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Author Topic: The elecraft dilemna...  (Read 19687 times)
N2DTS
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2017, 07:56:25 PM »

I was looking at various video's of the various small and qrp rigs, and I remember how much fun the K2 was to build and use, I want to build another one.
Basic K2, antenna tuner, and maybe the ssb option just for fun.
Its really a slick package all the way around.

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KB4MNG
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Posts: 267




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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2017, 06:44:32 AM »

Buy the kx2 or kx3. I had a horrible experience with building a elecraft k1. I'm not new to this type of building. put it together and it would not work. The problem definitely did not fall into the bad solder joint-using lead free solder problem. It was a component failure. I had not choice to send it for repair. Even under warranty, it was not covered and I have more money in the thing than I want to admit.
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N2DTS
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2017, 08:12:53 AM »

Gee, I have built a huge pile of their stuff with no issues at all!
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G4AON
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2017, 08:42:15 AM »

Gee, I have built a huge pile of their stuff with no issues at all!

Likewise, I've built a K2 with extra modules and upgraded the crystals in the CW and SSB filters, built a K1, assembled a K3, P3 and KPA500. No issues with any of it not working.

My K2 dates from 2001, the K1 from 2002 and the K3 from 2007, all still going strong.

73 Dave
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N2DTS
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2017, 10:30:18 AM »

The K2 is the most complex kit from Elecraft ever, and with all the accesories, its thousands of parts.
I have built two of them so far with almost all the add ons, along with a couple of K1's, and a Sierra, and never had one extra part, was never short a part, never had a bad part, and never had something not work.

Confession: I never even think about static protection, but never had an issue.
The first K2 I built, I put one turn too many on every toroid, the 1st pass through the core is a turn, who knew?
The radio worked just fine, before and after I removed a turn from EVERY toroid....

I tend to build VERY fast, but, I used to be a quality control inspector of circuit boards a long time ago and have been building all sorts of things since.
My eyesight is going, but I DO want to build one more K2 (and keep it) before they stop making them, and before I will not be able to build one, or its no longer fun to build one.

It has to be the slickest kit ever made, a joy to build and use, and a good buy at the price they sell for, if you like to build.

 
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OZ8AGB
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« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2017, 04:08:58 AM »

Got my license in 2014 and bought a K2 kit a few months after. Also built the SSB, RS-232, internal ATU and DSP kits for it.
My first U.S. QSO was with the K2 running 5W PSK 31 with a homebrew 20m vertical in a tree.
It was my main rig until January last year where I bought an FTdx3000. The K2 still lives and is now my /P rig.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 04:14:38 AM by OZ8AGB » Logged
N2DTS
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2017, 11:25:13 AM »

Don't you find it amazing how well it goes together and works for something that two guys developed?
I think the company was very small when they did the K2 which was the first Elecraft I think, after the Sierra.



Got my license in 2014 and bought a K2 kit a few months after. Also built the SSB, RS-232, internal ATU and DSP kits for it.
My first U.S. QSO was with the K2 running 5W PSK 31 with a homebrew 20m vertical in a tree.
It was my main rig until January last year where I bought an FTdx3000. The K2 still lives and is now my /P rig.


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AC6AN
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« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2017, 11:44:56 AM »

Don't you find it amazing how well it goes together and works for something that two guys developed?
I think the company was very small when they did the K2 which was the first Elecraft I think, after the Sierra.
The Sierra was pre-Elecraft. It started as a Norcal project but the development cycle was much longer than a typical club project and included field tests.
K2 is a much more complicated radio. Just the logistics of including provisions for all future options is daunting. Firmware is quite comprehensive and circuit refinements (high level first mixer, AGC in the LO circuit, etc) are beyond trivial.
Elecraft benefited from Wayne's reputation and had many field testers that bought the early radio. It wasn't an after thought of a product, even the prototype at Pacificon looked well thought out.
I'd say there is a little bit more to the success of the K2 than two guys in their garage...
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4X1KS
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« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2017, 03:48:57 AM »

I still have my K2 sitting right in front of me.  A month ago I worked YB and VK.  Yesterday I worked a few stations with 1 watt.  The K2 is still a great radio.  I run mine off of a battery.  I recommend dusting it off and making some QSO's.  It helps to have a directional antenna with a little gain.

73

Mark 4x1ks
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OZ8AGB
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Posts: 334




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« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2017, 05:22:47 AM »

@N2DTS

Yes impressive work.
Fun to build.
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AI8IA
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Posts: 101




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« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2017, 10:55:20 AM »

Buy the kx2 or kx3. I had a horrible experience with building a elecraft k1. I'm not new to this type of building. put it together and it would not work. The problem definitely did not fall into the bad solder joint-using lead free solder problem. It was a component failure. I had not choice to send it for repair. Even under warranty, it was not covered and I have more money in the thing than I want to admit.

Had a similar issue with my K2. The main MPU was bad. I was really good about the static strap when I built it. They insisted I ruined it, and had to buy a new one.
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N4OI
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« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2017, 03:39:53 PM »

The elecraft dilemma:

So many incredible radios, so little time... (and money)

73  Shocked
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AK4YH
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« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2017, 10:19:28 AM »

Quote
The K2 is the most complex kit from Elecraft ever, and with all the accesories, its thousands of parts.
I have built two of them so far with almost all the add ons, along with a couple of K1's, and a Sierra, and never had one extra part, was never short a part, never had a bad part, and never had something not work.

Same experience here, K2 with SSB and tuner, worked the second I first turned it on. Same with K1. Elecraft customer service is top notch, if needed...

Gil.
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2017, 06:07:41 PM »

I built a K2 a number of years ago while I was living in an apartment with little access to antennas except for a long wire. I had it loaded with all the options - tuner, battery, ssb, audio filter, rs232 board, 160m. With everything it took 50+ hours to build and was a lot of fun to use.

To operate portable.. the K2 was kind of limiting. With the battery it was kind of clunky if you wanted to go hiking on foot to operate. When I changed apartments I eventually picked up a 746 as an everyday radio and the K2 then sat. Eventually I decided I wanted something smaller than the K2 that was much lighter and easy to take with me. It wasn't an easy decision but I decided to sell the K2 that I spent so many hours building.. and I bought a KX1 & all it's trimmings. I've taken this rig out far more than the K2.. so I am happy I built it.

The KX2 and KX3 are great rigs from what I've heard.. but I prefer through-hole soldering kits.
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N2DTS
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Posts: 736




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« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2017, 07:47:07 PM »

Well, I ordered a KX2 so I can hold it in my lap and tune around while my wife watches TV.
Its an all mode radio, so I can tune around the bands and listen to anything.
The K1 and K2 need to sit on a table mostly, sdr's need a computer and laptops get hot when used.
I think I will get another K2 at some point, just to build it, and hold onto it and use it for a cw rig at home.
I bet they won't make the K2 much longer....its hard to think its been around as long as it has.
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