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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Elecraft KPA-500 Help

Reviews Summary for Elecraft KPA-500
Elecraft KPA-500 Reviews: 106 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1999.95 Kit Form
Description: KPA-500 Solid State Amplifier 160-10M Plus 6M, Auto Band
Switching via RF sense or cable connection.
Product is in production.
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K4MJA Rating: 5/5 May 16, 2019 16:20 Send this review to a friend
No regrets  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased it as a kit, assembly was very easy -- no problems at all. With Icom 7300 30W in the amp gives me 500W out on SSB; I limit it to 400W max on digital. I use many wire antennas from 10 to 80m and a tuner (older Palstar AT-Auto) and it work as a charm. Sometimes, when the tuner decides to re-tune in the middle of the QSO, it even stays on while the SWR jumps up and down. When the overload happens due to high SWR or wrond antenna, its switching to standby with overload indication.
I also use it in remote with relevant application. Very convenient.
The fan is loud but it doesn't bother me.
All in all I recommend it.
Great work Elecraft!
M0HDX Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2019 17:48 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Managed to pick a KPA-500 up second hand at a reasonable price and i am highly delighted with this high quality reliable little amp,It really is a amazing bit of kit and a great investment. I have a Acom 1000 which is superb but i tend to find myself using the KPA-500 more often now days, Instant on and lots of info on the LCD display to let me know things are running smoothly.I forget the amp is on sometimes it is so quiet and the fan rarely turns on at 400 watts.

Great bit of kit.

KC8HXO Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2019 23:16 Send this review to a friend
About universal  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Very good amplifier. Run it with almost any rig. No fuss, no muss. Utilitarian, like about all Elecraft gear. It just works. Hard to find fault.
WA4RTE Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2019 17:28 Send this review to a friend
Just what I needed on FT8  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the KPA500 kit - assembly was no problem. It gives me the little extra on FT8 that I need when stations are off the end of my dipole. Worked two All Time New Ones in the last two days.

I had originally trapped some wire between the power transformer and the case, resulting in a buzz when transmitting. After rerouting the wires, all is quiet.

Delivers 500 watts out with 30 watts drive. I'm very pleased with this amp.
AA4PB Rating: 5/5 Mar 1, 2019 21:34 Send this review to a friend
Great on 6M FT8/MSK144  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I Purchased the KPA-500 primarily for use on 6M FT8 and MSK144. The kit went together with no problems at all. The supplied KUSB USB/Serial converter was defective but I had another that worked okay. Elecraft sent out a replacement right away. I run the amp at 300 to 350W output on these digital modes. After a few transmissions, the heat sink temperature stabilizes well below maximum so you could run it all day at the required 50% Tx/Rx duty cycle without overheating. The fan never gets to maximum speed.

I made a new power cable with a double-pole, 12VDC relay (in a box) attached so that the 240VAC power was removed from the KPA500 when the station 12VDC power supply is turned off. This is not really necessary but I didn't like the thought of the KPA500 control circuits being powered 24/7 (and being exposed to potential power line spikes) when I only use it a few hours a day.
K7FD Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2018 17:59 Send this review to a friend
Nice addition to the line up  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Encountered a slight roadblock with my new amp and I had to enlist the help of Elecraft support; the first KPA500-F arrived but exhibited excessive keydown toroidal transformer hum. Excessive is somewhat subjective but Elecraft immediately offered to swap the amp with a replacement. The second amp arrived and it, too, had keydown hum but to a lesser extent. Determined to keep the amp I followed some steps from Elecraft to mitigate the remaining hum to an acceptable level (on CW; no hum on SSB). I also ended up moving the amp from ear/eye level to a lower dampen the fan noise when it kicks into high gear on lengthy CW it is designed to do.

So after the initial set back I am very pleased with the performance of this small package amp. It takes little drive...20 see 480 to 500 watts. I drive it with the IC-7300 and IC-7610 and it effortlessly delivers a solid signal. The amp itself is the quality we've come to expect from Elecraft. Looks great and solid as a brick.

Again, special thanks to Elecraft support...Cody in particular...for addressing my concerns and quickly offering a replacement amp and suggestions to mitigate the toroidal transformer hum.

John K7FD

W8MSP Rating: 5/5 Aug 21, 2018 13:38 Send this review to a friend
Simply the best  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered the kit plus the KAT 500 tuner kit. The amp arrived first since UPS only showed up with box 1 of 2. I assembled the amp in a night after work. Plugged it in powered it up pressed all the buttons worked fine. The next day the tuner showed up put that together rather quickly hooked it all up to my K3S made my first contact and it all worked perfect. Like having a 500 watt K3S. I ordered the amp just before the 4th of July so it took and extra day to get here but was well worth the wait. Amazing product from a company I have grown to expect the best from, they did not disappoint. I want to upgrade to the KPA-1500 after using my friends 1500.
WB6IZG Rating: 3/5 Jun 22, 2018 18:53 Send this review to a friend
OK amp but noisy  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought this amp in kit form and was able to assemble it pretty easily. The instructions are well done. I took my time and did it carefully.
So far the Amp works well but it has had 2 problems. One of the finals went with a loud pop. Fortunately it was under warranty and they repaired it at their cost except for my shipping to them. Second this amp is noisy. I operate mostly CW and when running at 450-500 Watts CW after about 3-5 minutes the fan will go to high speed that is very loud. Second there is a pinging problem that occurs. There is a Z bracket in the unit that expands and contracts with heat and will generate a pinging sound. This went away after the repair was done but returned a month after. Except for these it works well on all bands except for 20M where I can only get about 480W out and not the 500 rated.
AA8DF Rating: 4/5 Jun 12, 2018 18:35 Send this review to a friend
KPA500 ALC  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought the Elecraft KPA500 in Oct of 2017 in kit form. It is not a simple kit (much easier than the old Heath color TV or H89 computer) but the instructions are clear and easy to follow. Needless to say I was delighted to turn it on and find it working perfectly. It's a dream on CW.
The only problem showed up on SSB. I found it too easy to overdrive . Even when I try to keep the input below the recommend 40 watts and my voice even it will kick into standby. I set the ALC to 210 as instructed and connected it to the ALC input of my transceiver. I called Elecraft to ask what I was doing wrong. They said that some KPA 500 had the wrong chip in the front circuit board. I disassembled the amp to see if it had the wrong chip. Not an easy job I might say. When I called back to report on this I was told that information was wrong. The wrong chip issue was on much older amps and had not occurred for years. As for ALC Elecraft hates it! Their displeasure is explained in the manual. So much so that they disabled it. No ALC is sent to the transceiver even though they give precise instructions on how to set it in the menu. Dave, ( think that's his name) said we should look at the memory in the amp to see what was going on.
That sounded good to me but he would have to talk me through it on the phone. All well and good BUT he was leaving for the big ham show in Germany the next day so I would have to wait for him to get back. That was on May 24. A few days ago, June 9 I sent an Email to let them know I was waiting. Today is June 12, no reply. I just called but they were too busy to talk to me and promised to call back???
So far I have a very nice 500 watt amp that I can use at about 300 watts on SSB, Now if I can get my CW back up to 20wpm I'll be in great shape. That's getting a bit difficult for an old man of 82. It will be interesting to see hiow it all comes out. AA8DF
K5DWV Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2018 15:29 Send this review to a friend
A work of art and technology  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
How did Elecraft pack a superb 500W solid state amplifier into such a small package? A great mechanical layout and a simple yet effective design is how :) The KPA500 has been rock solid and interfaced effortlessly with the KAT500 tuner and a Flex 6700. It took about 15 minutes from unpacking to on the air. The amplifier also works very well with the Icom 7300, especially if you make a custom cable to interface the 4-pin Icom antenna tuner connector to the amplifier (and of course it works extremely well with the K3). I've used the KPA500 on 120 VAC and 240 VAC, both work fine. As usual Elecraft knocked it out of the park! I'm now lusting after a KPA1500 :)
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