The Elecraft K2/100 by Elecraft

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Consumer Electronics > Radio

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A nyone who has surveyed a current catalog of amateur radio equipment is well aware of the wide selection thats available today. No longer must one choose between an HF and a VHF/UHF transceiver, since many of todays units incorporate coverage of amateur bands from 1.8 to 450 MHz. Accessories such as keyers and antenna tuners frequently are built-in, and many radios can be controlled from a computer, allowing users to set up a customized virtual front panel that meets their liking. Despite the broad selection of equipment thats available today, almost all of these new radios have one thing in common: They all essentially are commodity devices built to be produced in large numbers, not repaired. Surface-mount technology, once found only in more expensive commercial equipment, now is basically ubiquitous. In the past, an amateur who wanted to adopt an approach different from simply taking a radio out of the box and plugging it in could either home brew his equipment

bands, CW only, with RS-232 remote control. Accessory kits add 160 meters, SSB operation, receive audio filtering, real-time clock, and a noise blanker. The K2/100 provides all the basic features one would expect from a modern HF transceiver, such as 100 watt output on SSB and CW, direct frequency entry to 10 Hz resolution, band-stacking registers, dual-VFOs, full QSK, RIT/XIT, band scanning, direct frequency readout for transverters, selectable CW receive sideband, and an iambic type A or B keyer with multiple CW message memories. All this in a lightweight package that measures just 3.4" 7.9" 9.9". The Elecraft K2/100 is easily one of the smallest 100 watt HF transceivers to come along in some time. Its so small it should easily fit into almost any vehicle for mobile operation, although unlike some of the competition it doesnt have the option of separating the control panel from the transceiver itself for remote mounting. The K2/100 does not have an internal

kit of pre-wound toroids from an Elecraft-approved independent vendor, which may prove to be a worthwhile expenditure. The K2/100 is a relatively complex kit, and it may prove to be a rather daunting experience for someone with very little kit-building experience. If you would like a K2/100 and cant (or dont want to) build it yourself, Elecraft has a list of amateurs who will build your radio for a nominal fee (Some folks just cant build enough kits.). Another option is to acquaint yourself with Elecraft kit building by constructing the lesscomplex K1 CW-only transceiver. On-Air Operation The K2/100 is a surprisingly versatile package for on-the-air operation. It supports all the popular operating modes (with the exception of FM), and it really excels in its support of CW. The radio supports a total of nine CW memories, and there is a Fast-Play option that you can turn on for contests. Fast-Play allows you to tap a single key to play a CW message,