Elecraft K2 160-10M CW/SSB Transceiver

 Product Description (4/23/99)


Easy to Build:

  • 'No-wires' construction: most controls and connectors mount directly to PC boards.

  • Comprehensive user manual with step by step instructions and theory of operations.
  • Incremental assembly and test.
  • Modular, upgradeable.
  • No surface mount devices.
  • No specialized test equipment beyond a standard digital multi-meter is required for test and alignment. (Built in test.) The K2 even includes a built in general purpose frequency counter, volt meter and radio current drain meter.
  • Largest possible PC board pads and traces to simplify rework and repair.
  • Full documentation provided for user modifications.

K2 High Performance CW Base Unit, General Features:

  • Small, portable size. 2.9h x 7.8w x 8.2d inches.

  • Efficient 10-15 volt operation for home or field use.
  • Less than 110ma typical receive current (backlight off, low Ip mode, pre-amp off, headphones).
  • @200 ma typical receive current (high performance Ip mode)
  • Adjustable 0-10W PEP (via front panel menu).
  • Rugged, attractive custom enclosure.
  • Back-lit LCD display (backlight can be disabled).
  • 160-10 meter ham band coverage, with some out of band overlap. (160 meters with 160m/RX Antenna option.)
  • PLL synthesized for low noise (no DDS spurs).
  • CW-only and SSB/CW (with SSB option).
  • Microprocessor controlled.
  • 2 VFOs with split operation plus 10 memories.
  • Direct keypad entry of frequencies, memory channels and key parameters.
  • RIT and XIT.
  • Built-in speaker.
  • Headphone jack handles mono and stereo plugs
  • 10 memories store Mode, VFO A/B, Split, RX filter, RX sideband (CW), etc.
  • Simple menu system for advanced settings. (Up to 2 menu functions can be assigned to the programmable front panel function keys.)
  • BNC antenna connector -- A QRP standard. (SO-239 on High Power option.)
  • Room for additional connectors on the rear panel for user modifications.
  • All options may be added at any time.


  • Double-balanced diode mixer for excellent front end dynamic range and IP3.

  • Ham Band bandpass RX/TX filtering, relay switched (for excellent IP2 on RX).

Preliminary K2 Performance Measurements (14MHz Typical Values)












XX/YY = preamp-on/preamp-off results; See K2 Performance Comparisons for more details.

  • RX pre-amp and attenuator. (Both switchable on/off.)

  • Single conversion RX to 4.915 Mhz IF.
  • Room for additional switchable IF crystal filters.
  • Smooth, Fast attack, IF-derived AGC (no 'popping' on strong signals) with fast/slow decay. (AGC can also be turned off).
  • IF gain adjust.
  • Sharp IF crystal filtering helps prevents receiver overload from signals outside the RX passband. (Much better adjacent signal rejection (without AGC pumping) than the switched capacitor audio only filtering of other rigs.)
  • 1 Khz per knob revolution for fine tuning; also 10 and 100 Khz per revolution.
  • 10 Hz display resolution (7 digit).
  • Bar-graph S/RF OUT/ALC meter.

CW Features:

  • Full break-in CW.

  • Built in keyer with 10 programmable memories and both popular iambic modes A and B.
  • Sharp, variable bandwidth CW crystal filter (250 - 1750 Hz).
  • Options for a fixed-bandwidth narrow crystal filter or a wide-bandwidth crystal filter for tuning the band.
  • Adjustable RX CW pitch with tracking TX side tone.
  • Selectable opposite sideband RX for QRM reduction.
  • Normal / Reverse paddle setting for Dot / Dash; Manual Key setting.
  • Efficient transmitter operation.


SSB Option:

  • 8 pin microphone connector, jumper selectable compatibility with most Yaseu/Icom/Kenwood connectors. 

  • Speech Compressor. 
  • 2.4 Khz (optional 2.7 Khz) crystal filter. 

Noise Blanker Option:

  • High Performance noise blanker with variable threshold. 

  • Buffered IF output to rear panel. 


Auto-tuner Option:

  • 10W Automatic Antenna Tuner. 

  • Latching Relays for extra low power drain. 
  • Microprocessor goes into sleep mode after tuning for -no- RX birdies. 
  • SWR and Power metering to front panel. 
  • Dual antenna selection (A/B) 

High Power PA Option:

  • 50W (100W under consideration) internal PA module. 

    (Either the 10W Auto-Tuner and Battery Options or the High Power PA can be installed in the K2, but not both. The PA has its own K2 top cover which replaces the standard one. This way the PA can be swapped out with the Tuner / Battery options which mount to the regular K2 cover.)

  • SO-239 RF Connector 
  • Amplifier Keying Output 

Aux I/O Option:

  • Host computer remote control via RS-232. (Most likely Kenwood command format.) 

  • Aux Connector . (Includes Ext. Amp. keying) 
  • Low Power transverter output (0 dbm.) 
  • Real time clock. 

160M / RX Antenna Option:

  • Adds 160M TX/RX 

  • Switchable RX Antenna Input (all bands) 

Other Options:

  • SWR / Power and A/B antenna switch (no tuner). 

  • Internal sealed battery (2.9AH). 
  • AF active filter module. (Users may also design their own audio filter modules.) 

Other Options:

  • Additional RX crystal filters. 

  • Blank crystal filter printed circuit boards for user designed RX filters. 


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