Remotely control a KPA500?

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I have an FTDI cable and null modem hooked up to my 6400 and KPA500. When I change bands in SSDR the bands also change on the KPA500. 

However I would like to remotely control the amp, power off and on, put it in standby etc. Is there a way to do that from a laptop that is not physically hooked up to the amp? 

I know that I can run DDUTIL on a PC in the shack and then remote into it but want to avoid this. 

Flexlogger has a function to control the amp but it requires a COM port so I can't see a way to do what I want remotely without having a PC in the shack hooked up to the amp. 

Elecraft has software for remote control but it also requries a PC in the shack directly hooked up to the amp: https://ftp.elecraft.com/Contributed%20Software/KPA500/KPA500-Remote.pdf

Any thoughts on how I can do this or am I out of luck? I don't mind leaving my 6400 on all of the time but it would be nice to be able to turn the amp off remotely.

Zack
N8FNR 
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Zack Schindler - N8FNR

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Posted 8 months ago

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WX7Y

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A VPN is one of your best options.
If all your wanting to do is turn the Power OFF and ON then that can be simply handled by a WEB power switch like a KASA power switch and a DLI relay plugged in to turn the Power to the AMP off and on but putting it in Standby is another thing. 

Bret
WX7Y

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Zack Schindler - N8FNR

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That was my suspicion.

I really don't know why one would need to have the amp track track the rig as the amp will switch bands when you TX anyway but not do anything else. Would be cool if this CAT function was added to Flexlogger.
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Larry Benoit

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Hi Zack,

I use a USR-IOT Ethernet to serial converter https://www.usriot.com/products/4-ports-serial-to-ethernet-converter.html to control my KPA500 with the Elecraft KPA500 Utility application https://elecraft.com/pages/firmware-software. The Utility does not require installation on remote and local computers and the converter works reliably on the LAN and over the Internet (WAN) for remote operations. 

73,
Larry KB1VFU


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Kyle Krieg

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LOL...nevermind, I think I see your configuration below.
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Larry Benoit

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If you encounter any problems, feel free to contact me via my e-mail address posted on QRZ.com

One important note: for remote operations, you need to configure the VCOM driver with the public IP address (Remote IP) of your router for each COM port. And, you must enable port forwarding for each port number, forwarding to the private LAN address you assigned to the N540.

In the VCOM screen shot the private LAN address is shown (192.168.1.197), but on the remote PC, that address (Remote IP) is changed to the public address of the router.  

73,
Larry KB1VFU
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Kyle Krieg

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Yes, understood. 

I got to looking after I purchased the USR on how to wire it to the unit.  Keep in mind, I'm going to use it for my KAT500 and not an amp just yet.  The KAT500 does have PC plug that is a TRS jack that breaks out to a USB, which I plan on NOT using.

It does have the 15 pin connector that daisy chains to the KPA500.  I haven't looked at the manual with the pinout but I'm assuming you used the 15 pin connector to connect directly into your USR to get telemetry off the amp?
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Larry Benoit

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I don't have the KAT500, but the Elecraft supplied 3.5mm data cable is available with a USB connector only, even though it is specified as RS-232 protocol. You can find a TRS 3.5mm to DB9 serial cable on Amazon and it MIGHT work with the N540.  
https://www.amazon.com/SF-Cable-Female-3-5mm-Serial/dp/B004T9BBJC 
Connect it to the KAT500 PC Data port. You may want to check with Elecraft.

Otherwise, in order for the KAT500 to communicate with and follow the KPA500  I believe you may need to interconnect it with the proprietary Elecraft 15 pin cable to the KPA500  (AMP to AUX) and separately connect a USR N540 port to the RS232(PC) port on the KPA500 with a standard serial cable (number 9 as shown below). 

 
(Edited)
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Larry Benoit

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I communicated with Elecraft tech support and they have the correct cable with the 3.5 mm TRS and DB9 connector that you'll need to connect the KAT500 PC Data port to the USR N540.  
https://elecraft.com/products/kxsera-additional-rs232-communication-cable-with-9-pin-connector

Or get the Amazon product for a fraction of the cost. 

Download the KAT500 Utility and configure for one of the VCOM virtual ports. I believe the KAT500 auto-syncs baud rate and error correction – configure 38,400,N,8,1 for the N540 hardware port and it should work.

Good luck and 73,

Larry KB1VFU

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Zack Schindler - N8FNR

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I think that this Elecraft software would work also with that serial converter. It is the KPA500 remote software. https://ftp.elecraft.com/Contributed%20Software/KPA500/KPA500-Remote.pdf
Larry which serial port are you using in the KPA500? The top or bottom one? 
If I get one of these converters it would also let me monitor my LP-100 wattmeter too. 
(Edited)
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Buford, W4HVW

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Take a look at the Remoteshack  RC-1216H.
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Buford, W4HVW

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Correction. Its Remoterig. 
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Larry Benoit

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Zach,

Use the top RS-232 (PC) DB9 serial port with a standard serial cable. 

I also control a SteppIR SDA100 and Green Heron RT-21 via the serial interfaces.

When operating on my LAN I normally use DDUtil to control the KPA-500 as it provides auto-band switching. However, the KPA500 Utility software works perfectly on the LAN, but does not perform auto band switching,  Of course,  the amplifier employs RF sensing for hardware band switching anyway.   DDUTil will not work with remote connections, so I use the KPA-500 Utility. 

My USR N540 (four ports) driver is a VCOM product supplied by USR via the corporate website. Here it is shown on my main desktop computer connected to the private LAN:

 

In order to work remote, you need to set up port forwarding on your router and configure the VCOM driver to point to the public IP address assigned to your router by your ISP. Accordingly, my router is set to forward incoming connections to 192.168.1.197 via port 1030, which communicates with serial hardware port #1 (KPA500) on the USR converter.   You can assign any valid and unused port you wish.  Also, your virtual COM ports may be different on your remote PC. 

Here is the USR hardware configurator running in a browser, showing settings for the KPA500 port. 



Hope this helps -- let me know if you have any questions. 

73,
Larry KB1VFU

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Zack Schindler - N8FNR

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Thanks Larry This looks like a great solution.
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Larry Benoit

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Although unusual, note that some equipment may require a null-modem serial cable instead of standard pin outs.

Should you decide to proceed and need some advice with configuration, feel free to contact me via my e-mail on QRZ.com  There are three of us in my area running the USR N540 for remote ops and the hardware and software have worked flawlessly for nearly two years. By employing these converters, you can probably eliminate the need for a running PC in your shack for remote ops. 

Good luck and 73,
Larry KB1VFU