6700 vs Hilberling vs K3 vs K3S

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  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
Sitting in Heathrow as am on my way back to the USA just now after ny speaking tour at Friedrichshafen and the Czech Republic.

I spent last week in the Czech Republic setting up SDRs, giving talks, visiting contest stations and drinking a heck of a lot of Suoerb beer. The Czech were rather marvelous hosts who could do nough for both myself and fellow traveller Ben N6MUF.

Pavel OK1MY has a $18k Hilberling, 3 K-3's, IC-7800 and now a 6700 we ran a lot of ABC tests. Pavel has a 150' tower with 3 stacked full sized MonstIR

We also ran Stu's K6TU Alpha IPad App vs the Hilberling.

Here is a shot I took yesterday afternoon



.

The Hilberling is on the left, the 6700 obviously in the foreground, the k3's are under the monitors and the 7800 is behind the monitor He has several 4KW and an 8KW amp

Like me, we never turned on the 7800. It has been totally surpassed by every other radio in the shack.

But we did test the HILBERLING vs K3S vs 6700 on ABCD switches. The K3 without the upgrade board was not competitive. With the upgrade it was very competitive with the Hilberling.

On SSB all 3 were very close on strong signals but the Flex won easily on extremely weak signals as it could pull stuff out of the noise that the other 2 could barely do.

On CW,,,,absolutely NO Contest.

The 6700 won hands down because it had such excellent brick wall filters.

BTW these are Pavels comments not mine.

Stu's ipad app alpha blew everyone away while we sat out in the patio working DX.

The results were strictly aural but Pavel will be doing detailed measurements in the near future.

Pavel is a very happy camper with his new 6700
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Posted 3 years ago

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Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

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Howard, What does he think of the Maestro? 
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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He ordered one. But like all of us, we shall see what Flex actually delivers.
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Mike va3mw

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I agree on stu's app. I played with it yesterday.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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About what I would have expected.
did you need to fish your key out of the lake in order to test CW?

But three MonstIR's?

Wow! I guess you will be ordering two more to keep up? Ha ha.


Have a safe trip back, Howard.
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Better than fishing my key out of the lake I brought along a very experienced CW DXpeditioner Ben N6MUF as my "Roadie" and CW operator.
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N4HY, Elmer

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Please give Ben my best and if you can, tell him our mutual friend Kathy Boyd is pushing for us to have an eyeball QSO.
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SteveJ

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He should probably trade the 7800 on the 7851.  I understand it is one excellent radio.  Better than the 7800 for sure and probably gives the 6700 a run for it's money.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Actually we borrowed a 7851 from HRO to test at NX6T Contest station just before Dayton.

Nobody was particularly impressed with it.....they liked the K3's better for contesting.
We figured if we actually bought it, it would end up on shelf with the 7800 totally unused.
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Lee, Elmer

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How did the speaking engagements go? Interesting post
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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FINALLY Back in the USA after 6 weeks..

Speaking engagements went rather well. 

I must say that the SDR field is changing so rapidly that I was making last minute changes before each and every speech.

I introduced the concept of the Evolution of 4 Generations of SDR at Friedrichshafen,  Almost immediately virtually every other speaker at the SDR Academy began using my generational definitions in their presentations.  Several indicated that they would use the generational nomenclature in their papers to be published by DARC.   The SDR Academy will soon be available on YouTube once DARC finishes editing and all the papers will be published by DARC once peer review is completed.  I am under a bit of a time crunch because my totally paper needs to be submitted by July 12th.   .

The speeches in the Czech Republic were very well received as well.  Ben and I were treated as visiting rock stars...I must say it gets rather difficult to give a speech after our hosts plied us with several beers...

I found that both the German and Czech Hams were significantly more technically astute than the usual Dayton Crowd.  At the the first Czech talk, Pavel OK7PM gave an introductory SDR talk in Czech to start the meeting and I was quite flattered to find that he had used many of my slides (full accreditation) from my SDR-101 talk.

Subsequent to my talk, I received a request from my friend Michael DJ2RAM the Dean of Engineering at the University of Regensburg to talk to the Engineering Students .. Just need to figure out schedules
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N4HY, Elmer

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Great work Howard and beautifully told.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Where those K3S transceivers stock, off the shelf?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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And was the Flex stock off the shelf?
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Jay / NO5J

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Kinda like lays potato chips, nobody gets zapped just once.
Unless ...
73, Jay - NO5J
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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@lee, that was an exceptionally snarky thing to say and, frankly, was beneath you. You know what makes me 'giggle'? Just how aroused some people on here get over their precious Flex. The K3S is far more than the K3 with the recalled synthesizer board that was replaced free of charge before the K3S was even announced. I don't know where the equivalent Elecraft centric board to this is but perhaps they, too, put their thumb on the scale when comparing their radio's to the Flex.
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Lee, Elmer

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So you don't think it snarky to accuse Howard and the others of cooking the books in Flex's favor??? Please get a clue
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Walt

I think you were not reading this report correctly. 

While I did set up the 6700 and I was an observer, the comments I quoted in this report are NOT mine but rather they come from Pavel OK1MY.   Pavel has a very heavy investment in fully loaded K3's which he uses for CW contesting and prior to acquiring the 6700 would be classified as K3/Hilberling biased over his Icom 7800.  

BTW Pavel owns a company that makes Specialized Coax so there is a great deal of high quality cabling all over the place.

Both Ben N6MUF and Pavel OK1MY worked the radios in CW mode. 

I made some SSB contacts.

On SSB and CW, we particularly targeted very weak stations such as M0AAA/P who was running portable to a long wire at a picnic with 15W and totally jammed stations like TM200EN (a 100W station in France commemorating the 200 anniversary of Napoleons Exile). 

We then ran ABC tests on the same antenna..

With M0AAA/P...due to the 3 MonstIR over 3 antenna we were the only station working him at all as he was extremely weak so we really had a good chance to test the different radio's weak signal performance over about 20 minute QSO.   The 6700 was consistently the best receiver over both the Hilberling and the K3S on this very weak station.  In some of his responses where he was not readable on the Hilberling or K3 we could still make him out on the 6700.

On TM200EN.. it was a traffic jam...they were handing out special event QSL Cards..
Here is where both Ben and Pavel really said that the superior filters on the 6700 blew everything else out of the park.

AGAIN... the report is from Pavel OK1MY... I just documented his report..
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Bill -VA3WTB

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All Howard did was give comments about using the Flex along with other radios. So it is their views the Flex was tops. Is he not aloud to say that here on this Flex site?
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Howard, I heard your speech at Friedrichshafen and I liked it a lot. As had a lot of time and was
there very early I sat down with the Hilberling at their booth and played a bit with it.
Boy, am I glad for my Flex-6500... I found the Hilberling quite a clunky -although beautiful - piece
of old fashioned hardware. I quite innocently asked them if they knew about the new SDRs and
if they were building one...I did the same thing to ICOM, naughty me....;-)
73, Alex DH2ID
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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You could drive over the Hilberling with a tank and it would still keep on Going...really solid German Engineering.. with lots of 20 pole filters...
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Yeah, and you could drive over the Nikon F with a tank (in fact sometimes that
happened in Vietnam) and it kept on working. Then came digital photography...
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Barry N1EU

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Filters are 16-pole, but still very impressive spec.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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The Hilberling is the example I use to demonstrate that you can make a very good Hardware Defined Radio if you spend enough money on it but the law of diminishing returns really starts to show up...

It was a superb radio when I used it at OK1MY in 2012.. but definitely felt dated when I used it this year....

At Friedrichshafen they attached big monitor so that they could try to keep up with the SDR's using the RadioComm SDR Emulator Interface Program.
(Edited)
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Ernest - W4EG

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Howard,
I finally went to the Hilberling website to see this "great" master piece.  However, I was not impress with all the knobs and switches!
It may equal the Flex-6000 series radio but for me it does not do an iota by the price or the appearance.  
I hope they do well with their 18,000 dollars radio but, I would not buy one even if you gave me the money!
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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I've spent hours running the Hilberling PT-8000A and found it to be a really fun & rewarding radio to use. 

https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/very-interesting-hiberling-pt-8000-in-the-k9zw-shack/

https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/comparison-part-1-hilberling-pt-8000-in-the-k9zw-shack/

https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/comparison-part-2-hilberling-pt-8000-in-the-k9zw-shack/

https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/using-a-high-performance-radio-operating-the-hilberling-pt-800...

I did struggle with the incomplete manual written by someone overly familiar with the PT-8000A and then translated into English.  Got tripped up by some fairly simple things which once I jot the hang of really worked out pretty well.

Really couldn't think of a finer shack than one that had a PT-8000A plus SmartSDR Flex-6x00 radios. 

Of course YMMV but only if you actually run QSO's with a PT-8000A  - have found an unrealistic fixation on the price as the first and only object leading to a fair number of armchair pundants who haven't made a contact with the PT-8000A.  Bluntly these spectators' observations are nothing like hands on operators' observations. 

In terms of price there is a strong argument that both the PT-8000A and the Flex-6x000 series transceivers are amazing values, having rolled up what was million dollar technology and highest respective levels of craftsmanship into ham-affordable rigs. 

Both lead a serious amount of Shack enjoyment - that elusive goal "Fun" seems to come with them.


73


Steve

K9ZW