Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post readers (including, Eric, Dave, Jim and Greg) who shared the following message from Wayne (N6KR) on the Elecraft message boards:
We added AM mode to the KX2 today, both transmit and receive. Its primary purpose is for SWL (short-wave listening), i.e. copying commercial AM stations. (Remember that the KX2’s sensitivity drops off rapidly below 2 MHz due to protective high-pass filtering, so it wouldn’t be your first choice for AM brodcast-band DXing.)
AM transmit is far less efficient than SSB, so it would typically be used only if the target receiver can’t demodulate SSB, or for special applications. For example, there’s some AM activity and experimentation in the ham bands, notably around 3.870 kHz at night. I’ll have to drop in with 10 watts (carrier + sidebands) and get a report 🙂
While the KX2 was optimized for SSB, AM mode sounds fine, and of course is easier to tune than when using SSB modes with AM. In AM mode, the operator can select 1, 5, 9, or 10 kHz steps for course tuning using the VFO CRS menu entry. (Yes, some countries use 9 kHz intervals between stations.)
If you’re interested in testing AM mode on the KX2, please email me directly.
On Sunday, I ordered a KX2 (with ATU, rechargeable battery pack, quick charger and paddles)–it should arrive next Monday. First thing I’ll do is upgrade the firmware so it’ll have AM mode.
Many thanks to Wayne (N6KR) for putting this KX2 upgrade at the front of the (long) line of requests. I’ll be reviewing the KX2 for the November issue of The Spectrum Monitor magazine and, as an avid SWL, AM mode adds an important dimension to my evaluation. (Truth is, I know that Wayne has a soft spot for SWLing too.)
Click here for a previous post with more information and photos of the Elecraft KX2.
Where do I look for on the Elecraft site to get the AM firmware? I looked in the Beta firmware section, but I’m not seeing anything. Any help would be appreciated!
Heck yeah!!! I’d love to hear what a KX2 sounds like on AM TX. I do a fair amount of AM with a Kenwood TS-2000X on 50.400MHz, 29.000MHz, and occasionally on 7295KHz. Running the rig barefoot on AM is pretty moot on 75 – 80M AM, albeit I heard a dude whom claimed he was just running 6W there. Still, if the KX2 does 10W AM (Assuming a 2.5W carrier.), that’s still doable when those upper HF bands open. AM? Yeah!!! Do it!!!!
Wow…it didn’t have it before? just assumed it did….good job Elecraft.
I installed the AM firmware last night and will run some tests today and tonight.
Thank you, Ivan!
Thomas, where would I get the AM firmware? Thanks!
Since the firmware is in Beta, I believe you have to email Wayne Burdick directly and request it: [email protected]