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KPA500 500 Watt Linear Amplifier Firmware and Utility

Current KPA500 Production Firmware

MCU 1.54 12-17-2017

All KPA500 amplifiers ordered today will have Product 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

  • Added internal factory settings to optimize production of KPA500 product. No new operator features added to this release.
  • Frequency count now requires at least 1/2 watt input power to be valid. This corrects rare issue with unexpected band change in SSB operation. All Faults may now be reset through serial port.
  • Corrected issue with periodic switching from STBY to OPER when no band signals are connect, BCD or K3 RADIO mode is set, and PWR ON->OPER is set.

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 KPA500 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 KPA500 Utility.
  • See the Help → Getting Started pull-down menu in the KPA500 Utility for the steps to install firmware in your KPA500.

 

Download and Install the KPA500 Utility for your Operating System

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

Note: For KPAK3AUX cable use between the KPA500 and K3, K3 Firmware Version 4.36 or later must be loaded.

 

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

 Windows KPA Utility (Windows Version 1.13.7.16)  July 16, 2013
Macintosh KPA Utility (MAC OS X Version 1.13.1.29)  January 29, 2013
X86 Linux KPA Utility (Linux .tgz Version 1.13.1.29) January 29, 2013
  • Download and run the file from the above link.
  • Use this utility to check for the latest releases of new features for your KPA500.
  • Requires either a RS-232 cable or KUSB Serial-USB Cable to download from your PC to the KPA500.
                                                           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: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

Depending on the Operating System you have, the driver needed for the Utility to communicate with the KPA500 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.

For the KPA500, if your KUSB cable has a silver sheath on the wire, it is no longer supported. Elecraft recommends that a KUSB cable be purchased for full support.

 

Beta Firmware Installation and Release Notes

Beta Firmware Release Notes

None right now!

 

 

 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 KPA500 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 KPA500 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 KPA500 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:

  ftp://ftp.elecraft.com/KPA/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. KPA500fwXrYZ.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 KPA500 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 KPA500 Utility box titled "Copy new files from Elecraft server". This will overwrite the Beta firmware if clicked.

7. Connect the KPA500 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 KPA500." This will cause the firmware to be sent to the KPA500. You will see that the KPA500 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 KPA500 OFF and then back ON before using it.

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