The Elecraft K2 represents the "state of the art" in low power transceiver technology. Developed by Wayne Burdick N6KR and Eric Swartz WA6HHQ, the K2 offers all the features found in commercial amateur transceivers to the kit builders of the world. The K2's features are probably too numerous to mention them all, but suffice it to say that if it's not included in the K2, you probably don't need it.
The "basic" K2 is offered as a CW only QRP transceiver covering all amateur bands from 80 to 10 meters (except 60 meters). Nominal transmitter power output is 10 watts on all bands, adjustable with a front panel control. For the QRO operator, the 100 watt RF deck is an available option. The K2's receiver is perhaps one of the best on the market and outperforms most commercially available products.
One of the best features is that the builder can customize his or her K2 with the just the options desired for the intended operation.
Optional extras that are offered (or pending) are:
The K2 uses microprocessors to control the many functions. There are four panel selectable CW receive filters, and each can be independently adjusted. Using the front panel controls, the user interfaces with the microprocessor to adjust IF filters for customized bandwidth. Likewise, many other functions can be customized by the user.
Two VFO's are available for operating split frequency. The memory keyer is standard equipment and has a digital readout of the sending speed.
The K2 is a very complex transceiver, however the Elecraft instruction book is excellent. The K2 is not recommended as a "first project" however. The builder constructs one section at a time, tests and troubleshoots each completed section, before moving onto the next section. Most of the test equipment needed to test and align the transceiver is built in, such as a frequency counter, ammeter, voltmeter and wattmeter. The K2 uses modular construction and there is very little wiring as each module plugs into the main circuit board. Support is available both from Elecraft and the many users worldwide on the Elecraft E-Mail reflector.
The K2 isn't just a QRP transceiver, it appeals to the QRO operator as well.
Elecraft K2 Links:
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Updated July 24, 2003