First kit build in 15 years.

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by W9OE, Mar 30, 2012.

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  1. W9OE

    W9OE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Although my soldering station will remain unplugged, tomorrow I will begin my latest project.
    My Elecraft KPA 500K arrived yesterday just in time for my days off. As long as I have been in the hobby I have always kept it under 100 watts and will continue to do so 99% of the time. The time has come to have have the ability to add a DB or to to my signal.

    I understand that this is more an assembly than a true kit build. I am still looking forward to it. Spent last Sunday running a dedicated 20 AMP line including conduit to the shack.

    As I will spend the next year completing my retirement station, this was the next item on my wish list.

    I will let you know how it goes.
  2. KG4NEL

    KG4NEL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Pretty cool :)

    I've been thinking about one of these...maybe this fall. 160 through 6 is definitely tempting.
  3. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Very Very Cool
    Enjoy :)
  4. W9OE

    W9OE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks sue, I should have it up for the Easter net.
  5. W9OE

    W9OE Ham Member QRZ Page

    KPA 500 Kit completed in about 5 1/2 hours including a lunch break. Was a perfect day for it, cold, windy and wet outside all day.

    All that is left to do is solder up the key out interface and a few new coax jumpers. Test into me dummy load, then on the air by noon tomorrow.
  6. W9OE

    W9OE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have to give the folks at Elecraft a thumbs up. After testing on all bands into the dummy load multiple times with no issues, it was time to put it on the air. The amp performed flawlessly. The one issue I did have was simply a menu adjustment in my TS 2000 to turn on the key out function for the amp. I spent most of the day on Sunday making contacts on 40,20,15 and even 10 meters, just to put it through it's paces. Hoping for an opening on 6 meters soon.

    The instructions are well prepared and easy to follow. I took the time to check every thing twice before I moved on to the next step.

    Once the antennas were connected, I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of operation. Fully automatic, no tune and will follow you where ever you go. My home brew fan dipoles are resonant on 20 & 40 so no issues there. On the other bands I use my Palstar AT2K which takes just seconds to tune with the amp in stand by. Once the antenna is tuned you just hit the operate button hit the key and the amp auto band switches in a nano second and you are on the air.

    The only cabling required to work with the Kenwood TS 2000X and other Kenwoods, was a simple key out line. I used the 7 pin din connector on the rear of the Xcvr into a shielded line (RG59/U) with an RCA connector for the amp. This took about 10 minutes to solder up. Nothing else is needed. No data line interface. No ALC interface and NO amp buffer/relay as needed with other solid state amps.

    I love the one piece small foot print design. I was easy to integrate it into the shack. I did run a dedicated 20amp 120 V line for the amp. Only because the other two circuits in the shack are used to run everything else. I seems to perform well on the 120 volt line with no issues at full output.

    I will post a review on reliability on some of the ham sites after a few months of operation. Considering 99% of the time I will not be using the amp and will continue run under 100 watts it is way to soon to post a fair review. Although I will give it a 5 out of 5 for design, ease of use and a joy to build. Only time will tell regarding the reliability of this amp. Stay tuned.
  7. AC0H

    AC0H Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You ought to see what it'll do when hooked up to a K3.
    When connected via the AUXBUS cable, when you set the amp in standby the K3 will automatically run the power up to 100W.
    When put back in operate the K3 will automatically adjust drive power so you get 500W out of the amp, along with the ability to follow the K3 frequency you can also change bands on the K3 from the amp.
  8. W9OE

    W9OE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bet the the two together is something to be seen. I would love to build the K3, however the TS 2000 still does everything I need it to do. Justifying the price of the K3 is just not in the cards right now. However I am interested in KAT tuner and anticipating it's release. Just like the KPA 500, I will not be one of the first 500 to buy. Well, we shall see! ;)
  9. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That reminds me...
    I need to get that thread going again.
  10. W9OE

    W9OE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, keep it alive!!!
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