Since someone brought up the size issue of the Elecraft:
Last year at Dayton brousing the booths I was accompanied by a couple
buddies who have decades of contest experience, so lots of hands on in our
group. We stopped by the Elecraft booth and after 30 seconds the comments
were, " it's a lot smaller than I thought" "I'd have to use reading glasses
to find the right buttons" and "it is so small my fingers would always wind
up on the wrong button", "looks like a mobile rig".
SO, despite being well designed with good performance, it is being dismissed
by some regardless of how great any other feature is. If it is difficult to
use in a high tempo environment when compared to the MP, Orion, 1000D, etc.,
then it had better be light years ahead in performance to garner even
minimal consideration. Probably a really good radio but certainly not light
years better to warrant a change from from several other fine options. No
doubt it will meet the needs of some ops and deserves its rightful place
among terrific radios, just not sitting side by side with the already proven
rigs in use. Tommy WD4K
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of
Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2004 11:00 AM
Subject: CQ-Contest Digest, Vol 15, Issue 10
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1. Elecraft, TenTec & contesting radios (Bob Schreibmaier)
2. Re: Lost leading 'dit' - summary (VR2BrettGraham)
3. RESULTS DIG QSO PARTY 2003 (Marc Domen, ON7SS)
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2004 16:46:43 -0500
From: "Bob Schreibmaier" <email@example.com>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Elecraft, TenTec & contesting radios
I have used serial number 2552 and must agree with Bill.
It has the right architecture to be an excellent receiver,
but the filters are not good enough. I have also found
the opposite sideband rejection to not be quite up to
many other radios.
However, the biggest problem I have with the radio is the size.
The tuning knob is way too small, plus there are additional
controls close by on its left, getting in the way when
you're trying to tune. Even the micro-sized radios from
Yaecomwood don't have other knobs getting in the way when
I also don't like the fact that the sideband used on CW
is different on some bands. It's annoying when you're
used to the pitch of signals going in one direction as
you tune each band and then finding different behavior on
the K2. There is a "reverse" switch, but I don't think
one should have to use it when changing bands. Of course,
a software revision could take care of this.
Overall, the receiver is very good in the presence of
strong signals (until you get very close, as Bill noted).
I very much like the single-conversion approach. It
would be nice if they had the ability to use at least
one 8-pole filter and, preferably, the ability to
cascade two 8-pole filters (like the old TS-180S).
That, plus the judicious use of DSP could make for
really nice basic receiver performance.
I haven't used a K2 on phone, but have been told that
the VOX gain is inadequate (sometimes) and that it
needs an anti-VOX control (that it doesn't have).
I've also been told that the 100-watt version folds
back power with SWR too quickly for some tastes.
As mine is just the basic 10-watt 80-10 meter,
CW only radio, I can't verify these complaints.
____ / _____ /
/ ) / / /
/____/ ____ /___ (____ ____ /___ /___
/ ) / ) / ) ) / / ) /
/_____/ /____/ /____/ _____/ (____ / / / . . .
| Bob Schreibmaier K3PH | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org |
| Kresgeville, PA 18333 | http://www.dxis.org |
Date: Sun, 07 Mar 2004 03:47:22 +0000
From: VR2BrettGraham <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Lost leading 'dit' - summary
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed
W4ZV replied to VR2BG:
>>The Elecraft community is not interested in the least in what is needed
>>contesting community in a product & are quite unreasonable about anything
>>that they don't like & they don't like contests to begin with. I suspect
>>contesting community is probably a bigger portion of the active equipment
>>market, so the idea is either to establish that the contesting community
>>really does use something, that it could be added & everybody could be
>>or the contesting community can sod off & take its custom elsewhere.
> I agree that we are confusing "community" with "company". It
>really doesn't matter to me what the current community thinks, because
>that's composed primarily of QRP'ers, backpackers, tinkerers, etc.
>They could certainly care less about what the contest community needs,
>but so what...what is important is what Elecraft THE COMPANY thinks.
The thing is that with Brand-E, the community appears to have some
weight. The line between company & community is somewhat blurred &
as one contesting K2 owner pointed out, the tinkerers have made some
significant contributions to the radio (various modifications & even
The community matters & the company is closely tied to that community,
with largely benefit for all as a result...
> I know for a fact (via some direct communications with Elecraft's
>owners) that they are very interested in a contester/DXer friendly
>implementation of the K2. Remember that the K2 evolved as a portable
>QRP radio, and has only recently gotten the attention of contesters
>and DX'ers because of its excellent receiver performance and because
>the 100W version recently became available.
I agree with you about the interest from having had the same direct
communications. The community wouldn't have anything to do with another
suggested change to firmware which would be of benefit for the contesting
segment - very negative & even not understanding what it was that was
going on - the response from the company was like chalk & cheese, even
going so far as to explain the limitations & talk about how to deal with
End result, suggestion was implemented.
Sadly, CW PTT - something that looks to be something that more would
benefit from than the other (way to clear RIT in transmit) - met with an
more hostile reaction from the community & appears to be something that the
company has no interest in looking at, or has been put off for another day.
> Elecraft is definitely interested in a version of the K2 aimed
>at the mainstream market of contesters and DXers. IMHO, there are
>relatively few changes needed to make the K2+ into a superb product.
>On my list are:
>1. Ergonomically-friendly product design (think LARGE like Orion
>or the FT-1000 family) both physically and functionally.
I'm getting used to the small box - though I continue to be a lid at times &
fail to engage SPLIT mode & transmit in the wrong place. My gut feeling -
based on comments from the company whenever a K3 or K2+ thread
starts on the Elecraft list, plus their heritage, I suspect this one would
be taken on board.
>2. Offer optional 8-pole filters in addition to the current programmable
>filter. The K2's IMD performance is already exceptional, but it falls
>apart rather badly for signal spacings under 5 kHz, and how many contests
>do you recall with signals spaced 5 kHz apart? Simply adding an 8-pole
>500 Hz filter would probablly put the K2 into Orion-class performance,
>and possibly even exceed it at 1 kHz spacings.
Another firmware issue. An alternative filter of the calibre contesters are
used to is available _now_. There are what - five? - filter "choices" in
current firmware, but for want of lines that actually wiggle differently
four of those five are selected, nobody can use the INRAD filter that's been
available for the K2 & that will probably dampen anything more W2VJN
might do for the K2. A firmware fix for this would appeal to not only the
contester, but also the DXer & most importantly, the tinkerer.
> What I pray is that Elecraft not get carried away with "whistles
>and bells" which would add unnecessary cost and little value to the
>current product...no dual-RX, no spectrum scopes, no general coverage,
>no FM...yada, yada yada. If Elecraft could deliver an assembled product
>in the $1500-2000 range (most of which could be done by subcontracting),
>I believe they could absolutely dominate the mainstream contester/DXer
>market. With two K2+'s, a SO2R contester would have an outstanding
>station for about what one Orion costs. For reasons I do not understand,
>Ten-Tec says they are not interested in pursuing this market, although it
>could easily be done by downscaling Orion (strip out dual-RX, spectrum
>scope, FM, etc). Of course Ten-Tec also said they would never do CW PTT,
>but customers and markets (a.k.a. $$$) have apparently caused them to
>rethink their stance about CW PTT. ;-)) Having faced issues like this
>myself when I was in business, I can tell you it will be far easier for
>Elecraft to upscale the K2 than it will for Ten-Tec to downscale Orion.
>Time will tell.
An assembled product is a significant deviation from anything Elecraft has
done, so I wouldn't hold my breath on that one. I really miss the sub-RX &
sometimes the filtering gymnastics possible on other rigs, but otherwise
I've adapted well to the K2. It's been a long time since I worked in that
industry, but I suspect it will be hard for anyone to break into, should
decide to take the plunge, for a more mainstream transceiver product since
it would have to appeal to the other segments of the market, who I think
are probably now hooked on the equivalent of motorized wing mirrors (bells
& whistles matter more than raw radio performance).
> I also know that there are some excellent contesters local to
>Elecraft that are providing input into a next generation K2+. If
>Elecraft listens carefully, and I have no reason to believe they won't,
>I suspect we'll see an outstanding product from them in the future.
A few firmware changes to the K2 whilst we're waiting for what has been
repeatedly denied would be helpful. Other ideas might surface that might be
taken on board for this next product as a result of engaging the contesting
RIT clear, CW PTT & filter selection - I'm kicking myself for not having
all three up at same time as there may have been a chance... the K2 looks
to have reached a plateau & I wouldn't be surprised that the firmware
cycle will only get longer as a result.
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 2004 12:05:55 +0100
From: "Marc Domen, ON7SS" <Marc.Domen@skynet.be>
To: "Contest Reflector" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
"DIG" <email@example.com>, "DIG" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: ON4CAS Egbert <email@example.com>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] RESULTS DIG QSO PARTY 2003
DIG QSO PARTY 2003
A month before the next DIG QSO Party the results of last year where still
not traceable anywhere.
Thanks to DF2KD I got hold of them.
For those interested I have placed the results on my own website in WORD.
You can download them from
Vy 73 Marc, ON7SS DIG 3517
Amateur Radio Station ON7SS
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