Friday, February 12, 2021

Guidance from Eric Swartz co-founder of Elecraft

As a follow-up post from my last post entitled  "What has happened to Elecraft" in that post I wrote how shocked I was when I visited Elecrafts order page and the results, I had found. I was surprised to see the K3S had been retired and the lack of availability of their other products. My post had only been up for a short time until a comment from Eric Swartz WA6HHQ who is the co-founder (Wayne Burdick N6KR being the other founder) of Elecraft was posted. To be honest I was shocked and pleased to see that Eric was a reader of the blog. I emailed Eric asking him if it was ok to repost his response with a new post as some folks do not always read the comments.  I felt it to be very important to highlight Eric's response in a post for all to see.  He emailed me back and agreed without issue and below is Eric's comment. 

Hi Mike,

While the last year has been challenging due to the Covid crisis, the CA wildfires near us and related supply issues, we are not now shut down by CA for COVID and are financially healthy. We are alive and kicking - shipping radios, amplifiers and accessories every week.

You mentioned the backlog on the KX2, KX3, KXPA100 and K2, for which I apologize. All of these are still in production and shipping. Orders for all of our products surprisingly have been much higher than we expected during the Covid crisis, which has contributed to the current backlog on these products. (It looks like hams had more time this past year to enjoy the hobby, which has helped sales!) I just checked our shipping report for the first ten days of this month (through today 2/10) and all of these are shipping along with their accessories, the KPA500, KPA1500 etc.  We certainly have seen intermittent production delays due to parts shortages, but to date, nothing has shut us down. We've gotten pretty good at quickly finding alternate parts when one is delayed.

I see you were disappointed the K3S was no longer in production. We formally discontinued it in May of 2019 when we introduced the K4, after a close to 13 year run for the K3 and K3S. We've also previously discontinued the K1 and KX1, which also had a long run. In general, we discontinue products as sales decrease over time and when new products replace them. Fortunately, we've been able to continue production of the K2 since its first ship in Jan of 1999. No that's a long run :-)

We are also ramping up production and shipments of the K4, which also competes for production resources. I noted in my recent live video Q&A session on the K4 that we had just received 100 full PC board sets for the K4 from our local assembly subcontractor and these are winding their way through production. (See the Elecraft YouTube channel for the Zoom recording.) We received a huge response to the K4 and as a result, have a very large number of backorders that will keep us busy and financially healthy for some time.

Lastly, you mentioned the 'TBD' on K3S option boards and accessories. We recently asked for interest from our customers on a special run of all of these and received a very large response, which makes it economical to build another run of most of these. We've now received the quote updates from our suppliers and we will be contacting everyone starting next week who expressed interest in these items.

We're still in business, healthy and enjoying designing and building exciting products for the amateur radio community, and we hope to continue doing so for some time!

73, Eric - WA6HHQ


  1. You see Mike, you'll be surprised who reads your blog. In the past it surprised me a couple of times that I wrote about a particular DXpedition or station and that actual operators were commenting on my blog. Really nice we have a explanation from Elecraft now. 73, Bas

    1. Good Friday afternoon Bas, yes very true regarding readership. Yes Elecraft is a very stand-up company with support above and beyond most if not all other radio sellers. Both Eric and Wayne have captured how to run a business that over time will gather a loyal following as well as quality product.
      73 and have a great contest this weekend,

  2. I've only ever had great service from Elecraft, and I absolutely love my KX3. Nice to see they pay attention to what is being said about them....and take the time to respond!
    73, Bill VE3FI

  3. Good morning Bill very nice to hear from you, I have dealt with the co-owners, tech staff and office staff at Elecraft and never once was I disappointed with the service. I had the KX3 for some time and reluctantly ended up having to sell it to fund PC upgrades. It was great of Eric to chime in and shed some light on things at Elecraft.