Keith GW4OKT has just returned from working in Sakhalin Island where he never managed to persuade the authorities to issue him a reciprocal licence. So unable to transmit he spent some time building first an Elecraft K2 and more recently a K3, which he tells me is nearly finished. I have thought for some time what a cracking bit of kit the Elecraft K3 is but an item over on Julian G4ILO’s Blog explains that cracking piece of kit now has a different meaning. Julian tell us that the knobs on the K3 are made entirely from plastic or some compound material and do not have a brass insert, so they are very vulnerable to over-tightening. According to Elecraft, the manufacturer of the knobs made a bad batch that was rather brittle. They are now making the knobs with a much tougher composition and these were sent to all those affected and are being fitted on all newer K3s. He goes on to say, “That should have been the end of the matter, but every now and again another incidence of cracked knobs is reported.” Hopefully Keith and others building K3s in future will not have to experience their knobs cracking and falling off, but if they do maybe it would be better to look for better quality items than Elecraft provide. They could do worse than looking for ex-equipment alternatives, which have by definition survived longer than the dodgy batch of knobs. Which brings me back to the previous item I wrote, so how about a Steampunk K3 with nice Bakelite knobs?
Update: Now Julian's knob is cracking too. Now I've Cracked-Up