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Reviews Categories | Transverters | Elecraft XV222 Help


Reviews Summary for Elecraft XV222
Elecraft XV222 Reviews: 8 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $349
Description: This state-of-the-art transverter features single-port and dual-port I.F. connections to allow use with almost any transceiver. The noise figure is typically 0.8 dB, and a rugged +17 dBm mixer is used at the RF input. Power output is 20-25 W, indicated on a 10-segment LED bargraph.

I.F. transmit levels from -20 dBm to +39 dBm (.01 mW to 8 W) can be accommodated. Multiple transverters can be daisy chained to a single IF transceiver, providing multi-band operation without cable rearrangement.

The XV222 is packaged in a sleek, stackable, 1.2" tall enclosure, and is styled to match the Elecraft K2. The K2 offers exceptional performance as an I.F. transceiver, and can automatically band-switch up to three transverters. A brightly-illuminated label on the transverter identifies which unit is selected. The K2 can display the actual operating frequency for each transverter band, with 10 Hz resolution, and includes a per-band programmable +/- 9.99 kHz offset to fine-tune the displayed frequency.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.elecraft.com
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KJ4ADN Rating: 1/5 Jul 24, 2012 11:34 Send this review to a friend
Poor tech support, DOA parts.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A friend of ours ordered one, my son put it together, he's careful and neat, observes good practices - he's done many other kits before.

We never did get it working, tech support was via email, numerous parts were DOA (and we were told, "Oh ommm, yeah, we've had a rash of bad such and such...". Why advertize a slogan like, "we want you to be successful" - and let the builder figure out what parts are DOA or leave 'em guessing if they did something wrong? Beware, we wound up PAYING for 4 replacement IFs with broken slugs!

We worked on it for 2 months, spent enough of our own money replacing IFs (stuck & broken slugs), and after one headache after another - "Oh, you need to order this or that to troubleshoot it properly - or you can send it back and we'll charge you a flat rate & parts to get it going." Are you serious?

We gave it back to the guy that purchased it, apologized for the delay and sent him the email chains of the nonsense that was being passed off for tech support. He *was* a friend of ours, glad I wasn't the one that talked him into buying this piece of junk.

I heard these transverters aren't made by the same guys that make the K3 (which I am an owner, and very much like), so I'd stay away from any of these transverter units.

The case looked nice. Kit assembly was a couple of nights, troubleshooting was months of frustration. Sorry to have to write such a negative review, this experience changed our plans on future Elecraft purchases (KX3) - the tech support was completely unexpected.

 
W7PJ Rating: 2/5 Apr 30, 2010 14:30 Send this review to a friend
Lots of nice features but poorly engineered.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this to add 222mhz to my VHF/UHF contesting station. I made a mistake of not ordering the optional crystal oven. I have 2 main issues with it. There is no way to adjust the frequency of the oscillator and it drifts way more then it should. The drift is so bad, it makes it impossible to use for JT65 or FSK441. Its also about 4.5 KC off from what the dial on my FT-847 says and will increase to nearly 5.5 KC off with any digital modes. I sent email to elecraft technical support about it after I put it on the air and the response was that the drift would be fixed with the optional oven and that it was designed for use with an Elecraft K2/K3 and they could compensate for the off frequency oscillator. The whole response from technical support left a bad taste in my mouth. I would of been happy for some clues on how to bring the oscillator on frequency and would of been happy to purchase the crystal oven but the feeling from tech support was I was out of luck because I wasn't using an Elecraft transceiver and therefore they would not support the off frequency issue.

Overall its marked down because of poor engineering and customer service. Also because I believe the crystal oven should not be an option. I can't imagine anyone being happy with this unit without a crystal oven installed.

I'll never buy anything from Elecraft again because of the response from their technical support people. I've been thinking of either buying something to replace it or moving the LO outside of the unit and plugging it in through the spare N connector.
 
N0DQS Rating: 5/5 Nov 4, 2007 09:52 Send this review to a friend
Great bang for the buck, put together well  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Retired my FT-736 with 222 and 1296 and my FT-897 (6,2,432) and replaced it with a TS-2000x. Ordered the XV222 and put it together while home from work for a few days. Great documentation nice quality board. Put together in what I thought was a short time and works great. I aligned it and worked great from the get go, I intended to use it in the Rover so when I installed it there with the TS-2000x as the IF (tuned and tested with the TS-2000x) then I had to retune it. Have used it for several contests and grid expeditions and very happy with the performance. Driving a 120w amp with it and all is satisfactory. I had not intended to use it for FM but I can see the need for a heat sink and fan it used a lot in that mode. I wonder if the design was not only with SSB in mind. I have no heating problems even with extended CW use. Waiting for them to produce additional Xverters for 902,1296,2304and 3466. By the way I am useing the TS-2000x as the IF and about 5 watts to drive and works great. Nicely done! This makes an nice package especially in the Rover.
 
K1FPV Rating: 4/5 Mar 16, 2007 10:51 Send this review to a friend
Nice Way To Get on 222 MHz.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The XV222 was a breeze to build and align. It put out 20 watts with less than 1 mw. of drive from the transverter port on my old IC-740. The signal reports I get are consistently good. It is very versatile in that it can be driven with as little as less than 1 mw. or up to 8 watts.

My only complaints are that if you use FM, it gets hot fast, even at reduced power. Also, the alignment is difficult in one respect. You adjust it with the top cover off and it is perfect. With the cover on, then the alignment changes and you must compensate for the cover.

Other than that, I'd highly recommend it as a way to get on to 222 MHz. without breaking the bank.
 
AB4BC Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2007 07:59 Send this review to a friend
Quality product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Lots of fun to build...I've built two of this particular model. Performance is great. Be sure to keep the power output just at or below the specified output of 20 watts SSB/CW to keep the unit cool enough to handle a long QSO...or just add a small fan at the ventilation slots on top. Tune up is a snap. Looks great also. I look forward to building another one of their transverters soon....only wished they'd offer a 23cm kit!
 
N2KEN Rating: 4/5 Sep 18, 2005 17:27 Send this review to a friend
Great for SSB--Hot on FM  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Elecraft XV222 Transverter:
Up front Ill say that this is a fine transverter and it was a pleasure to build. Ive been using this daily for several months, but it runs hot . . . In my opinion, way too hot.

The positives surely outweigh the one negative Ive discovered during operation on FM inadequate HEAT dissipation. But, first the positives.

The kit was a joy to build. This is my first Elecraft product and Im impressed! The manual was excellent and all aspects of the assembly process were nearly foolproof. I enjoyed the kit building process so much, I wish it took longer than the one week of spare time to build. The adjustments were straight forward and easy to perform without expensive alignment equipment. Sitting on top of my transceiver, the Elecraft transverter looks sleek and stylish - at least before adding my ugly mods to help cool it down.

I drive the XV222 using my Kenwood TS-2000. While not a perfect match for this transverter, it suits my needs quite well. I use the XV222 for SSB and FM phone. It produces 20-plus watts with the 5 watts minimum output from the TS-2000. It can be driven with less if your transceiver has a low level output. The XV series can handle a wide range of input power below approximately 8 watts.

The TS-2000, even when modded, will not allow transmission on the top one MHz of the 222 band. Since this transceiver will not transmit above 30 MHz on the 10M band, transmitting on frequencies above 224.000 is not possible not a major issue since repeaters use a negative shift in this portion of the band. The interfacing instructions in the Elecraft manual are quite adequate enough for an experienced ham to apply to their configuration needs. There are numerous diagrams and descriptions of several connection options. Beginners may have a steep learning curve, particularly if the manual with their transceiver is lacking detail.

The XV222 manual states that the components will get hot during use. Well, they certainly do! On SSB at the full 20 Watts output, the transverter will percolate along without shutting down. The components (resistors, relays and power amplifier) will all get quite hot. However, when using the transverter on FM the unit will be unable to dissipate this heat, particularly during routine QSOs on a repeater or simplex. It will shut down on thermal overload within a few minutes and the transverter will be broiling hot. There is only a brief mention of heat dissipation in the manual. There is no warning about use on FM. Several of the resistors are mounted approximately 1/8 above the circuit board to help heat dissipation, but this alone is not adequate to provide cooling for high duty cycle usage.

I sent an email to Elecraft regarding the heat issue. They were very responsive and sent a reply the next day suggesting I consider a heat sink. However, they had no suggestions about how to do that. They also stated that the transverter was not intended for accessing FM repeaters. I guess real hams dont use transverters for this purpose. Considering, that the XV222 sounds so clean on FM and SSB, Im at a loss to understand why except for its inability to handle the heat. Sorry if I am breaking some type of unwritten code of ethics for transverter usage . . .

Trouble is that the sleek design does not easily allow for such a retrofit. Moreover, the power amp module is mounted to the lower portion of the case and uses the bottom on the case as a heat sink. This is a rather questionable design for efficient heat dissipation. Good enough for SSB perhaps, but not for FM.

I installed a large PC-type heatsink on the bottom of the case directly below the power amp module as well as installing a small fan inside the case. The XV222 now stands on four stilts to raise the case to allow for the heatsink. I drilled a series of ventilation holes in the top of the case to provide an air supply for cooling. With all this added cooling the unit will now function at a nominal 50% duty cycle on FM at its rated output. The new heat sink gets quite hot (rather than the power amp) and it dissipates the heat effectively away from the components and case. The internal fan now keeps the resistors cool even during heavy FM use at the full rated output. The internal components remain cool and the transverter no longer shuts down from the heat.

If you plan to use the transverter for FM simplex or accessing repeaters, I strongly recommend adding a heatsink AND a cooling fan to cool the components. Elecraft should consider a statement in their manual about FM use and offer an optional retrofit for this purpose. I will gladly send photos if they ask nicely. This is a very nice product that would otherwise deserve a rating of 5.

Heat issue aside, this is a fine product for SSB use. With a bit of homebrew ugliness, this transverter can be retrofitted to dissipate heat efficiently for FM use.
Go for it!
73, N2KEN
 
K3ROJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 4, 2004 19:43 Send this review to a friend
Easy kit to build  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just completed the XV222 and it works great just like my XV144. I already have an all mode Yaesu FT847 but these transverters out performs any multiband transceiver. They are about the only transverters out there that will take the .01 watt (-20dbm) from my Icom 756PRO in transverter mode. The spectrum scope on the 756PRO makes it easy to see stations plus or minus up to 50KHZ which does wonders during the VHF/UHF contests. Also enjoy building kits just like the good ole Heathkit days, AL
 
W7QQ Rating: 5/5 Nov 30, 2003 02:58 Send this review to a friend
So far....better than so good!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The XV222 goes together easily, and performs well. It's seamlessly integrated with the Elecraft K2 transceiver, and I really like the way the transverter is controlled by the K2 front panel controls.

It's easy to get the rated power output, and must be throttled back to keep it within the power out spec. It a very rugged, high quality kit with state of the art components. Nearly all the surface mount components are pre-installed by Elecraft. It has overdrive protection, and a lot of versatility.

The assembly manual was not quite as good as the K2 assembly manual, but still way ahead of the competition. It worked perfectly on the first try after assembly.

I've only had it for a month, and, on 222, I don't have a lot to compare it to, but the QSO's have been solid with good audio reports. Will report again after the next VHF contest. Should have a better idea about the performance by then.
 


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