Too busy to operate? Try SCANning
For those of you who have your K2s up and running but have not had a chance to try SCAN mode, I thought I'd put in a pitch for it. I've been using SCAN mode a lot recently, since I've been working across the room from my K2
SCANning allows you to work on other things around the house while still listening for DX. You never know what might pop up in the middle of a seemingly "dead" band! It's as if you had cloned yourself: one of you can
diligently do hunt 'n' pounce all day while the other "you" (the responsible one) folds the laundry.
Yesterday afternoon around 2:30 PST I set up the K2 to scan 21000 to 21090. I programmed the SCAN parameters into memory #7 (I use #1-9 for my favorite 160-10 meter scan ranges, respectively), with a very narrow bandwidth setting (0.10) and 10 Hz tuning rate.
The number of signals was small, and the RX only came alive about once every 30 to 60 seconds. (It will stay on a particular signal for up to about 20 seconds, then go back into mute and move 0.5 kHz farther up the band.) But about five minutes after setting it up, the scan routine unmuted the receiver on 21021, where HS0ZBS, at about S-2, was working a stateside station. One quick tail-end call and I nailed him with 5 watts. (HS is a new one for me using QRP. I'm not exactly a full-time DXer!)
You'll find SCAN documented in Operation/Advanced Operating Features (page 97 of the rev. B K2 manual). One nice feature is that SCAN will generally *not* unmute the receiver in the presence of straight carriers -- it looks for modulated signals, e.g. Morse, TTY, or SSB. (If the band is noisy, of course, everything sounds modulated.)
Do you use SCAN? We're always trying to enhance the K2 firmware, so if you have suggestions for improvements to SCANning, please let me know.