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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: 46 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 —>

    N4MJG Rating: 5/5 Jun 24, 2019 15:46 Send this review to a friend
    Good rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
    I have been eyeing this for years when I go to huntsville ala , I've been wanted one for years !
    and finally got one after very long time getting one I'm very happy to buy one really love mine soo far !best radio ever today I'm going to take radio with me today at our trip ! if weather don't go bad we will wait and see it weather going to do today ! I gave radio a 10 stars !
    K4EQ Rating: 5/5 Apr 19, 2019 19:16 Send this review to a friend
    Wow!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
    I'm a long-time QRPer and through the years I've built many QRP radios, including the K1 and K2. The only QRP rigs I've had and not built were an Argonaut and an IC-703. But I've had my eye on the KX2 and KX3 ever since they came out, and especially after having been able to use a KX3 for our ARES Field Day last year. But not being kits and having a rather steep price tag for my budget have prevented me from buying one of them.

    Well, temptation got the best of me a couple of weeks ago and, after my wife said, "Go for it," I ordered a KX2 Shack-in-a-Box. It arrived two days ago and included the tuner, real-time clock, lithium-ion battery pack (with charger), and a hand mic. I've already had several CW contacts with it.

    This radio is incredible. The auto-tuner has always and quickly found a 1:1 SWR, the filtering is very good in QRM, and the configuration menu, though a bit intimidating at first, has sufficient options to give anyone a pleasant operating experience. The owner's manual is well-written and I continually refer to it and learn more things about about this little gem.

    The KX2 is a very well designed SDR QRP (actually up to 12 watts) radio. This is one time I'm glad I took the plunge and yielded to temptation. BTW, I'm a retired pastor. :-)
    N1DL Rating: 5/5 Apr 3, 2019 00:47 Send this review to a friend
    KX2 maritime mobile  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
    I was on an Asia/Pacific cruise for 3 months with the KX2 and a SOTA beam fiberglass pole with wire wound around it and a counterpoise on the balcony floor.
    Made hundreds of contacts.
    What a surprising rig.
    Now use it as a permanent station rig and have an Expert 1.3K-FA linear to help out when I need it. 4.5 Watts to over a KW in a small package. Can't beat that.
    W1ND Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2019 00:45 Send this review to a friend
    Will have to pry my KX2 from my cold, dead hands  Time owned: more than 12 months

    I bought my KX2 a year ago as my only radio after getting back into the hobby from a long hiatus. I am 99% CW with some FT8, this rig is perfect for both (for me).

    I love that my shack fits in this tiny soft case, power, keys, antenna, connectors, and all.

    While it works fine in my shack, it excels on my deck, a picnic table, camping, in the field, hiking, etc. This radio was made to take with you. The tuner will tune pretty much anything you try, my favorite antenna so far is the one in the manual, 26’ of wire with a 13’ counterpoise. I use a Spiderbeam, SOTABeam, or just throw the wire in a tree. I also have a “linked wire” that I can add links to to make up longer, safe random lengths, to get me onto more bands.

    I have never Not made a contact after setting up the rig and getting on the air.

    One thing to upgrade is the VFO knob, there is a guy on eBay from Maine that sells an aluminum, dimpled knob that changes the entire feel of the radio.

    While I now have more radios and no longer go to my KX2 in the shack, I am not interested in selling it as it gets used more ofthen in the spring, summer, and fall, I will use my 7300 in the winter.
    K8DSS Rating: 5/5 Feb 22, 2019 22:32 Send this review to a friend
    Very pleased after a few days  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
    Ordered the KX2 and options at Orlando Hamcation. Received everything a week later. Getting it up and running was a breeze. I had a KX3, so there was a lot of familiar things, but there are some big differences in the button functions between the two designs.

    I have only used it on CW, so far. It has been very easy to use and receives and transmits like you would expect an Elecraft rig to do - absolutely no complaints. So, my initial report is I think it is an excellent rig. On many QSOs, I completely forget I am running QRP. The KX2 paddle is a big improvement over the KX3 paddle, but the rig really shines with a Begali.
    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.
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