Elecraft K4

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W6RZ, May 16, 2019.

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  1. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for that link Jim! I had no idea that ham radio was online for download. Now I can start building a new archive of "stuff to read on airplanes on my Surface" as my 73 Magazine folder has been pretty much picked over :)

  2. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're welcome, Dave. But I should have included a warning: the American Radio History site is full of magazines, books, manuals, folders (GE Ham Tips, for example) and much more. Easy to get pulled down the rabbit hole!

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    AG5DB, N3AWS and W7UUU like this.
  3. NL7W

    NL7W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Roger that!
    I worked on the 50's Collins designed Universal Radio Group (URG-I) for the USAF Global Command and Control System (GCCS), which included Scope Control, Scope Pattern, and later Scope Signal III. Scope Control and Scope Pattern (URG-I) was an early transistorized, remote-controlled, worldwide radio network. It was a wonder of engineering and worked beautifully. High-level systems components included physically separate transmitter, receiver sites with pairs of these scattered around the globe, a few remote-control relay racks (sometimes collocated with a T or R site, sometimes separate), and many remote-control operator consoles scattered around the world. It even included a Collins designed, combination transistor and relay telephone switch addressing the System's remote control user consoles at those sites.

    Using an operating console, one could select any one of many different worldwide sites, a specific RT, dial up the operating frequency, select an antenna and its azimuth, if directional (the transmitter sites' remote-controlled antenna matrix was a wonder of engineering itself). The System's radios covered 2 to 30 MHz with either 3 or 10 KW transmitters (208U-3 or 208U-10). RT freq resolution was 100 Hz, and it was unbelievably accurate when aligned -- even in the 80's when I was a young man and a very active ham. It was amazing tech by the best 1950's engineers, and it showed.

    I also spent some time on the Rockwell-Collins URG-III equipment (Scope Signal III). It was a System built around Rockwell's HF-80 equipment. Obviously, it didn't have the personality of Art Collins' original URG-I equipment.

    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  4. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is there a web site where I can find accurate IMD measurements of transmitters to compare against the ARRL test results? Sort of like what Sherwood Engineering does, except for transmitters instead of receivers?
  5. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have not seen any with a large number of measurements.

    SM5BSZ has a quite small number of measurements of adjacent channel suppression on ham gear on his web-site.

    I have collected some data about professional gear, and SM5HP some.

    A more extensive campaign by SM5HP and me is "in the works" for an upcoming paper for the Nordic HF Conference.

    Last edited: May 22, 2019
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  6. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's great!


    How much did it cost.....and who paid for it?
  7. WJ4U

    WJ4U Ham Member QRZ Page

    We (taxpayers) paid for it, and likely a whole lot more $$ than today’s ‘lousy’ ham radios. :eek:
    N2EY likes this.
  8. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love the performance of Elecraft, and it was the best receiver I have had at this QTH (best my 7300 easily).

    Fabulous performance.

    With the front end, EQ and RF Gain, I could hear weak signals my 7300 cannot deal with, given my high-noise QTH.

    But what scared me off of them was reliability. Yes, their customer service is very good, like a good neighbor who will bend over backwards for you, but here I was -- an all-new customer who stretched his budget to spend for a KX2. Six months into it, the VFO dial went bad. I had to send it in (from overseas) for a repair.

    Now it's come out that, a few years later, Elecraft is telling people not to add a non-Elecraft knob to the radio, because the nylon in the VFO can become damaged. Several incidences, I read. I never used a different knob -- just carried it portable, in their carrying case.

    The whole situation has soured me on their reliability. Nylon VFO?? Maybe it's nice for those of you with enough electrical engineering sense to swap their parts when they go bad, but if a radio I buy can't hold-up to normal operation... or such a minor change as a weighted knob... why spend hundreds or thousands on their gear? They handled the service like a dream, speedy and at no cost to me, but in the end -- who authorizes such cheap parts to go into an expensive radio? I didn't pay extra for their radio to be of such weak quality. Especially such a key part.

    It gives me pause.

    Elecraft is turning off a whole new generation of users with this KX2 knob business, IMHO. They need to upgrade it.

    I still may spring for a used K3 or K3S one day, but I will avoid anything new, until I learn more about reliability.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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  9. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You might want to read about 7610 display problems, for example. Every manufacturer has a few problems now and then.
    N2EY likes this.
  10. AA5CT

    AA5CT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am surprised these whiz-band SDR radios can't *measure* each others two-tone performance on-the-air.

    Sure - you get guys saying "I can record you and play it back", but the requisite equipment is there on both ends to do MORE than that, such as the usual two-tone IMD test: (1) the two-tones are generated for injection into the audio and (2) the processing on the far (remote) receive end to look at 3rd and 5th order distortion products 'pulled' from the pan adapter.

    Read/compute the numbers, display them, then read them back.

    Maybe the software guys don't know how to do that ...
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