Astatic 611L Microphone For The KX2.

Started by gil, October 31, 2016, 08:01:09 AM

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For a while I had been using the KX2's internal microphone for a few impromptu SSB short conversations. The reports were less than stellar and bending over the radio or bringing it to your mouth is rather awkward.

The MH3 Elecraft microphone would have been great but with shipping, I was looking at probably $80. I couldn't care less about the up/down buttons, so I started looking for something else. While I had my KX3 I used a $2 computer microphone that worked well, but still required to press the XMIT button on the radio; not ideal.

I ordered an Astatic 611L for about $25 shipped. The microphone is rather large but I have big hands. The Cycolac shell looks and feels solid. The PTT button feels a bit rough to press. I first thought something was rubbing on the sides of the lever, but no, it is the internal switch itself, a big metal affair mind you, not a micro switch. The whole shebang gives an impression of ruggedness and cheapness at the same time.

According to the documentation the 400 Ohm dynamic cartridge has a rugged polyester diaphragm which resists moisture, temperature extremes, most acids, alkalies and solvents. Not that it matters much since the KX2 probably does not. I like the metal grille protecting the cartridge.

The 611L did not come with a plug, but I had a 4-prong 3.5mm jack. A 3-prong stereo jack would have worked as well since the up/down function isn't used. I connected the Astatic's shield, green and black wires together. They connect to the first two rings, or ground ring of a stereo jack, opposite to the tip. The red PTT wire connects to the ring next to the tip, and the white audio wire connects to the tip.

With power set to 5W, I started making loud  jungle-like noises into the microphone while turning the mic-gain knob until the LCD bar graph peaked at 5W. Then I turned the power to 10W and yelled a couple times into the mike, 10W out, great. Mic gain is set at 30. A couple quick QSOs with Germany and the South of France confirmed it was working and I was told my audio was pretty good. Mission accomplished and I saved $55!

My only concern is that the connection to the jack is no doubt not as strong as a molded jack. Oh well, if it breaks I always have the internal microphone, or better yet, my Morse key!