Elecraft’s KX2 Internal Battery Charger with RTC, the KXIBC2, is now shipping

Elecraft KX2 owners that follow Elecraft’s email discussion groups have heard that the new KX2 internal battery charger, the KXIBC2, has been tested and would soon be available for purchase.

I checked the Elecraft website this morning and the KXIBC2 has been added to the KX2 product page within the past 12 hours or so.

There are two model numbers:

  • KXIBC2-F: The “F” in the model number indicates that it will be factory installed with a new KX2 order.
  • KXIBC2: This is the part you would order if you already own a KX2 and plan to install it yourself. This one is referred to as the “Kit” version since the user installs it.

The price is $139.95 US plus shipping.

I just ordered the Kit version and paid a total of $149.30 US with shipping.

According to Elecraft, the kit version is actually very simple to install, but there’s an option to have the factory install it for you via an RMA. Elecraft notes:

Anyone with a modest amount of soldering experience should be able to do the KXIBC2 installation. Based on lots of feedback from field testers, we dramatically simplified the installation procedure. For field installation, we recommend “Method 1” (see the revision B2 instruction manual or later). There’s no need to do any disassembly other than removing and replacing the right side panel. And there are only two wires to solder. If after having a look at the instructions you feel that you’d rather let Elecraft to the job, we’ll be happy to. Simply contact [email protected] to obtain an RMA.

I’ve been looking forward to this particular KX2 upgrade.

While I don’t find removing the internal battery, charging it, then replacing it very cumbersome–I’ve literally done this hundreds of times–the new internal charger will make topping off the battery that much easier.

The KXIBC2 replaces the previous KXIO2 Real-Time-Clock optional module. If you have the KXIO2 installed, you’ll need to remove it and replace it with the KXIBC2.

The KXIBC2 retains the RTC (real-time-clock) function.

For more information about the KXIBC2 module, check out the product manual and installation guide here (PDF).

19 thoughts on “Elecraft’s KX2 Internal Battery Charger with RTC, the KXIBC2, is now shipping”

  1. I’m glad to finally see this. I always that having to remove the battery to charge it was a nuisance on the K2. The price seems high but I understand that it is the time clock and charger. Elecraft should offer a trade in for your old time clock module.

  2. I am a field tester and successfully installed my unit. It works really well and I’m glad we now have the option to leave the battery in for charging. The installation is pretty simple although a number of us experienced a solder hole that was already filled with solder that needed a little attention. Some minor fiddling and got the job done.

  3. Thank you Thomas! I just ordered a KX2 this past week so this post is timely for me. I’ll call Elecraft Monday and add it to my order since the lead time for a new KX2 is 12-16 weeks. I am super excited for the radio to arrive later this spring. Our family is planning a trip to the Bay of Fundy/Nova Scotia area this summer and I want to activate a park or two while there. (I remember you went to Canada last year.) I’ve never traveled with equipment and attempted this so I’m really stretching myself to achieve this goal. I am hopeful the KX2 and the AX1 will be a great setup. And with this new addition, charging will be easier for me as a newer op. I appreciate you continuing to share product info and your experiences with the rest of us.

  4. I probably should order one, but as timing should have it, I just purchased a spare battery pack a couple of months ago…

    With the spare I can swap & charge. With the charger, I can have it all. Unless this also acts as an MPPT solar charge controller, that’d be cool! ‘Waydago’ Wayne & Eric!

  5. I don’t understand all the hullabaloo about this additional add-on. I have had my KX2 since the first day they were announced at Dayton, serial number 34, and opening it up and replacing the battery is a piece of cake to my 78 year old fingers.

    I always carry an extra battery and changing the battery, even in the field, has never been an issue. And if my battery runs down, I can still plug in an external 12 V source.

    I just don’t get it.

    Dave, K8WPE since 1960.

  6. I’ve been a field tester too. It’s much simpler to install than I thought it would be. The extra solder in one of the holes, mentioned above in another comment, was a slight issue. This really works great, and I’m very glad I got it.

    Another quality Elecraft product with fantastic tech support through the process of installation.

    73, Rus, NQ6F

  7. I was fortunate to have been helping field test this charger since the start of the year. It’s a great addition to the KX2, especially if you do a lot of multi-day field ops with no available AC power in between days for charging.

    I’ve charged mine from an external 13.8 VDC power supply, a Bioenno battery, etc. Great piece of kit.

  8. I just ordered mine and it seems like a sensible feature that should have been part of the radio in the first place. But I wonder about charging it. I see the comment above that a 13.8V power supply works, but the instructions (and the nature of lithium battery chemistry) indicate that “While charging voltages from 11-13.7 V can be used, the final level of battery charge will be limited if you use a lower voltage. For example if you charge from a 12.5 V supply, your KX2 battery may only acquire a charge of 30 to 50% or so. For camping or vacation outings you may wish to use a small 15 volt modular supply just for charging the internal battery.” I have a 14.5V power supply for my home station that I used to keep my emergency LiFePO4 batteries charged, so I can easily use that. Just curious if anyone has found any other easy 15V power supplies that they’d recommend.

  9. One of the tests I’ve performed with the new charger is to use my larger Bioenno Power battery and an inexpensive boost regulator to supply the “full” 14.6VDC to the radio. It gives a complete 100% charge in the field with no AC power available.

    1. Thanks. I had the same idea. Absent a more elegant solution, I was going to take a leftover 12v wall-wart and duct tape a 12-15v step-up Buck converter to the top of it. That would give my KX2 just the right “lived-in” look. 🙂 73 Skip K4EAK

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