Sunday, February 13, 2011

WSPR and the Elecraft K3

 After weeks of some frustrating times on Saturday I finally got on WSPR with my K3. I only have access to 20 and 40 meters but soon will have a dipole in the attic for 30 meters. The RTTY contest this weekend made the bands a very crowded place. I first wanted to thank all those from the Elecraft reflector for their advice and help....KB7ST,G3ZOD,M0DDT,K0AWU,ZL1PWD,W6NIA,N3ZP and  those who emailed me as well from the WSPR website.  I still have some ruffled edges to work out. For now my output power is 5 watts or 37dbm. I will be dropping it to 1 watts or less.
Here is my setup with the Elecraft K3 with the KXV3A

K3 Menu settings are as follows
  1. Mic set          Line in
  2. Line out         Nor 10
  3. PTT-KEY      rts-dtr
  4. RS232          38400
 Configure menu (hold menu button for 2 sec)
         KXV3                    Nor
K3 radio settings
  1. Mode          data A
  2. Filter            2.7
  3. NB              off
  4. Meter          ALC
  5. AGC           slow   
Cable connections
  1. KXV3A line out to computer sound card Mic or Pink connector.
  2. KXV3A line in to computer sound card Green connector. (this is a mono cable in my case)
  3. RS232 from K3 to computer. 

WSPR menu settings for K3
The best way to do this is with a snap shot of the setup window from the WSPR program.
Click on image to enlarge and then click again to zoom in.
 So lets give WSPR a whirl
 These are the steps I use to get WSPR up and going with my setup here. 
  1. I setup the K3 according to "radio settings" above. 
  2. If you noticed in the WSPR menu settings above my com port was set to 8. This is a virtual port in the LP-bridge program. So I now start up LP-bridge if not the K3 will not go into transmit.(found that out the hard way)
  3. I now start up WSPR and under the band menu I select the band I am going to use. The K3 is also switched to this band through  CAT control.
  4. My antenna switch is set to the dummy load position.
  5. In the WSPR program with the Idle checked I select the Tune button and WSPR goes into tune mode.
  6. I now adjust the Mic gain on the K3 until the output is 5 watts. (I will be dropping the output later) 
  7. LP-100A meter
  8. I use my LP-100A to make sure the output is at 5 watts...or there about. 
  9. I then switch to the proper antenna and remove the check mark from the WSPR idle and we are on our way.
Below are some results on 40 meters in the afternoon during a very noisy RTTY contest that also was on the band.
An afternoon on 40 meter WSPR click on each to enlarge

Here is a sample of how busy 40 meters was with the RTTY contest while trying WSPR.


  1. Hi your Blog looks great
    How to get the menu bar in Blog? I have some topic about WSPR and K3 in my BLOG somewhere..
    I Also have a K3 and use it for wspr ( right now)
    I had some problems with WSPR when starting but all related too the too slow PC i was using a P3 1GHz that was to slow. Also tried an EEE Samsung notepad also too slow.
    Now having a P4 2.6G XP it is working stable week after week.
    You use Data mode?

    The settings of my K3 i use USB line in 19k2
    RTS = T/R over an USB-serial ( prolific) Only thing i have to take care is K3 config -> CW settings SSB-CW to disable CW ( DTR) in SSB mode. I can not use this since WSPR activates RTS + DTR both for T/R switching no matter what you select in WSPR.

  2. Good morning Jaap and welcome to the blog. Regarding the menu bar I assume you are referring to the page list bar at the top? This blog was designed with Blogger and in the design tab there is a Page element you click on edit from there you can add new pages that will appear at the top of the blog. Let me know if this answers your question?

  3. will try that I just tested other USB -serial interface. But i have to keep mij current setting that works stable. Only had one slip of this Polific USB device in the 24hrs operating N1MM logger. That was the fist time i had that "wild freq" error with this XP PC. On my Laptop W7-64-pro that happens all the time. But WSPR does not have communication issues with the same USB-ser. It is not easy to get things real reliable in the long run.. Another USB-ser device "WCH" driver can give blue screen.. And does not work at all in W7. The PC system com1 does work but in idle state it keeps RTS active... the K3 goes TX then... So i can not use this Com1 either..