Elecraft K2
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What's this all about?

I recently decided that I wanted to build an HF radio and started to look at the various designs. I could have built a very simple radio but I was after more of a challenge and wanted to learn a lot more about how the 'black boxes' work. I also was after a radio that I could adapt in the future. After a lot of looking around I decide to build an Elecraft K2 because of its excellent reviews and from talking to a few fellow Hams. In late December 2002 K2 #3107 arrived.....

What is the K2?

The K2 is a high performance, synthesized, CW/SSB HF transceiver covering all of the HF bands. The radio is designed to be truly portable as well as a shack based radio.

The basic K2 covers 80-10m on CW only with approx 10watts of power. There are various options available to expand the radio and currently these include

An SSB adaptor with optimised 7 pole crystal filtering
An Internal ATU (20w max)
An External ATU (150w max).
160m adaptor with receive antenna switch.
60m adaptor with low level transverter interface
Computer interface (RS232 - Kenwood control commands)
Noise blanker
Low noise audio filter and real time clock
Internal 2.9Ah rechargeable batter
100w final stage.

Elecraft provide an email reflector and I would strongly suggest anybody contemplating building, or building, any of the Elecraft products joins it. I joined the list and after posting my first question found a fellow UK based Ham, a G3 on the Isle of Wight, that was also building one. We are now in regular contact passing advice as we progress with the construction.

The K2 is not a kit for the novice constructor. It contains thru plated boards and some experience of soldering is definitely required. The kit also contains a lot of inductors that need to be wound, although these can be purchased pre wound. You should not be put off by this as with help I am pretty sure that given the quality of the manual and kit anybody could build the K2. Elecraft also offer the K1 a CW only radio.

The Building of #3107

The following links describe my building of the K2 highlighting any problems and hopefully providing some guidance to other builders.

The basic Kit

The Control Board

The Front Panel

The RF Board