Date   
KPA-1500 sonics

Drew Vonada-Smith K3PA
 

I'm amazed that I have not been reading more about this.

I finally got my KPA1500 and installed it.  The power supply deck noise is somewhat annoying, louder than my Acoms.  The RF deck is fine, of course on fan level 0, annyoing at 1, and just terrible above that.  With headphones, I can deal with it at level 2.  At 3, 4, and 5, I can't imagine how anyone can live with it.  This is the noise level AFTER they held it up to improve it?

I sure hope that Elecraft or someone comes up with a way to improve the noise level.  Without using noise cancelling headphones, this amp is unusable to me.  Too bad, as it is terrific otherwise.

73,

Drew K3PA

Re: K3 output power erratic

Stephen Malyszka
 

This topic #28910 was initiated by Chuck N6AF. I'm experiencing the same problem. Chuck's K3 was sent to Elecraft for repair. However there was no report back on the details of the repair. Has anyone experienced this anomaly and resolution?

Thanks
Steve
AG2J

Re: K3 Internal Speaker Problem

Charlie T, k3ICH
 

Cut the fuzzy end of a “Q-Tip” cotton swab and apply a little De-Oxit.

It is about the same size as a “miniature” 1/8” phone plug.

Poke it into the jack and wiggle it around a bit.

It’ll clean off any oxidation a LOT faster than using the phone plug itself.

Also, wipe down the plug as well with some De-Oxit on a paper towel.

 

Obviously, this will NOT fix a loose solder connections on a PC mounted jack which is another common problem with them

 

73, Charlie k3ICH

 

 

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of mikerodgerske5gbc via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2018 7:37 AM
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [Elecraft-K3] K3 Internal Speaker Problem

 

That's the trouble with those type jacks. I'm surprised you never experienced it before on other devices. 

 

73

Mike R


 

Re: K3 Internal Speaker Problem

mikerodgerske5gbc
 

That's the trouble with those type jacks. I'm surprised you never experienced it before on other devices. 

73
Mike R

7!
Absolutely Awesome 

On Jul 28, 2018, at 8:17 PM, daleb365@... wrote:

For quite some time now, the internal speaker in my K3 has been cutting out intermittently. I'll be listening along and the audio just disappears. Power cycling the radio restored it most of the time but not all. A nasty problem to troubleshoot for sure. There's a config menu option to turn the internal speaker on while using the headphones or you can turn it off. While troubleshooting, I discovered that when I selected the headphones off option (just using the internal speaker by itself), the speaker would cut out. When I switched back to using both speaker and headphones (VFO-A to YES), the speaker would start working again. I didn't even have the headphones plugged into either the front of back jacks when this happened.
 
I contacted K3 support and after about 14 emails back and forth, they suggested spraying some contact cleaner on the headphone plugs and plugging them in and out about 20 times on both the front and back jacks. Believe it or not, this fixed the problem!! Apparently, these jacks are "software switches" and any kind of oxidation or dirt on them will make them act up. The radio has never been in any kind of environment where oxidation or corrosion existed but over time, apparently enough had built up on the contacts to cause the problem. It working for now so hopefully, it will continue.
 
So if any K3 owners have a similar experience, try this quick fix first!
 
73-Dale
W8KTQ

K3 Internal Speaker Problem

Dale Bauer
 

For quite some time now, the internal speaker in my K3 has been cutting out intermittently. I'll be listening along and the audio just disappears. Power cycling the radio restored it most of the time but not all. A nasty problem to troubleshoot for sure. There's a config menu option to turn the internal speaker on while using the headphones or you can turn it off. While troubleshooting, I discovered that when I selected the headphones off option (just using the internal speaker by itself), the speaker would cut out. When I switched back to using both speaker and headphones (VFO-A to YES), the speaker would start working again. I didn't even have the headphones plugged into either the front of back jacks when this happened.
 
I contacted K3 support and after about 14 emails back and forth, they suggested spraying some contact cleaner on the headphone plugs and plugging them in and out about 20 times on both the front and back jacks. Believe it or not, this fixed the problem!! Apparently, these jacks are "software switches" and any kind of oxidation or dirt on them will make them act up. The radio has never been in any kind of environment where oxidation or corrosion existed but over time, apparently enough had built up on the contacts to cause the problem. It working for now so hopefully, it will continue.
 
So if any K3 owners have a similar experience, try this quick fix first!
 
73-Dale
W8KTQ

Re: 6M Es antenna question

Steve VE3RX
 

Any 6M beam would probably perform better than any "stacked dipole". For 6M, 10ft high is 1/2 wavelength, and angle of propagation would probably be very similar to 10M. 20ft high is a full wavelength, and at that point (and higher), angle to horizon gets lower.
That said, propagation on 6M can be very unpredictable. I started off with a discone antenna and 10W in the 1990's. After 4 months of nothing heard, the band opened up and I worked steady contacts for over 2 hours with that antenna and 10W.
Another example, I have a 4 element beam, and had it pointed NW during the past CQ WW VHF contest last weekend (on FT8). I heard a G8 calling CQ off the side of the beam! I swung to north the best I could (limit of rotation), and worked the G8. I rotated thru south back to NE degrees (Europe) and worked a 9A5 station. After that, that path was gone, dead. Lasted all of 5 minutes up here in the north...
All VHF weak signal operation is horizontal, propagation is better with that, in most cases. My case with the vertical discone was due to a real solar "opening" happening. If you plan to work a lot of FT8, get a small 6M beam and a rotor on a short mast/tower/pipe/etc.

However, if limited to wire antennas, put up two if you can, at opposite orientations. That would give better chance to hear signals from different directions. Adding a vertical may help in a few, uncommon, cases. If you have a radio with dual receivers, plug two antennas in at the same time and try diversity receive.

Bottom line, 6M signals can be very unpredictable and sometimes surprise you. That is the interesting part about the "magic band". There may be cases where your simple dipole is just as good as anything else (not often, but possible)

Re: KPA1500 Warranty Experience (Serial # 207)

Paul Baldock
 

Interestingly not the last time, but the time before that while I was doing a firmware upgrade the fans came on at full bore, and went off as soon as the upgrade was complete.

- Paul KW7Y

Re: [Elecraft] Elecraft earns yet more respect

Rick Bates, NK7I
 

For completeness and to close this thread, here is a portion of the report on the repair of my KAT500 (now in motion and will be here Fri, about 2.5 week turnaround).  Mine is #257, one of the earliest (kit) made.

Repair report for KAT500 S/N 0257 RSA #


Reported problem(s):

  • Arcing between green jumper wires damaged wires and adjacent PCB.

Problem(s) found:

  • The green wires were damaged as well as a trace on the PCB.


Update(s) performed:

  • Removed R63. Unused TX-inhibit.

  • Replaced Q1 & Q2. (Diode protected transistors for RS232 circuit.)

  • Installed zip ties on inductors L5-L8.

  • Replaced R17.

  • Moved the BB jumper to bottom of the PCB.


Repair(s) performed:


  • Replaced damaged jumpers and moved one (BB) to the bottom of the PCB.

  • Repaired damaged trace with a small jumper.

  • Replaced rubber feet on bottom of unit.


The invoice shows that I'm getting a KHAT (free) with one hour of shop time and a nominal shipping fee billed (plus a second Aux cable so I can extend to 6' making the shack more user friendly).

Well done Elecraft!

Rick wa6nhc


On 7/20/2018 8:30 AM, ab2tc wrote:
Hi again,

I forgot to mention that lots of other people, maybe most users, do use high
power and will be interested to know if there is an arcing risk in their
tuners, and what can be done about it.

AB2TC - Knut


ab2tc wrote
Hi Rick,

I am curious as to what mods you had performed:

"It is repaired, UPDATED with all current mods (including moving the wires
that 
arced to a different configuration) and is undergoing rigorous testing." 

I am running barefoot so arcing is not likely and I do not have any
immediate plans to get an amp, but I wasn't aware there were any mods done
to it.

AB2TC - Knut
<snip>




--
Sent from: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/
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KPA1500 Warranty Experience (Serial # 207)

Tom Schaefer NY4I <thomasmschaefer@...>
 

Hello all. This is a summary of my experience having my KPA1500 repaired. I received my amp on June 1. We installed it the next week but they discovered an issue. After installation, I noticed that when the amp was in the OPER position, the receive signal levels decreased. I could see this quite plainly on my P3. I posted on another Elecraft reflector and someone contacted me off-line and said he had the same issue and it ended up being a transistor on the LPF board. Elecraft shipped him a new LPF board. While I spoke with support, that was the first thing to eliminate. Cody had me open the amp and check some voltages on the LPF board. After just a few checks, he knew the issue. This meant they would send me a new LPF board.

However, during the process of checking the voltages, I flipped the white rocker switch on the power supply to cut the power while I was taking the covers off. I should mention that I have this station setup for remote. So I have a line from the K3's 12V DC to the amp so it will turn on whenever the K3 is on. During my testing, I had the K3 on. Once I was ready to turn the power supply back on, I flipped the white rocker switch but it slipped so the amp came on momentarily but then the rocker switch went back to off. So I turned the switch back on, and then I heard the fans running at full bore and the amp display stated I needed to load the firmware. 

Elecraft support could not reproduce this so they asked me to send the amp back to them. I packaged this back up, and used the pre-paid shipping label Elecraft sent me. Note I had to ask for this as I believe shipping back to Elecraft is usually paid for by the customer even on warranty work. My thought was they wanted it to check out the firmware load issue. Otherwise I could have just replaced the LPF board.  I am glad it went back so they could maker a few updates of course.

When they received it, Rene contacted me and said he could not reproduce the Load Firmware problem. I then explained about the K3 and the remote power up line and after duplicating my setup, he was able to get the amp to enter the same state where it needed its firmware loaded. As it was explained to me, the amp's boot loader was not yet complete when the power went back off.  When I flipped it on again, the amp was in an indeterminate state regarding the firmware and it needed to be reloaded. I should say that I could reload the firmware fine and all was OK. So, the moral of that story...if you ever have need to turn off the power supply (not something I normally do), if you have the 12V line active so the amp powers up with the K3, make sure the K3 is off. You want to make sure the amp will not come on immediately when you engage the power supply rocker switch. This was an unusual situation but if it does happen, you can reload the firmware. Elecraft explained that this is something they will have to handle in the boot loader. However, that is not a firmware upgradable change so until that is fixed, don't do what I did with the K3 on and 12V DC line on when you flip the rocker.

Now back to what was fixed...The Repair report states that the Issue found was Q9 on the LPF board. They repaired Q9 and tested RX path loss. Rene also reported that they found an issue of low Q with L19 on the LPF board so they fixed that too.

Since it was back at the factory, they did a few updates. They added a filter cap at P5 on the I/o PCB (5V T/R source). There is also a cryptic entry that states, "ATU filter cap board". They also loaded a new fan temperature profile and loaded firmware 1.64.

The report also states they did a full-power burn-in for one hour minimum and did several tests.

I shipped the amp on 6/18 from Clearwater, Florida. The amp arrived in Watsonville on 6/25. 

The repair report is dated 7/15 and it was shipped back from Elecraft on 7/16 and arrived here on 7/23. It takes 5 days shipping each way so that is about 14 days to repair and test it out.

I will be putting it back in service next week at the remote location. 

Thanks to Rene and Cody at Elecraft for their help.

Tom NY4I

Announcing "The Serial Box" serial port-splitter and amplifier interface

Bob Wilson, N6TV
 

Product Announcement

My new "Serial Box" (S-BOX) is a passive serial port Y-splitter and amplifier interface box.  It does for 9-pin serial ports what my Y-BOX does for the K3 15-pin ACC port, and more.

The S-BOX can provide automatic band changing and frequency tracking from any modern transceiver to any Elecraft, ACOM, or SPE automatic amplifier (if supported by their CAT or CI-V monitor).  It also works with the SteppIR control boxes, the SDR-IQ, and other devices designed to "listen in" on serial port traffic between a computer and a transceiver.  By default, only the RS-232 RXD and GND lines of the secondary serial ports are wired in parallel to the pass-through port, so there's little potential for RS-232 communications conflicts.

Details, photos, examples, schematics and an order form link may be found here:


Each S-BOX can be custom wired and labeled to match your specific hardware interface requirements.  But, the S-BOX is also flexible enough to be easily rewired in the field, as needed, when your hardware changes, with no need to obtain new custom interface cables.

For K3/K3S owners, the S-BOX can provide one or two independent FSK RTTY + PTT keying interfaces, or an easy interface to an SPE or ACOM amp. with automatic frequency tracking, without requiring any custom-made interface cables.  It can also be used to remotely "power on" a K3 or K3S, with no Remote Rig box required.

For KX2 and KX3 owners, it can be used like a "Docking Station," providing computer-generated CW keying over the DTR pin of the same serial cable that is being used to control the radio, using only economical TRS-to-RCA stereo cables and a standard serial cable or a USB-to-Serial adapter, no WinKey required.  The S-BOX also makes it easy to connect the KX2 or KX3 to an automatic linear amplifier without the need for any custom-made or home-brew cables.

For KPA500 and KPA1500 owners, the S-BOX makes it easy to connect the XCVR or PC DATA connectors to the KX2 or KX3, or to non-Elecraft transceivers (Kenwood, Icom, FlexRadio), for automatic band changes and tuning, without having to rely on the "RF sense" feature.  No hand-built "Cross-Over-Serial" cables required.  The S-BOX can also be used to remotely and independently "power on" or "power off" a KPA500 or KPA1500, with no Remote Rig box required.

The S-BOX includes four internal NPN open-collector keying circuits (CW, PTT, FSK), optionally keyed via any of the serial port TXD, DTR, or RTS pins using logging software, so you can key CW over the rig's serial cable, even if the radio doesn't support that feature (e.g. KX2, KX3,TS-590S, IC-7700, IC-7800).  One can also key CW or FSK RTTY via a separate serial port, or key two different radios independently, using one or two serial ports and a single S-BOX.

FYI, my other product, the Y-BOX, is still in production, and is especially useful to owners of the K3/K3S, KAT500/KPA500, or KPA1500 and SteppIR (see https://bit.ly/Y-BOX).  The S-BOX can optionally be "daisy chained" to the Y-BOX, via a standard M/M DE-15 cable, or connected using RCA patch cables.  Connecting the two is mostly useful if you need FSK/PTT serial keying or the K3 Remote Power ON feature.

Thanks to Elecraft and all the Elecraft owners for your continued support of these projects and these reflectors.

73,
Bob, N6TV

Re: K3 Power Cord Fuse access

Kenneth Waites
 

Due to my eyes I am unable to read the amperage of the fuse.  Any help please?
Ken K5WK

Re: K3 Power Cord Fuse access

Kenneth Waites
 

I managed to do it.  It took a knife blade under the ends prying upwards.

K3 Power Cord Fuse access

Kenneth Waites
 

How does one get at the fuse?  I am afraid of forcing something and breaking the fuse holder.
Ken K5WK

KPA1500 remote program

N2TK, Tony
 

Any status on the Remote Program for the KPA1500?

73,

N2TK, Tony

Re: RS232 Problem

GM4OSS
 

Jason
I have K3 & MK2 set at 38400 with no issues. 
Is there anything you would like me to try that might assist you? 

Seeing that I'm local to you.😉

On Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 1:13 PM, Jason ONeill via Groups.Io <gm7vsb@...> wrote:

Joe,
Yes, when CONFIG:RS232 is set to 38400 and microHAM Router set to 38400 their are no comms, change them both to 19200 and off it goes. Nothing else connected to the microHAM, no additional cables or software other than the router.

Bob,
No Serial Y cables, I use an iLink to the SteppIR but even with that disconnected no comms at 38400. I'll check the voltages as you suggest, but it doesn't explain why it worked previously but not now. One cable is genuine microHAM DB37-EL-K23 the other homebrewed and has been fully functional for a number of years.

Confused, but learning.

73
Jason
GM7VSB / MM8Z




--
73 de Steve GM4OSS

Re: RS232 Problem

Jason ONeill <gm7vsb@...>
 

Joe,
Yes, when CONFIG:RS232 is set to 38400 and microHAM Router set to 38400 their are no comms, change them both to 19200 and off it goes. Nothing else connected to the microHAM, no additional cables or software other than the router.

Bob,
No Serial Y cables, I use an iLink to the SteppIR but even with that disconnected no comms at 38400. I'll check the voltages as you suggest, but it doesn't explain why it worked previously but not now. One cable is genuine microHAM DB37-EL-K23 the other homebrewed and has been fully functional for a number of years.

Confused, but learning.

73
Jason
GM7VSB / MM8Z

Re: RS232 Problem

Joe Subich, W4TV
 

On 2018-07-16 10:06 PM, Jason ONeill via Groups.Io wrote:
When trying to connect to my K3 with microHAM microKEYER II it won't connect at 38400 baud, only at 19200baud. It was working previously at 38400baud.
Have you checked CONFIG:RS232 in the K3? Make sure it is set to 38400.

Also make sure you have no other software connected to microHAM USB
Device Router (CAT/2nd CAT) when configuring the data rate (CAT -> Set)

73,

... Joe, W4TV


On 2018-07-16 10:06 PM, Jason ONeill via Groups.Io wrote:
When trying to connect to my K3 with microHAM microKEYER II it won't connect
at 38400 baud, only at 19200baud. It was working previously at 38400baud.
I've added a shed load of filters, KBPF3, TXCO and an ATU recently.
Everything works fine, except the comms speed won't play with the microKEYER
II.
I have a FTDI USB to Serial cable, and I can connect with K3 Utility at
38400 and query the radio with no apparent issues.
I've swapped out the DB37 Cables, and tried a different microKEYER II with
the same results.
Any ideas what's wrong ?
73
Jason
GM7VSB

Re: RS232 Problem

Bob Wilson, N6TV
 

Try changing radio type to K3 patched or K3 patched 2.  May not help.  Power cycle of radio, microKeyer II and restart of a Router software may be required after changing baud rates.  May not help.

I did see this same behavior once.  Does the microKeyer II voltage on the TXD line (pin 3) measure 0V, 5V, -6V, -12V, +6V, +12V or some other value with the serial port closed or opened and Router queries are disabled?  Or, is pin 3 on the DE-9 wired to pin 25 on the DC-37?  If not, it's probably not a microHAM K3 cable.  A cable made for a different radio may wire TXD to a TTL pin on the DC-37 instead of to an RS-232 pin.

The K3 serial port doesn't respond properly with TTL level voltage signalling (0/+5V) at 38400 baud.  It requires RS-232 level +6/-6V (or more) even though 0/5V works fine at 19200 baud.  The P3 serial port is much less picky and works fine with either voltage level at 38400, but you don't have one.

I assume no serial Y-cables are connected for a SteppIR controller or similar.  Anything on the mkII AUX port?  It is TTL only. An RS-232 Level converter may be required as explained in the mkII manual.

73,
Bob, N6TV


On Tue, Jul 17, 2018, 2:27 AM Jason ONeill via Groups.Io <gm7vsb=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:

Hi Bob,

Thanks, all of the above have been checked and confirmed previosuly, but just did them again...

CONFIG:RS232 = 19200, Router CAT Baud Rate =19200 OK
CONFIG:RS232 = 38400, Router CAT Baud Rate =38400 not working.

All logging and utility progrms are closed, Win10 restarted, only thing running is microHAM Router, and I'm trying to see comms in the Ports tab.

CAT Communications Log looks like below....

0027060031: Log enabled, (urouter v9.0.4, micro KEYER II v6.12)
0027060031: CAT settings: "Elecraft K3", 38400 bps 8N1
0027060890: R-TX: (1) FA; (read VFO A frequency)
0027061359: U-RX: (1) <C6><C1><B8>0014<BB><F7><BC>050<E7> (?) pause exceeded 400 ms, rx buffer cleared
0027061906: R: (1) oldest tx query (FA;) discarded, waiting to answer exceeded 1000 ms
0027062906: R-TX: (1) FB; (read VFO B frequency)
0027063359: U-RX: (1) <C6><C2>00<B8><EE>426<CC>95<B8><FF> (?) pause exceeded 400 ms, rx buffer cleared
0027063937: R: (1) oldest tx query (FB;) discarded, waiting to answer exceeded 1000 ms


Comms at 19200 with the MicroHAM seems fine, but non-existant at 38400.

73,
Jason
GM7VSB / MM8Z

Re: RS232 Problem

Jason ONeill <gm7vsb@...>
 

Hi Bob,
Just to confirm there is no P3.
73,
Jason
GM7VSB / MM8Z

Re: RS232 Problem

Jason ONeill <gm7vsb@...>
 

Hi Bob,

Thanks, all of the above have been checked and confirmed previosuly, but just did them again...

CONFIG:RS232 = 19200, Router CAT Baud Rate =19200 OK
CONFIG:RS232 = 38400, Router CAT Baud Rate =38400 not working.

All logging and utility progrms are closed, Win10 restarted, only thing running is microHAM Router, and I'm trying to see comms in the Ports tab.

CAT Communications Log looks like below....

0027060031: Log enabled, (urouter v9.0.4, micro KEYER II v6.12)
0027060031: CAT settings: "Elecraft K3", 38400 bps 8N1
0027060890: R-TX: (1) FA; (read VFO A frequency)
0027061359: U-RX: (1) <C6><C1><B8>0014<BB><F7><BC>050<E7> (?) pause exceeded 400 ms, rx buffer cleared
0027061906: R: (1) oldest tx query (FA;) discarded, waiting to answer exceeded 1000 ms
0027062906: R-TX: (1) FB; (read VFO B frequency)
0027063359: U-RX: (1) <C6><C2>00<B8><EE>426<CC>95<B8><FF> (?) pause exceeded 400 ms, rx buffer cleared
0027063937: R: (1) oldest tx query (FB;) discarded, waiting to answer exceeded 1000 ms


Comms at 19200 with the MicroHAM seems fine, but non-existant at 38400.

73,
Jason
GM7VSB / MM8Z