K3/K3S 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/K3S Firmware Revisions

MCU 5.57 / DSP 2.88 / FPF 1.26, 2-16-2017

See K3/K3S Beta Firmware Instruction for information on obtaining beta releases.
Beta releases are not automatically recognized by the K3/K3S Utility.
 

  • FASTER RESPONSE TO HIGH REFLECTED POWER. The transceiver will now reduce drive more quickly when transient conditions cause excessive reflected power. This roll-back response does not change the set power level (PWR knob); instead, it reduces the drive to get below the reflected power limit. This means that once a better match is restored (such as when using an antenna tuner), the set power level will automatically be restored.

 


Current K3/K3S Firmware Revisions K3/K3S Firmware Revisions

MCU 5.56 / DSP 2.88, 2-17-2017

  • Latest Production Release -- applies to both K3 and K3S
  • Automatically recognized by K3 Utility (beta releases are not)
  • See K3 Firmware Release Notes for complete revision history
  • See  K-Line Firmware FAQ to setup VFO Tracking from K3 to KAT500

IMPORTANT LOAD INSTRUCTIONS BY FIRMWARE REVISION: 

  • MCU 5.10 (or later): Re-do the 50-Watt gain calibration step on all bands one time. Once this has been done, there is no need to do it again when loading releases above 5.10.
  • MCU 4.67 (or later): Must be loaded with  K3 Utility, Version 1.13.5.9 or later
  • MCU 4.36 (or later): Required for use of KPAK3AUX cable (K3 to KPA500)

     

RELEASE NOTES: 

  • SCANNING WORKS WITH FREQUENCIES BELOW 1.0 MHz. Previously, scanning would stall in this case.
  • REDUCED K-POD MACRO FLASH TIME: If text decode is enabled, then the length of time that K-Pod macro names are flashed is greatly reduced. This reduces the obstruction of text shown on VFO B.
  • DT, FR, and FT HOST COMMANDS DISALLOWED IN TX MODE: Previously, these commands could be sent to the K3 during transmit from some software applications. This could cause side effects such as muting of transmit audio in DATA modes.
  • KPOD WORKS IN REMOTE-RIG TERMINAL MODE: The K-Pod will now function correctly with a K3 or K3/0-mini being used as a remote-rig terminal. Basic functions of the K-Pod can be used, including switch tap / hold and VFO A/B/offset control. LEDs and AUX outputs of the terminal K-Pod are not yet supported. Note: At present, when switches on the terminal K-Pod are used, they will execute macros stored at the remote K3. This will be apparent when macro names are flashed on VFO B.
  • FLASH MEMORY INTERFACE UPDATED: Improved robustness of read/verify operations between the MCU and flash IC.
  • POWER-ON CHECK OF ADC REF MENU PARAMTER: If the value of CONFIG:ADC REF is out of range, it is reset to 5.00 V to ensure useful accuracy of voltage and current displays, etc.
  • VFO B TUNE VIA K-POD OVERRIDES K3 ALTERNATE DISPLAYS: If you use the VFO B tuning function of the K-Pod while the K3 has an alternate display showing (via the DISP switch), the VFO B frequency will be displayed instead, as long as you keep tuning it. This is especially useful for operators who keep a VFO B alternate display showing at all times, such as RIT/XIT offset, time, date, supply voltage, etc.
  • K-POD LED AND AUX OUTPUT CONTROL: K-Pod LEDs and AUX outputs can now be controlled directly from K3 macros using the KPLEDnON|OFF and KPOUTnON|OFF commands. See examples in latest K-Pod owner's manual.
  • TX MONITOR to LINE OUT: Transmit monitor audio (voice or sidetone) is now available at LINE OUT. At present the level is fixed. A future release will allow adjustment.

 

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:

 

Minimum Operating System Requirements for Elecraft Utilities:

Microsoft Windows: XP Service Pack 3 or later, including Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 and 10.

Apple Mac: OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later

X86-based Linux: GTK+ 2.8 or later, glibc-2.4, libstdc++.so.6 and cURL. 64-bit Linux requires 32-bit compatibility libraries.

 

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 1.16.7.25)  July 25, 2016

    • 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 1.16.6.25)  June 25, 2016

    • 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 1.16.6.25)  June 25, 2016

    • 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.)