A nice audio report

I just finished a contact with a very loud Austrian station, OE3DIA on 10 metres, who took time out while working a string of stations to give me a complimentary audio report, quite unsolicited. It’s good when that happens! The comment was “Very nice audio cutting through the QRM” I was using the K3 at 80 watts and the mike was one of those Heil mikes with the dual insert, set to “narrow”. The K3 transmit audio equalisation is factory standard, in other words flat.

As it happens I had just been doing some audio comparisons between the KX3 and the FT-817. There has been a thread going on the KX3 Yahoo group started by a disenchanted American ham who claims that the FT-817 has punchier audio than the KX3. It’s rubbish, to put it politely. The KX3 has a built-in speech compressor, while my 817 has an RF processor made by Joachim, DF4ZS (more details on my FT-817 page) built into the microphone. Without it there is just no comparison.

I recorded some audio clips so you can hear for yourself:

There is a bit of distortion on those clips which was not noticeable when listening on the radio. I think I might have a problem with my sound card.

I’m not sure if the difference are that noticeable in those clips, but when you look at the needle of the power meter the KX3 certainly has the more punchy signal.

Both the FT-817 and the KX3 were running off 13.8V and set to 5 watts output. I couldn’t compare them on battery power as I don’t have the charger board for the KX3 and the external battery pack (10xAA NiMH cells) I intended to use appears to be past it and the KX3 kept cutting out on voice peaks.

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “A nice audio report”

  • Danny PD3X:

    Its a small world, I also had contact with OE3DIA and heared you too. Tried to call you but QSB set in too strong. Indeed very good audio, 73 from PD3X.

  • Fred Bernquist AE2DX:

    Its always nice when a fellow ham compliments you for your sound or operating of your station. Back many years ago I received a good guy report from a monitor station on the operation of my station made me feel real good knowing I was doing everything correct. I still have it hanging on my wall of the shack. 73s
    AE2DX

  • no9e:

    It does not appear that DF4ZS processor is working. Perhaps compression not set high enough. I have an early version, used with FT100. Ceramic filters were 9 KHz wide. Perhaps Joachim has changed the filters since.

    The signal in KX3 has more lows but is not especially louder.

    If you make a test with radios that have real RF speech processor, the difference between little and high processing is obvious. Feeling of a louder signal without distortions.

    I made tests at 12 W with K3 and KX3. See files on KX3 group on yahoo.com. The waveforms of K3 are as expected. Those for KX3 show little difference with processing. In online testing at 12 W, K3 comes with 2S better signal reports.

    Ignacy, NO9E

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