Radio W4KAZ

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K2 Impressions – Part 5 – Post IARU

I am more pleased with this radio every time I use it. The K2 was really a joy to put on the air during IARU. The CW copy is good. The narrow filters are remarkable, relative to most other radios that I have tried. Good CW audio in a very narrow passband with no ringing detectable. I found myself wanting to break away from my “run, run, run” operating game plan. My original intent was to practice my run skills, but I found the K2 to be so good at S&P mode that I wound up doing a bit more S&P than I originally intended.

With the K2 filter set to 200 hz, S&P turned up workable stations every 200 hz. I was able to hear the weak stations down in the QRN that I probably have never known were there before. I was able to work many of them. It was a genuine “Wow!” experience.

I have yet to master many of the nuances of the K2’s operation, so I did run into a couple of “moments”. I acquired a KAT100 only a couple of days before FD, so I’m not completely up to date on its operation. I found this to be a problem when switching between antennas. That’s a problem, because I like to flip back and forth between alternative antennas. I need to dig into the manual and deepen my understanding of the tuner.

The KAT100 is pretty slick though. It tunes with low power, and it is very fast relative to my other rig.

My only other real issue is with the rx audio levels. I have several sets of headphones to choose from, and all are different on the K2, much more so than the other radio. I found myself juggling through several pair during the ‘test. The differences range from extraordinarily bad to passable. None of the current crop of headsets rise to the level of good. This is something I will need to resolve, because the headsets are a “must have” preference.

I’m now looking forward to getting the 160m option built and added on to my K2. S&P in the 160m contest is sure to be a lot of fun with this radio. Also, it will be nice to have the rx antenna input again. That is a feature of the 160m option. It is a feature I really like for 80m and 160m – I’ve become a real fan of using an rx antenna on 80m and 160m. I’ll begin on that mod after the IOTA weekend.

The issues I have with the rig are minor compared to how much it has added to the joy of operating.

4 comments to K2 Impressions – Part 5 – Post IARU

  • Jeff, KE9V

    I’ve used a stock (low power) K2 #524 for CW only since I built it in 1999 and have yet to hear a better sounding rig (on CW).

    It’s definitely a “keeper”!

    73 de Jeff

  • Ed

    Very nice to read your comments about your K2’s performance and how you’re becoming acquainted with it. I could echo many times over the audio output weaknesses, but I can certainly live with those when you factor in the radio’s incredible versatility. I didn’t operate in FD or IARU, but I’ve enjoyed making a few contacts with mine between thunderstorms the past few days. I was lucky enough to get mine with the 160 mtr option already installed, I think you’ll enjoy that too.

    I’ve been debating about adding the KAT100 to mine. It came with the low power tuner version, the KAT2 and for the times that I’ve reverted to low power it does a wonderful job – very fast to tune up.

    I’m interested in your thoughts about the K2 compared to other “bigtime” rigs that you’ve used for DXing and contesting. I know you mentioned using some of the Ten-Tec equipment for field day, how would you compare them?

    73’s Ed N4EMG

  • Sri fer delay…..Been in the boonies.

    tnx fer feedback.

    73 de w4kaz

  • Hello to all Elecraft friends,

    my first rig from this company was K2 (2006). I was very impressed during my IOTA 2006 – EA6/OK5MM. After that I have purchsed K3. I spent with this TRX my stay as PJ4/OK5MM and P4/OK5MM. Excellent!!!.

    Regards to all K2 and K3 users from

    Vit OK5MM

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