K3 Status Update - Oct 31, 2007

Eric Swartz - WA6HHQ, Elecraft


K3s are going out the door on a regular basis, but we're still
shipping at a rate slower than I would like to see. My gut feeling is
that we are off of our last plan by 1-2 of weeks. Last week we
resolved most of our remaining major supplier problems (after hand
winding a number of additional toroids) and we have been getting a
steadily increasing stream of boards from our PCB assembly house. We
still chase minor production and supplier issues each day, but so far
none of them are show stoppers. We had a couple of fire drills (wrong
caps mounted on boards at the assembly house, a few phantom problems
that turned out -not- to be real problems, etc.) All of these have
been resolved in house (before shipping) fairly quickly, but each time
a problem pops up, we end up delaying shipments while we make sure it
is corrected properly. Our top priority is to ship a quality product,
not to push out high volume before it is ready.

We're working overtime in Aptos to ramp up K3 production. Board test,
final assembly and alignment is now our main bottleneck. We have hired
extra production and test tech. staff to increase our daily K3
production rate - Another test tech. starts with us tomorrow. :-)
We've even put out the word to local ham clubs looking for test
technicians for our production test group, and assemblers too.
(Contact eric@... if you are local and might be interested.)
We're also putting in place more automated testing each day to speed
things through the line.

The good news is that we are not seeing any major problems in the
field. We've been keeping in contact with our early customers as they
bring up their K3s, and so far we have been getting great reports.
(S/Ns are definitely past the 20's..)

I'll update the shipping status page to reflect our current
projections. One note - We received such a large surge of orders the
first 1-5 days after we announced the K3 that we are still working on
building and shipping that group and will be for at least another week
or more. When I catch my breath some time next week, I'll try to start
posting what approximate order dates we are shipping each week on the
status page. Unfortunately I can't answer every list email. To stay
focused on production issues I read the Elecraft list just once a day
on average, and the Yahoo K3 list less often. (It makes great late
night reading.. ;-)

Lisa and our front office crew have been doing a herculean job of both
handling our regular orders and calls along with 30-50 additional
emails a day (plus phone calls) asking for order status, making order
changes etc. If you have not ordered before April 10th, we would
appreciate your holding off emailing us for status as much as
possible. We understand if you really need to contact us, but the less
time we're on the phone or on email, the more time we can focus on
producing K3s. :-)

Wayne, myself and the rest of our crew take your concerns and
frustrations with any delays -very- personally. We are 100% focused on
getting K3s rolling out to everyone on a steadily increasing basis and
will not rest until everyone is on the air with their K3.

73, Eric WA6HHQ

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