I heard some 10M beacons and decided to listen to 12M for SSB. I
heard some CW on 24.900 and tuned around and heard K4VSV Bill in
Rock Hill, South Carolina calling CQ on 24945 at 1910Z. He heard me at
10W with the K2, but I turned on the K5OOR HFPacker amplifier to get it
up to 25W or so to make it more comfortable. Bill said my audio was OK
and had punch with my 3:1 compression, so I guess it works. I told Bill
he was my second K2 SSB contact, the first being France. Bill also does
QRP sometimes with his Icom 703 but was running about 95W on the peaks
today into a homebrew log periodic! He'd heard some Europeans earlier,
but I was the only signal on the band for him then. QSB took over when
we said 73.
K0FPL Frank in Kansas City, KS then called me around 1915Z and
asked me to QSY up 5. Frank said I was S2 with good audio, and he was
S5 to S8, running 400W into a Vee Beam over 400 feet on a side, but
pointed at Europe. Frank congratulated me on the K2 and said he would
be my 3rd SSB contact on it!
in Portland, OR gave me 229 on the way home short hamstick 7041.50. He was 579.
Headphone and diodes
I had to replace my K2 headphone jack -- the wiper that is NC to the
speaker broke off internally and Scott King from Elecraft replaced it
for free. I also put in the strong-signal diode limiting mod for the
problem that KB6BA
Oliver and Ken WB6MLC
reported when operating
near another strong on-frequency station. I will have to re-test my MDS
to make sure, but all seems to work ok.
Driving back from San Luis Obispo, CA today I heard the
on 40M, on
7268.50 and they were taking checkins Z to A so I checked in on CW
with my KX1. They could barely hear me, as I was running about 3W
into a short Hamstick. As luck would have it, I had just lengthened
the whip to make it resonate in the CW band instead of the phone band, hi hi.
They were quite nice about it and got some relays and got my call, but
never got my QTH (which was 101 North near King City, CA). I think
the net control was W7ARR
Miss Kitty's K2
Miss Kitty's K2
I used my KX1 in the car on 101 South near Soledad, CA with the short
Hamstick again and on 7.035 I answered N7MSU
Bob in Missoula, MT, who
gave me a 539. I had forgotten to plug in the car power so I was running
at 2.5W with a 2.5:1 SWR.
I heard W0RW
Paul operating a milpack in Colorado and he gave me
a 5x3. Definitely some issue with mic gain or SSB somehow.
I turned on the K2 and heard Budd W3FF
operating bicycle mobile
just finishing working Dan at W1AW
/90. It took me a few times,
but Dan answered me and gave me a 5x3. I was driving the HFPacker
amp with the K2 output set at 4.5W, 3:1 compression, gain 3. It
still seems like there is something funny going on with my mic or
AC5JH Micamold XTR-1
I heard from AC5JH. I copied that he was using an "old" rig, an "x" something, but I had no idea how old:
Your Hamstick was not doing too bad, some QSB on the signal but
readable with filters on the Omni 6.
The transmitter I was using is OLD. It is a Micamold XTR-1. They were produced in the late 40's as kits. I have been working on it for
several days trying to get it working. It useses a 6AG7 oscilator
driving a 6L6 final. I don't have a proper filter condencer for it so I
was using an esternal power supply. With only about 275 B+ volts the
6L6 was only putting out about 5 to 6 watts. With closer to 400 V B+,
it puts out about 25 watts. I had to completly rebuild it back to
original due to modifications. As many old original parts as possible
were put back into it. Those include old wire wound resistors that look
more like the old paper condencers and all the original bypass bees wax
and paper condencers. The oscilator runs contenus so you just key the
final. The means that I had to trun off the plate voltage and change the
antenna switch between tr and rcv. Kinda bulky QSK for sure.
The Micamold XTR-1 is kinda unique in that there are only 4 of them
known to still exist. I am not sure but mine may be the only one that
is actually on the air? I have had corospondance with the guys that own
them and I think most were repairs in progress!
Thanks for the note and if you take a look on Google at Micamold XTR-1
you will see references to pictures of the old rig.
72 and Have a Great ThanksGiving
Tom AC5JH Blanchard, OK
I operated my KX1 and short 40M hamstick mobile on the way back from the
grocery store, and answered AC5JH
on 7044. OM said it was raining
and he had to QRT because of a very bad storm. He was 579 with QSB but
when I passed over a bridge over a drainage canal, he went up to 599, so
I stoped there, but then he had to QRT.
I got my card from EM1HO
I heard K5RXL Kevin in Phoenix, Arizona calling CQ on 7.041.
There was a lot of QRM from Pactor Monsters, the Russian R and K buoys,
and others stations above and below, and a bit of QRN and QSB as well.
I thought it would be a good test of my newly-installed KDSP2 so I
answered at 5W and got silence, and at 10W I got most of my call back,
so I quickly tuned up the K5OOR amplifier and Z100 tuner and re-tuned
the K2 for the new match and answered with a big 30W or so. Kevin gave
me a 339, and persevered through the QRM and QSB and we had a half-hour
long QSO. On my side KDSP2 helped a lot. I found that 0.70 or 0.40 or
during the Pactor Storms 0.20 IF filter bandwidth, and then CF1 with
Noise Reduction 1 helped a lot on my side. Then I had nothing but QSB
to contend with, except during the worst of the Pactor Attacks.
Kevin had a bit of trouble with my signal, probably because I seemed
to have mistuned the Z100 (I wish it were more obvious about what it was
doing -- having everything with one button is a pain), and the amp did
get a bit hot, but at least it still works, and it's cooled down now.
Kevin has been a ham for 30 years, and in addition to his Yaesu
FT-817 and vertical, has an Elecraft K1 that he takes camping. We both
like the internal autotuners on the Elecraft rigs...and Kevin
recommended that I try to get my G5RV up high and flat. Maybe this
winter I can get another higher rope up in one of the trees and try
that, at least on one end. It was warmer (52F) in Phoenix, but raining
all day, Kevin said.
I heard K7EBW
on 7038.62 at 0145z call CQ and answered him. OM gave
me 579 and QTH was Tucson, AZ, but he dropped right after that.
Maybe he blew a fuse!
Korg CA-20 Musical Instrument Tuner for CW Spotting
Rich KD6WYK brought in his Korg CA-20 musical instrument (audio) tuner. We calculated
that if we set A to 449 Hz then D would be 600 Hz. I turned on the KX1
sidetone and we got a match at A=445hz which works out to 594Hz. I
suspect the Korg tuner is more accurate than the KX1 sidetone.
At $20 it makes a good CW tuning accessory. The speaker is a Radio
Shack 277-1008c, about $13 off the shelf.
It works. Now 0.32a draw with the KDSP2 and KSB2 installed. The 0.32A draw appears to stay even when I put the KDSP2 in bypass, so I will probably be building the KAF2 as well, so I can compare them.
KSB2 installation and side-grounding of X1 on RF Board
When I built the K2 RF board, I looked for guidance about which XTALs to ground on the side. It looks like the BFO reference XTAL needs to be grounded on the side, even though I didn't pick that up before.
I moved the ground wire from the top of X1 to the side, as the KDSP2
manual says it should be. As I've already done it to the main filter
and the KSB2's filter, that leaves X4 and its sibling, the first IF
filter, grounded on the top. I dunno if I should ground them on the
side or not.
KSB2 Current Draw Update
I put paper between the RF chokes and the SSB xtal filter and the
current consumption went down to 0.26-0.28A. Then I removed the paper
and it stayed there. Then I put it back and it stayed there. At least it's down now.
KDSP2 Control Board done
DSP Control Board. Here it goes!
I just finished my KSB2 and and evaluating its performance. Before I
installed it my K2 the current draw in receive was about 0.24-0.26 amps
according to the internal meter. Afterward, it is 0.30-0.32 amps. Even
taking the conservative range, that's 40ma draw and the manual says
15-20ma. Should I be concerned, or is this within error? I rechecked
the board and cleaned fluxy areas with a Chemtronics flux remover
(alcohol based) to remove any possible metal trapped on the board.
My first contact was F5PFP Mehdi in Lyons, France, running about
somewhere in the 25-40W range on 17M, but OM said my audio was "very low."
I think there might be an issue there but haven't located it yet. The
Mic is an Elecraft/Heil MH2, and I have compression at 2:1 and Mic Gain
First SSB QSO with K2
I heard Mehdi F5PFP in Lyons, France, calling CQ Western US on 18162.10.
I used the HFPacker amp and he gave me a report of very low audio, 5x1, but at least he heard me.
The KSB2 board is done, but not installed. I built it to the bandwidth
specs from the Rev E manual, as pointed out by others.
Last night I put in most of the crystal filter.
I took Don's recommendation to ground X1 and X7 from the GND side of
capacitors, and had prepared for that when installing them. I also
pre-installed the grounds, using the board as a holder.
I listened to the W1AW
bulletin today at lunch.
I worked on the KSB2 this evening, but had an hour-long frantic search
for the four resistor packs. I finally found them in a baggie in the
bottom of a Priority Mail box under my XG-1.
On 3545 I heard VA7VV Jerome in Vancouver, BC, calling CQ with no takers.
I answered him on my newly-fixed K2 at 15W and he gave me a 579, which I gave
him back. Jerome was using a Ten Tec Jupiter at 50W and an 80m Zepp.
Jerome said that solar conditions were
still unstable and all bands were bad up there, except for six meters.
Then he reported that QSB and S5 QRN then set in;
I guess a wave of cold Canadian protons passed through Vancouver,
but there was no QRN here -- it was eerily quiet. I turned on the HFPacker Amp and tried at 40W but it didn't help.
After our QSO I could still hear him about 559 to 539.
K2 Low Output Fixed
Following WA6HHQ Eric's directions to measure current draw, I realized that I had low output on all high bands, not just 10/12m.
Using the TX signal tracing procedure in the manual, I isolated the
problem to the TX mixer buffer amplifier, and found it.
Now I have plenty of output on all bands.
Thanks for all the help Eric and Mychael, and for the great
troubleshooting in the manual!
Details for the record:
- U9, the TX mixer output buffer, showed approximately unity gain on
I wicked and redid the solder joints of U9, to no avail, so I decided to
check the buffer circuit components.
Sure enough, I had neglected to install C150 on the bottom of the board.
- I even found the 330pF capacitor in my bag of "parts left
over," hi hi.
At first I thought my K2 had low power out on 12M and 10M. I checked T2 and it is raised off the board. I re-peaked the 10M and 12M band-pass filters on TX and can't get more than about 1W out on 12M and 10M.
Eric Swartz suggested a current draw check and said that high draw would point to LPF problems and low draw to T2 or BPF.
Unfortunately, I've discovered the problem is worse than I thought.
I have good output below 20M and it drops precipitously at 20M and above, as does the current. (4MHz has a dip, but that could be due to the LPF, since the current is steady there, so I'm willing to believe that's a different
I've also plotted the efficiency assuming 12.5V, but neglected to measure it. If the voltage is constant and I only want a relative measure, it doesn't matter, though. (Also my K2 internal DVM seems to be off a few tenths
of a volt.)
I guess my next step is signal tracing.
Note efficiency is at an assumed voltage level of 12.5v and should be used only for a rough relative estimate.
ATU; low output on 10/12M
I finished the ATU yesterday or so, and it works. But I noticed
I have low output on 12M and 10M: 1 Watt or less. ric Swartz
answered my question and to check the current draw. It's low so that
is either the BPF or T2, which I know I have too close to the board.
QRZ:AA3WF Mychael "toroid guy" said he would send me a toroid, even though it was
my fault... I haven't been able to get time to open the K2 and check
Bad news today -- K5DKR
succumbed to viral meningitis. I had
talked to Dave on the N6NFI repeater a month or so ago, when I was
coming back from an HFPack hike and got lost on 880 or 580 or 680 (which
was part of the problem). Dave recounted having driven all night around
Sacramento, and driving along the levy near the Highway Pattol training
The KAT2 is done and passes the relay and EEPROM tests. Next step is
What with the solar flare and bad space weather and all, I was discouraged
and hadn't planned to turn the radio on, but I decided to anyway when
I sat down to finish (?) my K2 ATU. Right away on 80M I heard a fairly
strong CQ and the call seemed familiar; I looked up WA5TCZ
QRZ.com and saw it was Darron, who was used to talk to my father
when they were novices. Darron sent me email after I commented on an article
about taking the code test in New Orleans. We tried a sked once or
twice but couldn't hear each other, so we were both doubly surprised
to have a QSO under these conditions. I tuned around and didn't hear
anything at all on any of the other bands. I was running my K2 to the
HFPacker amp at 40W.
I got the last of the toroids wound for my K2 ATU.
Now there's just 4 pages of wires...
Here is the LC board.
I made 1 contact in CQ SS:
K8CC #85M K8CC 69 MI
KX1 and 20M Hamstick on back of a frame backpack I got on EBay for $14.
UR RST IS 599 OM
I just heard on 14.060 W9FFU
tail a QSO with really strong chirp.
The OM answered him and gave him a 599...
I finished the Noise Blanker but wanted to wait for something else to be done
to install it. I'm waiting on missing (dropped, likely) parts for the
KSB2 and ATU, so I built the KIO2. I turned it on and it worked first
time with Marote
. I will have to wait for the recycling truck or another airplane
to see if the NB works.
After I put in the KNB2, the K2 wouldn't XMIT. I removed the KIO2
board and TX worked again. I must have put the KIO2 connector onto
the control board improperly. Opening the right side of the rig
helps see where the cable runs. Without the ATU or battery installed,
the cable is a little long, and I bent it up against the speaker
magnet and screw.