More K2 rants &c

Subject: More K2 rants &c
From: Nils R Young (
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 17:40:28 -0400

Gang, There are a bunch of people out there who are probably doing what I have been doing: enjoying the blue purple mongoose blazes out of their recently constructed K2s. Mine's been up and running for something like two days now (which is another story), but the real trip is all the neat stuff that's packed into that little box. This is particularly true if the people who have built or have been building their K2 actually read the instructions more than once, and paid close attention to details like where to plug the counter probe into on the control board, which is another literacy thing. Stupid gringos like me, on the other hand, may have been or are now diligently checking each resistor & eyeballing all that tiny type on the capacitors, but still can't read the instructions, no matter how clearly written, about where the frequency counter probe plugs into the control board. Or they're bending the leads on chokes & breaking the innards, which whining & kvetsching I have already done here.

But what bugs me most is that while I was sitting with my stitches in a converted outhouse on an uncomfortable metal stool making all my well-placed & careful mistakes, there were two African stations on 17 meters just sittin' there rollin' out the Qs. I mean, that's another 1k miles per watt, don'tcha think. And now it's like everybody's got cotton in their ears. So hey, what am I gonna do with all those message memories? Man, I can't even keep two thoughts about where I put one set of keys straight in my head! And now I have to remember all those messages? Jeesh! Live's ruff for us stupid gringos, ain't it?

Oh, yeah. I was talking with one of the guys at work who is also a ham & who also worked at Drake about this radio. With the three options that I bought for mine, I spent about $700. It took me about 35 hours to put together, which would be > $350 in labor, and another (we won't say exactly how much) time to fix all my mistakes, which would be more labor cash. And then there's alignment & test & burn-in. Now from my experience working at Drake, that's a bunch of people spread out across the shop floor, each doing little bits that end up being 20 radios a day falling off the end of the test bench. And we all remember how much Drake radios cost (and still do at flea markets), don't we? I figure that I got more that $700 worth of radio, even if I did build it myself & then had to figure out what I'd put where & why I forgot everything I knew about trouble-shooting & signal tracing, which is another embarasssing story to be saved for some dark night around the tribal fire when I'm closing in on the estate auction.

You who are building or getting ready to: pay attention. You'll love the radio when it's done & workin' good. You who have built, well . . . you know what I mean.

73 Nils ----------------------- Nils R. Bull Young :: La Estancia de los Guajolotes Sonrientes WB8IJN &c :: The Tagalong Press :: email to "In my day we had to FIGHT to have email! Every day was a struggle!" -- Comrade Sergei Nikolaievich McTovarishov ___________________________________________________________________

Further adventures of Ol' 143 & an interesting set of circumstances

Subject: Further adventures of Ol' 143 & an interesting set of circumstances
From: Nils R Young (
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 14:10:34 -0400

Gang, First off: Would someone please medicate that whining old man? He's driving Wayne & Eric nuts! Secondly, beware the little wires inside RFC 13! If you bend the the wires on that too close to the body of the choke, you'll break the little wires inside & then the T/R switch won't work & you'll spend the rest of two week ends whining and bothering Wayne & Eric. And get a grip, will you, please!

Now, I just had a neat QRP QSO with NZ8J, Tim, who was running a PM-series box from his digs about maybe 10 miles away was callin' CQ & he asked me straight up what radio I had.. Me? I was running the K2, which works great, once you medicate the old man & replace that choke. Maybe Tim & I should think about trying for the 1k-miles per watt award. Or make one up ourselves. Yeah, that's the ticket. We'll make up an award and have it signed my my wife, Tracy Lords. In the meantime, I got the card from Hiro in Japan, so I can get the stuffage together to send in for that one.

And . . . Wayne & Eric sure put one hell of a nice radio in this box, even if the old man couldn't remember half of the stuff that he used to know about electronics, not that he misses the game, what with hands shaking & vision going south & his brain turned to a putrescent blanc-mange. But that's another story. More than 10 W out on all bands, despite the fact that RFC 13 has been replaced by a similar choke that I happen to have what we used to use in exactly the same circuit in the TR7, the innards of which are now about as familiar to me as the Temple of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs on a planet the name of which we do not know and probably couldn't pronounce even if we did! And in the middle of that QSO with Tim, two guys come on QRLing? and CQing & basically not even noticing that we were there, which is easy to figure 'cause Tim was running maybe a watt & I was runnin' maybe 3. So I fired up the TR7 -- once I figured out how to do that, it having been so long since I even thought about circuit paths that it took me five minutes just to get the antenna tuner hosed up right -- and we went on from there. The 500 Hz filter on the TR7 sucks, compared to the variable filter on the K2, which I have one set for about the same thing. Magic radio, dudes & dudesses. Now to go back and read the manual. And go over to Rogers tomorrow & get a 100 uH choke.

And some more medication . . . which I had really planned on saving for the beach, at which, now, finally, after driving Eric & Wayne nuts with my whining, I will be able to enjoy avec le K2, so zair, mon sewer rats! Oh, you wanna hear about the fridge dying? Or the one we bought, which, when they delivered it, did not have a part that we'd ordered, which mean that I had to take another day off from work just so gibbering lizard fish monster eye ball soup chicken magnets in the drain I told you about them little sometimes morning they get a magnet and turn the light back on after you close the door with combat artists gibber gibber gibber gibber . . .. . Yessssss!

73 Nils -------------------------------- Nils R. Bull Young :: La Estancia de los Guajolotes Sonrientes WB8IJN &c :: The Tagalong Press :: email to "In my day we had to FIGHT to have email! Every day was a struggle!" -- Comrade Sergei Nikolaievich McTovarishov