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I'm getting more and more sold on the Elecraft K3

Discussion in 'Ham Equipment' started by Moleculo, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. Moleculo

    Moleculo Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 14, 2002
    Likes Received:
    As the subject suggests, I'm becoming more convinced every day that the K3 is a terrific radio and a good value. This week, Elecraft released new beta software that includes new features that have been added. If this was Yaesu, Icom, or Kenwood, it would be a new rig version that you would have to purchase. Here are the new features:

    Audio Peak Filter - for CW only, you set the filter wide and if you hear a really weak station, you can center your dial on him, turn on the APF and it will automatically create a dynamic filter that increases the gain on that one station. The filter shape can be described as sort of an inverted V over that signal. I'm not a big CW guy, but users who have tried this feature in the beta release have said that it works significantly better than the same function in the other rigs they've tried it on.

    TX "Fast Monitor" - Previously, the voice monitor had a bout a 20ms delay which lets you hear how your on-air signal will sound. This is cool, but annoying if you just want to hear your own voice in the headphones. Now you can set the monitor to kill the delay so that it is real time.

    They also made some improvements with the Noise Gate to give it a smoother response. They say the performance is improved near the threshold, but i haven't tested that yet. I will soon. They also got rid of the the pop artifacts that happened when you adjusted the shift and width of the filter when using very narrow DSP filters.

    The beauty of a Software Defined Radio...
  2. N0NB

    N0NB Active Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Likes Received:
    I was heavily involved with testing version 4.17 beta which introduced the APF where I and several others discovered the SSB output was low and would take several seconds of transmission to reach 70 to 90% of max. That led quickly to 4.18 which corrected the SSB but introduced a problem when the Shift knob was advanced to 1.00 in APF mode. At that point Wayne and Eric pulled the beta from the Web site. Since Friday evening I have been testing 4.21 beta and it looks very good. I think this release will be golden in a few days.

    After a month on the air, I am pleased with my purchase. I think I've mostly have tailored the rig to my tastes and have come to grips with its UI, which is not hard to understand, just takes a bit of muscle memory retraining. I operated it for a few hours in CW Sweepstakes and never heard a hint of filter blowby or AGC pumping from signals not in the passband. This coming weekend I plan to operate phone SS so it will be interesting to see how my filter selection along with the DSP works out.
: elecraft k3

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