K3 on 40 meters

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K3 on 40 meters

Gene-7
I have noticed that signals on 40 meters do not appear very strong on my
K3.  The audio and signal strength is very low. Other hams in the area
hear signals S9 +5 while these only register S1 at best on the K3.
Antenna type and height are almost identical as I have.

Attenuator is not on and noise reduction has minimal effect. Turning up
the RF gain does not help. Signals on other bands seem to be normal.  
Has anyone experienced this?

Gene,
W2BXR
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Re: K3 on 40 meters

Augie "Gus" Hansen

On 10/20/2014 5:09 PM, Gene wrote:
> I have noticed that signals on 40 meters do not appear very strong on
> my K3.  The audio and signal strength is very low. Other hams in the
> area hear signals S9 +5 while these only register S1 at best on the
> K3. Antenna type and height are almost identical as I have.
>
> Attenuator is not on and noise reduction has minimal effect. Turning
> up the RF gain does not help. Signals on other bands seem to be
> normal.  Has anyone experienced this?

Check to be sure you don't have the RX antenna input selected on 40m
without an RX antenna connected. This feature is remembered per band.

Gus Hansen
KB0YH

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Re: K3 on 40 meters

Don Wilhelm-4
In reply to this post by Gene-7
Gene,

Do you have the correct antenna input selected?  ANT1/2 if the KAT3 is
installed, or RX ANT if the KXV3 is installed.  It sounds like you may
have the RX ANT selected rather than the main antenna.  That is a
per-band setting, so it would only be a "problem" on one band.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 10/20/2014 7:09 PM, Gene wrote:
> I have noticed that signals on 40 meters do not appear very strong on
> my K3.  The audio and signal strength is very low. Other hams in the
> area hear signals S9 +5 while these only register S1 at best on the
> K3. Antenna type and height are almost identical as I have.
>
> Attenuator is not on and noise reduction has minimal effect. Turning
> up the RF gain does not help. Signals on other bands seem to be
> normal.  Has anyone experienced this?
>

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Re: K3 on 40 meters

Guy Olinger K2AV
Dear Gene,

:>))

Please note that at last count 98.91% of all K3 owners have pulled that
wrong antenna per band stunt on themselves and spent at least an hour
looking elsewhere for the problem. 95% of the 98.91 have done it twice. 90%
of the 95 have done it three times or more. 50% of the 90 have trouble
remembering that for more than six months at a stretch and do it again on a
more or less semi-annual basis.

Those of us who have officially become olde phartes, no longer report such
events to the statistical data base, and have no intention whatsoever of
telling anyone how many times we *really* do that to ourselves.

The price for all that wonderful K3 technical flexibility.

In any event, welcome to the Royalle Fraternitie of RX Antennae Selection
F***-Ups. You have arrived.

73, Guy.



On Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 7:17 PM, Don Wilhelm <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Gene,
>
> Do you have the correct antenna input selected?  ANT1/2 if the KAT3 is
> installed, or RX ANT if the KXV3 is installed.  It sounds like you may have
> the RX ANT selected rather than the main antenna.  That is a per-band
> setting, so it would only be a "problem" on one band.
>
> 73,
> Don W3FPR
>
> On 10/20/2014 7:09 PM, Gene wrote:
>
>> I have noticed that signals on 40 meters do not appear very strong on my
>> K3.  The audio and signal strength is very low. Other hams in the area hear
>> signals S9 +5 while these only register S1 at best on the K3. Antenna type
>> and height are almost identical as I have.
>>
>> Attenuator is not on and noise reduction has minimal effect. Turning up
>> the RF gain does not help. Signals on other bands seem to be normal.  Has
>> anyone experienced this?
>>
>>
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Re: K3 on 40 meters

k6dgw
Aside from the well known fact that 86.41% of the adult population makes
up their own statistics, I'm part of Guy's 98.91%.  30m was dead and
infinite SWR.  Wayne called me, said "Let's start with the easy part"
... and everyone can finish the story.  I've now done it twice on my K3,
second time I knew what to check.  I had this same problem on 2m with my
FT-847 on 2m FM, couldn't raise the local repeater ... 2m coax connected
to the 6m connector, nothing in the 2m connector.  No one called me from
Japan. :-((

73,

Fred K6DGW
- Northern California Contest Club
- CU in the 2015 Cal QSO Party 3-4 Oct 2015
- www.cqp.org

On 10/20/2014 5:18 PM, Guy Olinger K2AV wrote:

> Dear Gene,
>
> :>))
>
> Please note that at last count 98.91% of all K3 owners have pulled that
> wrong antenna per band stunt on themselves and spent at least an hour
> looking elsewhere for the problem. 95% of the 98.91 have done it twice. 90%
> of the 95 have done it three times or more. 50% of the 90 have trouble
> remembering that for more than six months at a stretch and do it again on a
> more or less semi-annual basis.
>
> Those of us who have officially become olde phartes, no longer report such
> events to the statistical data base, and have no intention whatsoever of
> telling anyone how many times we *really* do that to ourselves.
>
> The price for all that wonderful K3 technical flexibility.
>
> In any event, welcome to the Royalle Fraternitie of RX Antennae Selection
> F***-Ups. You have arrived.


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Re: K3 on 40 meters

Lynn W. Taylor, WB6UUT
In reply to this post by Guy Olinger K2AV
Besides, 87.4% of all statistics are made up.

On 10/20/2014 5:18 PM, Guy Olinger K2AV wrote:
> Those of us who have officially become olde phartes, no longer report such
> events to the statistical data base, and have no intention whatsoever of
> telling anyone how many times we*really*  do that to ourselves.

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Re: K3 on 40 meters

Phil Hystad-3
> Besides, 87.4% of all statistics are made up.


Therefore, it is very likely you just made up that number 87.4%.
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Re: K3 on 40 meters

Terry Myers
Numbers are like people.  If you torture them enough they will tell you
what you want.

Terry, KQ5U


On 10/20/2014 9:14 PM, Phil Hystad wrote:

>> Besides, 87.4% of all statistics are made up.
>
> Therefore, it is very likely you just made up that number 87.4%.
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Re: K3 on 40 meters

Clive Lorton
In reply to this post by Guy Olinger K2AV

On 21/10/2014 01:18, Guy Olinger K2AV wrote:
> Those of us who have officially become olde phartes, no longer report such
> events to the statistical data base, and have no intention whatsoever of
> telling anyone how many times we *really* do that to ourselves.
Being a fully paid up member of the Old Pharts Club if I make a change
to the configuration I then make a backup. Then if I  F*** it up, before
I try anything else I do a restore that usually and somewhat, magically,
cures the problem :-)
> The price for all that wonderful K3 technical flexibility.
Absolutely.

Clive G8POC
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Re: K3 on 40 meters

Bill Frantz
In reply to this post by Guy Olinger K2AV
I'm part of that club. I saved considerable time by going to the
trouble shooting section of the manual. On page 65 I found this
lovely section:

"No received signal: Check (1) receiver being squelched (if
RF/SQL controls are assigned to squelch via CONFIG:SQ MAIN or SQ
SUB, rotate squelch controls fully counter-clockwise); (2) RF
GAIN too low (set RF gain controls fully clockwise); (3)
bandwidth too narrow (set WIDTH or tap XFIL, and also verify
filter configuration settings); (4) switching to an open receive
antenna on the KXV3 (RX ANT IN); (5) switching the KAT3 to an
open antenna jack; (6) CONFIG:REF CAL parameter not adjusted
properly; (7) CONFIG:KXV3 may be set to TEST, which routes all
RF through the XVTR IN/OUT jacks."

73 Bill AE6JV

On 10/20/14 at 5:18 PM, [hidden email] (Guy Olinger K2AV) wrote:

>Please note that at last count 98.91% of all K3 owners have pulled that
>wrong antenna per band stunt on themselves and spent at least an hour
>looking elsewhere for the problem.

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Re: K3 on 40 meters

w7aqk
In reply to this post by Gene-7
Hi All,

If there is a downside to the K3's size, the problem described in this
thread demonstrates that.  The rig is small, and so is the display.  So,
some of the displayed info gets overlooked easily.  Still, there is a lot of
info shown on the display, but much of it is in "fine print"!  Which antenna
you are using is one of those small print items.  Or, maybe it's just that
the info as to the antenna in use gets lost amid all the other info being
displayed!!!  Since my eyesight is slowly but surely going south on me, I
tend to suffer from the small print issue--at least on occasion.  In any
event, I've committed the same "sin" as Fred did, and more than once.  Most
recently was when I was hearing about all sorts of activity on 6 meters, but
I was hearing none.  That went on for days until I realized I was listening
on "no antenna"!  Ask me how dumb I felt when I finally realized my error!

I think Elecraft did a pretty good job arranging the K3's display of info,
but surely it could have been a lot better.  After all, nobody is perfect!
Actually I strongly suspect that designing a proper display (regardless of
how big or little it is) is more than just good organization.  It's an art
as well as a science!  Probably there is some very esoteric psychological
set of issues that would suggest that certain things be displayed a certain
way, or with bigger font size, or whatever else you can do to make each
piece of info stand out as necessary.  Maybe if enough people are
overlooking a key indicator on the display it could be enhanced by making it
blink?  I don't know what the solution really is.

This may be a poor metaphor, but Fred's post made me think about all the
times I went to a seminar, and the presenter had flip charts covered from
corner to corner with all sorts of info listed in a very mundane way.  In
essence, the visual aids were so "busy" that not much of it sunk in.
Compare that to someone who approaches making charts like this with a more
modest amount of info on each page, or at least does a much better job of
highlighting key info.  Color coding helps, as does varying the size of key
items.  Underlining works too!  Elecraft does employ a lot of techniques,
but I can't say that they have done it as effectively as it could be.

The point is that communication tools, such as displays, do present some
significant opportunities to EFFECTIVELY convey various pieces of info.  It
probably takes a real expert to do it right.  I don't know if we have any of
those in the ham radio business!  At least I can't think of a radio that had
a display that struck me as being really efficient.

Dave W7AQK

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Re: K3 on 40 meters

Brian Short-3
I think it is great to see your assessment because sometimes
it seems we do tend to focus less on the human factors and
usability issues.

In this case, however, it seems that the feature allowing recall
of Rx Ant selection by band plays at least a part.  It is a great
enhancement, but does allow for the confusion noted.  On some
radios, Rx Ant is just either on or off (period).  

On the other hand, I bet few of us suffer that same confusion twice.

On Oct 21, 2014, at 10:39 PM, <[hidden email]> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> such as displays, do present some significant opportunities to EFFECTIVELY convey various pieces of info.  It probably takes a real expert to do it right.  I don't know if we have any of those in the ham radio business!  At least I can't think of a radio that had a display that struck me as being really efficient.

--
http://www.qrz.com/db/k7on



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Re: K3 on 40 meters

Edward R Cole
In reply to this post by Gene-7
Dave,

Going to snip your comments to keep this brief (I hope).  Subject
line is not even close - but oh well!

Having been a technical writer for the aerospace industry
(electronics), this is very close subject.  Its a challenge to use
font and emphasis when one wants certain text to stand out and be noticed
Warning! Aux Ant

I hope the reflector will show the increased font size and color.
I would say that web designers and media artists and advertising
specialist deal with this issue.

I've tried to keep this in mind when putting together technical
presentations (power-point).  I have seen fancy wall paper used on
the background and use of color combo's that ruined perfectly
interesting papers.

I just had a eyesight test for new glasses and was told of early
onset of macular degeneration (age 70) which was not welcome news, as
I still like doing surface-mount construction.  So I am sympathetic
to your vision issues.

I would think/suggest that computerized control panel software might
be a solution if one can modify the display fonts (the designer adds
change of font size in the set up menu).  With our advancing age of
hams this might be more than a nicety?

I am always running into configuration errors with my complicated
station - too many cables and switches that need setting correctly.

So far I have not had trouble reading the screen for either the K3 or
KX3, but as complex as these radios are, one should suspect "pilot
error" before suspecting failure of the radio or station hardware.

73, Ed - KL7UW


-------------
From: <[hidden email]>
To: "Elecraft Reflector" <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] K3 on 40 meters
Message-ID: <2F54AB6B74354B8990CCAB14D9AAC5FE@TDYDell>
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
         reply-type=original

Hi All,

If there is a downside to the K3's size, the problem described in this
thread demonstrates that.  The rig is small, and so is the display.  So,
some of the displayed info gets overlooked easily.  Still, there is a lot of
info shown on the display, but much of it is in "fine print"!  Which antenna
you are using is one of those small print items.  Or, maybe it's just that
the info as to the antenna in use gets lost amid all the other info being
displayed!!!  Since my eyesight is slowly but surely going south on me, I
tend to suffer from the small print issue--at least on occasion.  In any
event, I've committed the same "sin" as Fred did, and more than once.  Most
recently was when I was hearing about all sorts of activity on 6 meters, but
I was hearing none.  That went on for days until I realized I was listening
on "no antenna"!  Ask me how dumb I felt when I finally realized my error!



73, Ed - KL7UW
http://www.kl7uw.com
     "Kits made by KL7UW"
Dubus Mag business:
     [hidden email]
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Re: K3 on 40 meters

k6dgw
On 10/23/2014 12:46 PM, Edward R Cole wrote:

> Having been a technical writer for the aerospace industry (electronics),
> this is very close subject.  Its a challenge to use font and emphasis
> when one wants certain text to stand out and be noticed
> Warning! Aux Ant
>
> I hope the reflector will show the increased font size and color.

Didn't for me in T-Bird

> I just had a eyesight test for new glasses and was told of early onset
> of macular degeneration (age 70) which was not welcome news, as I still
> like doing surface-mount construction.  So I am sympathetic to your
> vision issues.

Sorry to hear that, Ed.

> So far I have not had trouble reading the screen for either the K3 or
> KX3, but as complex as these radios are, one should suspect "pilot
> error" before suspecting failure of the radio or station hardware.

I have no color vision [answering the question, "What colors can you
see?" before it is asked, "I can see all of them.  I just can't name
them."], so I'm a bit sensitive to documents and presentations that try
to convey a lot of information in color with no other distinction.

If I had gotten to choose the K3 display, I'd have chosen black on white
[more contrast] like my Kindle Fire, but I can see the black on orange
OK.  After my embarrassment with Wayne on the phone, I ALWAYS assume
pilot error until I've gone through every icon on the display. If
someone has a concise chart of what is "remembered" where, I'd buy a
copy and laminate it for the desk.

Incidentally, for any color-challenged folks out there with a P3, Alan
put a monochrome waterfall option in not long after I got mine and
whined on this list about not being able to see weak signals.  A couple
of my friends who *can* name colors use it now.

73,

Fred K6DGW
- Northern California Contest Club
- CU in the 2015 Cal QSO Party 3-4 Oct 2015
- www.cqp.org


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