Win4K3suite – KX3

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.

KXBC3 – Notes

Today I was reading the KX3 Yahoo Group messages and came accross a conversation regarding the optional internal battery charger on the KX3.

Here are some notes I wanted to remember so I figured I would post them here (my thanks to Mark, KE6BB for his original response to the KX3 Yahoo Group):

  • There is a temperature protection feature in the KXBC3 that will display a message of “NOT 0-40C” if the cells go above the maximum specified temperature.
  • If the “NOT 0-40C” message appears during a charging cycle…then the charging cycle will resume once the condition is corrected (it is not known if that includes just letting the batteries cool down).
  • If using the recommended > 1900mA NiMH batteries it would be difficult to over charge these batteries using the KXBC3 (based on the constant charge rate and temperature protection)
  • If using modern NiMH batteries then there is no need to fully charge or fully discharge them to reduce memory effect.
  • Going to 100% occasionally is a good idea since that helps level out the voltages of individual cells
  • Never let the cells’ voltages drop below about 1v per cell (cell damage may occur and potentially the KXBC3 will not start its charge cycle)
  • Lastly, it is good practice to occasionaly check the voltage of each battery, after a good charging, to see if they are still with a few tenths of each other

The KX3 will turn itself off at 7.5V (or 7.0V depending on where you see it in the KX3 manual) so you will likely not run into the risk of going damaging the cells due to low voltage.

KXBC3 Manual is here

Here is more on the errors messages related to the KXBC3 (see image below):


KX3 – Trouble Shooting NaP3 – Sampling Rate Error

It has been awhile since I have connected my KX3 to NaP3 so today I decided to give this a try.

When I connected…I noticed this (the signal did not show across the full bandwidth):

I took a look at my settings…they looked fine (I like to keep mine at 96K).

To investigate I selected 48K and then noticed that the signal went wide.

Then when I selected 192K and noticed that the signal went really short:

At this point I realized that I had connected the R/Q output into the back of my computer and that I needed to adjust the mic input.


I made the change and guess what…it worked.

After all this…I then realized that I had originally configured the Line In jack on my computer…and had simply connected into the wrong jack (in this case the microphone).

Nevertheless, I hope this helps anyone else who encounters this same issue.

Update KX3-2M Module – Images and Notes

Thanks to others who attending Pacificon we now have a few more photos of the KX3-2M module.

I know that many are looking forward to this as evidence of Wayne’s recent post on the KX3 Yahoo Group Blog and the 19 messages that followed (which contain great details).


My thanks to Scott, AK6Q ( who posted these images to the KX3 Yahoo Group:


Here is the note that was included in this image:

This is from PACIFICON, here is the SMA Antenna port as well as a shot of the 2M card installed it is the second card up from the gold SMA connector.

IMG_0921Here is the note that was included in this image:

Here is a shot again from PACIFICON of the KX3 Operating on simplex 146.520 the last two digits are 1.3 because of the need for temp compensation due the the newness of the board and not being completely updated. It was tx/rx on 146.520

Solved – KX3 Fldigi Issue (XMIT on Plug Connection into Mic)

On my original Fldigi setup post there are a few comments that mentioned that the radio would go into transmit (XMIT) when connecting a plug into the microphone socket on the KX3.  I did not have this issue so I could not direct others to a solution.

Today I found the same issue trying to connect a new Heil Pro Set Elite to the KX3.  When I connected the microphone the radio would go into transmit.

This is actually a fairly easy fix and was mentioned by “Terry” in the comments.

When I investigated I found that my radio had the MIC BTN settings as “Ptt UP.dn”…apparently to allow functionality for the MH3 hand mic.


KX3 MIC Settings (Before)



I just turned the MIC BTN settings to “OFF” and that seemed to solve the problem with the Heil headset.

KX3 MIC Settings (After)



As also mentioned by “Terry” you will need to change these settings if you go back to the MH3 microphone.


KXBC3 NiMH Battery Charger

So I installed this KXBC3 some time last year but have really only used it once.  Now that my batteries have run down I need to relearn how to charge the batteries again.

Apparently as part of the battery charger setup you must set the KXBC3 charge time based on the power capacity of your batteries.

To find the charge time you use the following equation:

Charging Time (hours) = 1.2 x (cell mAH rating)/200

I have 2300 mAh batteries from Energizer so the estimated charge time is: 13.8 hours

The KXBC3 gives you options for 4, 12 or 16 hour charge times.

I have heard, based on the KXBC3 documentation, that NiMH cells can take some overcharging but I didn’t want to push it so I set it for 12 hours.

Unfortunately I had to stop this process mid-way to pack up for Sapelo Island…so will charge again once I get down there.


UPDATE: KX3: How to configure N1MM to use function keys to send CW (without additional cables or hardware like winkeyer)

This is an update on my original post here:

Earlier this week I created a post about my N1MM setup with my KX3 and in the post and video I noticed an error with N1MM sending the serial number {EXCH} when set up for contest modes.

Thankfully, somebody (Wilko PA3BWK) actually read my original post and pointed out to me that a recent update to N1MM may have included a fix to the serial number {EXCH} issue.

From N1MM’s update page (version 13.05.03):

CAT ASC Macro: If the function key contains “ASC KY” and the mode is CW added the following functionality. When the callsign box contains text, convert # to the current serial number and ! to the callsign. When the callsign box is empty, convert # to the last serial number and remove !. Remove the Entrywindow status error message when sending CW with CAT Macro commands. (BG6JJI) (coded by K3CT)

I downloaded the update and tested it with the current macro set and it now works great.

My setup for Field Day will likely be something like this:

F2 Exch,{CATA1ASC KY ! {EXCH};}
F3 Tu,{CATA1ASC KY ! tu * qrz;}
F4 MyCall,{CATA1ASC KY * ;}
F5 His Call,{CATA1ASC KY !? ;}
F8 Agn?,{CATA1ASC KY agn? ;}
F9 Nr?,{CATA1ASC KY nr? ;}
F10 Call?,{CATA1ASC KY cl? ;}
F11 Break,{CATA1ASC rx;}
F12 Wipe,{WIPE}

My notes (also mentioned in the update notes):

* is your call.
! is the other call (or if blank…nothing)
# is the serial exchange (I suggest using {EXCH} instead)
{SENTRSTCUT} will give you 5NN instead of 599

If you want to add/change your N1MM macros go here (see image below):


My thanks to Jerry (BG6JJI), Wilko (PA3BWK), and John (K3CT) for helping me out on this.

KX3: How to configure N1MM to use function keys to send CW (without additional cables or hardware like winkeyer)

Update:  I found a fix to the {EXCH} issue I noted below.  See new post here.

Update:  I have a link to my N1MM setup (screen shot) so you can see my selections.  See new post here.

Last weekend I wanted to play in the CQ WPX CW contest and use the function keys to run the exchange during the contest.  One of the primary reasons I wanted to use N1MM was so that I could pass the contest exchange (serial number in this case) properly in the contest (as I am still learning the code) so I started on a path to find out how. 

The KX3 Utility provides some functionality to key the radio with the push of a button.  This is pretty neat…but it would be even better if I could get N1MM to do this for me.

After some searching, I really couldn’t turn up anything concrete, but did noticed this tweet back in June on the subject.  TJ is a regular on the KX3 Yahoo group…and this was what I looking for.


So I sent him a note asking him what he did.  Here was his reply (yes at the start of the contest…he replied).


OK…what are KY codes and what is the programmer’s manual?  OK…after more searching I found the K3 and KX3 Programmers reference and I began to dig into the manual.

KY codes are a command set to do keyboard CW/data…and the programming reference gives this (see below)…which, from a non programmers point of view, doesn’t help much.


At this point I get that the idea is to use the N1MM message editor to add these KY codes to the string that keys the radio…I attempted a few things (and none would work)…for example:

Original Code for F1:  {TX}   CQ NA * * * CQ{RX}

My Attempted KY Code for F1: {TX} KY CQ NA K4MTX K4MTX CQ {RX}

Again…this did NOT work.

Now that I have more info…I was able to work on better web searches and stumbled upon a few posts regarding {CAT1ASC} macros…but still got nowhere.

Finally I stumbled upon a post from a chinese ham BG6JII, Jerry Zhang who described his setup for N1MM and it went something like this:

F1 Cq,{CATA1ASC KY cqtest * *;}
F2 Snt,{CATA1ASC KY 5nn # #;}
F3 Tu,{CATA1ASC KY tu;}
F5 His Call,{CATA1ASC KY {call} ;}
F6 Repeat, {CATA1ASC KY # #;}
F7 Exch, {CATA1ASC KY #;}
F8 Agn?,{CATA1ASC KY agn? ;}
F9 Nr?,{CATA1ASC KY nr? ;}
F10 Call?,{CATA1ASC KY cl? ;}
F11 Break,{CATA1ASC RX;} 
F12 Wipe,{WIPE}

NOTE: Jerry mentioned that in some cases…the KX3 commands will not terminate properly so he has added a special command at F11 which will kill the “offending command”

Yes…now we are on to something.  So I went to configure my radio changing out the first command.

Original Code for F1:  {TX}   CQ NA * * * CQ{RX}

My Revised KY Code for F1: {CATA1ASC KY CQ NA K4MTX K4MTX CQ;}

BINGO!!!  This worked for me.

I began to work on F2:

Original Code for F2:  {TX} {CALL} {EXCH}{RX} {EXCH}{RX} DE {MYCALL} {RX}

My Revised KY Code for F2: {CATA1ASC KY  {SENTRSTCUT} {EXCH} de K4MTX;} 

This did not work as expected.  

(Update:  This was fixed in a recent N1MM update…See new post here)

This worked up until it got the {EXCH} command.  For some reason N1MM will not pass the {EXCH} command.  After logging some more time in the search engines…I have determined that this is issue specific to serial exchanges (such as 001, 002,….n ).

Summary:  N1MM function keys can send CW text to the KX3.   However, there are limitations.  Of primary concern, to me, is that it will not pass {EXCH}, which would have been useful in most contests.

Here is a quick video describing my setup:

Give it a try and let me know what you think.