KX3 VFO Encoder FAQ
What has Elecraft changed?
Elecraft incorporated a new design of encoder using optical technology rather
than magnetic technology of the original design. The original VFO A encoder
also used a sleeve bearing, which added some drag on the shaft that some
noticed. When the change was made, ball bearings were added to the optical
encoder to lower the friction of the shaft.
What serial number range is affected?
KX3s prior to serial number 3800 are candidates for the upgraded VFO
encoder. Since Elecraft sells both kit and factory-built versions of the KX3,
the exact switchover point varies. It is best to inspect your KX3 to determine
if yours is a candidate.
How can I determine if I have the original VFO encoder?
Open the KX3 and examine the circuit board on the side with all of the
controls. The encoder will be directly under the VFO A knob and directly behind
the magnet of the small speaker.
Now, examine the encoder itself. Comparing it to the picture, if you see the
small metal shield in this picture, your KX3 has the original encoder. This
shield isolates the magnetic encoder from the effects of the speaker's magnet
adjacent to it. Here is what you are looking for.
Can I change the encoder myself?
Yes, you can. The modular design of the KX3 will allow you to replace the
encoder yourself. You will need to follow the instructions in the KX3 Assembly
Manual in a reverse order. It involves the removal of the VFO A knob, its
locking nut underneath the knob and then removal of the encoder assembly. You
then reverse the steps to install the new encoder. Adjust the VFO A knob's
tension and you're done.
How much is the encoder and how do I order it?
The enhanced encoder is $64.95 plus shipping. Please order kit number:
Here's where to find the order page