[CQ-Contest] K2/100 vs. MP

Bill Coleman aa4lr at arrl.net
Wed May 26 21:28:29 EDT 2004

On May 26, 2004, at 9:49 AM, John Thompson wrote:

> I have had a K2/100 vs. an MP(original) now for 3
> months.
> The Elecraft is a good FD/ DXpedition rig.
> It is NOT (and was not designed for) a primary contest
> rig

Even so, it does pretty well in this service.

> 1.  SWR foldback too aggressive, can be on 20M and
> drive will cut back to 60w into linear (AL82)

The latest KPA100 firmware reduces this aggressiveness. If you use the 
KAT100 auto antenna tuner, you may not have noticed this anyway.

> 2.  Have to buy a $3000 linear to use this rig

Huh? My K2/100 works just fine without a linear at all....

> 3.  No manual adjustment on VOX

The K2 VOX is a serious shortcoming. There's no gain and no anti-VOX. 
There are some mods that improve the gain profile of the K2 on SSB.

> 4.  DSP has too many keystokes to be used in a
> contest, especially notch on/off on SSB (1 button on
> FT1000MP, often even that I forget to turn off after I
> need it).  DSP very aggressive, but can be adjusted.

This is improved with the latest firmware. A double-keypress activates 
or deactivates the notch or noise reduction. Instead of pressing 
Display, Pressing Band+, then pressing Display twice. Instead, you just 
press Display and Band+.

For SSB contests, I usually leave the notch filter on all the time.

> 5.  No passband tuning, my old IC-720A even has this

Agree here. What's weird is that passband tuning ought to be possible 
with a firmware change, but there may not be enough main processor 
firmware space to implement it. Of course, you'd have to double up on 
an existing knob, such as the RIT.

> 6.  Will not drive linear, my MP and even FT100 had no
> trouble at all

Huh? The K2/100 is designed to connect to a linear.

> 7.  Output on SSB is arund 80W PEP, really really will
> not drive linear.

I get over 100+ watts PEP.

> 8.  Tuning rate either too fast or too slow, not
> differentially keyed as in ICOM/ Yaesu

The problem here is that the tuning encoder does 100 steps / turn, 
compared to my Kenwood TS-430S which does 960 steps / turn. Given the 
reduced diameter of the tuning knob, replacing the encoder with one 
that does 400 or 200 steps / turn would help make the tuning rate more 

This is a change that I plan to make.

> 9.  If it sees a bad SWR, fully shuts down final until
> power output level control is cycled, this can be a
> pain

The new KPA100 firmware really helps with this, I'm told.

> 10.  That MP is a fantastic rig, is this rig really
> supposed to be better?

I've used MPs, MP Mark Vs and MP Mark V Fields. I still love my K2. For 
one thing, I could afford it!

> Positive points:
> -internal keyer is really nice
> -fastplay on buttons on built-in keyer are really fun

This is a joy!

> -like auto-repeat on keyer built in
> -it is cute
> -built-in digital SWR meter is fun
> -my apologies to all the K2/contesting advocates

No apologies necessary. Both are great rigs.

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

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