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Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Stan AE7UT
I've built a few things trying to convince myself I can build a K1.
I just built a Ten-Tec 1225 Tuner and all went fantastic.

I'm using an older K2 now QRP and am going to order a K1 tomorrow.
I know this has to have been covered to death but it's late and my
quick search didn't yield much.

So when I build the K1 should I get the internal tuner or just get a T1?

Thanks for the help.  I can see how an internal tuner would be great
because it's always with the rig... but a T1 would be so fun to have for
other QRP uses.

Stan Ae7UT


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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Dave Johnson
The internal ATU in the K1 has only a limited tuning range, but is
always with the K1.

You can increase the tuning range of the internal tuner for the lower
bands by a crafty addition, see:
http://www.astromag.co.uk/pdfs/g4aon_kat1_mods.pdf

73 Dave, G4AON

>I can see how an internal tuner would be great
>because it's always with the rig... but a T1 would be so fun to have for
>other QRP uses.
>
>Stan Ae7UT
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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Don Wilhelm-4
In reply to this post by Stan AE7UT
Stan,

You said the "magic words" in saying you have other QRP uses for a
tuner, so go for the T1.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 7/16/2012 2:54 AM, Stanton A. Bailey wrote:

> I've built a few things trying to convince myself I can build a K1.
> I just built a Ten-Tec 1225 Tuner and all went fantastic.
>
> I'm using an older K2 now QRP and am going to order a K1 tomorrow.
> I know this has to have been covered to death but it's late and my
> quick search didn't yield much.
>
> So when I build the K1 should I get the internal tuner or just get a T1?
>
> Thanks for the help.  I can see how an internal tuner would be great
> because it's always with the rig... but a T1 would be so fun to have for
> other QRP uses.
>
> Stan Ae7UT
>
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/Question-on-K1-build-internal-or-external-tuner-tp7559200.html
> Sent from the Elecraft mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Gil G.
In reply to this post by Stan AE7UT
Hello Stan,

You can order a T1 now, so you can use it with other radios, but then, order the internal tuner later. I just built mine and it is nice to be able to tune immediately, without having to plug-in something else..

Gil.
--
http://radiopreppers.com


On Jul 16, 2012, at 2:54 AM, Stanton A. Bailey wrote:

> I've built a few things trying to convince myself I can build a K1.
> I just built a Ten-Tec 1225 Tuner and all went fantastic.
>
> I'm using an older K2 now QRP and am going to order a K1 tomorrow.
> I know this has to have been covered to death but it's late and my
> quick search didn't yield much.
>
> So when I build the K1 should I get the internal tuner or just get a T1?
>
> Thanks for the help.  I can see how an internal tuner would be great
> because it's always with the rig... but a T1 would be so fun to have for
> other QRP uses.
>
> Stan Ae7UT
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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Mike Morrow-3
In reply to this post by Stan AE7UT
Stan/AE7UT wrote:

> ...trying to convince myself I can build a K1.

Excellent choice!  For twelve years K1 #175 has been my favorite QRP
rig.  But PLEASE...seriously consider buying your kit with the
K1BKLTKT LCD backlight option BEFORE you begin building a K1. It was
not available when I bought my K1 in 2000, and after I installed it
three years ago I can not describe how much of an improvement in
low-light utility it has made.  But it is rather painful to back fit
into a K1 after the front panel board has been assembled.  Painful!!!
When installed as part of the original front panel build, it's child's
play.

> So when I build the K1 should I get the internal tuner or just get a T1?

The KAT1 has 10 relays that switch its four inductors and five capacitors
to produce an inductance range from 0 to 4.9 uH and a capacitance range
from 0 to 300 pF in 2^10 (1024) various combinations, of which 1020 are
unique.

The T1 has 15 relays that switch its seven inductors and seven capacitors
to produce an inductance range from 0 to 7.5 uH and a capacitance range
from 0 to 1300 pF in 2^15 (32768) various combinations, of which 32764 are
unique.

Thus, the T1 has a significantly greater likelihood of establishing a
match for a broader range of load than does the KAT1.  There's no contest
here.

However, if one is interested in a small integrated station with all
the key devices inside one box and operated from one panel, the KAT1
is terribly tempting.  Especially for backpack and camping operation.
The KAT1 also gives the K1 a good indication of output power and VSWR.

I use my K1 in backpack and campsite locations, and I almost always use
a resonant dipole antenna system.  The KAT1 is the ideal device for my
use, which requires typically little tuner reactance insertion, and thus
results in little tuner loss for a match.  (Tuner loss is seldom discussed
in Elecraft Auto-Tuner World.  But with respect to loss, a small tuner
with thin wire inductances is not a friend, even at QRP power.)

So you'll need to consider what types of antennas you will be using.  If
all your QRP operation is at home or in the field using more or less
resonant coax-fed antennas, the K1 with KAT1 will be entirely satisfactory.

If you will be using your K1 with antennas and feed lines that have less
well-behaved impedance vs. frequency characteristics, the T1 will better
serve.

Finally, as you mention, the T1 may be utilized with QRP rigs other than
the K1.  (I found that once I built the K1, I seldom ever use anything
else, except once in a blue moon one of my SWL DSW-20/30/40 units, just
for fun.)

73,
Mike / KK5F
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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Gil G.
I'll second that! I didn't do it, now I regret it..

Gil.
--
http://radiopreppers.com

On Jul 16, 2012, at 1:48 PM, Mike Morrow wrote:

> But PLEASE...seriously consider buying your kit with the
> K1BKLTKT LCD backlight option BEFORE you begin building a K1.

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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Stan AE7UT
In reply to this post by Mike Morrow-3
Thanks so much for all the input guys!

I'll go ahead and build the K1 WITH back-lit of course and get the T1.
I don't mind taking a little extra but I'm pretty sure after the K1 is up
and running I'll probably add the tuner if all goes well.

Thanks again.  I'll certainly have questions and let you know how it goes.

Stan AE7UT

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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Gil G.
Good luck with it Stan! I just finished mine a few weeks ago, also added the ATU. As long as you can solder and follow the seemly manual EXACTLY, and it is very clear, you won't have any problem. Make sure that the leads of your toroids are clean.. See my build blog entry: http://radiopreppers.com/index.php/topic,98.0.html don't make the same mistake I made, take your time. It's an awesome little radio!

Gil.
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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Mike Morrow-3
In reply to this post by Stan AE7UT
> Good luck with it Stan! I just finished mine a few weeks ago...

After all these years since the K1 appeared in 2000, there are still a
few things that could make life better for a K1 purchaser:

1.  The K1 should ALWAYS be provided with the LCD backlight.  The manual
    should be written to incorporate it as standard.  There's really
    NO good excuse for providing the K1 without LCD backlight.
2.  The K1 should ALWAYS be provided with C78 and RFC8, parts normally
    provided with an 80m KFL1-2 parts kit.  One should never have to
    modify a basic K1 at some later date when an 80m filter board is
    installed just because it was desired to save including these two
    very very inexpensive parts in the original kit.  In addition, the
    K1 manual should list the value of these parts in the parts table:  
        C78      10 uF   E530045
        RFC8    100 uH   E690004
    There's really NO good excuse for not providing the K1 without
    RF-C78 and RF-RFC8.
3.  The K1 manual should suggest only tacking in RF board C22 in the
    pads below the PCB, rather than a full through-hole installation,
    if the KNB1 noise blanker is likely to be installed later.  That
    makes the removal of C22 much easier, and much less likely to
    be neglected, when the KNB1 is installed.
4.  AGC capacitor RF board C31 is 2.2 uF.  That makes the AGC on the
    K1 extremely slow, something very few CW operators find appropriate.
    Many K1 owners have found 1 uF or smaller to be a great improvement.
    The K1 should adopt C31 at 1 uF, rather than 2.2 uF.  Minus that,
    a K1 builder should just tack-solder C31 under the RF PCB until
    he determines if the 2.2 uF value needs to be lowered.  The KNB1
    equivalent capacitor C10 seems far less objectionable at 2.2 uF,
    so that could remain unchanged.
5.  The standard K1 should include the four-band KFL1-4 as the default
    filter board, with the two-band KFL1-2 being an option.  The KFL1-4
    has better band-pass and low-pass filtering than the KFL1-2, which
    is reason enough for it being standard.
6.  There should be some foam tape provided for placement at the four
    corners of the front panel board on the side facing to the back of
    the K1.  This eliminates flexing of the front panel board as the
    buttons are pushed, and also prevents a rattling noise that can
    occur at high AF volumes as the corners of the front panel board
    vibrate against the aluminum screw blocks near each corner.
7.  A four-band KFL1-4 should be made available for 17/15/12/10 meters,
    especially since the solar activity cycle now makes that very
    advantageous.

After this, the K1 becomes perfect.  :-)

73,
Mike / KK5F
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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Gil G.
YES!

I built mine with 40/20m. So, you say filtering is better with the 4-band board..
I should have waited and started with that, and the backlit option.
Now, if I buy a 4-band board, what am I going to do with my KFL2?
Any suggestions? I don't think it has resale value...

Gil.
--
http://radiopreppers.com


On Jul 17, 2012, at 3:34 PM, Mike Morrow wrote:

>> Good luck with it Stan! I just finished mine a few weeks ago...
>
> After all these years since the K1 appeared in 2000, there are still a
> few things that could make life better for a K1 purchaser:
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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Mike Morrow-3
In reply to this post by Stan AE7UT
Gil wrote:

> I built mine with 40/20m. So, you say filtering is better with the 4-band board..
> I should have waited and started with that, and the backlit option.

> Now, if I buy a 4-band board, what am I going to do with my KFL2?
> Any suggestions? I don't think it has resale value...

When I bought my K1, only two-band boards were available.  I had a 40/20m and
a 30/15m board.

I bought a KFL1-4 and built it for 40/30/20/15m.  I ordered the KFL1-2 individual
band parts kits for 80m and 17m, and then converted one of my old KFL1-2 boards to
80/17m.  Elecraft "officially" provides K1 filter board parts for these six
bands only.

I may someday convert my remaining two-band board to 12/10m, for which Elecraft
provides no support.  But several on this list have perfected that, so I'll
search the list archives and try that.  But I'd prefer a four-band KFL1-4 for
17/15/12/10m, which the basic design of the KFL1-4 can easily support.  I've
done some preliminary paperwork on something like that, but I've not started
anything real.

73,
Mike / KK5F
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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Gil G.
In reply to this post by Gil G.
Thanks everyone for suggesting that option.

Gil.
--
http://radiopreppers.com

On Jul 17, 2012, at 4:18 PM, Paul Meier wrote:

> On my K1 I have 40-30-20-15 and the second board has 80-17.  Works good
> takes a few minutes to swop boards out.
>
> Paul
>

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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Don Wilhelm-4
In reply to this post by Gil G.
Gil,

You are going to make that 2 band board into an 80m and (15 or 17
meters) whichever band you did not include on the 4 band board.
Elecraft has the band changing kits for the 2 band board.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 7/17/2012 3:56 PM, Gil G. wrote:
> YES!
>
> I built mine with 40/20m. So, you say filtering is better with the 4-band board..
> I should have waited and started with that, and the backlit option.
> Now, if I buy a 4-band board, what am I going to do with my KFL2?
> Any suggestions? I don't think it has resale value...
>
> Gil.
>

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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Stan AE7UT
In reply to this post by Stan AE7UT
My apologies for putting this in the KX1 forum.
It was late last night when I posted.
It should be in the K1 forum.

Got it ordered today.... can't wait to smell the solder cooking.
I think I'm going to build it as is with the back-light.  I'll mod
it when it seems necessary.

Stan
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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

David Pratt
You will enjoy your K1, Stan; I built one many years ago and it went
together like a treat. The only decision to make is which bands to
install and which tuning range capacitor to use. But you can always
change the tuning range later as both capacitors are provided in the
kit.

BTW, this not the KX1 forum. It is the reflector for all Elecraft
products. Unfortunately, for those of us without one, the KX3 seems to
dominate the reflector at present together with many off-topic issues.

73 de David G4DMP

In a recent message, Stanton A. Bailey <[hidden email]> writes
>My apologies for putting this in the KX1 forum.
>It was late last night when I posted.
>It should be in the K1 forum.
>
>Got it ordered today.... can't wait to smell the solder cooking.
>I think I'm going to build it as is with the back-light.  I'll mod
>it when it seems necessary.

--
 + - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - +
 | David M Pratt, Kippax, Leeds.   |
 | Website: http://www.g4dmp.co.uk |
 + - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - +

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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

AF6NI
In reply to this post by Stan AE7UT
I just finished my K1 about a month ago. The back light is a great option and I built mine with it. I've had a couple of K1s that I purchased used that did not have a back light and they were impossible to read in dim light.

I have the T1 tuner and love it with the K1. I also have a KX1 and have the internal tuner in it. I think the internal tuner is important in the trail friendly KX1 but not so necessary in the larger K1.

Enjoy the build and the radio!

73
Joe
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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Mike Morrow-3
In reply to this post by Stan AE7UT
Joe/AF6NI wrote:

> I have the T1 tuner and love it with the K1...
> I think the internal tuner is important in the trail
> friendly KX1 but not so necessary in the larger K1.

The T1 is definitely better when one uses an ill-behaved antenna system
that needs a lot of reactance precisely inserted by a tuner to match it
to the K1 output.  But beware of the losses from small tuners with very
thin wire inductances, an aspect happily ignored by many in the Elecraft
community.

That's *much* less necessary if a resonant antenna such as a dipole is used
that requires little or no tuner reactance to achieve satisfactory VSWR.
That's what I use for my campsite/backpack operations, after literally
*decades* of experimentation with many other antenna types.  The K1 has
better CW-segment RF performance than the KX1 on *any* band, and it covers
some of those now important bands that are above the 20m limitation of the
KX1 (15m in particular).  I've never agreed with the common assertion that
the KX1 replaced the K1 for backpacking operations.  Not if RF performance
means anything!

Under these conditions, the internal KAT1 is extremely useful and very
very convenient.

73,
Mike / KK5F
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Re: Question on K1 build - internal or external tuner?

Don Baucom
In reply to this post by Stan AE7UT
Stan,

I had never built a kit before and I built a K1 and K2. ( I had to have Don help me on the tuner for the K2 but other than that it all went pretty well).  The T1 would be more useful, but I love the idea of working everthing from the front panel of the K1.  I have 4 states left for WAS with the K1. It is a amazing little rig.


73
K4YND
Don
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