Wednesday, 27 May 2015
Good to hear Elecraft have reviewed the RF board layout in an attempt to reduce the rx noise floor. No doubt they have also made savings on the K3s product for manufacture by replacing parts that are starting to get thin on the ground and hence more expensive. So the K3s comes to the market with an extended shelf life, cheaper to build, better specs and more expensive to buy, but why keep the K3 name? My hope is that the company has plans for their next big venture, but need to secure more sales to fund it. How do you sell another 10,000 units without laying out a fortune on developing and marketing a completely new radio? Also I recon they have looked at the upgrade side of their business and have realised that providing upgrades is an easy way to make a fast buck, $200 for a KSYN3A upgrade costing perhaps $10 each to manufacture (low volume) not inc. NRE obviously. With approx 10,000 units out there and nearly all the original boards in the K3 upgradeable? New RF board aside, the one fly in the ointment is how do they ensure that the upgrade side of the business doesn't spoil the new K3s business? Enter the new front binnacle, hmmm, although it looks like it could just screw onto the front of an old K3, it isn't available as an upgrade option. So the only way you can get it is to stump up for the K3s. Hats off to them, I want the shiny new K3s and I also want to upgrade my old K3, so they have effectively doubled their original client base. It truly is a lesson in great business management. Personally I felt a bit sore after stumping up the $400 for 2xKSYN3A upgrade boards only for the news of the new K3s to come out a week later. If I had been told about the K3s I would have considered buying it first rather than doing expensive upgrades to the K3. I am grateful that Elecraft are out there and don't grudge them well deserved success, but I'd like to be better informed of their intended product direction so I can make better purchasing decisions.