Topband: Elecraft K2

doktorij at doktorij at
Fri Feb 16 08:40:12 EST 2007

I'm opinionated when it comes to my K2's... but I can be objective as well ;o)

I'm sure there are better numbers, mostly after add ons, for the Yaesu and Ten Tec high end rigs that are worth having in some situations. Certainly contesting provides one of the harshest environments a Rx can see. These rigs may indeed be "the best"...

On the other hand, what will they cost, with all the add ons? $5K? $6K? more? A tricked out K2 is still under $2K, even if you have someone else build it (that would take half the fun out of it). With that you get a rig that will perform side by side with the others in a competitive world.

Some immediate advantages come to mind, Elecraft support, as Tom mentioned, is remarkable and should be the standard. Not only is the company helpful, but the Elecraft reflector is also a remarkable resource, for neophytes to old timers. You can fix an Elecraft at home, easily, documentation is online (if you don't happen to have your manual handy). Perts are reasonable in price and reasonably easy to find from other vendors (other than the control chips, which I've never heard of failing). The rig has gone thru a number of changes since first introduced (over 6000 K2s now) and the earliest rig can be updated to the latest easily. No expensive tools are required.

OK, so you can't listen to general coverage SW. Some folks don't like the VFO knob. You might need a preamp for you favorite mic. Some things are down in a sub menu that you might want easier access to... It's not a panacea. What it is is a solid, reliable, easy to work on, competitive radio that is more affordable.

With what you save, you can put the money into antenna improvements. IMHO, I'd rather have a better antenna with a middle of the road rig, than a high end rig a lousy antenna. Of course, that's within the limitations of what one can put up on 160 depending on how blessed or cursed your QTH might be! ;o)

Good luck to all in ARRL DX this weekend!


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