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Re: [CQ-Contest] Lost leading 'dit' - summary

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Lost leading 'dit' - summary
From: Bill Tippett <btippett@alum.mit.edu>
Date: Thu, 04 Mar 2004 09:55:59 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
VR2BG wrote:
>The Elecraft community is not interested in the least in what is needed by
contesting community in a product & are quite unreasonable about anything
that they don't like & they don't like contests to begin with.  I suspect the
contesting community is probably a bigger portion of the active equipment
market, so the idea is either to establish that the contesting community
really does use something, that it could be added & everybody could be happy,
or the contesting community can sod off & take its custom elsewhere.

        I agree that we are confusing "community" with "company".  It
really doesn't matter to me what the current community thinks, because
that's composed primarily of QRP'ers, backpackers, tinkerers, etc.
They could certainly care less about what the contest community needs,
but so what...what is important is what Elecraft THE COMPANY thinks.

        I know for a fact (via some direct communications with Elecraft's
owners) that they are very interested in a contester/DXer friendly
implementation of the K2.  Remember that the K2 evolved as a portable
QRP radio, and has only recently gotten the attention of contesters
and DX'ers because of its excellent receiver performance and because
the 100W version recently became available.

        Elecraft is definitely interested in a version of the K2 aimed
at the mainstream market of contesters and DXers.  IMHO, there are
relatively few changes needed to make the K2+ into a superb product.
On my list are:

1.  Ergonomically-friendly product design (think LARGE like Orion
or the FT-1000 family) both physically and functionally.

2.  Offer optional 8-pole filters in addition to the current programmable
filter.  The K2's IMD performance is already exceptional, but it falls
apart rather badly for signal spacings under 5 kHz, and how many contests
do you recall with signals spaced 5 kHz apart?  Simply adding an 8-pole
500 Hz filter would probablly put the K2 into Orion-class performance,
and possibly even exceed it at 1 kHz spacings.

        What I pray is that Elecraft not get carried away with "whistles
and bells" which would add unnecessary cost and little value to the
current product...no dual-RX, no spectrum scopes, no general coverage,
no FM...yada, yada yada.  If Elecraft could deliver an assembled product
in the $1500-2000 range (most of which could be done by subcontracting),
I believe they could absolutely dominate the mainstream contester/DXer
market.  With two K2+'s, a SO2R contester would have an outstanding
station for about what one Orion costs.  For reasons I do not understand,
Ten-Tec says they are not interested in pursuing this market, although it
could easily be done by downscaling Orion (strip out dual-RX, spectrum
scope, FM, etc).  Of course Ten-Tec also said they would never do CW PTT,
but customers and markets (a.k.a. $$$) have apparently caused them to
rethink their stance about CW PTT.  ;-))  Having faced issues like this
myself when I was in business, I can tell you it will be far easier for
Elecraft to upscale the K2 than it will for Ten-Tec to downscale Orion.
Time will tell.

        I also know that there are some excellent contesters local to
Elecraft that are providing input into a next generation K2+.  If
Elecraft listens carefully, and I have no reason to believe they won't,
I suspect we'll see an outstanding product from them in the future.

73, Bill W4ZV

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