If you have had a QSO with me when I was running QRP during 2001 or early 2002, I was running about 4 watts using a little 40/20 meter duo band transceiver made by Oak Hills Research. QRP is alot of fun, especially since TVI/RFI are of no concern. I am growing to like it more and more. However, when something is on the bands I really want to work, I can always reach over and fire up one of the full-size rigs and an amplifier. It is nice to have both!
After using the Oakhills QRP rig for awhile, I decided that I wanted a QRP radio that had a better receiver and had the capability to operate split frequency for working DX. The Elecraft K2 transceiver has an impressive set of receiver statistics and came highly recommended by several of my friends. I took the plunge and ordered a K2 on 7 September 2002. The radio arrived at my door step 4 days later.
I documented the building of my K2 on this Web site but I deleted it because there is in incredible K2 database with many excellent assembly tips and pictures on the Elecraft Web page for the prospective K2 builder! Here is the Web site link if you need it:
The K2 kit is impressive. The manual is easy to read and understand and the authors have gone to great lengths to try and get the builder to develop good building habits to prevent mistakes. The most difficult task in building this kit is to remove and replace any component that has been installed in the wrong place on a PC board. Therefore, Elecraft tries very hard to provide clear an concise instructions to prevent this from happening. The Appendix includes a very good process to trace signals for debugging that can be applied to debugging any radio problem and is educational in and of itself.
The radio alignment was easy and without any anomalies and it works great. It took me about 1 month to finish the basic K2 kit, mainly working on weekends. My first QSO was made on 18 October with my friend K7XB on 40 meters using his K2. I have now also completed (1) the KSB2 SSB option board, (2) KNB2 noise blanker, (3) KAF2 audio filter and clock, and (4) the KAT2 automatic antenna tuner. I would also like to get the KDSP2 internal DSP unit one of these days.
A great addition for the K2 is a custom dust cover. Check this out!
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