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Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => The HAM Radio Board => Amateur Radio Gear Reviews => Topic started by: FreeLancer on December 27, 2014, 05:44:45 PM

Title: Elecraft: Worth the premium??
Post by: FreeLancer on December 27, 2014, 05:44:45 PM
I was thinking how nice it would be to have an HF rig with internal tuner that could match >3:1 SWR and found myself looking at the Elecraft K3 rigs.  It looks like the company has a loyal following and the reviews at eham are stellar, but $4,000 for a typical K3 kit, after adding in the usual options, seems kind of steep, but maybe the performance really is worth it. 

Anybody have any personal experience with Elecraft?
Title: Re: Elecraft: Worth the premium??
Post by: Carl on December 27, 2014, 05:54:04 PM
I have a friend who has built most every model of ELECRAFT radio and added ALL of the options to them, he swears that he can tell the difference...I can't . Most have been compared and stand well against other brand radios , but at ,for most,a high cost for really small advantage. Might just be the ROLEX of radios...you pay that much...you better think it is better.

  Don't get me wrong ,they are great radios...but dollar for dollar ,I think you will find TENTEC radios are just a tad better.
Title: Re: Elecraft: Worth the premium??
Post by: armymars on February 02, 2015, 10:12:18 AM
  I've used the K3 twice on field day. They are a nice radio, but the menu can be confusing. The radio does so much you don't want to push the wrong buttons. We locked one up during the final hour last year. Opps! The receivers beat anything out there, even my Ten-Tec's. I love Ten-Tec's.
   We had two K3s, matching amps, and band displays at the EOC where we operated from. We also had a Flex 6700. All we needed was some killer operators. Next year.
    If your willing to learn the radio it will do great things for you. I think a K3 with most of the goodies is closer to 3000 dollars. 73
Title: Re: Elecraft: Worth the premium??
Post by: backwoods_engineer on February 04, 2015, 05:08:59 PM
Frequency stability on the KX3, especially when using their built-in 6m/2m transverter is CRAP.  They try to "compensate" a junky crystal oscillator with their microcontroller instead of spending money on a good TCXO.  A buddy of mine just went through Elecraft's "temperature calibration" procedure twice, even using the nice equipment we have here at work (good signal generators, controlled temperature chambers), and still it goes off frequency when it transmits.  It's a self-heating problem. 

If I cared about 6m and 2m, I definitely wouldn't buy the KX3.  For HF?  You can get more for your money elsewhere.
Title: Re: Elecraft: Worth the premium??
Post by: armymars on February 05, 2015, 09:07:07 AM
  I just bought a Argonaut V from one of the club members who has 2 KX3s and one of the K3s we used on field day. The Argonaut has a TCXO option in it. It is about 4 times larger than a KX3. A little larger than a IC706MIIG. I've made 15 PSK31 contacts with it in the last two weeks. That's with a very poor antenna. It's rock solid. The K3 has a receiver that hears things my Ten-Tec has trouble with. The difference is small, but it's there. There's something about direct conversion receivers that make a signal come alive. If you want to talk and walk there is a Yahoo Group for that.
Title: Re: Elecraft: Worth the premium??
Post by: Carl on February 05, 2015, 09:10:56 AM
  I just bought a Argonaut V from one of the club members who has 2 KX3s and one of the K3s we used on field day. The Argonaut has a TCXO option in it. It is about 4 times larger than a KX3. A little larger than a IC706MIIG. I've made 15 PSK31 contacts with it in the last two weeks. That's with a very poor antenna. It's rock solid. The K3 has a receiver that hears things my Ten-Tec has trouble with. The difference is small, but it's there. There's something about direct conversion receivers that make a signal come alive. If you want to talk and walk there is a Yahoo Group for that.

I have referred to the direct conversion in even my old TenTecs as being REFINED,more signal,less sparkle.
Title: Re: Elecraft: Worth the premium??
Post by: armymars on February 09, 2015, 08:36:27 AM
  My first Ten-Tec is a PM 1. I still have it , but need to fix the input coil from the antenna to it.
Title: Re: Elecraft: Worth the premium??
Post by: TiredOldGrunt on March 23, 2015, 07:12:05 PM
I run an *OLD* TenTec 544, only CW (I dont even have a mic for it yet) and I love it WAY MORE than the Icom 718 that I used to have (I got hurting for $$ and had to sell it).

I always get good reports on my TT, and sounds good in CW too!  You can tell when someone has a TT, in CW 'rig hr te" and you know the rest is going to be "ntec"!  HA HA!

TOG
Title: Re: Elecraft: Worth the premium??
Post by: Carl on March 23, 2015, 11:03:45 PM
I have owned several TenTec radios and still have a few ...they all have such 'refined' audio...I swear,you can hear the difference due to the receiver ...less sharp static ,smooth 'round the edges....