Here's a question for all you lucky K3 owners. Given my financial situation right now - a daughter in high school, needs braces, two cars that need to be replaced soon, she'll need a car next year, a deck on the house that's about to fall down from rot, a yard that becomes a mudslide whenever it rains, and so on, my wife would pack up and hit the road if she heard me mention buying a new radio. Furthermore, she'd probably hit me over the head 4 or 5 times with a frying pan before slamming the door.
And I'd deserve it. That'd be irresponsible and us hams NEVER do anything irresponsible, right? OK, I'm exaggerating a little, I'm not in dire financial straits. If I was, I wouldn't even be concocting this hair-brained plan. Nevertheless, running out and buying a K3 is out of the question.
Or is it?
I've got two main radios that I currently use. I'm not set up as SO2R, but I can switch between the two rigs in seconds. One is an Elecraft K2 with about every option for HF they offer - 100 watt amp, 100 watt antenna tuner, SSB, Noise Blanker, 160m option, DSP, etc. I have the QRP top and tuner too. I've also got a Yaesu FT-1000MP with the TXCO option, 250 Hz Inrad CW filter, and it is in immaculate shape - not a scratch and works flawlessly. I've also got a Yaesu FT-857D that's been used about 100 hours, 500 Hz CW filter, pretty much like new. An impulse purchase when I had great aspirations of operating remotely. Never happened and isn't going to, at least not in the near future.
You know where I'm headed.
What if I sold all three of those radios, combined the take and put it towards a K3? The way I figure it, I just might have enough to get the K3 in kit...er..."assembly" form, with the 100 watt option, antenna tuner, and the second receiver. If not, I think I'd be pretty darn close. Close enough that I might just have to weather a lump or two on the head. An even Steven trade, in other words.
Now, for you K3 owners, some of you I know have moved up from K2's and 1000MP's (and other fine radios)...would it be worth it? Am I really going to be moving up enough to justify parting with both of those fine radios, or am really splitting hairs? If you've not followed my blog, I'm about 95% CW, 4% SSB, and 1% digital. I don't anticipate that changing either. I do some light contesting but my primary focus is CW DXing. Is the performance gain in "real world" usage going to justify that type of consideration? I don't need to know numbers and specs, I've read them, compared them, and I probably wouldn't understand them anymore than I already do. But I understand enough to know that the K3 blends a lot of features from both of those radios together and provides what I've perceived to be significant improvement at the same time. I'm sure that could apply to other combinations of radios too. Am I wrong about those real world gains?
So, I guess rather than a pro's and con's, if YOU had to do it over, or you were in my shoes (and it wouldn't impact your family's well-being and no knots on your head from frying pans), would you go for it?