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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Elecraft K1 Help

Reviews Summary for Elecraft K1
Elecraft K1 Reviews: 150 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $279
Description: 4-band QRP CW kit
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Elecraft K1.

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PY1ZB Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 2017 07:33 Send this review to a friend
Great Little Rig!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I was one of the last buyers of this excellent QRP Rig Kit (2 band version). The built was fun and educational and lasted about 4 days to conclude, and it worked perfectly. People from mailing list helped a lot to tune the circuits and inductors.

I'm amazed how it's runs a big rig, using just reduced power, and a very nice and smooth reception. It was possible to do intercontinental QSOs with just a simple dipole antenna.

If it was still being sold, I certainly would buy another one, and also for the fun of it's build process.
K7EXJ Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2016 12:22 Send this review to a friend
4-bands and amazing performance  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I snagged this 4-band K1 with internal tuner from an ad on another forum for $350. Since the 4-band filters are no longer available, I was happy to get this one. The build quality is excellent and the rig performs like a champ.

My home QTH is, like so many others, noisy so I became interested in portable and field ops. The K1 sits in a fancy Walmart insulated lunch bag (a "freezer bag") we bought while wandering the sporting goods aisle; $9.47 was the price. Batteries (18665s) on the bottom, K1 in the middle with a key, and MP-1 vertical antenna, headphones, and assorted stuff on the top all separated by cardboard.

Last November, sitting in my Jeep Wrangler parked at the northern end of a big reservoir in central WA with the MP-1 vertical clamped to the front bumper, the OEM radials deployed and the K1 on the dashboard with a Bulldog key in my hand I worked the Philippines on 5 watts. That was over 7,000 miles.

I've worked stations on every one of the bands (40/30/20/15) and had a great time. Usually parked around water or on hilltops in the desert.

Over the years I've done a fair bit of QRP and still have my 1970s Argonaut 509 rig. But the K1 is just amazing with good filters, built in keyer, built in antenna tuner, and a great receiver; it is my go-to radio for field ops. Small and light (maybe not as light as some of the tiniest rigs out there but it has a decent display and a lot of options) I take it on every trip out of town and on a lot of just road trips.

Can't wait to try it out on my fishing boat. :)
N2DTS Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2016 20:33 Send this review to a friend
Great!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Built 3425 in about 12 hours, no issues, no missing parts, no drift, I set it for 6 watts out, RX is very nice.
The parts go together so well, everything fits just right.
I only wish they included a full frequency display and put pins on the boards that hold the surface out replacement chips, that would make assembly a bit easier.
80 and 40 meters, 150 KHz tuning range, works great.
WB3T Rating: 2/5 Jan 12, 2016 19:49 Send this review to a friend
A few issues.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Nice radio with all the extras but it drifts like crazy. 1100 Hz / hour as opposed to 30 - 40 for the Ten Tec or Small Wonder Labs transceivers. I made the mistake of buying an extra band board, but with the ATU and internal battery assembly it is not practical or wise to change boards in the field. So I tried to buy another chassis for my second band board, but Elecraft will not accommodate.

I wish they had not said "you can change the filter board at any time" which is why I bought it. While that technically is true, it will take a while if you have options installed that need to be removed as well to get to the band board. There is hardware involved so bring tools to the field, and hope you don't lose your screws and washers in the grass. And if you go by the assembly instructions, you are not supposed to work inside the unit without static protection so how is this field-changeable? Bring tools (Phillips screwdriver, tweezers, a wrist strap, static mat, and a good long ground rod) with you to the field, I guess. The mat could help you not lose your washers, screws, and standoffs.

They sold me a band board without a chassis, so why not a chassis to go with the board? I would have bought the whole unit together if I had known how difficult it is to change band boards in the field. So they should just sell me the rest already. But they insist on forcing another band board on me that I don't need.

So I have to knock down my rating once for the drift issue (which as it turns out is common if you do a web search for Elecraft K1 drift), once again for the limited band coverage, and once more for the poor customer support.
N7KM Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2015 11:44 Send this review to a friend
A lot of fun!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A few weeks ago I saw a K1 listed on a swap page and having always wanted to tinker with one, I picked it up. I have a K3, and KX3 which I really enjoy, so I didnít really need the K1. It arrived and I found it was the four bander with all the options, in perfect condition and no fix up required. When I hooked it to the antenna I was pleasantly surprised by quality of the receiver and the ease of operation. I have several great receivers in my shack and this little jewel is equal to any of them. The simple filter system out performs many of my other radios and the inherent low receive noise floor makes the K1 a standout. This has been a very enjoyable two weeks; Iím close to QRP WAS and have worked several DX stations in Asia, South America and Europe. In a nut shell the best two words to describe the K1 is ďFUNĒ and ďSimpleĒ. Not having a DDS VFO Iíve had to live with a measured 105 Hz drift for the first few minutes, but itís worth it. I was going to buy it, try it and sell it, but itís going anywhere, except camping, for a long time.
WB4EDB Rating: 5/5 Jun 21, 2015 23:02 Send this review to a friend
Great ATU  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased a K1 which when I used was told I had drift problems. Don Wilhelm took care of that problem for me. When I got the rig back I threw a 32 Feet of wire over a tree branch with about a 15 or 16 foot piece of wire on ground and the ATU had no problem enabling me to have a blast making contacts. I had used only dipoles before and could not believe the success I had.
K7QQH Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2015 09:59 Send this review to a friend
Best of the Best  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hello All--

I have a K1 four bander (40-30-20-15) and it is simply the best. Have worked a TON of DX with it (EU, Asia, South America, Antarctica, all over the US, etc.), but of course, GOOD ANTENNAS are a must.

Right now I am running the rig MOBILE in my Jeep with a homebrew mobile antenna, and it continues to astound me - sometimes I forget there's only 6-7 watts going out the pipe, yet it hears and works DX like I'm sitting at home! To be sure, a good mobile antenna is a must, and suggest potential operators study the excellent mobile antenna construction materials available on the internet, and/or the ARRL antenna handbook, etc. before building (you will quickly discover that most mobile antennas for sale are poorly designed overpriced garbage).

Also, hats off to the excellent Elecraft Tech Support folks - who I've used a couple of times and was able to quickly troubleshoot the two minor problems I had with the little rig.

Again, a great rig whether operating fixed, portable or mobile. You won't be disappointed.

Best 73's

Roger C.
F8WBD Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2015 01:05 Send this review to a friend
Small but wirey  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased a couple used K1s last summer and am very happy with them. The noise level is low compared to my FT-817 and the 3-levels of DSP do a better job of filtering than the 500 HZ installed in the 817. The menu operation required some getting used to, but now the basic learning curve is over. I don't do portable, outdoor operations so it is my desktop rig next to my Argonaut 509. Big difference in size and weight. To keep the K1 from moving around the desk, I put a dab of rubber cement under each pad...keeps it in place. I have worked the Americas and Australia running about 4 watts to a Par EF-20 low wire. I can't think of any other QRP transceiver that I could possibly want as the K1 meets all my needs.
WK8M Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2015 14:50 Send this review to a friend
Quite the Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Recently purchased K1 assembeled and used. Very impressed with the performance .Made several transatlantic qso's with a homemade 125 ft.Zepp wire antenna. The rig has the tuner built in and it works well with my setup.I am new to qrp and glad I got this radio as a starter. Mainly because of the tuner, built in, which works better than I thought it would. As you can tell this is more of an emotional review as compared to a technical review . This radio does enough to make cw fun without being complex THANKS Wk8m Tom
W3NCR Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2015 18:21 Send this review to a friend
great little rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've been having a blast with the K1 since I built it last fall. Have the ATU and NB; 40/20 board. I bought it to take hiking and on vacations because my other portable rig (a KX3) has become my base station. But increasingly I've been using the K1 at home just for kicks, including in CQWW last year. It's intuitive, sturdy and has a great receiver. I initially had some drift but it seems to have worked itself out -- I don't notice it at all once the K1 has been on for a few minutes. I previously owned a KX1 and considered buying another one but I wanted a NB for some of the places I operate. Otherwise, I think they're fairly comparable. I feel like you can't go wrong with anything from Elecraft.
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