Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Elecraft P3 has arrived......

The shipment arrived
Ready to go
The postal service came through for me and not only was the Elecraft P3 here before Christmas it made it to my home in a record 5 business days. The package arrived on Thursday but I had to wait for Saturday to open the boxes and drool!! Before the P3 arrived I had downloaded the manual and assembly instructions to go over things. I did have plans of participating in the ARRL 10 meter contest but the P3 blinded me to the contest.  The two boxes were very well packed with bubble wrap on all sides and the contents of each box again
surrounded in bubble wrap. I sat down Saturday afternoon as the morning was dedicated to putting up the Christmas tree and decorating our home. As always I took inventory of all the parts I encourage anyone who orders any kit to make sure you do the inventory. This kit is another of Elecraft's solder-less kits. It comes with the boards (front panel board with LCD, rear I/O board and rear RF panel  
Front panel done
board) all ready to go the only real assembly is the mechanical side of the P3.  By spending some time putting the kit together yourself you save some cash. The first step was to install some stand offs onto the front panel board these are used to secure the front LCD board to the front plate assembly. The fit of the front panel board into the front plate was perfect no binding or poor alignment of screws into stand off threads. I have found with all the Elecraft kits the attention to this type of detail makes the kits a joy to put together. It was then time to assemble parts of the enclosure and rear panel. The installation of the I/O board and RF board in the rear panel went very smooth. As the end was near it was time to install the 40 pin ribbon cable. The instructions for this were very detailed and clear. A red stripe on the ribbon cable was to be
I/O board installed

Back panel
oriented toward  certain parts on both the I\O board and the front panel board. Failing to plug the ribbon cable in correctly would result in damage  once power was applied. Lastly there was a TMP coaxial cable from the main board to the RF board and except for a few more chassis screws the P3 was done. The total time was about 2 hours with some breaks and taking my time. This unit is plug and play with the K3 radio. To get the P3 mated with the K3 there was a power cord that plugged into the K3. This way when the K3 was powered on so is the P3. ( there are other options for power up and only involved changing a plug in jumper on the P3) The IF feed comes from the K3 to the P3 with a supplied
The finished product
BNC coax jumper. Finally there is RS232 DE 9 cable (again supplied by Elecraft) between the P3 and K3 so they can "talk". I then brought my RS232 from the PC to the P3. This allows me to update the P3 over the internet and the P3 utility can communicate the P3. I have not had to much time to play with the P3 as Sunday was dedicated to shopping and resting as I worked all night Saturday.

Hooked up to K3


  1. Hello Mike, nice piece of equipent. How is the screen? Is it too small or well readable? I understood in time you can have a bigger monitor attached? 73, Bas

  2. Good morning Bas,the screen is very sharp and crisp. I have since found out how to reduce the size of the water fall portion of the screen. This gives even more space to view the spectrum.