Date   

Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

Peter Voelpel
 

It´s not a mistake, it is a must for the sender to fill in the customs declaration!

All import into EU countries with a combined value of item + shipping exceeding 26€ must be declared and are due for VAT.

Before you order something you can easily calculate the duties to be paid online:

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/business/calculation-customs-duties_en

73
Peter, DJ7WW

-----Original Message-----
From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io [mailto:Elecraft-K3@groups.io] On Behalf Of Martin Kratoska, OK1RR


it was possible 5 years ago to put the E850607 kit into an envelope and
send to me BUT NOW it was impossible, the ware worth ~ $30 must be in a
box labelled with a "Customs Declaration" label? Who made the mistake -



-----Original-Nachricht-----
Betreff: Re: [Elecraft-K3] What happened to the Elecraft support?
Datum: 2021-05-04T03:35:35+0200
Von: "Martin Kratoska, OK1RR" <martin@ok1rr.com>
An: "Elecraft-K3@groups.io" <Elecraft-K3@groups.io>

Dave,

it was possible 5 years ago to put the E850607 kit into an envelope and
send to me BUT NOW it was impossible, the ware worth ~ $30 must be in a
box labelled with a "Customs Declaration" label? Who made the mistake -



Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

Bob Hammond G4DBW
 

Hi Martin,
You have my sympathy in obtaining small  spare parts for your Elecraft Radio. You will not get any sympathy on here from U.S. hams who mainly believe Elecraft can do no wrong, and have the luxury of local post and shipping ( at least in 48 states) 

My recent experience in obtaining a “gold pins mod kit “ for my K3 initially incurred outrageous postage costs for a packet of pins which weigh a few ounces , and probably cost Elecraft a dime a dozen.

They agreed to send the overpriced “mod kit” items to me via “USPS” which then attract 20% UK  sales tax and a customs handling fee. 

I have no issue with the UK tax and customs charges, but big issues with Elecraft pricing levels for mod kit parts which are to correct a latent design defect. 

Sadly, the after sales support from Elecraft to non U.S. hams is lacking, with a very limited overseas support network. Our UK dealer has no stock of spares, and just contacts  Elecraft for parts quotes ( just as I do)

 It certainly puts me off from ever investing GBP 4000 plus + shipping+ tax on  the mythical K4. ( last sighted in Europe in 2019 at the RSGB convention) 

I have enjoyed my Elecraft experience greatly from building my K2, then the K3 KPA500 KAT500 but now look to the well supported brands from local dealers here in the  UK for my next Radio. 

Nothing lasts forever.... time to take a different road. 

73

Bob G4DBW 


Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

Dave (NK7Z)
 

Martin,

The USPS web site states that if an item is potentially not duty free, it needs a customs form, the item shipped has worth, and you paid money for it, so it is not duty free, and as such, yes, it appears to need the form... Your source may be in error...

See:

https://pe.usps.com/text/imm/immc1_009.htm#ep1000983
Section 123.61

The irony of this is you used the distribution system Elecraft set up for EU orders, and that system worked! You even used the very distributor Elecraft works with in EU.

The problem is you ordered from the US without checking what the ramifications of that order might be, while you had a local distributor who could, and did, provide you the exact Elecraft part you ordered from the US in less time for less money. Then you blamed Elecraft...

I think we have used enough bandwidth on this reflector at this point, so I will bow out of this discussion with you, and allow you the last word on this.

I suggest that if you order Elecraft parts in the future, you use the system of distributors Elecraft has set up to make it easy, and cheap, for you to order parts from your part of the world. See:

https://elecraft.com/pages/international-distribution-repair-centers

73, and thanks,
Dave (NK7Z)
https://www.nk7z.net

On 5/3/21 6:35 PM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
Dave,
it was possible 5 years ago to put the E850607 kit into an envelope and send to me BUT NOW it was impossible, the ware worth ~ $30 must be in a box labelled with a "Customs Declaration" label? Who made the mistake - me? Nobody needed a "Customs Declaration" label - nor Czech Customs authority nor Czech Post! But ONCE LABELLED, IT MUST BE PROCESSED IN USUAL WAY as they told me. They ignored my complaints, the officer told me "next time tell them to NOT LABEL your parcel when it is a trifle, a bagatelle". Indeed, he was right!


Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

W2XJ
 

Martin

You are being too harsh. Elecraft is dealing with the double shot of both the virus and the aftermath of the wildfires. As someone already said, that part was likely shipped by someone filling in and not familiar with international shipping. There is a good chance they could have been working from home (if they still have one). It is not 5 years ago in many respects.

On May 3, 2021 9:35 PM Martin Kratoska, OK1RR <martin@ok1rr.com> wrote:


Dave,

it was possible 5 years ago to put the E850607 kit into an envelope and
send to me BUT NOW it was impossible, the ware worth ~ $30 must be in a
box labelled with a "Customs Declaration" label? Who made the mistake -
me? Nobody needed a "Customs Declaration" label - nor Czech Customs
authority nor Czech Post! But ONCE LABELLED, IT MUST BE PROCESSED IN
USUAL WAY as they told me. They ignored my complaints, the officer told
me "next time tell them to NOT LABEL your parcel when it is a trifle, a
bagatelle". Indeed, he was right!

Forgive me, please to say that your point:

"2.  You failed to order the bad switching array, expecting Elecraft to
initiate a free order for the array, and pay for the shipping, all with
no paperwork or payment of any kind from you, because five years ago
they were good to you".

is RATHER OFFENDING, ill-considered and unadvised. In this worldwide bad
pandemic situation is consequent to look for the parts possibly in the
heighborhood. AFAIK Elecraft had service facilities in Italy and in
Germany. Nobody had this part in stock but Niko (in Berlin) was very
fast, he was able to provide needed part within less that 3 weeks.
Believe me or not, I am not that stupid to expect something for free. I
expected only a service provided in smart & competent way, exactly as
Elecraft standard. Is it my fault?

BTW it took 5 weeks since Elecraft responded to my inquiry. In the
meantime Niko told me that he has already the part and it was sent to
me. He was so fair that he asked for payment AFTER receipt of the
envelope from him. At this time the order at Elecraft was already placed
and paid. Anyway, I will send my parts to Niko in Berlin because he has
the use for it, my K3 is now in the top condition again. I want to offer
it for free (for him) as my thank for his helpfulness.

Dave, this is my last response to your offending comments. I wish that
the guys at Elecraft will read this and will take steps to not
complicate the life of their customers. That's all, PERIOD!

73,
Martin, OK1RR



Dne 04. 05. 21 v 2:27 Dave Cole napsal(a):
Martin,

No offense taken, and I hope no offense was given.  I understand it is
frustrating to have this sort of thing happen, but you MUST blame the
correct people for it if you take things public. Elecraft has zero to
do with any of this, save they did not send you free stuff again. 
They are stuck in the middle as you are...

As you said, the seller should look for the best way to assist the
customer, that is why you were able to order the part from your buddy
in DK land, Elecraft set up venues for you to do just that, and it
seems to work when you follow the correct path...  The problem is you
took the wrong path to start with.

The issues are not with Elecraft, but with our postal systems, and
governments.  If you don't like how your government runs, then vote
them out, don't blame the vendor.

73, and thanks,
Dave (NK7Z)
https://www.nk7z.net

On 5/3/21 4:25 PM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
Dave (NK7Z),

totally false! Your logic is wonderful, congrats! I don't see any
reason for explaining of something to those with similar style of
thinking. Don't feel ofended, please - my approach to your writing is
full of respect. Unfortunately I am probably a simple minded person
who is unable to understand.

BTW VE9AA hit the nail. Mike knows, no doubt...

I believe that a seller with an international clientele should always
look for the easiest way to get their product to the customer. He
should know the peculiarities of each country, their specifics and if
he does not know, he should ask the customer how to send the order.
Assuming the existence of a universal rule, even the same as that in
his country, is very short-sighted and can lead to the loss of the
customer. On the contrary, the willingness to respect the rules of
the target country is a sign of a high level of customer
support.Pointing out the shortcomings and problems that caused the
seller's procedure in sending is in no way a blame. It is better to
take it as a kind of help that can help the seller in the future.

73,
Martin, OK1RR

Dne 04. 05. 21 v 0:57 Dave Cole napsal(a):
Respectfully-- the fact you are blaming Elecraft for any of this is
stunning to me!

Boiling out all the additional data that has nothing to do with this
out of your diatribe, here is what I believe appears to have happened.

0.  Your K3 broke.

1.  You contacted Elecraft, via some other channel than the normal
ordering channels, and were told you had a bad switch array, and
given the part number.

2.  You failed to order the bad switching array, expecting Elecraft
to initiate a free order for the array, and pay for the shipping,
all with no paperwork or payment of any kind from you, because five
years ago they were good to you.

3.  After some time passed, you "put a regular order" in place,
which proves you knew the order channel you used initially was not
the normal channel for orders.

4.  You then spoke to a different vendor, and somehow ordered the
same part a second time.

5.  The second vendor then fulfilled your order, you paid for the
part, and your K3 was fixed.

6.  All the while the order you placed with Elecraft was being
fulfilled, and you did not contact Elecraft to tell them you
parallel ordered the part from a different vendor.

7.  The part from Elecraft arrived one week later, sent from the
other side of the planet and your postal system charged you a lot of
money.

So as a result of Elecraft filling your order almost as fast, (from
across planet Earth), as a vendor in your some part of the world
did, you are now here carping about it...

You are blaming Elecraft for the problems with your postal system,
even though you said: "The small parcel from Elecraft put the
horrible Czech bureaucracy into action", and you are now here
carping about it.

You are upset because two orders arrived, (both of which you
ordered), and had to pay for, and you are now here carping about it.

As a result of the steps above, you are upset with Elecraft for
following the rules and adding a customs declaration, which you
stated they had to do with the comment: "I accept also that this
lady IS OBLIGUED [SIC] to do this", and you are here carping about it.

You are unhappy that YOUR postal system cost you money, even though
you know Elecraft is obliged to fill out the customs form, and you
are here carping about it,

All the while you knew it was your countries postal system causing
the issues, (after all, you said: "The small parcel from Elecraft
put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action"), which shows you
already know it is the Chez postal system, not Elecraft, and you are
still here carping about it.

So to top all of that off, you are now telling all of us here that
you won't be buying a K4...

Did I miss anything?

If I were Elecraft I would drop to my knees and thank God you were
not going to buy a K4...

Dave (NK7Z)
https://www.nk7z.net


On 5/3/21 11:38 AM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
Long rant, please be forgiving! TNX!
-------------------------------------
Some 5 years ago my KPA500 failed. After brief description one of
Elecraft technicians identified the problem and recommended a
factory modification LPF T/R Switch Rework Rev.E modification,
using Elecraft parts kit E850607. I said only that I am interested.
Within a week came a large envelope from CA with that kit inside at
NO COST! My KPA500 was very quickly in its ordinary condition and
keeps today. After repair, about 2 weeks later another E850607 came
from Elecraft, again at no cost. My friend bought in meantime
another KPA500, older than mine so the modification was done, again
another KPA500 in top condition. I was really amazed with this
support, told to many others that Elecraft has world's best support!

Now my K3 failed. Intermittent action of front panel buttons.
Another technician told me that a replacement "Rubber Switch
Array", part # E100200 is needed. Nothing happened so I put a
regular order. Due to bad pandemic I have to wait, no problem.
Anyway, my brief question to QRP-Project, now run by Niko Zenker,
DL7NIK resulted in very prompt reply the the "Rubber Switch Array"
is not available now but can be ordered. After 3 weeks came a thick
envelope from Niko with the part and an invoice which was
immediately paid. Niko's price indicated that he did it for me for
free, without any profit, he provided also very useful tips how to
replace the rubber button array. Indeed, Niko and the QRP-Project
in Berlin are very fast, reliable ans very competent, really a
first-class Service Point!

A week after successful repair came a message from Czech Post that
they received a package from Watsonville, CA. They assigned me with
a payment in order of ~$50 and an obligation to provide some 5
documents - bank and PayPal confirmations, my signed declaration
"what is it" and "why I ordered it" etc. I was lucky because they
attached a photo, so I learned that inside are two of "Rubber
Switch Array" - part # E100200 and 5 replacement front panel
switches for my KPA500 which became intermittent in the meantime.
The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy
into action. All the problem was caused by the "CN22 Customs
Declaration" attached to the parcel. To shorten the story, the
whole action took the time from March 10 till May 3, made me busy
for several hours to obtain the required documentation and cost me
slightly over $100 (in addtion to EUR 25 ... $27 already paid to
QRP-project), nothing said about the fact that I received the parts
which I don't need anymore (mea culpa, I was impatient, I was in a
hurry because the troublesome buttons didn't allow me operate SPLIT
and any action which I was unable to do from the attached computer
was a real pain). The Elecraft support failed here, a simple
problem which can be solved for $13.80 cost me some $130. Another
spicy fact is that I received from my at the same time friend a
thick envelope with some Virginia souvenirs in size and weight very
similar to the "Rubber Switch Array" and what - NO PROBLEM! It
clearly indicated that the lady at Elecraft who sent me the parcel
with "Customs Declaration" label caused me numerous problems and
unacceptably high additional costs. Of course, any delay caused by
Covid is taken into account, here is all very similar. I accept
also that this lady IS OBLIGUED to do this, I accept also that the
tradition and a "fight for good name" orders to proceed in this way
but the question "5 years ago it was possible and now not?" will
probably remain unanswered. I can't hardly believe that replacement
parts of negligible value MUST be sent with ordinal Customs
Declaration. Anyway, I am deeply disappointed (read disgusted) and
decided to NOT BUY any K4. I bought already a SunSDR2 DX and I am
very nicely surprised, my beloved K3 remains as backup. So, adieu
Elecraft!

73,
Martin, OK1RR



















Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

Greg Mitchell
 

It sounds like a whole lot of complaining about voting for big government and big taxes and being mad when the bill comes due.

On Mon, May 3, 2021 at 7:41 PM VE9AA - Mike <ve9aa@...> wrote:
I can 100% totally relate to this situation Martin is in.  I will say some of this was a communication issue, so Martin and/or Elecraft could've done a better job, but I see what he's saying and you guys don't (I don't think you know why he's irked. )

Not so many years ago I was able to ask most companies (or individuals) to send it surface US>CDN mail and quote a specific # from our Duty/Import Ledger in Canada and most would do this.  This act alone saved me up to 30% duty in some cases.  It is/was 100% legal as Ham Radio equipment is supposed to be duty free coming into Canada....Duty rates vary wildly, but it always SOMETHING between 5% and 30% depending on the item and who typed what into the computer.   There was even a time that individuals and even some companies would put "$100" on an item to save me tax.  I don't even ask anymore as biz practices have changed and that's not even possible for any normal businesses.

Now, some companies flatly refuse to surface mail anymore -and- to add insult to injury some companies INSIST on sending it International courier (Fedex/UPS/DHL) and I *MUST* pay (ridiculous) brokerage fees to make someone/somewhere rich that have done nothing for me whatsoever.

  I have no choice.

USA>USA these shipping prices are a joke.  USA>Canada or USA>OK1 we've heard they are a lot.  I've bought a couple things from EU and it's a whole 'nother level. gah!

If you've never lived outside the USA you cannot imagine what we pay....walk a day in another mans shoes.  I feel I know pretty much what Martin went through.

So, maybe Martin was complaining a little bit too much out loud (hi hi)...he did ask for you to be forgiving in his first post and I know 90% of the guys reading this are in the USA and have probably always lived in the USA.....be thankful your goods are:
#1 cheap for you
#2 cheap for you to ship
#3 very quick for you to ship*
#4 you're living in the USA

*I bought a little QRP amp from the USA and by the time it got here 37 days later it was nearly double the cost.

Sorry Martin-but you'll get very little sympathy from these fellas ;-)

hi

Mike VE9AA
On Mon, May 3, 2021 at 08:25 PM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
BTW VE9AA hit the nail. Mike knows, no doubt...

I believe that a seller with an international clientele should always look for the easiest way to get their product to the customer. He should know the peculiarities of each country, their specifics and if he does not know, he should ask the customer how to send the order. Assuming the existence of a universal rule, even the same as that in his country, is very short-sighted and can lead to the loss of the customer. On the contrary, the willingness to respect the rules of the target country is a sign of a high level of customer support.Pointing out the shortcomings and problems that caused the seller's procedure in sending is in no way a blame. It is better to take it as a kind of help that can help the seller in the future.

73,
Martin, OK1RR


Re: Properly wiring a straight key?

Ian Kahn
 

Thanks to all who replied. I figured it had to be something this simple. However, not being 100% certain, I wanted to ask.

It's better to ask and be thought foolish, than to make a big mistaken and be proven to be foolish!

73 de,

Ian, NV4C


Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

 

Dave,

it was possible 5 years ago to put the E850607 kit into an envelope and send to me BUT NOW it was impossible, the ware worth ~ $30 must be in a box labelled with a "Customs Declaration" label? Who made the mistake - me? Nobody needed a "Customs Declaration" label - nor Czech Customs authority nor Czech Post! But ONCE LABELLED, IT MUST BE PROCESSED IN USUAL WAY as they told me. They ignored my complaints, the officer told me "next time tell them to NOT LABEL your parcel when it is a trifle, a bagatelle". Indeed, he was right!

Forgive me, please to say that your point:

"2.  You failed to order the bad switching array, expecting Elecraft to initiate a free order for the array, and pay for the shipping, all with no paperwork or payment of any kind from you, because five years ago they were good to you".

is RATHER OFFENDING, ill-considered and unadvised. In this worldwide bad pandemic situation is consequent to look for the parts possibly in the heighborhood. AFAIK Elecraft had service facilities in Italy and in Germany. Nobody had this part in stock but Niko (in Berlin) was very fast, he was able to provide needed part within less that 3 weeks. Believe me or not, I am not that stupid to expect something for free. I expected only a service provided in smart & competent way, exactly as Elecraft standard. Is it my fault?

BTW it took 5 weeks since Elecraft responded to my inquiry. In the meantime Niko told me that he has already the part and it was sent to me. He was so fair that he asked for payment AFTER receipt of the envelope from him. At this time the order at Elecraft was already placed and paid. Anyway, I will send my parts to Niko in Berlin because he has the use for it, my K3 is now in the top condition again. I want to offer it for free (for him) as my thank for his helpfulness.

Dave, this is my last response to your offending comments. I wish that the guys at Elecraft will read this and will take steps to not complicate the life of their customers. That's all, PERIOD!

73,
Martin, OK1RR



Dne 04. 05. 21 v 2:27 Dave Cole napsal(a):

Martin,

No offense taken, and I hope no offense was given.  I understand it is frustrating to have this sort of thing happen, but you MUST blame the correct people for it if you take things public. Elecraft has zero to do with any of this, save they did not send you free stuff again.  They are stuck in the middle as you are...

As you said, the seller should look for the best way to assist the customer, that is why you were able to order the part from your buddy in DK land, Elecraft set up venues for you to do just that, and it seems to work when you follow the correct path...  The problem is you took the wrong path to start with.

The issues are not with Elecraft, but with our postal systems, and governments.  If you don't like how your government runs, then vote them out, don't blame the vendor.

73, and thanks,
Dave (NK7Z)
https://www.nk7z.net

On 5/3/21 4:25 PM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
Dave (NK7Z),

totally false! Your logic is wonderful, congrats! I don't see any reason for explaining of something to those with similar style of thinking. Don't feel ofended, please - my approach to your writing is full of respect. Unfortunately I am probably a simple minded person who is unable to understand.

BTW VE9AA hit the nail. Mike knows, no doubt...

I believe that a seller with an international clientele should always look for the easiest way to get their product to the customer. He should know the peculiarities of each country, their specifics and if he does not know, he should ask the customer how to send the order. Assuming the existence of a universal rule, even the same as that in his country, is very short-sighted and can lead to the loss of the customer. On the contrary, the willingness to respect the rules of the target country is a sign of a high level of customer support.Pointing out the shortcomings and problems that caused the seller's procedure in sending is in no way a blame. It is better to take it as a kind of help that can help the seller in the future.

73,
Martin, OK1RR

Dne 04. 05. 21 v 0:57 Dave Cole napsal(a):
Respectfully-- the fact you are blaming Elecraft for any of this is stunning to me!

Boiling out all the additional data that has nothing to do with this out of your diatribe, here is what I believe appears to have happened.

0.  Your K3 broke.

1.  You contacted Elecraft, via some other channel than the normal ordering channels, and were told you had a bad switch array, and given the part number.

2.  You failed to order the bad switching array, expecting Elecraft to initiate a free order for the array, and pay for the shipping, all with no paperwork or payment of any kind from you, because five years ago they were good to you.

3.  After some time passed, you "put a regular order" in place, which proves you knew the order channel you used initially was not the normal channel for orders.

4.  You then spoke to a different vendor, and somehow ordered the same part a second time.

5.  The second vendor then fulfilled your order, you paid for the part, and your K3 was fixed.

6.  All the while the order you placed with Elecraft was being fulfilled, and you did not contact Elecraft to tell them you parallel ordered the part from a different vendor.

7.  The part from Elecraft arrived one week later, sent from the other side of the planet and your postal system charged you a lot of money.

So as a result of Elecraft filling your order almost as fast, (from across planet Earth), as a vendor in your some part of the world did, you are now here carping about it...

You are blaming Elecraft for the problems with your postal system, even though you said: "The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action", and you are now here carping about it.

You are upset because two orders arrived, (both of which you ordered), and had to pay for, and you are now here carping about it.

As a result of the steps above, you are upset with Elecraft for following the rules and adding a customs declaration, which you stated they had to do with the comment: "I accept also that this lady IS OBLIGUED [SIC] to do this", and you are here carping about it.

You are unhappy that YOUR postal system cost you money, even though you know Elecraft is obliged to fill out the customs form, and you are here carping about it,

All the while you knew it was your countries postal system causing the issues, (after all, you said: "The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action"), which shows you already know it is the Chez postal system, not Elecraft, and you are still here carping about it.

So to top all of that off, you are now telling all of us here that you won't be buying a K4...

Did I miss anything?

If I were Elecraft I would drop to my knees and thank God you were not going to buy a K4...

Dave (NK7Z)
https://www.nk7z.net


On 5/3/21 11:38 AM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
Long rant, please be forgiving! TNX!
-------------------------------------
Some 5 years ago my KPA500 failed. After brief description one of Elecraft technicians identified the problem and recommended a factory modification LPF T/R Switch Rework Rev.E modification, using Elecraft parts kit E850607. I said only that I am interested. Within a week came a large envelope from CA with that kit inside at NO COST! My KPA500 was very quickly in its ordinary condition and keeps today. After repair, about 2 weeks later another E850607 came from Elecraft, again at no cost. My friend bought in meantime another KPA500, older than mine so the modification was done, again another KPA500 in top condition. I was really amazed with this support, told to many others that Elecraft has world's best support!

Now my K3 failed. Intermittent action of front panel buttons. Another technician told me that a replacement "Rubber Switch Array", part # E100200 is needed. Nothing happened so I put a regular order. Due to bad pandemic I have to wait, no problem. Anyway, my brief question to QRP-Project, now run by Niko Zenker, DL7NIK resulted in very prompt reply the the "Rubber Switch Array" is not available now but can be ordered. After 3 weeks came a thick envelope from Niko with the part and an invoice which was immediately paid. Niko's price indicated that he did it for me for free, without any profit, he provided also very useful tips how to replace the rubber button array. Indeed, Niko and the QRP-Project in Berlin are very fast, reliable ans very competent, really a first-class Service Point!

A week after successful repair came a message from Czech Post that they received a package from Watsonville, CA. They assigned me with a payment in order of ~$50 and an obligation to provide some 5 documents - bank and PayPal confirmations, my signed declaration "what is it" and "why I ordered it" etc. I was lucky because they attached a photo, so I learned that inside are two of "Rubber Switch Array" - part # E100200 and 5 replacement front panel switches for my KPA500 which became intermittent in the meantime. The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action. All the problem was caused by the "CN22 Customs Declaration" attached to the parcel. To shorten the story, the whole action took the time from March 10 till May 3, made me busy for several hours to obtain the required documentation and cost me slightly over $100 (in addtion to EUR 25 ... $27 already paid to QRP-project), nothing said about the fact that I received the parts which I don't need anymore (mea culpa, I was impatient, I was in a hurry because the troublesome buttons didn't allow me operate SPLIT and any action which I was unable to do from the attached computer was a real pain). The Elecraft support failed here, a simple problem which can be solved for $13.80 cost me some $130. Another spicy fact is that I received from my at the same time friend a thick envelope with some Virginia souvenirs in size and weight very similar to the "Rubber Switch Array" and what - NO PROBLEM! It clearly indicated that the lady at Elecraft who sent me the parcel with "Customs Declaration" label caused me numerous problems and unacceptably high additional costs. Of course, any delay caused by Covid is taken into account, here is all very similar. I accept also that this lady IS OBLIGUED to do this, I accept also that the tradition and a "fight for good name" orders to proceed in this way but the question "5 years ago it was possible and now not?" will probably remain unanswered. I can't hardly believe that replacement parts of negligible value MUST be sent with ordinal Customs Declaration. Anyway, I am deeply disappointed (read disgusted) and decided to NOT BUY any K4. I bought already a SunSDR2 DX and I am very nicely surprised, my beloved K3 remains as backup. So, adieu Elecraft!

73,
Martin, OK1RR
















Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

W2XJ
 

I disagree

I’ve lived in the EU, Canada and the US. For many years i ran a business in Canada that was heavily involved with import/export and know my way around customs quite well.I have imported items valued over $250,000 into Canada from the US. Things have changed (for the worse) over the years. Personally I avoid both the US post office and Canada post these days as the service is ridiculously bad. I have family in Canada and lately it has taken almost a month just to get a birthday card across the border. I always ship Fedex even for gifts. It works much better.

Regarding other countries, it is necessary to learn the ins and outs of each jurisdiction as there are so many variables.I think Martin is complaining a bit too much, though. That Elecraft shipment was most likely arranged by someone working from home with limited resources so reduced service should be expected.

On May 3, 2021 7:41 PM VE9AA - Mike <ve9aa@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote:


I can 100% totally relate to this situation Martin is in. I will say some of this was a communication issue, so Martin and/or Elecraft could've done a better job, but I see what he's saying and you guys don't (I don't think you know why he's irked. )

Not so many years ago I was able to ask most companies (or individuals) to send it surface US>CDN mail and quote a specific # from our Duty/Import Ledger in Canada and most would do this. This act alone saved me up to 30% duty in some cases. It is/was 100% legal as Ham Radio equipment is supposed to be duty free coming into Canada....Duty rates vary wildly, but it always SOMETHING between 5% and 30% depending on the item and who typed what into the computer. There was even a time that individuals and even some companies would put "$100" on an item to save me tax. I don't even ask anymore as biz practices have changed and that's not even possible for any normal businesses.

Now, some companies flatly refuse to surface mail anymore -and- to add insult to injury some companies INSIST on sending it International courier (Fedex/UPS/DHL) and I *MUST* pay (ridiculous) brokerage fees to make someone/somewhere rich that have done nothing for me whatsoever.

I have no choice.

USA>USA these shipping prices are a joke. USA>Canada or USA>OK1 we've heard they are a lot. I've bought a couple things from EU and it's a whole 'nother level. gah!

If you've never lived outside the USA you cannot imagine what we pay....walk a day in another mans shoes. I feel I know pretty much what Martin went through.

So, maybe Martin was complaining a little bit too much out loud (hi hi)...he did ask for you to be forgiving in his first post and I know 90% of the guys reading this are in the USA and have probably always lived in the USA.....be thankful your goods are:
#1 cheap for you
#2 cheap for you to ship
#3 very quick for you to ship*
#4 you're living in the USA

*I bought a little QRP amp from the USA and by the time it got here 37 days later it was nearly double the cost.

Sorry Martin-but you'll get very little sympathy from these fellas ;-)

hi

Mike VE9AA
On Mon, May 3, 2021 at 08:25 PM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:

BTW VE9AA hit the nail. Mike knows, no doubt...

I believe that a seller with an international clientele should always look for the easiest way to get their product to the customer. He should know the peculiarities of each country, their specifics and if he does not know, he should ask the customer how to send the order. Assuming the existence of a universal rule, even the same as that in his country, is very short-sighted and can lead to the loss of the customer. On the contrary, the willingness to respect the rules of the target country is a sign of a high level of customer support.Pointing out the shortcomings and problems that caused the seller's procedure in sending is in no way a blame. It is better to take it as a kind of help that can help the seller in the future.

73,
Martin, OK1RR


Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

Dave (NK7Z)
 

Martin,

No offense taken, and I hope no offense was given. I understand it is frustrating to have this sort of thing happen, but you MUST blame the correct people for it if you take things public. Elecraft has zero to do with any of this, save they did not send you free stuff again. They are stuck in the middle as you are...

As you said, the seller should look for the best way to assist the customer, that is why you were able to order the part from your buddy in DK land, Elecraft set up venues for you to do just that, and it seems to work when you follow the correct path... The problem is you took the wrong path to start with.

The issues are not with Elecraft, but with our postal systems, and governments. If you don't like how your government runs, then vote them out, don't blame the vendor.

73, and thanks,
Dave (NK7Z)
https://www.nk7z.net

On 5/3/21 4:25 PM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
Dave (NK7Z),
totally false! Your logic is wonderful, congrats! I don't see any reason for explaining of something to those with similar style of thinking. Don't feel ofended, please - my approach to your writing is full of respect. Unfortunately I am probably a simple minded person who is unable to understand.
BTW VE9AA hit the nail. Mike knows, no doubt...
I believe that a seller with an international clientele should always look for the easiest way to get their product to the customer. He should know the peculiarities of each country, their specifics and if he does not know, he should ask the customer how to send the order. Assuming the existence of a universal rule, even the same as that in his country, is very short-sighted and can lead to the loss of the customer. On the contrary, the willingness to respect the rules of the target country is a sign of a high level of customer support.Pointing out the shortcomings and problems that caused the seller's procedure in sending is in no way a blame. It is better to take it as a kind of help that can help the seller in the future.
73,
Martin, OK1RR
Dne 04. 05. 21 v 0:57 Dave Cole napsal(a):
Respectfully-- the fact you are blaming Elecraft for any of this is stunning to me!

Boiling out all the additional data that has nothing to do with this out of your diatribe, here is what I believe appears to have happened.

0.  Your K3 broke.

1.  You contacted Elecraft, via some other channel than the normal ordering channels, and were told you had a bad switch array, and given the part number.

2.  You failed to order the bad switching array, expecting Elecraft to initiate a free order for the array, and pay for the shipping, all with no paperwork or payment of any kind from you, because five years ago they were good to you.

3.  After some time passed, you "put a regular order" in place, which proves you knew the order channel you used initially was not the normal channel for orders.

4.  You then spoke to a different vendor, and somehow ordered the same part a second time.

5.  The second vendor then fulfilled your order, you paid for the part, and your K3 was fixed.

6.  All the while the order you placed with Elecraft was being fulfilled, and you did not contact Elecraft to tell them you parallel ordered the part from a different vendor.

7.  The part from Elecraft arrived one week later, sent from the other side of the planet and your postal system charged you a lot of money.

So as a result of Elecraft filling your order almost as fast, (from across planet Earth), as a vendor in your some part of the world did, you are now here carping about it...

You are blaming Elecraft for the problems with your postal system, even though you said: "The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action", and you are now here carping about it.

You are upset because two orders arrived, (both of which you ordered), and had to pay for, and you are now here carping about it.

As a result of the steps above, you are upset with Elecraft for following the rules and adding a customs declaration, which you stated they had to do with the comment: "I accept also that this lady IS OBLIGUED [SIC] to do this", and you are here carping about it.

You are unhappy that YOUR postal system cost you money, even though you know Elecraft is obliged to fill out the customs form, and you are here carping about it,

All the while you knew it was your countries postal system causing the issues, (after all, you said: "The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action"), which shows you already know it is the Chez postal system, not Elecraft, and you are still here carping about it.

So to top all of that off, you are now telling all of us here that you won't be buying a K4...

Did I miss anything?

If I were Elecraft I would drop to my knees and thank God you were not going to buy a K4...

Dave (NK7Z)
https://www.nk7z.net


On 5/3/21 11:38 AM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
Long rant, please be forgiving! TNX!
-------------------------------------
Some 5 years ago my KPA500 failed. After brief description one of Elecraft technicians identified the problem and recommended a factory modification LPF T/R Switch Rework Rev.E modification, using Elecraft parts kit E850607. I said only that I am interested. Within a week came a large envelope from CA with that kit inside at NO COST! My KPA500 was very quickly in its ordinary condition and keeps today. After repair, about 2 weeks later another E850607 came from Elecraft, again at no cost. My friend bought in meantime another KPA500, older than mine so the modification was done, again another KPA500 in top condition. I was really amazed with this support, told to many others that Elecraft has world's best support!

Now my K3 failed. Intermittent action of front panel buttons. Another technician told me that a replacement "Rubber Switch Array", part # E100200 is needed. Nothing happened so I put a regular order. Due to bad pandemic I have to wait, no problem. Anyway, my brief question to QRP-Project, now run by Niko Zenker, DL7NIK resulted in very prompt reply the the "Rubber Switch Array" is not available now but can be ordered. After 3 weeks came a thick envelope from Niko with the part and an invoice which was immediately paid. Niko's price indicated that he did it for me for free, without any profit, he provided also very useful tips how to replace the rubber button array. Indeed, Niko and the QRP-Project in Berlin are very fast, reliable ans very competent, really a first-class Service Point!

A week after successful repair came a message from Czech Post that they received a package from Watsonville, CA. They assigned me with a payment in order of ~$50 and an obligation to provide some 5 documents - bank and PayPal confirmations, my signed declaration "what is it" and "why I ordered it" etc. I was lucky because they attached a photo, so I learned that inside are two of "Rubber Switch Array" - part # E100200 and 5 replacement front panel switches for my KPA500 which became intermittent in the meantime. The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action. All the problem was caused by the "CN22 Customs Declaration" attached to the parcel. To shorten the story, the whole action took the time from March 10 till May 3, made me busy for several hours to obtain the required documentation and cost me slightly over $100 (in addtion to EUR 25 ... $27 already paid to QRP-project), nothing said about the fact that I received the parts which I don't need anymore (mea culpa, I was impatient, I was in a hurry because the troublesome buttons didn't allow me operate SPLIT and any action which I was unable to do from the attached computer was a real pain). The Elecraft support failed here, a simple problem which can be solved for $13.80 cost me some $130. Another spicy fact is that I received from my at the same time friend a thick envelope with some Virginia souvenirs in size and weight very similar to the "Rubber Switch Array" and what - NO PROBLEM! It clearly indicated that the lady at Elecraft who sent me the parcel with "Customs Declaration" label caused me numerous problems and unacceptably high additional costs. Of course, any delay caused by Covid is taken into account, here is all very similar. I accept also that this lady IS OBLIGUED to do this, I accept also that the tradition and a "fight for good name" orders to proceed in this way but the question "5 years ago it was possible and now not?" will probably remain unanswered. I can't hardly believe that replacement parts of negligible value MUST be sent with ordinal Customs Declaration. Anyway, I am deeply disappointed (read disgusted) and decided to NOT BUY any K4. I bought already a SunSDR2 DX and I am very nicely surprised, my beloved K3 remains as backup. So, adieu Elecraft!

73,
Martin, OK1RR










Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

Dave (NK7Z)
 

Hi Mike,

I feel for him, I really do, but I would never have ordered a part from the US when it was available on my continent, as he did...

I always look for the vendor's outlet in my country if the item is sourced from another country first.

I suspect the reason he contacted Elecraft was because they gave him a set of parts a few years ago, free, and he wanted another set of free part. He only ordered from his part of the world, after he had to pay for the parts... Or at least it looks that way.

The duty and postal fees have zero to do with Elecraft, and the entire point was to say it was Elecraft's fault, which it was not... Hence my post...

The true issue here is the duty fees set upon us by our respective governments, not the vendor, the vendor is stuck in the middle as we are...

You are correct, there won't be a lot of sympathy for this from me, or I suspect a lot of folks... Why? Because he was blaming the wrong people, in public...

73, and thanks,
Dave (NK7Z)
https://www.nk7z.net

On 5/3/21 4:41 PM, VE9AA - Mike wrote:
I can 100% *totally relate* to this situation Martin is in.  I will say some of this was a communication issue, so Martin and/or Elecraft could've done a better job, but I see what he's saying and you guys don't (I don't think you know why he's irked. )
Not so many years ago I was able to ask most companies (or individuals) to send it surface US>CDN mail and quote a specific # from our Duty/Import Ledger in Canada and most would do this.  This act alone saved me up to 30% duty in some cases.  It is/was 100% legal as Ham Radio equipment is supposed to be duty free coming into Canada....Duty rates vary wildly, but it always SOMETHING between 5% and 30% depending on the item and who typed what into the computer.   There was even a time that individuals and even some companies would put "$100" on an item to save me tax.  I don't even ask anymore as biz practices have changed and that's not even possible for any normal businesses.
Now, some companies flatly refuse to surface mail anymore -and- to add insult to injury some companies INSIST on sending it International courier (Fedex/UPS/DHL) and I **MUST** pay (ridiculous) brokerage fees to make someone/somewhere rich that have done nothing for me whatsoever.
  I have no choice.
USA>USA these shipping prices are a joke.  USA>Canada or USA>OK1 we've heard they are *a lot.*  I've bought a couple things from EU and it's a whole 'nother level. gah!
If you've never lived outside the USA you cannot imagine what we pay....walk a day in another mans shoes.  I feel I know pretty much what Martin went through.
So, maybe Martin was complaining a little bit too much out loud (hi hi)...he did ask for you to be forgiving in his first post and I know 90% of the guys reading this are in the USA and have probably always lived in the USA.....be thankful your goods are:
#1 cheap for you
#2 cheap for you to ship
#3 very quick for you to ship*
#4 you're living in the USA
*I bought a little QRP amp from the USA and by the time it got here 37 days later it was nearly double the cost.
Sorry Martin-but you'll get very little sympathy from these fellas ;-)
hi
Mike VE9AA
On Mon, May 3, 2021 at 08:25 PM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
BTW VE9AA hit the nail. Mike knows, no doubt...
I believe that a seller with an international clientele should
always look for the easiest way to get their product to the
customer. He should know the peculiarities of each country, their
specifics and if he does not know, he should ask the customer how to
send the order. Assuming the existence of a universal rule, even the
same as that in his country, is very short-sighted and can lead to
the loss of the customer. On the contrary, the willingness to
respect the rules of the target country is a sign of a high level of
customer support.Pointing out the shortcomings and problems that
caused the seller's procedure in sending is in no way a blame. It is
better to take it as a kind of help that can help the seller in the
future.
73,
Martin, OK1RR


Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

Jim Brown
 

On 5/3/2021 4:25 PM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
I believe that a seller with an international clientele should always look for the easiest way to get their product to the customer. He should know the peculiarities of each country, their specifics
Martin,

Elecraft is a small company, they've had COVID cases, they're likely short-staffed, and folks are pitching in to do jobs other than their own. I don't know how much international business they do, but I think remember that they have a vendor somewhere in the EU or UK.

and if he does
not know, he should ask the customer how to send the order.
Doesn't the customer have some responsibility to tell the vendor any special shipping requirements?

73, Jim K9YC


Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

NS2N_PTA@outlook.com
 

VE hams close to the US border could always arrange a "demonstration" of a piece of gear with a US ham over lunch or coffee. Now with the border closed , not happening.

Paul NS2N


From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> on behalf of Bob McGraw - K4TAX <rmcgraw@...>
Sent: Monday, May 3, 2021 6:23:00 PM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] What happened to the Elecraft support?
 
Just GOOGLE Sun SDR2 and you’ll learn all about it. 

Bob, K4TAX


On May 3, 2021, at 4:35 PM, Bob McGraw K4TAX <rmcgraw@...> wrote:

If one chooses to engage in International business, then be prepared to abide by the rules and pay the price.   What ever that may be.  

Bob


On May 3, 2021, at 4:18 PM, Ian Kahn <nv4c.ian@...> wrote:


Martin,

You're blaming the wrong party. Elecraft can in no way control either what the US Postal Service requires to send parcels overseas, or what your own government's bureaucracy does with the parcel once it arrives. In fact, it sounds, to me, like Elecraft provided their usual level of "over and above" customer service in this case.

As an example, a couple of years ago, I sold my T1 auto tuner to a ham in Canada. I boxed it up and took it to the post office, to mail it. The nice lady at the post office looked at the box, looked at the address, and pointed me to the now legally required customs declaration form. I couldn't even buy the proper postage, without declaring the contents for customs. So, between what Elecraft was legally required to declare to send you the package, and what it sounds like the Czech government charged to release the package to you, this in no way comes back as being Elecraft's fault.

If you don't want to buy a K4, that's your decision. However, please don't blame Elecraft when the actions of our governments cost you this money.

73 de,

--Ian
Ian Kahn, NV4C
Roswell, GA  EM74ua
10-10 #74624  North Georgia Chapter #2038
PODXS 070 #1962
K3 #281, P3 #688 KAT500 #860, KPA500 #1468


Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

VE9AA - Mike
 

I can 100% totally relate to this situation Martin is in.  I will say some of this was a communication issue, so Martin and/or Elecraft could've done a better job, but I see what he's saying and you guys don't (I don't think you know why he's irked. )

Not so many years ago I was able to ask most companies (or individuals) to send it surface US>CDN mail and quote a specific # from our Duty/Import Ledger in Canada and most would do this.  This act alone saved me up to 30% duty in some cases.  It is/was 100% legal as Ham Radio equipment is supposed to be duty free coming into Canada....Duty rates vary wildly, but it always SOMETHING between 5% and 30% depending on the item and who typed what into the computer.   There was even a time that individuals and even some companies would put "$100" on an item to save me tax.  I don't even ask anymore as biz practices have changed and that's not even possible for any normal businesses.

Now, some companies flatly refuse to surface mail anymore -and- to add insult to injury some companies INSIST on sending it International courier (Fedex/UPS/DHL) and I *MUST* pay (ridiculous) brokerage fees to make someone/somewhere rich that have done nothing for me whatsoever.

  I have no choice.

USA>USA these shipping prices are a joke.  USA>Canada or USA>OK1 we've heard they are a lot.  I've bought a couple things from EU and it's a whole 'nother level. gah!

If you've never lived outside the USA you cannot imagine what we pay....walk a day in another mans shoes.  I feel I know pretty much what Martin went through.

So, maybe Martin was complaining a little bit too much out loud (hi hi)...he did ask for you to be forgiving in his first post and I know 90% of the guys reading this are in the USA and have probably always lived in the USA.....be thankful your goods are:
#1 cheap for you
#2 cheap for you to ship
#3 very quick for you to ship*
#4 you're living in the USA

*I bought a little QRP amp from the USA and by the time it got here 37 days later it was nearly double the cost.

Sorry Martin-but you'll get very little sympathy from these fellas ;-)

hi

Mike VE9AA

On Mon, May 3, 2021 at 08:25 PM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
BTW VE9AA hit the nail. Mike knows, no doubt...

I believe that a seller with an international clientele should always look for the easiest way to get their product to the customer. He should know the peculiarities of each country, their specifics and if he does not know, he should ask the customer how to send the order. Assuming the existence of a universal rule, even the same as that in his country, is very short-sighted and can lead to the loss of the customer. On the contrary, the willingness to respect the rules of the target country is a sign of a high level of customer support.Pointing out the shortcomings and problems that caused the seller's procedure in sending is in no way a blame. It is better to take it as a kind of help that can help the seller in the future.

73,
Martin, OK1RR


Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

Steve
 

They will miss you horribly.


Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

 

Dave (NK7Z),

totally false! Your logic is wonderful, congrats! I don't see any reason for explaining of something to those with similar style of thinking. Don't feel ofended, please - my approach to your writing is full of respect. Unfortunately I am probably a simple minded person who is unable to understand.

BTW VE9AA hit the nail. Mike knows, no doubt...

I believe that a seller with an international clientele should always look for the easiest way to get their product to the customer. He should know the peculiarities of each country, their specifics and if he does not know, he should ask the customer how to send the order. Assuming the existence of a universal rule, even the same as that in his country, is very short-sighted and can lead to the loss of the customer. On the contrary, the willingness to respect the rules of the target country is a sign of a high level of customer support.Pointing out the shortcomings and problems that caused the seller's procedure in sending is in no way a blame. It is better to take it as a kind of help that can help the seller in the future.

73,
Martin, OK1RR

Dne 04. 05. 21 v 0:57 Dave Cole napsal(a):

Respectfully-- the fact you are blaming Elecraft for any of this is stunning to me!

Boiling out all the additional data that has nothing to do with this out of your diatribe, here is what I believe appears to have happened.

0.  Your K3 broke.

1.  You contacted Elecraft, via some other channel than the normal ordering channels, and were told you had a bad switch array, and given the part number.

2.  You failed to order the bad switching array, expecting Elecraft to initiate a free order for the array, and pay for the shipping, all with no paperwork or payment of any kind from you, because five years ago they were good to you.

3.  After some time passed, you "put a regular order" in place, which proves you knew the order channel you used initially was not the normal channel for orders.

4.  You then spoke to a different vendor, and somehow ordered the same part a second time.

5.  The second vendor then fulfilled your order, you paid for the part, and your K3 was fixed.

6.  All the while the order you placed with Elecraft was being fulfilled, and you did not contact Elecraft to tell them you parallel ordered the part from a different vendor.

7.  The part from Elecraft arrived one week later, sent from the other side of the planet and your postal system charged you a lot of money.

So as a result of Elecraft filling your order almost as fast, (from across planet Earth), as a vendor in your some part of the world did, you are now here carping about it...

You are blaming Elecraft for the problems with your postal system, even though you said: "The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action", and you are now here carping about it.

You are upset because two orders arrived, (both of which you ordered), and had to pay for, and you are now here carping about it.

As a result of the steps above, you are upset with Elecraft for following the rules and adding a customs declaration, which you stated they had to do with the comment: "I accept also that this lady IS OBLIGUED [SIC] to do this", and you are here carping about it.

You are unhappy that YOUR postal system cost you money, even though you know Elecraft is obliged to fill out the customs form, and you are here carping about it,

All the while you knew it was your countries postal system causing the issues, (after all, you said: "The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action"), which shows you already know it is the Chez postal system, not Elecraft, and you are still here carping about it.

So to top all of that off, you are now telling all of us here that you won't be buying a K4...

Did I miss anything?

If I were Elecraft I would drop to my knees and thank God you were not going to buy a K4...

Dave (NK7Z)
https://www.nk7z.net


On 5/3/21 11:38 AM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
Long rant, please be forgiving! TNX!
-------------------------------------
Some 5 years ago my KPA500 failed. After brief description one of Elecraft technicians identified the problem and recommended a factory modification LPF T/R Switch Rework Rev.E modification, using Elecraft parts kit E850607. I said only that I am interested. Within a week came a large envelope from CA with that kit inside at NO COST! My KPA500 was very quickly in its ordinary condition and keeps today. After repair, about 2 weeks later another E850607 came from Elecraft, again at no cost. My friend bought in meantime another KPA500, older than mine so the modification was done, again another KPA500 in top condition. I was really amazed with this support, told to many others that Elecraft has world's best support!

Now my K3 failed. Intermittent action of front panel buttons. Another technician told me that a replacement "Rubber Switch Array", part # E100200 is needed. Nothing happened so I put a regular order. Due to bad pandemic I have to wait, no problem. Anyway, my brief question to QRP-Project, now run by Niko Zenker, DL7NIK resulted in very prompt reply the the "Rubber Switch Array" is not available now but can be ordered. After 3 weeks came a thick envelope from Niko with the part and an invoice which was immediately paid. Niko's price indicated that he did it for me for free, without any profit, he provided also very useful tips how to replace the rubber button array. Indeed, Niko and the QRP-Project in Berlin are very fast, reliable ans very competent, really a first-class Service Point!

A week after successful repair came a message from Czech Post that they received a package from Watsonville, CA. They assigned me with a payment in order of ~$50 and an obligation to provide some 5 documents - bank and PayPal confirmations, my signed declaration "what is it" and "why I ordered it" etc. I was lucky because they attached a photo, so I learned that inside are two of "Rubber Switch Array" - part # E100200 and 5 replacement front panel switches for my KPA500 which became intermittent in the meantime. The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action. All the problem was caused by the "CN22 Customs Declaration" attached to the parcel. To shorten the story, the whole action took the time from March 10 till May 3, made me busy for several hours to obtain the required documentation and cost me slightly over $100 (in addtion to EUR 25 ... $27 already paid to QRP-project), nothing said about the fact that I received the parts which I don't need anymore (mea culpa, I was impatient, I was in a hurry because the troublesome buttons didn't allow me operate SPLIT and any action which I was unable to do from the attached computer was a real pain). The Elecraft support failed here, a simple problem which can be solved for $13.80 cost me some $130. Another spicy fact is that I received from my at the same time friend a thick envelope with some Virginia souvenirs in size and weight very similar to the "Rubber Switch Array" and what - NO PROBLEM! It clearly indicated that the lady at Elecraft who sent me the parcel with "Customs Declaration" label caused me numerous problems and unacceptably high additional costs. Of course, any delay caused by Covid is taken into account, here is all very similar. I accept also that this lady IS OBLIGUED to do this, I accept also that the tradition and a "fight for good name" orders to proceed in this way but the question "5 years ago it was possible and now not?" will probably remain unanswered. I can't hardly believe that replacement parts of negligible value MUST be sent with ordinal Customs Declaration. Anyway, I am deeply disappointed (read disgusted) and decided to NOT BUY any K4. I bought already a SunSDR2 DX and I am very nicely surprised, my beloved K3 remains as backup. So, adieu Elecraft!

73,
Martin, OK1RR









Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

Dave (NK7Z)
 

Respectfully-- the fact you are blaming Elecraft for any of this is stunning to me!

Boiling out all the additional data that has nothing to do with this out of your diatribe, here is what I believe appears to have happened.

0. Your K3 broke.

1. You contacted Elecraft, via some other channel than the normal ordering channels, and were told you had a bad switch array, and given the part number.

2. You failed to order the bad switching array, expecting Elecraft to initiate a free order for the array, and pay for the shipping, all with no paperwork or payment of any kind from you, because five years ago they were good to you.

3. After some time passed, you "put a regular order" in place, which proves you knew the order channel you used initially was not the normal channel for orders.

4. You then spoke to a different vendor, and somehow ordered the same part a second time.

5. The second vendor then fulfilled your order, you paid for the part, and your K3 was fixed.

6. All the while the order you placed with Elecraft was being fulfilled, and you did not contact Elecraft to tell them you parallel ordered the part from a different vendor.

7. The part from Elecraft arrived one week later, sent from the other side of the planet and your postal system charged you a lot of money.

So as a result of Elecraft filling your order almost as fast, (from across planet Earth), as a vendor in your some part of the world did, you are now here carping about it...

You are blaming Elecraft for the problems with your postal system, even though you said: "The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action", and you are now here carping about it.

You are upset because two orders arrived, (both of which you ordered), and had to pay for, and you are now here carping about it.

As a result of the steps above, you are upset with Elecraft for following the rules and adding a customs declaration, which you stated they had to do with the comment: "I accept also that this lady IS OBLIGUED [SIC] to do this", and you are here carping about it.

You are unhappy that YOUR postal system cost you money, even though you know Elecraft is obliged to fill out the customs form, and you are here carping about it,

All the while you knew it was your countries postal system causing the issues, (after all, you said: "The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action"), which shows you already know it is the Chez postal system, not Elecraft, and you are still here carping about it.

So to top all of that off, you are now telling all of us here that you won't be buying a K4...

Did I miss anything?

If I were Elecraft I would drop to my knees and thank God you were not going to buy a K4...

Dave (NK7Z)
https://www.nk7z.net

On 5/3/21 11:38 AM, Martin Kratoska, OK1RR wrote:
Long rant, please be forgiving! TNX!
-------------------------------------
Some 5 years ago my KPA500 failed. After brief description one of Elecraft technicians identified the problem and recommended a factory modification LPF T/R Switch Rework Rev.E modification, using Elecraft parts kit E850607. I said only that I am interested. Within a week came a large envelope from CA with that kit inside at NO COST! My KPA500 was very quickly in its ordinary condition and keeps today. After repair, about 2 weeks later another E850607 came from Elecraft, again at no cost. My friend bought in meantime another KPA500, older than mine so the modification was done, again another KPA500 in top condition. I was really amazed with this support, told to many others that Elecraft has world's best support!
Now my K3 failed. Intermittent action of front panel buttons. Another technician told me that a replacement "Rubber Switch Array", part # E100200 is needed. Nothing happened so I put a regular order. Due to bad pandemic I have to wait, no problem. Anyway, my brief question to QRP-Project, now run by Niko Zenker, DL7NIK resulted in very prompt reply the the "Rubber Switch Array" is not available now but can be ordered. After 3 weeks came a thick envelope from Niko with the part and an invoice which was immediately paid. Niko's price indicated that he did it for me for free, without any profit, he provided also very useful tips how to replace the rubber button array. Indeed, Niko and the QRP-Project in Berlin are very fast, reliable ans very competent, really a first-class Service Point!
A week after successful repair came a message from Czech Post that they received a package from Watsonville, CA. They assigned me with a payment in order of ~$50 and an obligation to provide some 5 documents - bank and PayPal confirmations, my signed declaration "what is it" and "why I ordered it" etc. I was lucky because they attached a photo, so I learned that inside are two of "Rubber Switch Array" - part # E100200 and 5 replacement front panel switches for my KPA500 which became intermittent in the meantime. The small parcel from Elecraft put the horrible Czech bureaucracy into action. All the problem was caused by the "CN22 Customs Declaration" attached to the parcel. To shorten the story, the whole action took the time from March 10 till May 3, made me busy for several hours to obtain the required documentation and cost me slightly over $100 (in addtion to EUR 25 ... $27 already paid to QRP-project), nothing said about the fact that I received the parts which I don't need anymore (mea culpa, I was impatient, I was in a hurry because the troublesome buttons didn't allow me operate SPLIT and any action which I was unable to do from the attached computer was a real pain). The Elecraft support failed here, a simple problem which can be solved for $13.80 cost me some $130. Another spicy fact is that I received from my at the same time friend a thick envelope with some Virginia souvenirs in size and weight very similar to the "Rubber Switch Array" and what - NO PROBLEM! It clearly indicated that the lady at Elecraft who sent me the parcel with "Customs Declaration" label caused me numerous problems and unacceptably high additional costs. Of course, any delay caused by Covid is taken into account, here is all very similar. I accept also that this lady IS OBLIGUED to do this, I accept also that the tradition and a "fight for good name" orders to proceed in this way but the question "5 years ago it was possible and now not?" will probably remain unanswered. I can't hardly believe that replacement parts of negligible value MUST be sent with ordinal Customs Declaration. Anyway, I am deeply disappointed (read disgusted) and decided to NOT BUY any K4. I bought already a SunSDR2 DX and I am very nicely surprised, my beloved K3 remains as backup. So, adieu Elecraft!
73,
Martin, OK1RR


Re: What happened to the Elecraft support?

Bob McGraw - K4TAX
 

Just GOOGLE Sun SDR2 and you’ll learn all about it. 

Bob, K4TAX


On May 3, 2021, at 4:35 PM, Bob McGraw K4TAX <rmcgraw@...> wrote:

If one chooses to engage in International business, then be prepared to abide by the rules and pay the price.   What ever that may be.  

Bob


On May 3, 2021, at 4:18 PM, Ian Kahn <nv4c.ian@...> wrote:


Martin,

You're blaming the wrong party. Elecraft can in no way control either what the US Postal Service requires to send parcels overseas, or what your own government's bureaucracy does with the parcel once it arrives. In fact, it sounds, to me, like Elecraft provided their usual level of "over and above" customer service in this case.

As an example, a couple of years ago, I sold my T1 auto tuner to a ham in Canada. I boxed it up and took it to the post office, to mail it. The nice lady at the post office looked at the box, looked at the address, and pointed me to the now legally required customs declaration form. I couldn't even buy the proper postage, without declaring the contents for customs. So, between what Elecraft was legally required to declare to send you the package, and what it sounds like the Czech government charged to release the package to you, this in no way comes back as being Elecraft's fault.

If you don't want to buy a K4, that's your decision. However, please don't blame Elecraft when the actions of our governments cost you this money.

73 de,

--Ian
Ian Kahn, NV4C
Roswell, GA  EM74ua
10-10 #74624  North Georgia Chapter #2038
PODXS 070 #1962
K3 #281, P3 #688 KAT500 #860, KPA500 #1468


Re: Properly wiring a straight key?

wb6bee
 

And it plugs in the back where it says "key"

Don
WB6BEE


Re: Properly wiring a straight key?

Greg Mitchell
 

You just need a 1/4" "mono" plug with one contact from the key on the tip and one contact on the sleeve. It's just a simple switch.

On Mon, May 3, 2021 at 5:59 PM Ian Kahn <nv4c.ian@...> wrote:
Hello, Elecrafters! I'm newly getting into CW and acquired a used J-37 as my first straight key. It needs to be mounted and properly wired up. Despite checking my K3 manual, Dr. Cady's book, the forums, and my Google-fu (which is, admittedly, below par), I can't find details on how to properly wire this straight key for my K3, and, when they're available as a kit, my K4. I'm probably overthinking something really simple, but I want to make sure I do this correctly, the first time.

Any pointers/tips/guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and 73,

Ian, NV4C


Properly wiring a straight key?

Ian Kahn
 

Hello, Elecrafters! I'm newly getting into CW and acquired a used J-37 as my first straight key. It needs to be mounted and properly wired up. Despite checking my K3 manual, Dr. Cady's book, the forums, and my Google-fu (which is, admittedly, below par), I can't find details on how to properly wire this straight key for my K3, and, when they're available as a kit, my K4. I'm probably overthinking something really simple, but I want to make sure I do this correctly, the first time.

Any pointers/tips/guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and 73,

Ian, NV4C

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