K3 Digital modes

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K3 Digital modes

Greg Felter
I've been toying with the idea of outfitting my KAT-500 with a new K3!  The
KAT-500 being the only Elecraft product I own right now is getting lonely
and needs a "playmate."

All humor aside, my search of this group hasn't found what I'm looking to
find out.  I occasionally use PSK31 but I use JT65 very often, almost
daily.  I'm trying to piece together what I have learned so far regarding
JT65.

It appears the audio part of the digital interface between the K3 and the
computer is fairly straight forward.  The rear panel "mic" and "mono out"
seem to be the logical point to connect to the computers sound card.

As far as keying the transmit or PTT I'm not quite sure how this is
accomplished.  I see there is a KUSB cable to connect the K3 to the
computer with FTDI chipset and drivers.  Can PTT be handled by the USB
cable?

I'm not very interested in options which include using the front microphone
or headphone jacks or placing the mic near the speaker.

Thank you

Greg

KA2COP
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Re: K3 Digital modes

W7GJ, Lance
Hi Greg,

The K3 is the most "digital friendly" rig you can get!   You are right - you just
hook up the AUDIO OUT and AUDIO IN on the back of the K3 to the opposite LINE IN/MIC
and LINE OUT/HEADPHONES of your computer sound card.   The PTT can be controlled via
the RS232 cable from your computer to the K3; you have the choice of either using the
RTS or DTR lines for PTT.  All the options are selectable from the MENU option on
your K3 ;-)

Have fun with it!   VY 73, Lance


On 9/27/2013 1:19 AM, Greg KA2COP wrote:

> I've been toying with the idea of outfitting my KAT-500 with a new K3!  The
> KAT-500 being the only Elecraft product I own right now is getting lonely
> and needs a "playmate."
>
> All humor aside, my search of this group hasn't found what I'm looking to
> find out.  I occasionally use PSK31 but I use JT65 very often, almost
> daily.  I'm trying to piece together what I have learned so far regarding
> JT65.
>
> It appears the audio part of the digital interface between the K3 and the
> computer is fairly straight forward.  The rear panel "mic" and "mono out"
> seem to be the logical point to connect to the computers sound card.
>
> As far as keying the transmit or PTT I'm not quite sure how this is
> accomplished.  I see there is a KUSB cable to connect the K3 to the
> computer with FTDI chipset and drivers.  Can PTT be handled by the USB
> cable?
>
> I'm not very interested in options which include using the front microphone
> or headphone jacks or placing the mic near the speaker.
>
> Thank you
>
> Greg
>
> KA2COP
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
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> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
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--
Lance Collister, W7GJ
(ex WA3GPL, WA1JXN, WA1JXN/C6A, ZF2OC/ZF8, E51SIX, 3D2LR, 5W0GJ, E6M, TX5K)
P.O. Box 73
Frenchtown, MT   59834-0073
USA
TEL: (406) 626-5728
QTH: DN27ub
URL: http://www.bigskyspaces.com/w7gj
Windows Messenger: [hidden email]
Skype: lanceW7GJ
2m DXCC #11/6m DXCC #815

Interested in 6m EME?  Ask me about subscribing to the Magic Band EME
email group, or just fill in the request box at the bottom of my web
page (above)!

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Re: K3 Digital modes

Frank Precissi
In reply to this post by Greg Felter
Hi Greg,

I do a ton of digital with my (new) K3 so I figure I could chime in with
what my setup is since yours will probably be really close.

I have a Griffin iMic USB sound-card dongle.  They are cheap, supported by
everyone (Generic USB Audio) and its small/lightweight.  From that, I have
the Line In and Line Out on the iMic go directly to the Line Out and Line
In on the back of my K3.  For keying, I use CAT keying.  The really nice
thing about the K3 is:

1. Transformer isolated line in/out (no ground loops/buzzing).
2. Constant audio level line in and out.  The front volume control has no
effect on the line output.  I like the sounds of the JT65 angels, my XYL
does not.
3. All connections are on the back, nothing is in the front (at all).  The
K3 can be left hooked up to your soundcard permanently since those jacks
(in my opinion) are there -just- for soundcard digital modes.

Keying can be accomplished by either on-rig VOX or CAT/RTS/DTR.  VOX is the
only one that doesnt require a connection from the K3 to the computer via a
USB/Serial cable.

If you are thinking of buying a K3, i'll add my opinion since I was in your
boat a few months ago.  Buy a K3.  Start with a K3/100 with the ATU and
just add-on as the budget allows.  Seriously, I've done digital since 2001
and this rig was designed with soundcard-based digital modes in mind (the
built-in transformer isolated line in/out shows that).  I absolutely love
this rig and you wont find more knowledgeable and helpful people than the
Elecraft staff and the people on this list.

If you want more help/explanation/pictures of my setup dont hesitate to
drop me a line, and I hope I work you someday on JT65.

73

Frank
KG6EYC

On Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 6:19 PM, Greg KA2COP <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I've been toying with the idea of outfitting my KAT-500 with a new K3!  The
> KAT-500 being the only Elecraft product I own right now is getting lonely
> and needs a "playmate."
>
> All humor aside, my search of this group hasn't found what I'm looking to
> find out.  I occasionally use PSK31 but I use JT65 very often, almost
> daily.  I'm trying to piece together what I have learned so far regarding
> JT65.
>
> It appears the audio part of the digital interface between the K3 and the
> computer is fairly straight forward.  The rear panel "mic" and "mono out"
> seem to be the logical point to connect to the computers sound card.
>
> As far as keying the transmit or PTT I'm not quite sure how this is
> accomplished.  I see there is a KUSB cable to connect the K3 to the
> computer with FTDI chipset and drivers.  Can PTT be handled by the USB
> cable?
>
> I'm not very interested in options which include using the front microphone
> or headphone jacks or placing the mic near the speaker.
>
> Thank you
>
> Greg
>
> KA2COP
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>
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Re: K3 Digital modes

Bill Frantz
In reply to this post by Greg Felter
I have been operating my K3 mostly in digital mode for about 3
years. I use the VOX to key the rig. It has worked so well that
I haven't had the urge to make a new cable to connect my
SignaLink USB's keying output to the rig. YMMV

Note that all the digital modes I know of only vary the
frequency of the modulation and not the amplitude. If there are
modes that vary the amplitude, then separate keying my be needed.

Cheers - Bill, AE6JV


On 9/26/13 at 6:19 PM, [hidden email] (Greg KA2COP) wrote:

>As far as keying the transmit or PTT I'm not quite sure how this is
>accomplished.  I see there is a KUSB cable to connect the K3 to the
>computer with FTDI chipset and drivers.  Can PTT be handled by the USB
>cable?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bill Frantz        | When it comes to the world     | Periwinkle
(408)356-8506      | around us, is there any choice | 16345
Englewood Ave
www.pwpconsult.com | but to explore? - Lisa Randall | Los Gatos,
CA 95032

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Re: K3 Digital modes

Jim Brown-10
In reply to this post by W7GJ, Lance
On 9/26/2013 6:31 PM, Lance Collister, W7GJ wrote:
>
> The K3 is the most "digital friendly" rig you can get!

Indeed it is.  I've operated a LOT of AFSK RTTY, and a fair amount of
JT65, FSK441, and ISCAT.

About the only thing I would add between the computer and the K3 is a
decent USB sound card of the sort sold to musicians with small home
studios. There's a very nice Tascam in the $100 - $120 range, and even a
little Numark for about $35. The reason you want one of these units is
that they greatly increase the extent to which JT65 and other digital
modes will dig into the noise level. In a serious round of testing a
year or two ago, a Tascam and Numark card performed equally well looking
when feeding two different computers from the same K3, both producing an
average of twice as many decodes on every pass as my Thinkpad's internal
sound card.

Two other advantages. Both the K3 and KPA500 can run keydown modes like
JT65 and FSK441 at full power, not the half power that most rigs are
limited to.

73, Jim K9YC
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Re: K3 Digital modes

Michael Eberle
In reply to this post by Frank Precissi
What software are people using for the JT65 mode?  I would like to
possibly start tinkering with JT65 and have WSJT9 installed. There do
not seem to be any options for using CAT to key the K3.  I see an option
for a PTT port and buttons for selecting DTR or RTS.  I already have an
RS-232 cable from my computer to P3-K3 and would prefer not to have to
use a separate port for PTT (or to use VOX).  I have tried setting it to
port 1 which is my CAT cable to the P3-K3, and tried both RTS and DTR
but neither one works.  Is there a setting in the K3 that needs to be
changed?

Just wondering if there is other software for JT65 with the option of
using CAT, or if I am missing something in the configuration.

Thanks,
MIke
KI0HA

On 9/26/2013 22:52, Frank Precissi wrote:

> Hi Greg,
>
> I do a ton of digital with my (new) K3 so I figure I could chime in with
> what my setup is since yours will probably be really close.
>
> For keying, I use CAT keying.  The really nice
> thing about the K3 is:
>
>
> Keying can be accomplished by either on-rig VOX or CAT/RTS/DTR.  VOX is the
> only one that doesnt require a connection from the K3 to the computer via a
> USB/Serial cable.
>
>

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Re: K3 Digital modes

Don Wilhelm-4
Mike,

Yes, you must go to the K3 menu setting for PTT-KEY and set it to match
the setting in your software.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 9/27/2013 1:43 AM, Michael Eberle wrote:

> What software are people using for the JT65 mode?  I would like to
> possibly start tinkering with JT65 and have WSJT9 installed. There do
> not seem to be any options for using CAT to key the K3.  I see an
> option for a PTT port and buttons for selecting DTR or RTS.  I already
> have an RS-232 cable from my computer to P3-K3 and would prefer not to
> have to use a separate port for PTT (or to use VOX).  I have tried
> setting it to port 1 which is my CAT cable to the P3-K3, and tried
> both RTS and DTR but neither one works.  Is there a setting in the K3
> that needs to be changed?
>
> Just wondering if there is other software for JT65 with the option of
> using CAT, or if I am missing something in the configuration.
>
> Thanks,
> MIke
> KI0HA
>

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Re: K3 Digital modes

Joe Subich, W4TV-4
In reply to this post by Bill Frantz

> It has worked so well that I haven't had the urge to make a new cable
> to connect my SignaLink USB's keying output to the rig. YMMV

Signalink USB does not have a USB keying output - its PTT is derived
via VOX built into the device.

73,

    ... Joe, W4TV


On 9/27/2013 12:34 AM, Bill Frantz wrote:

> I have been operating my K3 mostly in digital mode for about 3 years. I
> use the VOX to key the rig. It has worked so well that I haven't had the
> urge to make a new cable to connect my SignaLink USB's keying output to
> the rig. YMMV
>
> Note that all the digital modes I know of only vary the frequency of the
> modulation and not the amplitude. If there are modes that vary the
> amplitude, then separate keying my be needed.
>
> Cheers - Bill, AE6JV
>
>
> On 9/26/13 at 6:19 PM, [hidden email] (Greg KA2COP) wrote:
>
>> As far as keying the transmit or PTT I'm not quite sure how this is
>> accomplished.  I see there is a KUSB cable to connect the K3 to the
>> computer with FTDI chipset and drivers.  Can PTT be handled by the USB
>> cable?
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Bill Frantz        | When it comes to the world     | Periwinkle
> (408)356-8506      | around us, is there any choice | 16345 Englewood Ave
> www.pwpconsult.com | but to explore? - Lisa Randall | Los Gatos, CA 95032
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>
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Re: K3 Digital modes

Frank Precissi
In reply to this post by Michael Eberle
Hi Mike,

WSJT-X is able to interface with DXLabs Commander and use CAT to key the
rig.  Or you can use RTS/DTR (if you dont use DXLabs) but you must set
PTT-KEY accordingly.

Frank
KG6EYC

On Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 10:43 PM, Michael Eberle <[hidden email]> wrote:

> What software are people using for the JT65 mode?  I would like to
> possibly start tinkering with JT65 and have WSJT9 installed. There do not
> seem to be any options for using CAT to key the K3.  I see an option for a
> PTT port and buttons for selecting DTR or RTS.  I already have an RS-232
> cable from my computer to P3-K3 and would prefer not to have to use a
> separate port for PTT (or to use VOX).  I have tried setting it to port 1
> which is my CAT cable to the P3-K3, and tried both RTS and DTR but neither
> one works.  Is there a setting in the K3 that needs to be changed?
>
> Just wondering if there is other software for JT65 with the option of
> using CAT, or if I am missing something in the configuration.
>
> Thanks,
> MIke
> KI0HA
>
>
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Re: K3 Digital modes

Jim Brown-10
On 9/27/2013 9:43 AM, Frank Precissi wrote:
> WSJT-X is able to interface with DXLabs Commander and use CAT to key the
> rig.  Or you can use RTS/DTR (if you dont use DXLabs) but you must set
> PTT-KEY accordingly.

I've never used anything but VOX to key my rig in SSB or digital modes,
and I'll make a thousand or more Qs in a contest weekend. Plenty good
enough whether driving my KPA500 or vintage Ten Tec Titan 1500w tube amp.

Remember -- the K3 has a built-in TX delay that very effectively
prevents hot-switching of the relays in a power amp. The delay is also
adjustable from a menu, so if, for example, you're switching a mast-
mounted preamp with a slow relay, you can provide a little more delay.

73, Jim K9YC
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Re: K3 Digital modes

Joe Subich, W4TV-4

> Remember -- the K3 has a built-in TX delay that very effectively
> prevents hot-switching of the relays in a power amp. The delay is
> also adjustable from a menu, so if, for example, you're switching a
> mast- mounted preamp with a slow relay, you can provide a little more
> delay.

But if you extend TX Delay significantly, it *will* result in clipped
CW as the leading edge of the keying waveform is not delayed - only
the onset of RF is delayed.

73,

    ... Joe, W4TV


On 9/27/2013 1:20 PM, Jim Brown wrote:

> On 9/27/2013 9:43 AM, Frank Precissi wrote:
>> WSJT-X is able to interface with DXLabs Commander and use CAT to key the
>> rig.  Or you can use RTS/DTR (if you dont use DXLabs) but you must set
>> PTT-KEY accordingly.
>
> I've never used anything but VOX to key my rig in SSB or digital modes,
> and I'll make a thousand or more Qs in a contest weekend. Plenty good
> enough whether driving my KPA500 or vintage Ten Tec Titan 1500w tube amp.
>
> Remember -- the K3 has a built-in TX delay that very effectively
> prevents hot-switching of the relays in a power amp. The delay is also
> adjustable from a menu, so if, for example, you're switching a mast-
> mounted preamp with a slow relay, you can provide a little more delay.
>
> 73, Jim K9YC
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
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> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
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> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
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Re: K3 Digital modes

Greg Felter
In reply to this post by Greg Felter
Thank you for the responses.  I have a better understanding of how the digital modes are handled by the K3.  I picked up a book on the K3 so hopefully if I need further assistance on a topic I should have a better start and more refined questions.  Thanks all again, 73

Greg


> On Sep 26, 2013, at 21:19, Greg KA2COP <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I've been toying with the idea of outfitting my KAT-500 with a new K3!  The KAT-500 being the only Elecraft product I own right now is getting lonely and needs a "playmate."
>
> All humor aside, my search of this group hasn't found what I'm looking to find out.  I occasionally use PSK31 but I use JT65 very often, almost daily.  I'm trying to piece together what I have learned so far regarding JT65.  
>
> It appears the audio part of the digital interface between the K3 and the computer is fairly straight forward.  The rear panel "mic" and "mono out" seem to be the logical point to connect to the computers sound card.  
>
> As far as keying the transmit or PTT I'm not quite sure how this is accomplished.  I see there is a KUSB cable to connect the K3 to the computer with FTDI chipset and drivers.  Can PTT be handled by the USB cable?
>
> I'm not very interested in options which include using the front microphone or headphone jacks or placing the mic near the speaker.  
>
> Thank you
>
> Greg
>
> KA2COP
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