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Posted: 3/16/2013 5:19:06 AM EDT
Details to follow.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 5:53:36 AM EDT
Did you take one from the wild?!?
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 5:55:48 AM EDT
So I went to a Hamfest this morning in Marshall MI, I went because the card checker for this area is certified for 160m and I had a few DXCC entities for 160 to check.

Long story short, the checker no showed. So I went and looked around.

Some guy showed up right as I was leaving plopped a K3 on the table with a price tag of $1800. Needless to say I am not building a K3 now. Options are as followed

K3-100
KATU
400 Hz 8 poll filter
General coverage module.

All this for $1800. I hope it works.

More to come.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 6:28:22 AM EDT
You already did all that this morning? Hell, I just woke up.


Seriously though, congratulations!!

That sounds like a heck of a deal. No down time now.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 6:37:48 AM EDT
I got up at 5:00 so I could eat breakfast with my dad and some friends on the way up.

I am a morning person.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 7:22:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2013 7:23:39 AM EDT by Kekoa]
You picked a good weekend to break it in. The Russian DX contest is going on right now, and there are about thousand of them on 15 meters going 35-40 wpm. They are going so fast I can't even copy their call signs.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 8:04:36 AM EDT
Have fun with the new radio. I was planning to go a week ago then the last few days forgot all about it.
Dammit. You got a all the neat toys.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 8:14:34 AM EDT
Just worked a few of them at my dads on it.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 8:15:06 AM EDT
So yes gents it works.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 8:57:21 AM EDT
Congrats! Now you can get more toys with the money saved.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 9:00:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Kekoa:
You picked a good weekend to break it in. The Russian DX contest is going on right now, and there are about thousand of them on 15 meters going 35-40 wpm. They are going so fast I can't even copy their call signs.


Don't feel bad. Most of them are using computers. It sounds too perfect for a manual key and they transmil TEST and 599 at a faster rate.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 9:37:54 AM EDT
Here is a site that has some information and tips on adjusting some of the settings (AGC/Gain, etc.) on the K3. Not saying it's the "right" way to do things, but it may give you some ideas about how you like to set up your new rig.


K3 settings/tips
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 9:41:09 AM EDT
Good Deal
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 12:49:37 PM EDT
Made a few adjustments to the settings to make me happier. He had the RX EQ all screwed up.

One possible issue: the thing won't transmit with the microphone. The mic was nasty when I unpacked it. It had a half of a Big Mac on the windscreen. I either damaged the element when I opened it up or the cheese burger got into it. It will key but no power on TX.

What do you guys think. I don't think it's a menu issue since it will key.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 2:05:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2013 2:12:02 PM EDT by Kekoa]
Originally Posted By Elijah1:
It will key but no power on TX.


I would check the PTT-KEY settings in the configuration menu. Also, in the manual, there is a trouble shooting guide which addresses transmitting problems. On page 65, they talk about "No Power output" while transmitting. Might be something going on there.


Edit: BTW, I use the basic Elecraft MH2 microphone, and a number of people have told me I have very good audio. I also leave the TX EQ set to default. I haven't played with the RX EQ settings, but I might if I ever get an external speaker.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 4:06:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2013 4:07:13 PM EDT by gcw]
Cough cough

Originally Posted By Elijah1:
Used K3s are rare. Which should say something about its quality. The TS-590 seems to be very straightforward and a good value. If I was going to get a backup rig, it would be on my short list.



ETA:

I guess you were just trying to give misinformation so you could keep them for yourself, great now panic buying has spread to radios...
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 6:00:06 PM EDT
Did you get it figured out?
Link Posted: 3/17/2013 4:38:25 AM EDT
STATUS?

Does you K3 TX now???
Link Posted: 3/17/2013 8:04:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
STATUS?

Does you K3 TX now???


It will TX on CW as it always has. I am going over to my dad's later to grab his mic.

Should know by dinner time.
Link Posted: 3/17/2013 8:13:54 AM EDT


you've probably looked at this but....






You could test the PTT switch on the mic with a DMM or VOM.

set to Ohms, look for a short across pin-2 and 7 or8 when you push the PTT.

rubber bands or you kid can close the PTT while you measure.


you can also fool the radio itself into keying by rigging something up



Link Posted: 3/17/2013 8:55:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Derek45:


you've probably looked at this but....


http://www.elecraft.com/K3/K3FAQ.1.jpg



You could test the PTT switch on the mic with a DMM or VOM.

set to Ohms, look for a short across pin-2 and 7 or8 when you push the PTT.

rubber bands or you kid can close the PTT while you measure.


you can also fool the radio itself into keying by rigging something up





The PTT is working ok.

Link Posted: 3/17/2013 9:39:19 AM EDT
I read this on the Elecraft reflector.....maybe this will help.

Linky

If not maybe you can post a message and see if you get any replies.
Link Posted: 3/17/2013 9:42:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/17/2013 9:43:17 AM EDT by Derek45]
sorry

I need to finish my coffee and READ before posting.

you have TX but no modulation

mic elements are cheap and easy to replace.


hope it's something simple


call HEIL if you want to be separated from more of your hard earned money.
LOL
Link Posted: 3/17/2013 11:07:26 AM EDT
My dad's heil is going to be coming home with me for a bit. He has a spare from a rig that he doesn't use. We are still looking for the cable. My god I am glad I am better organized than this.
Link Posted: 3/17/2013 12:06:15 PM EDT
Have you tried transmitting on the digital modes?
Link Posted: 3/17/2013 12:17:53 PM EDT
Not yet. I just got home and purchased a RS-232 to usb adapter and successfully updated the firmware. I am having to reconfigure a lot of the settings. It said that I did not have an ATU when I was done. So I think I have that one licked, I opened up the microphone and indeed one of the little wires had become disconnected. When I played with it further, both from the condenser fell off. I am going to go down in the "shop" and fix those next. Coincidentally the Heil mic that I am borrowing doesn't seem do work at all. It has the red connector on it, which I am nearly positive is the Kenwood mic set up. After a great day yesterday everything I touch is turning to crap today. Seems like the world is spinning on its correct axis again
Link Posted: 3/17/2013 12:47:33 PM EDT
Yeah, it's sounding more and more like a microphone problem.

I forgot, that if you are using a SignaLink box for digital, you will need the special cable they make for the K3.

One thing about the K3, is that many, many of the settings are adjustable. No telling how the previous owner has everything set up. I think I left just about everything on mine in the "default" mode. It might take a while to go through everything, but you'll get it. You may even want to run through the calibration procedure again. It's quite easy, actually, with the K3 Utility program.

Hang in there...it will be worth it.
Link Posted: 3/17/2013 1:08:28 PM EDT
Got the Elecraft Mic to work now. My GOd the wires are small inside that thing. My guess is that when I took it apart the wire came loose. Now it is working,
Link Posted: 3/17/2013 4:07:52 PM EDT
Well done! Try to keep a good attitude, it helps!
73,
Rob
Link Posted: 3/17/2013 4:14:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kekoa:
Yeah, it's sounding more and more like a microphone problem.

I forgot, that if you are using a SignaLink box for digital, you will need the special cable they make for the K3.

One thing about the K3, is that many, many of the settings are adjustable. No telling how the previous owner has everything set up. I think I left just about everything on mine in the "default" mode. It might take a while to go through everything, but you'll get it. You may even want to run through the calibration procedure again. It's quite easy, actually, with the K3 Utility program.

Hang in there...it will be worth it.


The firmware update made a big difference in how the rig is performing. As far as the signalink special cable, I haven't gotten that far yet. That is my project for next week. Along with getting the KXV3A ordered. I have a good line on a LP PAN that I will be getting with some of the money I saved.
Link Posted: 3/17/2013 5:38:34 PM EDT
Outstanding.

You'll be cruising along at full speed in no time.

A panadapter would be nice. It's on my list of things to get, but I have a couple of other projects to spend money on first.

I think I've made a grand total of 6 contacts on the digital modes, and 3 of those were with BigDaddy. The other three, however were new countries for me, so I guess I need to start using it more. The past couple of weeks have been pretty good though, as I have picked up quite a few new countries. I think I'm up to 70, now (if I can get the QSLs...mailed out a bunch today).
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 2:04:37 PM EDT
Congrats on the purchase.

I'd recommend doing a hard reset ("Parameter Initialization" on p. 66 of the Owner's Manual) to get all the settings back to their defaults. I'd also do a tx gain calibration. You can do that with the K3 utility (the same one you probably used to update the firmware). You might as well do all the other calibrations while you're at it. Turn to p. 66 of the Builder's Manual and pretend you just finished putting the rig together for the first time.

A few settings you might want to customize... AGC, RX EQ, TX EQ, VFO tuning rate, etc.

Once you've got everything set up the way you want it, remember to save the configuration to your PC using the K3 utility.

You don't need a Signalink to do digital modes with a K3. It has transormer-isolated LINE IN and LINE OUT sockets. It also has a 1/8" MIC jack on the back side, which is nice.

Have fun with it.

Link Posted: 3/18/2013 4:26:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By gubernator:
Congrats on the purchase.

I'd recommend doing a hard reset ("Parameter Initialization" on p. 66 of the Owner's Manual) to get all the settings back to their defaults. I'd also do a tx gain calibration. You can do that with the K3 utility (the same one you probably used to update the firmware). You might as well do all the other calibrations while you're at it. Turn to p. 66 of the Builder's Manual and pretend you just finished putting the rig together for the first time.

A few settings you might want to customize... AGC, RX EQ, TX EQ, VFO tuning rate, etc.

Once you've got everything set up the way you want it, remember to save the configuration to your PC using the K3 utility.

You don't need a Signalink to do digital modes with a K3. It has transormer-isolated LINE IN and LINE OUT sockets. It also has a 1/8" MIC jack on the back side, which is nice.

Have fun with it.



I have thought about going in and calibrating everything again, but I am going to wait until I get the upgraded DSP installed. Apparently they have made some significant upgrades since my K3 was shipped. I am also combing over the other optional upgrades they recommend, and making a list of things I will want and need to do.

I still need to save my configurations. I did not do that before I upgraded my firmware.

So far, I have tweaked
1. VFO tuning rate. I set it to fast. I like to be able to get to different parts of the band quickly then turn on the "fine" setting once I get close.
2. TX EQ. I set it to N1EU's essb setting. Then turned the lowest bass down one click. I prefer sounding nice rather than having the nasty piercing DX sound. If I need to break through the pileup I can turn the compression up to 25 from 20. According to my dad both settings and the EQ settings sound exactly how they should.
3. RX EQ. I again started with N1EU's settings then tweaked it further to match my speakers timber. It sounds great. I will probably end up getting a different set of powered speakers at some point, but until I get the second receiver I will keep what I have. Ideally I would like to build an external tube amplifier for the speakers something in the 10-15 watt range. I have an old book of such circuits but I am not sure if I have the technical knowledge to make one that is RF immune.

I have no idea what I will do about the ACG in its stock configuration it seems fine, but I am sure at some point I will mess with it. I can't leave anything alone

I didn't get the chance to figure out how to get my laptop to work with digital tonight. The hamfest I went to on Saturday make my bad knee flair up so I have been sitting in my lazy boy alternating ice and heat.

I ordered the "Elecraft bible" so I will be reading it once the electronic copy gets emailed to me.

Thanks everyone for your help. This radio is simply amazing.
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 5:10:17 PM EDT
Didn't realize you had the old DSP board. Upgrading that is supposed to be well worth the money. I believe they'll ship you the new one before you send in the old one, so you'll have some time to swap it out.

The AGC settings make a huge difference in the behavior of the K3. I used the settings suggested by N1EU and they're working real well for me. I do mostly CW contesting and DXing.
Link Posted: 3/18/2013 6:28:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By gubernator:
You don't need a Signalink to do digital modes with a K3. It has transormer-isolated LINE IN and LINE OUT sockets. It also has a 1/8" MIC jack on the back side, which is nice.


I'm sure this is true, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to get K3 to transmit without the SignaLink box. I could receive digital signals just fine, but never could get the software (Fldigi/ HRD) to trigger the PTT or VOX. Not sure what I was doing wrong, but after a few weeks (yes...weeks ) of trying different configurations, I gave up and bought the box.

Now, I don't even use the digital modes. But, if I ever want to, I can.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 1:36:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By gubernator:
Didn't realize you had the old DSP board. Upgrading that is supposed to be well worth the money. I believe they'll ship you the new one before you send in the old one, so you'll have some time to swap it out.

The AGC settings make a huge difference in the behavior of the K3. I used the settings suggested by N1EU and they're working real well for me. I do mostly CW contesting and DXing.


Same style of operating here. I will perhaps mess wih them tonight if I get a chance.
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