Elecraft Announce New KX2   May 19th, 2016

kx2

 

Elecraft have today announced the introduction of their new KX2 “Stealth” HF transceiver. This has come as a complete surprise, but is clearly derived from the famous KX3 that has been in production for several years now, but is still enjoying a high level of sales. The new KX2 is entering the market at a somewhat lower price level so how does it differ from the KX3?

Well it is significantly smaller and certainly will appeal to those who want a very compact portable rig. It measures just 5.8 x2.8 x 1.5 inches. There are less controls on the front panel, and this in turn means that some of the operational features of the KX3 will not be available on the KX2. But cleverly, Elecraft have retained the same display size as the KX3 (and indeed the K3S). This will please many of us who have grown to love the clear Elecraft panel display.

The KX2 retains the output power level of the original KX3. (The current KX3 firmware permits the KX3 to now produce 15W on all bands up to 20m.) However the KX2 does miss out 160m and 6m, thus offering 80m -10m (9-band) coverage. The KX2 also has no additional roofing filter provisions but it does have an auto ATU option with the dedicated plug in KXAT2 module. This ATU has a very wide range capability and can match coax and end fed wires, plus whips. There is provision for the Elecraft paddle key, (both the KXPD3 and the new KXPD2) but an alternative key can also be plugged in. One notable feature is that while the KX2 will accept the Elecraft MH3 microphone, it also has its own built-in microphone. Can it be described as a handheld HF transceiver? Well its size qualifies it for this description, but there is always the problem of the antenna. On 20m upwards, it may be possible with a whip and I am sure the pedestrian mobile enthusiasts will have their own ideas on the possibilities.

Unlike the KX3 that relies on generic AA cells for internal battery operation, the KX2 has its own optional Li-ion 2.6 amp-hour battery that Elecraft claim will provide typically 8 hours of operation. Features that have been carried over from the KX3 includes the memory keyer, voice recorder and PSK31/RTTY operation, with no need for a PC. There is however no I/Q SDR output and there is no provision for using the PX3 panoramic adaptor. The FM and AM modes have also been dropped, but this will be of little consequence to many operators.

So exactly where in the market is the KX2 aimed? We see it primarily aimed at those who want a “pocket sized” radio that gives significant power (10W) yet is totally self contained in terms of DC power, mic, ATU and paddle key. There is nothing else like it on the market other than the larger KX3. As such it is going to find favour with many enthusiasts, not the least of which will be SOTA operators and pedestrian mobile fans. Indeed it may well encourage new enthusiasts to this form of operation. At this point in time we do not have a delivery date, but this, together with the prices will be be announced shortly.

Peter G3OJV

All KX3 owners will soon get a FREE Voice Recorder.  It won’t come through the post but through the internet. The two channel recorder will become a feature that will be switched on via a coming firmware update. This recorder will have 2 channels of around 10 seconds each. Great for CQs and contests.

Yet another example of how Elecraft look after their customers. Keep checking the Elecraft web site!

Christmas Open Day 2012   November 13th, 2012

The W&S Christmas Open Day is only a month away!

Jamboree On The Air 2012   October 24th, 2012

The 55th JOTA (Jamboree On The Air) recently took place on 21-22nd October, and W&S were happy to have donated a G5RV antenna to this annual event. David Mullock G7GFC sent us this report from the GB4DXS station at Forest Camp Activity Centre, Sandiway, Cheshire:

“We have held a station for a few years at this stunning forest location.  In previous years we have used a very long wire across the trees for HF and a 10-element beam (Only 9 elements now one was lost on the first JOTA station I ran with Venture Scouts from Ramshaw Rocks in the Peak District).

When we moved our JOTA location to Forest Camp I got permission to use the old climbing tower to mount the aerials and give us some height above the trees.  When I was informed of a new climbing tower I asked if it would be possible to put permanent aerials up so it was available all year round.  It was agreed and the staff at Forest Camp even put underground trunking in to the nearby building I would operate from. (Thanks to Dave, Guy, Nigel, Simon and others).

The month before we mounted a UHF/VHF collinear on the very top of the tower.  I took the decision not to put up the 2-meter beam as over the years there has been very little VHF SSB on during JOTA.  Thanks go to Mike Taylor and Chris Hunt for sterling effort in getting the collinear on the very top of the tower!

For HF we were lucky to have been donated a full size G5RV by amateur radio suppliers Waters & Stanton, many thanks again.  This was mounted on the other side of the climbing tower and as it is mainly of wooden construction the ladder cable went down nice and straight.  The ends were connected to Kevlar cord to adjacent trees via a eye hook in the trees an a counter weight.

On the Friday afternoon of JOTA we connected it all up but found the old coax faulty, well it has been used for the last 20 years with out a problem!   After replacing a couple of sections and re-soldiering two plugs we were on the air, with Alex from Dewa Explorer Scouts, Chester helping out.

Conditions seemed to be very good with contacts made in the following countries, Spain, Israel, Rome, Austria, Siberia, Morocco, USA and even St Helena. 

We had a great opening to the States on 10meters, even picking up FM repeaters and with the band so clear it was almost like FM on SSB with thanks to Red, K0LUZ for his patients with Chloe one of our Scouts from Chester who was a bit quiet on the mic. Greg, G0DUB came down for a few hours to help operate the station and show the Scouts a bit of CW. 

I used a mobile radio and aerial for a temporary APRS station to advertise our location to the world and found other JOTA stations had done the same.

Before next year we plan to replace the coax and terminate it to a junction box for easy access for an all year round activity and award more Radio communications badges.

Thanks again to all the help and especially to Waters & Stanton for the G5RV.” David Mullock G7GFC.

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MFJ Celebrates 40 Years!   October 19th, 2012

The Directors & staff of Waters & Stanton congratulate everyone at MFJ for 40 successful years of trading. 

MFJ is now the largest manufacturer of radio-related accessories in the world which Waters & Stanton are proud to represent in the UK.

Parker Wiseman (far right), mayor of Starkville Mississippi, proclaims Saturday 6th October 2012 to be Ham Radio Day in Starkville in honour of MFJ’s 40th anniversary as Martin Jue watches on.

Martin Jue K5FLU (centre) is presented with the ARRL Special Award Acheivement Award at ARRL Day In The Park in honour of MFJ’s 40th Anniversary, held in McKee Park.

here’s a link to the starkville daily news article:
http://starkvilledailynews.com/node/11510

here’s a link to the local television story:
http://www.wcbi.com/wordpress/video-happy-birthday-mfj

here is a link to the w5kub.com live broadcast:
http://w5kub.com/

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National Radio Centre Opens   July 19th, 2012

The new National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park, Bedford was officially opened on Wednesday 11th July by Govt Minister Ed Vaizey.

Waters & Stanton were invited along to the ceremony as supporters of the new venture, having donated Heil headsets to the radio station at the venue. Jeff Stanton was very impressed with what the RSGB has built to showcase Amateur Radio & communications technology.

Bletchley Park was of course the home of code-breaking work during the Second World War and now boasts an increasingly popular museum, which the new NRC compliments superbly. 

Below are some pictures that Jeff Stanton took during his visit to the National Radio Centre.

The National Radio Centre is currently open to the public from 11am to 4.30pm on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday each week.

Find more about the NRC here: http://www.nationalradiocentre.com/

Find out more about Bletchley Park here: http://www.bletchleypark.org/

We received a very nice letter from Telford & District Amateur Radio Society this week, the winners of the RSGB Club of the Year which W&S sponsor, you can read the letter below. You can find out more about the Club of the Year winners at their website http://www.tdars.org.uk/index.html

“Dear Sir,

At a recent meeting I was asked to write to you, on behalf of the committee and members of TDARS, on order to thank you for the very generous prize of £1000 from your company, presented to us at the recent RSGB AGM.

Our members knew that we had won the Region 5 Club of the Year but were so very pleased to have come out the overall winner in the UK. This will take some living up to. We are all certain here that the COTY competition, with it’s support from you, has greatly encouraged more activity around the country.

The committee are now in the process of Deciding what to do with the money. A replacement generator for VHFNFD looks to be a hot favourite at the moment.

Again, many thanks for the prize. It will be put to good use.

With best wishes, Yours sincerely,

Mike G3JKX.”

Elecraft Arrives In The UK!   June 19th, 2012

Well as I write this, the first shipment has arrived via East Midlands Airport. Sadly no KX3s, but we knew that was almost certain because there is a world back order of around 1000 pieces. Talking to some USA hams, they have been waiting several months. Stock arriving will be K3s, P3s and the 500W linear. Prices are being posted on our web site this week, but if you phone, we can give you them on the phone.

We already have some items sold so there is a possibility we will be sold out pretty quickly on this shipment. You are welcome to place an order for the KX3 and we will put you on our list. But be prepared to have a wait of around 2 months.

Finally, thanks for all the interest. I personally built a K2 about eight years ago and love it. I have tried to make prices as competitive as possible as I know how much Elecraft is loved around the world and it has long been my ambition to bring it into the UK.

And please remember, we can offer our normal part exchange deals and you get a 2 year UK warranty on Elecraft.

Peter Waters G3OJV

On 16th-18th August 2012, Waters & Stanton will sponsor the 2012 International EME Conference to be held in Churchill College Cambridge.

As the title suggests, it will focus on moonbounce communications, but also has applications for those interested in other forms of weak signal DX communications. For the period of the conference, a special remotely controlled moonbounce station will be in operation under the callsign of GB2EME. 4 x 17 element 2m Yagis will form the antenna array and those interested in moonbounce are urged to monitor and listen for the signals.

Icom will be in company with Waters & Stanton to offer a display of amateur radio equipment and InnovAntennas will be on hand to discuss their wide range of antennas.

There will be a £500 raffle prize that can be used against the purchase of Icom equipment from Waters & Stanton.

For full details, please go to www.eme2012.com.

2011 RSGB Club of the Year Awards   April 26th, 2012

Last Saturday the 21st April the RSGB National Club of the Year Awards presentation was held, sponsored by Waters & Stanton. The event took place at the Swan Hotel, Bedford, in conjunction with the Annual General Meeting.

Our Sales Director Mark Francis, G0GBY, was given the honour of presenting the awards to the three Clubs in the final and then enjoyed lunch with the finalists.

The overall winners were Telford & District Amateur Radio Society. Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society (LEFARS) and Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society were also highly commended.


Mark Francis presenting Club of the Year winners Telford & District Amateur Radio Society with their award.


Mark with Milton Keynes ARS who came 2nd.


Mark with Loughton & Epping Forest ARC who finished 3rd.