Friday, May 17, 2019

KX4 dreamin' - and Elecraft Product Release Dates

I thought a graph might be helpful in speculating when the mythical Elecraft KX4 might be released.

Interestingly, the graph indicates that major releases from Elecraft started becoming more frequent with the release of the KX2 in 2016. Can you believe the KX2 has been around for three four years?!

Also obvious is that Elecraft isn't sitting around on their thumbs so maybe it's not unrealistic to expect a KX4 in the near future - a small direct-sampling SDR QRP rig with a single ethernet connection to the PC for CAT and digital audio, onboard pan/waterfall display, regular knobs, buttons, etc. on the rig for non-PC operation.

And no bigger than the KX3.


  1. Anxious to hear an official release date for a KX4. Will determine whether I hold off on a KX3 or dive in anyhow.

    1. I think the K4 might delay any new products for a while - it took 5 years to go from the K3 to the KX3 :-(

      But I hope I'm wrong...

    2. If it holds true like before, it will be at FDIM @ holiday inn in Fairborn, ohio the day before the hamfest.

  2. I have been a satisfied KX3 owner for over 4 years. It does what it is advertised quite well. To complain that it does not do this or that whichwere never in it's specifications or intent is IMHP illogical, but I digress. I am not convinced that the current flock of direct conversion SDRs is the 'end-all-be-all' of amateur radio as opposed to the hybrid designs with better dynamic range and close-in rejection. Though we do not know the price of an IC-705 or theoretical KX-4, I would not hold my breath waiting for the 'Holy Grail' of low power portables, but what I would hope for would be this:

    1. A third line in the display of possibly a slightly smaller fobt with at least 24 characters.
    2. A modular choice of battery with NiMh, LiFeO4 or similar and built in charging circuit.
    3. Retain the Amber/Blk character based screen with optional cloar reversal(negative image).
    4. NOT have a TFT/Color distpay as it is usually ureadable in sunlight or requires high current.
    5. VHF/UHF would be OK as an option and some hilltoppers might think it a necessity but not most hams.
    6. Bluetooth audio would be nice it it would connect to android, Pi or PC.
    7. VOX is a necessity(unlike many Asian entries) to facilitate data modes w/o additiona; connections.
    8. Support is important, I would be willing to pay 20-30% more for a USA probuced(not marketed) product.

    Some of you may remember what we paid in MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE DOLLARS for gear 25-35 years ago, all this gear is a in fact. I paid almost $1300 in 1996 for a FT-900 whis is a great radio but nothing close to a FT-991A(except for lack of menus) in performance in TODAY's dollars. Only time will tell what the next MUST HAVE rig will be.

    Any discussion?