K3 Status Update: August 29, 2007

Eric Swartz - WA6HHQ, Elecraft

K3 Status Update: August 29, 2007

Note from Eric:
I apologize for not posting earlier. I planned on posting an update
for everyone before I left town for the JA Ham Fair last week, but ran
out of time. So you can blame this delay in status on me (and the
Marketing dept.) instead of the Engineering dept.

Our revised target for the beginning of K3 shipments is now September
17th. The K3 shipping date is now primarily determined by delays in K3
part deliveries, PC boards and completed assemblies from our vendors.
The remaining handful of delayed parts are scheduled to arrive this
week and early next week. There are less than ten different parts in
this category, but it only takes one part not arriving (or arriving
with the incorrect value) to delay production. Every time this has
happened our PCB stuffing operation has had to halt working on one
board and move to another while the part problem is resolved. The
final four raw PC boards took 2 weeks longer than expected and they
arrive tomorrow. (There are a total of 16 PC boards in the basic
K3/10.) Also, our sheet metal fabricator has taken several weeks
longer than they projected to supply us with painted and silk-screened
K3 chassis parts. Final K3 sheet metal is now scheduled to arrive in
Aptos on Friday.

Our field testers and engineering team have done an excellent job over
the last four weeks thrashing out the K3's design, assembly manual and
operational features. (Thanks guys!) Wayne, Lyle and the rest of our
engineering team have been working 7 day weeks incorporating the Field
Tester's suggestions and making sure the K3 meets their expectations
and hopefully yours. We've field tested the first release of the
assembly manual and we are now testing the latest update.

The KNB3 noise blanker was the last core board completed for the K3.
It was released to production last month and is one of the best
performing noise blankers I've used. It includes 8 different NB gain
levels and has two stages of internal AGC, along with three separate
widths of blanking. The net result is that I have been able to remove
almost anything my local power company, electric fences and noisy
autos and can throw at it. And combined with Lyle's latest version of
the DSP NB, we have a formidable tool for interference reduction. (The
hardware and DSP noise blankers can be used simultaneously to reduce a
wide range of pulse type interference.)

We are receiving assembled K3 boards in Aptos now and are testing them
in preparation for their inclusion in K3 kits and assembled units. So
far we have received, or will receive this week, initial shipments of
a number of the K3 board assemblies, including the front panel, mixer,
audio and digital I/O, PLL, crystal filter and transverter I/O boards.

We appreciate your patience as we get the final pieces in place to
ship your K3s. From now until we ship we will post weekly updates on
K3 shipping here on the Elecraft list and on our web page. We'll also
be posting the pre-release version of the K3 assembly manual on our
web site later this week to give you a feel for what is coming.

Wayne, N6KR

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