Tuesday, February 9, 2021

What has happened to Elecraft?



 For the first time in a very long time, my radio shack is without an Elecraft product.  I was and still am a big Elecraft fan and had 2 Elecraft K2's that I built, KX1, K3 and finally a KX3. The only rig I had left was the KX3 and a short time ago that rig was sold off. As with most hams sold equipment becomes ham bucks for new things. I may regret selling my KX3 but at this time that has not happened.  I really needed to upgrade my PC and it was the KX3 funds that allowed me to do that. 

My KX1

I was on the internet this afternoon and wanted for old time sake visit the Elecraft website and what I found was shocking! I went to the order/shipping status page as I was feeling the fuzzies for maybe another K2 to build.  I saw the K4 and its ongoing status update link but then I saw "K3S no longer available" I took a double-take! That was the flagship of Elecraft.  It gets better......the K3/K3S add-on kits are for the most part " availability TBD" so much for an upgradable radio. 

Then there were the back orders KX3, KPA100 amp,  KX2 and K2. I am not sure if it's COVID that has put things in a tailspin but as an Elecraft fan, I was shocked to see this.  

One of my K2's

10 comments:

  1. Hi Mike,
    Elecraft are certainly not alone in having no stock available. Here in Europe it is a shocking situation. As you may know, I have lots of hobbies and because of this, I am acutely aware of the supply issues that are present. It's across the board! Even yesterday, my wife was complaining about her sewing machine and so I told her to look for a replacement. Oh my word, stock was almost unobtainable!! Eventually we were forced to search not for what was the most appropriate machine, but for the ones which were in stock - and that severely limited her choices.

    Over here in the UK I think it's a case of both Covid AND Brexit. Can't see it getting better any time this year.

    Stay safe.

    73, Tom, M7MCQ
    www.m7mcq.com

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    1. Good morning Tom, all I can say is WOW regarding the stock issues over your way. It really has not hit us as bad I am guessing. We still really have most things available to us. As for a sewing machine my wife Julie has the same hobby and just last month she was in need of a part for her Janome machine, and she really did not have any issues finding it. As for COVID-19 plus Brexit I can see that. Julies family lives in England and she speaks with them once a week on the phone and according to them things are different now with the virus and Brexit.
      Thanks for the comment Tom and have a good week,
      73
      Mike
      VE9KK

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  2. Hi Mike, The Elecraft radios are very nice and good. Unfortunately not for sale in the Netherlands, and too expensive to purchase from the USA. Import duties are too high. It would be a shame if Elecraft stopped production. 73 Paul

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    1. Good morning Paul and very nice to hear from you, I know there is an Elecraft dealer in the U.K. but still you would have the import and taxes into the Netherlands to deal with. It is very true they are pricey BUT as you said, and I agree they are very nice radios. You blog looks great and keep up the reports I may not always comment, but I am a faithful reader of your posts.
      73,
      Mike
      VE9KK

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  3. Hello Mike, I've been working with a K3S a few times when contesting with the PA6AA group. At one time we couldn't get the second K3 working with the logging program so we used our backup IC-7300. Since I worked bothg stations I could easily compare both radios on SSB. My favor was for the IC-7300, to me it was quieter. However I think the K3(S) is more for the CW enthousiast. I'm certain this radio is better equipped for CW then any other radio. What happened to Elecraft, well I indeed think they have parts delivery problems since we have problems to get parts as well on the job. Might me all due to the pandemic situation. 73, Bas

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    1. Good morning Bas I hope all is well with you and your family, yes for sure hands down the Elecraft product such as the K3 is more leaning toward CW than SSB. I am a CW fan and loved the radio. I do have the Icom 7610 now and am thrilled with its ability for CW. I am not too thrilled with the lack of software updates coming from Icom as it is an SDR rig and very easy to upgrade but Icom seems to not see this as important. Let's hope this is just a parts issue due to COVID-19 and once this is in the rearview mirror things will get back to close to the way they were before.
      73,
      Mike
      VE9KK

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  4. Less disposable income for many. Starve in front of a new K4 or eat in front of a boat anchor. Energy, food, shelter prices for young and old rising. The results of Covid will be around for years even if the cure arrived tomorrow...and it won't. It's a new, nasty world we live in and we better get used to it.

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    1. Good afternoon Dick and very nice to hear from you and I hope all is well in France, yes the K4 is pricey and some that's not an issue. I know with me before I retired it just would have been a matter of saving for a bit by working some overtime. Now I find myself selling gear to get something in return. As for COVID-19 I agree with you, it is not a changed world and I don't believe we will ever see things as we did before COVID-19 came. Just like 911 it changed things forever and so will this virus.
      73 and take care Dick,
      Mike
      VE9KK

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  5. 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 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

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    1. Good afternoon Eric and very nice to have your input on the matter, thanks for taking the time to go over things in detail. As per our email exchanges I will be posting your reply in a post and go into more detail.
      Thanks again
      Mike
      VE9KK

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