First I apologize for the delay getting this update out. I've been head down, along with the rest of our team and our suppliers, for a good part of this month working to solve problems and get K4s flowing out to you faster.
We ran into delays in December due to several items:
Our biggest problem has been due to an interruption of deliveries on critical K4 Printed Circuit Board Assemblies (PCBAs) from our primary high-quality assembly subcontractor, who is located near us in Monterey, CA. This was due to both an unexpected surge in demand from their other customers, who were ramping up faster than expected, and on top of our K4 production needs, a significant increase in demand from us for our regular non-K4 product PCBAs (KPA1500, KX3, KX2, etc.) - both from huge Black Friday/Cyber Monday orders and our normal holiday season surge in sales.
Due to a miscommunication between us, they delayed several key K4 PCBAs in favor of PCBAs for our other products. When we finally caught the error (after multiple shipments were late or did not arrive) it took several weeks to get everything straightened out. Circuit board assembly lines, parts acquisition, etc. do not stop and start on a dime. This is frustrating to say the least. While we may have received the majority of the K4 PCB assemblies, if any of the other boards needed to complete the K4 100% are delayed, it holds up K4 manufacturing. That's frustrating for us and of course you. We've corrected the issue and we will see more PCBAs arriving late this week or next week. This should get K4 production back on track with regular deliveries to us on a weekly basis. I'm hopeful that January and beyond will be much smoother.
We have also just received several needed parts for a small number of production K4s that had all their circuit boards and were already in manufacturing. These K4s will be ready to test soon. If all goes well, they will be out by next week. If there are additional test-related delays, they will ship the following week.
Early in December, it took us longer to finish implementing and testing a planned update to the K4's internal Linux OS, which slowed things a bit. Thanks to the hard work from our s/w engineers and our Field Testers, that's completed, and we have updated the automated s/w build process and server along with K4's built-in s/w update process. It's very cool and easy to use.
The other news is that due to the larger than expected surge in regular orders, above and beyond orders and backlog for K4's, we have a very large regular product backlog which we are shipping to you as quickly as possible.
One last note - Elecraft will be closed for the holidays this Thursday and Friday (12/24-25) and New Years Day on Friday (1/1), with a few employees off extra days for well-deserved rest during that period. We hope everyone has a great holiday!