mentioning 48 kHz bandwidth using
the Delta 44 card. Upon second reading, Alex was actually referring
to the internal sound card in his laptop. So I should not have
"corrected" myself. :-)

73, Bill


Re: Spectrum Display, contd'

jmccabe <kd8k@...>
 

One of the things that I had noticed about the description of the IF
output on the K3 is that it is described as being a "buffered" IF
output. I took that to mean that it was isolated. Am I incorrect on
that and that it is actually not isolated?

Thanks,

John, KD8K

--- In Elecraft_K3@yahoogroups.com, "bill_w4zv" <w0zv@...> wrote:

Guys I would hold off a bit on the Softrock40 kit. KK7P who is K3's
lead firmware designer is also quite knowledgeable about Softrock and
SDR. Lyle told me that there may be some issues with the present
Softrock design needing better isolation so that unwanted products are
not fed from the Softrock back into the K3. Everyone at Elecraft is
so busy getting the basic product out now that they have not had time
to look at what is needed, but I'm sure someone will do this
eventually. On the other hand, it only costs $11 so you won't lose
much if the present Softrock does not work.

Here's a reference link to KB9YIG's comments on Softrock and K3 (he's
the Softrock designer):

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/message/11334

Hi Bill,

I have a SoftRock Lite kit for use with the K3 IF signal. The kit
provides a
center frequency of about 8.191 kHz and when used with a soundcard
that can
sample at 96 kHz gives a view of signals in the 8.143 MHz to 8.239 MHz
range. Kit cost is $11 and a kit may be ordered via PayPal to
raparks@ The price includes US/Canada mailing expenses. For
DX locations I need to ask for an additional $1 to help with the
mailing cost.

An open question is what signal and Z level are available at the K3 IF
output? There may need to be some interface issues to resolve with
the above SoftRock Lite kit for use with the K3.

Thanks and 73,
Tony KB9YIG


Re: Spectrum Display, contd'

Jon Pellant <w1jp@...>
 

Actually, I have seen some clever uses of DSP and filters that will get
you 1.5-1.7 times the sampling rate (just inside the low-pass skirts).
If you know the 2X fequencies aren't there then there cannot be any
aliasing.

jon
w1jp

<snip/>

Sorry I was thinking sample rates above. Since sample rate must be
twice the highest frequency, the display bandwidths are half the
above...48 kHz with a Delta 44 and 96 kHz with a Edirol 66.

73, Bill

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