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Elecraft K3 and K3S quality

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KB0EZY, Feb 7, 2017.

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  1. WA9WVX

    WA9WVX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, as far as the do all wonder transceiver that ICOM has marketed as a SDR, I take my Elecraft K3 which has a bona fide Front End Filtering oppose to the IC-7300 in a strong signal situation. The IC-7300 will suffer from Front End Overload -- Desense so to speak preventing the operator to hear the station he's trying to listen too. I guess ICOM didn't point that issue out in their specifications.

  2. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do not see or hear of anyone complaining about that.
    Its an inexpensive radio, much less then half the price of a K3?

  3. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    My 7300 is impressive on phone. I don't have any close in KW stations to concern myself with. On 40M I was able to get an overflow indication with the preamps on at night, with lots of powerful BC stations in the vicinity of my freq. Turned off the preamps and it was gone. The preamps are of no use on 40M with a fixed base station antenna, like a dipole on the lower bands. Or not needed at all. The radio has excellent transmit and receive audio. The audio on rx is cleaner sounding than a rig I have that is much more expensive and uses I.F. DSP. I have not yet utilized maybe half of the features it has. First, beyond basic functions, and obvious stuff, you need to read the manual to figure it out. It meets or exceeds the performance on SSB of my 8 year old rig that cost me 3k+. The older rig has features for a CW op that are probably better but that is not my primary mode. The value of the 7300 is excellent. IT may become a new classic like the TS 520 or FT 101 of the 21st century. They are selling like hotcakes and most people are very very happy with them. But by all means audition an Elecraft radio and weigh the pros and cons.
  4. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just a note on the 7300; We had one at our Field Day installation last year and it preformed very well, no RX overload in our four band daytime configuration.
  5. AB2YC

    AB2YC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Elecraft does have some "Fan Boys" out there that are quite a bit over the top.
    Yes it's a nice radio, but there is room for improvement.

    I have a K3 and the DSP is a bit funky to use. Hopefully they have
    changed the way you adjust the DSP and NB in the K3S.

    My advice is to try one out before you buy it, That way you know what to expect.
  6. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I believe a lot of the "Fan Boy" stuff started back in the late 90's when the K2 first hit the market. I built one of the first 2000 kits sold, and there was a cult following of builders. The design is very good and the parts are high quality. It was basically the second coming of Heathkit. Most of the earlier builders knew each other from talking on the reflector, and Elecraft was so small they were reaching out to local hams to work tables at hamfests because they couldn't afford to send a rep. And we did it for a t-shirt and a chance to show off our equipment. We all felt like we were helping to take Elecraft from a fledgling company to a top tier vendor. We were proud of Eric and Wayne and what they had created. I think a lot of the earlier guys still look back fondly on the early years.

    Building the K2 was a great experience, and now and then I'll still crank it up and get it on the air. For me, the factory-built aspect of the K3, as well as the price tag, were a turnoff. However, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Elecraft......I knew them when.
  7. AB2YC

    AB2YC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I also have built two K2 radios. (one just recently).

    The K2 is a nice lil rig. Sadly Elecraft seems to be heading more to factory built.
    For me that tends to remove a major reason to buy their radios.
    AKA they are taking the fun of building it away.
    KG7WGX and N2SUB like this.
  8. SM0XHJ

    SM0XHJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Saying that is really stretching it a bit. Although the IC-7300 is good value for money, I would hardly call 81 dB dynamic range almost the same as 106dB dynamic range. I agree that in a most cases, with high background noise, this will not be a problem, but 25 dB is still a big difference.

    The reason I don't go with the IC-7300 is not the receiver performance though. My reason for not going with the IC-7300 are:
    - I hate touch screen interfaces, I want to operate my radio (and my computer for that matter) by feel.
    - No second antenna input
    - No RF or IF out that can be used for external band scope (that little screen is way to small)
    - Icom specific control software, that you must pay extra for (Both Elecraft and Kenwood give theirs away, including the specs to write your own)
    - No 10MHz reference input
    - No upgrade path. K3s can be upgraded with all-mode 2m coverage, a full range antenna tuner, etc. The older K3 can be upgraded completely, or any part you like, to the K3s level.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
    W8LGZ likes this.
  9. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I own a 7300. I love it, but in terms of the Icom control software, all I read about are complaints. Because of these complaints, I held off from buying it.

    The K3 and K3s are really different radios for a different league (and price range, unless you buy used). I don't see the point of comparing.
  10. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why does fan boy have be be a derogatory term?
    I am a fan of Elecraft. Owned by hams, made by hams, kits you can build.
    Amazing performance out of a small company, I think it was Elecraft (with the K2) that made the big three clean up their crappy wide open 70 MHz first IF garbage radios.

    For portable and SOTA type stuff, they make the best.
    There are other choices when it comes to a big shack rig for voice.
    It just depends on what you want or need.
    Elecraft is not cheap.
    They do not like lots of buttons and knobs.
    They are not into fidelity.

    That K2 was and still is amazing. Amazing to build, amazing at how good it works.
    I built two and loved the process.
    It would be a good thing if all hams were required to build one to get their licence.

    The K3 is a rig I would like to own, but I do not own one.
    Its not worth the price to me as I would not use what its good at.
    KR3DX and N2SUB like this.

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