K3 for SWL?

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K3 for SWL?

Edward A. Dauer
I would like to hear from anyone who uses a K3 or K3S extensively for general coverage HF / short-wave listening.

I am looking for a table-top receiver with general coverage strictly for bedroom listening, as the station downstairs already includes a K3/100 system, a KX3 system, two K2s, and a K1.  This seems to be a neglected part of the radio market.  What is available seems pretty slim and, frankly, tinny.  The Sangean ATS-909X has the best reviews but still looks like something I would have taken to the beach rather than sat in front of while transfixed with the global reach of radio.  The new ICOM IC-R8600 looks good, with a range up to 3 gigs, but it’s not available yet and the price is likely to be in the multi-kilobuck range when it is released.

So, being a loyal member of the Elecraft community, I thought about a K3S with just the basic 10 watt TX that this particular radio would never use, no sub-RX, the general coverage bandpass filter and the other accessories that would extend its range down to LF, an AM roofing filter and naught else.

Then I thought about the ongoing commentary about the K3’s audio . . . .   because . . .

I confess that what I am trying to recreate is the warm sound of a 10-tube supperhet in a large walnut cabinet with a cloth speaker grille and an amber back-lighted circular dial driven by dial cord and ganged capacitors while listening to a Radio Moscow announcer crow about Sputnik.  Or so I now fantasize about my early radio experiences in the 1950s.

I will spend some quality time with my own K3 trying this idea out, but thought I would also ask for counsel from the group.  Is there something out there I haven’t seen yet?  Is it reasonable to think about using a K3S in just this way?

Thanks for whatever thoughts anyone can offer . . .

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Re: K3 for SWL?

Edward A. Dauer
Oops.  Forgot to sign my previous message about using a K3 or K3S for SWL.  It is

Ted, KN1CBR

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Re: K3 for SWL?

Leroy
In reply to this post by Edward A. Dauer
Well with the short wave stations just about gone, except for the religious stations, I not sure I see the point.  But  my K3s with the sub receiver so you can run diversity receive is the hottest receiver I have owned in my 50 years of doing so.   Way overkill to receive the few multi kilowatt AM stations.

Leroy  AB7CE

-----Original Message-----
From: Elecraft [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Dauer, Edward
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2017 9:27 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [Elecraft] K3 for SWL?

I would like to hear from anyone who uses a K3 or K3S extensively for general coverage HF / short-wave listening.



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Re: K3 for SWL?

Wes Stewart-2
In reply to this post by Edward A. Dauer
Why don't you just buy a10-tube superhet in a large walnut cabinet with a cloth
speaker grille and an amber back-lighted circular dial driven by dial cord and
ganged capacitors?  Maybe throw in a magic eye tube. :-)

On 2/1/2017 9:26 PM, Dauer, Edward wrote:
> I confess that what I am trying to recreate is the warm sound of a 10-tube supperhet in a large walnut cabinet with a cloth speaker grille and an amber back-lighted circular dial driven by dial cord and ganged capacitors while listening to a Radio Moscow announcer crow about Sputnik.  Or so I now fantasize about my early radio experiences in the 1950s.


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Re: K3 for SWL?

w0mu
I bought a nearly perfect Zenith shortwave and am set at auction for
about $150.00  The filter caps need to be replaced as there is some
hum.  Watch Craigs list.  Younger people have no interest in this stuff
and when their folks or grandparent pass away they just want to get rid
of them.


On 2/1/2017 11:32 PM, Wes Stewart wrote:

> Why don't you just buy a10-tube superhet in a large walnut cabinet
> with a cloth speaker grille and an amber back-lighted circular dial
> driven by dial cord and ganged capacitors?  Maybe throw in a magic eye
> tube. :-)
>
> On 2/1/2017 9:26 PM, Dauer, Edward wrote:
>> I confess that what I am trying to recreate is the warm sound of a
>> 10-tube supperhet in a large walnut cabinet with a cloth speaker
>> grille and an amber back-lighted circular dial driven by dial cord
>> and ganged capacitors while listening to a Radio Moscow announcer
>> crow about Sputnik.  Or so I now fantasize about my early radio
>> experiences in the 1950s.
>
>
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Re: K3 for SWL?

John-6
In reply to this post by Edward A. Dauer
Hi Edward,

I had a thought, for a short time, that this would be a perfect use for a K3/0... Until I realised that it doesn't actually even have the option for running a receiver and is literally just a remote head.

Perhaps Elecraft might consider a receiver-only board for the K3/0 which would turn it into a reasonable SWL rig? I'm not sure of the feasibility of this idea, of course, but it's something that came to mind and might be useful for folk who wish to listen only, or run a receiver which can also be used to control a remote K3/100 or similar...

Not sure how much backing there would be though...

73, and a firm left handshake,
John (XLX)

-----Original Message-----
From: Elecraft [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Dauer, Edward
Sent: 02 February 2017 04:27
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [Elecraft] K3 for SWL?

I would like to hear from anyone who uses a K3 or K3S extensively for general coverage HF / short-wave listening.

I am looking for a table-top receiver with general coverage strictly for bedroom listening, as the station downstairs already includes a K3/100 system, a KX3 system, two K2s, and a K1.  This seems to be a neglected part of the radio market.  What is available seems pretty slim and, frankly, tinny.  The Sangean ATS-909X has the best reviews but still looks like something I would have taken to the beach rather than sat in front of while transfixed with the global reach of radio.  The new ICOM IC-R8600 looks good, with a range up to 3 gigs, but it’s not available yet and the price is likely to be in the multi-kilobuck range when it is released.

So, being a loyal member of the Elecraft community, I thought about a K3S with just the basic 10 watt TX that this particular radio would never use, no sub-RX, the general coverage bandpass filter and the other accessories that would extend its range down to LF, an AM roofing filter and naught else.

Then I thought about the ongoing commentary about the K3’s audio . . . .   because . . .

I confess that what I am trying to recreate is the warm sound of a 10-tube supperhet in a large walnut cabinet with a cloth speaker grille and an amber back-lighted circular dial driven by dial cord and ganged capacitors while listening to a Radio Moscow announcer crow about Sputnik.  Or so I now fantasize about my early radio experiences in the 1950s.

I will spend some quality time with my own K3 trying this idea out, but thought I would also ask for counsel from the group.  Is there something out there I haven’t seen yet?  Is it reasonable to think about using a K3S in just this way?

Thanks for whatever thoughts anyone can offer . . .

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Re: K3 for SWL?

Stephen G4SJP
If I were looking for something like that I'd be thinking about the Elad
receiver or a second hand Lowe-150, depending on how much you want to spend.

73 Stephen, G4SJP

On 2 February 2017 at 09:37, John <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Edward,
>
> I had a thought, for a short time, that this would be a perfect use for a
> K3/0... Until I realised that it doesn't actually even have the option for
> running a receiver and is literally just a remote head.
>
> Perhaps Elecraft might consider a receiver-only board for the K3/0 which
> would turn it into a reasonable SWL rig? I'm not sure of the feasibility of
> this idea, of course, but it's something that came to mind and might be
> useful for folk who wish to listen only, or run a receiver which can also
> be used to control a remote K3/100 or similar...
>
> Not sure how much backing there would be though...
>
> 73, and a firm left handshake,
> John (XLX)
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Elecraft [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of
> Dauer, Edward
> Sent: 02 February 2017 04:27
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: [Elecraft] K3 for SWL?
>
> I would like to hear from anyone who uses a K3 or K3S extensively for
> general coverage HF / short-wave listening.
>
> I am looking for a table-top receiver with general coverage strictly for
> bedroom listening, as the station downstairs already includes a K3/100
> system, a KX3 system, two K2s, and a K1.  This seems to be a neglected part
> of the radio market.  What is available seems pretty slim and, frankly,
> tinny.  The Sangean ATS-909X has the best reviews but still looks like
> something I would have taken to the beach rather than sat in front of while
> transfixed with the global reach of radio.  The new ICOM IC-R8600 looks
> good, with a range up to 3 gigs, but it’s not available yet and the price
> is likely to be in the multi-kilobuck range when it is released.
>
> So, being a loyal member of the Elecraft community, I thought about a K3S
> with just the basic 10 watt TX that this particular radio would never use,
> no sub-RX, the general coverage bandpass filter and the other accessories
> that would extend its range down to LF, an AM roofing filter and naught
> else.
>
> Then I thought about the ongoing commentary about the K3’s audio . . . .
>  because . . .
>
> I confess that what I am trying to recreate is the warm sound of a 10-tube
> supperhet in a large walnut cabinet with a cloth speaker grille and an
> amber back-lighted circular dial driven by dial cord and ganged capacitors
> while listening to a Radio Moscow announcer crow about Sputnik.  Or so I
> now fantasize about my early radio experiences in the 1950s.
>
> I will spend some quality time with my own K3 trying this idea out, but
> thought I would also ask for counsel from the group.  Is there something
> out there I haven’t seen yet?  Is it reasonable to think about using a K3S
> in just this way?
>
> Thanks for whatever thoughts anyone can offer . . .
>
> ______________________________________________________________
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> 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
> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>
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> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
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Re: K3 for SWL?

Bill-3
I use my K3 for SWL and broadcast listening from time to time and have
found the K3 to be perfectly capable of doing the job very well. Just
use some of the menus and make settings (many to be made) until you are
happy - and you will find just as good audio as any 10 tube old
fashioned receiver. AGC and EQ menus come to mind.

I used to think the K3 would be out the door quickly, as I hated the
stock audio. I am into 75 and 40 meter armchair listening/copy. After a
while I discovered all the settings and started experimentation. A
couple of hints and a very good link can be found here:
http://www.w2blc.net/K3.htm

My K3 has grown roots on my desk. It is all about the settings you make.

Bill W2BLC K-Line
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Re: K3 for SWL?

Elecraft mailing list
In reply to this post by Edward A. Dauer
Sadly the days of Good shortwave seem to have passed, I also used to enjoy listening to SW in my younger years.

That being said the with the optional General coverage board the K3 does make a good receiver but it lacks the highs in the audio.  There is a filter board that was added in the audio chain that rolls off the highs above 4kHz,  depending on your ears that may or may not be a factor for you 






   
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Re: K3 for SWL?

Dave Hartzell
Just getting back on to the ham bands, and not having SWL'd for many years,
what stations are still broadcasting?

I noticed Monitoring Times no longer publishes, and I think I recall
hearing the BBC no longer broadcasts on the SW bands?

On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 7:43 AM, Harry Yingst via Elecraft <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Sadly the days of Good shortwave seem to have passed, I also used to enjoy
> listening to SW in my younger years.
>
> That being said the with the optional General coverage board the K3 does
> make a good receiver but it lacks the highs in the audio.  There is a
> filter board that was added in the audio chain that rolls off the highs
> above 4kHz,  depending on your ears that may or may not be a factor for you
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ______________________________________________________________
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Re: K3 for SWL?

Grant Youngman-2
>
> Just getting back on to the ham bands, and not having SWL'd for many years,
> what stations are still broadcasting?
>
> I noticed Monitoring Times no longer publishes, and I think I recall
> hearing the BBC no longer broadcasts on the SW bands?
>



Not much, unless your thing is the hell fire and damnation variety of religious broadcasting, whack job conspiracy theorists, or folks pitching gold, apocalypse survival kits, and colloidal silver.  Cuba, China, and sometimes Australia are around and the most prevalent.  VOA still broadcasts, but not to the US (currently) and much of it is not in English.

One of the best resources is http://www.short-wave.info <http://www.short-wave.info/>, which gives live schedules and language information.  Unpublished numbers stations and other interesting stuff can be found if you poke around enough.  The dwindling propagation conditions are not helping.

I use both of my E’craft radios from time to time for SWLing, They work fine.  The sync detector in the K3(s) is excellent.  Usually, though, it’s a GPR-90/GSB-1, Hammarlund PRO-310, or 51J-4 with Lankford’s SSB mods and a Sherwood sync detector for AM.

Grant NQ5T
K3 #2091, KX3 #8342



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Re: K3 for SWL?

Dave Hartzell
On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 9:04 AM, GRANT YOUNGMAN <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Not much, unless your thing is the hell fire and damnation variety of
> religious broadcasting, whack job conspiracy theorists, or folks pitching
> gold, apocalypse survival kits, and colloidal silver.


So, you're saying I should just watch free OTA TV?  ;-)
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Re: K3 for SWL?

Grant Youngman-2

>
>
> So, you're saying I should just watch free OTA TV?  ;-)
>



Even the crazy stuff can be interesting.  It’s good to take a break from reality once in a while :-)

Grant NQ5T
K3 #2091, KX3 #8342



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Re: K3 for SWL?

Rick WA6NHC-2
For that, just watch the news networks.


On 2/2/2017 8:33 AM, GRANT YOUNGMAN wrote:
> It’s good to take a break from reality once in a while :-)
> Grant NQ5T
> K3 #2091, KX3 #8342

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Re: K3 for SWL?

joeduerbusch
In reply to this post by Dave Hartzell
Instead of SWL Stations, what about Internet Radio?  I  have a bedroom
alarm clock that is Internet only.  there are over 31,000 stations that you
can listen to.
Most of the SWL stations have went to the Internet.  You can listen to all
those stations on your computer but an Internet Radio makes it easier.
I listen to Rock and Roll from England and various Oldies stations around
the USA.
Here is a link to Grace Radio, which I use, but there are others.

https://gracedigital.com/shop/rfb-mondo/

Why waste a good Elecraft radio on SWL?

Joe K0BX
WPE0AYA


On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 4:09 PM, Dave Hartzell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 9:04 AM, GRANT YOUNGMAN <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> >
> > Not much, unless your thing is the hell fire and damnation variety of
> > religious broadcasting, whack job conspiracy theorists, or folks pitching
> > gold, apocalypse survival kits, and colloidal silver.
>
>
> So, you're saying I should just watch free OTA TV?  ;-)
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Re: K3 for SWL?

Todd
In reply to this post by Grant Youngman-2
This guy puts out a list pretty regularly:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FguXf-aalXE&nohtml5=False

I still like to listen to RNZI and Radio Australia here on the left coast...

Todd KH2TJ



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Re: K3 for SWL?

Clay Autery
In reply to this post by Edward A. Dauer
My phones are on my ears if I am sitting at my desk.  If I am not
actively pursuing DX or on a net, I am using the General Coverage
module.  I absolutely love having the ability to use my K3s for this
purpose.  And I can make it sound pretty much how I want it to sound.
I find it acceptable even with the onboard speaker, but I prefer my
phones and I will be adding a pair of outboard speakers (SP3).

Is it reasonable?  That is a subjective question.  I think the K3s will
accomplish what you want just fine, superbly in fact.  If you have the
funds to do so, then go for it.  Personally, I would go ahead and use a
loop antenna (80m) and add a mic to make it a full 10W station.

73,

______________________
Clay Autery, KY5G
MONTAC Enterprises
(318) 518-1389

On 2/1/2017 10:26 PM, Dauer, Edward wrote:
> Is it reasonable to think about using a K3S in just this way?

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Re: K3 for SWL?

Jim Brown-10
In reply to this post by Bill-3
On Thu,2/2/2017 8:45 AM, Ron D'Eau Claire wrote:
> The K3/K3S with the KBPF3A makes Broadcast Band DX-ing interesting too. I've
> been doing more of that since the SW broadcasters (other than religious
> stations) have largely shut down.

If you already own a K3/K3S, adding the KBPF module makes it a
spectacularly good general coverage radio. But I wouldn't buy one, or a
KX3, only for that purpose. Rather, I'd grab one of several very nice
SDR receive-only radios in the under $200 class. The SDRPlay1 goes for
about $130; the slightly updated SDR2 about $150. There are several
others. Feed your computer audio to decent speakers or headphones and
you're good to go. Depending on which of several free software packages
you choose to use with it, these radios can be set for pretty wide IF
bandwidth, so you can get as much audio bandwidth as they're transmitting.

I'm a jazz fan, and listen to jazz stations streaming on the internet.
About 5 years ago, I bought a dedicated internet "radio" from C Crane.
It's been a winner. Looks like a small table radio, comes with a remote
control. I feed it to my living room hi-fi, and also to a Part 15
"trucker's modulator" set to 87.9 MHz that pumps it around the house and
to the shack.

There are tens of thousands of streaming sources, most of them run by
over-the-air broadcasters, but many that are internet only. As others
have noted, the big shortwave stations we all grew up with have mostly
gone away.

73, Jim K9YC


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Re: K3 for SWL?

John Meade W2XS
In reply to this post by Edward A. Dauer
I just completed a 2 year low-key effort to log an AM BCB station (or stations - day and night) on every frequency from 530 kHz to 1710 kHz. I mostly used a Hallicrafters SX-100 and a Hammarlund HQ-145A, both highly-sensitive and well-calibrated vintage receivers.  To get the hardest ones, though, the K3 with its synchronous detection was invaluable. For example, WCBS radio is a powerful clear-channel station on 880 kHz located here in NYC. Using the K3 and USB, I could copy WLS in Chicago on 890 kHz. Trying to listen on LSB resulted in a lot of QRM.

I feed my antenna into the "RX-in" jack which bypasses the input filters.  I sure wish the KX2 had this feature. I use a Bose Soundlink speaker system plugged into the rear headphone jack. A local oldies station sounds very nice (although a bit restricted in the treble due to the DSP bandwidth). I used headphones for the hardest stations.

1620 was the last entry in my log.  Usually, I heard several weak stations at the same time.  Finally, one night, QSB was in my favor and I heard one of the stations sign their call letters. Sometimes it took a long time to identify the stations. I heard stations up and down the east coast and Canada.  I clearly heard KCJJ in Iowa on 1630 early one evening.

This was actually a lot of fun, especially when the ham bands were closed down. I was surprised at how crummy (dirty and wide) some of the stations looked on the P3.

This helped a lot:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1160_AM

Change the 1160 to whatever frequency you are interested in. I would then jump to the selected station's website.  If they had a "what's on now" link, then I could verify that that was indeed the station that I was tuned to.

73,  John W2XS
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Re: K3 for SWL?

Wes Stewart-2
On a slightly related note, at our last Southern Arizona DX Association club
meeting we had an unexpected visitor.  He was from the local public radio
station and had received a letter QSL request from a listener in Norway.  He had
no idea what a QSL was but after some Googling came up with us and decided to
see what we could tell him.  He interviewed me and a couple of other guys and I
sent him some literature.  This may or may not make it onto the air.

What is interesting is that while the station runs 50KW on 1550 KHz, it is
daytime only.

Wes  N7WS


  On 2/2/2017 2:55 PM, John Meade W2XS wrote:

> I just completed a 2 year low-key effort to log an AM BCB station (or
> stations - day and night) on every frequency from 530 kHz to 1710 kHz. I
> mostly used a Hallicrafters SX-100 and a Hammarlund HQ-145A, both
> highly-sensitive and well-calibrated vintage receivers.  To get the hardest
> ones, though, the K3 with its synchronous detection was invaluable. For
> example, WCBS radio is a powerful clear-channel station on 880 kHz located
> here in NYC. Using the K3 and USB, I could copy WLS in Chicago on 890 kHz.
> Trying to listen on LSB resulted in a lot of QRM.
>
> I feed my antenna into the "RX-in" jack which bypasses the input filters.  I
> sure wish the KX2 had this feature. I use a Bose Soundlink speaker system
> plugged into the rear headphone jack. A local oldies station sounds very
> nice (although a bit restricted in the treble due to the DSP bandwidth). I
> used headphones for the hardest stations.
>
> 1620 was the last entry in my log.  Usually, I heard several weak stations
> at the same time.  Finally, one night, QSB was in my favor and I heard one
> of the stations sign their call letters. Sometimes it took a long time to
> identify the stations. I heard stations up and down the east coast and
> Canada.  I clearly heard KCJJ in Iowa on 1630 early one evening.
>
> This was actually a lot of fun, especially when the ham bands were closed
> down. I was surprised at how crummy (dirty and wide) some of the stations
> looked on the P3.
>
> This helped a lot:
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1160_AM
>
> Change the 1160 to whatever frequency you are interested in. I would then
> jump to the selected station's website.  If they had a "what's on now" link,
> then I could verify that that was indeed the station that I was tuned to.
>
> 73,  John W2XS
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/K3-for-SWL-tp7626390p7626416.html
> Sent from the Elecraft mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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