P3 High-Performance Panadapter Software

The software provided for download on this page is provided as a free service to our customers and is provided as-is without warranty. 

Your K3 must be running this level of firmware or higher: MCU 4.25 / DSP 2.71 / FPF 1.14. 

See the bottom of this page to get the latest P3 Firmware Download Utilities.

For the latest .pdf copies of the P3 and P3-SVGA Owner's Manuals, click here.

To read about all changes between released versions of the firmware, click here.


P3 Beta Firmware


Browse P3 Beta Firmware FTP Folder

See P3 Beta Firmware Instruction for information on obtaining beta releases.
Beta releases are not automatically recognized by the P3 Utility.

P3 Firmware Revisions

MCU 1.60 / SVGA 1.34 / March 21, 2016

Latest Regular Production Release


Requires K3 firmware version 4.25 or later.

Recommended to use P3 Utility or later.

Version 01.60 requires SVGA firmware 01.34 to support all SVGA features.

This release will automatically be recognized by P3 Utility.

  • P3 commands in keyboard macros: Added support to allow P3 commands to be embedded in SVGA keyboard macros. When entering a keyboard macro using a USB keyboard attached to the P3/SVGA, P3 commands can now be intermixed with K3 commands by preceding the with the ‘#’ character. Example: set up a macro to set the K3 to PSK31, frequency 14.070, P3 span of 100 kHz, fixed tune enabled: FA00014070000;MD6;DT3;#SPN001000;#FXT1;
  • SVGA keyboard macros as function keys: The first 8 SVGA keyboard macros can now be executed from the 8 front panel function keys. First, using a keyboard, program the macro and make sure to save it into one of the first 8 locations (mem 1 – 8). Then on the P3, press the MENU button and using the encoder, select the SVGA menu and press the encoder to enter. Then using the encoder, choose “Macro 1” through “Macro 8”, then press the function key (short tap or long hold) to map the macro to the function key.
  • Enable/disable TX sensing at the TxMon coupler: Added TxSensEn to TxMon sub-menu. This allows enabling/disabling of transmit sensing at the coupler. For K3 and K3S users, TxSensEn can be set to “disabled”, which will use the serial connection from the K3 to determine the TX state. Setting TxSensEn to “enabled” will use forward power sensed at the TxMon coupler to determine TX state (useful for non-Elecraft radios).
  • K3S attenuator support: The P3 now properly scales the display when the four-step attenuator in the K3S is enabled.
  • SWR meter blanked: Both the analog and digital SWR displays are now blanked whenever the transmit power is too low to give a valid reading.
  • New #RCF command: “Relative Center Frequency” applies an offset to the center frequency based on the passed argument. Usage: #RCFsnnnnnn; Where: ‘s’ is the sign + or -, nnnnnn is the offset in Hz. For example, if the P3 is set to a 30 kHz span and you would like to position the cursor on the left edge: #RCF+015000; Using #RCF without any arguments returns the difference in Hz between the center frequency and the vfo frequency.
  • Serial #DSM command: The Display Mode (#DSM) command now controls the Transmit Monitor's power/SWR meter display as well as enabling and disabling the waterfall window. #DSM0 = Spectrum display only, #DSM1 = Spectrum + waterfall, #DSM2 = Spectrum + meters, #DSM3 = Spectrum + waterfall + meters.
  • New #FON command: The display font can now be selected via a serial command. #FON0 = 5 x 7 pixels, #FON1 = 7 x 11 pixels, #FON2 = 9 x 14 pixels.
  • New #XCV command: The transceiver type can now be selected via a serial command. #XCV00 = "K3", #XCV01 = User-defined, #XCV03 = 455 kHz IF, etc. The command uses the same number order as in the "Xcvr Sel" menu item.
  • Transceiver definition bug fix - Exiting: When exiting the "Xcvr Def" menu page, if the user-defined transceiver is already selected, it will reflect the new values inmmediately, rather than having to re-select it.
  • Transceiver definition bug fix - IF Invert: The USER transceiver that is defined in the "Xcvr Def" menu item may now specify "Not inverted" IF tuning even if the "K3" control language is selected.
  • SVGA resolution / main waterfall bug fix: The main waterfall height had been switching to the default value after changing SVGA resolution.
  • VFO B cursor = VFO DATA A bug: The VFO B cursor had been matching the VFO A cursor in DATA A mode, even when VFO B was in a different mode.
  • Bitmap Upload bug: Fixes a bug in which the waterfall area was omitted from a bitmap capture when the TXMON meters were visible.

 MCU 1.54 / Aug 19, 2015

Prior Production Release

  • Added new transmit monitor maximum power meter scales of 160W and 1600W.

  • When the P3 with transmit monitor is connected to a K3, the P3 goes into transmit mode only when commanded by the K3 and not when RF power is detected. This prevents false triggering when RF power is present from another transmitter using a nearby antenna.

  • Noise blanker settings are sent immediately to the SVGA upon band changes.

  •  Noise blanker settings are saved in non-volatile memory when set via RS-232 commands.

  •  Reference level labels are properly rounded.

  •  The SVGA WfEn "Track main" mode name was changed to "Same as main". This mode now initializes properly upon power-up and menu items to adjust the SVGA waterfall values are inhibited when in this mode.

  •  The SVGA waterfall height is limited to avoid interfering with the NB icon when adjusted via the main waterfall menu item while in "Same as main" mode.

  • On the main display, menu labels are prevented from impinging on the waterfall area if the transmit monitor meters are enabled, the function key labels are enabled, and the waterfall size is set too high.

  • Prevents the possibility that FN1 could get re-defined during a firmware update.

  • Eliminates extraneous text on the display when activating certain menu functions when the TX monitor coupler is not present or the SVGA waterfall is set to "Same as main".

  • When no K3 is present, the transmit monitor uses a higher trigger level with the VHF coupler to sense when to go to transmit mode, in order to prevent false triggering.

 MCU 1.20 / September 14, 2012

Prior Production Release

  • Supports SVGA data mode, including new SVGA menu entries:  "SVGA data" on/off, "SVGA fntD" (data display font), "SVGA WinR" (receive window size), and "SVGA WinT" (transmit window size).

  • Allows upgrading SVGA firmware with SVGA data mode enabled.

  • The center frequency and span are saved in EEPROM when in "0 Hz" mode.

  • Eliminates possible invalid values for SVGA data font and window size when upgrading firmware.

 MCU 1.16 /  April 27, 2012

Prior Production Release

  • Faster P3 Utility response when no SVGA board is installed.

  • Added the menu selection, "MENU : SVGA menu : SVGA FW" to display the revision numbers of SVGA firmware and FPGA images.

  • Disabling the SVGA now blanks the external display.

  • The external display waterfall color bias is initialized properly at power-up.

  • The AVERAGE and MKRA/B parameter adjustment text on the external display is removed when the adjustment is exited on the P3.

  • The "VFB" RS-232 command now works with the SVGA display.

  • MKR A and MKR B adjustment text on the external display is still on after changing SVGA resolution and after the un-QSY function.

  • The waterfall height adjustment on the external display is terminated when pressing a toggle key on the P3.

  • The display frequency is correct when K3 RIT is on after switching from tracking to fixed-tune mode.

  • Fixed an intermittent bug in the "#QSY" RS-232 command.

  • VFO B cursor displays correctly when VFO B is on a different band.

  • The auto-baud of the K3 RS-232 port works again.  (It broke in version 1.06.)

MCU 1.13 /  March 22, 2012

Prior Production Release

  • Removed 57,600 and 115,200 baud from the RS-232 menu.

  • Added "SVGA font" menu selection to change font size on external display.
    (Requires upcoming new release of P3SVGA firmware)

  • Added "SVGA bias" menu selection to adjust waterfall color bias on external display.
    (Requires upcoming new release of P3SVGA firmware)

  • Monochrome waterfall option now works on external SVGA display also.
    (Requires upcoming new release of P3SVGA firmware)

  • Waterfall averaging on external SVGA display is correct after a power cycle.

  • Span for fixed-tune mode is now set properly upon parameter initialization.

  • Fixed parameter initialization bug that could cause P3 to lock up after band change or parameter initialization.

    There is a known issue in this release with Averaging Control adjustment and the SVGA board: 
    When exiting Averaging Control on the P3, the encoder must be used instead of a short tap of the Display/Average key, otherwise the adjustment text will remain on the external display. 


MCU 1.12 /  March 14, 2012

Prior Production Release

  • Fixed bug that sometimes caused high noise levels on the external display upon span changes in tracking mode.

  • Fixed bug that caused reference level to fail to be recalled from flash memory when changing bands in fixed-tune mode.

MCU 1.11 /  March 9, 2012

Prior Production Release

  • Added support for the SVGA option module, including new MENU sub-menu.

  • Added RS-232 commands #RST, #RVF and #RVS. 

  • Added "Reset" menu entry.

  • Added 57,600 and 115,200 baud to the RS-232 menu. 

  • Added monochrome waterfall option via MENU:Wfall Clr.

  • The screen display for the waterfall height adjustment is smoother.

  • Inhibits intermittent display of transmit leakage in CW mode.

  • When the K3 sub and main receivers are sharing an antenna, the 3 dB loss in the antenna splitter is compensated on the P3 display.

  • Negative frequencies display correctly in non-K3 mode.

  • LCD test mode is terminated by any key press.

  • The numeric frequency display is now correct when RIT is on.

MCU 1.09 /  July 22,  2011

Prior Production Release

Requires K3 firmware version 4.25 or later.



  • Added optional vertical bar-shaped VFO A and VFO B cursors.  

    MENU:Cursor switches between the old U-shaped and new bar-shaped cursor types.

  • The K3 TX frequency is now indicated by a red cursor whenever RIT, XIT and/or SPLIT are selected on the K3.

  • Changed VFO A cursor color to green.

  • Cursor off-screen arrows are enabled when the inside edge of the cursor disappears.

  • Re-tuning in fixed-tune mode when VFO A is tuned off-screen is now based on the center of the passband, rather than the carrier frequency

  • Changed format of MKR A and MKR B frequency readout to match main display. 

  • MKR A zero and MKR B zero now automatically enable the respective marker.

  • Tap-to-QSY works correctly on microwave transverter bands.

  • Frequency tic marks are more accurate on microwave transverter bands.

  • Increased display time for toggle parameters to 2 seconds.


P3 SVGA Card F/W Revisions

P3SVGA 01.34 / March 21, 2016

  • Center Frequency in Tracking mode: Fixed an old bug that caused the VFO A cursor to reset to center of screen when VFO A was tuned after the user had adjusted the center frequency offset using the CENTER function in tracking mode.
  • SVGA Keyboard:
    Added support to allow P3 commands to be embedded in SVGA keyboard macros.
    Added support so P3 can execute keyboard macros from front panel function keys.
    Keyboard / USB thumbdrive can be used when not in data display mode.
    Cleaned up the text message sending, and use of the IM character ‘|’ for better handling of short text messages.
  • Scratchpad: Removed “replay buffer” and replaced it with a scratchpad memory. To use the Scratchpad memory, press the Insert key. A one line window will pop up and allow text to be entered. Press Enter, Esc or Insert to exit the scratchpad. Scratchpad text can be sent by pressing Ctrl-Insert, or embedded in a text message using \s . You can also exit the scratchpad by pressing a predefined text message key. This is handy for inserting a call sign into a preformatted message.
    Example: create a text message that contains: “\s de wa6hhq ur 5nn k” and assign it to the F5 key. Now to quickly respond to a calling station, press Insert, then enter the call sign of the station, for example N6KR and then press F5. The call sign entered in the scratchpad will be entered into the message and transmitted.
    Message counter adjustable field width: Message counter now takes an optional precision value that controls how many digits are converted. The existing operation of \c in a text message would print the message counter using all 5 digits. Now \c can be followed by a number from 1 to 9 which sets the minimum number of digits displayed. For example, if the current contents of the message counter is 27, \c2 would display 27, while \c4 would display 0027.
  • Multiple \c in a text message does not increment the counter: In the past each time the \c was used, the message counter would increment. This has been fixed so that the message counter only increments after the message is completed.

P3SVGA 01.25 / August 19, 2015

  • Added Noise Blanker.

  • Developed a faster method of detecting K3 transmit/receive state changes.

  • Added data terminal ‘send on space’ to the available data TX modes.

  • Added replay of keyboard input using Ctrl-Alt-R. Ctrl-C will clear replay buffer.

  • Added ‘\r’ to embed a CR in text message. Use ‘\\’ to send a single ‘\’.

  • Added ‘\c’ to embed an incrementing serial counter in a text message. Clearing/presetting counter may be done in the setup screen (Ctrl-Alt-S).

  • Text messages sent in data terminal mode now respect the mode setting (VOX, CR, ^T).

  • Fixed a bug in data terminal mode that was causing the time-out to not reset correctly.

  • Fixed a bug in data terminal mode that was causing non-existent characters to be retrieved and sent. Also fixes a bug of missing characters.

  • Fixed a problem that caused some SVGA boards to not initialize correctly from P3 commands at boot.

  • Added waterfall cursors, these display exactly as they do on the P3


P3SVGA 01.16 / February 27, 2013

  • Red transmit cursor is a lighter shade.

  • Added additional query of K3 during TX which should eliminate screen freeze some users were experiencing using MicroHam and other programs.

  • Power computation routines now run under the optimizer resulting in faster screen updates.

  • Two 1900x1080 resolutions are supported to work across a larger number of monitors.

  • Added support for USB thumb drives (Mass Storage Devices) for screen shots and saving SVGA data terminal setup, macros and text messages.  Most thumb drives are supported. 

  • Screen shots are saved in .bmp format using the filename convention nnnnnnn.bmp .  The filename is incremented after every screen. Due to lack of a real time clock, the file date & time is hard coded to 11-01-2010 9:00 am .

  • Saving to the USB stick can be aborted by either pulling the stick, or by pressing the MENU key on the P3.   

  • Added display of an onscreen message when a USB device (keyboard or MSD) is attached and detached.

  • An uppercase M or K is now displayed in the lower right side of the data window status bar when a mass storage device or keyboard is attached.

  • Fixed frequency display bug when transverter frequency is > 4 GHz

  • Fixed bug in which top of markers & cursors were blanked over right and left frequency labels.

  • Waterfall display no longer clears when changing between fixed tune and tracking modes.

  • Fixed a bug that caused the VFO B cursor to suddenly vanish off the left side of the screen.

  • Rebuilt all FPGA files using a new file format, and set their versions to 1.04.

  • Fixed a bug that caused a phantom signal to appear near the center frequency immediately after switching from transmit to receive.

  • Fixed screen save to USB drive to use monochrome color table when selected.

P3SVGA 01.10 / September 28, 2012

  • Data display mode added for external monitor.

  • USB PC keyboard support added.

  • Video resolutions 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1920x1080 now use a PLL generated clock making them more compatible with a wider variety of monitors.

  • Fixed span adjustment so that it now shows correct 500 Hz steps when span is below 10 KHz.

  • The second LED on the SVGA board now lights when a keyboard is attached and is off when keyboard is removed.

  • Cleaned up font 2, letters and numbers are clearer.

  • Fixed bug in which strong or scaled up signals would show inverted.

P3SVGA 01.04 / April 20, 2012

  • Added U-shaped bracket style cursors. 

  • Added 4 optional fonts which can be selected within the P3 SVGA menu. 

  • Numerous screen bug-lets fixed such as thicker separation line between waterfall and spectrum, removed dark space on right of waterfall, removed hanging marker frequency lines, disappearing marker highlight when filter width was narrow, window formatting etc.

  • Added monochrome waterfall color table. 

  • Spectrum trace no longer resets (sags) when VFO A or B is tuned in fixed tune mode.

  • Added waterfall color bias, available in P3 SVGA menu.

  • Top and bottom tick marks now move when tuning VFO A in tracking mode. 

  • Spectrum/Waterfall screen update speed increased slightly. 

  • Vertical white line center frequency added when in tracking mode. 

  • Transmit cursor now displays ‘under’ VFO A cursor. 

  • Tace averaging now resets using un-averaged data instead of zero. 

  • Fixed RIT bug where RIT was not being displayed correctly. 

  • Fixed I/Q sync bug that caused high noise to display on spectrum when span changed.

  • Fixed jumping 200 Hz VFO A/B cursors in fixed tune mode.

P3SVGA 01.02 / March 12, 2012

  • Fixes a minor system problem in the initial 1.01 release.


P3SVGA 01.01 / March 8, 2012

  • Initial firmware release for P3SVGA external video accessory board. 


P3 Utility for Windows

Use this software to load the latest firmware into your P3.


Minimum Operating System Requirements for Elecraft Utilities:

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

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.


P3 Utility:

  • P3 Utility (Windows Version March, 2016

    • Note: This P3 Utility version can be used to load P3 Firmware versions 0.27 and above to your P3.

    • Download the file from the above link, and then run the P3_Utility_Setup(version).exe to install the latest P3 firmware downloader to your PC.

    • After you have installed the program and run it the first time, look under the "Firmware" tab for a section called "Check for New Files". Click on the box labeled "Copy new files from Elecraft into local folder" and the P3 Utility program will automatically download the latest firmware from Elecraft's ftp site for you!

    • Also use this utility to check for the latest releases of new features for your P3!

    • Requires a serial cable like our "SERKIT" cable (and a KUSB USB-Serial Cable if your PC has only USB ports) to download from your PC to the P3.

  • P3 Utility (MAC OS X Version  March, 2016

    • Note: This P3 Utility version can be used to load P3 Firmware versions 0.27 and above to your P3.

    • Files are in universal binary in .zip file.

    • Use this utility to check for the latest releases of new features for your P3.

    • Requires either a RS-232 cable or KUSB USB-Serial Cable to download from your Mac to the P3.

  • P3 Utility (Linux .tgz Version  March, 2016

    • Note: This P3 Utility version can be used to load P3 Firmware versions 0.27 and above to your P3.

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

    • Use this utility to check for the latest releases of new features for your P3.

    • Requires either a RS-232 cable or KUSB USB-Serial Cable to download from your computer to the P3.