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Reviews Categories | Packet TNCs | Kantronics KPC-3 Plus Help

Reviews Summary for Kantronics KPC-3 Plus
Kantronics KPC-3 Plus Reviews: 26 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $179.00
Description: VHF/UHF TNC
Product is in production.
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AE4XO Rating: 5/5 Oct 18, 2004 18:42 Send this review to a friend
Have 3 and they are great!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have 3 KPC-3+s in service for APRS. I have to say that these are the neatest units that I have ever owned. They do the job, with the WIDEN-N without a hitch! In total I have purchased 6
KPC-3 units, the first was in 1995. That one runs as a tracker and has been flawless. Just my 2 cents!
K6XR Rating: 5/5 May 8, 2004 10:20 Send this review to a friend
good tnc  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hooked it up and it worked straight-away. Used with varius radio's and various pieces of software. Never a moment's worth of trouble. runs 24/7 on our lan and never misses a beat.
KF4KNF Rating: 2/5 May 8, 2004 02:46 Send this review to a friend
Com Problems 24/7  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased this unit over a year ago and was never able to get it working correctly. Recently I began my attempted to make it functional (over an year later). It seems to have com problems with every computer I install it on. The manual is ok but needs to be reorganized because it puts thinks alittle out of order. If you like reading directions in step by step format its great!

I have called Kantronics in the past and had trouble getting through during the designated 4 hrs each day they are free for support. The two times I did get through the support person was not very helpful. He talked to me like I was a moron and was very rude. He also didnt want to help me much since I was using 3rd party software even though it came with the TNC. If you ask me, I would pick another brand and spare yourself the headache. The product seems corrupt and the service... oh wait. Lack of service I should say. Do the ham comunity a favor and dont support this company until they change their stand.
KF8ZR Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2003 12:30 Send this review to a friend
Great device  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've enjoyed using these for years. I've got a portable station running on batteries only. I took the first aid baggie that came with my Chevy blazer and took out all the first aid junk and I have a nice sack to put the modem in with the radio on the side and the cables and any extras. Then I can set it up anywhere I go.
Works very nice and has never had any troubles. I connect it to a wizard 770 palmtop for the terminal and an Alinco DJ191T for the radio.
N3TXU Rating: 1/5 Jun 9, 2003 17:06 Send this review to a friend
Boycotting Kantronics  Time owned: more than 12 months
When I first unboxed the TNC, it was wonderful. The concept is great, the thing will even run off a 9v battery if you're so inclined.

Just as another member posted, this TNC worked great for a few months. I tried everything including spending a great deal of time with Kantronics tech support. The "resolution" to my problem was to buy a new prom for a TNC that is only a few months old.

I was gossly unimpressed with Kantronics idea of support and as a result will not purchase another product from them. I am currently deciding between the Tiny-2 and the MFJ-1270C
VA2PHL Rating: 4/5 Apr 30, 2003 05:32 Send this review to a friend
Good Tnc But missing good wiring Diagramms  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am new to packet. My friend did buy a sound card interface and had mixed result. I wanted something that was easy to operate. This is the one. I would have give a 5/5 but the manual lacks pictures for wiring to the tnc. I had to do some digging on the internet. But that is probably me i am not familliar with tnc to radio cable. Anyway it was easy to find what i was looking for. it took about 10 minutes to do the cable and.... i sent my packet and i was connected. it is too bad because the manual is good minus diagramms.
The unit is easily put in a vehicule and can take any old junk 15$ computer to operate it.

I am (HAM) happy.
KC0LKE Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2003 19:27 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The KPC-3 + has been a great TNC. I thought that it was very easy to set up. In a metter of about 10 minutes of putting in the commands. Then near 30-45 minutes fixing the cables so you can hook it to your radio. If your looking for a TNC I would recomend it. Its also very small and portable.73 KC0LKE
N0RQ Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2002 21:41 Send this review to a friend
works as advertised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is my first TNC, so I don't know very much about them. However, this one was easy to set up. So far, I've used it primarily for APRS. The manual was CD-only, no print version, but that wasn't a big deal. For $165, I'm happy with it.
KD7PLU Rating: 3/5 Nov 24, 2002 02:40 Send this review to a friend
Customer Service = Failure  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The first KPC3+ I picked up have a nice printed owner's manual. The cost was $168.00. It grounded out under the DB-9 side and smoked a breadboard run. I soldered a jumper-wire on and so far it works well. The board has one little rubber foot under it, and if the rear com-port screwes come loose, it will touch the case and smoke. Suggestion: run electrical tape aling the bottom, rear-edge of the breadboard.

The diagram in the printed manual shows the mic and spkr plugs in reverse size, but the digram is labled correctly. Don't just use your eyes because you'll wire them backwards like I did. :-)

New KPC3's come with a CD-ROM instead of a book. The price of the unit didn't go down, and you will notice the PDF manual has ALL the diagrams MISSING! Kantronics customer support basicly told me to stick it and made no response to my question 'Are you going to update the online PDF and insert the complete diagrams?"

The modem is good. Customer support is poor. In fact, Eddie Murphy had a better attitude in 48-hours than the smartAs* that replied to my email/

I like the internal 9v battery backup option and the unit works great once configured. Don't use the trial edition of the Windows Packterm unless you want to do a hardware reset on your modem.

73 - KD7PLU
KG4QWF Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2002 23:40 Send this review to a friend
A perfect little TNC for APRS  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the little KPC3+ from Universal Radio back in February after scouring the web for anything I could find related to APRS. My decision was based on the many shacks I found to be using the Kantronics TNCs. The firmware version I received was 8.3 (the latest as of this writing).

Even before the TNC arrived (it was on backorder for more than a month), I had several versions of set up files, hook up diagrams and full documentation. I waited to build the cables I needed because the KPC3+ ships with everything except the radio connector.

I initially had problems getting the TNC to communicate with anything but PacTerm (which was included on CD with the package). After a post to the Kantronics BBS, I received the help I needed to resolve this issue in less than 24 hours. (Seems that PacTerm, by default, leaves the TNC in HOST mode, which most (all) other programs can't use.)

The KPC3+ can be configured as an APRS tracker or digipeater, and is very easy to set up. You can solder your own 9-volt battery pigtail to the motherboard, and run the TNC portable. (you can even turn off the status LEDs from within the software to preserve battery power.) Some may not like the idea of completely disassembling a brand new product to add a feature that could have been included, but I keep a soldering iron hot for just such occasions.

2 telemetry input ports are available, and report voltages of 0-5 volts in steps from 0-255. A remotely logged on user could query the ports for their values using the ANALOG command. Two digital ouput ports are also onboard, and can be pulsed programmatically. Power options are varied. You can power the rig from either of the serial ports, from an internal battery or from the barrel plug power input.

I really only have 2 gripes. First, no printed manual arrived with the TNC, only a PDF file on the CD. Since it's a few hundred pages, it's just not practical for folks like me to print it out. I've only printed a few sections that I refer to all the time. The other gripe is the internal clock. It's really lousy at keeping time, and loses the setting after a power off. Kantronics offers a clock chip as an additional feature, but costs another $25.

I'm not reviewing the device for other modes of operation because I haven't used them. Please consider this review a two-thumbs up only for the APRS capability if that's what you're looking for.

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