The long-awaited Elecraft panadapter unit for the K3 is now officially beyond the rumor-and-innuendo stage of development. The announcement on 11-Aug by Wayne N6KR and Eric WA6HHQ was immediately followed by the predictable flurry of questions, praise, complaints, nit-picking and feature requests that Elecrafters have grown to expect any time a new product is announced, ranging from the serious to the absurd:
- Q: Will there be point-and-click tuning? (A: Yes.)
- Q: Will it be I/Q-based and thus able to use PowerSDR, Skimmer, etc.? (A: Perhaps.)
- Q: Will their be a built-in speaker and/or power supply? (A: No.)
- Q: Will the P3 be able to be used for text display in data modes? (A: It's on the list...)
- Q: The photo shows it on the left side of the K3. This is an affront to the Right Handed-American Community. Will there be a right-side version to comply with the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment? (A: Huh?)
I love Elecraft and their close relationship with their customers, but I've previously commented [see here, read last paragraph] that in the future (that is, now) they need to play their cards a bit closer to their vest than they did with the K3. It has to be counterproductive to announce a product too early, then spend valuable time fielding absurd questions, squelching rumors and erroneous information from well-meaning Kool-Aid Drinkers (I use that term in the most endearing way), and generally trying to please everyone with an ever expanding feature list to accommodate feature requests from customers. All of this ends up pushing the delivery date back, causing the company to endure months of bitching and moaning about deadlines promises being broken, features left out, firmware revisions, fix bugs, etc. This is what happened with the K3, and sadly I can see it happening again right before my very eyes. Sigh.
That said, I like the concept; it adds the most lamented missing feature of the K3 (perhaps second only to band-stacking registers). I plan to order one as soon as it is orders are accepted. Whether I place it to the left or right of my K3 has yet to be determined...