Okay – now to elaborate on this problem.
I bought my dream transceiver and have been generally pleased with the performance of the K3. It’s amazing how easy it is to interface to it and it’s a pure experimenters dream. Now I’m playing with LP-PAN adapter.
I had a DEMI 60W 2m transverter on order but decided to buy the K144XV-K module for the K3 as my amplifier only needs about 10W for a 500W output.
I was very eager to get on the air – but to my great dissapointment the K3 + K144XV has problems.
1. frequency stability after 50s transmit cycle. I see signals in RX drift up to 60hz after TX sequence. Littlebit less if I lower the drive.
2. Birdies – all around.
In this picture, you can see HA6NQ’s drace on 0Hz DF – and some birdies. After TX you can see everything moving.
I had reports from stations monitoring that my signal was also drifting.
When I ordered the K3+K144XV I saw no option of the RFLK board. So it must have just gotten available shortly after I made the order, or perhaps I just did not notice it. My K3 has the TCXO option installed.
As it appears, the K144XV is unusable on JT65B. I have not yet gotten the RFLK board delivered so the problem will hopefully go away when I lock the K144XV to the master XO.
Now in my oppinion, Elecraft should have a BIG warning sign when ordering the K144XV that it is unusable on JT65 – as they must have tested this. I got an answer from Elecraft saying that K144XV with the RFLK has been field tested and is working well. I’m not very happy to have spent $390 on a transverter where I could have spent little more and gotten a 60W transverter from DEMI (not that I know how that is performing). So Elecraft is selling a bad product there and then letting you spend more to fix it. The RFLK should just be a free upgrade from them!
I notices I had alot of birdies on 2m. I have my LCD monitors elevated on a small standoff table on top of my desk. When I pulled the K3 underneath the standoff I noticed that the birdies disappeared. Same thing if I turn off the LCD. This might point to an unclean power supply etc of the LCD – but the TS-2000 did not show this weakness. I started looking at the K3 – it has a open “grill” for the PA air intake. There we have the unprotected BNC connector for the antenna as well the HF. Not sure if this is the source – but it’s quite possible. I put a 50×50 aluminium plate on top of the table and grounded- problem went away. So the K3 is not very well shielded I think. These are just observations – no real measurements.
Now I hope hope hope the $89 RFLK board will fix this.
and darn, I was going to buy a IC-748PRO – but as it was rumored to be unstable on 2m in I decided to get the super stable K3
not thrashing K3 – know it’s a great radio – but I put a question mark over the K144XV and that you have to pay more to get it usable.
73, Benni TF3CY