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Author Topic: I built an Elecraft K1!  (Read 10988 times)
GILGSN
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Posts: 207




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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2012, 04:29:20 PM »

Hello,

A K2... Hum... Maybe. I will never sell that K1 though! I would love building a K2, but the price is pretty high. The choice would be between an FT-817ND and the K2.

FT-817ND

PROS:
- Very small.
- Has all modes.
- Has 6m & 2m.
- Costs the same as a bare K2.

CONS:
- Power consumption.
- You can't fix it yourself.

K2

PROS:
- I heard, an excellent receiver.
- Can be repaired easily if needed.
- Satisfaction of building.
- Light weight.
- Optional built-in tuner.
- Low power consumption.
- More HF power.

CONS:
- Price.
- Fewer bands.
- CW only, optionally SSB (+$).

Am I missing anything?

Gil.
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LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2012, 01:33:15 AM »

It is possible to learn to hand-solder surface mount components, but you're right since the K2 does not use surface mount components (except for the DSP option) it is easier to repair.
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KB2FCV
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Posts: 1252


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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2012, 07:51:57 AM »

Hi Gil,
Congrats on building your K-1! Elecraft makes a fantastic product.

I built a K2 some time ago, I built mine with most of the options which took many nights but was rewarding when I made lots of QSO's on it. I wound up selling it after I picked up an Icom 746 and found it mostly sat on the shelf.

For portability, I like something of the K-1 / KX-1 size. I was in between getting  a K-1 or a KX1 but I went for building the KX-1 since it was built to be light and a little more trail friendly. Furthermore it has very low power consumption. I must say, it's a great rig! Using the dimensions they suggested for a long wire / counterpoise I am able to make contacts around the world. I've worked into europe several times with just that setup sitting in my backyard. Just the other weekend I experimented with the antenna at my in-laws with it just 5-10 feet off the ground and I was still able to make contact.
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W5ESE
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Posts: 550


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« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2012, 10:02:52 AM »

If you're not involved in QRP ARCI, do consider it. The QRP ARCI contests would be fun events to use your K1 in.
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GILGSN
Member

Posts: 207




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« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2012, 11:14:23 AM »

Hello,

I love the QRP concept, but I would not participate in a contest... I do want to "talk" to people. I want to know what other hobbies they have, how it is where they live, etc. Basically, having conversations. If someone responds to my CQ and only wants a grid number, I'm not going to be happy about wasting my time with him.. But that's just me..

The K2 seems more and more attractive.. Except for the price.. Going through the K1 building experience, I want more, and that means a K2.. I wouldn't want to just plug-in circuit boards, so the K3 is out. KX3, maybe much later..

KB2FCV, what did they suggest as far as wire length? I just used a 17.5' counterpoise and 31.5' for my mini SOTA tuner, per recommendations for 20m. I haven't tried it yet outside of the house.. Fore 40m, the wire is so long, I didn't bother, since I have a PAR 40/20/10m end-fed dipole that seems to work great on receive.

I did hand-solder a chip on my Rock-Mite, which was my K1 stepping stone of sort.. It is indeed not that difficult, but stressful.. I would expect to be able to work for much shorter periods of time with SMT..

By the way I built the K1 using a $8 15w soldering iron from Radio Shack (Don't buy their cheap multi-meter!). I did not have a wrist grounding wire or anti-static mat, but I did ground myself before handling every static-sensitive component. Though with the summer humidity here in Florida, static is probably not much of a problem.

To anyone looking at the K1, I would say to get the backlit LCD right away. I regret not doing so, and don't want to unsolder my LCD to add the option!

My automatic tuner kit was shipped yesterday :-)

Do you K1 owners find the noise blanker useful? I don't think I'd need it, since I want to operate from the "boonies."

The more I play with the K1, the more I like it. It certainly is motivating me to study Morse code and the General license book. I just can't mess around now after spending $450! ;-)

Gil.
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LA9XSA
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2012, 03:10:16 PM »

I love the QRP concept, but I would not participate in a contest... I do want to "talk" to people.
Back in the day some countries only let their hams talk about "matters germane to the amateur radio service", so signal reports, rig talk and antenna talk was all you'd get out of them. It's good that it's been softened up most places.

With CW you should be able to have ragchews on QRP. I've been working mostly QRP SSB lately, and I've ragchewed a bit with nearby stations, but whenever I get a longer distance contact I want to keep it short on purpose so the other guy/gal can take advantage of the good ionospheric conditions and work more people. I'll often keep listening to the following contacts to learn more about the operator, and those that I talk to more than once I can ask if they got the virus cleaned from their daughter's computer, ask where to get the schematics for that homebrew amplifier we talked about last time, etc.

If you like to both share more meaningful contact, and talk to many people at the same time, consider checking into a net.
Do you K1 owners find the noise blanker useful? I don't think I'd need it, since I want to operate from the "boonies."
I don't have a K1, but I'm in the boonies sometimes and in the summer it has electric fences, causing time-predictable spark gap clicks that may or may not be tuned by the length of the fence wire.  Tongue
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