Gary, I can't claim to be a "beginner" but I know a lot of beginners have
It's really quite simple if you follow the manual and take the build one
part at a time. I don't know what you built in the 80's but I've found that
good kits, like the Elecraft rigs, have become easier to build over time.
Indeed, not too long ago I helped a buddy overhaul his Viking Ranger - a
vintage rig from the 1950's. I had built one from a kit without trouble back
in the 50's when I was a teenager. I was astonished to see in the assembly
manual that had 'steps' like "locate the mica capacitors used in the VFO and
install them, referring to the photograph and schematic!" Everything was
point-to-point, of course. No check lists. No details about how to identify
or position the parts, other than a few photographs. No circuit boards. Big
wiring harnesses that had to be positioned and all the wires attached to the
proper lugs on tie strips and tube sockets as needed with almost nothing to
go by but a few terse comments and a schematic diagram.
Heathkit made it easier with their gigantic "pictorial" charts.
Elecraft took it further by eliminating all the point-to-point wiring!
So building a K2 is a matter of stuffing well-marked pc boards with parts
while referring to a check-off list that shows each part and how it's
It seems like 99% of the problems are caused by fatigue - working far too
many hours at a time or being in a hurry - bad soldering - forgetting to
solder a joint, getting sloppy and creating solder bridges or failing to
properly strip and tin the toroid inductor leads before "soldering" them
into place - or by mis-handling static sensitive parts. A ground strap is a
great idea, but you can work safely by learning to touch a bare metal
grounded object regularly while working (and keeping parts away from
plastics like Styrofoam containers).
If you take it one step at a time you'll be astonished at how easy the K2
Hi, I've been reading many of the posts here as well as reading through the
manuals on the Elecraft site. I've been thinking about building either a K2
or K1. I've read some of the magazine articles that state that the K2 is
a beginners kit and I have read other sources that state beginners have
the K2 with no problem.
The last time I built a kit was in the eighties. I have no doubt about my
soldering abilities and I know that isn't a problem. I've been told on the
air that if I'm going to build the K2 or K1 to go for the K2. I would like
build the K2. So, I would like some feed back on what you think. Has
here built the K2 as their first kit or Elecraft kit?
I really don't want to build the K1 first because, I don't want to spend the
money for both rigs. I know I could sell the K1 but, I don't want to be
bothered with that.
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