Monday, April 29, 2013

KAF2 Installed in to the K2

I’ve now completed the installation of the KAF2 in to the K2 and what a difference on receive, I was pretty impressed with the standard set up but by activating the KAF2 the background noise literally melts away.
I have the optional CW filters fitted to my Yaesu FT1000 MP V and it is extremely good at fishing out those quiet stations hidden by QRM or some other interference, but the K2 matches up and in certain circumstances beats it hands down.
It’s not necessarily the filters, it’s the background noise, with the KAF2 installed in the K2 there simply is none!
Attempting a simple test I matched both radios to a fairly strong 30m CW signal with all the filters switched in. I have to be honest I was amazed at the difference.
The background noise on the Mk 5 was certainly louder although clarity of the CW station was good, it was just you had that what I can only describe as a fish bowl echo to deal with.
The K2 did not have the fish bowl echo; it was just very quiet with excellent clarity, even more incredible was that I could reduce the filters on the K2 and it still beat the FT for clarity and background hiss. No question the K2 wins that particular department.
What's interesting is I can remember when I first bought the FT1000 MP V and being so impressed by the receive capabilities, especially against the old FT 990 I had at the time.  The MP V is a fine radio and I must admit I didn't think its receiver would be beaten by a kit radio costing quarter of the price. Still, I wouldn't sell or swap my FT for anything, the K2 may beat it on receive but that's about it!
The KPA 100 is now under construction and I’ve now reached the first alignment procedure, no big issues yet, but now I have to start connecting the amp up to the K2 and start doing some testing, so things may liven up! Once the alignment has been completed I can start winding the toroid’s and hopefully begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

A footnote to my K2 receiver opinions, I've just come off air an hour after writing the earlier post:
I had a QSO with JA4FKX/QRP (Nan, near Osaka) he was transmitting 5 watts using a Yagi. I heard him closing with an Italian station and I thought "what the hell, let's give it a try" So I called him on the K2 with 5 watts going through the cobweb. He came back giving me a 549!  
Distance between us: 9602 kilometers or 5966 miles. 
Don't you just love amateur radio!

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