K1 Praise

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K1 Praise

KB5JO's comments about his K1 are certainly relevant in my view.  This
little gem of a rig doesn't get all that much attention these days, but it
is still deserving of such.

I still have my K1, a fairly early one, and I must admit that, at first, I
wasn't as happy with it as I thought I would be.  That was mainly because I
had to switch boards in order to gain access to more than just two bands.
Later, though, Elecraft solved this by adding a 4 band board--I just wish
they had offered it that way from the start.

The K1 is a very competent little radio, and a lot of fun to operate.  It's
small enough to be very portable, but not necessarily a prime favorite of
the backpacking crowd.  Mine has the built in ATU, and combined with the
BL-2, it will work with just about anything you might want to use for an
antenna.  You get a solid 5 watts, and then some, and minimal battery
consumption.  For several years, before I retired, I spent a lot of "lunch
hours" operating from nearby parks.  I also used it on several Field Day
events.  Everything I needed fit easily into a relatively small
briefcase--the K1, an MP-1 antenna system, some feedline, paddle, and power.
I usually managed a QSO or two, even on 40 meters at mid-day, and was rarely

The new KX3 may be viewed as a replacement for the K1, if not the K2 and
KX1, but I think there are plenty of good reasons for keeping a K1 around.
For one thing, it's a darned good back-up radio even if you do have
something better.  I doubt the KX3 will be as battery friendly as the K1.
Maybe most importantly, it's a radio you can really build yourself, and if
you get one that is used, you can still probably service it yourself.  That
has to count for a lot, at least to some of us.

I take great pride in being a K3 owner.  However, to be honest with you, I
take greater pride in the fact that I built a K1, K2, and KX1 that work!
The first transmitter I had was homebrew from the chassis up (with a lot of
help from my "Elmers").  A couple of Heathkits followed, but then there was
a hiatus for nearly 35 years when I didn't build much of anything.  Then a
couple of NorCal rigs came along (Wayne's designs), and a lot of the fun I
had been missing returned.  A number of  other rigs followed (too many
probably), and now I have a couple of shelves filled with rigs I
constructed.  Each one represents a very gratifying experience, and I can
re-appreciate much of it each time I pull one of those rigs down and hook it

Anyway, I prefer to think of the K1 as a "mature" radio, meaning it has been
around a while, has been superceded in many respects by later designs, but
still has a lot of good life to go.  Again, it is a very competent little
radio, and shouldn't be dismissed from consideration.  For many of you it
may be just what you need, and maybe all that you need--at least for certain

Dave W7AQK

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