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Re: [CQ-Contest] [Elecraft] From the CQ-Contest Reflector

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] [Elecraft] From the CQ-Contest Reflector
From: Tree <tree@kkn.net>
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2007 15:11:09 -0700
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
On Mon, Jul 23, 2007 at 02:53:00PM -0700, J F wrote:

> > This is one nice review Tree. Thank you. But I find
> > it hard to believe that
> > you did not find no negatives. My experience is that
> > none of the existing
> > transceivers is ideal. Is K3 an exclusion? I was
> > impressed by the reviews
> > of K2 on the eham and got one for myself recently.
> > Well after two contests I
> > have found several things which I did not like. I
> > managed to rectify some of
> > them but things like poor SSB performance, no CLEAR
> > RIT button, two VFOs
> > only on the same band, no monitor on SSB, changing
> > CW monitor tone involves
> > recalibration of filters, huge ripple in the ladder
> > filter passband when the
> > bandwidth is more then 1 kHz etc. make me think of
> > selling this radio. I
> > wish I knew about these things before but reviewers
> > did not mention these
> > things at all. Now  I am more cautious when I here
> > that K3 is the ideal
> > radio.

Thanks Igor.  I guess this is a chance to list negatives.  The problem 
with listing many of them - is that I am currently feeding back my 
comments directly to Elecraft and they are going on a list of things to 
be fixed in future firmware revisions.  

For example, with the firmware I was using in the contest, if you turned 
some of the knobs while transmitting, your output power would go to zero.

This has been resolved in a firmware release that was posted this afternoon.

You can look at the nice picture on the elecraft website to see about how
the front panel is laid out.  There are a few changes in the works for the
production units - like swapping the position of the AF and RF gain 
controls.  I imagine the picture will be updated very soon.

The issues with filtering in the K2 (which I also own) are totally not an
issue in the K3.  They are totally different animals.  The VFOs do not have
to be on the same band.  There is a monitor on SSB.  CW Tone can be set from
the front panel with no calibration required for filters.  There is a clear
RIT button and a neat indicator using LEDs if you are zero'd or are + or - 
in frequency.  The SSB performance is excellent - better than any rig I have
used (mostly in comparison to my TS850S).

So - again - I feel that the basic radio is a ten on a scale of 1 to 10.  
The ergonomics may not be exactly what any one person really wanted in a 
radio, but they were easy enough for me to adapt to.  

I don't think any of the rough edges - or not yet implement features are 
worth documenting - because those are being worked out before the first
customer units ship (or afterwards via updates).

For me - another show stopper in the K2 was the VFO steps/rotation and
the fact that if you spun the knob too fast (think sprint QSY), counts
were lost.  This is totally fixed in the K3.  

If you have any other specific areas of concern, I would be happy to 
address them.

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