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KPA 500 &6400

DonE
DonE Member ✭✭
Is it possible to make the Kpa500 track the 6400

Answers

  • Al Matthews
    Al Matthews Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    I use my 6600m and KPA1500 with a flex usb cable from Elecraft. It’s plug and play with the cable menu on my Flex.
  • bobby
    bobby Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Tracks fine with auto detect no cable connectin needed sensing is built into amp as soon as it detects rf it changes to the correct setting ... works great
  • DonE
    DonE Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    Al can you give little more detail
  • DonE
    DonE Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Bobby can you give more detail
  • Al Matthews
    Al Matthews Member ✭✭
    edited February 2019
    Sure Don. Elecraft provides a cable for the Flex 6000 series. This is from their website. CBL-FLEXKEY 6000-family Enhanced Mode. KXUSB cable for freq. data, (Phono Cable incl. w/Amp) This came with my KPA1500. This allows full auto band switching with my Flex 6600. Very easy to implement.
  • Patrick
    Patrick WH6HI KauaiMember ✭✭✭
    edited January 2019
    If you this method it will require you to key/tune the radio. With cable it directly tracks the radio. KPA500/1500 will band track. KTA500 will track the frequency and use its tune memory.
  • DonE
    DonE Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    Thanks Al
  • DonE
    DonE Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    Thanks Pat
  • bobby
    bobby Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    I forgo to mention I do not have the kat500 tuner I set my tuning to preset values on my manual tuner prior to transmitting rf and the amp switches to the correct band as soon as rf is detected, fast enough to prevent trip or adverse actions.
  • Rich - N5ZC
    Rich - N5ZC Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    Don,

    See https://www.flexradio.com/downloads/usb-cable-interface-guide-pdf/

    You will need a null modem adapter (for the kpa-500 only) between the USB cable from the 6400 to the KPA-500.  I use two USB cables, one to the KPA-500 and one to the KAT-500.  Both units track right along with my 6600.

    I also have a USB cable going from my KPA-1500 to the 6600 and it tracks right along.  Perfect for SO2R contesting. 

    I purchased my cables from Flex, if you order from Elecraft they may include the null modem adapter, you'll need to check.  I picked up a couple Null Modem adapters on amazon. Just be sure you get the correct gender on both sides.  I believe you need a double female.

    Rich - N5ZC

  • DonE
    DonE Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    Thanks for all the help. To make the KPA 500 work with the 6400 you need the following . A cable set, CBL-FLEX-PWRCMB, for use with Flex 6000 family of transceivers.
    The cable set includes: KUSB for Frequency, and a null modem with gender changer for data
  • Scott Russell - N1SER
    Scott Russell - N1SER Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    This is the correct answer. This is the cable recommended to me directly from Elecraft for the KAT500/KPA500 combo to a 6400/6600.  CBL-FLEX-PWRCMB
  • Michael Miller
    edited April 2019
    Just got it working using that cable. Make sure to set the radio to serial mode plus polling. It tracks band data using the newly release 3.0 version.. 



  • Roger_W6VZV
    Roger_W6VZV Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Great info.  Thanks.
    de Roger W6VZV
  • Jeff Halliburton
    Jeff Halliburton Member
    edited March 2020
    Michael, I'm trying to do the same thing with my Flex 6400 / KAT-500 / KPA-500.  I ordered the cable set from Elecraft and have it about 95% working. My only issue is that I can't run the KAT-500 Utility software now.  It's not seeing the com port that it is connected to.  You mentioned setting the radio to serial mode plus polling. Maybe that's what I'm missing? Where do I make that setting?  Thanks for your help -- Jeff, W4JSH.
  • Michael Wheatley
    Michael Wheatley Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    I use DDUtil to control my KPA500 and its tracking.  A USB cable (supplied by Elecraft) is connected to my PC.  It's COM port number is entered into DDUtil.

    There are a number of advantages to this configuration in addition to tracking.  In particular, when you switch bands you can specify the default RF output by band when using the amp and barefoot, and when you switch bands, the amp is put in standby mode, thereby avoiding inadvertent damage.
  • Charlie_KB8CR
    Charlie_KB8CR Member ✭✭

    I have a KPA500/KAT500 combo on its way to use with my 6400. Got the Elecraft cable set. They show one cable from the USB on the 6400 to the amp(with a null modem adapter) , and another cable from the USB on the 6400 to a 3.5mm data jack on the tuner.

    My question is this.......I'm HOOKED on NodeRed, and I'm wondering if I use the amp/tuner combo like Elecraft shows, will I be still be able to connect a PC (or RPi) to the amp and/or tuner to use NodeRed with it?

    I asked Elecraft, but haven't gotten a response.


    thanks,


    de Charlie KB8CR

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    For the KPA1500 use the KXUSB cable from Elecraft. Plug it in from the serial port on amp (1/8" connector) to the USB port on 6xxx radio. In the SmartSDR, M series, or Maestro USB cable menu set the cable to track TX slice, auto report, and under advanced set baud rate to 38400. You can use the USB A to B cable from amp to PC for the KPA1500 remote or utility program.

    The amp will auto track the TX slice and if the tuner in the amp is set to active for that band it will pre-tune to nearest match before transmitting. On 80 meters I went every 10 kHz starting at 3.505 and let the amp tuner find and store a match.

    Dave wo2x

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Charlie,

    You can get the TX frequency from Node Red and have that passed to the KPA500/KAT500. In that case the amp and tuner connect to the Node Red server (Pi or Windows, depending on your Node Red installation), not the radio. The Elecraft cables use the FTDI chipset so when you add the USB request node in Node Red you do it by cable ID, which includes the unique serial number in the FTDI chipset.

    The advantage is as long as you only have one radio on at a time you can feed TX frequency from your 6400 or 3000 to the amp via Node Red.

    73

    Dave wo2x

  • Charlie_KB8CR
    Charlie_KB8CR Member ✭✭

    Thanks Dave. I was a bit bummed when Elecraft told me that there while the amp had two serial ports, one for the Xcvr and one for a PC, that the tuner could only be connected to one. I was thinking there had to be a way to get the same info to the tuner via NodeRed. Now I know I can have the "Enhanced" interface with the amp/tuner combo, AND still use NodeRed with it. You guys got me HOOKED on it. hi hi.

    It really has exercised my brain this past couple of weeks, and I am enjoying it alot. I get the amp & tuner next weekend, so I'll be busy playing with making the dashboard for them tailored to my liking.


    73 es tnx again.


    de Charlie KB8CR

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Broomfield, COMember, Super Elmer Moderator

    Hi Charlie, I have my KPA 500 plugged into my Flex 6400 and into my PC (2 USB cables). My KAT 500 plugs into another USB port on my PC. I use DDUtil to manage everything. When I change frequencies, the tuner and amp follow along without intervention from me.

    So that I remember to start everything, I built a .bat file (Flex 6400.bat). You can name it whatever you want, but be sure the extension is ".bat". You will need to be sure that the file locations are correct for your PC, and only start things that you want in your set up. In mine, I start SmartSDR, ACLog, SliceMaster and DDUtil.

    Hopefully this will provide a starting point. Note: this .bat file is not necessary, it just adds the convenience of starting everything with one click.

    Start "" "C:\Program Files\FlexRadio Systems\SmartSDR v3.1.12\SmartSDR.exe"

    Timeout 5

    :: Can't start the logger minimized

    Start "" /D "C:\Program Files (x86)\N3FJP Software - Affirmatech\Amateur Contact Log\" "C:\Program Files (x86)\N3FJP Software - Affirmatech\Amateur Contact Log\ACLog.exe"

    Timeout 5

    DEL C:\Users\lenko\AppData\Local\K1DBO\slice-master\config.ini

    Timeout 2

    Start "" /D "C:\Users\lenko\Downloads\slice-master-6000-v0.10.7c" "C:\Users\lenko\Downloads\slice-master-6000-v0.10.7c\slice-master.exe"

    Timeout 5

    Start "" /D "C:\DDUtil_V4\" /MIN "C:\DDUtil_V4\DDUtil_V4.exe"

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