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K3s no power on TX

Brian KF6C
 

Hi All

Hope you are keeping well.

I have a K3s that has no power output that appears to have failed while not in use.

In tune there is no detected output on a Bird wattmeter with a 50 watt slug. When connected to a KX3 via a 30 dB attenuator the KX3 reports an S9 for an instant when the K3s tune is pressed, quickly dropping to S5.

There are no apparent problems on RX. The KPA3 has been set to bypass for test purposes. 

The TX filter is set to 2.8 kHz for SSB and CW. Testing is mostly being done in CW.

It would seem that the problem should be in the path between the SWR bridge and ANT 1 connector ( no ATU in K3s), however, as receiver works as well as another K3s on an AM broadcast station on 40M this seems unlikely.

I suspect the 10W PA driver or the switching diodes around it.

Has anyone seen this problem that can give advice before I start taking the K3s further apart?

Thanks

Brian KF6C.


Re: K3-S RF output pulses while TX in FT8

McClain Richard
 

Bob, 
Thanks for your comments. Regarding my earlier test of various audio frequencies, those numbers were rounded estimates with no attempt to be on 500 Hz or multiples. I just wanted to try to vary the audio frequency to eliminate that as a part of the puzzle.

I have clamp-on chokes on both ends of the USB cable between PC and K3-S -- each with two turns in ferrite. 

Regarding DC current drain, I have an ASTRON RS-35M with meters. In CW mode at 100 watts, the meter shows about 18 Amps (not an accurate meter). When transmitting a CQ message in WSJT-X, the current varies between 18 and 14 amps, approximately.

All measurements are with a dummy load. Also, I removed unnecessary cables -- Key, Paddle, earphones, Mic.

Also, reducing the power to 25 watts or so still has significant fluctuation of DC current and RF out as viewed on P3 with TX monitor. Further reduction to 12 watts (hear relay click for 100 watt amplifier) is difficult to judge because current drain deflection of meter is too small and P3 display is also a small variance in amplitude. 

Thanks again for your suggestions.  


Re: K3-S RF output pulses while TX in FT8

Bob McGraw - K4TAX
 

Those frequencies are all multiples of 500/1000/1500/2000 thus related.  Try something different like 1396 Hz. or such.   Sounds like you may have RF getting into the line between the radio and computer or into the computer.  To test, use lower power and/or a dummy load.   Add clamp-on ferrite to each end of the cable, especially the computer end.   I use the size for RG-8 which is large enough to get 2 or 3 turns through the core. 

73
Bob, K4TAX


Re: K3-S RF output pulses while TX in FT8

McClain Richard
 

Bob, thanks for the report. My observation is very different. With K3-S PWR set to 100 watts, I see erratic display on my P3 with TX monitor while the K3-S RF output on display bounces between full scale and 50% full scale. 

I tried setting the tone at 500, 1500 and 2500 Hertz and all behave the same. 

Interestingly, when I key transmitter using the WSJT-X TUNE button, the K3-S RF output is steady. But when  I send CQ or any other message, the RF output is erratic. So I opened the PC Volume Mixer to observe the indicators of volume level and WSJY-X.
Using TUNE, the CODEC speaker is steady.
When sending a CQ message, the volume (green indicator) bounces while K3-S RF display bounces

Wonder if my problem is in the PC audio oscillator? Don't think so because earlier I ran a cable from PC earphones jack to K3-S LINE IN jack and found audio was stable.


Re: K3 & RS232

john ni0k
 

Years ago I started using a serial port tester because I did a lot of troubleshooting of serial port communications. You can find them on the web. It consists of a male and female DE9 connector with the body having a DIP switch and LED's on each line to show activity. They are only a few bucks and handy to have in your test equipment kit. Most of them also have tiny pin jacks that allow insertion of a small wire for external connections. Of course this device  won't show waveform, voltage levels, timing, etc but those *usually* are not the problem. Here is one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/RS232-Tester-Serial-DB9-Interface-Port-MINI-Analyzer-Loop-Back-w-LED-indicator/281544906939?hash=item418d6258bb:g:LSAAAMXQuu9RjOSi
Then there is the old standby, Break Out Bob (25 pin):
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pocket-Sized-RS-232-Serial-Break-Out-Box-CablesOnline-TS-BOB/280852483299?_trkparms=aid%3D1110006%26algo%3DHOMESPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D225074%26meid%3D2d3729a9ad674328ab320c6e092f97d6%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D12%26mehot%3Dsb%26sd%3D281544906939%26itm%3D280852483299%26pmt%3D1%26noa%3D0%26pg%3D2047675%26algv%3DSimplAMLv5PairwiseWebWithDarwoV1&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

You get the idea.

-de John NI0K

rodger bryce wrote on 5/16/2020 10:18 AM:

I think I have a problem with the Rs232 port on the KIOB module in my K3. Is there a straight forward test I can perform to check if is working or not. Any help or advice appreciated. 
Thanks, Rodger/GM3JOB


K3 & RS232

rodger bryce
 

I think I have a problem with the Rs232 port on the KIOB module in my K3. Is there a straight forward test I can perform to check if is working or not. Any help or advice appreciated. 
Thanks, Rodger/GM3JOB


Re: Keying K3 on bootup

Max NG7M
 

Joe, this reminds me of another solution here I have always thought would be nice... it would be to write a simple application that would enumerate through the serial port devices in the registry and detect the FTDI chipset based on expected registry values and then simply change the setting.  Now all I need to do is get the motivation to do this!  This type of an app would need to run with elevated privileges' / as admin.  It could be done in vb script or power shell script or in any number of different languages that have access to the windows api's that let you modify the registry. 

You could the just execute the script after an FTDI serial driver update or a bigger Windows update (like Windows 10 version release 2004 which will push out to consumers later this month or early next month).  

I'm digressing, but I already updated to Windows 10 2004, and as expected I needed to go in and set all the FTDI driver options again as described in Bob's presentation (ones that have been known for years now).  I saw zero problems with the update... no funky com port number changes or issues with sound card default settings.  It was a simple and smooth update.  I have 11 FTDI comports in my setup too.  Max NG7M


Re: K3-S RF output pulses while TX in FT8

Bob McGraw - K4TAX
 

While I do see some slight variation in the WSJT signal, it is very minor.   Using TUNE mode, my K3S via USB control, pulses between 110 and 113 watts output, as best as my watt meter resolution provides.  Likewise when transmitting FT-8 data.   I figure this is the result of the processor in my computer doing some other housekeeping chores when running WSJT-X. 

As to the indication of ALC values on the K3S, if the tone is near 1500 Hz, I do see ALC pulsations indicated.    I attribute this to the interaction between the scan rate or display and the 1500 Hz tone.  If one changes to 1300 or 1700 Hz then the issue does not appear.  In either case, I see this as a display item and actual power output is not affected. 

73
Bob, K4TAX


Re: Keying K3 on bootup

Max NG7M
 

Hi Randy,  the driver settings in question are only available for FTDI chipsets.  Unfortunately I have never seen the options exposed for other serial port drivers.  Max NG7M


Re: K3 rotary encoder replacement fun-again

Mitch NW0M
 

Hi Mark,

So there is ONE downside to living in Hawaii - condensation!!!  :-)  I hope to visit there someday... 

OK, thanks for the explanation and look forward to working you soon as I see we've only worked once this year.

73, Mitch
NWØM


Re: K3 rotary encoder replacement fun-again

M Gerber
 

Hi Mitch-

Some voodoo and witchcraft. My station used to be used remotely on a regular basis. It was easiest to leave the computer and radio on all the time as with each power cycle, there was a moderate amount of remoting into the computer required, just to get all the devices up and running. Additionally, there is a 105AH AGM battery backup for the station. If I recall the battery chemistry correctly, the battery stays healthier if there is some load on it as opposed to sitting topped off.  I have the K3 connected to the battery which is charged through a West Mountain PWRGate. The 12V output side of the PWRGate goes to the 12V accessories in the shack. Last reason, is more the voodoo. Many of us in Hawai'i have no air conditioning. Despite what most people might think, the humidity is incredibly variable depending on where you live on any of the islands. By keeping the radio on, it stays warm, thereby preventing condensation from settling on the circuit boards and surface mount components. I have lost several pieces of electronics over the years from this issue. Computer video cards are the worst. The fans accumulate dust, and then moisture does not mix well with circuit boards. Raspberry Pi's also have a tendency to die on me as well.

BTW, for cooling, we rely on ceiling and floor fans-----and the all important trade winds. As you might figure, the windows are open all the time as well.

73

Mark


Re: K3-S RF output pulses while TX in FT8

McClain Richard
 

In the original post, I should have said I am passing audio via CODEC, not a external sound card. 
I have the KPA500 amplifier and KAT500 tuner, but the problem exists with amplifier off and tuner in Bypass. 
So, problem must be in WSJT-X software settings, or K3-S hardware or settings (which I have carefully triple-checked per manuals).
73,
Dick, KD4S


Re: K3 rotary encoder replacement fun-again

Mitch NW0M
 

Hi Mark,

I hope you resolve your encoder issue.

My question is why do you leave your K3 powered on 24X7 for the past 9-10 years?  What is your rationale?  I would never consider that but was curious as to why you do.  I'm not at all being critical just curious...

73, Mitch


Re: K3-S RF output pulses while TX in FT8

Mike Flowers
 

My soundcard will produce a pulsing output tone at certain frequencies and under certain RF power out and WSJT-X Pwr drive levels, into an antenna or a dummy load.   A change to any of these parameters seems to clear it up.

 

- 73 and good DX de Mike, K6MKF, NCDXC Secretary

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of McClain Richard
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2020 14:52
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: [Elecraft-K3] K3-S RF output pulses while TX in FT8

 

When I transmit FT8, I can see the P3 (with TX monitor) display shows RF output is modulated or "Pulses". Pattern reminds me of watching AM modulation of a sine wave viewed on oscilloscope.

It does not occur all the time but does occur on any band using either antenna or dummy load. I have done FT8 extensively for 2-3 years, but this issue started a couple of weeks ago. I have carefully checked Owner's manual as well as book by Fred Cady, KE7X. Can't find root cause. Any clues are appreciated. I can document more thoroughly, but want to post a brief comment in case there is an obvious solution to someone else. Thank you. 
Dick, KD4S

Equipment: K3-S S/N 10905 (built in 2018), P3 with TX monitor, WSJT-X version 2.1.2


K3-S RF output pulses while TX in FT8

McClain Richard
 

When I transmit FT8, I can see the P3 (with TX monitor) display shows RF output is modulated or "Pulses". Pattern reminds me of watching AM modulation of a sine wave viewed on oscilloscope.

It does not occur all the time but does occur on any band using either antenna or dummy load. I have done FT8 extensively for 2-3 years, but this issue started a couple of weeks ago. I have carefully checked Owner's manual as well as book by Fred Cady, KE7X. Can't find root cause. Any clues are appreciated. I can document more thoroughly, but want to post a brief comment in case there is an obvious solution to someone else. Thank you. 
Dick, KD4S

Equipment: K3-S S/N 10905 (built in 2018), P3 with TX monitor, WSJT-X version 2.1.2


Dayton Speical- KX 2nd Look

Anthony Luscre
 

I am offering a special pre-holiday price for the KX 2nd L👀K Parts Kit + Clear Case for Black Friday and through May 31, 2020. The special pricing is limited to Black-on-White and White-on-Black displays.

The  KX 2nd L👀K expands the 7 character decode display on your Elecraft KX3, KX2, K3* or K3S* into an 80 character display. It is a pre-programmed Arduino based kit with very minimal soldering required. For full details, assembly instructions and to order visit:
The specials--
  • One (1) Full  - KX 2nd L👀K Parts Kit + Clear Case -  Dayton Special $45.00 (Black on White or White on Black Display Only)
  • Two (2) Full  - KX 2nd L👀K Parts Kit + Clear Case -  Dayton Special $85.00 (Black on White or White on Black Display Only)
* For K3 or K3S you will need a DB-9 to 3.5mm adapter cable (parts available on the order form).

--
Anthony Luscre

K8ZT
Assistant Ohio Section Manager for Education Outreach
ARRL - The National Association For Amateur Radio™
 
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The Web Resource Hoarder- www.ZTLearn.com
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Re: Keying K3 on bootup

Joe, KO8V
 

I started looking into doing a custom FTDI driver to have those options set whenever an FTDI standard device is installed (i.e. factory vendor/product ids).  It looks like it could be done.  FTDI publishes a note on customizing the driver .INF file.  I think I would have to uninstall the current driver and reinstall driver using the custiom .INF file.  If any one has already done that, it would be great to share it.  The information on doing this can be found in these two documents:

https://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/AppNotes/AN_107_AdvancedDriverOptions_AN_000073.pdf
https://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/TechnicalNotes/TN_149_Create_a_Custom_Driver_Executable.pdf

--
73
Joe, KO8V


Re: Keying K3 on bootup

Randy
 

Should have said this port (COM4) is an actual RS232 serial port, not USB.  Maybe that's the difference. But it does key-up the K3 on boot-up.

73,
Randy, KS4L


On Fri, May 15, 2020 at 10:17 AM Randy Moore <wrmoore47@...> wrote:
I was just trying this on my Windows 10/64 machine, which I believe is up-to-date.  My COM ports all show up in Device Manager as PCI Serial Ports, e.g. "PCI Serial Port (COM4)" for my K3 CAT port. When I right click on the port, select Properties, select Port Settings, then Advanced, I don't see either of the specified settings. I see the settings for FIFO buffers and a pull-down to change the port name.

What am I missing?

73,
Randy, KS4L



On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 11:08 PM Robert W5AJ <woodr90@...> wrote:

 

 

In today’s Contest University presentation, N6TV covered USB and Serial interfaces.

 

and THANK YOU N6TV!!

 

Bob gave the key item to get the  FTDI seral converters programmed so don’t key rig on bootup

 

https://www.contestuniversity.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/N6TV-Everything-You-Need-to-Know-About-USB-and-Serial-Interfaces.pdf

 

The COM port default settings is a bust

 

See pages 27/28 of his presentation (Link above)

 

One goes to Device Manager, picks the COM port, change advanced settings so

“Serial Enumerator” is unchecked

“Disable Modem Ctrl At Startup” is checked

 

Again, TNX Bob for fine presentation, it helped!!

 

 

73 W5AJ

 

Robert

Midland, Texas

 


Re: Keying K3 on bootup

Randy
 

I was just trying this on my Windows 10/64 machine, which I believe is up-to-date.  My COM ports all show up in Device Manager as PCI Serial Ports, e.g. "PCI Serial Port (COM4)" for my K3 CAT port. When I right click on the port, select Properties, select Port Settings, then Advanced, I don't see either of the specified settings. I see the settings for FIFO buffers and a pull-down to change the port name.

What am I missing?

73,
Randy, KS4L



On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 11:08 PM Robert W5AJ <woodr90@...> wrote:

 

 

In today’s Contest University presentation, N6TV covered USB and Serial interfaces.

 

and THANK YOU N6TV!!

 

Bob gave the key item to get the  FTDI seral converters programmed so don’t key rig on bootup

 

https://www.contestuniversity.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/N6TV-Everything-You-Need-to-Know-About-USB-and-Serial-Interfaces.pdf

 

The COM port default settings is a bust

 

See pages 27/28 of his presentation (Link above)

 

One goes to Device Manager, picks the COM port, change advanced settings so

“Serial Enumerator” is unchecked

“Disable Modem Ctrl At Startup” is checked

 

Again, TNX Bob for fine presentation, it helped!!

 

 

73 W5AJ

 

Robert

Midland, Texas

 


Re: Keying K3 on bootup

Drew Vonada-Smith K3PA
 

As noted below:

One goes to Device Manager, picks the COM port, change advanced settings so

“Serial Enumerator” is unchecked

“Disable Modem Ctrl At Startup” is checked

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