Tuesday, August 21, 2012

KX3 distorted audio problem

KX3 #110 has had a problem ever since I received it. The audio through the speaker has always sounded badly distorted and buzzed at anything above a very low volume. Judging by comments in the KX3 Yahoo group this was not an uncommon problem. A couple of solutions were proposed, including removing the cloth between the speaker and its grille. As I could get perfect audio on headphones I decided to wait until the definitive solution was published and until I plucked up sufficient courage to take a screwdriver to the radio.
KX3 #110 awaits a replacement speaker

I opened the case and poked around with a finger to see if I could find what was vibrating. The buzzing was definitely coming from the speaker area so I concluded that the problem was the speaker cone vibrating against the grille cloth. I posted a message on the KX3 Yahoo group to see if I could determine the chances of a successful cure if I removed it. The replies suggested that the prospects were good. I also received an email from KX3 Support offering me a replacement speaker. Excellent customer service!

This morning I was feeling brave so I opened up the case and tried to remove the speaker. I took out the 4 screws but the clearances around the speaker are so tight it looked as if I might have to take the KX3 to pieces to remove it. With a bit more jiggling it came free (phew!) so I partially reassembled the two halves with the speaker poking out the front of the radio. I applied power and attached an antenna and various howling and squawking noises emerged from the speaker.

So the culprit really was the speaker! Perhaps it had been damaged during assembly (not by me, as this was an assembled radio.) I told KX3 Support that I would have to take up their offer of a replacement speaker. The KX3 will remain in two halves until I receive and install it.


VE9KK said...

Good evening Julian, take to the headphones for now. Funny thing I use the headphones 100% percent of the time. I find I am able to hear more with CW. My KX3 is no order and hopefully all the bugs will be worked out before it is shipped.....and as they say "dreams are free"

Unknown said...

I prefer headphones for serious operation but if I'm just tuning around casually or have someone with me I like to use a loudspeaker.

Roger G3XBM said...

Still deciding whether or not to invest in a KX3.

M0AFJ said...

Hi Julian, I'm also the proud owner of a KX-3, my speaker only distorts when the volume is high, i tried removing the speaker cloth with no apparent difference. I really think its just a case of trying to get more squeezed into a small box!.
Its certainly a great rig with an amazing receiver.

g4fre said...

As per the KX3 build instructions i removed the speaker gauze but the shiny speaker looked awful against the black case. Then Elecraft decided the gauze was not the problem and should be fitted. So I got the upgrade kit from them, refitted it, and as instructed ensured separation of the case halves and all sounds well and it looks fine. It does not have the features of the K3 but us sure easier to carry across the atlantic!