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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: 100 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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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 :)
K4FX Rating: 5/5 Apr 23, 2018 11:13 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned a lot of amps over 40 years of hamming. But this little KPA-500 is by far the most impressive of the lot. First I can't see how they got a solid 500w amp in a package this small. It makes no noise. I mostly listen for DX, I work someone and look for more. I have not had a chance to contest with it, but in my regular DX'ing mode, I have yet to get the fan to turn on. The PIN diodes used for T/R switching are silent. The only way I know the amp is on is by looking at the LED's or the PC app for output. The amp makes no noise. Coupled with the KAT-500 you just key it up and talk or hit the paddle. It is a wonderful addition to anyone's shack. If you are in the market for a 500-600w amp, pay the extra money for Elecraft. It is well worth it!
GARICE10601 Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2018 06:58 Send this review to a friend
Pride and Quality!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased the KPA500 and KAT500 and couldn't be more delighted.

Worked great the first time and has really helped my rag chewing on bands that are uncooperative at best.

Obvious pride and quality is the basis of these products. You will not go wrong in purchasing them.

A solid 500 watts is all you need!
W9DJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2018 12:20 Send this review to a friend
5 Year Update  Time owned: more than 12 months
After 5 years of operation, I still love this amp. I built it from a kit, which was really easy and took maybe 6 hours. I use it mostly in remote mode, or when I am doing a lot of band hopping. I have it paired with a Ten Tec Omni VII and the KAT500 antenna tuner. It just does the job. Period. No muss, no fuss. As my original review described, I had an early RF deck failure. Other than that, the only other issues have been when I went back in to change the HV secondary tap to a higher voltage to compensate for lower line voltage periods which would drop the PA voltage too low, and on another occasion the amp refused to key on 20 meters. Reinstalling the firmware fixed that. A true keeper.
AC1DR Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2018 07:19 Send this review to a friend
High Quality & Reliable  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have owned and operated daily a new KPA500 for four months. The amplifier performs as specified and easily puts out 500 Watts. For normal SSB phone operation, the fan rarely turns on, or I can't hear it.
The amplifier's "self protection" circuits operate correctly and effectively. The KPA500 is a high quality and reliable linear amplifier.
K5WG Rating: 5/5 Apr 4, 2018 13:38 Send this review to a friend
A great little amp!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine used in 2013. Works just as it should. Have never had a problem with it. Just wish it had a built-in automatic antenna tuner.
NT9E Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2018 20:35 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I needed an amp I could run on 110VAC and let me run 500-600W on 160-6. I bought mine as a kit in 2015 and finally put it together in the fall of 2016. This amp will not disappoint. My previous amp used 2, 3500Z's but my new shack location did not have 220VAC available. I was worried this amp might "sag" on 110VAC when I needed it to perform and I was not disappointed. I also use the KAT500 ATU with my Icom 7600. What a great combination!
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