The K3 / K3S is rated to meet its specs with a power source between 11 and 15V. The problem with operating at low voltages is that the TX IMD increases. Distortion of any type is one of the enemies of data modes. Well, really, ALL modes.

I wouldn't operate the K3 / K3S much below 11.5V, personally. A solution for battery operation when the source voltage is too low is a battery booster such as the N8XJK : http://stores.tgelectronics.org/the-new-n8xjk-boost-regulator/. These devices have a setting to go into an alarm state if the source voltage is too low (I set mine to 10.5V), and you can set the output for up to 15VDC even with a source voltage as low as 9 VDC. This will all work with a power supply as well. You may want to beef up your supply cabling if you're seeing such a large voltage drop from source to K3.

If you're using a battery, read the specs to determine the lowest safe operating voltage. Running a battery discharging below this minimum voltage will shorten its life (called overdischarge).

73!

matt W6NIA


On 9/16/2016 8:54 AM, Chris Kimball wrote:
I'm running a test on my K3 with Olivia 8/500 data mode at 40 W output. The
duty cycle is 1/3 transmit (4 min) and 2/3 receive.  A "LOW BAT" warning and
beep occur occasionally during transmit, however, the ALC remains at about 4
bars solid, one flickering.  The voltage during receive is more than 11 V,
but during transmit it drops into the 9.x range sporadically.

The test is into a dummy load and I have no way to judge the signal quality.

When, at this power level, should I stop the test?  What's the best
indication that the voltage is too low for a clean and usable signal?

Chris
NQ8Z



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