All Shook Up

It comes as little surprise that the Elecraft announcement about the new KH1 portable transceiver would generate a lot of buzz, especially among those with a keen interest in QRP and ultra-portable activity. Email lists dedicated to such things were humming all weekend long as hundreds of enthusiasts chimed in with an abundance of opinions, thoughts, and questions about the new gear.

I always find it amusing when some folks seem to do their level best to convince other folks not to buy the new gear by detailing all the reasons they have for not buying the new gear. I often wonder if it’s an attempt to convince others or themselves to avoid purchase? The reasons given not to order a KH1 included; disagreement on the five bands it covers, it’s size, the layout of the controls, the internal battery used, the fact that the internal auto-tuner isn’t 10:1 and the fact that it only transmits using CW. On that note, this question was posed:

“At $1099 for complete package it’ll no doubt sell well to CW enthusiasts but will this be the last ever CW only transceiver?”

As you might expect, the topic of when the KH1 will actually be available to ship was batted around. A lot. Given that it takes 16-18 weeks for Elecraft to ship a KX2 or a KX3, speculation about shipping dates for the KH1 was all over the place. The consensus was mostly after the first of the year based on a comment about them having only a hundred units at Pacificon that sold out immediately.

There were even a few gripes about how the engineering time spent developing the KH1 should have been spent on getting the long-promised, yet to be delivered, K4HD out the door. It seems you just can’t please everyone…

These are early days and I’m certain additional information, and speculation, will be forthcoming once everyone gets home from the conference. It’s certainly an interesting concept for how to make ham radio even more portable than ever. Wayne Burdick is the right person to champion this idea and Elecraft is the right company to make it a reality. I don’t know when mine will arrive or even what I will do with it when it does. But that hasn’t stopped me from looking forward to it!

2 thoughts on “All Shook Up

  • Hi Jeff,

    Really appreciate your comments.

    Two Bits of input:

    First, some people misinterpreted the spec on SWR range of the auto tuner. It will indeed match many loads with SWR of 30:1 or higher. The spec was intended to convey that the *matched* SWR may not be 1:1 as often as with a KX3 or a KX2. Typically it’s between 1:1 and 2.5:1, which is entirely adequate for use with the KH1’s very resilient power amplifier. In fact, I’ve tested the power amplifier into an open load and a dead short on many occasions without damage.

    Second, anyone who placed an early order is likely to take delivery in the next few weeks. If you got in a late order, say last night, you’re more likely to get it in January.


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