Current/past K3 owners: Your experience with a 6000 series radio?

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I am thinking about selling my K3 and going with a 6000 series radio.  Most likely, the 6300.  I am wondering what owners of a K3 think of performance-better, on par, or worse?  

I have owned a Flex 1500 before so I am familiar with PowerSDR and the workflow needed to make it all work.  

How about contesting with a Flex?  

I have a SteppIR BigIR vertical and a KPA500 amp that I would be using with the flex-any gotchas or things I would need to be aware of?

Thanks and 73,

K5RHD

/randy


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Randy Diddel

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Posted 5 years ago

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Lee, Elmer

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What are the actual (not theoretical) criteria you want from a radio?   I also like diversity but I've learned to live without it.  I have a 6300 and just can not justify an extra 5K for that feature alone.  I never owned a K3 but I have owned things like Orions Yaesus etc.  

In terms of contesting the Flex is now tightly integrated with writelog which is extremely fast and reliable.  You can have up to 4 bands being monitored at once with writelog bandmap if you have a 6500 or 6700.  2 if you have a 6300.  It is tightly integrated with CW skimmer and  you can monitor up to 4 skimmers at once with a 6500 or 6700, 2 with a 6300.  The spots in writelog show up on skimmer in addition to independent skimmer spots.  All of this data loads itself into the writelog logging fields.  If you enjoy contesting therefore there is an off the shelf well integrated path forward for your contesting enjoyment. 

The filters beat anything out there.  No ringing or distortion down to 50hz and some times 50hz makes a difference.  I have made contacts with stations 1 dB out of my noise.  As far as I can tell the front end is un-crunchable in any kind of normal operation.  The loudest station on HF at my QTH is 40dB below where the front end fails and the front end does not fail until the last dB is reached.  I did some experiments using 2 full size resonant vertical antennas separated by 175 ft.  Transmitting on one with a separate transmitter I varied the power and received on my Flex 6300.  The 6300 had a specification of compression beginning at +7 dBm.  The radio started to exhibit failure exactly at +7 dBm.  At +3 dBm I could copy stations at -115 dBm with no sign of compression in the 6300 even on the same band.  The limiting factor was wide band noise in my transmitted signal.  On adjacent bands like if I was transmitting on 40 but listening on 20 I was unable to tell I was transmitting at +3 dBm on a antenna 175 ft away except when I tuned to the second harmonic of my transmitter.  Again my radio is the cheap version.  The more expensive versions are even better performers.

The Flex is an outstanding performer in the slightly more esoteric arenas of pro-audio, high fidelity AM radio and of course digital.  Because of software you can connect directly between for example a digital program and the radio with just a few mouse clicks.  Even if you're not into digital it's trivial to get on in those modes and play around.  My particular interest is low band DXing but I've spent a good part of the summer working 6 meter opening using the 6300 and loading up various wire antennas usng the internal antenna tuner and other tuners I have in the lines.  So far I've worked 6 countries in the past 3 weeks with nothing more than I described.  The receiver is outstanding.

Flex has committed to using a "road map" to integrate features and has stuck closely to that map and has generally over produced, that is produced more features than called for by the map.  The last general release was April 30 and the next slated release is in July.  This way progress is steadily made and promises are steadily delivered.

Not to diss the K3 but it is a different kind of architecture so there are subtle and not so subtle differences by nature so a direct comparison is not always possible but for my money I have more FUN/BUCK with my Flex radios than I ever did with analogue radios.

73  W9OY