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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Elecraft KX2 Help

Reviews Summary for Elecraft KX2
Elecraft KX2 Reviews: 41 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $749 Factory Assembled
Description: The KX2 is a pocket-sized SSB/CW/Data, 9-band, 12 watt transceiver for portable, SOTA, hand- held, mobile, and home use. State-of-the-art design provides the features of a desktop radio in an extremely small, go-anywhere size. Also ideal for first-time HF operators on a budget.
  • 80-10 meters (+RX coverage of SWL bands and 160 m)
  • SSB/CW/DATA/AM/FM modes
  • 12 W PEP (100 W with KXPA100 amp)
  • size: 1.5" x 2.8" x 5.8" (3.8 x 7 x 14.7 cm)
  • weight: 13 oz. (0.35 kg)
  • Current drain as low as 135 mA
  • Li-ion internal battery option (11 V, 2.6 amp hours)
  • Advanced DSP provides dual watch, noise reduction, noise blanking, autonotch, stereo audio effects, audio peaking filter (APF)
  • Software-defined radio (SDR) architecture for versatility
  • Operates in data modes (PSK31/PSK63/RTTY) with or without a PC
  • Built-in logging of CW/DATA QSOs
  • Free firmware upgrades


    Internal wide-range antenna tuner (KXAT2), internal Li-ion battery (KXBT2) and matching external fast-charger charger (KXBC2), attached precision keyer paddle (KXPD2), real-time- clock with 2 aux outputs (KXIO2), MH3 compact hand mic with UP/DN buttons, KXPA100/KXAT100 100-W amplifier and ATU.

  • Product is in production.
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    Page 1 of 5 —>

    GM1SXX Rating: 2/5 Aug 30, 2018 08:10 Send this review to a friend
    Could do better  Time owned: more than 12 months
    All those gushing positive reviews, but IMO Elecraft really boobed when they made the KX2.
    They chose the cheapest poor quality plastic knobs they could find. Not good enough!
    The tuning encoder could also have been better.

    The tuning knob in particular is absolutely terrible.
    Ergonomics are important. Wake up Elecraft!

    I found a far better alternative on EBay for only a few pounds.

    What a difference this makes to the ergononics of what is really quite a decent radio from an RF point of view. Despite being small and lightweight, this aluminium tuning knob makes the KX2 feel more like real radio while adding very little extra weight.

    AA8TK Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2018 13:48 Send this review to a friend
    One neat little rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
    Shlepping my FT-897D and switching power supply with me on vacation was getting to be a drag. Enter the KX2. Sure, it has 90 less watts, but what's 90 watts (an S unit and change) when you can stuff a power supply and rig in a carrying case that's smaller than a purse? As for performance, as they say, good things come in small packages. Heck, if I had opted for the internal battery, I could have left the power supply at home and enjoyed operating from the great outdoors.

    We're at the bottom of the cycle, but I still made contacts, DX contacts. Dialing the power down to five watts and hearing your call come back from a station on the other side of the world, it's like kissing your first girl.

    Cute is not a word hams use to describe rigs, but gosh darn it, that little transceiver is just that. I use this radio in my shack now. I am looking forward to the next major contest and seeing what I can do with a few watts.

    If your thinking about this radio, by all means go for the paddles and internal antenna tuner. You won't be disappointed.
    K6TRQ Rating: 5/5 Jul 22, 2018 02:23 Send this review to a friend
    if you like it, you love it  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
    There is a saying in the auto industry: "there's a butt for every seat." Meaning, people are different, and something that one person loves another person may hate. This is particularly true if a product has a strong design gestalt.

    If you love multicolor waterfalls and rainbow TFT displays, this is not your radio. If you need 100W out of the box, this is not your radio. If you are a long-time (or short-time) fan of Icom, Yaesu, or Kenwood - this might not be your radio (though Kenwood users might feel somewhat at home.

    What the KX2 is purity of essence. The display is boring - but it is incredibly easy to read and gives you the information you need at a quick glance. There are buttons - and they do things other than send you to a menu. The buttons actually do 2 things, and it is very easy to understand what does what.

    I got this mostly for SOTA activations but I find that I actually like using it more than my other (mostly Yaesu) radios. Why? The user interface works *for me* perfectly. I can change bands, tune quickly, tweak filters, all without struggling to remember, "now how do I get to..."

    Is it perfect? No - no product is. The knobs aren't gorgeous milled aluminum, and the thumb knobs will loosen up if you don't check them. But the radio, mic, and a small LiFePO4 battery fits in a tiny carry bag. If you're hauling this up a mountain, there is no radio I'd rather carry. The only downside is if the bands aren't cooperating, SSB contacts can be a challenge. But you have a better shot with 12W of the KX2 than 6W of the FT-818.

    It really comes down to why you're in the hobby. I get the waterfall attraction - my FT-991A has it, and it can be incredibly useful. But at the end of the day, I want to talk to people, and listen to people, not stare at a screen. The display on the KX2 gives me everything I need to help my ears do their work.
    W9SA Rating: 5/5 Jun 9, 2018 02:51 Send this review to a friend
    Great Little Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
    I have had this radio for about 2 weeks and have done testing with a mag loop, my base vertical, and a random wire. I have only made a few contacts but then again it is a 10 watt portable radio. The feature set and ease of use (once it is set up) are great selling points but the main selling point is just how fun this little guy is to operate. I have only used it on cw with the attached keyer and my Vibroplex Code Mite. Really looking forward to Field Day this year!
    K1PMA Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2018 14:32 Send this review to a friend
    Not cheap, but really excellent.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
    I have had a ton of radios incl. the KX3, 817 and others.
    Considering the form factor of this radio the features are quite amazing. The optional but internal ATU was the major selling point for me. With the competing Yaesu radios the external ATU is as big as the radio itself! RX is awesome, quieter than several radios I have costing 3 times as much. Of course, making a QSO with 10 watts does have its challenges but portability and low power is what this radio is all about. The built in MIC is great in an emergency situation where you might have lost your hand held.
    N4MJG Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2018 02:22 Send this review to a friend
    UPDATED !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
    after week of testing just to see how well the rig do it's turn out great I end up talking the guy from South Carolina that good for good contact for me reason why I wanted to test to see how well do !



    KA1IS Rating: 5/5 Apr 12, 2018 21:06 Send this review to a friend
    A modern classic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
    I got this radio to use when traveling for work. For portable operation, I have previously used K1, KX1, ft-817, and argonaut VI radios.

    Unlike the above radios, the KX2 is a full featured radio. A fraction of the weight - but solid and rugged. The manual, and Fred Cady book, are organized and clearly written.

    User interface is brilliant. An economy of scale. It takes practice but once you figure out the UI, its easy to operate.

    The receiver has a warm sound in the headphones. Full control of EQ, filtering and PB shift. NR/NB and APF work very well. Wide range of adjustments for AGC. SWL reception is good above 2 MHz.

    The ATU has an excellent range. It will tune a piece of coax. CW operation is solid. The builtin paddle has a nice feel.

    If you are indoors, driving the KPA500 amp will get you about 250 watts.

    The best thing about this radio is that I can throw it in the backpack, with headphones, some wire, a roll of twine, pencil and paper. That's it. And all that together is lighter than a bottle of water.

    N7BAV Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2017 14:19 Send this review to a friend
    New Firmware Is Huge Improvement  Time owned: more than 12 months
    I have owned this radio for over a year and have used it in the field and at home. The KX2 is a specialized QRP radio which really shines in the field. My principle complaint with the radio has always been the low audio output volume when using the speaker. Many of us donít have the hearing we used to after years of exposure to noisy work environments and loud music. One advantage of these SDR radios is the ability of the manufacturer to write updated software. Well along comes Elecraft in Sept of 2017 with beta release firmware update 2.79 which fixes a whole range of minor issues with the radio. After downloading the update I find the audio volume output seems to have about doubled and the receiver seems more pleasing to the ear. If you own a KX2 you will be happy with all the improvements in this new firmware, what was a good radio is now a great radio.
    GM1SXX Rating: 3/5 Sep 7, 2017 11:06 Send this review to a friend
    Just OK.  Time owned: more than 12 months
    I've had the KX2 now for just over a year and I still have very mixed feelings about it. What's good? The RX performance. It's excellent. The current consumption on RX is barely OK. So what's bad? Where do I start..... rubbish ergonomics, not even remotely water resistant, cheap plastic encoders used for all the rotary controls, Crappy cheap control knobs. The ergonomics are IMO a disaster. That HUGE display is a total waste of space and adds nothing. In fact it takes away useful space from the controls area. Almost everything is hidden in menus, As a result, you have two choices. #1 just use the non-menu stuff... or #2 learn to navigate through all the menu options. For me at least.... it needs help... and a lot of it. I also have a Yaesu FT817. much easier to use and although the RX is VERY greedy, it's a better outdoor radio if you live in a rainy country, like me. Did I mention that it has a decent receiver?
    AB5IE Rating: 5/5 Aug 25, 2017 11:19 Send this review to a friend
    Works well ... could use some changes  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
    I could be snarky and rate this radio slightly lower, but because it is such a great performer I had to give it a "5". More about this:

    Elecraft had a "deal" on these this month, so I went crazy and purchased TWO of these, sight unseen, based on the manufacturer's reputation and great reviews and I love the built-in digital modes. I have no regrets ... they work quite well and are easy to use (after a couple of hours in the manual). They compliment my other low power radios, including an FT-817. Much easier to use than the 817, with a big display and all the controls are up front. The internal transmatch or "antenna tuner" will tune everything from an open coax to a nail ... as a matter of fact, it tuned a match for 75 feet of RG8-U that accidentally had the other end unconnected. The receiver is excellent and really shines under crowded, crappy conditions.

    Multiple small beefs with this radio is that is seems flimsy and unsuitable for real rough outdoors activities with too many holes in the case for stuff to get inside. In addition, the plastic covering the display needs a gasket and more fasteners to hold it flat. The main tuning knob wobbles and is light weight. I'd also like for the internal battery pack to be rechargeable without having to remove it. For the price, Elecraft should have embedded a roofing filter (it's just some op-amps).

    What I would like to see is a KX4 that is simply a nice, water tight, rugged die-cast box with an antenna, USB and power port. This would connect to your iPad, tablet or whatever for all the control and display functions. That is, kind of a Flex 1500 concept, but with all the heavy lifting in the radio box and all in a tough enclosure.

    All in all, I love these little transceivers from Elecraft, they work like a million dollars for my casual portable operation.
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