Elecraft P3 Panadapter

Perfect accessory for any transceiver.

Colour Panadapter.

Yes. This is a nice piece of kit that compliments the K3 and who isn't running a panadapter of some sort, either external or internal with their radio, today? The benefits of having and using one, are simply obvious.

K3 & P3 K3 transceiver and P3 Panadapter.

Another example of P3 Panadapter display.

As quoted from the Elecraft website, the "P3 Panadapter display adds a visual dimension to signal hunting with fast real time spectrum and waterfall displays of band activity. The P3 offers superior sensitivity and DSP processing, giving you the ability to see signals down to the K3's noise floor.

  • Simple 5 minute plug-in integration with the K3 - No PC required for normal operation
  • The P3 looks and feels like it is part of the K3 transceiver
  • Screen may be split to display both spectrum and waterfall displays at the same time 200 kHz maximum    span, 2 kHz minimum span (wider spans planned with future f/w updates)
  • Point and click by pressing the "select" knob to move the K3 VFO to desired signals (Sets VFO A or    VFO B)
  • "Undo" feature to return to the previous frequency (before QSY)
  • On-screen cursors show where the K3's VFO A and VFO B are set, and their RX bandwidth
  • Multi-pass signal averaging mode shows even weaker signals while averaging out the noise
  • Peak detection mode to show total activity on the band
  • Adjustable reference level and amplitude range scaling
  • User calibration of the display to show absolute signal level in dBm
  • Buffered IF output to drive other equipment (CW Skimmer etc.)
  • Transparent operation to external logging and control programs
  • Programmable function keys for both P3 and K3 commands
  • Programmable IF input (455 kHz to 21.7 MHz) for use with many other transceivers (IF output required)
  • Firmware updates with new features downloadable from your PC/Mac.
  • P3 Utility can upload the current P3 sweep screen to a .bmp graphics file on your PC.
  • Dimensions: 4" high x 6.4"wide x 10" deep (matches the K3)"

P3 screen capture

Elecraft provides a free utility for the P3 Panadapter, which can be used for downloading future (free) P3 firmware updates from the Elecraft website. The utility can also be used for downloading screen captures to files on your pc. I've done just that and downloaded some files for you, which can be seen here. This is by no means the full set of screen configurations, rather, a small collection to give you an idea of the capabilities of this fine accessory.

P3 Image download #1

 Screen capture showing cw  signal on 2m, with 2kHz Span.

P3 Image download #2

 2m SSB signal displayed with  26kHz span.

P3 Image download #3

 SSB signal zoomed in (reduced  span) and peak hold enabled.

P3 Utility software

 Here is a screen shot of the P3  software utility.

P3 Image download #4

 Full screen spectrum with Scale  adjustment enabled.

P3 Image download #5

 Full screen spectrum with on-  screen menu enabled.

P3 Image download #6

 Same as #5, with soft key Labels  enabled.

P3 Image download #7

 Same as #6, with Waterfall  enabled.

P3 Image download #8

 Soft key Labels turned off, Span  set to full and Scale changed to  S units.

P3 Image download #9

 On-screen soft key Labels  enabled, extra soft keys  programmed and reference lines  changed.

P3 Image download #10

 Waterfall adjustment option  enabled. Requires knob rotation  to adjust the waterfall display  window height.

P3 Image download #11

 Minimum Span set, Scale  changed to  S units, waterfall and  soft key Labels enabled.

P3 Image download #12

 Full screen spectrum display with  Scale adjust option enabled.

P3 Image download #13

 Full screen spectrum display  alone.

P3 Image download #14

 There is even a colour test  pattern!

Useful Links


VK5FQ website
12/02/14 Start build of new website.


Steph - VK5FQ
Adelaide, South Australia,