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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Yagi, Quad, Rotary dipole, LPDA | M2 KLM KT-34A to KT-34M2 Upgrade Kit Help

Reviews Summary for M2 KLM KT-34A to KT-34M2 Upgrade Kit
Reviews: 5 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $$200
Description: CNC machined fittings/new stainless hardware to upgrade an original KLM KT-34A to KT-34M2 specifications.
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the M2 KLM KT-34A to KT-34M2 Upgrade Kit.

W5RHR Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2012 12:33 Send this review to a friend
Makes it a new antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I echo the comments concerning time consuming. Plan to spend the suggested time total in disassembling , replacing, and measuring the parts.

Make sure you CLEAN everything and pay attention to the capacitor tubes inside and out.

I was a little disheartened when I received one small box of the parts but I soon became convinced the money spent was well worth it for the product.The shorting bars are sturdy and close machined.

Back together, the antenna looks much better and the elements are straight and true.The SWR is flat across 20 and 15 and does rise above 29 mhz.

I am more than happy with the upgrade and recommend it if you have an old KT43, you will have a new antenna for a little money.
VO1XT Rating: 5/5 Oct 25, 2011 16:12 Send this review to a friend
fabulous upgrade!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Upgraded a second hand (circa 1983) KT34a 3 years ago.
It's a beast to dismantle and time consuming to reconstruct (40 plus hours) BUT, boy it was worth every minute! The shortening bars are precise, elements are stronger and the modified dimensions are spot on. Had to upgrade my balun to an Array AS 200-3 and this antenna is back in business. Survived nasty North Atlantic storms!! What else can I say. Thanks M2
K9VUJ Rating: 5/5 Oct 6, 2011 02:42 Send this review to a friend
well worth it  Time owned: more than 12 months
I installed the upgrade kit in 2003. It is still in use, I have had no issues at all. The antenna performs flawlessly. If you take the time and carefully measure the rods for correct dimensions it will be an excellent antenna. Do not expect to have it together in a hour or two. Take plenty of time for the assembly it will pay off with a long service life, trouble free.
K2QE Rating: 4/5 Nov 6, 2008 12:43 Send this review to a friend
worth it ...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My original KLM KT-34A was installed (new) in October of 1981 - this antenna gave me outstanding service for 26 years. I installed the KT-34A upgrade kit and new balun.

The quality of the upgrade kit is excellent. Disassembly and preparation of the antenna to receive the new upgrade kit parts was somewhat difficult and tedious due to corrosion and deformation of aluminum parts. Overall, the upgrade required about 40 hours of effort with the antenna resting on saw horses. Here are some specifics:

• Disconnecting the 3/4” tube from the 1” tube on several element halves was almost impossible, despite the fact that the 3/4” tubes had been liberally coated with the KLM copper paste at initial assembly … a torch and “PB Blaster”, along with the help of a strong-armed assistant were necessary to disassemble several of these joints.
• Cleaning was the #1 time consumer, but well worth the time in order to assure good electrical contact upon reassembly. Lacquer thinner followed by emery strips was necessary to prepare mating surfaces.
• The insides of tubes, such as the 1” tubes and the tapered 3/4” tubes required the help of my Dremel tool with a rotary sanding cylinder attachment in order to clean the ID of these tubes.
• WD40 helped a lot when mounting and sliding the old and new capacitor caps.
• There were not enough screws and lock nuts to accomplish the upgrade. I did not keep count, but as I recall I was about 10 shy. Fortunately, my hardware cache had enough replacements.
• A number of the fiberglass rods were too long, and they bottomed-out in the taper of the short 3/4” tubes before the mounting holes would line up. Using my bench grinder, I just put a taper on one of the rod and they fit fine.
• Two of the fiberglass rods were drilled off-diameter (i.e., not at the real diameter of the rod), and thus the holes would not line up with the holes in the tubing. They were off quite a bit, and this condition was visibly apparent when inspecting the rods … and so the aluminum got some new holes as a remedy.
• I was unable to achieve the 46.75” dimension on the reflector … I ran out of 1/2” aluminum. The best I could achieve was 46.5, and even then the 1/2” tube was barely engaged with the shorting bar.
• The #2 time consumer was establishing, maintaining, and remeasuring all of the dimensions, while concurrently ensuring that all of the shorting bars were in the same plane during torqueing of the fasteners
• I like the design of the shorting bars, but they can be troublesome on “used” aluminum. Some of the existing aluminum pieces become deformed (not round) as a result of torque that was originally applied to fasteners at interfaces - such as the fiberglass rod/tube interface. On the original design, the OD of the fiberglass rod was a loose fit with the aluminum tube, and thus the tube became oval when bolted to the fiberglass rod. Subtle finessing of the tube shape, in conjunction with the application of wd-40 was necessary to permit the close-tolerance shorting bars to slide over the tubes. Installing the new shorting bars was therefore quite troublesome in a number of places.
• After final assembly, I used the old trick of placing the antenna vertical, with the reflector on the ground, and performed a rough check of the SWR with my antenna analyzer … everything looked pretty good, no disappointing surprises. On the tower, the SWR curves look OK … different and not as good as original, but OK. Probably the most significant difference is on 10M, where the bandwidth is quite a bit narrower.
N0WF Rating: 3/5 Feb 18, 2007 14:13 Send this review to a friend
A lot of work to install!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Be ready for 12+ hours work on each element,it took me well over 50 hours to install the M2 upgrade kit on my KLM KT34A. The kit itself is well engineered and made of very high quality materials, the close tolerance CNC machined hardware is far stronger than the original KLM assembly ever was. Therein lies the first problem, an old antenna which started out with perfectly round elements and tubing isn't perfectly round after assembly, close tolerance aluminum CNC machined fittings that fit on a new element don't fit over areas that have had previous hardware tightened on them. If you are familiar with the amount of hardware that is placed on each element there are several "humps" where the CNC machined parts bind up on the distorted areas of the tubing. Aluminum galls when brute force is applied, getting a bigger hammer doesn't work. I found it necessary to slowly, carefully, and evenly tap the machined fittings and spreaders onto the elements with a small machinist's hammer, using a light touch and exercising a lot of patience. I used vinegar, heat, very fine sandpaper, Q-Tips, lube-all, Windex, Paper towels, and even resorted to my Dremel Moto-Tool during this installation. You'll find out about Penetrox and how it stains your hands, suggest you wear gloves. Absolutely zero complaint with the quality and engineering of the kit, in theory it is a brilliant solution but in practice it is an awful lot of work and not easy to install.
Major problem number two is that the M2 SWR curve isn't as good as the original KLM SWR curve. I went over every single dimension many times before/during/after installation and everything is easily within 1/8" of tolerance, the antenna still kicks butt on 10/15/20 but requires the use of my autotuner to tune everywhere on each band. It was very broad-banded in KLM guise.
Bottom line: this kit is not for the faint of heart. Plan on busted knuckles and colorful vocabulary. The SWR bandwidth after installation of the M2 hardware isn't comparable to the original KLM configuration. Darn good instructions. The quality and strength of the CNC machined parts is superb. I had multiple phone discussions with Wyatt and Mike, they know the KT34A and the upgrade kit. Contact me through QRZ profile if you have questions or comments, would be nice to hear from others that have installed the kit.

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