New Rig – Elecraft KX2 For Portable Operation
I picked up a used Elecraft KX2 a few weeks ago and have been having a great time with it. I want to use it along with my Icom 7300 this weekend while camping. How will the two compare? (I’ll be posting a new video and article on the Icom 7300 and Ham Radio Deluxe. Remain subscribed for that!) So far with the Elecraft KX2 I’ve made two DX contacts while mobile and running only 10 watts and a Hustler antenna on top of my van. Hustler antennas aren’t supposed to work that good and it’ a mag mount!
Well I guess it just goes to show, you never know until you try.
I know the Icom 7300 has a much better receiver. The Elecraft KX2 is made for portable and Summits On The Air (SOTA) type operation, but I’m pretty impressed with it’s transmit capability so far.
Elecraft KX2 Standard Features
- 80-10 meter ham bands; general coverage receive from 3-32.0MHz (also covers 0.5 to 3 MHz with reduced sensitivity)
- All modes: SSB, AM, FM, CW, PSK-31 and RTTY (FSK).
- Ultra-compact size: 2.8”H x 5.8”W x 1.5”D; 13 oz (less options)
- Custom high-contrast LCD with alphanumeric text display
- Current drain as low as 135 mA in receive mode
- High-performance 32-bit floating-point DSP
- Built-in PSK/TTY decode/encode allows data mode operation without a PC; transmit in data modes using CW keyer paddle
- Internal battery
- 10 watts output
Used Elecraft KX2
The used KX2 I bought came with the automatic antenna tuner, hand mic, Elecraft CW paddle and case. KX2s aren’t hard to find used, but they’ll set you back $800 to $1,100. It just depends on the accessories and packages. Not cheap, considering a new Icom 7300 is only $1,149.
I updated the firmware as soon as I could. The first thing I needed was a KXUSB cable and those aren’t cheap either. $32 from Elecraft and that’s the only place I could find one. Our Icom CI-V cables evidently will not work.
It is easier updating firmware on the Elecraft KX2 than the Icom 7300/7610 IMO.
KX2 KXIO2 Real Time Clock
These little transceivers don’t normally come with a clock, so that was another thing I added. $79, but I think it’s worth it for logging purposes. The KX2 has an internal log. Nice!
Elecraft KX2 First Impression
It’s small, light and can be taken virtually anywhere. I’m pretty impressed with the build. The TX audio is good and the attached CW paddle works fine in a tight spot. It feels solid and these radios have a good history. They’ve been on top of some of the worlds highest Summits.
Very soon I’ll be updating with a video and article on the Icom 7300 and Ham Radio Deluxe. Stay tuned for that!
Thanks for coming by and if you have any questions or comments, please make them below.
Best 73 and good DX – Rich, K0PIR
Summits On The Air (SOTA)