Elecraft KX-2 All-Mode Stealth QRP Transceiver
by Ron Chester ★ Thursday, May 19, 2016

Big news today in the QRP (low power) ham radio community! Elecraft, the premier designer of QRP radios for many years released their latest radio, the KX2, at Four Days In May (FDIM) and the Dayton Hamvention. It's very close in size to the KX1, but much more capable, with the same display as used on the KX3. It doesn't have 160 m or 6 m like the KX3, but for $300 lower cost. That's a trade-off that is well worth it to me and it may be the first brand new full featured ham transceiver I will buy since my Icom 751 back in the early 1980's. I discovered this when I woke very early this morning and found an article about it from Thomas (K4SWL). I couldn't even find the new rig on the Elecraft website yet. I'm sure they were waiting to make the official announcement at Dayton. But now it is up and can be ordered on their website and Thomas has also posted more pictures on his other website, the excellent SWLing Post. Wayne Burdick, N6KR, the designer of the radio, posted an announcement about the radio on the Elecraft reflector. Years ago, Wayne was one of the regular attendees of the monthly meetings of the NorCal QRP Club and designed the hugely popular NorCal 40 QRP rig

The KX1-KX2 image and the following video are from WG0AT, who was one of the radio's field testers, as shown on the excellent website of K0JGZ. Another video here with this microphone used at about 0:30 in the video.


Updates, one day later and after

W2LJ reports that he sees some folks are selling off their KX3 radios to buy a KX2. He thinks it might be a good time to pick up a used KX3.

Elecraft KX2 FAQ and KX2 Manual

HamRadio 360 Podcast from Dayton (1:12:12) - Eric Swartz WA6HHQ interviewed about the new KX2 (25 mins), then his full presentation at FDIM, Dayton (8:20 am on 19 May 2016), starting at 28 mins into the podcast. The interview was actually recorded after the FDIM presentation. Then during 2016 Field Day, the chief designer, Wayne N6KR, spoke for about 25 mins about the KX2. The interview starts at 32:44 in this podcast. Page down to get to the podcast player. It's a very informative & interesting discussion.

KX2 #24 unboxing video.

eHam product reviews of the KX2, including the first five from field testers of the radios.

AE5X records his first SSB contact with the radio and has selected a B&W hard case to carry it in. 

Comparison of the KX1 vs KX2 vs KX3 by a ham who owns all three.

After market KX2 Side Panels will be shipping soon.

Features of the KX2 paddles, to begin shipping soon. KX2 shipping status page.

The KX2 paddles have now begun shipping.

How to connect the KX2 to an external monitor.

How the airline rules apply to the KX2. Do not check spare batteries in baggage; carry them on board.

KX2 Software Page - for KX2 Utility, USB drivers and KX2 firmware updates.

Support group for the Elecraft KX Line on Yahoo.

KX2 can be used for AM SWL broadcast listening.

For rig control of the KX2 by computer, the first choice is now available. It also now works with Win4K3Suite.

Ken, KE4RG, reported on his successful Field Day operation with the KX2. 

Advice on field antennas for KX2, as well as postings on this thread.

Review of the KX2 by Thomas Witherspoon, K4SWL.

How the KX2 Fits into the History of N6KR Radio Designs

Read a thread comparing KX2 to other Elecraft radios here. If you listen to the N6KR interview (above) you find out that the KX2 came about as a down-sizing of the very popular KX3. But from the other end, you could see it as a major upgrade to the KX1, providing both SSB and digital modes which the KX1 did not have, plus up to five times as much power. It seems to me that this is all a natural progression in the evolution of trail-friendly radios. Elecraft now refers to it as the KX Line, this lineup of the KX1, KX2 and KX3, in which the "X" refers to eXtreme operating conditions or eXtremely small. If you study the history of Wayne's career in designing rigs, the KX2 is realization of his dream rig going back even before the Norcal rigs he designed, into the 1970's and his being inspired by the early pioneers of QRP, such as Wes Hayward, W7ZOI, Doug DeMaw, W1FB, and Adrian Weiss, W0RSP.

A quote follows from the designer of the KX2 and CTO of Elecraft, Wayne N6KR:

In his book The Joy of QRP Ade Weiss famously said: "If there is a place, and you can get to it, you must operate from there."  This is the motivation behind the KX2.