Hello, someone has installed it.
TNX, 73 José
Hello, someone has installed it.
still desperately waiting on being available or any new information. But it is even not available on the website/shop. I fear we still have to wait…
73 de Klaus
Latest news from Wayne (1st of February 2023):
The KXIBC2 is being field tested by about 25 customers. They’ve reported excellent results and have helped us finalize the installation and operating instructions. We’ll be taking orders soon.
As a KX2 owner, I might be interested but have no idea what you are talking about. Please explain.
I tried searching “elecraft KX2 IBC2” and “elecraft KX2IBC2”
The KXIBC2 is a module that allows the battery to be charged inside the KX2.
It is mounted where the KX2 Real-Time Clock module (KXIO2) is mounted but does also include the RTC features.
Hello José @EA7GV
I have taken the liberty to change the title… I think you mean this part:
TNX for the answers.
True, the 2 left over.
If knew the manual, and I’m worried that the solder is necessary to install it
I checked the original test group messages and don’t recall seeing anything prohibiting us from talking about it in public, so I hope I’m not breaking any rules I missed…
It works well and gives you some flexibility in how you can charge the battery. I’ve used the Elecraft charger that goes with the internal battery, my Bioenno Lifepo charger, a 12v Lifepo battery, and a 12v “cigarette lighter” adapter in the car. It does need greater than 13v to reach full charge, but you can partially charge with 12v sources. Except for the Bioenno charger above, all of my charging sources have been right around 12v. Some folks have tested with solar panels and such.
Installation is pretty straightforward, the only difficult part is the “E pad” which is filled with lead-free solder. I used a tiny drill bit in a hand chuck to bore a deep divot in the solder already in place, allowing me to solder the pin. The other connection was like any other through-hole soldering job. I didn’t use the pin sockets since I can easily desolder the connections if I need to remove it. I don’t see a need to install/remove/reinstall this, so the sockets felt like an unnecessary addition.
I haven’t tested the RTC since I don’t have much need of that.
I’ve done a handful of activations since installing it and it hasn’t caused any issues, but does allow me to top off the battery between summits (came in handy the other weekend when I did 4 summits in a day). That, and the ability to charge in the field, are the main benefits for me.
Many thanks for news about it. I think KXIBC2 will be the second most usefull module for KX2. The first one is internal ATU I am looking forward to an official buying.
This link works for me
KXIBC2 is now available to order, currently only directly at Elecraft, I have not seen a direct possibility in EU yet.
Price : 139 $
Curious on charge times out in the field IE How long? I’m hearing reports of 10 + hrs to reach a full charge ??
73, Todd KH2TJ
It’s in the manual linked above. It’s a C/10 charger and the battery is 2600mAhr but it doesn’t charge to the max to improve # recharges. To me, charging at 250mA is a nice gentle charge, nothing should get too warm. I’ve never charged my LiFePOs or LiPOs hard and fast, which is why my 2009 vintage LiPOs are still quite good.
I haven’t yet charged a fully run-down battery, but when the battery is discharged to the point my KX2 switches to 5w, it’ll take a couple hours to fully charge via a 15v input. In the field, which I tested a number of times this weekend (camping and SOTA), it would take an hour or two to top off via the 12v power port in my 4x4. But, since that’s only 13.Xv nominal, it wasn’t getting a full charge. Still, that gives me a way to top up enough to keep going without taking spare batteries.
I’m going to add a voltage converter so I can more fully charge the battery from 12v sources.
Thanks Chris. Saw a couple of YT vids that didn’t speak highly of the amount of time it would take to recharge so was curious - wanted a real live report from someone who has used it.
Several years ago I attended an event that had a few of the Elecraft employees there. One of them was displaying a homebrew built in charger for his KX2. Am actually surprised that it has taken Elecraft this long to come out with a charger like this…
73, Todd KH2TJ
Yeah, it’s slower than the fast charger, but the convenience of being able to charge it from a wide variety of sources is worth it IMO. I was never one to be bothered by removing the battery for quick charging, but if I fully discharged the battery in the field I have to swap batteries. Not the worst thing, but if I can top off via my vehicle or a larger battery down at camp, it’s easier.
Elecraft seems to have some reluctance to be aggressive with the internal battery in the KX2. I understand their reluctance, but the expectation from the market is a bit different.
I’m hoping the voltage booster I ordered, combined with my 4.5ah LifePo battery will let me get a full charge or two while in the field.
Just because they want it doesn’t mean Elecraft should provide it.
Agree completely. Elecraft is right to manage the risk of providing in-radio rapid charging if it puts their product at risk, which ultimately puts their reputation at risk.
Like I said, I was never bothered with having to remove the battery for rapid charging and find the new internal charging capability good enough for my needs.
140 USD for a C/10 charger PCB seems pretty pricey to me.
My personal bet is that the increasing level of sophistication of open-hardware workflows will compete heavily with commercial amateur radio hardware in the years to come, be it entire transceivers or add-ons. You can have CNC-routed aluminium components of arbitrary complexity, 4- to 8-layer PCBs plus assembly services with minimal lot sizes and prices, etc.
I would not be surprised if the next generation of leading-edge QRP rigs will come from that direction.
Something comparable to this one is surely feasible:
Just look at the marvellous PA designed by DL4KA:
It’s sold commercially, but could as well be done as open-hardware thanks to all the high-quality manufacturing services (just look at JLCPCBs SMD assembly services).
And an open-hardware rig comparable to the Mountain Toppers seems very straightforward.
73 de Martin, DK3IT