06 June, 2009

My Elecraft K2 Modifications

When I got my license in 2001, I discovered the Elecraft K2 transceiver on the internet and noticed the excellent reviews that it had received. Its receiver outperforms most, if not all, of the commercial rigs on the market. It combines state-of-the art performance with the thrill of building something yourself. It is also important for me that the kit designers encourage experimentation and modification.

My basic K2 with no options, serial #2198, was assembled in August 2001. I have later added the options that are needed to make all the front panel labels meaningful: the KSB2 single sideband option, KAT2 automatic antenna tuner, KAF2 audio filter and real-time clock, KNB2 noise blanker, and K160 160m/2nd RX antenna.

In November 2002, the K2 was revised, and many modifications have been included in the kit. My K2 has been modified so that it is up to date with the rev B version, the thermistor temperature compensation option, new crystals for the filters, and the CW key click modification.

My K2 has now grown up and is no longer only a 10 W transceiver, but also a 100 W version with the KPA100 and the KAT100 in an external enclosure. As there were fewer and fewer sunspots to help excite the ionosphere and shortwave conditions got worse, I compensated by adding 10 dB of power. I still enjoy QRP contacts, but for that special DX-contact it is nice to have a little extra power. The KIO2 RS232 interface has also been added recently.

Other Contributed Modifications

Five extra LEDs on the K2's frontpanel

I maintain an Unofficial Guide to K2 Modifications with these and many other modifications.


  1. I enjoyed your site and your enthusiasm for the K2. I have one, also, and I enjoy mine about as much as you enjoy yours. I'll die with it. I also have a K3, KPA500 and KAT500. Can't get better equipment *and* people than at Elecraft. Keep up the good work. 73's

  2. Thanks, when one builds something oneself and spends so much time doing it as with the K2, one also gets a unique relationship with the K2. It's almost as if I had designed it myself, I think that's also part of why people like us are so enthusiastic about the K2. For me comes in addition that it was my very first rig.