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Author Topic: Ten Tec Orion or Elecraft K3  (Read 25264 times)

Posts: 147

« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2013, 12:01:24 PM »

I realize this topic was started long ago, but because I think the question is still relevant, I will respond.  Still today, I think the two best contesting rigs for the money are the K3 or a used Orion.  I've had an Orion for 9 years and a K3 since they came out.  So I've put A LOT of time in on both of them.  My K3 is fully filtered with subreceiver and my Orion is likewise fully filtered with the upgraded RX366 subreceiver.  Additionally, I've installed a 300hz (yes, 300hz) roofing filter in the 1000hz slot of the Orion.  The v3 firmware released for the Orion in 2012 was a significant improvement.

Bottom line is that they are both superb contesting platforms and performance is a toss-up.  Really.  It boils down to other issues to make a decision.  I have a slight preference for the ergonomics of the Orion and its bigger display.  But I'm equally happy going to battle in contests or dx pileups with either.  I've had great results with modest antennas and each of the radios.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 12:03:37 PM by N1EU » Logged

Posts: 757

« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2013, 12:52:27 PM »

Having used both rigs in contest situations, you won't go wrong with either the Orion or the K3.  Neither rig is perfect... but both are top of the line pieces of equipment.

All else being equal, I'd go today with an Orion II.  As previously noted, the Orion (1) went out of production shortly after it's processor manufacturer announced EOL for the CPU, and the Orion II has some other improvements -- which you'd expect after several years.  Also, I'd look into the sub-receiver board upgrade; essentially, the sub(second)-receiver is replaced with the functional equivalent of the newer Eagle/Argonaut VI receiver, which is a vast improvement.

By the same token, the K3 has some new toys to go with it -- the panadaptor, the solid state linear to name two -- that weren't available when the rig first came out. 

Both manufacturers are top-notch, and provide excellent service. 

But don't take my word for it.  Find someone who owns one or both rigs (or all 3, actually), and try them for yourself. 
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