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Author Topic: The Best CW Transceiver?  (Read 42783 times)
KD8OTT
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2012, 05:19:34 AM »

Sorry this turned into K2 vs K3 but I have heard both radios side by side on same antennas at two different shacks and on cw the K2 out preforms the K3 on cw hands down all bands and weak signals. K2 is the best cw radio out there by far !! I own 2 Icoms so, this comment is coming from Icom follower !
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N2EY
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Posts: 3856




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« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2012, 06:29:19 AM »

Sorry this turned into K2 vs K3 but I have heard both radios side by side on same antennas at two different shacks and on cw the K2 out preforms the K3 on cw hands down all bands and weak signals. K2 is the best cw radio out there by far !!

How, exactly, does the K2 outperform the K3?

In my limited experience, when a person prefers one receiver over another, there are often reasons which are not apparent from the specifications.

For example, certain kinds of distortion can make a receiver very tiring to listen to for certain folks, while other kinds aren't bothersome at all to them. So if Receiver A has just a little of the "bad" distortion, but Receiver B has a lot of the "good" distortion, a person may prefer B even though its numbers are "worse".

And someone else may prefer exactly the opposite.


73 de Jim, N2EY
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 06:33:36 AM by N2EY » Logged
K1ZJH
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Posts: 901




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« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2012, 10:09:48 AM »

A TenTec Omni VI with all of the filters is hard to beat for a good CW rig.
Good signal handling, low phase noise, cascaded filters and QSK operation.
And they are CHEAP compared to what a new rig will cost. Add the optional
Inrad roofing filter and you are in the same RX class as the newer rigs.
You won't go broke, and you can always sell it and upgrade later if you wish.

Pete
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K5JYD
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2012, 07:52:55 AM »

My two favorite rigs are the yaseu 950 and the ten tec century 21.  Both great cw rigs. Years ago I let the century 21 get away from me, I still regret that.
k5jyd
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ZENKI
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Posts: 906




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« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2012, 03:13:59 AM »

I will answer this.

The AGC is better in pileups. The K2 is less fatiguing and less noisy. The K2 CW  RX signal on very weak signals has more body. On the K3 very weak signal just seem to be washed out and are hard to copy.
The K2 on the low bands is excellent,  the K3 on the low bands give me a migraine its so noisy.  The K2 RX audio has less RX IMD and is a better radio in pileups. All Anecdotal stuff that I cant measure. I hate talking about receivers
in voodoo terms, but the K2 is a excellent CW analog radio. I spent a lot of time aligning my K2's with professional test equipment so its spot on.

I will add that the current beta firmware is looking promising, I just need to spend more time with it to draw a  firm conclusion. When signals are loud and there is no noise around any radio will do on CW, however when it gets demanding the K2 is the winner. I will also add that I use a Perseus and Winradio receivers slaved to my K3 and and on weak signal SSB  the SDR radios kill the K3. I can hear signals on the SDR much clearer than I can on the K3.
The SDR radios also sound better and dont have group delay or RX IMD issues like the K3.

I operate a lot of low band and every time I turn my K3 on I think the band is noisy or there is storm nearby, I turn on  the K2 or any other analog radio and the band sounds normal. I been through the AGC roulette  settings game. On the  K3 its mostly a waste of time trying to silence or make the receiver sound  good, its a waste of time. The New BETA sounds better  and looks promising, I will be playing more. The K3 might be king one day  when all the issues are bedded down in the K3's AGC and receiver.

If I had to go on  DXpedition I would take the K2 over the K3 any day, because it will produce better results. I must also say I have most radios through the shack and radios like the IC7800 and 7700 have been sold. The 7600 is another Icom radio that has that washed out CW sound on weak signal like the K3.
Sorry this turned into K2 vs K3 but I have heard both radios side by side on same antennas at two different shacks and on cw the K2 out preforms the K3 on cw hands down all bands and weak signals. K2 is the best cw radio out there by far !!

How, exactly, does the K2 outperform the K3?

In my limited experience, when a person prefers one receiver over another, there are often reasons which are not apparent from the specifications.

For example, certain kinds of distortion can make a receiver very tiring to listen to for certain folks, while other kinds aren't bothersome at all to them. So if Receiver A has just a little of the "bad" distortion, but Receiver B has a lot of the "good" distortion, a person may prefer B even though its numbers are "worse".

And someone else may prefer exactly the opposite.


73 de Jim, N2EY
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K8AG
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Posts: 349




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« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2012, 11:46:50 AM »

I actually have used a K2 and a K3 and frequently side-by-side.  The K2 is really amazing but the K3 is better.  I will use the K2 for several days then switch back to the K3 and it is simply better.  Not tremendously better.  And both are better than everything else I have used except for the Orion 2.  The O2 is just a better rig if you don't mind a large radio.

My 2 cents.

73, JP, K8AG
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2012, 05:53:15 PM »

    Unless your on a power trip a K-1 will give you the same cw note and quality as a K-2,receiver no noticeable difference,sold mine and kept the K-1.The K-1 shares equal time with my Johnson Adventurer with digital kit VFO which is a bit more fun to operate than the K-1.Keeping it simple in Maine.
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2E0OZI
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2012, 03:00:44 PM »

since I am becoming a CW fiend  Grin, whats the price of a K1?
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
N2EY
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Posts: 3856




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« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2012, 03:07:37 PM »

since I am becoming a CW fiend  Grin, whats the price of a K1?


Google is your friend:

http://www.elecraft.com/elecraft_prod_list.htm

73 de Jim, N2EY
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2E0OZI
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2012, 02:57:36 AM »

Thanks for the link Jim - looks like something I have to consider a bit down the track. At the moment I need to get the narrow filter for my IC718 to improve the whole CW experience...
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
N4DSP
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Posts: 124




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« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2012, 08:16:09 PM »

Elecraft K3 makes a great cw rig and more so for qrp.
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GILGSN
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Posts: 199




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« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2012, 10:12:27 PM »

The K3 does cost a bundle though... Complicated for a beginner too. I started with the K1, then a K2. The K1 is my favorite. The kit costs $300, same as the KX1. Options do add up, but you don't have to buy them all at once. The LCD back-lit option is a must, to be ordered at the same time as the K1. Then, the ATU is really nice to have. And what can I say, the K1 looks great.

There is always the Rock-Mite for $29.. An amazing radio, which really works great.

For kit-phobics, TenTec sells nice Chinese made QRP radios for less than $200 (two-bander).

Gil.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2012, 04:59:15 AM »

    Gil is right,K-1 options do add up.As for myself I am not into any costly options,I get around them by using tuned monoband dipoles with no balun or my hex beam, at qrp power I do not need any slight output power loss associated with a tuner or balun.Also as for back lit dial light I get around this by using proper operating desk lighting and the few times I have used the K-1 camping/backpacking I just use a LED headlamp or small mag light when needed.I rather put my unneeded option money into good antenna materials. FWIW  Jim
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 05:06:34 AM by W1JKA » Logged
PA0BLAH
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2012, 07:39:48 AM »

You guys, are telling which set is the best. That is because it is your set, or because you have or had  2 sets and are telling which of the 2 is best in your opinion.

So 5 votes for set X and 3 votes for set Y. Does that make set X the best?

Don't think so.

You better make a list of requirements (specifications)
make a compromise (because zero used power does not meet 100 watt output)
and publish your opinion about specifications.

My 3 cents: NONlinear in the final, and absolutely no penny for an SSB option.


73 Bob
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9V1VV
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Posts: 31




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« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2012, 06:04:13 PM »

Bob,

K3 specs take a lot of beating. I won't publish them here because they are on the Elecraft web page. After 40 years of using all sorts of receivers (Marine and Government) this one is the best for noise reduction, sensitivity,  and versatility in chosing filters etc. The noise reduction software is an improvement on the K2.  I have built my own receivers in the past and they are a joy to use, but I won't kid myself. They don't come close to the K3. QSK is superb. As for the transmit side - all 100 Watt CW transmitters are the same except for the leading and trailing edges. K3 sounds superb on the air.

K3 has too many functions for a CW operator though. You will only use 10% of the menus.

But in the end it is only my opinion.

73

John
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