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Author Topic: K3 and TS-590 Noise Reduction  (Read 9567 times)
WX7G
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« on: December 26, 2012, 12:34:06 PM »

I'm looking to see if anyone has compared the Elecraft K3 Noise Reduction to the Kenwood TS-590 in CW mode.

I have an Elecraft K3 and none of the Noise Reduction settings do much (CW filter at 400 Hz) to reduce my wideband RF residential neighborhood noise. I notice that the NR2 noise reduction in my Kenwood TS-480 is superior and I'm wondering if I would be better off with a TS-590 than the K3?
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W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 05:49:41 AM »

Have you considered simply instilling CW filter in your 480? 480 has decent nose blankers.
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WX7G
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 06:25:26 AM »

My question is about the K3 and the TS-590 noise reduction. The K3 noise reduction does not make a big difference in CW (as Elecraft states) but the K3 does have the APF feature that will pull a CW signal out of the noise better than the Kenwood NR2 feature. They work differently but both are effective. I was thinking that if the K3 had a NR algorithm like the Kenwood NR2 it would even better.

I do have the 270 Hz filter in my TS-480HX and it works great. The 16 BIT audio DSP alone isn't up to the job on a crowded band.
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W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 06:52:45 AM »

Well given that 590 has the same basic support NR2 as 480 and 570 before I would venture to say it should work quite well. I have a 570 with kenwoods first use of NR2 and even it works quite well with CW. 590 is a newer design and NR2 "should" work even better.
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KF7DS
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Posts: 190




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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 05:01:26 PM »

I too live in an urbanized area close to downtown Portland, OR, and it is a challenge with so much noise around. And, I am a CW only op.

I have a K3 and TS590s and both are great rigs. The NR1 in the TS590s is very good, but I have learned how to adjust my K3 and it is definitely better...I can get the overall noise floor lower and it is quieter. You really need to play around with the Config options in the filters to get it where it is acceptable, but once you have it it is great.

The NR2 in the TS590s sounds too much like the signal is underwater and a lot of ringing...I could never get it to a point that I liked the sound.

At this time of year, there is no way I can use either 80m or 40m in the evenings with my 6BTV on either rig...it is just too darn noisy. But, adding my Pixel Sat. Radio magnetic loop rx antenna into the mix and both 40m and 80m are a delight - on the K3 is it very very quiet and the Kenwood is no slouch.

I highly recommend the loop rx antenna...useful on 80/40/30, and at times on 20

Best,
Don KF7DS
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WX7G
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 06:10:12 PM »

Don, thanks and I'll look into the Pixel antenna.

Do you use the APF on the K3? It really makes all the difference with my S-9 noise (in a 300 Hz bandwidth) on 80 meters. With APF I can work Europe from Utah most evenings.
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KF7DS
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2012, 09:47:55 PM »

Don, thanks and I'll look into the Pixel antenna.

Do you use the APF on the K3? It really makes all the difference with my S-9 noise (in a 300 Hz bandwidth) on 80 meters. With APF I can work Europe from Utah most evenings.

You will be impressed with the difference the Pixel Sat Radio Magnetic Loop will make. Tonight 80m was dead quiet using it with my K3. This loop makes a BIG difference and worth every $ it cost.

Best
Don KF7DS
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ZENKI
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2012, 02:12:42 AM »

Try widening the RX bandwidth on the K3 when using noise reduction. I have both the K3 and TS590 and I  am surprised that you say the K3 NR is ineffective.  It works as well as the TS590S noise reduction, or the difference is minimal.
Widening the RX or filter bandwidth makes the noise reduction work better. The K3 has so many choices you will find one that matches in other radio, especially if you open up the RX bandwidth.

A better bet is just to turn off the AGC on the K3, the difference can be amazing. Most of the reported noisyness of the K3's receiver is related to the AGC. If the K3 could sound as good as the K3 with AGC off the K3 would be a popular radio. It is a lively radio in terms of how it responds to band and other noise. The K2 seems to perform much better in this regard. Its just the nature of the K3 and it  is very tiring on low band  when there is QRN around. I just prefer to use some other radio or any analog radio for low band dx'ing.

I have not found any miracle noise reduction system yet on any radio. Changing radios like shoes is an exercise in futility. Pursuing noise reduction receiving antenna systems might pay more dividends.
SDR radios dont behave well when the band is full of QRN and crashes,  if this is your noise source trouble, get a old radio like the TS830S you will be shocked how much better a TS830S is in HEAVY QRN conditions.
This comments applies to all SDR receivers and transceivers.
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WX7G
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Posts: 6075




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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2012, 07:09:00 AM »

ZENKI, thanks for the tips. This morning I on 80 meters with several signals at the noise level I tried different K3 settings. I was able to copy and work two new ones (JD1 and H40) on CW with the K3 set just right. BW at 300 Hz, AGC to FAST, NR set to F7-1, and APF ON.

I played with all the settings including AGC OFF, APF ON/OFF, APF SHIFT (20 Hz helps), NR ON/OFF, and BW. No settings were as effective as BW at 300 Hz, AGC to FAST, NR set to F7-1, and APF ON. I am satisfied with the K3 and it does allow me to work things I could not work on the other radios I have owned.

I did experiment with better receive antennas with mixed results. The dominant noise source on 80 meters is McDonalds two miles away and right in line to Europe. So I'm back to receiving on the transmit antenna, a 30' base loaded vertical (a Tarheel 200A screwdriver with a 24' whip and 90 radials covering a 25 x 50 ft area).
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 07:11:47 AM by WX7G » Logged
KF7DS
Member

Posts: 190




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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 12:38:00 AM »

Dave
 
Too bad about the McDonald's. I was motivated to get the RX ant by the presence of a Plasma TV - I am able to rotate the loop and was able to null the TV. Neighbor moved.

Hooray

Don KF7DS
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