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Re: [CQ-Contest] Elecraft, TenTec & contesting radios

To: "Bob Schreibmaier" <k3ph@ptd.net>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Elecraft, TenTec & contesting radios
From: Bill Coleman <aa4lr@arrl.net>
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2004 21:50:20 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>

On Mar 6, 2004, at 4:46 PM, Bob Schreibmaier wrote:

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.

While I'd agree that the filters could be better, since their rejection slopes are slightly shallow, I'd disagree about the receiver in general. The K2 has so little IMD crap in the passband that it is a joy to listen to. Even a very crowded band sounds quiet.

Remember that the K2 filters are setup in software. It is possible to mis-adjust the BFO settings and end up with poor rejection. It could be the problem you have with the opposite sideband is a mis-adjusted filter.

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.

The tuning knob is small, and the controls on the left are a bit close. Some hams have changed to an FT-100 knob, which allows one to tune using the dimple, which keeps the fingers away from the controls on the left side.

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.

The reverse works, and the mode is remembered on each band, so this shouldn't be a big deal. In reality, though, I haven't really noticed the reversed tuning.

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).

Biggest problem is -- where would you put it? The K2 is really squeezed tight. The SSB board is already crammed full

That, plus the judicious use of DSP could make for
really nice basic receiver performance.

I find the DSP filters are really clean and can help.

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 already made one mod that improved the VOX sensitivity. It's still slightly inadequate. I may build a pre-amp.

Never had trouble with the anti-VOX.

I've also been told that the 100-watt version folds
back power with SWR too quickly for some tastes.

There's new KPA100 firmware that fixes this.

Bill Coleman, AA4LR, PP-ASEL        Mail: aa4lr@arrl.net
Quote: "Not within a thousand years will man ever fly!"
            -- Wilbur Wright, 1901

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