I have both the FT- 817nd ( since ten years)  and the KX-2 ( since about
two years).
 The '817 used to be an unbeatable champion in the QRP rigs class for many
years due to its versatility, all-band (160m -70cm) all mode features. It
travelled with me all accross Europe and did a great job in casual
hotel-style operation but also in a big contests' QRP category with very
good results. With a third-party DSP filter (Bhi-Dsp module) installed this
rig was and still is a very welcome in my shack,  last but not least due to
its VHF/UHF full-feature coverage including  sattelite operation .On the
downside , the FT'817 needs quite a lot of energy to produce its 5W and
that makes the operation from its internal battery practically useless. The
lack of a built in ATU is another minus, eventhough the Elecraft's T-1 mini
tuner comes as a great solution for this  :)). Tiny display is yet another
minus.

As it comes to KX-2 it is my favourite and major  rig now for all of my HF
QRP activities, incl working mobile. The first thing wich struck me,
compare to the FT817, was a KX-2 internal battery which REALY worked for
many hours uncharged! Even if in a hotel room or in the car I prefere to
run it on the battery since it much more convienient, less wiring and QRM
from the switching power supply ( only few brands of ps are almost no
noise). The power consumption both on RX and especially TX in the KX2 was
another pleasant surprise! What it takes for the FT-817 to produce 5 W is
enough or even less for KX-2 to yeald up good 10W! This comes as a great
advantage when taking part in the QRP contests, since a 10W amplifier
stands easily the heavy-duty style contest operation when run at the 5 W
level. For a casual operation when the 5W QRP is not a requirement I like
it very much to have 10-12 W in such a compact box. I also like the large
display and great functionality in KX-2 , like built in messages for CW and
even SSB. The message feature makes it much more fun when operating mobile
or in the contest ( especially voice messaging , since I hate shouting cq
for hours :)). The DSP filtering  makes the receiver's general performing
far better to my opinion  then the FT-817 especially in a crowdy
environment like FD or a contest. Being a programmable SDR rig, the KX-2 is
easily upgradable ( and I like it very much!) for more and better features
which is out of question for an old ( good!) analogue FT-817. The only
thing which the KX-2 lacks on HF is a 160 m band ( and I don't understand
why). As it comes for the VHF/UHF I don't miss it in the KX-2 since it
would be rearly used by the HF hams anyway and it would result in the
bigger size and the price of the rig. There is a KX-3 for that, :) and I
personally still have the FT-817 packed carefully in case I feel a desire
to grab my VHF yagies and rush to a VHF field day, :)).
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