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Author Topic: Elecraft K2/10 Upgrade  (Read 2728 times)
N8XI
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Posts: 121




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« on: April 26, 2014, 04:57:20 AM »

I am thinking of adding the KPA-100 (Amp) and KSB2 (SSB) options.
What hardware/firmware upgrades will I need to facilitate the additions?

And... is it worth it?

My K2/10 is a 1999 vintage. Serial Number 171.

Wanted to ask here before contacting Elecraft directly.

Thanks
73, Rick - N8XI
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KK0G
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Posts: 47


WWW

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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 07:26:53 PM »

I am thinking of adding the KPA-100 (Amp)......

And... is it worth it?
Since you asked this on the QRP forum I'm going to guess most of the answers will be no, including mine. Grin
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NI0C
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Posts: 2383




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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2014, 08:01:06 PM »

Hi Rick,
Check with the Elecraft Reflector, and you will likely get a quick answer from W3FPR, who is an expert on the K2.
73,
Chuck  NI0C
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ZENKI
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Posts: 906




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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 05:02:35 AM »

Yes, its worth the effort. Its a nicely designed PA that integrates well with the K2. The ability to swap from the 10 watt basic K2  and battery and the 100 watt is a good feature.

I would not bother with the DSP board, waste of money.

A weighted VFO knob is also a worthwhile upgrade.

A dedicated RF clipper/speech processor is another addition that  is worthwhile.

Other than the stock K2 is a good general purpose radio.


I am thinking of adding the KPA-100 (Amp) and KSB2 (SSB) options.
What hardware/firmware upgrades will I need to facilitate the additions?

And... is it worth it?

My K2/10 is a 1999 vintage. Serial Number 171.

Wanted to ask here before contacting Elecraft directly.

Thanks
73, Rick - N8XI
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N8XI
Member

Posts: 121




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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 06:06:13 AM »

Thanks gents

Chuck, NI0C I will query the Elecraft reflector

73, Rick - N8XI
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WB8YYY
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Posts: 159


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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2014, 08:10:02 PM »

I have a 2000 series k2 that has been similarly upgraded.  As the website details this early k2 will require a number of modifications, not really costly but they takebsome effort.  I found that I did not need them all and I can look up what mine required. The tradeoff involves spending the dollars on PA, maybe the autotuner and the ssb board which adds upbto almost enough to buy a new midpriced rig. I do prefer using the k2 in cw contests but for everyday multimode operating I prefer my other rig. It may come down to how much you enjoy operating the k2.  I agree with the other op thst it works nice enough without dsp as 4 different filter bandwidths can be set forbeach mode.  When well aligned its easy and effective to adjust the bandwidth.  A key limitation of a loaded k2 is lacking 6m that might encourage considering a new rig instead.73 Curt
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ZENKI
Member

Posts: 906




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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2014, 09:17:19 PM »

The Ten Tec Eagle and TS590s have  more operator appeal and ergonomics and similar or better levels of receiver performance.
The K2 today represents poor value and its quirky front panel ergonomics can be a challenge when you have not operated the rig for a long period of time

I would happily buy a TS590S or Ten Tec Eagle  over a K2 today. Even the K3 might be a better overall investment.

I have a 2000 series k2 that has been similarly upgraded.  As the website details this early k2 will require a number of modifications, not really costly but they takebsome effort.  I found that I did not need them all and I can look up what mine required. The tradeoff involves spending the dollars on PA, maybe the autotuner and the ssb board which adds upbto almost enough to buy a new midpriced rig. I do prefer using the k2 in cw contests but for everyday multimode operating I prefer my other rig. It may come down to how much you enjoy operating the k2.  I agree with the other op thst it works nice enough without dsp as 4 different filter bandwidths can be set forbeach mode.  When well aligned its easy and effective to adjust the bandwidth.  A key limitation of a loaded k2 is lacking 6m that might encourage considering a new rig instead.73 Curt

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AD6KA
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Posts: 2232




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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 11:50:47 AM »

If you DO add the K2/100 amp, for sure I would ALSO
add the "K2 Temperature-Compensated PLL Reference Upgrade":

http://www.elecraft.com/manual/PLL%20upgrade%20rev%20C.pdf

It is simple and inexpensive, and Elecraft claims it
"significantly improves the stability of the K2’s VFO, reducing drift per unit of
temperature by as much as 90%. It is especially useful with a K2/100, since
operation at higher power will cause faster heating inside the cabinet."


Quote
What hardware/firmware upgrades will I need to facilitate the additions?

Elecraft can give you the exact rundown, call them or drop them an email.
At the minimum, for the amp to work, you WILL need the latest I/O Controller Chip,
(on the RF Board).  And the SSB Board chip version and Amp chip version
will need to be compatible. But if you are buying them both (Amp & SSB Board)
at the same time, it shouldn't be a problem.  If you have or buy an unassembled
and/or older SSB board from somewhere, get the version number on the software first
and check with Elecraft.

There is a boatload of mods out there for K2's of that vintage.
I would check them out at the Elecraft site. Some mods are "official"
and they even sell parts kits for them (i.e. the PLL Temp Control)
or the PSK-31 for SSB Board Upgrade. (Only for pre-2001 K2's).

I also had good luck going with the 14 matched crystals for CW & SSB.
(Some go on the RF Board, some go on the SSB Board)

Other mods are described and "OK'd" by Elecraft, but they do not
sell the parts for them. (I.e. The preamp gain mod)

I am happy with my K2/100, but most of the time I use
the 10w plain K2 (w/ATU), as it is fun to operate when traveling.
BUT...having a SIMPLE 100 watt option is very nice.
GL ES  73, Ken  AD6KA

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OK1RP
Member

Posts: 37




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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2014, 01:53:19 PM »

Hi

2c add...

TT Eagle or KWD TS-590 ...rigs without ext. RX input for LB for that prices?! Hmmm think about it compare to K2 features again please.

73 - Petr, ok1rp
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