Why is my K3 off frequency?


Charles N2SO
 

Hi,
Last night my local ham club scheduled their first ever 6Meter Net and Roundtable for 50.135Mz. I operate USB very rarely, preferring CW for all of my Contesting and DX work. Last night the net control station advised me that I was 12Hz too high and that he had to use his RIT control to tune to me. When I turned on my XIT and transmitted down 12Hz I was right on his frequency. This was confirmed by other callers as well. I have also heard this problem mentioned in the past when checking into occasional 75M nets. Is there an adjustment that I can or should make aside from using my XIT? 
 
Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

73, Charles N2SO


Drew Vonada-Smith K3PA
 

Charles,

There is no way anyone can tell that you are 12 Hz off, as it would be barely detectable on SSB.  Do you have your figures correct?  Even 120 Hz would be tolerable on SSB.

The most likely reason is that you have just tuned the station a bit wrong on RX.  If you don't know the person's voice, this could be perhaps up to 200 Hz.

73,
Drew K3PA


Wes Stewart
 

You must be kidding.  I won't go into the technical reasons why this doesn't make sense but if you have an NCS picking these kinds of nits, you need a new NCS. 

Wes  N7WS


On Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 03:20 AM, Charles N2SO wrote:
Hi,
Last night my local ham club scheduled their first ever 6Meter Net and Roundtable for 50.135Mz. I operate USB very rarely, preferring CW for all of my Contesting and DX work. Last night the net control station advised me that I was 12Hz too high and that he had to use his RIT control to tune to me. When I turned on my XIT and transmitted down 12Hz I was right on his frequency. This was confirmed by other callers as well. I have also heard this problem mentioned in the past when checking into occasional 75M nets. Is there an adjustment that I can or should make aside from using my XIT? 
 
Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

73, Charles N2SO


Charlie T, k3ICH
 

C’mon guys, thus surely was a little sarcasm, poking some fun at the frequency police.

No one in their right mind would complain about an SSB signal being 12 HERTZ “off” the net frequency at 50 MHz.

 

I’m surprised that no one seemed to see the humor in it.

I certainly had a big laugh.

 

73, Charlie k3ICH

 

 

_._,_._,_


Mark Morin
 

What? This makes no sense.  12 Hz off on SSB would be impossible to detect. They were really complaining that you were actually on 50.135012 MHz? How did they say they determined that? Certainly not by ear. Are you sure they’re not pulling your leg? An early April Fool’s joke? That’s my theory “hey everyone, let’s have some fun with Charles by all telling him he’s off frequency”

There’s à procedure in the manual for calibrating the frequency against a known source by zeroing the beat frequency. But I would not worry about 12 Hz on SSB - I’m lucky if I get within a few hundred Hz tuning an SSB signal by ear. 

Mark VA2MM 


Dave (NK7Z)
 

Hi Charles,

Having a NCS, (Net Control Station), worry about stations being 12 Hz off, and complaining they have to use RIT is, shall we say, at best anal retentive, having others join in, and agree, probably means you misunderstood what the NCS indicated as the frequency amount you were off, or you have a net full of folks that worry too much.

Could it be you misunderstood the Net Control, and he indicated 120 Hz, or 1.2 KHz low?

A good way to perform a rough check on this is to do the following:

0. Hit CLR below RIT/XIT.
1. Turn off RIT/XIT and hit CLR below both.
2. Tune to 5.000000 MHz.
3. Wait to hear the idle tone WWV puts out.
4. Go between USB and LSB
5. If they sound the same you are very close to being on frequency.
6. Goto 2 above, but change to 10.000000 MHz.
7. Goto 2 above, but change to 15.000000 MHz.
8. Goto 2 above, but change to 20.000000 MHz.

In all cases you should hear very little change. If you hear no change offset one of the frequencies above to: 5.000012, and switch between both sidebands, that will show you what it sounds like when you are off frequency.

If you discover your rig is off frequency, there is a procedure for fixing this in one of the Elecraft K3 manuals.

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

On 3/23/21 3:20 AM, Charles N2SO wrote:
Hi,
Last night my local ham club scheduled their first ever 6Meter Net and Roundtable for 50.135Mz. I operate USB very rarely, preferring CW for all of my Contesting and DX work. Last night the net control station advised me that I was 12Hz too high and that he had to use his RIT control to tune to me. When I turned on my XIT and transmitted down 12Hz I was right on his frequency. This was confirmed by other callers as well. I have also heard this problem mentioned in the past when checking into occasional 75M nets. Is there an adjustment that I can or should make aside from using my XIT?
Thanks for any assistance you can provide.
73, Charles N2SO


Bob Novas
 

Lessee what's happening. Oh, it's April 1 is it? Hmmm....

-----Original Message-----
From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Dave Cole
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 8:49 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] Why is my K3 off frequency?

Hi Charles,

Having a NCS, (Net Control Station), worry about stations being 12 Hz off, and complaining they have to use RIT is, shall we say, at best anal retentive, having others join in, and agree, probably means you misunderstood what the NCS indicated as the frequency amount you were off, or you have a net full of folks that worry too much.

Could it be you misunderstood the Net Control, and he indicated 120 Hz, or 1.2 KHz low?

A good way to perform a rough check on this is to do the following:

0. Hit CLR below RIT/XIT.
1. Turn off RIT/XIT and hit CLR below both.
2. Tune to 5.000000 MHz.
3. Wait to hear the idle tone WWV puts out.
4. Go between USB and LSB
5. If they sound the same you are very close to being on frequency.
6. Goto 2 above, but change to 10.000000 MHz.
7. Goto 2 above, but change to 15.000000 MHz.
8. Goto 2 above, but change to 20.000000 MHz.

In all cases you should hear very little change. If you hear no change offset one of the frequencies above to: 5.000012, and switch between both sidebands, that will show you what it sounds like when you are off frequency.

If you discover your rig is off frequency, there is a procedure for fixing this in one of the Elecraft K3 manuals.

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

On 3/23/21 3:20 AM, Charles N2SO wrote:
Hi,
Last night my local ham club scheduled their first ever 6Meter Net and
Roundtable for 50.135Mz. I operate USB very rarely, preferring CW for
all of my Contesting and DX work. Last night the net control station
advised me that I was 12Hz too high and that he had to use his RIT
control to tune to me. When I turned on my XIT and transmitted down
12Hz I was right on his frequency. This was confirmed by other callers
as well. I have also heard this problem mentioned in the past when
checking into occasional 75M nets. Is there an adjustment that I can
or should make aside from using my XIT?
Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

73, Charles N2SO


Dave (NK7Z)
 

I choose to treat this like a real ask for help. If I am right, the op gets an answer, if I am wrong, then it might help someone else... If I am snarky, then no one gets help...

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

On 3/23/21 5:55 AM, Bob Novas via groups.io wrote:
Lessee what's happening. Oh, it's April 1 is it? Hmmm....
-----Original Message-----
From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Dave Cole
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 8:49 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] Why is my K3 off frequency?
Hi Charles,
Having a NCS, (Net Control Station), worry about stations being 12 Hz off, and complaining they have to use RIT is, shall we say, at best anal retentive, having others join in, and agree, probably means you misunderstood what the NCS indicated as the frequency amount you were off, or you have a net full of folks that worry too much.
Could it be you misunderstood the Net Control, and he indicated 120 Hz, or 1.2 KHz low?
A good way to perform a rough check on this is to do the following:
0. Hit CLR below RIT/XIT.
1. Turn off RIT/XIT and hit CLR below both.
2. Tune to 5.000000 MHz.
3. Wait to hear the idle tone WWV puts out.
4. Go between USB and LSB
5. If they sound the same you are very close to being on frequency.
6. Goto 2 above, but change to 10.000000 MHz.
7. Goto 2 above, but change to 15.000000 MHz.
8. Goto 2 above, but change to 20.000000 MHz.
In all cases you should hear very little change. If you hear no change offset one of the frequencies above to: 5.000012, and switch between both sidebands, that will show you what it sounds like when you are off frequency.
If you discover your rig is off frequency, there is a procedure for fixing this in one of the Elecraft K3 manuals.
73, and thanks,
Dave (NK7Z)
https://www.nk7z.net
ARRL Volunteer Examiner
ARRL Technical Specialist, RFI
ARRL Asst. Director, NW Division, Technical Resources
On 3/23/21 3:20 AM, Charles N2SO wrote:
Hi,
Last night my local ham club scheduled their first ever 6Meter Net and
Roundtable for 50.135Mz. I operate USB very rarely, preferring CW for
all of my Contesting and DX work. Last night the net control station
advised me that I was 12Hz too high and that he had to use his RIT
control to tune to me. When I turned on my XIT and transmitted down
12Hz I was right on his frequency. This was confirmed by other callers
as well. I have also heard this problem mentioned in the past when
checking into occasional 75M nets. Is there an adjustment that I can
or should make aside from using my XIT?
Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

73, Charles N2SO


Drew Vonada-Smith K3PA
 

Charlie,

Perhaps, but a lot of people ask a of of newbie questions.  If so, its a waste of bandwidth.


Bob Novas
 

Well, in the spirit of making mistakes and asking questions is a great way to learn, I've got my own stupid question. With manipulation of the fine/coarse control, the frequency readout of a K3s can show a frequency with 1, 2 or 3 decimal precision - e.g., xxxx.0, xxxx.00 and xxxx.000. If you have the readout set for coarse, what frequency are you actually on when the readout reads xxxx.0? I can imagine it might be xxxx.000, but I'm pretty sure from experiment that it's not. It's whatever "offset" you had from xxxx.000 when you engaged coarse. In other words, if the fine frequency was xxxx.099 and you engaged coarse, your readout would be xxxx.0 but your frequency would be xxxx.099.

Does anyone know the answer to this?

Thanks,
Bob - W3DK

-----Original Message-----
From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Dave Cole
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 9:01 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] Why is my K3 off frequency?

I choose to treat this like a real ask for help. If I am right, the op gets an answer, if I am wrong, then it might help someone else... If I am snarky, then no one gets help...

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

On 3/23/21 5:55 AM, Bob Novas via groups.io wrote:
Lessee what's happening. Oh, it's April 1 is it? Hmmm....

-----Original Message-----
From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Dave
Cole
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 8:49 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] Why is my K3 off frequency?

Hi Charles,

Having a NCS, (Net Control Station), worry about stations being 12 Hz off, and complaining they have to use RIT is, shall we say, at best anal retentive, having others join in, and agree, probably means you misunderstood what the NCS indicated as the frequency amount you were off, or you have a net full of folks that worry too much.

Could it be you misunderstood the Net Control, and he indicated 120 Hz, or 1.2 KHz low?

A good way to perform a rough check on this is to do the following:

0. Hit CLR below RIT/XIT.
1. Turn off RIT/XIT and hit CLR below both.
2. Tune to 5.000000 MHz.
3. Wait to hear the idle tone WWV puts out.
4. Go between USB and LSB
5. If they sound the same you are very close to being on frequency.
6. Goto 2 above, but change to 10.000000 MHz.
7. Goto 2 above, but change to 15.000000 MHz.
8. Goto 2 above, but change to 20.000000 MHz.

In all cases you should hear very little change. If you hear no change offset one of the frequencies above to: 5.000012, and switch between both sidebands, that will show you what it sounds like when you are off frequency.

If you discover your rig is off frequency, there is a procedure for fixing this in one of the Elecraft K3 manuals.

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

On 3/23/21 3:20 AM, Charles N2SO wrote:
Hi,
Last night my local ham club scheduled their first ever 6Meter Net
and Roundtable for 50.135Mz. I operate USB very rarely, preferring CW
for all of my Contesting and DX work. Last night the net control
station advised me that I was 12Hz too high and that he had to use
his RIT control to tune to me. When I turned on my XIT and
transmitted down 12Hz I was right on his frequency. This was
confirmed by other callers as well. I have also heard this problem
mentioned in the past when checking into occasional 75M nets. Is
there an adjustment that I can or should make aside from using my XIT?
Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

73, Charles N2SO











 

Why it is off freqency, is not so important. Everything without an special oscillator to lock onto is drifting a bit.

Now getting it back on freq.

  • Wait for the K3 to warm up (at least half an hour)
  • Go to CW mode.
  • choose a time signal, can be 10MHz, 15MHz or 20MHz of WWV but you can also use RWM on 4996kHz, 9996kHz or 14996kHz
  • You should hear the time signal. I use RWM in my case (EU)
  • Once in a while the timesignal just sends a constant carrier, that's the moment you have been waiting for.
  • Go into the K3 menu to REF CAL
  • switch on SPOT
  • you will hear the beat between SPOT and the carrier, it is best if the timesignal is evenly strong in the audio as the SPOT tone.
  • set the REF CAL so that you hear a constant tone (same as SPOT tone). If it is fading fast or slow then change the REF CAL but you are nearly there. With one fading per second you are within one Hz on the freq of the time signal. Look for the sweet spot of constant amplitude.
  • The higher the timesignal frequency, the better the permance on 6m. Offset will be about 3x times higher on 50MHz if you calibrate on 15MHz.

It is no problem to get the K3 within a one Hz on 50 MHz.


73

Arie PA3A



Drew Vonada-Smith K3PA
 

Yes, the display is merely rounding to the displayed digit.  Nothing more complicated.


Bob McGraw - K4TAX
 

I routinely perform a frequency calibration on my K3S.  The procedure is outlined in the manual, pages 52 & 53.  There is also a somewhat different procedure which I use, employing the CWT and SPOT functions.  Always use the highest reference frequency you can receive such as 15 MHz WWV.

As to being 12 Hz too high, could this be the way you tuned in the net by ear or did you actually set the VFO to display 50.135?   In the FINE mode you can set the frequency to 50.135.000.   Now there is nothing to say this is absolutely correct as indicated by the display.  Correctness depends on the calibration and adjustment of the REF CAL as found in the CONFIG Menu. 

73

Bob, K4TAX



On 3/23/2021 5:20 AM, Charles N2SO wrote:
Hi,
Last night my local ham club scheduled their first ever 6Meter Net and Roundtable for 50.135Mz. I operate USB very rarely, preferring CW for all of my Contesting and DX work. Last night the net control station advised me that I was 12Hz too high and that he had to use his RIT control to tune to me. When I turned on my XIT and transmitted down 12Hz I was right on his frequency. This was confirmed by other callers as well. I have also heard this problem mentioned in the past when checking into occasional 75M nets. Is there an adjustment that I can or should make aside from using my XIT? 
 
Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

73, Charles N2SO


Steve
 

You are correct.  With the manipulation of fine/coarse you can get your display to conceal your true frequency.   It can be deceptive.


Jim Brown
 

On 3/23/2021 1:23 PM, Steve wrote:
You are correct.  With the manipulation of fine/coarse you can get your display to conceal your true frequency.   It can be deceptive.
Not quite -- it simply sets the tuning steps when you spin the knob.

And the guy who complained about someone being 12 Hz off frequency was, to be kind, "misguided."

I've been hamming for almost 65 years, and the only times I've concerned about precision of frequency is when I'm near a band edge.

73, Jim K9YC


Wes Stewart
 

Me too.  I only worry about it during ARRL Frequency Measurement Tests.  There, except for a brain freeze last time where I added instead of subtracted on one QRMed frequency, I'm usually within a few milli-Hertz.

Wes  N7WS


On Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 01:38 PM, Jim Brown wrote:
I've been hamming for almost 65 years, and the only times I've concerned about precision of frequency is when I'm near a band edge.


Dave (NK7Z)
 

Actually that is not the case for all digits!. There is some inconsistency in how the K3 changes the last digit...

In some cases there are no changes to the last digit, and in others there are changes made to the last digit.

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

On 3/23/21 11:05 AM, Drew Vonada-Smith K3PA wrote:
Yes, the display is merely rounding to the displayed digit.  Nothing more complicated.


Robert W5AJ
 

Not ARRL FMT
Note the ARRL is careful in qst to not call it ARRL.  (Sometimes a newbie at qst forgets in past issue.....)  FMT is done by outside group, ARRL long ago said it does not have equipment for such.
K3 can easily be within one HZ for FMT, warm it up and give FMT a try.

12hz? Eh?  N2SO , what's the update?  Please




On Tue, Mar 23, 2021, 4:59 PM Wes Stewart via groups.io <n7ws=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Me too.  I only worry about it during ARRL Frequency Measurement Tests.  There, except for a brain freeze last time where I added instead of subtracted on one QRMed frequency, I'm usually within a few milli-Hertz.

Wes  N7WS


On Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 01:38 PM, Jim Brown wrote:
I've been hamming for almost 65 years, and the only times I've concerned about precision of frequency is when I'm near a band edge.


Wes Stewart
 

If you say so.  It's announced in QST and the results go to fmt.arrl.org and since there are some fldigi guys running their own FMTs I called it "ARRL" to differentiate the two.  QST called it the A.R.R.L. Frequency Measuring Test in September 1931, but maybe I haven't kept up.

Maybe your K3 is that good but neither of mine is.  The K3S(F) with the TCXO is disappointing, so I use other means.  My new TS-890 even without feeding in an external reference is very good.  But lightning season began with a bang this afternoon, so it all might be moot.

Wes  N7WS


On Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 09:41 PM, Robert W5AJ wrote:
Not ARRL FMT
Note the ARRL is careful in qst to not call it ARRL.  (Sometimes a newbie at qst forgets in past issue.....)  FMT is done by outside group, ARRL long ago said it does not have equipment for such.
K3 can easily be within one HZ for FMT, warm it up and give FMT a try.
 
12hz? Eh?  N2SO , what's the update?  Please
 
 


On Tue, Mar 23, 2021, 4:59 PM Wes Stewart via groups.io <n7ws=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Me too.  I only worry about it during ARRL Frequency Measurement Tests.  There, except for a brain freeze last time where I added instead of subtracted on one QRMed frequency, I'm usually within a few milli-Hertz.

Wes  N7WS


On Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 01:38 PM, Jim Brown wrote:
I've been hamming for almost 65 years, and the only times I've concerned about precision of frequency is when I'm near a band edge.

 

 


Michael Foerster
 

You can easily check your radio for drift, if you have WSJT-X installed.  Start your radio up cold on WSJT-X and select the "FreqCal" mode, using 10 or 15 MHz.  Let it run for a few hours and when done, click the "Monitor" button to stop the recording.   You can see how much it has drifted by looking at the output. 

You can graph the data in a spreadsheet program (Excel, Google Sheets, etc.)  by copying the data in the window and paste it into an editor (Notepad?).  Replace all the spaces in the file with commas (,) and then replace all two sets of commas (,,) with a single comma (,) doing this a number of times!  Save as a .CSV file and open that with a spreadsheet program and graph the time and DF columns.

Mike