Overpriced KX3 options

Steve G1KQH has spotted the price of “after-market” mics on eBay.  Under £5.

“The price of a Microphone:

Someone is having a good laugh at stitching folk up with those KX3 Mics.  The whole KX3 price is through the roof but there are plenty on the bands?”
I stand by my assertion that, sadly, the KX3 is overpriced, certainly over here in the UK. I know that it is a truly exceptional radio with a first class specification but, as I have said before, for my sort of operating – mainly from home and occasionally /P, the FT817ND is FAR better value and it covers 432MHz all modes too. I cannot fault the FT817 although I appreciate the KX3 is better on RX. My FT817 has worked the world on SSB and always with simple wire antennas. I have worked a lot of continents with whips on the rig indoors too.

Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cambridge, England.

8 Responses to “Overpriced KX3 options”

  • Matt W1MST:

    Well, I can agree to a point but accessories such as microphones have always seemed to be places where manufacturers try for higher margins. I had to price out a OEM speaker mic for a Kenwood land mobile radio and the price was north of $75.

    You can easily find a Kenwood aftermarket speaker mic on eBay for less — I’ve even bought them. I will tell you, though, that you often get what you pay for. I promise you the Kenwood speaker mic will be better made than a $5 knock-off. Maybe not ALWAYS the case, but probably more often than not.

    As always, your mileage may vary…

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Elecraft is a interesting company, They have their office in one of the most expensive parts of the country. Extremely high over head cost that could drop 80% just by moving to places like Texas or Nevada. That cost is built into everything they touch. Next they don’t figure out the cost of the end product until is designed. This in not normal nor natural. They select parts on both short and projected long term performance and possible other uses. Price is secondary during product development. Thus the end products will always have a high material cost. That translate into a high end cost. Only Collins radio, that I am aware of, really put the end cost as secondary. Collins and Elecraft radios are designed and built by hams who actually use the radios for home, camping and serious contesting. They both created radios that were to set the performance bar, not try to catch-up.

    Collins radios are still in demand and even more expensive. Elecraft radios will follow someday, I suspect. But as far as Elecraft products ever dropping in price. It will never happen. It can’t. Too much overhead cost, too much on going R&D and the radios are not designed with cheap or marginal parts. They are designed with parts the meet and most cases exceed today needs and for tomorrows firmware update. Since I have had my KX3 it has had a whole lot of fixes and added features. That goes for my K3. My FT-817’s never happened. The ND is a joke..N for Not much.. D for Difference. They did fix the final and add 60 meters. Not much else as far as features or performance. 3-5-10 or more years after you got the radio it is the same. The K3 and KX3 and all the bolt on’s. Not the case. Every so often you get a firmware update and basically a brand new radio at no cost. The radio that keeps on giving and growing.

    I do not have deep pockets and quite frankly what I have is nothing short of many miracles that happened over the past 10 yrs. If I were to loose it tomorrow I could not even come close to replacing what I have. Like you I feel Elecraft pricing is a bit high. But I have bought, sold, traded and begged the xyl and have the radios. They are outstanding. Customer service is second to none. And every so often a new firmware up grade will come along, which it has done a lot esp for the KX3, and i basically have a new radio. Many times over.

    I wish you will with the equipment you have and hope someday things will turn around and you will be a cost effective up grade. For 40 years I had a lot worst then the FT-817 and the FT-817 is really not a bad radio, in fact the truth be known it is a very good radio


  • Kyle N4NSS:

    The KX3 is over priced if you have to ask what is the gas mileage….

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    If you think the KX3 is over priced, check out the TenTec Argonaut IV QRP. Same price range as the KX3 with a whole lot less feature.. Nice sounding RX. I got one with one of my many trades and used it for 30 days, then traded off for a nice Flex 1500. (BTW TecTec is having a garage sale since they have merged and are moving. The new price is closer to what it should have been… Still maybe $100-$200 too high… but the rx is nice…hihi

  • David WB4ONA:

    “Elecraft is a interesting company, They have their office in one of the most expensive parts of the country. Extremely high over head cost that could drop 80% just by moving to places like Texas or Nevada.”

    Then they should move. A company is an entity that affects many people. Existing in a place that forces your costs to soar only harms your business and workers – not to mention your workers being harmed directly by big Government gone out of control.

    Pack everyone into the wagons and go where you are wanted – don’t stay where you aren’t. Yes the move may be difficult and you may lose some along the way – but the difficulty will seem trivial in the end.

  • Walt W0CP:

    Maybe they are what they are because of where they are?

  • Darrell K7LZR:

    Say what you want but the FT-817 is a far better bang for the buck, period. And better built too. While the KX3 owners are busy babying their expensive radios and complaining about marginal 2m performance for yet more money, I’ll be busy happily making contacts on all bands & modes with my FT-817. And I won’t worry about breaking knobs off or scratching the display. And if I get bored with the ham bands then I’ll go to FMBC and listen to music or airband and listen to air traffic just for fun…..

  • kw4up:

    All the Elecraft radios require so many options to be added on that by the time you get a usable radio the price has doubled from an already premium price. Sad, truly sad.

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