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eHam Forums => DXing => Topic started by: KY6R on November 07, 2012, 04:23:32 AM



Title: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KY6R on November 07, 2012, 04:23:32 AM
I am not a contester and have no interest in contests. I am 2 away from Honor Roll and the one skill I am proud of is being able to track the DX in the split and "know" where they will be next. I do this by listening to the split and measuring how far they are working up and then back down through a range of frequencies. I also know when they "jump around" and on very rare occasions - where they also listen down.

I can do this very fast - its become a second sense.

At Pacificon I saw Nirvana - it is the entire K-Line, and I mean _everything_

I'm not convinced that the P3 would make me more competitive or better in the pileups tracking splits that I do now.

The ONLY thing I do in ham radio is work toward DXCC HR and #1 - otherwise - I just test my antennas and futz and putter around.

I can see where the P3 would be really superb for a contester though.


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: AF3Y on November 07, 2012, 04:26:47 AM
No...... but I DID just buy a new ICOM IC-7600 ;D.   UPS says it will be here Friday. Replaces my Pro III, which will probably get offered up for sale. I dont need a backup rig.

I actually considered a K3, but by the time all the goodies were added, the price was about the same (around $3650), and I am used to the ICOM layout/ergonomics, etc.  My ham sized hands would be a little large for the K3 layout.

73, Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: IK0OZD on November 07, 2012, 04:33:53 AM
the P3 is the best tool you can buy,
It's a shame that cannot communicate with other radios as with the K3,

I think the Elecraft if creates a CAT to work with most popular radios would have a huge success


in my youtube channel there are loads of videos of P3,
Since then I put the SVGA in P3 it is amplified greatly,
You can have a monitor long 45 cm,

You can see 5 KHZ to pileup in 45 centimeters of space if you have an external monitor suitable
if you look on qrz.com here is info from my youtube channell , there is much much video for the P3
73
Tony IK0OZD


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KY6R on November 07, 2012, 04:51:47 AM
the P3 is the best tool you can buy,
It's a shame that cannot communicate with other radios as with the K3,

I think the Elecraft if creates a CAT to work with most popular radios would have a huge success


in my youtube channel there are loads of videos of P3,
Since then I put the SVGA in P3 it is amplified greatly,
You can have a monitor long 45 cm,

You can see 5 KHZ to pileup in 45 centimeters of space if you have an external monitor suitable
if you look on qrz.com here is info from my youtube channell , there is much much video for the P3
73
Tony IK0OZD


Thanks Tony - you know I want one - I just wonder if it will really make a big difference since I am already pretty good about finding and working the DX in big nasty pileups.


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: W5RDW on November 07, 2012, 05:07:11 AM
If you set up the P3 with the averaging set to show signals that pop up and stay on the screen a little while, the P3 is a great tool in spotting who has come back to the DX station. Of course, not only one station comes back, but often the sequence of the DX station calling and the one he picks can be easily figured out.


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: VA2FSQ on November 07, 2012, 05:22:25 AM
The P3 becomes even more useful when you use the SVGA adapter and add a large monitor.  Greater resolution.
I wrote software that allows you to control the P3 and view the video on your computer screen.  You do need a video capture board though but this really makes the P3 useful.  The software is free, you can check it out at va2fsq.com
Working on a remote access version if there is some interest.


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: W5RDW on November 07, 2012, 05:46:29 AM
The P3 becomes even more useful when you use the SVGA adapter and add a large monitor.  Greater resolution.


I use a 19 in. monitor. It is more than big enough for good resolution, and does not take up much room on a setup.


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: NI0C on November 07, 2012, 07:26:50 AM
I operate CW almost exclusively, using a K3/P3 combo.  Like you, I'm pretty good at tracking the pileup by ear.  I have to admit I don't always use the P3 for this purpose, but it helps, especially for large pileups that are spread out. 

I think the most useful aspect of the P3 is in assessing a relatively dead band for activity.  I tend to do my hamming in little slivers of time, preferring to keep my wife company in the evenings.  But I can go to the door of the radio room, take a quick look at the P3 display, and get sense of what's going on. 

The P3 seems to be least useful for me in finding DX stations, at least on the low bands.  Because DX on the low bands is often near my noise level, I often find that I can copy stations that are barely visible, even invisible, on the P3 display.   

73,
Chuck  NI0C
 


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: W6GX on November 07, 2012, 07:37:50 AM
I know that the P3 is popular among the members here, but I have the LP-PAN and I'm 100% happy with it.  I use it on a 27" monitor and I could see 200khz of the band in very high resolution.  My total cost is substantially less than a loaded P3.  To QSY I just use a mouse and click on a particular signal.  One downside of the P3 is a lack of a mouse interface.

No offense to the P3 owners as I'm sure the P3 is a great tool.  I just thought that the LP-PAN is a better implementation of the SDR concept.

Rich- what rig. do you have?

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KY6R on November 07, 2012, 07:39:38 AM
I operate CW almost exclusively, using a K3/P3 combo.  Like you, I'm pretty good at tracking the pileup by ear.  I have to admit I don't always use the P3 for this purpose, but it helps, especially for large pileups that are spread out. 

I think the most useful aspect of the P3 is in assessing a relatively dead band for activity.  I tend to do my hamming in little slivers of time, preferring to keep my wife company in the evenings.  But I can go to the door of the radio room, take a quick look at the P3 display, and get sense of what's going on. 

The P3 seems to be least useful for me in finding DX stations, at least on the low bands.  Because DX on the low bands is often near my noise level, I often find that I can copy stations that are barely visible, even invisible, on the P3 display.   

73,
Chuck  NI0C
 

Thanks Chuck - this is what I have been suspecting. I some day will probably have the entire K Line, but for now - the P3 isn't going to make such a big difference for working on DXCC related stuff that I have to have it "right away".

But my dream is to have the entire K-Line because to me its like the modern day equivalent  of the old Collins S Line  ;D


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KY6R on November 07, 2012, 07:41:56 AM

Rich- what rig. do you have?


I have the K3 as my main rig and the Kenwood TS-590s as my backup rig. I use a Palstar AT-2K when needed and AL-811H only for pileups where its an ATNO. For band mode fills I use 100 watts . . . .


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: W6GX on November 07, 2012, 09:11:23 AM
I operate CW almost exclusively, using a K3/P3 combo.  Like you, I'm pretty good at tracking the pileup by ear.  I have to admit I don't always use the P3 for this purpose, but it helps, especially for large pileups that are spread out. 

I think the most useful aspect of the P3 is in assessing a relatively dead band for activity.  I tend to do my hamming in little slivers of time, preferring to keep my wife company in the evenings.  But I can go to the door of the radio room, take a quick look at the P3 display, and get sense of what's going on. 

The P3 seems to be least useful for me in finding DX stations, at least on the low bands.  Because DX on the low bands is often near my noise level, I often find that I can copy stations that are barely visible, even invisible, on the P3 display.   

73,
Chuck  NI0C
 

Ditto.  I find the panadaptor not that useful in a pile up.  The ears are better for that purpose.  The panadaptor is a useful tool to see the band activity, and for contesting when you're looking for a clear frequency.

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: W6GX on November 07, 2012, 09:14:29 AM
and AL-811H only for pileups where its an ATNO.

So that meant you have only used the AL-811H a total of five times this year?  Sorry I just couldn't help it  :D

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: IK0OZD on November 07, 2012, 10:49:52 AM
the green bar is the dx station,
the Fuchsia bar is the vfo B


Have possibility also with marker A and mark B in the P3 for clik and go in the pileup
the span in this case is 20 Khz
please image the  resolution if the span is 5 usually Khz

sorry for italian language in the video ,
using italian dinamic antenna ultrabeam up30 meter on top of my house , i 'am 350 meter up on the sea level
the radio is k3 with p3 the monitor is in this case 21" using the SVGA from elecraft in the P3 ,


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4xS49f524r0


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: N6DZR on November 07, 2012, 12:16:46 PM
I'm not a K3/P3 owner, but do love the band scope on my IC-7600. Here's another real life example of how the band scope can be useful:

I was listening to a DX station on some band when he said "QSY 17m". So I hit the 17m button and waited. In less than a minute I saw a signal pop up. I tuned to it and was the first QSO. No waiting and I caught him before any spots.

-Jeff


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KY6R on November 07, 2012, 12:51:43 PM
I'm not a K3/P3 owner, but do love the band scope on my IC-7600. Here's another real life example of how the band scope can be useful:

I was listening to a DX station on some band when he said "QSY 17m". So I hit the 17m button and waited. In less than a minute I saw a signal pop up. I tuned to it and was the first QSO. No waiting and I caught him before any spots.

-Jeff


Ah - there's a good "use case" . . . thanks!


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: NU1O on November 07, 2012, 01:04:35 PM
I added the P3 to my K3 about 6 months ago.  There was not a significant savings so I bought it built. I have not bought the SVGA adapter yet so I'm just using the small scope built into the P3.

I have not become very adept at using it in pileups yet but I spend most of my time on 10 meters and when the band is just opening or closing it allows me to easily find the few stations on the air.  It is also helpful on 15 meters where I rarely tune above 21.350 except during a contest. I also like to see who has the really strong signals and that recently led to an interesting QSO with Ivor, GI0AIJ.

The P3 helped me track down two noise sources.  On 20 meters I was getting spikes of the same amplitude at about every 18 kHz.  It turned out to be an old analog TV in one of my guest rooms.  That TV will be tossed out and replaced very shortly.  On 15 meters I was also getting regularly spaced spikes but not as strong as the signal from the TV and those turned out to be from a desktop PC that I always kept on.  That PC now gets shutoff when not is use.  When 20 meters was dead one night and after calculating the frequency separating the spikes it was very obvious the offender was a TV. I think it is either the horizontal or vertical sync generator which causes those signals but I forget as I read about it many years ago in an ARRL published book on RFI.  Luckily this was in my own house as those signals can travel a good distance.  With the P3 the picture of those signals spoke volumes.

Recently I was also able to track a noise source making 20 meter CW all but unusable to Radio China International.  They were broadcasting on 13.970 in the morning and their signal was heard as high as 14.070! 

When I remodel my basement next spring and have more space I will add the SVGA option and pickup a good sized monitor.

The P3s are not required but they make a very nice addition to the station and they can provide very helpful information.  When I get more adept at using them in a pileup it will just be icing on the cake.

73,

Chris/NU1O


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KY6R on November 07, 2012, 01:29:42 PM

The P3 helped me track down two noise sources.  


Another excellent use case. Thanks!


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: W6GX on November 07, 2012, 02:44:44 PM

The P3 helped me track down two noise sources.  


Another excellent use case. Thanks!

Fixing the noise source is another matter!

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: N4OGW on November 07, 2012, 02:52:55 PM
I think a panadapter with a display like CW Skimmer (with or without callsign decoding) is much more useful than a spectrum or waterfall display for cw operating. See http://www.dxatlas.com/cwskimmer/ for a picture of what I mean. Basically, it scrolls like a waterfall, but is oriented horizontally and moves much faster so you can "read" the cw visually.

I do find this very helpful in split pileups. I don't have a P3, but use a LP-PAN with my K3.

Tor
N4OGW


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: AD9DX on November 07, 2012, 03:07:13 PM
I don't have an Elecraft or a P3, but I do have the LP Pan from Telepost.  If the P3 works as well as the LP Pan, you will love it.  It isn't perfect, but it does save some time in figuring out where the DX is listening.

Again, like any other DXing tool, it isn't replace the raw skill of listening.


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: K0IZ on November 07, 2012, 03:38:12 PM
I also have an LP-Pan.  Love it.  Also since I run my K3 station remotely, I can access the LP-Pan remotely via LogMeIn.  Having a remote panadapter is way cool.


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: IK0OZD on November 07, 2012, 11:50:13 PM
mah ...
I also have lp-pan in the station,

the visibility and usefulness that the P3 is connected to the CAT of the k3 not on can imagine no if you don't try, without taking anything away from the LPPAN the P3 + SVGA is another story


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: K3TN on November 08, 2012, 02:09:37 AM
I bought a used P3 earlier in the year to add to my K3. Since I have the second rx in the K3, I normally listen to the pileup with one ear and to the DX station run frequency with the other ear. That was a huge leap forward, so having the P3 is only an incremental gain, but I have found 3 DX uses cases where I rely on the P3:

1. Some DX ops randomly hop around listening in the pielup, vs. go up or down regularly. With the P3 it is easier to see that than to try to keep twiddling VFO B to find who they came back to this time.

2. With really weak DX stations, listening to the pileup in the other ear makes it too hard to hear the DX station so I switch to using the P3 to spot who he came back to.

3. RTTY split pileups - this has been really fun with the P3, since listening to RTTY is always torture and looking at the P3 display it is really easy to spot who he came back to.


Plus, its purty...

73 John K3TN


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: NU1O on November 08, 2012, 06:26:22 AM

The P3 helped me track down two noise sources.  


Another excellent use case. Thanks!

Fixing the noise source is another matter!

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Luckily the noise generators were in my house and the solution was just to shut one off when not in use and replace the other with a modern TV.

In the old days prior to cable TV those sync signals would travel up the twinlead and be radiated by the TV antenna.  They could cover a large distance and often you'd be dealing with somebody you didn't even know.

73,

Chris


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: AB3CX on November 09, 2012, 11:12:43 AM
I think there was a similar post to this a while back.  I use the SDR-IQ/Spectravue with my Yaesu FT-2000.  I don't think a Panadaptor is that big of a help with DX pileups, because so many lids keep calling in the pileup while not listening  to the DX and not stopping their calling when the DX is working someone specific, or trying to.  The pileup is disorderly, so the visual representation is also disorderly.  I find a sub receiver essential to find out what is going on.  Panadaptors are useful in contesting to find the outliers in search and pounce and to quickly determine where open frequencies may exist for running, and to find out which bands have activity or are open.


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KY6R on January 25, 2013, 04:29:38 PM
Just ordered a P3. Now I will have a full "K-Line". IMHO - like a Collins "S Line"  . . .

Damn - I just realized, this is my 40th year as a ham . . . . I received my novice license - WN2QHN on my birthday in 1973. Pre PC and Mac days - hi hi. No internet or cluster or even "packet" or hell - repeaters then. Tubes and crystals and Hallicrafter / Heathkit. I'm an antique!

Crap - I have a son whose 21 years old and is KG6MXR. How in the world did all this happen so fast?



Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KE8G on January 25, 2013, 04:36:12 PM
Rich - KY6R,

Congrats on getting the P3, you will find it a welcome addition to the shack!

BUT, a bigger congrats on your birthday and 40 years a ham.... time sure does fly by!  If it makes you feel any better, my oldest son is 42... bet that makes you feel young again.  Hi! Hi!

73 de Jim - KE8G


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KY6R on January 25, 2013, 04:47:51 PM
Rich - KY6R,

Congrats on getting the P3, you will find it a welcome addition to the shack!

BUT, a bigger congrats on your birthday and 40 years a ham.... time sure does fly by!  If it makes you feel any better, my oldest son is 42... bet that makes you feel young again.  Hi! Hi!

73 de Jim - KE8G

Thanks Jim! Even though I was out of ham radio from 1977 - 2001 (with one or two years around 1991 where I built a bunch of QRP rigs and upgraded to Extra and got this wacky California call), Ham Radio has certainly been a wonderful part of my life. (Wish I would have become a DX-er in 1991 . . . oh well) . .

In fact, so much so - I have been having a total "second childhood" as a Little Pistol DX-er . .

73,

Rich
KY6R


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: WX2S on January 26, 2013, 01:09:08 AM
Yup. Definitely get the SVGA adapter.

73,
- WX2S


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: IK0OZD on January 26, 2013, 02:34:05 PM
easy demo the pileup in P3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueom6SiGs48


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KY6R on January 26, 2013, 03:32:52 PM
Got it hooked up - man, I love this thing.

The Elecraft K-Line is truly the most amazing bit of ham gear I have had in the 40 years I have been a ham.

Maybe I don't want the Kenwood TS-990 after all - hi hi . . . .


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KH6DC on January 26, 2013, 10:18:41 PM
I have the K-line including the P3.  It's a valuable tool to locate the least busy portion of the split ops.


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: AF3Y on January 27, 2013, 04:55:00 AM
I have the K-line including the P3.  It's a valuable tool to locate the least busy portion of the split ops.

Yep, but......... that does not mean that 2 seconds later, that least busy portion will still be least busy. I like scopes but on a rare DX, I dont see it helping that much. Just my opinion from using the scope on my ProIII (And before someone yells, I KNOW it is not the P3.).

I actually dont use it that much chasing DX.  Listening seems to work much better for me anyway.  I do like to look at it and see how active a band is or isnt, without dialing around. Great for lazy people like me :D.

73, Gene AF3Y



Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: WX2S on January 27, 2013, 05:33:40 AM
easy demo the pileup in P3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueom6SiGs48
Yup. The K3's CW decode has never been particularly useful for me, though, so I leave it off.

-WX2S.


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KY6R on January 27, 2013, 05:47:18 AM
At 335/331, the P3 doesn't do anything for me as far as working split in a pileup. I can do it so fast just tuning and hitting the A/B button - and I don't even have a separate sub receiver (I did on my OrionII in years past).

The best thing about the P3 is that I can clearly see the effect of the filters and how I can separate very close in stations. The reason this is important is because my ears need to "adjust" to separating out signals from noise and signals from signals. It almost seems that it takes a few seconds for my ears and brain to "hear" a tiny signal that has two or more loud local signals blasting the smaller signal into oblivion.

An example is hearing JT1DX during the 160M contest this morning. I had to really work the filters to be able to hear his tiny signal on my K9AY loops - while all of the locals beat his signal into oblivion. The AGC was limiting his signal - my guess is that without the loud locals - JT1DX might have had a reasonable signal. The P3 really helped me narrow a slice down to something usable.

Also - as others mentioned - seeing noise is pretty cool. (Well - maybe not  ;D)


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: IK0OZD on January 27, 2013, 07:05:23 AM
    
It also helps to 349/340 , It's a fun all the time.
It is very useful when dxpedition use 20 khz high frequency
It is very useful to monitor the 50 mhz or the 28 mhz bands almost always deserted,
It is also nice to look at the various forms of psk, rtty signals, filters etc etc.
serves absolutely SVGA card


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: KY6R on January 27, 2013, 07:07:20 AM
   
It also helps to 349/340 , It's a fun all the time.
It is very useful when dxpedition use 20 khz high frequency
It is very useful to monitor the 50 mhz or the 28 mhz bands almost always deserted,
It is also nice to look at the various forms of psk, rtty signals, filters etc etc.
serves absolutely SVGA card

I'll try all of these things - thanks for the tips.


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: NI0C on January 27, 2013, 08:33:10 AM
WX2S wrote:
Quote
Yup. Definitely get the SVGA adapter.

How does this adapter work?  Do you need a separate monitor in addition to your computer monitor?  Or does the SVGA adapter share screen space with your logging program application? 

TNX & 73,
Chuck  NI0C
 


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: W6GX on January 27, 2013, 09:26:57 AM
Maybe I don't want the Kenwood TS-990 after all - hi hi . . . .

I was looking at the brochure for the TS-990.  The TFT display on the 990 also displays a waterfall like the P3.  You could QSY by tapping on the touch-sensitive screen.  Pretty slick.  Don't you wish Elecraft made the P3 screen touch sensitive.  It's technically feasible and with some smart software it will know which signal you want to QSY to. Or one could interface the P3 to an Apple iPad via bluetooth and have the iPad as the graphical interface.

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: WX2S on January 27, 2013, 10:26:42 AM
WX2S wrote:
Quote
Yup. Definitely get the SVGA adapter.

How does this adapter work?  Do you need a separate monitor in addition to your computer monitor?  Or does the SVGA adapter share screen space with your logging program application?  
The intended use is to run the SVGA output into a monitor. I put up two monitors and an SVGA switch that switches the second monitor between the PC and the P3. Works fine for me.

If you had a way to snag the SVGA output and display it in your PC, you could probably display the SVGA output on your PC screen. This critter might do the trick:

http://www.amazon.com/Hauppauge-610-USB-Live-Digitizer-Capture/dp/B0036VO2BI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359311744&sr=8-1&keywords=video+capture+device+vga

You'd need a VGA to RGB cable, but those are cheap.

73,
- WX2S


Title: RE: Any DX-ers use an Elecraft P3?
Post by: NI0C on January 27, 2013, 11:23:40 AM
WX2S,
Thanks for the info!
73,
Chuck  NI0C