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My Elecraft K3 is a brick


W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Jan 16, 2013
SC swamplands
So K3 randomly been giving ERR DSE, tried loading latest firmware. Then it would lose connection just as it finished pushing FW. Loading Firmware Failure. Somewhere in the mix, Err DP3 was shown. So I did the keystrokes to force MCU LD, still FW loading failure.

Then I found out Elecraft discontinued the K3. Gone are the radios in that price bracket. No more ala cart radios starting $1.2k. It was a great price for the specs of the radio. Mind you my K3 was used, 100w only 2 filters. Was a great deal and outperformed many radios when DXing.

So I called Elecraft to have my radio fixed. Was told no room was available to work on radios, not to send it. I would need to put on wait list for repair send in.

I'm just losing faith in Elecraft as a company. Granted the K4 is an awesome rig, but Elecraft is losing a market segment to gain another. They could be still making $ if they kept the K3, IMHO.

Tkx for reading my Rant.
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So ive started looking at replacements for my K3. $5.5k is the max id like to spend. Following are the Rigs I've been looking at.

Flex Radio 6600M $5.5k. Mfg Sugg Price
Elecraft K4D $5.5k
Yaesu FTDX-101D/MP $3.3k/$4.5k
Icom IC-7610 $3.3k

Elecraft K3S (Havent seen any reasonable prices)

Would love to hear your comments on these Rigs.

Kenwood TS-890S. $4.7k
Last edited:
I used TS870 for 19 years, no surprises except VCO adjusting at some point. Now my colleague is using it, radio is working as expected.
No complaints.
Since Poland is 3rd world country, closest Kenwood service is abroad, in Germany. I didn't had a chance to test their skills, but the same service is doing Icom, and they did well with my Icoms.
The issue with servicing the Elecraft K3 has more to do with the availability of parts than anything else. Elecraft has a long history of servicing practically everything they have ever sold, but they've also been very transparent on the email lists and forums that they can't get some of the parts for the K3 anymore.

Keep in mind that the K3 was introduced in 2008 - 14 years ago. This is an eternity in the electronics field. Can you still find parts for a PC or cell phone from 14 years ago? Sure, on the used market but no manufacturer is going to support it. The ham radio business is no different.

I decided to buy the Elecraft K4D and am very happy with my purchase. This company listens to their customers and introduces new features and fixes every few months. Join the K4 discussion lists on groups.io and see for yourself - I know of no other company in the ham radio market that is as responsive to their customer demands as Elecraft.
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Well im awaiting my next HF rig. Yaesu FTDX 101MP. Found one hella of a deal on one. When i receive it, I will send off my K3 to Alan Wilcox to have it reviewed and evaluated. If repairable K3 will become my portable/backup. I may put my KX3 for sale soon after.
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