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Take a look at our February Specials

KAT500 Fully Automatic Tuner Firmware and Utility

Current Production Firmware

MCU 02.05 10-11-2021


All KAT500 tuners ordered today will have Production Firmware loaded as they come out of the box. Monitor the Elecraft Email Reflector where announcements are made when new releases become available.

Elecraft delivers new features in firmware. As a result, you should consider the Release Notes as an extension of the Owners Manual. Documentation for the new features will be found there and will not appear in the Owner’s Manual until the next major manual revision is released.

Current Production Firmware Release Notes

  • Accept K4 transceiver frequency messages with 1 kHz resolution via AUXBUS
  • Accept IF, FA, FB, and FT transceiver TX frequency messages from Elecraft K3S, K3, KX3, Kenwood, Flex, Yaesu FT-450, FTDX3000, FTDX5000, FT-891, FT-991A, FTDX101MP, and FTDX101D. KPA500 and some logging programs poll with these messages.
  • Add commands: FC; (TX frequency count), FX; (last XCVR or CAT-supplied frequency), and FY; that shows the frequency span for the currently selected ATU memory. An updated KAT500 Utility Program shows these values on the Operate tab.
  • Add FDT; command to specify the distance, in kHz, between the current ATU frequency and a new TX frequency count for the ATU to retune.
  • DM; command, without a specified frequency, shows all the stored ATU settings for the currently selected frequency segment (bin)
  • Add FTNS; command to perform full search tune, but skip saving the result. ATU settings can then be saved with SM; if desired.
  • Commands FCCS, FCMD, MTA, and MTM are removed or have no effect.
  • See the updated KAT500 Automatic Antenna Tuner Serial Command Reference for details on new commands FC, FX, FY, FDT, and FTNS.
  • Revise frequency counter to better track SSB TX count changes
  • Favor frequencies supplied by command or transceiver over the frequency counter
  • Align bins to band boundaries. The first 80 meter bin is now 3500-3509 kHz rather than 3481-3500.
    01.79 9-2-2018
  • Interrupt amplifier key line when SWR exceeds a configurable threshold in all ATU modes, including Bypass. SWR Threshold for amplifier key interrupt may be configured high (99:1) to disable this protection mechanism. See KAT500 Utility Help: Configuration, Edit Configuration, SWR Thresholds.
  • See KAT500 Firmware Release Notes for complete revision history.
  • Download the latest KAT500 Firmware.

Important - Please read before installing the latest Production Firmware

No special instructions at this time

Production Firmware Installation Instructions are found in the Utility

  • All Production Firmware is loaded with the KAT500 Utility. It will take care of the download and installing Production Firmware
  • Before loading Production Firmware, please ensure you have installed the latest version of the KAT500 Utility.
  • See the Help → Getting Started pull-down menu in the KAT500 Utility for the steps to install firmware in your KAT500.

Download and Install the KAT500 Utility for your Operating System

Follow the links below to download and install the latest version of the Utility for your Operating System.  


You will need to use a KXUSB cable to connect the KAT500 to the computer’s USB port. A KXUSB was shipped with the KAT500 from the factory.

Minimum Operating System Requirements for Elecraft Utilities

Microsoft Windows: XP Service Pack 3 or later, including Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 and 10.
Apple Mac: OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later

Follow this link to the FTDI Site for drivers for the KXUSB cable: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htmDepending on the Operating System you have, the driver needed for the Utility to communicate with the KAT500 will need to be loaded.All Elecraft products in production use the FTDI chipset for this function. The FTDI driver allows your computer to create a virtual COM port so that the Utility can communicate with the Elecraft product.

 

 Windows

KAT500 Utility (Windows Version 1.23.11.9) December 28, 2023

  • Download and run the file from the above link. Use this utility to check for the latest releases of new features for your KAT500.
Macintosh

KAT500 Utility (64bit MAC OS X Version 1.21.10.9N) October 11, 2019

  • Files are in universal binary in .zip file
X86 Linux

KAT500 Utility (64bit Linux .tgz Version 1.21.10.9) October 11, 2019

Dependencies

The following libraries and dependencies should be installed on your Linux distro:

GTK+ 2.8 or later, glibc-2.4, libstdc++.so.6 and cURL. 64-bit Linux requires 32-bit compatibility libraries

Installing the FTDI driver

Follow this link to the FTDI Site for drivers for the KXUSB cable: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

Depending on the Operating System you have, the driver needed for the Utility to communicate with the KAT500 will need to be loaded.

All Elecraft products in production use the FTDI chipset for this function. The FTDI driver allows your computer to create a virtual COM port so that the Utility can communicate with the Elecraft product.

 

Beta Firmware Installation and Release Notes

Beta Firmware Release Notes

KAT500 Beta Firmware Release Notes

 02.16 10-30-2023

Bugfix: Kenwood memory channel IF response handler.

02.15 9-26-2023

Bugfix: Attenuator not deployed when it should have been during ATU tune. Aggravated exciter foldback.

02.14 9-21-2023

Bugfix: Serial port speed changes using BR command were not being stored in EEPROM.

 

See KAT500 Software Release Notes for complete revision history.

    Beta Test Firmware Installation Procedures

    NOTE: Beta test firmware may have new issues that we haven't caught during field testing. Please report them to support@elecraft.com

    A Little more detail

    We make it a little harder to load Beta firmware mainly because we want you to be sure you want to do this. Beta firmware means that, while the KAT500 engineering team has fully tested the firmware, it has not yet been deemed ready for Production status. You can always return to the last firmware you have downloaded by following the steps in the KAT500 Utility’s Help section.

    To load Beta Firmware, follow the steps below:
    1. Create a new folder for the beta firmware on your Desktop or some other easily found location. Use the a different folder than the default folder found in the Firmware tab of the Utility. In this way, you can revert to the last Production firmware easily.

    2. Now, we will download the firmware in Zip file format. In a web browser, type in this URL: elecraft.com/KAT500/firmware/beta

    If you do not see the correct version of the zip file, press the RELOAD/REFRESH button on your browser to update your browser cache.


    3. Right-click on the .zip file containing the beta firmware (e.g. k3fwXrYZ.zip for revision MCU X.YZ and all associated files). Save the file to your beta folder you just created.

    4. Unzip the files into the beta folder.

    5. Enter the path to the beta folder in K3 Utility → Firmware tab → "Local folder for firmware files".

    6. After you have made the change in Step 5, make sure you *DO NOT* check the KAT500 Utility box titled "Copy new files from Elecraft server". This will overwrite the Beta firmware if clicked.

    7. Connect the KAT500 to your computer and be sure it is turned on. Select the Firmware tab and Click on "Check versions now" button.

    8. Review the release notes. To find them, select the "Help" pull-down menu.

    9. Click "Send all firmware to KAT500." This will cause the firmware to be sent to the KAT500. You will see that the KAT500 appears to restart itself. Monitor the Activity Log until it is complete.

    10. After completing a new software download to your product, please power cycle the KAT500 OFF and then back ON before using it.

    11. Please report any new firmware issues to support@elecraft.com