Friday, November 8, 2013

Recording QSO Audio on the K-3

An optional accessory for the Elecraft K-3 is the KDVR-3 Digital Voice Recorder.  The main purpose of this device is to record your voice and then play it back by pushing a button - a Voice Keyer.  However, it also has a feature where you can push a button (hold AF REC)and record the incoming rig audio.  Hold AF REC again to stop recording.  Push another button (hold AF PLAY) and it will play back that audio.  Hold AF PLAY again to stop the playback.  When in the playback mode, you can rotate the B VFO knob to select where in the 90 seconds you want to listen.  A "*" indicates you are in the most recent recording segment.

The recording can be up to 90 seconds in length and when it completes 90 seconds it just starts recording over what it previously recorded - a 90 second loop of the received audio.  Turn it on when you are about to call that rare DX and then turn it off after your QSO.  You can then easily play it back and see if he really did get your call correct.  You can also export the audio to your computer for archiving purposes (or to email to your buddies to brag about how well you copied the DX!)

Below is a link to an audio file (which I created using the KDVR-3) of my 80-M QSO with K9W on 8-Nov-2013 at 0800 GMT.  I recorded this because I was using a 160-M Inverted-L with a single elevated radial as my 80-M transmit/receive antenna.

Click HERE to listen to the audio.  Then use your BACK button to return to this page.

The trick to getting the audio out of the K-3 and into the computer is that you need to access the CONFIG : LIN OUT menu.  When you first access that menu it will probably read "nor 010" or something like that.  With that menu showing, you need to tap the "1" key.  The menu will now show "=PHONES" and that means the K-3 will feed the same audio that goes to the headphones to the LINE OUT jack on the back of the K-3.  This needs to be connected to your computer's LINE IN jack.  After you have exported the K-3 recorded audio to the computer, access the CONFIG : LIN OUT menu again and tap the "1" key to remove the "=PHONES" feature.  This puts the audio to your computer back to the normal level for PSK or other digital operation.

I use the program Audacity (which is a FREE program you can download from the Internet) to process and save my audio files.  Just "Google" the word "Audacity" for more info.  I run Audacity, start the Playback on the K-3, press the RECORD button in Audacity and then the STOP button when I reach the end of what I want to record.  I can now trim the audio as necessary and perform other operations on the audio file to make it more legible before saving it.

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