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ELECRAFT K-3S
By W4DOI, 07/02/2019
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  • Manufacturer's Description

    The Elecraft K3S sets the standard for compact, high-performance transceivers -- the ideal choice for DXpeditions, multi-transmitter contesting, Field Day, and home stations alike. The K3S delivers the best of both worlds: a hybrid of software-defined radio (SDR) technology and our proven, high dynamic range superhet receive architecture. 

    Ask anyone who's used a K3S in high-signal situations; they'll tell you how our hybrid architecture out-performs both pure (direct sampling) SDRs and legacy superhets. The key to survival in such scenarios is excellent blocking dynamic range (BDR). With its BDR of approximately 150 dB and excellent sensitivity even with preamp off, the K3S is pretty much bulletproof.

    The optional KRX3 high-performance, fully independent sub receiver offers true diversity operation to combat fading. 32-bit DSP provides stereo effects, noise reduction, TX and RX equalizers, notch filtering, and built-in PSK31, CW, and RTTY decode/encode.

     

    Customize Your K3S...Or Choose a Standard Package

    Many operators choose a K3S standard package. These packages emphasize different options and crystal filters that are tailored to specific needs. If you chose to configure your own K3S, please take a moment to read ELECRAFT K3S Application Note:  "Configuring your K3S and K-Line System" , "K3S Crystal 'Roofing' Filters" document from Wayne and Eric, and the Crystal Filter Response Plots.

    OVERVIEW

    Elecraft’s state-of-the-art K3S transceiver offers a unique combination of ultra-high performance and affordability.

    Both 100-watt and 10-watt (upgradeable) models are available as no-soldering kits.  Available fully assembled and tested, the K3S is comparable in both features and performance to transceivers listing at up to six times its price.

    In a first for the industry, the K3S’s identical main receiver and subreceiver each feature a high-dynamic-range, down-conversion analog architecture. This allows Elecraft to provide roofing filters with bandwidths as narrow as 200 Hz for both receivers. Up-conversion designs have roofing filters typically 3,000 to 15,000 Hz in width.  Each receiver has its own bus-switching mixer, narrow ham-band front-end filters, 32-bit I.F. DSP, low-noise synthesizer, and up to five crystal roofing filters. The KBPF3A option extends receive coverage down to 100 kHz, covers all SWL bands, and allows 0.5 mW transmit output on the 472 kHz (630 m) band for use with external amplifiers.

    The K3S is the only deluxe transceiver that is targeted at both home and field use. 

    It’s well-suited to demanding DXpedition or Field Day operations. Its receive-mode current drain of typically 1 amp greatly facilitates battery or solar-powered mobile/RV/marine installations. But unlike smaller portable transceivers, the K3S’s user interface is optimized for ease of use, and its feature set rivals units many times its size and weight.

    The transceiver is offered both factory-assembled and as a modular, no-soldering kit. Either way, K3S owners can start with a basic version of the transceiver, at lower cost, then easily add modules later, such as the internal subreceiver, ATU, and 100-W stage. To ensure identical performance of both pre-built units and modular kits, modules are 100% assembled and tested at the factory. Builders learn the radio theory behind each of the modules during assembly, and acquire skills that will enable them to easily add future modules or upgrades.

    Two 32-bit digital signal processors provide true software-defined features, along with expansion memory to handle future signal processing tasks and operating modes. The operator will have full control over any operating situation, with 8-band receive and transmit EQ, stereo speaker/soundcard outputs, binaural effects, and advanced noise reduction. 

    Also included is built-in PSK31, CW, and TTY decode/encode, so the operator can enjoy the excitement of data communications with or without a computer. Users of new digital modes such as FT8 will gain a new competitive edge since the K3 has the industry's lowest noise floor and highest dynamic range. This combination of benefits is simply not achievable with the direct-sampling technology found in most "pure" SDRs.

    The rig’s rich I/O complement includes an isolated sound card interface, front/rear mic/phone jacks, dedicated serial I/O, and band data. The K3S also provides transverter in/out and RX antenna in/out jacks. The latter allows the use of RX-only, in-line filters for extreme operating environments.

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