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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Elecraft K2 & K2/100 Help

Reviews Summary for Elecraft K2 & K2/100
Elecraft K2 & K2/100 Reviews: 305 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $599. USD
Description: SSB/CW 160-10M HF Transceiver Kit
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Elecraft K2 & K2/100.

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KG9H Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2014 06:09 Send this review to a friend
What a great radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had (probably) four K2's since building my original s/n 906.
All work about the same. My latest one is 5702 and I just added the SSB board, what a pleasure to build and to use. Part of the experience of owning a K2 is the build experience. If you don't want to "build the entire radio', then look for one that you can build an accessory or two. Then let the performance speak for itself. What a great company as well. Support is excellent. Be part of the K2 experience and then have a ball on the air. (I have no affiliation with Elecraft.) Frank KG9H
K9OZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 1, 2014 11:16 Send this review to a friend
Still a great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I built my K2 (SN 1960) about 14 years ago. The minute I started using it on CW I was hooked. It outclassed my 756 Pro and was just nicer to listen to and operate -- at 20 watts.
I added the KPA 100 when it came out, and for the next five years or so the K2 was my workhouse, my main rig, contest rig, my Field Day rig, etc.
But I was on the quest to find the best radio. Among other choices, I had moved up to a 756 Pro III and then an Orion. But in many ways the K2 was my favorite rig.
So when the K3 came out it wasn't a question of if I would get one, but when. The Orion got sold to finance the K3, and the day it came in it bacame the number 1 rig. The K2 has been relegated to Field Day, QRP, and occasitional use.
But the K3 developed a problem and had to go in for repair. I was going to use the Flex 3000 as my backup rig, but after a week of that, I pulled the K2/100 out of the closet and hooked it up.
I had to check twice to make sure it was hooked to the antenna -- it is that quiet. After 30 minutes I was thinking what a great little radio it is. I miss the DSP and the bandscope on the P3, but other than that, it is as satisfying to operate as the K3.
So my point? If you are looking for a great radio and can live without the digital bells and whistles, think about the K2. It's still a great -- but time consuming -- experience to build, but there are a lot of them out on the market used at very competitive prices. For the money, you couldn't beat it.
As for mine, I know it will never be on the used market. It's still my baby, and its not going back in the closet when the K3 gets back.
K4EQ Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2014 19:14 Send this review to a friend
Incredible!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I finished building my K2 a few days ago. Accessories I added include the noise blanker, audio filter, and SSB module. I'm still working on the KPA100 board. This thing is an incredible little radio and I keep finding more things it will do as I read through the owner's manual. Being big into QRP, I'm not surprised with what I've been able to work on CW, but I AM pleasantly surprised at the great audio reports I've gotten on SSB. It's still soon after the build, but so far I'm a very happy camper. Thanks Elecraft.
QRPNEW Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2014 03:50 Send this review to a friend
Highly recommended  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own 2 K2's. A low serial number and a current model with a very high serial number. In short a superb radio. Its long term reliability has been much better than the K3. I own a much older K3 that has had numerous updates done to it. The K3 by comparisons has had all sorts of minor bugs and glitches which required updates and putting the K3 off the air. The K2's just keep on playing. I actually now prefer my K2's over the K3 for its sheer simplicity and brilliant performance. The K2 has been so well aligned by me, that in a blind test you could not tell the difference between the K3 and K2's on RX. Its really that good. I also like the superb analog receiver and great overall sound. The PA is also more robust than the K3's PA and takes heavy contesting and has been fault free. The K3 PA has been a long saga for me because of numerous poor design decisions by Elecraft. The K3 PA for me has been very unreliable when operating in contests, dx'peditions and in field days. If you a real hams ham you can build a K2 almost blindfolded its that easy. On TX SSB I have added a TenTec RF clipper which gives this radio the holy ability to punch through the pileups.

In short a great simple radio with a superb receiver that can match any radio out there regardless of receiver dynamic range numbers. I have never found a situation where the receiver is challenged. The K2 is the quintessential CW radio and received CW note is just superb. For the price the radio is bargain even if you do have to sweat building it. If you cant build it you can get someone to build it for you for a price. Who really cares about re-sale value because this K2 is so good you should not even think about selling it. I would happily sell my K3 and keep my K2, enough said!

WA6MOW Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2014 07:16 Send this review to a friend
Still one of the best!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned four K2 rigs over the past several years, all built by someone else. The one I currently own has a serial number 45**. I have owned many rigs and I must say the K2 is one of my favorite. My KX3 also worked well but quite frankly I like the ergonomics of the old K2 better. If you want a suburb low power rig for about $600 the K2 is the way to go.
KB5ELV Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2014 17:44 Send this review to a friend
Tons of fun nearly 10 years later  Time owned: more than 12 months
My Elecraft K2/100 came to me in a bit of an unusual way, as a thank you gift from my first guide dog on the occasion of his retirement. Well, actually, it was somewhat after his retirement, and it came by way of his then vet, a fellow ham, and some buddies of his. Needless to say, besides being a super rig, it's got lots of sentimental value as well.

Mine is the K2/100, serial number 3491. It came with the SSB module, the CW audio filter, and the KRC2-ACC, which reads out nearly every single operating parameter of the rig in morse. I've since added a KAT100 antenna tuner and the 60-meter board...not that I've ever made a 60-meter QSO on it, and the noise blanker. I also bought the now discontinued Heil mic with the studio boom.

I'm about 90% cw on hf, and this rig will not disappoint. While it doesn't have some things like variable bandwidth and bandpass tuning and notch filters and what not, but I haven't really missed their absence. It's very selective, and it's right up there with any of the best receivers out. Sure, it's ham bands only, and you won't be listening to a lot of stuff very far out of the ham bands, but what it does, it does extremely well. It's brought me hours upon hours of enjoyment, and I expect it's still got hours and hours ahead of it. I probably can't say anything that the other couple hundred reviews haven't already said better. Can't speak to the building aspect (I'm all thumbs...), but once it's all put together, it's a real joy to operate. You really can't go wrong with this rig at all! Yep...between it and my KX3, for HF anyway, my station is Elecraft all the way!
WB7QXU Rating: 5/5 Jun 21, 2013 23:10 Send this review to a friend
Amazing "its a Kit"  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just finished my K2 with all accessories like ssb, nb, 160m, 60m, DSP, Mic, Cat control and 100watt module.
This is my first review on the radio. My first impression is OMG. what a radio, it really hears real well, just amazing. and it is a kit.
Great customer support. Great manual easy to follow. well designed. Very straightforward. The biggest advantage over my other Icom ProII is it has great noise reduction a seperate NB, not built into the DSP, which helps in a noisy environment. It has a real "hot" receiver, it will surprise you. It might even be better than rigs costing more. It sure acts and seems that way. It really hears clearly and it is very amazing.
It has no AM, or FM, or back accessory port for Digital so all digital modes are via AFSK. It is not a true Gen coverage Receiver, not good for broadcast in 41meter band, you can use one of the sidebands but not the best. Pretty much Ham band only. Does great on WWV 10mhz.
It is also expensive for the whole kit with all options. you can buy a Yaesu FT-450 for less. But this is a 100% kit you build everything no SMT, you wind your own coils. YOU DO EVERYTHING. However, the instructions are well written and very little difficulty. better than Heathkit, if you can believe, as Heathkit was the best in their day. It is time consuming it took a good deal of time, You can build it in sections like the K2 CW Qrp only and add the SSB, NB, 60m, 160m, and DSP later if you want. Infact that part is great you can start simple and build up. I did that It took me 3 months, the big advantage is you learn the radio. Another thing to keep in mind, is you will need to learn this radio, as there is a lot to learn, Very user friendly but It can really do a lot and takes sometime really getting to know its potential. It is a very powerful radio, with great features, but still user friendly, with not to many menu's to learn.
One note: IF you build this kit, the capacitors are hard to read a good magnifying glasses is a must. I have a capacitor meter to double check the values. It takes great patience, Even experienced kit builders who have grown up with Heathkit can make mistakes. One nice thing is you can get a life saving line, with Elecraft's Customer support and they will see to it, that you succeed. I did have a few missing parts, but Parts will expedite replacements in a short time so no issues. Just have a good work bench with no distractions and no one the disturb you and you'll be fine. It could be the best rig you every own, and you built it.
WB4TJH Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2013 09:47 Send this review to a friend
300 serial number, but still outstanding performance  Time owned: more than 12 months
My K2 is a 300 serial number, one of the very first bunch made. It has been totally updated by Alan Wilcox, and has the 160 meter board, SSB option and the noise blanker. I will eventually add some more options, but I have to say my K2 is still the best receiver I have ever owned and it never fails to amaze me with its performance. I have been through many HF radios since I got it, but the K2 remains as solid and fun to operate as the first day I got it. It's truly a KEEPER. The only radios that I would consider replacing it with would be another Elecraft or a TenTec. It's very satisfying to be using a top quality radio that is made in America.
N4FZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 8, 2012 11:59 Send this review to a friend
Love it!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought my K2/100, used, in March, 2012. I am very pleased with it's capabilities, from such a small package. It has an excellent receiver, with filtering, you select what you want, a CW ops dream, easy to program. SSB is great, as well, I use a Kenwood MC-43s mic with mine. I would highly recommend this rig to anyone who wants a high quality, portable HF transceiver! Glad I have one!
K4YND Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2012 15:19 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
If the K2 was still 599.00. I would be working on a 2nd one. I have been using my K2 10w version for 6 months. It is my main radio and my 100 watters are getting dusty. The only option I have is the internal antenna tuner. I just finished up with Algeria and after a quick fist pump into the air, I thought I would share my pleasure with this radio.

This was my 2nd kit (K1 was the first) and I had very little trouble. Beside the obvoius pleasure of using something you built yourself, I am amazed at how beautiful the radio is. There is a commercial feel to it and it is a CW mans dream. Working split is so simple. Want to hear your competition tap the A/B button. Every control you need is right at your fingertips. Keyer speed, power, and a quick tap gives you four filter settings. Audio output is fine but most of the time I use headphones. With the Antenna tuner, you get an extra antenna connection. Last night I danced back and forth between 40 and 20.
Type K4YND into youtube and you can see mine in action. If I ever scrape up some extra cash, I will invest in the weighted tuning VFO knob. (might have a tough time getting that by the XYL).

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