In November 2005 I bought an Elecraft K1 transceiver in kit form. Until then, the extent of my soldering
was putting PL259 plugs onto coaxial cable.
Over the next couple of months I enjoyed building the kit. I had a couple of downfalls but was rescued by
Mike Coles / M0CIE.
The K1 has an output of 5 watts maximum and I opted to have 40 and 20 metres as the two bands supplied.
There is only one mode - CW. I also bought the Auto Antenna Tuning Unit and the Noise Blanker.
The Elecraft series of kits are very popular and the support from the manufacturer and other Elecraft
builders is very impressive. I was particularly grateful to Andy Stafford / G4VPM who had taken a series
of photos as he built his kit and has them posted on his web site. K1 Pictures
During the assembly, I had being using a pair of headphones when making audio output checks and on
9 February 2006, whilst doing one of the final assembly points - connecting the speaker - I heard GM3NCS
calling CQ on 40 metres. I had already confirmed that the K1 was putting out 5 watts into my Carolina Windom
antenna, so I replied to GM3NCS’s call. His signal was RST 599 with me, and he replied saying my signal was
589 at his QTH in Burghead near RAF Kinloss.
I thought that was pretty good, 377 miles on 5 watts. I was soon to be amazed.
Moving between the two bands of 20 metres and 40 metres, I worked as far south as EA8AGF (1678 miles) as far
north as OH1LWZ (1,454 miles) as far west as K1LZ in Massachusetts (3,177 miles) and as far east as 9M6/G3OOK
in East Malaysia (7,200 miles). Inside 5 weeks I worked 61 DXCC Entities in Europe, Africa, Asia and North
America on 5 watts. Although some of the QSOs were into a pile-up and contests and I received rubber-stamp 599s,
I had DK7HQ tell me that my K1 ’sounded like a 100 watts rig’ and when I told OE7PMI I was using a K1 at 5 watts,
he amended my 589 to 599 !!
Click on K1 RIG to see the my new rig.
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