Elecraft K1

This little transceiver is one of the older product offerings from Elecraft. The K1 is a compact CW transceiver capable of 5 to 7 watts of output power on the 80 to 15 meter bands.

Currently, it can be only be ordered from Elecraft as a two band kit, however four band transceivers can be found on the used equipment market.  With the two band filter module, it can be built for any two bands from 80 to 15 meters. The discontinued  four band filter module permits operation on 40, 30, 20 and either 17 or 15 meters.

Additional filter boards can be constructed for other bands and it's a five minute job to swap boards for operation on other bands. The four band unit in the photograph is presently configured for 40, 30 20 and 15 meters.

Also available as options are an internal battery, an internal automatic antenna tuner, a noise blanker module and a display backlight kit.

The K1 is the baby brother of the K2 multiband transceiver and shares a few of the K2's features, such as digital frequency readout, built-in memory keyer, adjustable power output and user definable IF crystal filters. The K1 has a very hot single conversion receiver. Like the K2, it uses a microprocessor to control many of it's functions. Also like the K2, it uses modular construction with almost no point-to-point wiring. Test equipment for testing and alignment is built-in to the circuit design.

The VFO in the K1 is an analog varactor tuned oscillator running at 3 MHz. A 10 turn potentiometer is used for the main tuning control. The builder can select either an 80 or a 150 kHz tuning range during construction.

This transceiver is designed for efficient field operation and has a receive current drain of only about 55 milliamps. The K1 is a very popular radio for portable operation.

The Elecraft K1 kit in the photograph was built over a period of about two weeks and went together flawlessly. It was aligned easily by following the procedures in the instruction manual. It was placed on the air for the first time on December 2, 2000 with the first contact honors going to VE7SL on 40 meters.

Click on the following links for photos of the various construction steps.

Opening the Box
40 / 20 Meter Filter Board
Front Panel Assembly
Main RF Board
The Finished Project

Elecraft K1 Links:

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Updated June 15, 2016