Monday, July 26, 2010

At the starting gate ...

Once again, life has intervened and I haven't managed to start construction yet. However, I did, as noted previously, complete the inventory of the kit. Today, I cleaned up my workbench, got out all the tools, etc., for construction, laid everything out neatly, and took a picture to document where it is I'm starting from.

In the center of the picture is the box (not very big!) containing the inventoried K2 kit, with the construction/owner's manual in front of it. On top of the box are the hand tools I'll be using (pliers, diagonal cutters, etc.). To the right is my Weller soldering station and Panavise (a construction necessity, I think!). To the left is a DVM and the other absolute necessity, a sit-on-my-head magnifier. Completing my construction area are various part sorters and a component lead collector.

Really looking forward to actually starting construction.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Beginning

I first noticed the Elecraft K2 when the product was introduced some 10 years ago. It got a really favorable review in the March, 2000, issue of QST. The reviewer at the time spoke highly of the kit-building experience, and raved about receiver performance.

Anyway, ten years later, having just passed a significant birthday, I decided to get myself a birthday present ... and a fairly lengthy construction project.

The K2 arrived last Wednesday, July 14 (having been delivered a day early by UPS!). I spent several hours this past weekend doing a complete inventory of the kit. All that was missing was 1 lock washer and 2 capacitors. The nice folks at the parts e-mail at Elecraft shipped them out the next business day.

I've owned a Weller soldering station for a number of years, but decided the new kit deserved new solder, and I ordered Kester 285 .025 diameter solder from one of the vendors mentioned on Elecraft's web site (and ordered some new desoldering braid and a desoldering pump while I was at it).

Here's a picture from Elecraft's web site of what I will have when construction is completed. I've read that it takes an experienced builder something like 35 hours to build the K2. I'm planning that it will take me way longer than that ... and I thought it would be fun to keep track of my progress in word and pictures.