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Author Topic: WHat is so offensive about the K3  (Read 20326 times)
KD8MJR
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Posts: 2713




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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2013, 07:37:04 PM »

I like (I have not ever loved a radio, love is for my dogs and wife) my TS-590s. It does not give me pride, however I am happy of the fact the 590s has saved me about $3K over a comparable equipped model K-3.  Cheesy Cheesy
Stan K9IUQ

Don't worry Stan the Relationship between me and my 7600 is strictly platonic.   Grin Grin Grin
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PA1ZP
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Posts: 296




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« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2013, 04:02:01 AM »

Hi to you all

The only reason why I do not have a K3 and use a TS590 instead is the price.
As others say if you want a complete K3 it is expencive.
But as i said , I would love to have a K3 though I think it is nothing special at all on SSB, and radios like the FTDX3000 or even FTDX1200 will do as good in SSB or even better as a K3.

One of the most annoying points of the K3 is that even the handmike is an option.
The standard price is good, but who needs a 10 watt radio.
If you want it dressed a little bit and I sure do not need the second reciever.
Just plain 100 watts and 2.8 KHz, 2.4KHz  500Hz and 250Hz roofing filters, no auto tune I never use them.
If I would want to buy this its costing you an arm and a leg.

But I would love to test the K3 against my TS590.
A lot of people are completely in the TS590 and find it WOW , I think it has a few nasty problems and should be advertised as a 100 watt CW radio with an QRP SSB TX , but if you ook at its price the TS590 is very good quality.

I think the size of the K3 is super , I like my radios small , i do not need to impress anyone with a big rig.
Do not need TV screens even do not want a computer in my shack.
The only problem is the strange way you have to compose your radio.
That way of work has also advantages, you do not have to pay for what you do not want.
And you can build the rig you want to have.

So why this relationship between the owners of Elekraft and others is sometimes a bit strange, I do not know.
But I agree that some of the owners react some what strange every now and then.

But as sometimes other owners of the TS590 find it a super rig they are getting warmed-up if i say that this radio has a few nasty flaws, wich Kenwood even doesn't want to admit.

73 Jos
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 04:07:58 AM by PA1ZP » Logged
AA4HA
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Posts: 1646




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« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2013, 09:02:17 AM »

I have been considering the K3 as my next radio for the last few years. I do not care for the "bling" that accompanies many other modern radios. The K3 has a simple, clean layout, excellent specifications and was a pleasure to spend some time with after I had a day to take one for a test drive at a friends station.

That it seems to make Stan completely crazy that there would be another K3 owner is just icing on the cake  Tongue That has cinched the deal for me. Now I must have one and I must share it with everyone out there that it is the best-est radio on the  planet, bar none.  Grin
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
KD8MJR
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Posts: 2713




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« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2013, 11:20:16 AM »

Make sure to get the Nifty Manual Accessory or you will be pulling out your Hair  Grin

http://www.niftyaccessories.com/Elecraft_RefGuide.htm

It's one of the cheapest "accessories" for the K-3  Wink

BTW I know your just jabbing Stan  Smiley Smiley
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 2078




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« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2013, 11:46:43 AM »

That it seems to make Stan completely crazy

Stan has been completely crazy well before the K-3.....  Wink

I do not care for the "bling" that accompanies many other modern radios.

A lady that does not like bling? I find that very hard to believe.  Cheesy  Cheesy  Cheesy

Give me that bling. I want everything but the kitchen sink in a radio and if the sink is available I will take that too...

Barebone radios are for Newbies...

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 11:54:26 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
WA2DTW
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Posts: 91




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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2013, 04:46:24 AM »

]

Said by a K-3 owner..  Wink

It is not the K-3 that is offensive, it is the owners of the K-3 that are offensive. Much like the Flexradio owners...

Stan K9IUQ

It is most important to keep in mind that the Elecraft, Flex and TenTec are US-made radios.  And they are not only competitive but excel in many ways.  This includes the K3.
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K9MHZ
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Posts: 453




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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2013, 04:47:51 AM »

Yeah, brand-loyal activists are always funny to watch/read.  I've always owned Icom gear for no other reason than it is what it is, and even fellow "Icom guys" get silly with the "Yaesu is junk" comments, blah, blah.   Personally, getting some Kenwood gear for 902 MHz because our dear Icom gods won't have anything to do with it, and later some Ten-Tec accessories and Alinco 220 MHz gear was the best thing.  It's all good today....very good.

The hipster dufus, occupy Wall Street, Apple crowd are way, way worse than anything out there in the ham radio world.  Apple's great, Linux is good and fun, Microsoft is getting there (I have all three)...but who cares?  

I still laugh at statements made by an airline years ago after being offered a sweetheart deal from McDonnell Douglas on some new planes...."ah, no thanks....we're a Boeing airline"   Not even a year later, Boeing and McD merged, and Boeing stamped their name on those McD planes.  Even Japan Airlines, probably the most staunch Boeing customer ever, has recently ordered some Airbus planes.

It's just stuff.

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NZ0T
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Posts: 74




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« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2013, 07:34:36 AM »

I bought my K3 as a kit in August 2008 and really enjoyed putting it together.  Not as much fun to build as my K2/100 was but fun nonetheless.  How can any ham NOT enjoy building something?   I am ashamed to say this but I really, really like my K3 and I have found that Elecraft has the best customer service in the industry. 

And I'm primarily a CW op which evidently is a bad thing from what some people have posted here in this thread.  I do spend some time most evenings on 1.947 SSB with friends and I have found the K3 receiver to be excellent on that noisy band.  One just has to understand how to set it up.  I, for one, am very happy to own a rig that allows me to set virtually any parameter however I want to instead of settling for what the manufacturer thinks is best for me. I always get excellent audio reports but if anyone wants to join the group on 1.947 and tell me how terrible my audio is feel free to.

Once again I apologize for liking my rig and yes, I am so ashamed.......
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 2078




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« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2013, 09:52:15 AM »

I do spend some time most evenings on 1.947 SSB

 yes, I am so ashamed.......

Understood.

Anyone who has heard a K-3 on SSB knows exactly why you are ashamed.

Stan K9IUQ
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N4DSP
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Posts: 165




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« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2013, 09:54:32 AM »

Ok My Son,
for your Penance say Three Our Fathers, Three Hail Mary's and Three Glory Be's. Now make an Act of Contrition.



I bought my K3 as a kit in August 2008 and really enjoyed putting it together.  Not as much fun to build as my K2/100 was but fun nonetheless.  How can any ham NOT enjoy building something?   I am ashamed to say this but I really, really like my K3 and I have found that Elecraft has the best customer service in the industry. 

And I'm primarily a CW op which evidently is a bad thing from what some people have posted here in this thread.  I do spend some time most evenings on 1.947 SSB with friends and I have found the K3 receiver to be excellent on that noisy band.  One just has to understand how to set it up.  I, for one, am very happy to own a rig that allows me to set virtually any parameter however I want to instead of settling for what the manufacturer thinks is best for me. I always get excellent audio reports but if anyone wants to join the group on 1.947 and tell me how terrible my audio is feel free to.

Once again I apologize for liking my rig and yes, I am so ashamed.......
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NZ0T
Member

Posts: 74




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« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2013, 10:33:56 AM »

I do spend some time most evenings on 1.947 SSB

 yes, I am so ashamed.......

Understood.

Anyone who has heard a K-3 on SSB knows exactly why you are ashamed.

Stan K9IUQ

Guess you missed the part where I mentioned I get consistently good audio reports on SSB. 
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ZENKI
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Posts: 997




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« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2013, 05:41:19 PM »

If the K3 was the price of the TS590 nobody would be complaining. However when  you complete a K3 station the total invested is a large sum of money in any hams book.
So when sink so much into one radio, I suppose you have the  right to be critical and ask after experiencing what you bought, own and tried is as good  as the hype.

The K3 is by no means perfect and neither is any other brand of radio. So if you do have issues or are critical of some aspects  of the radios design and performance you should  have the right to openly discuss the radios performance and design.

Why there are  so much frustrations by some owners is that there seems to be a Koolaid drinking mafia running around who dont want you to know about these problems or somehow be dismissive of other users concerns. Their bullying tactics does not impress a lot of K3 owners who bought into the K line because of all the promises of high performance. Now when owners  have a radio that does not meet their expectations they vent.  I suppose thats life in the ham radio ownership lane. It does not help when there seems to be a self imposed silence and  censorship by  many who deem that they are protecting their investment in a brand and will do anything to defend their new toy regardless if the truth is being twisted and bent. If a radio is the best it should be able to withstand any scrutiny technical or otherwise. The fact is that their has been
no counter from brainwashed K3 owners nor the company to the legitimate criticisms of the radios design and performance. I suppose some people cant live in the ham radio world with " I have dream" but road to the dream is a bit bumpy full of pot holes and the Hallelujah chorus sings  be patient   the devil from Japan is tempting you with debauchery  and eye candy

The problem now in the internet age is that you have  forums and reflectors. These reflectors have become gathering points for the true believers. Anyone who has any criticisms becomes a heretic who must be slain down. The problem is also  you have a the chief dictator called the moderator who blatantly bans or censors anyone who raises any known or perceived problems with the  brand or the radio. The various yahoo amateur radio groups is a hot bed of this closed shop brand worship. Its just unfortunate that many of these groups and individuals dont want the truth to get out  about the various issues  affecting all brands of radios. If radio has a issue say so, build a bridge over it or fix, life is really that simply. Hiding  your problems like a drug addict serves nobody interests, its just a pity some people have not learned their lessons in life. Look at the ex Soviet Union, all the lies, brainwashing  and propaganda failed because the truth won the day. Hams trying to cover up a radios problems are just being fools.

It is interesting to contrast ownership of the TS990S owners to the K3 owners. You dont have a Koolaid mafia running around screaming "its the best, its the best, its the best, its the best" Nor are they trying to bully or silence  discussions about perceived  problems and  issues with the TS990S radio.  I just picked up my TS990S and  if you compared the K3 and TS990S on paper the K3 is so much more superior to the TS990S in many key specifications. On the other hand in areas that dont matter  like ergonomics and general perceived quality the TS990S sounds better. Owners who bought the TS990S are willing to live with all the TS990S issues despite this radio not having blockbuster receiver performance numbers because there was no expectation before the release that it was going to be the best. There was also no Kenwood cheer squad running around trying to brainwash other hams into thinking that  the Kenwood TS990S was a radio that will have no equal on the planet.

The crux of the matter many K3 owners have come down from a make belief  cloud 9 and now have come to the reality that their so called perfect expensive radio is not what the want or what in their minds is their ideal radio. As  far as I can work out most of the frustration comes from the small size and poor front panel ergonomics.  I know at least 50 K3 owners and all their K3's sit on top of older or newer inferior model radios. They use their K3's as mission critical radios where performance counts and  then switch to some other general purpose big crap box  for day to day tuning around the band. This sums up the conflicting ownership pains of owning a K3. They like the performance but cant handle  handle whatever it is about the K3 they dont like for  use as a everyday radio. 

The problem for Elecraft is that they wont  throw the baby out with the bathwater, nor will they murder their own children. Unfortunately  their inflexibility and  closed minded thinking to what makes a good radio is not meeting the expectations of many hams despite the performance numbers. After speaking to K3 owners and being a multiple K2 and K3 owner, I think the problem is  more about the size, sound and ergonomics of the radio. All these issues could be fixed, but while you have the K3 bullies running around bullying other peoples opinions and a company who is holding its cards close to its chest about the future it makes people feel insecure. 

Why many hams have stuck with the K3 is because they believed in Elecraft  to deliver solutions and assumed that they had the flexibility of a small company to rapidly develop, discuss and deliver solutions. To this day Elecraft has become just like every other big Japanese company because they seem to have lost their desire to bring about and effect change. This lack of company direction towards the future lets the owners become insecure about what they own, because they read and hear about happy brand X owners  and they have no counter besides "the numbers are better" I think K3 owners want the best receiver, ergonomics, big radio, more knobs, best TX audio, best RX audio and  because they cant have all this they get frustrated. A good example of this is the ESSB market. Elecraft has catered for this market with wide ESSB TX. Despite this the uptake of the radio in this market has been very slow or non existent. Contrast this to the Kenwood TS990S which has overall less performance than the K3 however has quickly  established itself as an ideal ESSB radio as well as status symbol radio to own. Snobbery, Elitism perhaps, market perception yes! Its perceptions that count and Kenwood is winning the perception stakes despite the lack of  a few Db on receiver numbers.

While I say all this  I would rate the K3 as one of  my best radio buys in ham radio. As far as I am concerned the performance that it delivers despite its many shortcoming in my eyes are the best set of shortcomings to live with compared to the problems that I  have had with other radios. My belief is that Elecraft can deliver a killer radio like the TS990S or IC78000, but that would require a huge change in their thinking in terms of what constitutes a good performance radio and what makes a desirable brand radio. They have delivered a set of performance numbers that has not been enough to sway many buyers into their camp. I suppose  this is not hard to understand once you sit in front of the big box radio from Japan. Elecraft  has image problem with its small box radios that dont appeal to many hams sense of radio taste and thats the crux of the Elecraft K3 frustration. The majority of K3 owners that I speak too want the K3 experience in a big with kobs. If I owned Elecraft I would release a new integration kit. This kit should offer a new front panel, new box that can fit in the P3, pwr supply and a 200 watt PA. More knobs and a big box will  be a winner for Elecraft. While they stick to this wire up tree from a park bench, dxpedition super radio they not going to capture the big picture ham radio transceiver market.

The K3 despite what I dont like about the radio in my mind is still one of the safest radio buys you can make. However  this does not mean that its the best in every  expected  area of performance. I think Elecraft has a good brand name that  could deliver  more products that hams do want to buy. What Elecraft has to realize is that hams want the best that technology  can deliver. Hams dont want radio with 5 receiver performance boxes ticked as perfect and 20 other boxes left  not ticked because there is no conclusive evidence  besides cheerleaders saying its the best in those areas. The real problem is that Elecraft is small and does not  have unlimited financial resources  to throw around or gambling on the whim of shallow  expectation hams who dont have a clue. But I am sure if they said we going to deliver the best in all areas of performance and expectation I would buy in. I would gladly put down a 50% deposit on the K4 or K5000 if they spelt out clearly what that new product is going to be .
In the meantime I will enjoy playing around with my TS990S, which has a uncalibated S-meter, average receiver numbers, poor bandscope dynamic range and numerous other faults. But oh boy do I enjoy spinning a big VFO knob and playing with nice front panel with ergonomic place controls. Even with my 2 stack of 40 meter yagis never once did I say I need my K3 or I need less knobs. The soothing audio on TX and RX is really " Kenwood Audio" But if I wanted the best RX audio quality I turn on a DDC  SDR receiver now that is music to my ears.

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NZ0T
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« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2013, 06:49:14 PM »

LOL sure was great reading War and Peace again Zenki!  The bottom line is a lot of hams seem to like big rigs.  They are OK but not for me.  I have owned a couple of TS-940s and were great rigs in there time but just too damn big.  With today's technology there is no reason for a rig to be that big.  I understand that some hams still want big rigs and more power to them.  Enjoy!

The bottom line is that Elecraft is an AMERICAN company that is very successful in a bad economy.  They have excellent products, great customer service and continue to sell a ton of product.  The Japanese make good stuff too - I have a Yaesu FT-857D that is an amazing rig that works great for what it is designed to do.  And I have owned many very nice rigs from the shores of Nippon.  But the support from Yaesu is terrible just like it is for Kenwood and Icom.
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K9SRV
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« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2013, 07:27:52 AM »

I would have been happy with a 718 for Christmas. I got a 3 pack of underwear. Oh, because they were from Walmart, there was an extra, free pair. So I got that goin for me... Which is kinda nice..
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2013, 10:09:13 AM »

It could have been worst,  you could have gotten it from Target.
Personally I won't buy even underwear at Walmart.  They are one of the biggest contributors to job loss in the USA and China's number one business partner.
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