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Author Topic: Elecraft K3 Spectrum Scope  (Read 1992 times)
KG6MZS
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Posts: 476




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« on: April 24, 2009, 09:30:04 AM »

Hello all;

I've been thinking about getting a K3 and I'm wondering if anybody is using it with the LP- Pan to get a spectum scope via the IF out option.

I would like to run HRD + DM 780 but I would also like to have a spectrum scope like the one in Flex Radio SDR software.

Anybody doing this?  How would it work?

TIA

73 de Eric, KG6MZS
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N9DG
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Posts: 317




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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2009, 10:59:51 AM »

Why not just get a Flex-3000 or 5000 instead?

Even with PowerSDR / LP Pan connected to the K3 you will only ever have some feature subset of the full functionality of PowerSDR as it is today, and what it will be able to do in the future.. I personally would not want to limit myself from the outset like that at all. This is true of any traditional knobs and buttons radio grafted onto a program like PowerSDR.

It is one thing to add LP Pan after having already having a traditional radio, but starting fresh I'd take a real hard look at skipping the traditional radio hardware completely. By skipping the traditional radio hardware it will allow you to achieve the full range of possibilities that PC based SDR's can provide.

And yes the LP Pan / PowerSDR system does work for what it is intended to do. But since it uses a sound card vs. integrated A to D and D to A's like the FLex-3000 or 5000 do, you will run into most of the same sound card configuration idiosyncrasies that the SDR-1000 users did and do. Been there done that, the current Flex hardware is just a so much tidier approach.
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KG6MZS
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2009, 01:24:04 PM »

It's a good point and I thought long and hard about a software defined radio but in the end I want a radio that doesn't *require* a computer to work. For now.

What I am looking for in the SDR software is the spectrum scope. As near as I can tell I can't run HRD + DM789 to control the radio and use SRD software for the spectrum scope concurrently.

Thanks for the input anyway.

73 de Eric, KG6MZS
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WA5ZUP
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2009, 05:48:20 AM »

Join the LP-Pan group and ask these questions.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LP-PAN/
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N4OGW
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Posts: 314




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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2009, 11:01:39 AM »

Yes, you can use several apps communicating with the K3 at the same time. There is a program "LP Bridge" that creates virtual serial ports allowing several apps to connect to the K3.

I am pretty happy with my K3 + LP-PAN. I haven't had any problems running both a spectrum scope program and a logging program. Both communicate with the K3 via LP Bridge. So for example, if you click on CW Skimmer spectrum, it tunes the radio to that freq. The logging program follows the freq change.

Tor
N4OGW
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KG6MZS
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Posts: 476




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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2009, 02:25:24 PM »

Thanks for the responses.  Looks like this might be for me.

73 de Eric, KG6MZS
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K8AC
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Posts: 1477




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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2009, 03:47:16 PM »

I used LP-Pan with a K3 for a time and, like most of N8LP's products, it was an excellent product with no serious drawbacks.  I was always able to see any signal that could be heard, and found that valuable when chasing DX on a band with very marginal signals.  LP-Bridge worked perfectly, allowing my logging program concurrent access with LP-Pan.  Even if Elecraft someday makes good on their two year old promise of a spectrum scope, it will take a very good and versatile implementation to out-do the PowerSDR/LP-Pan combination.  Addition CPU load from PowerSDR on my dual-core Intel system was not significant.
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W9AC
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2009, 04:30:49 AM »

> "Why not just get a Flex-3000 or 5000 instead?"

One aspect to consider is fast T/R turn-around time for QSK CW and the *TOR modes.  The SDR products currently available need to focus on this one area before they are competitive with traditional transceivers.  SDR T/R times need to fall down to less than ~ 15 ms instead of ~ 50 ms.  In the July, 2008 QST Product Review of the Flex 5000A, the T=>R and R=>T times combine to about 50 ms.  For fast CW QSK and *TOR ops, that's an eternity.

Presently, I am using a K3 with the SDR-IQ.  This combination allows full use and control of the K3 and SDR-IQ through SpectraVue software -- and also allows use of the K3 as a grab-'n'-go radio for portable operations either without the PC or, one can use a small netbook PC in the field with SpectaVue loaded.  The best of both worlds are served this way.

For those using the K3 with LP-PAN and PowerSDR, the user also has available pretty much everything that the Flex and other pure SDR architecture can offer.

Of all the SDR products currently being produced -- or in the pipeline, the N8VB QuickSilver seems to be in the best position to address fast T/R speed.  Like the SDR-IQ, Perseus, and ADAT-200A, it is also a direct-RF-sampling architecture.


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KD8CGH
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 06:16:53 PM »

TIA

I am using the LP-PAN with my K3 with an E-Mu 2020 USB soundcard which gives me up to 192 kHz of bandwidth.

Larry's LP-Bridge software ties PowerSDR and Ham Radio Deluxe seamlessly. The point and click tuning and second receiver are great additional features to the K3. I also enjoy using CW Skimmer to see who the DX is responding to in a pileup. You would think that the spectrum scope would do that, but there are so many inconsiderate hams transmitting continuously that I wind up useing Skimmer to decode the "599" from the respondent to find the location.

By adding the panadapter function through LP-PAN I can still use my K3 as a portable standalone transceiver at times, as well as assimilate it into the Borg other times.

   Bob
    KD8CGH
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