Clever K3 macro trick

Tonight I sat down to fiddle with the macros of my Elecraft K3. As I already use M1-M4 for CW memories, I only had the PF1 and PF2 buttons available.

It was the blog post “K-3 Rotating Macros” of W8TN that made me aware of a clever trick for using a macro to reprogram itself. This gives the possibility to have two rather than one function in the PF2 button. My need is for a button that can toggle between the typical pile-up functions Split+1 and Cleanup. In addition I have another macro that toggles speakers on and off.

The two first macros resemble those of W8TN, but are not quite the same:

  • Split+1: SWT13;SWT13;FT1;UPB4;RT0;XT0;SWT11;BW0045;SWT11; MN110;SWT12;SWH47;SWT14;
  • 0 Split: FT0;RT0;XT0;LN0;SB0;SQ000;DV0;LK0; MN110;SWT11;SWH47;SWT14;

The Split macro in memory 1 means:

  1. SWT13; taps A>B once to copy VFO A frequency to VFO B
  2. SWT13; taps A>B again to copy all other settings to VFO B 
  3. FT1; enters Split mode. 
  4. UPB4; moves VFO B up according to setting 4, which is 1 kHz
  5. RT0; turns RIT off 
  6. XT0; turns XIT off 
  7. SWT11; taps A/B to go to VFO B
  8. BW0045; sets bandwidth B to 0.45 kHz
  9. SWT11; taps A/B to go to VFO A
  10. MN110; enters Config, Function, Macro
  11. SWT12; taps the (2) button to choose Macro 2
  12. SWH47; holds the PF2 button to assign it to PF2
  13. SWT14; taps the Menu button
Some may want to add SB1 to turn the sub receiver on, or LK1 to lock VFO A. Others may also want to change the number after the UPB command in order to set other splits than 1 kHz, or set the bandwidth differently than the BW0045 command. See the “K3 and KX3 Programmers Reference” for details.

Entries 10-13 are the reprogramming steps where the PF2 button is reassigned to the cleanup macro in memory slot 2. The contents of that macro is:

  1. FT0; turns Split off
  2. RT0; turns RIT off 
  3. XT0; turns XIT off 
  4. LN0; unlinks the VFOs
  5. SB0; turns subreceiver off
  6. SQ000; turns squelch off
  7. DV0; turns diversity mode off
  8. LK0; unlocks VFO A
  9. MN110; enters Config, Function, Macro
  10. SWT11; taps the (1) button to choose Macro 1
  11. SWH47; holds the PF2 button to assign it to PF2
  12. SWT14; taps the Menu button
Here items 9-12 are the reprogramming steps where PF2 is reassigned back to the first macro, the Split+1 macro. The PF2 button is the same as XIT (Transmitter Incremental Tuning) as a reminder that this macro affects the transmitter frequency.
Picture of Koss PortaPro from Wikipedia (Malcolm Tyrrell)

Since I often toggle between speakers and my Koss PortaPro headphones (connected to the back of the K3), I liked what I just found on the Elecraft list where the command for speakers on/off was reposted. I have assigned that to the PF1 button which is also the RIT (Receiver Incremental Tuning) reminding me that this affects reception.

Macro 3 is MN097;UP;MN255; meaning:

  1. MN097; Access Menu, Speaker+phone
  2. UP; Change parameter
  3. MN255; Access Menu, Exit
Since the Speaker+phone menu entry only has two states this will toggle speakers on/off.

After the macros have been loaded into the K3 with the K3 Utility Program, the macros are assigned to the PF1 and PF2 buttons by first entering Config, Macro 3, and then hold PF1, and then Config, Macro 1, and then hold PF2.

Sverre Holm, LA3ZA, is a regular contributor to and writes from Norway. Contact him at [email protected].

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