Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I am a fan of Elecraft

As you all know, I am a big Elecraft fan. I’ve built and used a K1, a K2, and a K3.  I now own two KX3s. That said, I don't consider myself to be an Elecraft sycophant.  Heck, I'll be the first to admit that I did my share of public grousing and fuming back when I was waiting for my beloved KX3 to arrive!  And I am anxiously, but patiently awaiting the arrival of my KXPA100 – this time minus the grousing and fuming. No company is perfect, including the one owned by Eric and Wayne.  They've made their share of missteps regarding announced shipping dates of new product. The fact that we Hams are a tough audience at times, also makes things difficult.  They want to satisfy us, and one could be generous and posit that they've been guilty of being overly optimistic at times.

However, when it comes to customer service, Elecraft stands head and shoulders among the pack.  Get a load of this sequence of e-mails that appeared on the Elecraft e-mail reflector yesterday. This floored me when I first saw it:

First, from Mitch KD5EYN:

Hi All, 

Love the KX3, and I did not think I had a problem before, but now realize that I do. I increased the height of my dipole and lengthened the feedline to locate the KX3 into my shack. Now the AM broadcast station KOMA 1520 5 miles from my QTH comes through on virtually all bands. I have tried most settings, it is minimal with the preamps all off, but that renders some of the functionality much reduced. A friend has loaned me his IC-756 and it works flawlessly. I realize two different intended radio uses; however the KX3 is my only rig. Therefore I am considering selling it so I can purchase a non-QRP rig to function better for the bulk of my use. 

I have the ATU & battery charger as well as very nice Samsung NiMh cells in the radio. It would come with the PC cable kit and the headphone/mic that was purchased off ebay. I have worked stations all over the world and received great reports. It is just not going to work as my only radio given the RF situation. So if anyone is interested, let me know. Contact me direct through KD5EYN@gmail, I love the SDR and the features as well as the small size. I am not willing on taking a big hit on the sale, but if you want a great radio at a reasonable price, lets talk. 


Here is Wayne's response - one of the owners of the company, mind you!  An owner who actually keeps an eye on, and reads messages posted in just one of the various Elecraft e-mail reflectors.


Sorry to hear about the AM station so close to home. Ouch. 

Two things you may not have tried: (1) RX SHFT = 8.0, and (2) a broadcast-band filter external to the radio. We could easily design a notch filter for you that would take it out. If you're interested, let me know. (No charge.)


Now in turn, a little bit more detail from Mitch:

Hi Wayne, 

I have tried the shift and it helps a bit, but the signals are still present; with the preamp at 30db the audio is as if I am tuned to the station. On lower preamp settings it sounds a lot like loud static crashes. I finally realized the problem to its fullest extent when I set an AM radio at low volume where I could hear the programming relative to the noise on the KX3 audio - and BINGO. I have considered a filter, and have not completely ruled it out. But without trying one, I don't know how much it might effect the receive capability. So sure, I'd love to have one to try and will gladly return it if it does not work. Also, I have really enjoyed the dual receive in split operations, and as I understand the shift negates that function at the moment. But I'm sure open to the filter. What more info do you need? Should I submit a support request? 


Answer from Wayne:

Hi Mitch,

We'll have the filter designed by tomorrow and enroute by Christmas. It'll actually be a high-pass with a cutoff of 1750 kHz, built into a W2 sensor box.


Oh my!  And for those of you in this hobby long enough, do you remember Heathkit's famous tag line? "We will not let you fail."? THIS is that philosophy brought to new heights.  You have to consider that sometimes, when a company makes a mistake, it can be due to unforeseen problems with suppliers, unforeseen problems with other 3rd party vendors, and sometimes problems of their own making. But when an owner of a company can and does make a difference for one of their customers?

Wow, Elecraft, wow!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

1 comment:

  1. Yea, I want one! Now, even more! Yep, that's just going above and beyond.