You haven't adjusted to on-screen technology, because paper technology is 
familiar. That was the main point I saw in Guy's note. Many of us hams are hung 
up on analog technology, and some of us insist on imposing this on digital 
technology such as the K3. We want the K3 to work like the old analog stuff 
did/does. Older people have to relearn things to deal with new technology as 
new technology. Younger people who grow up on the new digital technology will 
likely do the same thing when they are older and technology again changes.

I wrote professionally for half my life (autos and motorcycles). I started on a 
manual typewriter then an electric. When the TRS-80 came out and Michael 
Shrayer's Electric Pencil became available, I switched completely to composing, 
editing and submitting electronically by about 1980. Affordable printers were 
crappy 40 column thermal dot matrix at first, then mostly paper dot-matrix. I 
learned to do as much as I could on the screen to avoid those abysmal printers. 
It turned out to be a good decision.

All that said, I love my analog (mostly) technology K2's. hi.

Eric KE6US

On 9/22/2016 3:26 PM, George Kidder wrote:


As an old duffer who has done lots of scientific writing over the last 60 
years, I have never found that I could ACCURATELY proofread from a computer 
screen.  For some reason, my eye skips over some really howlers which I do 
catch in the printed copy.  And along with this is the growing incidence of 
spellchecker errors, in which the wrong real word is substituted for a 
misspelled word with another meaning.  (My favorite error was the substitution 
of "wooden" for "woolen" in  a sentence which was intended to read "[she] was 
the type of girl who looks like she wears woolen underwear."  I hope the 
younger generations are better than I am, but looking as the printed results 
does not encourage this belief.

George, W3HBM
PS - I hope this short message is error-free, but don't count on it - I didn't 
print it out.

A very enlightening post, Guy.

Almost every new technology ever invented experiences the same thing. New users 
tend to work hard to make the new technology work just like the old technology 
did. Instead of developing new procedures to fit very different technology, 
they make the new technology fit the old procedures. I worked in the printing 
and publishing industry for many years.

We were still using some hot metal Linotypes that weren't even made anymore, 
and when we bought electronic typesetters, managers and workers tried to make 
them compatible with hot type instead of junking hot type and developing new 
procedures. It was a long battle. Computer use was the same. People would type 
on the new word processors, then immediately print a copy to edit from, then go 
back to the WP enter the edits and immediately print a "clean" copy. One wag 
early on said the paperless office was about as likely as the paperless 

Thanks for the very lucid description of how the K3 works.

Eric KE6US

On 9/22/2016 1:21 PM, Guy Olinger K2AV wrote:

[In the following text, "both the K3 and the K3S" is represented by "K3/S".
Text applicable to only one or the other will be "K3" or "K3S"]

Hi Graham.

With a warm smile, a soft voice, and friendly demeanor. I have had to go
through this post-analog era "de-analoging" my own radio perceptions, and
have had a fairly painful time of it :>)

The big lesson from my de-analoging was just how much my traditional analog
thinking, ground in by 50 years of analog hamming experience on analog
equipment, was keeping me from moving on. I needed to understand, cope with
and take advantage of very superior digital methods in a new digital era. I
was really pretty clunky. That said, not reporting any genius-level
learning rate on my part to claim superiority...

There is no suppressed carrier in software derived radio (SDR). In the
  K3/S the single sideband envelope is generated directly from firmware. It
begins with data from analog to digital converter chips (ADC) on line in or
mic leads. Firmware converts this to SSB representative data, sent to a
digital to analog chip (DAC) directly outputting SSB at the 15 kHz TX IF.
There is no carrier to null or filter out. There is no opposite sideband to
phase out or filter out. There are DAC and frequency conversion artifacts
which need to be removed by one means or another (as in going through a 2.7
kHz wide 8 MHz crystal filter also used for receive).

CW is not a keyed carrier any more. It is directly generated by the DAC
chip to the 15 kHz TX IF from digital data representing an ideal waveform.
The normal keying "sidebands" of the CW signal are also from that data. The
frequency conversion, and linear amplifier stages following, will add some
additional sidebands based on their degree of linearity, hopefully very
well down.

For frequency display, in CW mode the K3/S will display the single
frequency of the central signal.

For SSB and any mode generated through DATA A, the K3/S will display the
traditional amateur radio SSB frequency, which is what you would get if you
could somehow create SSB output from a DC voltage applied to the K3/S
transmitter line in or mic inputs. Note that some other radio services use
center of bandwidth as the frequency for SSB operation.

Use of audio input for keying should be avoided where possible. Note that
you can generate CW, FSK, and PSK without use of audio input, producing
ideal keying and bandwidth. Signals generated this way are without any
audio input artifacts like 60, 120, 180 Hz hum, audio harmonics from low
level distortion, audio noise or hiss, or miscellaneous unwanted audio from
grounding issues, or feedback from mild RF in the shack, or miscellaneous
audio from other apps on the PC bleeding through PC "soundboards".

The state of digital direct signal generation for CW is so clean that it is
simply poor amateur practice to generate CW from audio tones. There are so
many ways to screw up CW in the audio. The reputation of very clean CW from
K3/S depends on the direct data generation of CW in the K3/S

The key jack input on the back of the K3/S is itself converted to data on
one lead of an ADC chip, and sent to the CPU as data, only one data
"channel" on a single multiplexed data line, informing the CPU that the key
is *reported* high or low. That key jack voltage is not used directly for
anything except to be sampled, and advise the CPU whether the jack is keyed
or not. The CPU directs other stuff based upon the *report* of keyed or
not. It can do exactly the same thing from a string of characters converted
in firmware to the *effect* of *reports* of keyed or not. Ditto FSK D and

In a contest, I would not want to be the next station up or down frequency
from you doing audio generation of CW. I urge you to permanently
discontinue that practice.

I would also urge that you use FSK D and PSK D where possible to transmit
instead of audio tones. These are all successfully employed by some remote
users, though I can't speak to the methods or their complexity.

FSK D and PSK D will occupy minimum bandwidth by virtue of ideal waveforms
and be independent of all the audio train issues of gain, noise,
level-based distortion and AC power artifacts between user PC generation,
audio train, and the K3/S.

Use of the K3/S USB "soundcard" in some setups does remove some audio
transmission issues, but you are exporting the "quality control" of
waveforms to the third-party program running on the PC. Third-party
programmers are not going to take responsibility for K3/S output waveshape.

Sorry to rag on, but not excessively sorry.  :>)

73 and good luck with all the remote stuff.

Guy K2AV

On Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 1:37 AM, Graham Alston 


I’m very new to Elecraft and K3S so hope this is not too obvious….

I have a K3S connected to my PC with audio tones coming in via MIC IN (in
reality the K3S is the remote end of a K3-Twin remote setup).

When I use DATA-A sub mode for CW, the transmission is 600Hz higher than
the VFO frequency. I assume this is because DATA-A transmits on the USB and
the VFO shows the suppressed carrier frequency?

I want my CW signal to match the VFO, how can I do that?

73, Graham VK3GA

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