It’s all down to your ears
There was a lot of excitement on the Elecraft email reflector over the fact that the majority of participants in the World Radio Team Championship 2010 (WRTC 2010) were using Elecraft K3s. There was even more glee when it was discovered that Scott Robbins W4PA, former Ten-Tec product manager, and Tim Duffy K3LR of Team Icom had taken K3s. This was like the President of Coca Cola serving Pepsi at his anniversary party!
There have not been many comments now the results are out, which show that the top two teams, from Russia and Estonia respectively, were using FT-1000MPs. The USA team of N6MJ and KL9A in third place used K3s, as did K5ZD and W2SC who came fifth, but the fourth placed S50A and S57AW again used FT-1000MPs as did the Lithuanian entry in seventh place.
So let’s get this straight: the winning stations and several others in the top ten used a now obsolete radio that was introduced in 1996 which has frequently been criticized as inferior to the K3? I suspect the fact that many international competitors took K3s may have more to do with the fact that the Elecraft radio is small enough and light enough to be taken on an aircraft as hand baggage. And I suspect that the reason for the success of the stations using FT-1000MPs is that there is more to winning a contest than having a receiver with the best performance numbers.
Anyone want to swap an Elecraft K3 for an FT-1000MP? (Only joking.)