Bitcoin donations to: 1CE9UfWJcHBYkWPns7iqBqZgKhd5xfqEaM thanks!
Buy Bitcoins easily by clicking HERE!


Use coupon radiopreppers for 20% off on the above site.Become a Patron!

Author Topic: Elecraft K2 questions  (Read 16827 times)

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Elecraft K2 questions
« on: October 06, 2013, 11:40:09 PM »
WOO HOO! I just sold my TS-2000 so I'll be ready to place an order for my K2 very soon.


I need a little advice from some experienced K2 CW ops - I know there's at least one guy here that fits that description.  ;)


My plan so far is to first of all order the Rework Eliminator Kit from unpcbs.com so that future upgrades will be much easier. The things I know I'm going to order is the K2 kit (of course), the RS-232 Interface kit, and the 160 meter kit (mainly so I can listen to MF AM broadcast and at $40 it's cheap anyway). I will not be ordering the 100 watt PA deck and likely never will. I seldom ever used the internal ATU in my Kenwood and see no reason why I can't live without it in the K2 so it's out for now also. The internal battery kit is also out since I already own a KX1 which is far more suited to portable operating.


That leaves three options that I'm still debating on, if I had the money I'd just order all the options but I don't so.............


1 - Audio filter (standard or DSP)
I'm assuming the standard crystal filtering is at least as good and probably better than the filtering in        my KX1 which is excellent. I'm not sure this the best bang for the buck so I'm leaning towards eliminating this option.


2 - Noise blanker
I've never missed a noise blanker in my KX1 and seldom used it on other rigs I've owned, of course on some of those rigs the noise blanker wasn't very effective. I'm leaning towards dropping this one also.


3 - SSB module
This is the one I really can't decide on. As everyone is probably aware I'm a CW op through and through, SSB just holds no interest for me any longer. I've stepped away from digital modes also. I'm assuming that just like my KX1, the stock K2 will receive in SSB simply by opening the filter wide enough, this is important to me since I sometimes listen to SW broadcast. If the SSB module is required to even receive then this one may be decided for me already.




Keep in mind that since I'm building it from the start using the Rework Eliminator kit, adding options in the future will be a piece of cake.


OK, the floor is open for questions, comments, concerns, cussing and name calling.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

gil

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2954
  • SMeter: +78/-3
    • View Profile
    • Radio Preppers
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2013, 12:13:03 AM »
Quote
I know there's at least one guy here that fits that description.

That might be me, given that I built one..  ;) Ray is getting really good with troubleshooting too...  :o

You might not want to bother with the noise blanker or even extra filtering.. I never felt the need for it with my K2. Now, if I was going to choose between the audio filter or DSP, I'd go for DSP, might as well go all the way.. Current draw will increase more, but as you say, you have your KX1.

The Rework Eliminator Kit, I'm not sure I'd bother with that either.. Adding options isn't that hard. I added the ATU and SSB board, and never wondered what a Rework Eliminator Kit was...

I did build the SSB module for mine, never really used it but once to test it. It worked great. I guess it was a "just in case" kind of thing, not to be without any SSB radio. If you have another SSB radio, you might as well forget it. Otherwise, I'd own at least one SSB capable radio. Mine is the KX3. I don't remember if the SSB module is required to receive SSB, never tried.. You might want to read the SSB module manual before building the front panel though, and add the required components in case you decide to build it later. Actually, if I was building one again, I would read all the modules manuals and place an order with Mouser for all the extra components added to the existing K2 boards, so I wouldn't have to take anything apart later. Same as getting the Rework Eliminator Kit I guess, without the extra stuff.

I'd say don't even wonder about all that, just get it with the 160m module and build it, then use it. You'll have a better idea of what you'll want to add to it then.. It's a great radio, and a good looking one to boot. You'll enjoy it a great deal  :)

One last piece of advise: Clearance between the front panel and control board is pretty much nonexistant. I had a short between the two after assembly! I used a little piece of cardboard to solve the problem. Something to keep in mind..

Gil.

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2013, 09:16:19 AM »
Thanks Gil, that's exactly the advice I was looking for. You pretty much confirmed my thoughts on the audio filtering and noise blanker, I'll wait to add those in the future. I'll do more research on if it receives SSB without the SSB module, I'm relatively sure it does but yes, I have another rig with SSB capabilities if for some strange reason I ever need to transmit highly inefficient phone. 8)


The Rework Eliminator Kit has lots of excellent reviews praising its ease of future upgrading. Even if they're wrong and it's a waste it's only a $23 gamble, well worth the risk in my opinion.


There will be a non K2 option on my order also; I'm finally ordering the 30/80 meter module for my KX1. I'll soon have a fully loaded KX1. ;D

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

gil

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2954
  • SMeter: +78/-3
    • View Profile
    • Radio Preppers
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2013, 10:43:40 AM »
Quote
I'm finally ordering the 30/80 meter module for my KX1. I'll soon have a fully loaded KX1.

Major upgrade :) You're going to be high on solder smoke for a while with that K2  :o

Gil.

RadioRay

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 797
  • SMeter: +45/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2013, 11:21:52 AM »
The receiver on the K2 is excellent.  Because you already have an SSB radio, the SSB accessory can certainly be added later. I would do everything that you can to enhance the receiver's filtering and the audio filtering can add a lot to the already excellent I.F. When I am talking with Gil on the radio, I usually have the IF filter down to either 400 or 200Hz bandwidth with the audio filter set to narrow.  It really increases the signal to noise ratio.

Remember that this is not a general coverage receiver.  It will tune outside of the ham bands, but you will find points where the K2 receiver drops dead outside of the band edges.  I can listen to the 31 meter SW broadcast band and to much of the 39 meter broadcasts as well. Your mileage may vary.  The K2 is what I use as my station receiver, but it was an E-bay wonder which chronically kills the finals on transmit.  Fortunately, the receiver is excellent.


>Ray

"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2013, 01:41:48 PM »
Thanks guys, I appreciate the advice. I think I'm just going to order it with the RS-232 interface and the 160 meter kit for now. After I play with it for a while and get a feel for it I'll revisit the audio filter options. SSB kit is out for now. Since Wes and I switched our sked to 80 meters and my wide as barn door IC-735 sucks on CW, my first priority will probably be to build and install the 30/80 meter kit for my KX1.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 01:29:27 PM »
I finally received my new credit card (had a fraudulent charge so the bank shut my card off >:( ) and re-placed my order with Elecraft. Hopefully yet this week will arrive a K2 Tranceiver Kit, KAF2 Audio Filter, KNB2 Noise Blanker, KI02 RS-232 Interface, FDIMP Finger Dimple and a KXB3080 30/80 M for KX1. Looks like my weekend will be spent melting solder. ;D 
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

RadioRay

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 797
  • SMeter: +45/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 07:16:57 PM »
WooHoo!   Enjoy melting solder.  That 30/80m add-on for the KX1 will really make your day.  The K2 is a great rig, especially for the CW hound in you.



>Ray
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 09:27:32 PM »
 >:( GGRRRR!
K2 should have arrived today but UPS tracking now shows it stuck in Lenexa, KS due to an exception caused by a train derailment with no new expected delivery date........ just my luck.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2013, 10:29:50 AM »
Woo Hoo!! The big brown truck finally delivered yesterday. I finished up the 30/80 meter module for the KX1 late last night, having to remove components and modify the KX1 board took a fair amount of time. I'll get started on the K2 tonight.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

RadioRay

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 797
  • SMeter: +45/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2013, 08:42:28 PM »
Congratulations ! The Truck of Joy is a GOOD thing!

That 30 meter add-on will really make your KX1 an even better rig for wilderness skeds.


Ray
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2013, 10:12:14 AM »
Holy $*%# there's a lot of pieces and parts in a K2! Especially with 3 optional modules........... oh well, one component at a time. ;D


I retired to bed last night with the control board close to completed, should have it buttoned up by tonight and move on to the next stage. This K2 is definitely going to take a little longer to build than my KX1 did which I completed in a single weekend.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2013, 10:22:56 PM »
First board done.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

RadioRay

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 797
  • SMeter: +45/-2
    • View Profile
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2013, 11:22:17 PM »
U3, pin one indicator is in the wrong place.



















Naaaaaaaaaaaaaah! It's fine.  Must be these old eyes - playin' tricks on me, 'cuz I'd NEVER pull your leg - ever.    ;D

Good Work - Can't wait to work a few CW contacts with you on it and the 30/80 meter module in the KX1.



>Ray
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 11:23:58 PM by RadioRay »
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

KK0G

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • SMeter: +23/-0
    • View Profile
    • Efficient Combat Training Inc.
Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2013, 01:13:49 AM »
Front panel board finished............... bedtime :o .
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

Radio Preppers

Re: Elecraft K2 questions
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2013, 01:13:49 AM »