Home P3 High Performance Panadapter Firmware and Utility

P3 High Performance Panadapter Firmware and Utility

Current Production Firmware :  

MCU 1.60 / SVGA 1.34 / March 21, 2016


 All P3 panadapters ordered today will have Production Firmware loaded as they come out of the box.  Monitor the Elecraft Email Reflector where announcements are made when new releases become available.  

Elecraft delivers new features in firmware.  As a result, you should consider the Release Notes as an extension of the Owners Manual.  Documentation for the new features will be found there and will not appear in the Owner’s Manual until the next major manual revision is released.

Current Production P3 Firmware Release Notes

  • 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 immediately, 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.
  • See P3 Firmware Release Notes for complete revision history
  • Download the latest P3 Firmware.

Important - Please read before installing the latest Production Firmware

  • This P3 firmware requires K3K3S firmware version 4.25 or later to operate.
  • It must be loaded with P3 Utility version or later
  • P3 firmware Version 01.60 requires SVGA firmware 01.34 to support all SVGA features.

Production Firmware Installation Instructions are found in the Utility

  • All Production Firmware is loaded with the P3 Utility.  It will take care of the download and installing Production Firmware
  • Before loading Production Firmware, please ensure you have installed the latest version of the P3 Utility.
  • See the Help → Getting Started pull-down menu in the P3 Utility for the steps to install firmware in your P3.


 Download and Install the P3 Utility for your Operating System

Follow the links below to download and install the latest version of the Utility for your Operating System.

Minimum Operating System Requirements for Elecraft Utilities

Microsoft Windows: XP Service Pack 3 or later, including Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 and 10.

Apple Mac: OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later.


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.


P3 Utility (MAC OSX 64bit Version  September 13, 2019

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

X86 Linux

P3 Utility (Linux 64bit Version  September 13, 2019

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.


The following libraries and dependencies should be installed on your Linux distro:

GTK+ 2.8 or later, glibc-2.4, libstdc++.so.6 and cURL. 64-bit Linux requires 32-bit compatibility libraries.

Installing the FTDI driver

Follow this link to the FTDI Site for drivers:  http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

Depending on the Operating System you have, the driver needed for the Utility to communicate with the P3 will need to be loaded.

All Elecraft products in production use the FTDI chipset for this function.  The FTDI driver allows your computer to create a virtual COM port so that the Utility can communicate with the Elecraft product.

For the P3, if your KUSB cable has a silver sheath on the wire, it is no longer supported.  Elecraft recommends that a KUSB cable be purchased for full support.



P3 Beta Firmware Installation and Release Notes

P3 Beta Firmware Release Notes

None right now!

Beta Test Firmware Installation Procedures

NOTE: Beta test firmware may have new issues that we haven't caught during field testing. Please report them to support@elecraft.com.

A little more detail

We make it a little harder to load Beta firmware mainly because we want you to be sure you want to do this.  Beta firmware means that, while the P3 engineering team has fully tested the firmware, it has not yet been deemed ready for Production status.   You can always return to the last firmware you have downloaded by following the steps in the P3 Utility’s Help section.

To Load Beta Firmware, follow the steps below:

1. Create a new folder for the beta firmware on your Desktop or some other easily found location. Use the a different folder than the default folder found in the Firmware tab of the Utility.  In this way, you can revert to the last Production firmware easily.

2. Now, we will download the firmware in Zip file format.  In a web browser, type in this URL:


If you do not see the correct version of the zip file, press the RELOAD / REFRESH button on your browser to update your browser cache.


3. Right-click on the .zip file containing the beta firmware (e.g. k3fwXrYZ.zip for revision MCU X.YZ and all associated files). Save the file to your beta folder you just created.

4. Unzip the files into the beta folder.

5. Enter the path to the beta folder in P3 Utility →  Firmware tab → "Local folder for firmware files".

6. After you have made the change in Step 5, make sure you *DO NOT* check the P3 Utility box titled "Copy new files from Elecraft server".  This will overwrite the Beta firmware if clicked.

7. Connect the P3 to your computer and be sure it is turned on.  Select the Firmware tab and Click on "Check versions now" button.

8. Review the release notes. To find them, select the "Help" pull-down menu.

9. Click "Send all firmware to P3."  This will cause the firmware to be sent to the K3S.  You will see that the P3 appears to restart itself.  Monitor the Activity Log until it is complete.

10. After completing a new software download to your product, please power cycle the P3 OFF and then back ON before using it.

11. Please report any new firmware issues to support@elecraft.com