Sunday, November 8, 2020

K60XV - The Hard Way.

K60XV Built and Installed
Last September, I was somewhat distressed to learn that Elecraft was no longer offering the K60XV -- the 60m and transverter interface for the K2 transceiver. I had always planned to purchase this kit, because I intended to build a 6m transverter. 

According to Elecraft, the kit was discontinued because they no longer had a source for the bottom adjusting variable capacitors at C1 and C2. While I understood, I was still disappointed. 

While reading the Elecraft mailing list, I stumbled on a message from a fellow named Chuck. He said the managed to obtain the parts for a K60XV and put it together. I followed up with an e-mail, and Chuck indicated that he obtained the PC board, processor and a few other parts.

K60XV "Kit" - a collection of parts
I wrote to the Elecraft parts department, to check if certain parts were still available. I was delighted to find the K60XV PC Board and processed were still available in limited quantities. So, I put together an order:

  • E100193 - K60XV, PCB $24.93
  • E610018 - MCU, K60XV $6.60
  • E640001 - Relay DPDT LATCHING $2.60
  • E620005 - 8 pin FEMALE, 0.1LS $3.65
  • E620009 - 3 pin FEMALE, 0.1LS $2.08
  • E620076 - 8 pin MALE, 0.1LS, Elevated $2.49
  • E620077 - 3 pin MALE, 0.1LS, Elevated $0.92
  • E700090 - Nylon Stndff,3/16D,9/16L, Hex $1.18
These were all parts that were either exclusively from Elecraft, or those that I had trouble finding elsewhere.

I also ordered:
  • FWKAT100 - KAT100 F/W Upgrade to 1.05 $49.95
  • E700002 - TO220 Thermal Insulator, Adh $1.96
My KAT100 was older, and I needed the newer firmware for it to work on 60m. Installing the K60XV requires you to remove the heatsink panel, and I wanted to make sure I didn't destroy the thermal insulating pads.

For the rest of my parts, I combed through my junk box and also placed an order with Mouser. I didn't have any difficulty finding the rest of these parts. 

Board with parts in place.
The K60XV is not a complex option. If you've built the KSB2, this is piece of cake. The board goes together easily. I skipped installing C1 and C2. I had a couple of top adjusting 7-40 pF caps I planned to use. I waited to see what kind of clearance was available.

The main RF board requires a couple of modifications in order for the K60XV to function. This is probably the hardest part of installing this option.

If you were lucky enough to have a serial number of 3000 or higher, this job is much easier. For those of us with Rev A RF Boards, it's a little more difficult. 

D19 and D20 install.
The Rev A boards don't have a place for D19 or D20, so you have to mount them beneath the RF board. 

Hooking up the RF connection is a little picky as well. Take time when prepping the coaxial cable. Some folks have used heat shrink on both ends of the coax, but I didn't find that necessary.

I ended up being pretty happy with the RF board mods. 

RF line install finished.

These RF Board modifications require the heat sink panel to be removed. My early K2 (from 2002) didn't have the transverter holes on the heat sink panel, so I replaced it with the newer one. This requires the thermal insulating pads and the serial number sticker. I was actually a little nervous about this. I purchased spare pads, but I only had one shot at the sticker.

I shouldn't have been nervous. With a sharp knife, the sticker came off easily and transferred to the new panel with ease. The thermal insulating pads came off easily as well, and I had no trouble moving them.

I fitted the K60XV board and considered my options for installing C1 and C2. I considered installing my caps upside-down using short lengths of wire. However, there appeared to be plenty of clearance between the top of the K60XV board and the KPA100 shield. As I measured it, there was about 2mm of space between the top-mounted capacitors and the shield. So, I opted to mount them on top of the board. My caps were a perfect fit.

Rear view of the finished installation. Looks great.
Adjustment was easy. Set the D19 menu to Y, then adjust the C1 and C2 caps to peak 60m. 

Buttoning it all up again, I'm very pleased with the result. I don't know how long Elecraft's supply of parts will last, but if you really want a K60XV, you should inquire with Elecraft's parts department and see if they still have these parts available.

No comments:

Post a Comment