Subject: [Elecraft] K2 "One Double Nickel" Lives!
Date:     Thu, 15 Jul 1999 11:42:04 -0400
From:    "J. Greer" <>

My prized K2 is now fully operational.

It went together beautifully. My XYL (KF4TPR) commented that it doesn't look like my other qrp radios. It looks store bought!I can't say enough about the radio. All of the plugs and pins on all of the boards mated perfectly! I didn't align it as carefully as I will when the MVAM 108s arrive. But, it still performs very well. The audio is very good. I never have to turn it past the 12 o'clock position. Only one part missing in the kit, a 5.6 K ohm resistor. Radio Shack only had a 1/2 watt version. As I was in Tampa at the time, I waited for my return to Jax. The Norcal resistor kit had twenty of them.

The dreaded Y2K embedded chip clock problem did make an appearance, though. After going through the complete alignment and test procedure, my K2 just quit. The display stopped working, the relays didn't chatter, only a little bit of audio that faded away after a few seconds.

Thinking I might have missed a screw or solder bridge, etc., I took it apart and re-verified everything. It still didn't work. I left further
inspection for the next day, as it was well past midnight.

The next morning, it turned on properly and lasted about two minutes. Current consumption during testing was normal at 200 ma. Nothing hot, no smoke. After looking at the trouble shooting procedure, I expected it to be the 7805 regulator. It was fine as well as the 8 V regulator. The only thing amiss was the ICLK and IDAT (oscillator) signals on pins 16 & 17 on J1 on the Front Panel board. They were both steady at 5.02 V. They should have read something between 0 and 5 v according to 060 of the trouble shooting procedure.

I called Elecraft, Eric answered and transferred me to Scott. I was concerned that the 16C77 might be defective. He didn't think so as it
would operate properly even though briefly, after the failure. He said the problem sounded familiar and would check his notes and call me back. In the mean time, I set up my scope to check the clock crystal X2. He called back shortly, and suggested that I "wiggle" C22, the trimmer cap for that clock input. That did the trick! It is now fully operational.

It is a pleasure to have a good schematic, trouble shooting guide, and readily accessible tech support. A problem was solved with little effort and essentially no down time. If one of my surface mount wonder boxes had a problem, it would have to be returned, with at least a two week turn around.

The receiver is already much better than the one in my FT-840. The FT-840 is good, but has a little trouble with strong adjacent signals. I had hoped to buy an Omni VI some day. Now I don't have to.

Now where is that order form? I need to get some options in the pipeline.

I hope this wasn't too much bandwidth. It's a great radio and an exceptional company.

72, Jeff