K3 Software Page

See the bottom of this page to get the latest K3 firmware downloader, K3 Utility  and KUSB Drivers. 

For K3 Logging and Control Software, Click here for our K3 ( & K2) Software Page.

For K144XV Firmware Upgrades and the K144XV Firmware Utility, click here.

For P3 Firmware Upgrades and the P3 Firmware Utility, click here.  

Beta K3 Firmware Revisions

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 See K3 Beta Firmware Instruction for information on obtaining beta releases.
Beta releases are not automatically recognized by the K3 Utility.

 


Current K3 Firmware RevisionsRevisions

MCU 4.86 / DSP 2.83, 6/10/2014

Latest Production Release

IMPORTANT: MCU 4.67 must be loaded with the new K3 Utility, Version 1.13.5.9 or later.

This release will automatically be recognized by K3 Utility.

See K3 Firmware Release Notes  for a complete revision history.

Note: For KPAK3AUX cable use between the KPA500 and K3, K3 Version 4.36, or later, must be loaded.

FAQ: Consolidated Release of K-Line Firmware
(How to setup VFO Tracking for your KAT500 and K3)

  • REAR HEADPHONE JACK CONTROL: The rear headphone jack (on the KIO3) was recently changed to a different type whose speaker-cutout switch logic is inverted from the original. If speaker audio is missing even without phones plugged in, you'll need to change the setup. Locate CONFIG:SPKR+PH, then tap '1' to switch to "PH.R SW-" (inverted). Tapping a second time reverts back to the original setting, "PH.R SW+".

  • FSK-D (RTTY) POWER-CONTROL BUG FIX: Power output can now be increased while in transmit mode when using FSK-D.

  • KAT500 ATU SUPPORT: Automatic retuning of KAT500 LC network as K3 VFO is moved. VFO frequency messages are sent via the auxBus. Sends VFO A frequency except in SPLIT mode, where VFO B frequency is sent.
       To enable automatic KAT500 VFO tracking:
        
     - Locate the K3's CONFIG:KAT3 menu entry,
          - Tap '1' until you see "KAT500Y". (The other selection is "KAT500N", the default, which turns VFO tracking off.)

  • XVTR IF BAND CAN NOW BE 10 OR 18 MHZ (in addition to the original selections).

  • RTTY BAUD RATE NO LONGER STORED PER-BAND/PER-MEMORY: The FSK-D/AFSK-A baud rate (45 or 75 baud) is now global, meaning that one setting applies in all cases. The band rate is set by holding DATA MD, selecting FSK-D or AFSK-A using VFO B, then selecting the baud rate using VFO A.

  • FIXED MACRO EXECUTION BUG AFFECTING "SB", "MD", "DV", "BW" commands. These would sometimes not work correctly when used in macros.

  • RTTY/FSK IMPROVEMENT: In FSK-D mode using an PC-generated FSK input, the K3 no longer exhibits DSP errors (ERR DSE) or loss of communications. Previously, these may have occurred when the K3 was sent too many serial (RS232) commands.

  • NO LOSS OF RS232 DATA DURING BAND CHANGES: On any band change, the K3 sends band data to possibly-connected XV-series transverters and the KRC2. This takes 15 milliseconds, during which RS232 data (from PC applications) was locked out. RS232 data is now properly handled during this time, which could eliminate some K3-to-PC communications issues on band change.

  • LOGGING OF REMOTE-CONTROL COMMAND ERRORS (ERR DSE): Rapid polling of the K3 by a PC application program can in rare cases result in overflow of the K3's internal serial data buffer, leading to the execution of an invalid control command and a subsequent internal MCU-DSP communications error. When this occurs, the K3 will now send "E*DSEn;" to the attached host, where <n> is 0 if the error occurred when addressing the main DSP and 1 for the aux DSP. Application developers can then consult their communications log file to see what commands were being sent at the time.

  • For those using PC software:
    BW and FW (BANDWIDTH) SET COMMANDS SENT DURING TX ARE REJECTED (K3 returns "?;"). This prevents a possible DSP error (ERR DSE). A future release will allow use of these commands, as well as the "WIDTH" control.
    DV and SB (DIVERSITY and SUB) SET COMMANDS SENT DURING TX ARE REJECTED (K3 returns "?;"). This avoids possible side-effects.

  • For those using Remote Rig mode: 
    REMOTE-RIG BUG FIXES: (1) speaker mute when entering TERM mode; (2) MODE display swap on PTT; (3) connection lost during PTT (when K3 was out of band before entering TERM mode); (4) encoder commands with VFO A/B locked before entering TERM mode; (5) VFO B lock now working in remote mode.

  • RIT CAN NOW BE TURNED ON/OFF DURING TX: This applies to both the RIT switch and the "RT" remote-control command. Note: If RIT is turned on or off during transmission of a CW character, the length of one code element may be affected. This will be corrected in a future release.

  • CRYSTAL FILTER OFFSET ADJUSTABLE IN CW MODE: You can now set the crystal filter lower edge in CW mode to 0.1, 0.2, or 0.3 kHz above zero beat. The default is 0.2 kHz. The 0.1-kHz selection provides enhanced bass response, but may allow you to hear a low-pitched opposite-sideband signal when tuned near very strong signals. The 0.3-kHz selection may be preferred by some operators in extremely strong-signal environments. To change the setting: Select CW mode, then go into MENU:RX EQ and tap '0' (CWT) to choose the desired XFIL LO value.

  • A>B SWITCH TAP SENDS VFO UPDATE IN "AI2" MODE: This is useful for those writing computer-control applications.

New Firmware Load Information

NOTE: Please use K3 Utility rev 1.13.5.9 or newer to download new firmware to the radio. Later revisions of K3 Utility may provide additional features (see below).

Be sure to download *all* new firmware including DSP and FPF (new --  flash memory tables). If you see “FPF LOAD PENDING” on the K3’s LCD, it is probably because you were in “Advanced” mode in K3 Utility. In this case, check the “FPF” and “Always load data tables” boxes and try the load again.  

 


 

K3 Utilities and Drivers for Windows, Mac and Linux

Use this software to load the latest firmware into your K3.

See below for K3Utility

 

Elecraft KUSB Serial to USB Cable

Elecraft offers the KUSB serial-to-USB cable for USB only computers etc.   Our cable was originally provided using a Prolific chip set but since approximately July of 2010 we have been shipping KUSB cables which use the FTDI chip set.

Before plugging in either of these cables to any of your computer's USB ports, you will need to have installed the correct drivers for your computer's operating system.   Drivers are available for most Windows, Mac, and Linux OS's.  Note that latest Windows 7 operating system already has the proper drivers included for the FTDI chip set and will automatically install them if you just plug the FTDI cable into a USB port.


Although both of these cables shipped with a mini CD, the drivers on this mini CD are not up to date.  Please follow the links below for the latest versions of the drivers.  Be sure to select the correct Operating System version.

Connecting the K3 to a Computer

The K3 uses a standard RS232 port implemented via a female DB9 for interfacing to external devices and programs.

If your computer has a standard serial port, all you will need is a straight through serial cable with a male DB9 on one end and the proper connector (usually a female DB9 or DB25) on the other end to plug into your computer's serial port and you are all set.

Most modern computers no longer have serial ports but instead use USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports for connecting to external devices. Elecraft provides the KUSB - USB to Serial adapter to connect the K3 to these computers. See above for the KUSB Drivers

 


 

K3 Utility:

After completing a new software download to your K3, please power cycle the K3 OFF and then back ON before using it.

  • K3 Utility (Windows Version 1.13.5.9)  May 9, 2013

    • Note: This K3 Utility version can be used to load K3 MCU versions 1.32 and above to your K3.

    • Download and run the file from the above link.

    • Use this utility to check for the latest releases of new features for your K3.

    • Requires either a RS-232 cable or KUSB Serial-USB Cable to download from your PC to the K3.

  • K3 Utility (MAC OS X Version 1.14.4.22)  April 22, 2014

    • Note: This K3 Utility version can be used to load K3 MCU versions 1.32 and above to your K3.

    • This K3 Utility version is REQUIRED to load K3 MCU versions 1.79 and above to your K3.

    • Files are in universal binary in .zip file.

    • Use this utility to check for the latest releases of new features for your K3.

    • Requires either a RS-232 cable or KUSB Serial-USB Cable to download from your Mac to the K3.

  • K3 Utility (Linux .tgz Version 1.14.4.11)  April 11, 2014

    • Note: This K3 Utility version can be used to load K3 MCU versions 1.32 and above to your K3.

    • This K3 Utility version is REQUIRED to load K3 MCU versions 1.79 and above to your K3.

    • Files are in TAR archive (gzip-compressed) format.

    • Use this utility to check for the latest releases of new features for your K3.

    • Requires either a RS-232 cable or KUSB Serial-USB Cable to download from your computer to the K3.

  • For K3 Logging and Control Software, Click here for our K3 (& K2) Software Page.

  • K3 Firmware FTP page  (Just for direct viewing of the current K3 firmware files.)