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Author Topic: Elecraft K3 or FT-1000D or FT-1000MP MK V as back up rig?  (Read 14631 times)
KY6R
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« on: July 31, 2010, 05:26:19 PM »

I have a Yaesu FT-2000D, and like it enough to keep it. I can't have an amplifier, and my antenna farm is as good as I can do - given my very small property. I have an MA160V (64 buried radials) and an Optimized Flag for 160M, a 2 element Bruce Array for 40M (which works very well on other bands as well), and a 2 element 17M yagi.

My goals are DXCC on 160M, DXCC RTTY / Digital modes, and Honor Roll. The FT-2000D gives me 200 watts, but I am intrigued by the K3.

The problem is that the K3 - with 100 watts and an ATU and a couple of filters costs about $2800.00. Is the K3 a good enough rig where I would turn the FT-2000D into my backup rig and live with "just" 100 watts because it is so good, or would I be better off buying a used FT-1000D or FT-1000MP MK V for under $2000?

Rich
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KZ1X
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2010, 09:53:34 PM »

http://www.sherweng.com/table.html

Disclaimer:  I own a K3.  There are almost 5000 of them out there now, so, you might try playing with one first before you take the plunge.
Many contesters have switched to the K3, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your point of view.

I can easily see you selling your FT2000 and using the money to buy a second K3 after you get the first one.  You wouldn't be the first.

Why can't you have an amplifier?   I recently saw a whistle-clean SB200 sell for $350.  That's 3 dB more than the Yaesu and six over a 100W radio.
Sometimes just a bit of extra soup into the hose makes a difference.
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KY6R
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2010, 04:49:28 AM »

I do expect that once I take the plunge I will be hooked. I had an amp - but at 1500 watts, I had my nutty neighbor running over to my house complaining about me getting into his stereo. Since I dropped back down to 200 watts, everything has been completely quiet (the last year or so). I've still been able to work plenty of DX - even on 160M.

Of course, the big problem is that I couldn't get through a recent pileup where I really needed that country, but I did work over 300 entities with 200 watts or less and wire antennas - so it just takes more patience.

I've been working on making sure that the 3 db difference between 200 watts and an amplifier is made up by having gain antennas of 3 db or so - and that ends up being a far more economical solution. I really don't want an outboard antenna tuner again - anyway.

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WX7G
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2010, 09:14:54 AM »

The K3 has a better receiver than the others mentioned. The K3 runs 125 watts, not 100. The K3 internal tuner will match a 10:1 mismatch while most other internal tuners will match only up to 3:1.

You might see what the Kenwood TS-590 turns out to be. It has been called the "K3 killer" with similar (or better receiver performance), a low first IF (like the K3), includes a 500 Hz  CW and an SSB roofing filter, and an internal tuner for a projected street price of $1800.  

You might consider an amp and run it at reduced power - crank it up a little at a time until you find the threshold of the neighbor's equipment. I use a K3 with an Ameritron ALS-600 tuner and it's point-and-shoot.

If 160 meter DX from 6-land is your goal an amp is pretty much a necessity.
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W5DC
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2010, 09:57:57 AM »

My K3 runs 110 watts output maximum.  I think earlier one may have run a bit more but as far as I know, not the current ones.  As for choosing between the Kenwood and the K3, the K3 is in production and is a known product that doesn't require speculation to evaluate.

Dunc, W5DC
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KY6R
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2010, 05:01:12 PM »

I really like that $1800.00 price range much better than the $2800.00 I would need for the K3 - the price shoots way up with just a few of what I consider "essential" features. I can wait - there is no hurry at all. I Certainly need to see why this new TS-590 (or whatever it will be called) is a "K3 Killer".

WX7G:

Yes, I already have missed some all time new one's since getting rid of my amp - its been frustrating that way at the bottom of the cycle.. I'd like a no tune amp - and see that there is an Ameritron 600 watt model, but I don't know if a 600 watt amp would make that much difference over the 200 watts I have now.

I don't want to also put an antenna tuner back in the chain - which I would have to do with an amp that I would have to tune.
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WX7G
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2010, 02:52:35 PM »

Yes having to use a tuner is a downside of the solid state amp. It becomes expensive for 500 watts.

An AL-811 might suit you. No tuner needed up to 2.5:1 and it runs 600 watts CW or SSB. Just about 5 dB over 200 watts. 1 dB makes all the difference on 160 meters. Much of my DX work is done at the noise level and I can spare 1 dB.
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K0RS
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2010, 09:04:00 PM »

If you're going to use the K3 primarily for DXing, I would factor in the cost of the second receiver.  I would much rather have the extra rx for chasing DX than a built in antenna tuner.
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KG6YV
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2010, 03:23:37 PM »

I own an FT-1000D and it is a fine radio.  However, I would get a Mk V instead if I were you.  The Mk V is at least as good as the 1000D and it is newer technology.  I would agree that having 200W power is a good thing....

Greg KG6YV
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W6GF
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2010, 12:59:16 PM »

I have both a K/3 and a FT2000 (not a D).  Unless you just want to buy a new radio save your money.  The K/3 is an excellent radio, truly outstanding and I love it and the folks at the company.  But invest your money in the antennas.  The quickest and potentially the most "neighbor friendly" to get more signal.  I find the FT2000 now has become a much under rated radio, if you have done the updates.

But, if you want a great ham radio experience buy a K/3 kit and enjoy. Smiley

George, W6GF
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KY6R
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2010, 08:25:03 AM »

Thanks, George - that is what I have concluded. At $3000.00 for the K3 - it just isn't worth me trying to sell stuff to buy it. And I agree - the antenna is where I need to concentrate.

I did go ahead and get an AL-811H and an ATR-30 tuner, because I know I will need it on 160M for sure, and also on bands where an all time new one has an intense pileup going - like the recent Palestine DX-ped.

I have the best that I can put up for 160M (MA160V with 64 radials and a K6SE Optimized Flag for RX), and my 2 element 40M Bruce array really works well on 40 and 30M.

I have a 2 element 17M wire beam, but will convert that into a 5 band Broadband Hex Beam - which will require very little work. Then I will have a decent little pistol set up - and the best I can do - without pissing off the neighbors.
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K3GM
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2010, 09:07:46 AM »

If you're going to use the K3 primarily for DXing, I would factor in the cost of the second receiver.  I would much rather have the extra rx for chasing DX than a built in antenna tuner.

But the ATU will also get you a second antenna input.  Remember, the 2nd receiver is just that...a receiver.  With the ATU and the subreceiver, you have the option of using the ANT2 input or an AUX ANT. input.  With my K3, I chose the latter as I felt it allows more flexibility.  A K3 as a back up rig?  Use it a little, and it will become your primary radio.
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W6GF
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2010, 10:29:14 AM »

I think you did the right thing. You added an S unit to your signal and the tuner gives you antenna flexibility. I hope you understand I love my K3.  But for considerably less money you made a major upgrade to your station.  The AL-811H is a great linear.  There is no need to change tubes for 572B.  You get more plate handling power and much more grid capability with the 572B.  The 811's will be OK but DO NOT OVERDRIVE them.  80 watts max is all you need.

Good  Luck

George, W6GF Smiley
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2010, 04:00:17 PM »

I Is the K3 a good enough rig where I would turn the FT-2000D into my backup rig ?





Yes
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KY6R
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2010, 08:11:02 PM »

I ordered my K3 today. Looks like the FT-2000D will be my back up rig.
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