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Author Topic: Elecraft / K3 Owners..... I need your help  (Read 844 times)
NZ4Z
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« on: January 04, 2009, 05:17:56 PM »

Gentleman, I will admit I am still very green into the hobby, and still have alot to learn re: filters and other things. I have now decided to order a K3, but have no idea what I need in the initial setup. I need to keep the initial cost as inexpensive as I can. As far as my operating habits, I do not do any CW whatsoever, I do some rag chew, chase DX, digital modes, and will be doing more contesting. I want the factory assembled 100W version, but to keep initial cost down will add the 2nd receiver and tuner later if I feel I need them. With all this in mind....what do I NEED?

Thanks in advance for your help

Steve
NZ4Z
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K6CRC
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2009, 05:34:16 PM »

I am a relatively new General, about 1.5 years. I have owned several rigs, an IC718 and a FT450. They are more than fine for a new ham, and are excellent rigs for anyone.

I recently bought a Elecraft K3, the kit version.  I HIGHLY recommend the radio, but, as I can read from your post, can be a confusing buy for a new ham.

My suggestion is get a factory assembled unit with the 100 watt option, and maybe the General coverage receiver module if you listen to AM broadcast or shortwave.  You will not need the 2nd receiver, nor the other options now. If you have the need, the Automatic Antenna tuner works well.  The standard filter supplied is probably fine for a long while.  

This is a very high quality and versatile radio. You will need to download the K3 utility, and use it for updates to the software in the radio. That entails having a serial cable to your computer or the USB to Serial cable Elecraft sells. The update process is very easy and completely automated. Given the nature of the K3, improvements are added fairly often.

What you will also learn is that Elecraft is a great company with people dedicated to the hobby and the customers.  No burnt out, gruffy support people answering the phones. There is also a community of people who love their K3s and are willing to help.

Consider asking around locally to find users. You can ask what they think of the radio, and probably learn a lot in the process.
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N6NKN
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2009, 05:35:21 PM »

info@elecraft.com
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KA5N
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2009, 05:44:26 PM »

K3/100 kit $1849.95
or assembled K3/100-F $2089.95
You will need a mike.
Hand mike 59.95 or boom 150.95.

With that you can go on the with SSB. (Assuming you have a license and antenna(s)and a power supply)

Allen  
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N3OX
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2009, 05:49:50 PM »

"Assuming you have a license"

I see we're even accusing the posters with callsigns of not having licenses now ;-)

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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KZ1X
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Posts: 3229




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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2009, 05:52:49 PM »

Remember that filters in a K3 are done in software, so, you don't NEED any filters besides the one the radio comes with.

You may wish to transmit through a 6 kHz filter if you want to do ESSB, as it sounds that you like that option.  So, get one of those.

Subscribe to the Elecraft list, immediately.  It's been around for over 10 years and is THE place to go to read what's going on in "Elecraft land."  I suggest you subscribe in digest mode, so you only get a bunch of messages once or twice a day.

Here is the list of options you want based on your description of what you do:

K3/100  100W radio, for assembly by you                $1850
KFL3A-6K  6 kHz AM/ESSB, 8-pole roofing filter         $ 126

That's it.  Cost is $1976 plus shipping.

Your next desired option will be the autotuner, at $300, which puts the rig at $2276 at that point.  I figure you will take that step about 3 or 4 months after you have the radio, which is the point where you will have cut over to running it almost exclusively.



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HAMILTON_EX_W8GX
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2009, 05:54:30 PM »

Go onto the Elecraft website and sign up for the email list. You will get all the help you need plus more. There are hundreds of people just like you and hundreds more who are more than willing to help people through the email list. Hope that helps!  73  Keith W8GX
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W8JI
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2009, 02:33:58 AM »

Steve,

You should get a 2.1 kHz filter for SSB and a 400 Hz filter for digital modes.

Despite the fact it has DSP filtering, the roofing filters will make a HUGE difference.

They also will increase the resale value.

There is no reason at all to buy a great radio like that and then short yourself on performance and make it like a regular old Icom Pro or any of a dozen other DSP filtered radios just to save a few hunderd dollars!!!!

90% of the high performance comes from the plug in filters. DSP in this radio, like in virtually every DSP radio in the world, is NOT high performance selectivity.

Get a 2.1 for SSB and a 400 for digital modes. You won't be sorry at all. It actually is necessary.
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KA5N
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2009, 03:20:03 AM »

To Dan N3OX
I simply gave a list of the minimum one needs to get on the air.  Since many others read this forum I was simply giving a list and an appropriate license is one essential.  
I did forget to list a speaker or headphones, you can't work 'em if you can't hear 'em.
Allen
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WA3SKN
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2009, 03:23:51 AM »

"what do I NEED?"
Factory built... MONEY!
Tom's suggestion of 2.1 Khz and 400 Hz filters is a good one.  Xtal filters are better than DSP.
73s.

-Mike.
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PD2R
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2009, 03:50:51 AM »

Just about any microphone will work with the K3. Kenwood mics will work great and they connect to the radio without rewiring.

Spending some money on the auto tuner en 1 or 2 extra filters (2.1 kHz is great foor SSB) is not bad.

You could build it your self with some help of an Elmer. Maybe someone in your local club can help you out. That´s how I got mine put together. It is great to get to know your radio.

73, Maarten
PD2R

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NO9E
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2009, 01:27:00 PM »

> You will need a mike

Actually a computer headset does very well after the K3 equalization. A special feature is zero RF pickup in high RF environment.

Ignacy, NO9E
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NO9E
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2009, 01:32:29 PM »

W8JI writes:
> You should get a 2.1 kHz filter for SSB and a 400 Hz filter for digital modes.

On Elecraft discussion group almost everybody preferred 1.8 over 2.1. I ordered 1.8 and find it very uncomfortable to listen to. Good to see that someone else found 2.1 better.
 
Ignacy
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N6AJR
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2009, 03:14:49 PM »

call elecraft on the phone and ask them, they would know best of all.  tell them hou you will use it and go from there.  I would go for all the filters for ssb and cw, the second vfo, autotuner and much more, but then again I alread have an orion, ( among others)so it would have to match at least those capabilities.
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