Blasphemy maybe but looking for an honest assessment of the K2 vs. Icom 7300 ...

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Blasphemy maybe but looking for an honest assessment of the K2 vs. Icom 7300 ...

Randy Heise
So, background! I have just returned to the air after an 18 year hiatus
other than keeping my license up to date. What lured me back was retirement
and FT-8. For the past several days I have been operating with my Rev. A K2
(all options) built in 2001, a SignaLink USB interface, WSJT-X, MacLoggerDX
and JT-Bridge. Because I am "antenna challenged³ due to the HOA it has
become obvious that except in perfect conditions I could use a little more
horsepower. I¹m faced with a $1,170 bill to do the Rev. A/B mods, build the
Kat-100 and KPA-100 Š or Š $1,215 for an Icom 7300 and an LDG IT100 external
tuner. I¹d really appreciate thoughts from anyone who is knowledgeable on
both rigs. The Icom gives me a waterfall display and 6 meters Š WSJT-X gives
my K2 a waterfall display. It¹s a toss up in price but I can¹t help
wondering about the 20 year difference in technology.

Thanks, Randy - NB7E






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Re: Blasphemy maybe but looking for an honest assessment of the K2 vs. Icom 7300 ...

Don Wilhelm
Randy,

Faced with that kind of decision (mainly dollar comparison), why fully
upgrade the K2 with the A/B mods -- just update the firmware to get the
added functions.  From your question, I surmise you are not necessarily
'in love' with your K2 as some of the original builders would be having
tremendous pride in the fact that they built it themselves.  I for one
have my Field Test K2 SN 0020 which has been fully upgraded, but I will
not part with it - that is for my heirs to decide.

Yes, you will not have the temperature stability of a new K2, and you
will not have some of the other K2 hardware improvements. But it will
still work fine for less money than a full upgrade.  I am assuming you
will be using it in a temperature stable environment.
Any K2 can work great - the most important for receive performance is
the IF filter alignment, so do that carefully with an audio spectrum
analyzer running on your computer.  If you are planning digital modes,
turn on the RTTY filter set and align those filters to optimize your
digital filters while not disturbing your SSB settings, especially
compression settings.

I am certain the Icom 7300 will have more modern features, but in
receive performance even the oldest K2 can stand on its own.  I have not
compared the K2 with a 7300, but you can check the Sherwood ratings to
see the relative ranking.

Oh yes, if it is a QRP K2, and you want 100 watt capability, you will
need the KPA100 and KAT100 as well.  There are parts in the KPA100 kit
to upgrade the 10/12 meter bandpass filter and the VFO ALC.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 10/8/2019 11:19 PM, Randy Heise wrote:

> So, background! I have just returned to the air after an 18 year hiatus
> other than keeping my license up to date. What lured me back was retirement
> and FT-8. For the past several days I have been operating with my Rev. A K2
> (all options) built in 2001, a SignaLink USB interface, WSJT-X, MacLoggerDX
> and JT-Bridge. Because I am "antenna challenged³ due to the HOA it has
> become obvious that except in perfect conditions I could use a little more
> horsepower. I¹m faced with a $1,170 bill to do the Rev. A/B mods, build the
> Kat-100 and KPA-100 Š or Š $1,215 for an Icom 7300 and an LDG IT100 external
> tuner. I¹d really appreciate thoughts from anyone who is knowledgeable on
> both rigs. The Icom gives me a waterfall display and 6 meters Š WSJT-X gives
> my K2 a waterfall display. It¹s a toss up in price but I can¹t help
> wondering about the 20 year difference in technology.
>
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Re: Blasphemy maybe but looking for an honest assessment of the K2 vs. Icom 7300 ...

Victor Rosenthal 4X6GP
I don't know, Don. If he installs the KPA100 the lack of temperature
stability will be a serious issue, at least for digital modes. My
experience was that before installing the temperature compensation mod,
the drift was unacceptable even on CW. This was not a problem before the
additional heat generated by the KPA100.
I think what he should do is get a newer rig (I won't speculate as to
what's best) for his home-based digital operations.
Then he can either keep his QRP K2 for portable fun, use it as a backup
rig as I have done, or even sell it (as I would NEVER do!)

73,
Victor, 4X6GP
Rehovot, Israel
Formerly K2VCO
CWops no. 5
http://www.qsl.net/k2vco/

On 09/10/2019 7:32, Don Wilhelm wrote:

> Randy,
>
> Faced with that kind of decision (mainly dollar comparison), why fully
> upgrade the K2 with the A/B mods -- just update the firmware to get
> the added functions.  From your question, I surmise you are not
> necessarily 'in love' with your K2 as some of the original builders
> would be having tremendous pride in the fact that they built it
> themselves.  I for one have my Field Test K2 SN 0020 which has been
> fully upgraded, but I will not part with it - that is for my heirs to
> decide.
>
> Yes, you will not have the temperature stability of a new K2, and you
> will not have some of the other K2 hardware improvements. But it will
> still work fine for less money than a full upgrade.  I am assuming you
> will be using it in a temperature stable environment.
> Any K2 can work great - the most important for receive performance is
> the IF filter alignment, so do that carefully with an audio spectrum
> analyzer running on your computer.  If you are planning digital modes,
> turn on the RTTY filter set and align those filters to optimize your
> digital filters while not disturbing your SSB settings, especially
> compression settings.
>
> I am certain the Icom 7300 will have more modern features, but in
> receive performance even the oldest K2 can stand on its own.  I have
> not compared the K2 with a 7300, but you can check the Sherwood
> ratings to see the relative ranking.
>
> Oh yes, if it is a QRP K2, and you want 100 watt capability, you will
> need the KPA100 and KAT100 as well.  There are parts in the KPA100 kit
> to upgrade the 10/12 meter bandpass filter and the VFO ALC.
>
> 73,
> Don W3FPR
>
> On 10/8/2019 11:19 PM, Randy Heise wrote:
>> So, background! I have just returned to the air after an 18 year hiatus
>> other than keeping my license up to date. What lured me back was
>> retirement
>> and FT-8. For the past several days I have been operating with my
>> Rev. A K2
>> (all options) built in 2001, a SignaLink USB interface, WSJT-X,
>> MacLoggerDX
>> and JT-Bridge. Because I am "antenna challenged³ due to the HOA it has
>> become obvious that except in perfect conditions I could use a little
>> more
>> horsepower. I¹m faced with a $1,170 bill to do the Rev. A/B mods,
>> build the
>> Kat-100 and KPA-100 Š or Š $1,215 for an Icom 7300 and an LDG IT100
>> external
>> tuner. I¹d really appreciate thoughts from anyone who is
>> knowledgeable on
>> both rigs. The Icom gives me a waterfall display and 6 meters Š
>> WSJT-X gives
>> my K2 a waterfall display. It¹s a toss up in price but I can¹t help
>> wondering about the 20 year difference in technology.
>>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]

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Re: Blasphemy maybe but looking for an honest assessment of the K2 vs. Icom 7300 ...

Gordon LaPoint
In reply to this post by Randy Heise
I have a K2 and  a K3 along with a Kenwood TS-590sg.   I have used the
IC-7300.
If I was in your position I would buy the TS-590sg and RSP1 for the band
scope.  I think the 590 is a better radio than the 7300, for about the
same $.
I love the K2, but the 590 (or 7300) is a better radio for general
Digitial mode use, and either will give you a band scope.  The 590/RSP1
combination will give you a band scope on the computer that you can use
to click on and move the tuning, everything on one screen with a
keyboard and mouse!

There are many Utube videos on the 590/rsp1 bandscope combination.
Gordon - N1MGO


On 10/8/2019 23:19 PM, Randy Heise wrote:

> So, background! I have just returned to the air after an 18 year hiatus
> other than keeping my license up to date. What lured me back was retirement
> and FT-8. For the past several days I have been operating with my Rev. A K2
> (all options) built in 2001, a SignaLink USB interface, WSJT-X, MacLoggerDX
> and JT-Bridge. Because I am "antenna challenged³ due to the HOA it has
> become obvious that except in perfect conditions I could use a little more
> horsepower. I¹m faced with a $1,170 bill to do the Rev. A/B mods, build the
> Kat-100 and KPA-100 Š or Š $1,215 for an Icom 7300 and an LDG IT100 external
> tuner. I¹d really appreciate thoughts from anyone who is knowledgeable on
> both rigs. The Icom gives me a waterfall display and 6 meters Š WSJT-X gives
> my K2 a waterfall display. It¹s a toss up in price but I can¹t help
> wondering about the 20 year difference in technology.
>
> Thanks, Randy - NB7E
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]


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Re: Blasphemy maybe but looking for an honest assessment of the K2 vs. Icom 7300 ...

Tim N9PUZ
In reply to this post by Randy Heise
I have not paid a lot of attention to recent asking prices but you might
also consider shopping around for a used Elecraft K3.

Tim

On Tue, Oct 8, 2019 at 10:21 PM Randy Heise <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> So, background! I have just returned to the air after an 18 year hiatus
> other than keeping my license up to date. What lured me back was retirement
> and FT-8. For the past several days I have been operating with my Rev. A K2
> (all options) built in 2001, a SignaLink USB interface, WSJT-X, MacLoggerDX
> and JT-Bridge. Because I am "antenna challenged³ due to the HOA it has
> become obvious that except in perfect conditions I could use a little more
> horsepower. I¹m faced with a $1,170 bill to do the Rev. A/B mods, build the
> Kat-100 and KPA-100 Š or Š $1,215 for an Icom 7300 and an LDG IT100
> external
> tuner. I¹d really appreciate thoughts from anyone who is knowledgeable on
> both rigs. The Icom gives me a waterfall display and 6 meters Š WSJT-X
> gives
> my K2 a waterfall display. It¹s a toss up in price but I can¹t help
> wondering about the 20 year difference in technology.
>
> Thanks, Randy - NB7E
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>
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Re: Blasphemy maybe but looking for an honest assessment of the K2 vs. Icom 7300 ...

Kevin Cozens-2
In reply to this post by Victor Rosenthal 4X6GP
On 2019-10-09 3:03 a.m., Victor Rosenthal 4X6GP wrote:
> I don't know, Don. If he installs the KPA100 the lack of temperature
> stability will be a serious issue, at least for digital modes. My experience
> was that before installing the temperature compensation mod, the drift was
> unacceptable even on CW. This was not a problem before the additional heat
> generated by the KPA100.

If Randy would like to keep the K2 the Temperature Compensated PLL Reference
Upgrade Kit (item #E850138 for $24.95) is still listed on the order form for
K2 Revision A to B Upgrade page.

The information for that mod also suggests installation of the BFO mod kit
(item BFOMDKT for $10.95) and a firmware update if the K2 has a firmware
version less than v2.0.

Those are relatively inexpensive upgrades and worth doing to improve the K2
if Randy doesn't want to go the full A/B upgrade path right away. I don't
know which would be a better investment between the K2 and the 7300 as I
know nothing about the 7300. One other thought to consider is the difference
between having a radio you can fix yourself vs. one where you have to send
it away to get fixed should something break.

--
Cheers!

Kevin.

http://www.ve3syb.ca/               | "Nerds make the shiny things that
https://www.patreon.com/KevinCozens | distract the mouth-breathers, and
                                     | that's why we're powerful"
Owner of Elecraft K2 #2172          |
#include <disclaimer/favourite>     |             --Chris Hardwick
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Re: Blasphemy maybe but looking for an honest assessment of the K2 vs. Icom 7300 ...

Elecraft mailing list
 
Randy,
I have owned lots of radio in my 59 years as a ham and my advisewould be a K3 or K3s.I have two , one for HF and the other I use on 630 M with Homwbrew150 watt power amp.
Photo on my web-site k5dnl dot com

Thanks 73 Ken K5DNL
    On Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 10:52:18 AM CDT, Kevin Cozens <[hidden email]> wrote:  
 
 On 2019-10-09 3:03 a.m., Victor Rosenthal 4X6GP wrote:
> I don't know, Don. If he installs the KPA100 the lack of temperature
> stability will be a serious issue, at least for digital modes. My experience
> was that before installing the temperature compensation mod, the drift was
> unacceptable even on CW. This was not a problem before the additional heat
> generated by the KPA100.

If Randy would like to keep the K2 the Temperature Compensated PLL Reference
Upgrade Kit (item #E850138 for $24.95) is still listed on the order form for
K2 Revision A to B Upgrade page.

The information for that mod also suggests installation of the BFO mod kit
(item BFOMDKT for $10.95) and a firmware update if the K2 has a firmware
version less than v2.0.

Those are relatively inexpensive upgrades and worth doing to improve the K2
if Randy doesn't want to go the full A/B upgrade path right away. I don't
know which would be a better investment between the K2 and the 7300 as I
know nothing about the 7300. One other thought to consider is the difference
between having a radio you can fix yourself vs. one where you have to send
it away to get fixed should something break.

--
Cheers!

Kevin.

http://www.ve3syb.ca/               | "Nerds make the shiny things that
https://www.patreon.com/KevinCozens | distract the mouth-breathers, and
                                    | that's why we're powerful"
Owner of Elecraft K2 #2172          |
#include <disclaimer/favourite>    |            --Chris Hardwick
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