About a month ago I read on the KX3 Yahoo group about new software called Win4K3suite. During the holidays I decided to give the 30 day trial a go.
Here is a great video overview provided by the software’s designer Tom, VA2FSQ.
Download, execution, and setup are pretty straightforward. Tom has a two great video tutorials to help a new user set up the KX3 Spectrum Scope and any 3rd party products (like N1MM and LOG4OM).
Be sure to use the latest Kx3 firmware version. I had an error using beta firmware that was easily resolved moving back production firmware. Tom, who has been very responsive to my questions, mentioned that there have been issues with old firmware as well.
Once the software is setup it works. To be more precise it works very well! Personally I am a big fan of simple software like this that is easy to setup and just works well.
The Control Center Window has a great layout. It really feels like you have full control of the KX3. There is even a “SPOT” button in the menu (and it actually works).
The spectrum scope is nice. It is a bit different from what I am used to with NaP3/PowerSDR in terms of looks and function. The scope is in a separate window…which can be very nice if you have two screens…but you may have problems fitting both on one screen (without any overlapping windows). I also found that I cannot keep just the spectrum scope up if I close the control center window. Point click tuning, the most important feature in any panadapter, works well (accomplished by a double click). The spectrum scope always seems to be correct when I switch modes, etc (not like the issue that I have with NaP3). Having had a Flexradio for a number of years I do notice a few things missing…the first is the on screen adjustable filtering that you can do NaP3/PowerSDR. Second, I miss the great mouse controls to move through the spectrum scope easily. Lastly, I really do enjoy the Panafall/Spanafall “look” with NaP3/PowerSDR (with AVG turned on). This scope feels a bit more bland. Overall, the Win4K3 Spectrum Scope is different (not worse)…so it may just take me some time to get used to it. I believe that Elecraft Owners with a P3 will enjoy it.
Tom tells me that the panadapter is new (version 1.0) so there may be additional improvements once he had heard more feedback from beta testers.
Setup with 3rd party software is also pretty straightforward. In this case, I simply used a pair of virtual ports (Com4 and Com5) I previously set up in com0com to connect N1MM to Win4K3. There really isn’t too much else to it.
Overall this program works very well and I would suggest that everyone give it a try (30 day trial) to see if it will work for them. The software costs, $50, is well worth it if the software has a permanent place in your shack.
PROS: Easy setup, clean layout, great rig control, and responsive service (with Tom)
CONS: If you are a PowerSDR/NaP3 user the spectrum scope will take some time getting used to. Its not bad…just different.