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Author Topic: What Options for an Elecraft K3?  (Read 3048 times)
KY6R
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« on: August 17, 2010, 06:51:27 PM »

I am a DX-er just starting on my DXCC for 160M and I also want to go for the Digital DXCC. I have 324 entities and
8BDXCC, so what I need now will require a better receiver in the pileups (I only need the rare stuff now - and these pileups are getting brutal).

I am thinking about the second receiver, the RX antenna slot and two filters - 400 hz for CW - and who knows what about SSB . . .

I am very much intrigued by diversity reception - as I had it on my old Orion and loved it.

What do you think? Did  I miss anything? I am not a contester - so don't need a DVR or anything like that.

Rich

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NI0C
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 07:36:57 PM »

I think you've got it covered, Rich, with the items you mentioned.  Just to clarify, the Rx antenna input is on the transverter module (KXV3 or KXV3A).  I nearly missed that when I ordered my K3.  I don't yet have the second receiver, but I do have the eight pole 400 Hz and 250 Hz filters and the five pole 200 Hz filter.  Most of the time on 160m, I use the 250 Hz filter; but its selectivity is very nearly the same as the 400.

A nice accessory is the KD9SV "Dxpedition" receive antenna switch with a dual preamp for 160 and 80m, and front-end protection.

73,
Chuck  NI0C   
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K3GM
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 08:13:34 PM »

Rich, you're going to love it.  I've had mine built for a couple of months now, and can tell you ithat it's an amazing radio.  I have everything but the crystal oven on mine, so I can tell you a little bit about the various options.  I'd definitely get the tuner option.  With it, you'll get a second antenna connector. That's good for having say.... a 160 inverted L on ANT2 and a yagi on ANT1.  Antenna connector setting, as well as power settings are remembered once entered.  Yes, the transverter interface module has an AUX Ant. connector.  The isolation is much better using this input.  Eariler this summer when 6 was cooking, I was madly pounding away trying to answer K7JA, Chip Margelli's CQ.  It was weak, but copiable.  WOW, transcontinental Es on 6!  But he wasn't answering me!  It wasn't until Chip's signal had died that I realized that I had been transmitting into the center pin of an SO239 on Ant. 2, and  that I was hearing leakage from Ant.1 where the yagi was connected.  Switching to correct connector, I must of looked like the guy ine the old Maxell cassette tape commercials.  I was practically blown backwards off my chair!  So bottom line .... spring for the KXV3A.  Other options I couldn't do without are the voice recorder and the general coverage option.  The voice recorder blows the one in my IC-756 P3 away; very nice.  Contester or not, it is very handy to have in a pile up, and it also records off the air.

If you want diversity receive, you'll need the matched set of roofing filters.  If memory serves me, You can only get the 5 poles in a matched pair.  I chose the 2.7k filters for that.  Remember you're selecting roofing filters.  You can get tighter bandwidth using the receiver's DSP.  I chose not to get the ultra tight CW and data filters, but ones a little wider.  I have the 2m transverter in mine, so I had to get the 12k FM filters.  I opted for one in each  receiver.  BTW, I have yet to try diversity receive; summer doldrums I guess.  

Now, right next to my K3, is a big hole for the P3 band scope.  That will be a winter project!  After having it on the '756, and will never do without one.  It makes finding contacts on a quiet band  like 6 and 2 meters like shooting fish in a barrel.  If you can, get one!  I played with one out in Dayton this year, and was sold.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 08:20:14 PM by Tom Hybiske » Logged
KY6R
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2010, 03:33:17 AM »

Thanks Chuck and Tom - I really appreciate the feedback. I'm going to order one today - I'm pretty excited!
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 05:21:51 PM »

Great for CW/digital.

Has anyone resolve the modulation issues when it's used on SSB?

I don't have one here, but having "worked" probably 3-4 dozen K3s recently, not a single one ever sounded good on SSB.

My neighbor and friend Dave WA6DKN, who is a stickler for audio and just purchased a new K3, cannot get his to sound good, either -- even with external audio racks from Behringer, etc.  No matter how he adjusts it (been trying for two weeks) it never sounds as good as his other transmitters.

What's the issue, there?
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N0OKS
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2010, 01:37:59 PM »

Perhaps the K3s were set up for communications / contesting and not ESSB. Bad SSB on the K3s is a bogus rap

Mark, NØOKS
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NR4C
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2010, 07:37:47 AM »

Most users seem to hold back on the "COMPRESSION" control.  It needs to be set to at least 20 or 25, maybe even 30.  An article by Clifton Labs had a good discussion and experiment data on this.

I'm using a Yamaha CM-500 headset, and have MIC at 25, COMP 25 and get excellent audio reports, and plenty of oomph in the signal.

...bc
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