Adding most options to a stock K2 first requires modifying the radio’s circuitry. At least this is true if it was built per the traditional method suggested in the K2 assembly manual. A rework-free “Option Ready” K2 on the other hand, is one for which all such modifications were seamlessly incorporated during its initial construction. We refer to this approach to building a K2, as “our alternate assembly method”.
These parts are not provided with the base K2, but instead are included with their associated option. This “packaging approach” contributes to the radio’s bargain introductory price, however the tradeoff is that in most cases, installing these parts – after completing the initial build – is a considerable undertaking.
Beyond the addition of these parts, several “original” components (three caps + three resistors) and handful of jumper wires must be removed from the K2’s main circuit boards. Of concern is the fact that in some cases, the parts that need to be added need to be installed in locations vacated by original K2 parts that were removed.
Further, in three cases the newly added parts are SIP mating connectors for which precise alignment and mechanically sound solder connections are essential. Therefore the removed parts must be taken out with considerable care, and preferably with specialized desoldering equipment. This type of rework ➚ can affect a printed circuit board’s reliability, so it follows that our method could significantly improve the reliability of your radio.
The benefits of our assembly method become evident the moment you begin enhancing your K2 with options. Especially when adding any of the six that plug directly onto the K2’s main circuit boards. What would otherwise have been a significant chore, instead amounts to unplugging tiny bypass headers! That’s it! No disassembly, PCB rework, or soldering are necessary!
5 June 2012 – Companion Guide III (CG3) has been published. This manual provides the instructions for implementing our assembly method. Specifically, use CG3 with Elecraft’s rev H or rev I K2 manuals. There is no customary “temporary beta release watermark” because the differences (versus CG2) are trivial.
This procedure has been in use since the release of our original (rev D) Headers kit in the summer of 2005; although back then our instructions were little more than a list of deviations from the steps in the K2 manual.
Optional modules (options) can be added to an “Option Ready” K2, without the need for extensive disassembly of the enclosure or any additional soldering on the radio’s three main circuit boards. However …
These guides present our alternate assembly method in the form of annotated K2 manual pages. The annotations are color-coded, making it easy for advanced builders to omit “Option Ready” support on a case-by-case basis. A secondary benefit of the color-coding is that it makes the instructions easier to follow. (Note! The same color-coding scheme is used on the What Else Do I Need? page.)
This method is not an approved Elecraft® mod. Further, Elecraft’s kind permission to reproduce portions of the K2 manual does not constitute an endorsement of our products. Our method may not be appropriate for everyone, particularly builders who …