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Author Topic: KX2 First Impressions.  (Read 7620 times)

Rescue9

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2016, 03:43:53 PM »
Thanks Gil. This works great.

Rescue9

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2016, 01:41:54 PM »
Gil... do you happen to have the KX3 companion app. I'd love to see a video of it running with the KX2. Because I don't have a KX3, I'm not sure if the program is working as it should, or what steps I might be missing. I'm unable to decode PSK 31 through the app. I can see the waterfall, but it just won't decode.

gil

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2016, 01:47:55 PM »
Sorry no. I didn't even have it when I had a KX3.. I know there are things possible with the KX3 that the KX2 won't do.. Maybe Wayne can comment...

Gil

cockpitbob

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2017, 10:58:28 AM »
Gil, I think I'm about to get a KX2.
The company I work for gives you a $750 gift of your choosing on your 15th anniversary with the company.  Strangely, I'm at a point if life were I don't want much, except spare time to play with the toys I have :P.  Even though I don't have much time for operating, I've always wanted a KX2, and it's just the right price.  So, now that you've had yours a while, what are your thoughts, especially on their accessories, which are pretty expensive.

Did you get the internal tuner, or are you sticking with the T1 external tuner?  Is there any real advantage to the internal tuner, other than fewer pieces and wires and probably a simpler tuning procedure?

What are your thoughts on batteries.  I like fewer wires, but I also like the idea of having a standard battery pack and charger that I use for all my QRP rigs.  If I get their internal pack($60) then I think I need their charger($25).  And I don't like that you have to open the radio and remove the pack to charge it.

What about the RTC real time clock.  At +/-2 seconds a day it doesn't seem like much of a clock.  Is it needed for digital modes, or is it just a convenience for date/time logging?

gil

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2017, 01:12:38 PM »
Hello Bob,

If you want to mainly do CW, the KX2 is awesome. You get great filtering, much better than any other radio I've tried, except the KX3 which works as well. I did not get any options, though I wouldn't mind the internal tuner. I prefer an external battery but having no wires is definitely nice. The clock is useless to me, I wear a watch... I don't do contests and very little digital modes, so no clock for me. I don't think it's mandatory for digital, and I think you have to reset it every time you turn on the radio, but I might be wrong about that. The paddles would be nice.. Some day..

The only advantages of the T1 is that you can put it at the antenna feed point to eliminate long-cable losses, but then you need someone to press the tune button for you, unless you can run really fast back to the radio! It also of course works with other radios and will take 30W.

I don't think I'll sell my KX2 but I wonder sometimes, as I did for the KX3, if it just isn't too much radio, so to speak. I never got emotionally attached to my KX3, as much as one can get attached to a thing, and the KX2 is the same. I don't know why... There aren't any logical reasons for it, as the performance is excellent. It's just one of those things...

I wonder sometimes if I should have bought an FT-817nd, especially now that I really like 2m SSB/CW. If I had to do it again, I think I would, but the high current draw really, really bugs me. Maybe I haven't digested the $300+ importation tax on the KX2...

Anyway, you can't go wrong with the KX2. We go around only once... Maybe Ray can comment on his...

Gil.

cockpitbob

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2017, 10:46:14 AM »
Hi Gil,

Thanks for the voice of experience!
I dithered back and forth between the FT-817 and KX2 and decided on the KX2.  The 817 is getting to be pretty ancient technology, it's heavy, battery hungry and (from all I read) doesn't perform nearly as well as the KX2.  I can live without 2m/70cm in an HF rig.  Also, I've been wanting to get into digital-portable and the KX2 seems perfect for that.

I'm not going to get the internal battery.  From what I read it doesn't last as long and I came across one comment that sounded like after an hour you have to turn the power down because it droops during Tx.  Besides, it's expensive and I don't like that I have to open the radio and remove it to charge it.

I'm also going to not get the internal tuner.  I'll get the T1 instead.  Then I'll have an auto-tuner I can use with all my other little rigs.  What I really wish is Elecraft would adapt the KX2 to interface with the T1 the way the T1 will interface with an FT-817.  But then, Elecraft would sell fewer internal tuners, so I can see why they don't do that.

I know what you mean about the emotional attachment.  I think that kind of thing is earned by building or modifying or doing something great (operating from the top of Mt. Blanc, etc.) with the rig.  Even if I go deaf, I'm keeping the MTR-3B that I built and modified with an internal touch-keyer and touch pads on the outside.  I'll just hang it on the wall ::)
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 10:48:09 AM by cockpitbob »

RadioRay

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2017, 11:29:35 PM »
CockpitBob de RadioRay  BT

For me, zero question, go for the KX2.  It has a SUPERB receiver for all of my HF uses: ham, SWL and even for monitoring the HF marine activities.  The transmitter - at ten Watts maximum - is more than enough for most CW and much digital.  SSB reports, on HF nets, using the INTERNAL micropohone have all been quite good - with the receiving end being amazed that I was ten Watts SSB and not using an external mic.  On CW, I do not know that it can be beat - ounce for ounce.

I REALLY recommend the internal antenna coupler, because that allows you to use almost anything as an antenna for field expedient comms (as you mentioned) without the additional cables, power and connector requirements, which are all vectors for damage in all but ham shack environments: I call that "BOOT BAIT" and usually ends badly.  You can always use external gadgets if you chooce, by by-passing the internal ATU using a simple command in the menu.

The internal batteries are great and make this a 'single box solution'.  I have two Elecraft internal batteries and one off-brand, all of which charge using the Elecraft charger.  Yes, there are after market chargers, and they might be as good, but I TRUST Elecraft engineering for the long term reliability far more than Ebay 'discount' chargers. (buy once and cry once).  As a supplement, I have a LiFePo2 4.5 A/H pack from Bioenno that can charge from almost any "12v" solar panel, due to the INTERNAL Battery protection circuit in the battery cover that protects against over and under voltage.  Yes, whenever possible, I use the Bioenno charger, but it's nice to know that, should I NEED to charge directly from my small solar panel - unregulated- I have the ability to do it, though more carefully. I have solar/deep cycle with AC pure sinewave inverter in the camper-van, so can recharge anywhere I am parked and be good for many weeks of skeds, or several days of continuous hobby hamming- being less mobile than I used to be ;-) the van is my 'camping' these days.

Mine is in a Sigg aluminum case along with essential accessories, (click on attachment) lined with scrap conductive foam.  As a complete system, this Sigg case goes into a mid-small sized Pelican for all accessories, including chargers, straight key, antenna kit, a third LiPo battery and the Bioenno pack.  This means, impact, environmental and Faraday protection in something with about the same cubic displacement as this smallish Pelican case. Naturally, you don't need all of this for backpacking or for a few days in the woods - you can pare it down to the Sigg case and wire.  However, this is a ONE-GRAB -SOLUTION to HF communications, so I keep it packed that way. 



The Pelican outer case means that even if I tossed it overboard, I could use it once retrieved - no problem.

Remember, when the external battery pack is connected, you operate from IT automatically, unless it's voltage drops below the internal pack.  Save the internal pack as your 'electron lifeboat' in case you're down to the last ability to operate.

>>> Remember too, that this radio will operate CW, voice, PSK/RTTY with NO ACCESSORIES. You can send/receive PSK31/RTTY using the paddles and the display: no computer needed to communicate with the 'Morse Impaired'.  haha aha haaaa

My KX2 is my dream radio. 2 meters should be separate, so that you can listen to tactical/area radio-comms, while operating HF at the same time.



The KX2 is for people who give-a-dit.
BT

>RadioRay  ..._  ._


« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 09:02:10 AM by RadioRay »
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

gil

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2017, 03:04:40 AM »
Great post Ray, thank you!

I should be more excited about my KX2... Pairing it with an MFJ-9402 would make the perfect portable station.

Gil.

cockpitbob

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2017, 02:12:17 PM »
Ray, great, great info.  Thanks!

I guess I will go with the internal battery.  I really do like an uncluttered station.  For that reason the internal tuner may happen too, but I really want a T1 for all my other little rigs.  I guess part of my problem is I'm having a hard time coping with the idea of having about $1,000 tied up in a little box that fits in the palm of my hand LOL.

Steve 7931

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2017, 05:45:50 AM »
Ray, great, great info.  Thanks!

 I'm having a hard time coping with the idea of having about $1,000 tied up in a little box that fits in the palm of my hand LOL.

The KX2 has been on my wish list for some months now , but the quote from cockpitbob, sums up my reservations exactly.
I ask my self the question,  do I realy need this radio or is it just a wish for another shiny toy ?

Like my KX1 I have had to put it into a Pelican case, because of its fragile construction, and non water resistance ,for rugged use in the field. I would have to do the same with the KX2 !!!

I have owned an FT 817 for 3 years, use it with a couple of 7Ah gel batteries , one charge gives a couple of hours use if transmitting and 4 hrs if just listening.

Two things I do not like about the radio, first, its not a great CW platform, I have the accessory filters fitted, but still the bandwidth is too big to cut out the QRM from nearby stations, making copy difficult most of the time.
My two Elecraft radios are perfect for CW work which is the reason for considering a new KX2 but for pease of mind for rugged use in the field , maybe I should search for a K1.

My sleepness nights continue, until I can make the decision !!

73 Steve

gil

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2017, 05:48:40 AM »
Ray, great, great info.  Thanks!

 I'm having a hard time coping with the idea of having about $1,000 tied up in a little box that fits in the palm of my hand LOL.

The KX2 has been on my wish list for some months now , but the quote from cockpitbob, sums up my reservations exactly.
I ask my self the question,  do I realy need this radio or is it just a wish for another shiny toy ?

Like my KX1 I have had to put it into a Pelican case, because of its fragile construction, and non water resistance ,for rugged use in the field. I would have to do the same with the KX2 !!!

I have owned an FT 817 for 3 years, use it with a couple of 7Ah gel batteries , one charge gives a couple of hours use if transmitting and 4 hrs if just listening.

Two things I do not like about the radio, first, its not a great CW platform, I have the accessory filters fitted, but still the bandwidth is too big to cut out the QRM from nearby stations, making copy difficult most of the time.
My two Elecraft radios are perfect for CW work which is the reason for considering a new KX2 but for pease of mind for rugged use in the field , maybe I should search for a K1.

My sleepness nights continue, until I can make the decision !!

73 Steve
Steve, have you looked into the Weber MTR 4b?
Gil

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Steve 7931

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2017, 06:20:05 AM »
Gil,
I already own and use the MTR 5b, but still trying to find the pefect battery pack for this radio, I am very nervious about going over the ( highlighted in RED ) 12 volts dc.  Even the 8 x 1.5 AA cells when new are over. And my re-chargeable 1.2 volt cells only give 10.6 in the 8x pack

Steve

gil

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2017, 06:38:09 AM »
Gil,
I already own and use the MTR 5b, but still trying to find the pefect battery pack for this radio, I am very nervious about going over the ( highlighted in RED ) 12 volts dc.  Even the 8 x 1.5 AA cells when new are over. And my re-chargeable 1.2 volt cells only give 10.6 in the 8x pack

Steve
I have used 12.6V with my MTR3b, but your SWR must be very low...

Gil

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Jon_Garfio

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Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2017, 03:12:15 PM »
CockpitBob de RadioRay  BT

For me, zero question, go for the KX2.  It has a SUPERB receiver for all of my HF uses: ham, SWL and even for monitoring the HF marine activities.  The transmitter - at ten Watts maximum - is more than enough for most CW and much digital.  SSB reports, on HF nets, using the INTERNAL micropohone have all been quite good - with the receiving end being amazed that I was ten Watts SSB and not using an external mic.  On CW, I do not know that it can be beat - ounce for ounce.

I REALLY recommend the internal antenna coupler, because that allows you to use almost anything as an antenna for field expedient comms (as you mentioned) without the additional cables, power and connector requirements, which are all vectors for damage in all but ham shack environments: I call that "BOOT BAIT" and usually ends badly.  You can always use external gadgets if you chooce, by by-passing the internal ATU using a simple command in the menu.

The internal batteries are great and make this a 'single box solution'.  I have two Elecraft internal batteries and one off-brand, all of which charge using the Elecraft charger.  Yes, there are after market chargers, and they might be as good, but I TRUST Elecraft engineering for the long term reliability far more than Ebay 'discount' chargers. (buy once and cry once).  As a supplement, I have a LiFePo2 4.5 A/H pack from Bioenno that can charge from almost any "12v" solar panel, due to the INTERNAL Battery protection circuit in the battery cover that protects against over and under voltage.  Yes, whenever possible, I use the Bioenno charger, but it's nice to know that, should I NEED to charge directly from my small solar panel - unregulated- I have the ability to do it, though more carefully. I have solar/deep cycle with AC pure sinewave inverter in the camper-van, so can recharge anywhere I am parked and be good for many weeks of skeds, or several days of continuous hobby hamming- being less mobile than I used to be ;-) the van is my 'camping' these days.

Mine is in a Sigg aluminum case along with essential accessories, (click on attachment) lined with scrap conductive foam.  As a complete system, this Sigg case goes into a mid-small sized Pelican for all accessories, including chargers, straight key, antenna kit, a third LiPo battery and the Bioenno pack.  This means, impact, environmental and Faraday protection in something with about the same cubic displacement as this smallish Pelican case. Naturally, you don't need all of this for backpacking or for a few days in the woods - you can pare it down to the Sigg case and wire.  However, this is a ONE-GRAB -SOLUTION to HF communications, so I keep it packed that way. 



The Pelican outer case means that even if I tossed it overboard, I could use it once retrieved - no problem.

Remember, when the external battery pack is connected, you operate from IT automatically, unless it's voltage drops below the internal pack.  Save the internal pack as your 'electron lifeboat' in case you're down to the last ability to operate.

>>> Remember too, that this radio will operate CW, voice, PSK/RTTY with NO ACCESSORIES. You can send/receive PSK31/RTTY using the paddles and the display: no computer needed to communicate with the 'Morse Impaired'.  haha aha haaaa

My KX2 is my dream radio. 2 meters should be separate, so that you can listen to tactical/area radio-comms, while operating HF at the same time.



The KX2 is for people who give-a-dit.
BT

>RadioRay  ..._  ._
Ray, great, great info.  Thanks!

 I'm having a hard time coping with the idea of having about $1,000 tied up in a little box that fits in the palm of my hand LOL.

The KX2 has been on my wish list for some months now , but the quote from cockpitbob, sums up my reservations exactly.
I ask my self the question,  do I realy need this radio or is it just a wish for another shiny toy ?

Like my KX1 I have had to put it into a Pelican case, because of its fragile construction, and non water resistance ,for rugged use in the field. I would have to do the same with the KX2 !!!

I have owned an FT 817 for 3 years, use it with a couple of 7Ah gel batteries , one charge gives a couple of hours use if transmitting and 4 hrs if just listening.

Two things I do not like about the radio, first, its not a great CW platform, I have the accessory filters fitted, but still the bandwidth is too big to cut out the QRM from nearby stations, making copy difficult most of the time.
My two Elecraft radios are perfect for CW work which is the reason for considering a new KX2 but for pease of mind for rugged use in the field , maybe I should search for a K1.

My sleepness nights continue, until I can make the decision !!

73 Steve
You got the right.

I bought past may a 817ND, plus cw filter 500 Hz and there is not a got rig for cw.

I just sell It and I am thinking about a Elecraft or buy a QRO base rig.

The only doubt about kx2 that I have is the quality if the dial encoder, the kx3's encoder is the same that K3.

What a pitty that I live un Spain and I must pay duty fees for EEUU products.



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