A visit to Elecraft…

Posted: July 26, 2016 in Uncategorized
At a time in our hobby where many businesses are consolidating, closing their doors or failing to innovate, Elecraft is one of the few bright and innovative companies in our hobby. Elecraft is located in Watsonville, California and today, Ned Sterns AA7A and I had the pleasure to visit the factory and take a tour.
The Elecraft Headquarters in Watsonville, California.
Elecraft was formed in 1998 by Eric Swartz-WA6HQQ and Wayne Burdick-N6KR.
Since that time, they have brought well engineered and highly successful products to market year after year. Elecraft is most known for their fabulous customer support and their ethic to “get it right” As an Elecraft product owner, you do not feel like a beta tester finding their bugs for them. Their products are available in either kit-form at a reduced price or fresh from the factory.
You know you are getting close when you see the cars in the lot with the big antennas.
Their first products were the QRP ready K2 and the K2/100 watt model. In 2008 they brought to market their highly successful K3 transceiver. Last year, the K3 was upgraded to the K3S. Elecraft also has a highly respected amplifier (KPA500) and tuner (KAT500).
Ned-AA7A discusses upgrades to his K3 with David Shoaf of Elecraft.
The magic happens behind these walls.
KPA-500 amplifiers going through the “burn in” process.
Elecraft KX2s in the burn in process. Everything is thoroughly tested before being shipped to the customer.
Elecraft P3 Panadapters in the production process.
David shows completed products ready to ship.
The tour of Elecraft was fascinating. This is a small, highly efficient operation. Some components such as cables are manufactured in house, while some boards and other components are built by contract manufacturers. Much of the Engineering also takes place offsite with Engineers working from home and collaborating together to design and implement new products.
I have always been very impressed with Elecraft and my tour of their factory today only served to increase my appreciation for what they do and how they do it.
What do you think?


  1. Ed Muns says:

    I think you and Ned are validating the obvious, but I’m an insider and have been a fan of Elecraft and their products from the beginning. I expect the most from Elecraft and they consistently exceed my expectations. Any discussion about Elecraft devolves to a “Koolaid” scenario. But its for good reason. The founders, employees, company and products just keep eclipsing the competition.

  2. Chris says:

    Those are KX2s burning in.. 😉

  3. Jeff Davis says:

    Nice! Thanks for sharing. 73 de Jeff

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