Thursday, February 12, 2009

Begging bowl in the Elecraft list

As the owner of an Elecraft K2, K3, T1 and a few other bits and pieces, I am a long-time subscriber to and active participant in the Elecraft email list. In the last couple of weeks I have noticed that appended to the bottom of every email is a note stating that the list is hosted by and a request to support it by donating. It is probably no coincidence that this started happening shortly after the transfer of and from Al Waller K3TKJ, who is retiring from the business, to Scott KA9FOX.

Now I have no objection to people asking for donations when providing a service, although if the demands are persistent enough I would question their right to call the service "free". However I gave up using Al's painfully sluggish servers several years ago because I could get a much better service from a commercial web host for less than the $15 a year I used to donate.

I feel that I am "supporting" the Elecraft email reflector by having purchased several thousand dollars' worth of Elecraft products over the last few years. If Elecraft chooses to use a "free" service to host its reflector then that's its business not mine. I don't think it looks very professional having someone else's begging message at the foot of every message in your official support forum. Whatever Elecraft's pretensions to become the next Ten-Tec, it still behaves a lot like the QRP kit maker it started as.

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