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Author Topic: The elecraft dilemna...  (Read 20201 times)
AE5X
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« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2017, 11:58:42 AM »

Years from now when we look back at the K2, what Yaesu/Kenwood/Icom rig will it be compared to, ie its closest equivelant? I'm asking because I just looked at the price of a K2 outfitted in the same way that most other rigs - 100 watts, SSB and 160m capability - and the cost is around $1500.

In terms of the performance it offers and compared to other rigs with similar features/performance, is this a fair price? I never bought a K2 but "almost did" many times. Then the K3 came out and put an end to my K2 fever.

But there is something about a traditional all-band, all-mode kit and the K2 is (and will likely remain) the last of them.
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N2DTS
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« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2017, 07:04:57 PM »

It is different NOW, but when the K2 came out, its performance was as good as anything out there (or very close) I think, and much better then many rigs.

Its a kit, and its a qrp radio more then a high end radio, its not a mass produced rig, and very few products have to support the people at Elecraft.

Today, the Icom 7300 is a much better buy, unless you like building your radio one part at a time, or you run off limited power, or packing the radio to the top of a mountain or something like that.
Even the KX2 is a better bargain I suppose, but the K2 is just so cool how it comes together.
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DAVER
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« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2017, 06:03:12 PM »

So ended up getting a kx3. After weighting all the options it matched what i needed the most. Ill keep hammering away on my own homebrew stuff to keep the iron hot and after next deployment when i have a little more time will see if i can swing a k2 kit.

In saying that, the kx3 is incredible! Very much enjoying using it. Cw is great and ssb on it is really nice as well. Havnt bothered using any digital modes.

Now have a fun kit that fits in a photo strobe belt bag. And can easily travel with it. Love using it in the shack also! Keep it powerd from 4 lipo cells with two diode voltage reducer at full charge. Last several days from charge and moderate use!
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G4AON
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« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2017, 12:52:55 AM »

So ended up getting a kx3. After weighting all the options it matched what i needed the most. Ill keep hammering away on my own homebrew stuff to keep the iron hot and after next deployment when i have a little more time will see if i can swing a k2 kit.
I have both a KX3 and a K2, the latter built over many hours back in 2001. I personally wouldn't bother getting a K2, they were OK 16 years ago, but aren't a patch on the stability and filtering found in a KX3. My K2 was great initially, then relegated to holiday use in Spain. The K2 now gathers dust and the KX3 is the holiday rig of choice. Neither are used for day to day operation in my shack, it's either the K3 or more often my home brew separates. The KX3 wins for portability, but for both sheer performance and my user/builder satisfaction the home brew SSB/CW TX and RX twins beat the pants off everything else.

73 Dave
http://www.qsl.net/g4aon/
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N2DTS
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« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2017, 05:18:52 AM »

Yes, the K2 is a clunky rig today, but the build is really fun and the design is very impressive.
Its also got lots of room inside for a big battery even if you have the antenna tuner.
The KX2 is a much better radio at the same price, but its not a kit at all.
Once the K2 stops production, that will likely be it for good kits, its all software now....
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ZENKI
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« Reply #35 on: March 15, 2017, 03:16:49 AM »

Elecraft should produce  KX2 or KX3 with 25 watts of output that can run 18650 batteries.

Better still will be an all in box PX3 and KX3 with 25 watts  running on 18650  batteries that looks like a Tablet with 10 inch screen. This would include an inbuilt antenna tuner interface that can drive a remote antenna coupler on 100ft or less drive cable. This tuner could tune  balanced line or a short vertical. Another option would be to include a drive circuit for stepper motors that could drive a magnetic loop.
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N2DTS
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« Reply #36 on: March 15, 2017, 11:36:08 AM »

You are not going to get a 25 watt KX2, or even a 15 watt version.
Not enough battery space, but even less heat sink area for the transistors.
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AC6AN
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« Reply #37 on: March 15, 2017, 05:55:17 PM »

I hear the 25W number from many SSB operators.
25W SSB would not be too bad, because the average RF out is much lower.
For CW in contest mode (50% TX with spaces between RF out) the average is about 1/4 of the peak output or around 6W. Even if the efficiency of the final amp is only 40%, that would mean around 9W power dissipation for the heat sinks, which is reasonable size especially with a small fan.
As for battery life, that would be an average power consumption below 20W and at 14.4V battery you'll need around 1.3A average. It's a similar requirement as a laptop and that makes it reasonably portable.
So... never say never...
 
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N2DTS
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« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2017, 05:20:48 AM »

Small fan???
Ever look at the KX2?
The heat sink is the side panel which is a flat piece about 2 inches by 2 inches.
It gets hot fast over 5 watts.

The KX3 overheats also, and a big ugly heat sink is sold to upgrade that.
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G4AON
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« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2017, 03:23:41 AM »

The Chinese "Windcamp" finned heatsink for the KX3 isn't ugly and is about half the cost of the Elecraft add-on. They are available via eBay and are a good fit.

73 Dave
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N2DTS
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« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2017, 05:03:40 AM »

Well, I do not think it looks 'good' unless you are into heat sinks...
It also makes the radio bigger...
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AC6AN
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« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2017, 08:27:59 AM »

Small fan???
Ever look at the KX2?
Doesn't matter. Look inside a typical laptop...
They clear 15+ watts off the tiny CPU with hardly any space.
They do run hot inside - no free lunch.
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ZENKI
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« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2017, 12:36:08 AM »

Theres more than enough military HF manpacks that run 25 watts all day long on batteries. Why are so many hams  so closed minded to what technology is  available today?

All that hams have to do is go to their favorite power tool store and look at the battery packs that are available today. You can buy 54 to 100 volt  battery pack operated drills, 9 inch angle grinders, chainsaws and everything under the sun that consume a lot more power than a 25 watt transmitter.

Are hams that backward that they cant figure out that you can run a 25 watt radio from readily available batteries? I just dont get these  nonsensical arguments  about making a  miserable 25 watt HF ssb radio  that runs on a battery. I would like to see these same hams carry  and put up a 4dbd gain antenna up on top of hill. I dont need to do that with a 25 watt HF radio when combined with a decent dipole or wire.

These same hams who make stupid arguments against 25 watts carry a massive sports bag full of crap to operate a 10 watt radio  and then do something even more ridiculous like adding a 100 watt amplifier to this same kit. They carry this bag of junk around and call this portable/qrp operation? Cmon this logic is bizarre when I can achieve the same thing with small 25 watt backpack and get the message through just as effectively. This  Dick Tracy size watch radio  and a trunk full of junk  to run a dick tracy radio is getting ridiculous.  Companies are making a ton of money selling all the accessories and crap that goes with the radio but few are thinking about the practical effectiveness of what they are selling.

All the stupid arguments against a 25 watt transmitter   are really ridiculous.  The effectiveness of this power level on HF was researched and widely adopted by the military because at this power level it "produced effective and reliable communications"  They chose this power level because the message had to get through, they were not chasing awards or counties for pieces of paper on the wall.

A 25 watt HF radio with built Lithium battery packs  is the best solution for portable  radio operations.  I own several of these military HF manpacks including a Racal Syncal 2000 and they are fantastic portable radios. You cant buy one ham radio that is the equivalent of the Racal Syncal Today. Something that the FT817 or KX2 or KX3 could easily be. Its just hams who are closed minded to this high effective concept that the  military forces around the world have accepted as the most effective.



I hear the 25W number from many SSB operators.
25W SSB would not be too bad, because the average RF out is much lower.
For CW in contest mode (50% TX with spaces between RF out) the average is about 1/4 of the peak output or around 6W. Even if the efficiency of the final amp is only 40%, that would mean around 9W power dissipation for the heat sinks, which is reasonable size especially with a small fan.
As for battery life, that would be an average power consumption below 20W and at 14.4V battery you'll need around 1.3A average. It's a similar requirement as a laptop and that makes it reasonably portable.
So... never say never...
 
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W7ASA
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Posts: 473




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« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2017, 07:08:37 PM »

The 1.5 kilowatt "QRP Rig" from ZenkiTronix .




I've carried a lot of mil-manpacks and they are designed for combat, to be carried by young EXTREMELY strong soldiers with high endurance - not hams. A wire over a limb will give me a huge gain increase over the standard mil-whip on HF. Carry what you like and we will do the same. Plenty of HFpack people do that and love it.  The KX3 at 12 Watt would do nothing more if it were pushed to the  25 Watts Zenki obsesses about. The half an S-unit difference i/e,  3dB is not found to be zignificant to Elecrafts' market share. 

Gain Not Pain

de Ray

« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 07:29:30 PM by W7ASA » Logged
DAVER
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Posts: 71




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« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2017, 11:14:38 AM »

I like that bag! If using wire antenna the strobe stuff by think tank bag works and fits on your belt (or into pack).

Re running kx2 or 3 on 18650s. Thats what i do all the time. I use 4 in series wich is 16.8v. Then made a reducer using diodes that drops it down to the 15 max. When voltage get down under 13 just remove reducer and youre right back up. I got the stuff on amazon for a handfull of dallors. Included fuse and led indicator for good measure. Works great!

This is not unique several people run their portable ops like this. Allows full day use with no issues.
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