kat500 / kpa500 cabling

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I'm considering a kat500 (auto tuner) and kpa500 (amp) from Elecraft for use with my Flex 6300. It looks like DDUTIL 3.0 will control both. How well does that work?  What is the process for auto tuning with this setup?  Is it a single button click or do I have to put the amp in standby, key the Flex with tune power (TUNE button in SSDR) and then activate the tuning sequence on the front pane of the auto-tuner, then stop the tune power from the Flex and take the amp out of standby? Is the tuning as seamless as using a K3 - KPA500 - KAT500 setup?

From the DDUTIL setup, it looks like the tuner and amp connect to separate COM ports. Do I need to connect a data cable between the two as you do when hooking them up to a K3?

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Mark Erbaugh

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Posted 4 years ago

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Steve W6SDM

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Official Response
The KPA500 and KAT500 are exactly the setup that I am using with my 6300.  My rig works like a 500 watt transceiver without the need to do anything between frequency/band changes.  When I change bands, I usually don't have to do anything. Sometimes when I change antennas I have to hit the tune button on the Flex.  I don't take the amp off line to tune.

I have DDUtil and use it to monitor my rig temperature and power supply voltage.  It doesn't do anything with the amp.  Elecraft has a remote utility for both the amp and the tuner if you want to monitor and make on-screen adjustments with your mouse.

The Elecraft manuals give you the setup and cabling scheme.  You need the cable that goes between the tuner an the amp, which I believe they sell separately.  Do yourself a favor and get some good RG8 or equivalent quality coax jumpers - it will help keep you from having RF issues.  I do not use the XCVR DB-15 connector on the KAT500.  I do use all the other connectors.

I think the Electaft gear works fantastic with the Flex.  I put a lot of use into mine between contests and DXing.  If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would get an Alpha.  Until then, I couldn't be happier with the Elecraft amp and tuner.

Hope that helps.