Order for KPA500 cancelled

Screenshot on May 2

Three days ago I cancelled my April 6th order for a KPA500.

I may order one yet, but time is not of the essence. When Elecraft announced the new product on April 6th, they also stated that the first orders would ship on April 15. That date has come and gone with no KPA500’s being shipped.

Delays occur – no big deal.

What is a bit disappointing though is that any requests for updates from Elecraft customers are ignored. In fact, the order page for the KPA500 still says they will ship April 15 which was 17 days ago…

The delay has given me time to reflect on two Elecraft issues: that such delays followed the announcement of the K2 and K3 and, more importantly, that the initial releases of both of those transceivers were followed by numerous last-minutes fixes and gotchas.

I posted a blog entry at the time that the proper time to buy an Elecraft product is a few months after their release, when all the bugs have been exposed by the real beta-testers, ie the customers.

The delay in the release of the KPA500 has given me time to get over my initial seduction and remember the history of who I’m dealing with.

Great products, no doubt; but not immediately so.

I may yet order one, but with the DX/contest season mostly over (at least as I pursue it), I have time to wait, read the Elecraft reflector and then make a more intelligent decision regarding the amp. Fortunately, the sale of my AL811 fell through so I still have a half-KW sitting on the desk if I need it.

Alternatives to the $2000 amp are to keep my current AL811 and add the $300 QSK unit to it for noiseless, relay-less T/R switching on CW. Hmmm…..



  8 comments for “Order for KPA500 cancelled

  1. May 2, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I much prefer to let the early adopters deal with the glitches so that I can buy a product with the bugs smoothed out. I’m waiting on the Fuji X100 camera to be released in the US, and will probably wait 6 months or more before getting mine. That way, any firmware issues will have been fixed and the price might even have dropped a little too. At that point, I may even have an idea whether it’s worth waiting for a second generation of the product (if one will become available.)

    Sounds terribly boring, but good things come to those who wait.

    • May 2, 2011 at 8:46 am

      That’s a good policy for anything over a given $$$ amount. I need reminding of that from time to time – Elecraft’s delay did exactly that.

  2. May 2, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Very wise, John, very wise. By waiting you’ll not only avoid the frustration of things not working quite right and the inevitable firmware updates, you’ll also get the benefit of various hardware mods that you will otherwise have the pleasure of doing yourself.

    • May 2, 2011 at 11:25 am

      Upon cancelling the order, I felt an immediate sense of relief, despite how much I’d previously wanted the amp.

  3. December 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    What is current thinking on the amp? I want no-tune and QSK ability. But I know there are issues with the ALS 600/1300 amps. Just retired here and I don’t replace gear often. Tend to buy it and use it. – Gary

    • December 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Gary, I recommend monitoring the Elecraft reflector to get a feel for issues (if any) with the amp. From what I can see, folks that have them tend to love it. I would have bought one myself if I could justify the cost. I’m willing to manually tune an amp so I have a QSK kilowatt that saved me $700 over a pre-built KPA500. I put that $700 toward my antenna and have no regrets.

  4. December 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Is that a yahoogroup?

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