Elecraft K3 Verses The Rest?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by N3TU, Feb 2, 2008.

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  1. WR8D

    WR8D Ham Member QRZ Page

    Go find yourself an Icom 775dsp. Icoms one time flagship before the price went to 12k is "still" holding it's own with them all.

    --... ...-- WR8D
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  2. PA5MW

    PA5MW Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's not about static benchmark numbers....
    It's about fun, so go get a box that does just that for you.

    If I were you, I would compare rigs by their user interface, ergonomics etc..

    Try the TenTec Omni VII
  3. AE7G

    AE7G XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Elecraft comparison

    I have been looking at buying a K3 and have been avidly comparing receiver performance. I have had direct hands on same shack comparison with the K3 and the old Kenwood 930 and 940, also the K2 and kenwood 2000. I have talked at length with a good friend who usually uses the FT1000mp and also has recently been using the K3 in the same shack. I have also compared with Drake.

    The difference between the K3 and other really good receivers is not dramatic. They both will be able to hear and copy the signals. The K3 is better at quieting everything down and at separating strong adjacent signals. From what I can tell it has the best receiver on the market. In most conditions any of the good radios will work just fine.

    In the overall scheme of things the antenna and location are far more important.

    The Kenwood 2000 is simply not in the same league. Here the difference is dramatic.

    What attracts me to the K3 is the kit experience, the great service and support and the modular nature of the product, which allows for user installed upgrades.
  4. W0GI

    W0GI Ham Member QRZ Page

    But when the bands start opening up, and the CW signals are strong and close together, the K3 will be a nice rig to have handy.

    After I get payment for the last two radios I sold, my K3 kit will be on order.

    I will be keeping my MK-V FT1000mp, as I still like it after seven years of use. I feel comfortable with the controls, and know how to tweek it.

    But, while it is really good enough most of the time, other then strong CW signals real close-in. The K3 with a 250hz filter won't have that problem at all.

    I'm not sure I will be partial to the K3 ergonomics. The MK-V has lots of buttons and knobs, mostly at the right places. The K3 has lots of multi-function buttons and knobs that may not be so convenient.

    Someone mentioned you should buy a rig that is fun and forget the specs.

    The K3 has a fun factor for me, and good specs on top of that. While it may not be very practical, to be able to use your keyer paddles to send PSK and RTTY is just something I can't wait to try. It is just a fun function.

    If you control yourself with the options, it isn't even that expensive for such a high performance rig.

    I am going to order a K3/100 kit with a 250Hz filter and a KXV3A for IF-out to feed an LP-Pan into PowerSDR. All for $2136. Now I will have a spectrum scope and lots of other features on a PC, that rival an IC-7800, if not better.

    But at the same time, a high performance rig that I can take portable, and run off a battery up in the Rocky Mountains.

    I will probably still use the MK-V a lot for casual operating, but for digital and crowded CW, I am going to enjoy the K3. This is going to be fun, anyway you look at it.

    Not the best radio for every use, but the K3 is a classic at even a couple years old. :)

    I just can't wait to put in my order. :D
  5. KF7AYS

    KF7AYS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I believe the most applicable phrase here is:

    Tempest in a teacup.

    It's a radio.....

    I would rather put a lot more effort into my antenna than spend money on a radio that may or may not make a difference.
  6. W0GI

    W0GI Ham Member QRZ Page

    No doubt, but some have all the antenna that their property will support. So then what?

    Antennas are very important, but using the antenna argument to make any difference in radio performance insignificant, is somewhat narrow.

    As a matter of fact, the better the antenna, the more important are receivers specs, like the K3, Orion-II, or Flex-5000a, that can block strong signals from those great antennas.

    With a dipole at 20', they are the same. A better antenna will make any receiver hear better.

    At the same time, a really great antenna will make a great receiver very important in that it can handle the very strong close-in signals a lot better.

    Better antennas are good, just like better receivers.

    Putting it in general terms doesn't tell the whole story.

    Just a radio?
  7. N5RWJ

    N5RWJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree , do check out Ten Tec !
  8. W5AJ

    W5AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Service after the sale

    Yaesu makes a fine contesting radio but when Yaesu can't carry some case screws for a MarkV to a hamfest (yeap, they couldn't put a couple in their pocket ...), I rate their care after the sale as poor. A great contesting radio but gee guys, can't carry some case screws out to a loyal buyer:eek:

    SDR guys in Austin have done great product support, some day they will put a front end on their radio and clean up the IMD and will have a great product.

    K2 - after thought for SSB input board. functional if you modify it at home.
    K3 - Elecraft has a winner here, and they promised to bring me case screws at next hamfest if I needed any......:)

    The add on roofing filters by Inrad - also a winner

    for all the others - similiar thoughts to TS850 (with an Inrad roofing filter), great radio, still have mine but the IMD compared to the K3 is much poorer.
  9. K4AX

    K4AX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Maybe the Yaesu marketing reps work at a place that has no case screws for rigs laying about?

  10. WD8KNI

    WD8KNI Ham Member QRZ Page

    When its all said and done, you purchase and operate for a couple of years please post you average cost/qso. Since the 60's I have listened to this crap. The most vocal on the "Best Subject" pay the most actually get on the air and talk the least. Don't let anyone convince you that a 3-5K rig will out perform a 1500 dollar rig in day to day rag chew, or an occasional contest. I don't even spend any time talking about the shacks I have visited over the years that have 10-20K worth the equipment sitting on the desk. Gee how prowed they are, then you go outside and find an old vertical with no radials, or 3 at 15' in length. I even read a comment about how nice it would to have a K3 or TenTec for a CW contest. How about a TenTec Corsair (500 bucks used). Give me a 1000 dollar used rig inside and a good antenna system anyday.. BTW work DX here almost every day, ICOM 751, Delta on 40, 100 watts. Most of the time while others are complaining the bands suck. CW is king for DX when sunspots are down. When sunspots are up its like shooting fish in a bottle. the only thing that changes is the 10-20K stations constantly dumping power all over the place making it hard to hear, no receiver can take away signals that are actually on the frequency you are working... Fred
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