The Elecraft k3 stopped working

The K3 just stopped!
This weekend I hooked up the Elecraft k3 as it was all disconnected when we had the house painted as it had to be moved for safe keeping. I wanted to make sure it still worked with all the computer software and the Alexloop. Software can be a very funny thing in that you really don't have to do anything and for some strange reason it just stops working! I am happy to report that all between the PC and Elecraft K3 is working well.

There was one heart stopping moment, it was during a tuning session of  the Alexloop and the rig. I tuned the Alexloop for max receive I then hit the tune button on the K3 with the power on 3 watts the SWR was around 3.1 to 1 so some fine tuning was needed. As I tuned the Alexloop the SWR did a sharp rise and the rig powered off!! I waited for a moment and tried to power the K3 on again and NOTHING! I then checked the incoming power and it was dead. Well I thought better the Astron 20 amp supply taking a hit than the K3. Looking at the Astron supply the lights were on and 13.8 volts was showing on the meter. As I narrowed things down it was a fuse on the power bar that the Astron feeds power to. The K3 was fused at 1 amp at the power bar and not 5 amps and the fuse on the power bar went. After the proper fuse was installed all was well again.

Blown fuse
Last week I was able to purchase for a GREAT price a used very large roll top desk and this is going to be the desk that I use for the radio setup when we move to the condo. Not sure what I am going to do with my 3 monitor setup as it's great having all three. There seems at this point to be room for one monitor and all the radio gear. Whats great about the roll top once  your done all the radio equipment hides away into a nice oak desk. At this point I am brain storming on how to incorporate the other two monitors???
As for radio time Saturday was spent getting the K3 setup and my heart restarted when it powered down. There was a contest going on so the band were very busy but it did give me a change to see how Skimmer works under a contest situation. I can see how this piece of software will give my limited size station some advantages. The picture below is what sold me on the desk, the keyboard tray and the two pull outs.

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

6 Responses to “The Elecraft k3 stopped working”

  • Colin GW3WSU:

    I wish I could get all my gear into a roll top desk. If you don’t know what I mean check QRZ.COM!!

  • Mitch DJØQN:

    Take a look at the Ergotron monitor mounts:

    Maybe there is something there that solves your problem. You can find these much cheaper than the list price.

    Mitch DJØQN

  • John Mann KK4ITN:

    I keep my entire station on top of a wooden cabinet/bar type cabinet.Approx 24″wide”x16″deep Kenwood ts140s on left and mfj993 to the left of it. The Kenwood TM-281 sits on top of the tuner with a small towel on top to keep it from scratching. SECRET PART NOW, the boat anchor power supply goes on the floor under the cabet.Only me and my cat know its there. So now the mini mfj-401 keyer the paddles and key sit on the desk area. Log and pad of paper in top right draw,pen in pocket.Last part is the lap top. It sits to the left of the Kenwood. Bada Bing! Instant mini radio station.Last thing is I use a Motorola mobile speaker with switch for voice from 2 meters or cw from the 140s. Everything nice and neat.
    Look in ARRL handbook they show photos [for ideas] for compact stations. Don’t forget ear phones,dont want to upset the tv’ers.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Collin, from the picture I saw on QRZ.COM I would not see to much trouble getting your gear into a roll top desk. Having said that it could be that I am not seeing the whole picture of your setup.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Mitch, first off thanks very much for taking the time to post the link. I had a good look at it and some very nice ideas there. It’s good to also know that those were at list price as the price was up there. Thanks for the info and for taking the time to post it here.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hello John, sounds like you have the perfect portable station for a home of small places. I agree the power supply sure can take up lots of room that really can be filled with rig stuff. I fully agree regarding the headphones as my wife Julie enjoys seeing me having fun with my hobby but CW is not music to her ears like it is to mine. John thanks for taking the time to describe your setup and thanks for taking the time to post it.

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