Monthly Archives: May 2014

Finally building my Elecraft K2

Picture of an Elecraft K2

Back in 2003, yes 2003, I splashed out and bought an Elecraft K2. To my mind at the time, it was the best radio there was at a price point I was prepared to pay. (Note: Even now, it’s still right up there with the best). Also, it came as a kit; which attracted me. I did a lot of circuit construction in my early days as an engineer and l have kept my eye in over the years.

I started to build it, and got as far as completing the front panel and control boards. Then life intervened (big time!) and the K2 ended up in a box awaiting further work.

Well the time has finally arrived to make progress again. It’s only been 11 years after all!

The kit is on the bench and I’ve started to buildĀ the RF board. I try and spend an hour a day on it. I usually work from home, so I get to spend the hour between stopping work at six and supper time at seven to do some construction. It’s better than spending it stuck in a traffic jam. If I’m lucky, I get another hour in after supper.

I started in the middle of May and progress is good. I have cheated a bit, and bought pre-wound toroids from The Toroid Guy. It’s not the winding, it’s just the time.

The best investment has undoubtedly been the Panavise 333 circuit board holder. It was expensive, but definitely worth it.

Back to Windows 7

Despite being a somewhat expert in Linux, I’ve gone back to Windows for my amateur radio PC. Linux was simply too much work to get going.

Partly this down to me having far less time to mess about with the PC rather than actually operating. The aspect however is that I know Ham Radio Deluxe intimately and I can;t get within 50% of what that does with available Linux progs: at least not without having a dozen different styles of UI.

It’s a great shame. There’s lots of ham radio software out there, but unless you are prepared to view the computer as an experimental platform, then stick with Windows. For me, the computer is a tool that enhances what I can do with the radio, but the radio is the focus.