Following a suspicion that one of my K2 radio’s was a little deaf, Tony/G0OPB and myself set out to measure the Minimum Discernible Signal (MDS) on my two Elecraft K2 radios: serial numbers 997 and 4891.

Test Conditions

1. K2’s tuned with PreAmp = ON, Mode = CW, Filter = 700Hz.

2. Signal Generator: HP 8640B fed with coax via an attenuator into each K2 in turn.

3. The Signal Generator was set at  -120dBm output and the switched attenuator used to control the signal level into the radio.

4. A signal generator frequency was chosen on each contest band, 160m through to 10m. The K2 being tested was tuned to the Sig Gen and a note was made of the lowest signal level that could be heard.


K2 Serial No. 160 80 40 20 15 10
#997 -135dBm -143dBm -143dBm -141dBm -145dBm -140dBm
#4891 -135dBm -138dBm -145dBm -135dBm -143dBm -140dBm


Both K2s have similar levels of Minimum Discernible Signal (MDS) and are well within the figure stated by Elecraft of -130dBm.


Tony G0OPB testing MDS on Elecraft K2s
Tony G0OPB testing MDS on Elecraft K2s