Elecraft to drop the KX1?

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KL7KN, May 11, 2017.

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  1. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Seen on the web -

    Regarding the question of why the KX1 was discontinued, I found this information posted online...

    #61148 Feb 10 10:09 PM

    For those of you that may have missed it...
    The KX1 has been discontinued by Elecraft. This is reported to be due to the fab house that was making the cases being out of business, and other houses would have charged too much in small quantities to make it economically feasible to continue production. Options and parts are still available from Elecraft.
    Bruce N1RX

    Did I miss something? This is from Feb, 3 months ago.
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Too bad if true - it's a wonderful little rig. I get a number of "CW Radio Weekends Away" every summer with mine.

    Really neat little radio.

    K8PG and N7ANN like this.
  3. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, checked the Elecraft site and it shows discontinued. Parts can be had, but not whole radios.
  4. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Man that is really sad news. It was a great little kit.. a lot of fun to build. Most of their current line aren't really kits.. sure, you can have the option putting some boards together into a case but you aren't building a kit from a blank board. I'll never get rid of my KX-1.. it's an easy rig to operate and fun to use.
    AJ6KZ likes this.
  5. AJ6KZ

    AJ6KZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I realize this is an old thread, but I am experiencing anew the regret that these radios are no longer available. I was trying to put together the smallest possible kit I could so I got an LNR MTR-3b, which is a neat radio, but no tuner. Or built in battery. So I got an Elecraft T1 and an external battery. At that point the volume of the kit was bigger than a KX1 so I decided to keep my eyes open for a used one. I was lucky enough to get one with the 80/30 meter option, but they aren't cheap. However, there are additional advantages with the KX1 besides the tuner and built in batteries.

    It has volume control, a signal strength meter, RF gain control, bandwidth filter and a lot of configurable options in the menu. Not mention that the built-in keyed behaves better than the one in the MTR-3b. All-in-all an amazing little radio.
  6. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Get on the KX-1 list server. There are always plenty for sale, or you can post a wanted advert. Same for accessories and option boards. It's a great little radio.
  7. AJ6KZ

    AJ6KZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, as I wrote above, I already got one. :)

    But I didn't know about the KX-1 list server. Thanks!
    KA0HCP likes this.
  8. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    A big part of the problem faced by Elecraft and other small companies is parts supply; they aren't big enough to make it worthwhile for manufacturers to make parts just for them. This is particularly true when the parts manufacturers are "offshore" and are not interested in "small" orders.

    And of course declining sales; at some point, it doesn't pay to keep something in the product line.


    A bit of history:

    Remember Heathkit?

    A big part of their success was low low price. If you look at Heathkit amateur gear from the 1950s into the early 1970s, and then look up the prices of the parts, you'll almost always find that the cost of new parts bought in small quantities to make the equivalent of a typical Heathkit was greater than the price of the kit! Look at, say, an HW-16, check the catalogs of the late 1960s, and try to buy all the parts from catalogs of the day for less than $100. It can't be done.

    Heathkit's trick was simple: they were big enough to get parts at a steep discount, AND to get custom parts for low low prices. Things like iron-core power and audio transformers were made to Heathkit specifications for less than what a small manufacturer would pay for a standard part. (The power transformer in the HW-16 is listed in the manual at $10.25. It probably cost Heathkit about half that - say $5.00. A new power transformer that could power a 90 watt HF transceiver cost a lot more than $5 back then). The use of custom parts meant the designs could be tailored for absolute minimum cost and complexity.

    Heathkit made all sorts of electronics in those days - amateur gear, test equipment, stereo/hi-fi gear, automotive, TV sets (!), and more. Their total parts volume was such that American partsmakers would compete for the contract.

    But Elecraft doesn't have that kind of volume. And the partsmakers have mostly moved offshore.

    73 de Jim N2EY
    AJ6KZ, W7UUU and KA0HCP like this.
  9. W1BR

    W1BR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I wonder if Ten Tec was making those cases? They were a vendor for several ham manufacturers.
  10. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The DCW 1 would have made a possible replacement but was dropped while in the production prototype stage.

    super little rig w/ internal tuner and all. Love mine...

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