Sunday, December 06, 2009

Now I've cracked up!

Well would you believe it! When I posted "Cracking up" yesterday I was only concerned that the spate of reports of broken knobs on Elecraft K3s meant that there was something wrong with them and that I and many others would eventually become victims. I didn't think there was anything wrong with the knobs on my K3 serial number 222 at the moment. This morning, just for the heck of it, I put my magnifying headset on to examine the knobs more closely. The first three were OK but when I examined the RF/SQL SUB outer knob I could see a hairline crack going through the set screw hole from front to back.

You would never have known it by turning the knob but the crack is clearly visible (especially if you click the image above to see the full-sized version) and can be closed by squeezing the knob (which has now made it a bit loose.) I think this is a more extensive issue than most people realize, or than Elecraft is claiming. If you own a K3, check the concentric knobs with a magnifier. You might be as surprised as I was!

Dave G4AON just sent me a picture of the AF knob on his K3 after he removed and tried to replace it.

You don't need a magnifier to see the problem with that one!


Mads said...

Hello Julian

I knew both the AF and Rf inner knobs on my K3/10 s/n: 2122 were cracked but I didn't know that Elecraft replace them for free until I read it on your blog. I've just sent an e-mail to k3support and asked for new knobs. Thanks for the information!



Unknown said...

Hello Mads.

Sorry to hear you're a member of the cracked knob club too! Perhaps we should get a tee shirt printed. :)

For your information (and others) the correct address to request replacement parts from Elecraft is parts at

Eric has confirmed to me they will replace the knobs for free. They will also replace the knobs for K3 users who are unhappy with the existing ones.

What they appear to be unwilling to do is notify everyone of the problem so unless you subscribe to the Elecraft reflector you would have been unaware of the problem or the solution.