Discussion:
[Elecraft] A modest proposal...
Alastair Couper
2011-08-21 08:14:35 UTC
Permalink
I would like to suggest that the good folks at Elecraft consider making
paper manuals an optional item at check out time. It could save a little
money and paper, and some like myself are more inclined to download the
info in any case. Especially with radios that are evolving, like the K3,
one ends up doing this when new firmware makes the old paper manual
incomplete. So just being able to eliminate the paper completely would be
a fine thing, IMHO.

NH7O
John Ragle
2011-08-21 10:56:28 UTC
Permalink
An excellent suggestion! Many manufacturers already do this, e.g. my
Samsung Galaxy Tab comes with a bare piece of "getting started" paper,
but on-line there is an excellent 144 page (3.2 MB) "users' manual."

I have owned or now own several pieces of Elecraft hardware, and in no
case have I ever refered to the printed manual (either "Assembly" or
"Users''"). To me the production of pretty-printed paper manuals is
twice a nuisance: (1) it is a waste of paper and manufacturers' process
time, and (2) it is an aggravation for me because of the storage problem
-- I have manuals of practically every description, size and color, and
they just take up shelf space.

Storing a manual as a PDF file is a very efficient use of space. My
"manuals" folder contains 280 files in 51 sub-folders, and takes up only
226 MB of disk space. Storage is dirt-cheap these days; I chuckle over
my first, 5MB, hard drive that was three times the size of my K3, and
the "disk packs" I carried around to stick in the "washing machines"
that used them.

Moreover, once one frees oneself from the rather squinty corporate
attitude of Adobe embodied in "Adobe Acrobat" and uses "after-market"
PDF editors (some of which are free), one has a quite natural way of
incorporating the small "erratum/errata" changes that usually accompany
hardware evolution.

Take note, Elecraft, and join the wave of the twentieth century!

John Ragle -- W1ZI

=====

On 8/21/2011 4:14 AM, Alastair Couper wrote:
> I would like to suggest that the good folks at Elecraft consider making
> paper manuals an optional item at check out time.
Dave Sergeant
2011-08-21 11:28:31 UTC
Permalink
On 21 Aug 2011 at 6:56, John Ragle wrote:

> > I would like to suggest that the good folks at Elecraft consider
> > making paper manuals an optional item at check out time.
>

It may suit some, but I cannot see how you could sensibly build a K2
from an electronic manual. You would have to print out the relevant
pages, and it is probably cheaper for Elecraft to do this with
professional printing. I repair consumer electronics and getting proper
printouts of circuit diagrams is a constant problem. Bring back the old
paper manuals...

73 Dave G3YMC

http://www.davesergeant.com
Ray Sills
2011-08-21 12:27:29 UTC
Permalink
Not to mention that fraction of builders who -do not- have internet
access. Or will be in a location without internet for an interval of
time, but want to have reference material available... for example,
when on a DXpedition.

Maybe it could be an ordering option, with a modest discount for
choosing "paperless" manuals. Since is paperless idea is "green"..
perhaps Elecraft would donate the cost of printing a manual to an
environmental fund, thereby doubling the value of not printing a manual.

Personally, I would like both options.

73 de Ray
K2ULR


On Aug 21, 2011, at 7:28 AM, Dave Sergeant wrote:

> On 21 Aug 2011 at 6:56, John Ragle wrote:
>
>>> I would like to suggest that the good folks at Elecraft consider
>>> making paper manuals an optional item at check out time.
>>
>
> It may suit some, but I cannot see how you could sensibly build a K2
> from an electronic manual. You would have to print out the relevant
> pages, and it is probably cheaper for Elecraft to do this with
> professional printing. I repair consumer electronics and getting
> proper
> printouts of circuit diagrams is a constant problem. Bring back the
> old
> paper manuals...
>
> 73 Dave G3YMC
>
> http://www.davesergeant.com
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
Doug Turnbull
2011-08-21 12:52:11 UTC
Permalink
The paper manuals are spiral bound and quality printed on both sides of the
page. I like the idea of saving but not this one. When it comes time to
sell in ten years at least I will have the manual to pass on.

73 Doug EI2CN
Dale Putnam
2011-08-21 13:02:50 UTC
Permalink
If I may add one comment please, someone may have a fix for it, to save untold hours of effort.
With a PDF for a manual, not a printed copy, just the pdf, on a building bench, what can be used to
make notes in the construction or on the schematic, or in the manual, to note the test results.??
In the K2 manual there are numerous points to note results that need to be referred back to, not only during
this particular moment on the bench but also in a week or two.. or a year later...
Is there any way to do this...?
It is cumbersome to write on the screen, take a photo, print the photo, clean the screen, and move to the next page... ;o)
I always lose the photo, get it out of order, have to go back and redo the tests again....

Thank you,
Have a great day,

--... ...-- Dale - WC7S in Wy
Gary Gregory
2011-08-21 13:04:52 UTC
Permalink
The original suggestion was to make the paper manual 'optional' at time of
order and although I do not know what price reduction this would make, it
would be good for some folks...as long as they do read the PDF manual BEFORE
asking questions that could easily be answered by reading the manual in
either form.

I have my printed manual and happy to keep it. Sure i will pass it on when I
sell the K3, after my dead fingers let go...:-)

My 2.5 cents

Gary

On 21 August 2011 22:52, Doug Turnbull <turnbull at net1.ie> wrote:

>
> The paper manuals are spiral bound and quality printed on both sides of the
> page. I like the idea of saving but not this one. When it comes time to
> sell in ten years at least I will have the manual to pass on.
>
> 73 Doug EI2CN
>
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>



--

VK4FD - Motorhome Mobile
Elecraft Equipment
K3 #679, KPA-500 #018
Living the dream!!!
Jim Miller KG0KP
2011-08-21 01:41:49 UTC
Permalink
I went online and downloaded and printed my own assembly manual. I had read
it completely twice before my K3 arrived. I could not have done this if I
had to wait for a printed manual to come with my radio and most likely would
not have read it as carefully as I did waiting for my K3. I was not in a
rush to get-er-done. I learned a lot studying the assembly instructions
without having the radio parts to look at and many times I had to read a
passage carefully more than once to understand what they were talking about
since I could not look at the part or area of the radio pictured. I would
not want to bypass the experience and knowledge gained by printing my own
instructions. I did not use the book that came with the radio as I had a
newer one downloaded that had just been released when my radio arrived.

73, de Jim KG0KP - K3 #1442

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gary Gregory" <garyvk4fd at gmail.com>
To: "Doug Turnbull" <turnbull at net1.ie>
Cc: <elecraft at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2011 7:04 AM
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] A modest proposal...


> The original suggestion was to make the paper manual 'optional' at time of
Don Wilhelm
2011-08-21 21:47:10 UTC
Permalink
Jim,

You printed the manual locally, and if you count the ink and paper, that
cost you more than ordering an extra manual from Elecraft - and unless
you went to the trouble of printing it double-sided (and no sheets stuck
together in the process), you had twice as many sheets of paper. I
think that is false economy (if the intent is economy).

That said, I really like the .pdf files of the manual - mainly because
they can be called up without searching through a stack of paper manuals
(yes, I have a file for each Elecraft product manual). They are great
when you are doing a search - that is easy to accomplish and works quite
nicely. I have those files on a networked file server so I can access
them from any computer in the house - the workbench is not in the same
place as the hamshack, and I answer email from yet another computer, so
that give me access to those reference files at any location I choose.

However, when doing assembly or troubleshooting, I find no substitute
for a printed manual and printed schematics. I cannot do that
effectively on a computer screen. The printed manual is essential for
me at the workbench. I think many others are the same - we need both,
each has its own purpose - Elecraft is doing it right - don't monkey
with what works and works quite well.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 8/20/2011 9:41 PM, Jim Miller KG0KP wrote:
> I went online and downloaded and printed my own assembly manual. I had read
> it completely twice before my K3 arrived.
Eric Swartz WA6HHQ - Elecraft
2011-08-21 22:03:28 UTC
Permalink
This thread and its variants have been ended.

Folks, This thread has way exceeded the posting volume limit. Please self limit and do not reply to high volume threads like this in the future. It is not necessary to argue out every deatil on OT threads.

73,
Eric WA6HHQ
List Moderator

www.elecraft.com
_..._



On Aug 21, 2011, at 4:47 PM, Don Wilhelm <w3fpr at embarqmail.com> wrote:

> Jim,
>
> You printed the manual locally, and if you count the ink and paper, that
> cost you more than ordering an extra manual from Elecraft - and unless
> you went to the trouble of printing it double-sided (and no sheets stuck
> together in the process), you had twice as many sheets of paper. I
> think that is false economy (if the intent is economy).
>
> That said, I really like the .pdf files of the manual - mainly because
> they can be called up without searching through a stack of paper manuals
> (yes, I have a file for each Elecraft product manual). They are great
> when you are doing a search - that is easy to accomplish and works quite
> nicely. I have those files on a networked file server so I can access
> them from any computer in the house - the workbench is not in the same
> place as the hamshack, and I answer email from yet another computer, so
> that give me access to those reference files at any location I choose.
>
> However, when doing assembly or troubleshooting, I find no substitute
> for a printed manual and printed schematics. I cannot do that
> effectively on a computer screen. The printed manual is essential for
> me at the workbench. I think many others are the same - we need both,
> each has its own purpose - Elecraft is doing it right - don't monkey
> with what works and works quite well.
>
> 73,
> Don W3FPR
>
> On 8/20/2011 9:41 PM, Jim Miller KG0KP wrote:
>> I went online and downloaded and printed my own assembly manual. I had read
>> it completely twice before my K3 arrived.
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
Mike
2011-08-21 23:49:09 UTC
Permalink
A double hernia precludes me putting a monitor on my stomach when I'm lying in bed or
on the couch (my preferred reading spots). :-P
I took my KE7X pdf on a cd to Office Depot and they printed a very nice spiral bound
book with clear plastic cover and plastic back for less than I could have bought the
printed copy from Lulu. Best of both worlds.

To support those with no internet connection, a cd can be shipped. The production
cost would have to be a fraction of the cost of printing.

73, Mike NF4L - and no, the "L" doesn't stand for Luddite.....

On 8/20/2011 9:41 PM, Jim Miller KG0KP wrote:
> I went online and downloaded and printed my own assembly manual. I had read
> it completely twice before my K3 arrived. I could not have done this if I
> had to wait for a printed manual to come with my radio and most likely would
> not have read it as carefully as I did waiting for my K3. I was not in a
> rush to get-er-done. I learned a lot studying the assembly instructions
> without having the radio parts to look at and many times I had to read a
> passage carefully more than once to understand what they were talking about
> since I could not look at the part or area of the radio pictured. I would
> not want to bypass the experience and knowledge gained by printing my own
> instructions. I did not use the book that came with the radio as I had a
> newer one downloaded that had just been released when my radio arrived.
>
> 73, de Jim KG0KP - K3 #1442
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Gary Gregory"<garyvk4fd at gmail.com>
> To: "Doug Turnbull"<turnbull at net1.ie>
> Cc:<elecraft at mailman.qth.net>
> Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2011 7:04 AM
> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] A modest proposal...
>
>
>> The original suggestion was to make the paper manual 'optional' at time of
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>
Cady, Fred
2011-08-21 14:29:11 UTC
Permalink
At Visalia this past spring, while I was struggling trying to decide
what format to publish "The K3" book, I did a survey of those
interested and it was pretty nearly split 50/50 between printed hard
copy and soft copy (pdf, etc). So, that answered that question and I
decided to go both ways :-) (the customer is always right!)

KE7X
"The Elecraft K3: Design, Configuration, and Operation"
www.ke7x.com


-----Original Message-----
From: elecraft-bounces at mailman.qth.net
[mailto:elecraft-bounces at mailman.qth.net] On Behalf Of Doug Turnbull
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2011 6:52 AM
To: 'Dave Sergeant'; elecraft at mailman.qth.net
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] A modest proposal...


The paper manuals are spiral bound and quality printed on both sides of
the
page. I like the idea of saving but not this one. When it comes time
to
sell in ten years at least I will have the manual to pass on.

73 Doug EI2CN


______________________________________________________________
Elecraft mailing list
Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net

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Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
Fred Jensen
2011-08-21 20:44:27 UTC
Permalink
While I doubt Elecraft will give up printed manuals ... I'm in the
printed manual camp.

1. PDF's are great, at times, for example you can search them. For
"real" use, I need a book with pages to turn and a place to stick
post-its. I know you can do that in a PDF, but it's not the same.

2. I end up printing pages out of PDF manuals anyway.

3. My KE7X book is spiral bound, it lays flat, it is perfect.

4. I write and draw in my manuals on the theory that, "If I figure it
out once, I don't want to have to do it again."

5. I can't imagine assembling my K2 or KX1 from a screen.

73,

Fred K6DGW
Auburn CA

On 8/21/2011 7:29 AM, Cady, Fred wrote:
> At Visalia this past spring, while I was struggling trying to decide
> what format to publish "The K3" book, I did a survey of those
> interested and it was pretty nearly split 50/50 between printed hard
> copy and soft copy (pdf, etc).
R. Kevin Stover
2011-08-21 12:42:47 UTC
Permalink
I respectfully disagree.

If I had been presented a URL or pdf manual for my stuffed K2/100 kit
rather than the paper manuals I would have sold the kit. Looking through
my K2 manual right now there is a check mark next to every construction
step. When building the rig, I didn't mark the manual till the component
was installed correctly or the procedure completed successfully.

By using this process I eliminated a lot of problems before they ever
cropped up. I also understood the rig much better since assembly and
operator manual was one in the same. Trying to build something like a
K2/100, loaded with options, from a .pdf on a computer would have
tripled the time of assembly and no doubt produced many mistakes.

I'd be willing to say we have so many questions about the K3 and
accesories because the manusl(s) don't get read. Having a separate
assembly and operators manual was a mistake IMHO, especially having to
refer to the operators manual to finish the assembly (configuration and
alignment). Not good process. Yes, I know, a lot of K3's get sold as
assembled units not in kit form. A combined manual might still be of use
to those who don't buy the kit but want to know the basics of how one is
built. Or, they could simply skip the assembly parts.

/Beginning of OT part

The "paperless office" was/is a fallacy foisted on us by the PC/IT
industry. I work in IT, it ain't ever gonna happen. I'm planning on
retiring in 20 some years. I'd be willing to bet there are the same
number or more printers in service then as there are now.

The only thing the PC contributed to the paperless office was kill the
typewriter market and shift printing from many manual printers to not
quite so many network or locally attached printers.

/End of OT part.

Just my .03

On 8/21/2011 5:56 AM, John Ragle wrote:
> An excellent suggestion! Many manufacturers already do this, e.g. my
> Samsung Galaxy Tab comes with a bare piece of "getting started" paper,
> but on-line there is an excellent 144 page (3.2 MB) "users' manual."
>
> I have owned or now own several pieces of Elecraft hardware, and in no
> case have I ever refered to the printed manual (either "Assembly" or
> "Users''"). To me the production of pretty-printed paper manuals is
> twice a nuisance: (1) it is a waste of paper and manufacturers' process
> time, and (2) it is an aggravation for me because of the storage problem
> -- I have manuals of practically every description, size and color, and
> they just take up shelf space.

--
R. Kevin Stover

AC?H
Eric Swartz - WA6HHQ, Elecraft
2011-08-22 23:14:15 UTC
Permalink
Guys - We ended this thread yesterday. Several times. Please no more
posts on this topic. Its been covered in exquisite detail :-)

73, Eric WA6HHQ
Elecraft Lisa Moderator - Really!

---
www.elecraft.com


On 8/21/2011 3:56 AM, John Ragle wrote:
> An excellent suggestion! Many manufacturers already do this, e.g. my
> Samsung Galaxy Tab comes with a bare piece of "getting started" paper,
> but on-line there is an excellent 144 page (3.2 MB) "users' manual."
>
> I have owned or now own several pieces of Elecraft hardware, and in no
> case have I ever refered to the printed manual (either "Assembly" or
> "Users''"). To me the production of pretty-printed paper manuals is
> twice a nuisance: (1) it is a waste of paper and manufacturers' process
> time, and (2) it is an aggravation for me because of the storage problem
> -- I have manuals of practically every description, size and color, and
> they just take up shelf space.
>
> Storing a manual as a PDF file is a very efficient use of space. My
> "manuals" folder contains 280 files in 51 sub-folders, and takes up only
> 226 MB of disk space. Storage is dirt-cheap these days; I chuckle over
> my first, 5MB, hard drive that was three times the size of my K3, and
> the "disk packs" I carried around to stick in the "washing machines"
> that used them.
>
> Moreover, once one frees oneself from the rather squinty corporate
> attitude of Adobe embodied in "Adobe Acrobat" and uses "after-market"
> PDF editors (some of which are free), one has a quite natural way of
> incorporating the small "erratum/errata" changes that usually accompany
> hardware evolution.
>
> Take note, Elecraft, and join the wave of the twentieth century!
>
> John Ragle -- W1ZI
>
> =====
>
> On 8/21/2011 4:14 AM, Alastair Couper wrote:
>> I would like to suggest that the good folks at Elecraft consider making
>> paper manuals an optional item at check out time.
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
Eric Swartz - WA6HHQ, Elecraft
2011-08-22 23:35:13 UTC
Permalink
Hmmm - Typing too fast. I meant 'List' Moderator.

Don't tell Lisa!

73, Eric

---
www.elecraft.com


On 8/22/2011 4:14 PM, Eric Swartz - WA6HHQ, Elecraft wrote:
> Guys - We ended this thread yesterday. Several times. Please no more
> posts on this topic. Its been covered in exquisite detail :-)
>
> 73, Eric WA6HHQ
> Elecraft Lisa Moderator - Really!
>
> ---
> www.elecraft.com
>
>
Don Wilhelm
2011-08-21 13:09:42 UTC
Permalink
While "green is good", I do not think an assembly or operator's manual
in electronic form is practical.
It would only result in most owners printing the manual locally, and
that nullifies the overall "greenness".

It is more costly for individuals to print locally than for the manual
to be printed in bulk, so the overall global cost would be increased
even if a few dollars could be saved on the kit price.

Have you ever tried to put checkmarks into an electronic manual on a
computer screen? I shudder at the thought of following a long list of
resistors or capacitors to be inserted on a computer display. It is
just too easy to lose your place - take a look at the K2 assembly if you
do not know about the lists I refer to.

How about working your way through a multipage schematic on a computer
display during troubleshooting? Printed pages are a great help in those
instances.

I agree that in many instances .pdf manual have advantages, especially
for archiving, but Elecraft already makes those available for download.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 8/21/2011 4:14 AM, Alastair Couper wrote:
> I would like to suggest that the good folks at Elecraft consider making
> paper manuals an optional item at check out time. It could save a little
> money and paper, and some like myself are more inclined to download the
> info in any case. Especially with radios that are evolving, like the K3,
> one ends up doing this when new firmware makes the old paper manual
> incomplete. So just being able to eliminate the paper completely would be
> a fine thing, IMHO.
>
> NH7O
>
Bill Johnson
2011-08-21 15:55:26 UTC
Permalink
I rely completely on PDF manuals. I can usually find answers to questions through a quick and simple search. The idea to offer it as an option is green. I had my K3 factory built.

I would always want a manual if I were building, e.g., KX1, and my K2 and all it's options!

Bill
K9YEQ

Gary Gregory <garyvk4fd at gmail.com> wrote:

The original suggestion was to make the paper manual 'optional' at time of
order and although I do not know what price reduction this would make, it
would be good for some folks...as long as they do read the PDF manual BEFORE
asking questions that could easily be answered by reading the manual in
either form.

I have my printed manual and happy to keep it. Sure i will pass it on when I
sell the K3, after my dead fingers let go...:-)

My 2.5 cents

Gary

On 21 August 2011 22:52, Doug Turnbull <turnbull at net1.ie> wrote:

>
> The paper manuals are spiral bound and quality printed on both sides of the
> page. I like the idea of saving but not this one. When it comes time to
> sell in ten years at least I will have the manual to pass on.
>
> 73 Doug EI2CN
>
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>



--

VK4FD - Motorhome Mobile
Elecraft Equipment
K3 #679, KPA-500 #018
Living the dream!!!
______________________________________________________________
Elecraft mailing list
Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net

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David Gilbert
2011-08-21 16:46:23 UTC
Permalink
Personally, I don't see how that suggestion saves anyone anything. The
great majority of those who order anything in kit or modular form are
going to want a printed manual, and I'd bet that at least half of any
buyer of an assembled item is going to want one as well, especially if
it is free. So all you get is a small reduction in printed manuals at
the cost of more hassle and opportunity for error on the part of
Elecraft. From a purely manufacturing point of view, variability and
the need for a decision (do I send a manual with this order or don't I?)
represent complexity and opportunity for error. How happy are folks who
wanted a manual going to be when their item arrives without it by
mistake? What is it going to cost Elecraft to expedite the shipment of one?

Eliminating paper completely may or may not be a bad thing depending
upon the situation, but if you can't do it completely it is rarely even
a good thing.

73,
Dave AB7E



On 8/21/2011 1:14 AM, Alastair Couper wrote:
> I would like to suggest that the good folks at Elecraft consider making
> paper manuals an optional item at check out time. It could save a little
> money and paper, and some like myself are more inclined to download the
> info in any case. Especially with radios that are evolving, like the K3,
> one ends up doing this when new firmware makes the old paper manual
> incomplete. So just being able to eliminate the paper completely would be
> a fine thing, IMHO.
>
> NH7O
Phil Hystad
2011-08-21 17:07:40 UTC
Permalink
Actually, although the manuals are all available in the most recently updated versions as PDFs on the web site, I think another format would even be superior (in addition though, not replacing PDFs or printed).

The other format is a nice interactive web site -- not merely a PDF called up with your browser but an interactive structured web "application" that includes the technical material and descriptions as well as cross linked to related items. Color of course is valuable in this kind of thing along with lots of diagrams and schematic parts. Maybe even background electronics or radio theory to deepen our understanding.

Of course, this is hard to do and takes quite of design and effort to carry out -- but, we have done this in our own business for the big complicated wholesale energy markets we build. I would point you to these sites but they require logins and unless you are a registered market participant you can't get access.

Or, a much easier to accomplish system is one where the technical information of the manuals is decomposed into shorter one page (target this size at least) bits of information and then you use the power of HTML linking to create the access paths needed to discover information and read material. This is a popular method for software documentation of large systems such as Microsoft or Apple. Actually, I like Apple better but maybe that is my Mac fanaticism showing through. Here is a pointer to the Mac developer pages as an example of what I mean: http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/navigation/

73, phil, K7PEH


On Aug 21, 2011, at 9:46 AM, David Gilbert wrote:

>
>
> Personally, I don't see how that suggestion saves anyone anything. The
> great majority of those who order anything in kit or modular form are
> going to want a printed manual, and I'd bet that at least half of any
> buyer of an assembled item is going to want one as well, especially if
> it is free. So all you get is a small reduction in printed manuals at
> the cost of more hassle and opportunity for error on the part of
> Elecraft. From a purely manufacturing point of view, variability and
> the need for a decision (do I send a manual with this order or don't I?)
> represent complexity and opportunity for error. How happy are folks who
> wanted a manual going to be when their item arrives without it by
> mistake? What is it going to cost Elecraft to expedite the shipment of one?
>
> Eliminating paper completely may or may not be a bad thing depending
> upon the situation, but if you can't do it completely it is rarely even
> a good thing.
>
> 73,
> Dave AB7E
>
>
>
> On 8/21/2011 1:14 AM, Alastair Couper wrote:
>> I would like to suggest that the good folks at Elecraft consider making
>> paper manuals an optional item at check out time. It could save a little
>> money and paper, and some like myself are more inclined to download the
>> info in any case. Especially with radios that are evolving, like the K3,
>> one ends up doing this when new firmware makes the old paper manual
>> incomplete. So just being able to eliminate the paper completely would be
>> a fine thing, IMHO.
>>
>> NH7O
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
n5ge
2011-08-21 18:30:35 UTC
Permalink
Correct me if I'm wrong but it sounds like you are talking about catalog web
sites. If you are, you have made the right choice.

Having worked in the printing and software development business, I can see both
sides of the issue. Catalogs must be updated constantly to reflect changes in
technology and price changes. Using web technology to keep them up to date is
the right choice.

I once worked for Gulf Printing in Houston, TX. At that time they were the
largest phone book and petroleum drilling equipment catalog printers in the USA.
When catalog and phone book time came around we had 24 hour a day activity with
two shifts. We all got rich from overtime pay, but the cost to SW Bell and the
petroleum equipment venders must have been horrendous. The Internet has taken
all of that away, except for small vendors.

As for Elecraft and similar businesses, trying to do what you suggest would be
very cost prohibitive due to the enormous development and maintenance cost of
that type of web application. It would probably end up making the retail cost
of their products in line with the manufacturers of seven and ten killobuck
equipment, at the same time lowering their profit margin greatly.

I suspect that Elecraft does all of it's web development, and I think they do a
good job of it.

In closing, I do agree with the OP that looking into less use of paper is a good
idea.

Sorry for the long winded reply...

73,
Tom
Amateur Radio Operator N5GE
ARRL Lifetime Member
QCWA Lifetime Member




On Sun, 21 Aug 2011 10:07:40 -0700, Phil Hystad <phystad at mac.com> wrote:

>Actually, although the manuals are all available in the most recently updated versions as PDFs on the web site, I think another format would even be superior (in addition though, not replacing PDFs or printed).
>
>The other format is a nice interactive web site -- not merely a PDF called up with your browser but an interactive structured web "application" that includes the technical material and descriptions as well as cross linked to related items. Color of course is valuable in this kind of thing along with lots of diagrams and schematic parts. Maybe even background electronics or radio theory to deepen our understanding.
>
>Of course, this is hard to do and takes quite of design and effort to carry out -- but, we have done this in our own business for the big complicated wholesale energy markets we build. I would point you to these sites but they require logins and unless you are a registered market participant you can't get access.
>
>Or, a much easier to accomplish system is one where the technical information of the manuals is decomposed into shorter one page (target this size at least) bits of information and then you use the power of HTML linking to create the access paths needed to discover information and read material. This is a popular method for software documentation of large systems such as Microsoft or Apple. Actually, I like Apple better but maybe that is my Mac fanaticism showing through. Here is a pointer to the Mac developer pages as an example of what I mean: http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/navigation/
>
>73, phil, K7PEH
>
>
[snip]
Tony Estep
2011-08-21 19:35:01 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, Aug 21, 2011 at 12:07 PM, Phil Hystad <phystad at mac.com> wrote:

> ...The other format is a nice interactive web site -- not merely a PDF
> called up with your browser but an interactive structured web "application"
> that includes the technical material and descriptions...

============
Well, this is what Adobe provides for Photoshop in lieu of a manual. (This
approach is no doubt partly responsible for the huge plethora of
instructional books and websites that try to fill in what Adobe has left
out.) It has its good and bad points, but two things are for sure: it
requires a big allocation of resources, and even so it is incomplete and out
of date. Adobe of course has plenty of software resources to throw at this,
and has various ways of trying to get incremental revenues out of their
web-based help. However, Elecraft gets revenues only when they sell
hardware.

Tony KT0NY


--
http://www.isb.edu/faculty/facultydir.aspx?ddlFaculty=352
Wayne Burdick
2011-08-21 17:11:41 UTC
Permalink
For now, we'll continue to send printed manuals with the kits and make
the .pdf versions available for download.

However, if you find that you don't use the paper manual, and you have
a green streak (like me!), feel free to return it so we can reuse it.

Meanwhile, I'll ask Lisa and Eric if there's a practical way for us to
make printed manuals optional.

73,
Wayne
N6KR


> On 8/21/2011 1:14 AM, Alastair Couper wrote:

>> I would like to suggest that the good folks at Elecraft consider
>> making
>> paper manuals an optional item at check out time. It could save a
>> little
>> money and paper, and some like myself are more inclined to download
>> the
>> info in any case. Especially with radios that are evolving, like
>> the K3,
>> one ends up doing this when new firmware makes the old paper manual
>> incomplete. So just being able to eliminate the paper completely
>> would be
>> a fine thing, IMHO.
>>
>> NH7O
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
Mike WA8BXN
2011-08-21 17:31:06 UTC
Permalink
Another aspect of printed manuals is that the one that comes with the radio
is the one that matches that radio. With products that are so well updated
as Elecraft does it may be a bit of a problem several years after a radio is
bought/built determining just what version of online documents is
appropriate for that particular radio. Being able to write on paper notes
and such is very handy too. Of course updates done to the radio over time
further complicates things. I myself think that a complete manual should
come with the radio. Its also very nice to have the information online.

73 - Mike WA8BXN
Rick Dettinger
2011-08-21 17:49:31 UTC
Permalink
It should be possible to just treat them like any other option, such
as filters or tuners. They would need a part number.
If a customer wants one, they would order and pay for it. If not,
they would not have to buy for something that they didn't need. In my
case, I would need them, as I don't have a computer in my shack.

73,
Rick Dettinger K7MW





>
> Meanwhile, I'll ask Lisa and Eric if there's a practical way for us to
> make printed manuals optional.
>
> 73,
> Wayne
> N6KR
>
n5ge
2011-08-21 17:50:31 UTC
Permalink
Wayne et al,

I find that I never refer to the manuals that came with my Elecraft equipment. I
keep a PDF copy of the latest version and refer to it when I need to.

Perhaps you could include a "Getting Started" page or two with the factory built
units that included a simple power and antenna connection diagram that also has
the FTP address of the full blown manual.

73,
Tom
Amateur Radio Operator N5GE
ARRL Lifetime Member
QCWA Lifetime Member


On Sun, 21 Aug 2011 10:11:41 -0700, Wayne Burdick <n6kr at elecraft.com> wrote:

>For now, we'll continue to send printed manuals with the kits and make
>the .pdf versions available for download.
>
>However, if you find that you don't use the paper manual, and you have
>a green streak (like me!), feel free to return it so we can reuse it.
>
>Meanwhile, I'll ask Lisa and Eric if there's a practical way for us to
>make printed manuals optional.
>
>73,
>Wayne
>N6KR
>
>
>> On 8/21/2011 1:14 AM, Alastair Couper wrote:
>
>>> I would like to suggest that the good folks at Elecraft consider
>>> making
>>> paper manuals an optional item at check out time. It could save a
>>> little
>>> money and paper, and some like myself are more inclined to download
>>> the
>>> info in any case. Especially with radios that are evolving, like
>>> the K3,
>>> one ends up doing this when new firmware makes the old paper manual
>>> incomplete. So just being able to eliminate the paper completely
>>> would be
>>> a fine thing, IMHO.
>>>
>>> NH7O
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>>
>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>
>______________________________________________________________
>Elecraft mailing list
>Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>
>This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
Oliver Dröse
2011-08-21 18:03:39 UTC
Permalink
Being in the shack I usually use the PDF manual. But the printed one is
always with me when portable with the radio (and no laptop with me) ... you
don't want to be in the field and have no idea how to setup not that often
needed functions, will you? ;-)) On the other hand with KE7X's superb book
now who needs a manual anyway? ;-))

73, Olli - DH8BQA


----- Original Message -----
From: <n5ge at n5ge.com>
To: "Wayne Burdick" <n6kr at elecraft.com>
Cc: "Elecraft Reflector" <elecraft at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2011 7:50 PM
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] A modest proposal...


>
> Wayne et al,
>
> I find that I never refer to the manuals that came with my Elecraft
> equipment. I
> keep a PDF copy of the latest version and refer to it when I need to.
>
> Perhaps you could include a "Getting Started" page or two with the factory
> built
> units that included a simple power and antenna connection diagram that
> also has
> the FTP address of the full blown manual.
n5ge
2011-08-21 18:36:43 UTC
Permalink
That's a good point, Olli.

When mobile with the K3 I only use CW, so I only need to know how to connect the
antenna, power and keyer ;-)

73,
Tom
Amateur Radio Operator N5GE
ARRL Lifetime Member
QCWA Lifetime Member


On Sun, 21 Aug 2011 20:03:39 +0200, Oliver Dr?se <droese at necg.de> wrote:

>Being in the shack I usually use the PDF manual. But the printed one is
>always with me when portable with the radio (and no laptop with me) ... you
>don't want to be in the field and have no idea how to setup not that often
>needed functions, will you? ;-)) On the other hand with KE7X's superb book
>now who needs a manual anyway? ;-))
>
>73, Olli - DH8BQA
>
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <n5ge at n5ge.com>
>To: "Wayne Burdick" <n6kr at elecraft.com>
>Cc: "Elecraft Reflector" <elecraft at mailman.qth.net>
>Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2011 7:50 PM
>Subject: Re: [Elecraft] A modest proposal...
>
>
>>
>> Wayne et al,
>>
>> I find that I never refer to the manuals that came with my Elecraft
>> equipment. I
>> keep a PDF copy of the latest version and refer to it when I need to.
>>
>> Perhaps you could include a "Getting Started" page or two with the factory
>> built
>> units that included a simple power and antenna connection diagram that
>> also has
>> the FTP address of the full blown manual.
>
>______________________________________________________________
>Elecraft mailing list
>Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>
>This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
goldtr8
2011-08-21 17:25:29 UTC
Permalink
I would suggest that there is a deduct on the price if there is no
manual. But I bet if you start to remove stuff that is standard in your
BOM that your costs will go up.

In my original order I thought that I had to purchase a manual
separately and this was an expensive option. I was relieved when I
found out it was included.

I was on a tight budget when I built my K3 and built it as low cost as
possible for a starting point.

~73
Don
KD8NNU


On Sun, Aug 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM, Wayne Burdick wrote:

> For now, we'll continue to send printed manuals with the kits and make
> the .pdf versions available for download.
>
> However, if you find that you don't use the paper manual, and you have
> a green streak (like me!), feel free to return it so we can reuse it.
>
> Meanwhile, I'll ask Lisa and Eric if there's a practical way for us to
> make printed manuals optional.
>
> 73,
> Wayne
> N6KR
>
>
>> On 8/21/2011 1:14 AM, Alastair Couper wrote:
>
>>> I would like to suggest that the good folks at Elecraft consider
>>> making
>>> paper manuals an optional item at check out time. It could save a
>>> little
>>> money and paper, and some like myself are more inclined to download
>>> the
>>> info in any case. Especially with radios that are evolving, like
>>> the K3,
>>> one ends up doing this when new firmware makes the old paper manual
>>> incomplete. So just being able to eliminate the paper completely
>>> would be
>>> a fine thing, IMHO.
>>>
>>> NH7O
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>>
>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
goldtr8
2011-08-21 17:29:20 UTC
Permalink
An answer by someone who understands manufacturing and a standard BOM.

~73
Don
KD8NNU


On Sun, Aug 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM, David Gilbert wrote:

> Personally, I don't see how that suggestion saves anyone anything.
> The great majority of those who order anything in kit or modular form
> are going to want a printed manual, and I'd bet that at least half of
> any buyer of an assembled item is going to want one as well,
> especially if it is free. So all you get is a small reduction in
> printed manuals at the cost of more hassle and opportunity for error
> on the part of Elecraft. From a purely manufacturing point of view,
> variability and the need for a decision (do I send a manual with this
> order or don't I?) represent complexity and opportunity for error.
> How happy are folks who wanted a manual going to be when their item
> arrives without it by mistake? What is it going to cost Elecraft to
> expedite the shipment of one?
>
> Eliminating paper completely may or may not be a bad thing depending
> upon the situation, but if you can't do it completely it is rarely
> even a good thing.
>
> 73,
> Dave AB7E
>
>
>
> On 8/21/2011 1:14 AM, Alastair Couper wrote:
>> I would like to suggest that the good folks at Elecraft consider
>> making
>> paper manuals an optional item at check out time. It could save a
>> little
>> money and paper, and some like myself are more inclined to download
>> the
>> info in any case. Especially with radios that are evolving, like the
>> K3,
>> one ends up doing this when new firmware makes the old paper manual
>> incomplete. So just being able to eliminate the paper completely
>> would be
>> a fine thing, IMHO.
>>
>> NH7O
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
Matthew Pitts
2011-08-21 17:42:58 UTC
Permalink
While good in theory, the lack of printed manuals has annoyed and displeased a lot of people in many different groups; I know a lot of people that have been playing video games since the mid1990's that wish the game developers would still include proper manuals with the games instead of the minimal excuses for manuals that come with them now.

Matthew Pitts
N8OHU

--- On Sun, 8/21/11, R. Kevin Stover <rkstover at mchsi.com> wrote:

From: R. Kevin Stover <rkstover at mchsi.com>
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] A modest proposal...
To: tpcj1r03 at crocker.com
Cc: elecraft at mailman.qth.net
Date: Sunday, August 21, 2011, 8:42 AM

I respectfully disagree.

If I had been presented a URL or pdf manual for my stuffed K2/100 kit
rather than the paper manuals I would have sold the kit. Looking through
my K2 manual right now there is a check mark next to every construction
step. When building the rig, I didn't mark the manual till the component
was installed correctly or the procedure completed successfully.

By using this process I eliminated a lot of problems before they ever
cropped up. I also understood the rig much better since assembly and
operator manual was one in the same. Trying to build something like a
K2/100, loaded with options, from a .pdf on a computer would have
tripled the time of assembly and no doubt produced many mistakes.

I'd be willing to say we have so many questions about the K3 and
accesories because the manusl(s) don't get read. Having a separate
assembly and operators manual was a mistake IMHO, especially having to
refer to the operators manual to finish the assembly (configuration and
alignment). Not good process. Yes, I know, a lot of K3's get sold as
assembled units not in kit form. A combined manual might still be of use
to those who don't buy the kit but want to know the basics of how one is
built. Or, they could simply skip the assembly parts.

/Beginning of OT part

The "paperless office" was/is a fallacy foisted on us by the PC/IT
industry. I work in IT, it ain't ever gonna happen. I'm planning on
retiring in 20 some years. I'd be willing to bet there are the same
number or more printers in service then as there are now.

The only thing the PC contributed to the paperless office was kill the
typewriter market and shift printing from many manual printers to not
quite so many network or locally attached printers.

/End of OT part.

Just my .03

On 8/21/2011 5:56 AM, John Ragle wrote:
> An excellent suggestion! Many manufacturers already do this, e.g. my
> Samsung Galaxy Tab comes with a bare piece of "getting started" paper,
> but on-line there is an excellent 144 page (3.2 MB) "users' manual."
>
> I have owned or now own several pieces of Elecraft hardware, and in no
> case have I ever refered to the printed manual (either "Assembly" or
> "Users''"). To me the production of pretty-printed paper manuals is
> twice a nuisance: (1) it is a waste of paper and manufacturers' process
> time, and (2) it is an aggravation for me because of the storage problem
> -- I have manuals of practically every description, size and color, and
> they just take up shelf space.

--
R. Kevin Stover

AC?H

-----Inline Attachment Follows-----

______________________________________________________________
Elecraft mailing list
Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
Post: mailto:Elecraft at mailman.qth.net

This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
Jon Moody
2011-08-21 19:33:33 UTC
Permalink
Actually the PDF format has the ability to allow comments to be added to
the PDF but this would have to be turned on by Elecraft as it is currently
turned off, at least on the documents that I have looked at.

Personally I think it is always best to give the consumer the option. That
way we can all have it our way. :)

The "Paperless Office" is a reality for many but not all. And some would go
screaming into the night if they were forced :)

I personally have stopped purchasing books, magazines, manuals or any
"printed" material much preferring to have electronic copies which I find
much more convenient and efficient. But thats just me and YMMV.

As to passing on printed manuals, it is a great tradition. But I have found
that many of my printed manuals have not survived the test of time for
various reasons up to and including getting lost or used by one of my pets
in various ways ;) So again I think I would prefer the electronic version.

JMHO

--
Thanks
Jon
KG6VDW
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