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Date:         Thu, 11 Feb 1999 07:12:54 EST
Reply-To:     RobCap@AOL.COM
Sender:       Heathkit Owners and Collectors List <HEATH@LISTSERV.TEMPE.GOV>
From:         "Robert S. Capon" <RobCap@AOL.COM>
Subject:      K2 is QRV
Comments: To:
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Kit fans, my K2 is QRV.  The radio was a lot of fun to build, over a ten-day
period.  I would say it took about 3/4 the time as the Heath HW-9.  The HW-9
had a similar parts count, but also had much more complex wiring and
mechanical assembly (and was a lot less radio).  What a difference ten years
can make in kit technology.
I only had one problem during assembly: a defective 4.0 MHz xtal that drives
the microprocessor.  It took me two days to find.  Then, I popped in an old
4.0 Mhz xtal from my junk box, and the microprocessor came to life.  However,
the xtal was off frequency somewhat (probably due to mismatched
series/parallel capacitance) which made the PLL hard to align (one more day to
figure this out).  Otherwise, it went together very nicely, virtually no point
to point wiring except the speaker in the top cover.  The K2's test equipment
is built in.
The rig works beautifully.  I made my first QSO with WA6HHQ (Eric, one of the
founders of Elecraft) on 30 meters.  Nice 559 signal from California to
Virginia on 5 watts.  The QSK is sweet: like the standard set by the Argo 509.
The memory keyer is also a very nice feature.
I listened for very watery stations coming from Asia at the noise floor of my
FT-1000, and was also able to copy them on the K2.
The rig runs on 180-200 miliamps with everything running, but drops to 140
mills with the receiver set to battery save mode, even with the LCD backlight
on.  The rig draws close to 100 mA with bargraph LED and backlighting turned
off.  I also notice that the penalty to the receiver is very modest in battery
save mode.  It sounds like you're turning off the preamp, but would be very
acceptable for field use.
The K2's display button toggles between frequency readout and a display that
provides battery voltage and current consumption.  The unit also has a
separate built in Freq Counter, which could be used as a general purpose piece
of test equipment.  The unit also has a built in RF power meter, and very
classy Band+ and Band- buttons for switching bands, and the flywheel weighted
tuning knob changes frequency at three tuning rates.
I haven't used all of the fancy functions yet (like scanning, programming my
own xtal filter settings, etc.), but the RIT, XIT, and dual VFO's work very
nicely.  I understand taht there is direct frequency input, but haven't
figured out how to do this yet.  (Better read the manual).
Kit enthusiasts might want to check out "".
Rob, W3DX
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