PA1000 and Elecraft K3

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PA1000 and Elecraft K3

Postby LY2H » 03 May 2017 05:52

Hello everybody,

Looking for PA1000 users who run it together with the K3. My JUMA PA1000 is working very nicely with the K3, but there is some strange behaviou of the K3 from time to time, like issuing the error message " turn on the KAT500" ( I don't have one, :)), or it becomes impossible to switch off the K3 because it restarts each time you push the Power button. I have checked and re-checked the db9/db15 cable , it is ok , no short circuits etc. Could be RF in the shack problem ( but my antenna is SWR 1,1 ) ? Any ideas or experience welcome. Here or direct off line at balsys2012(at)gmail.com

73 de Linas LY2H
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Re: PA1000 and Elecraft K3

Postby OH7SV » 07 May 2017 18:52

Hello Linas,

Nice to hear that your JUMA PA1000 is working fine :)

You seems to be using the BCD band data/PTT cable illustrated in PA1000 user manual page 10, totally 6 wires.
The four BCDx (BANDx) signals are pulled up to +5V with 100k resistors in PA1000. The PTT (KEYOUT-LP) is pulled up to +5V with 4k7 resistor. Additionally there is GND wire.

If you have checked all the 6 pins in the wiring there must be something related to some K3 menu item. I don't own an Elecraft K3 but when I tested PA1000 with K3 I had to set a related menu item to "NOR" to use parallel BCD band control. Have you checked your K3 manual related to your issue?

73 Matti OH7SV
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Re: PA1000 and Elecraft K3

Postby oh2pt » 07 May 2017 21:06

Hi Linas,

I am running PA1000 with K3 and I have never faced the issue you describe. I suppose you have K3 config item KAT3 set to " not inst", am I right? Further, what software versions you run on your K3? I have MCU (uC) 5.50, main DSP (d1) 2.87, aux DSP (d2) 0 (because no KRX3), FL 1.25 and no KDVR3 (dr). One idea could be that I send you config file of my K3 if you wanna try that. However we should have similar HW setup then.

73 Pasi, oh2pt, oh2pt@sral.fi
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Re: PA1000 and Elecraft K3

Postby LY2H » 07 May 2017 23:20

Thanks Matti, Pasi for your replies!

Matti, yes, I went through the K3 manual , it recommends to set the KIO3 menu to "Normal" using with the PA, and the other option is when using with the transverters. So mine is in Normal and the PA follows the band change ok. It is more likely like something related to the cable itself ( have not tried yet other cable than the factory supplied) or to the some voltage levels somewhere in the schematics. The problem dissapears when the cable is disconnected from the PA. This erratic behaviour also includes spontaneous switch of the band on the PA during transmition and disrupting it. All this is not happening all the time but from time to time. The other time it just works normally. So, I would also think about the RF in the shack ( though no feasible symptoms of that) or may be a loose contact or a screw somewhere inside the box?

Pasi, my K3 is an old one upgraded to a K3S with the new synthesiser , KIO3 and all the other relevant boards. I run the same latest firmware as you do. I do have the KAT3 tuner installed, so my config setting is on "bypasse "when using with the PA1000. I have also tried to use it to tune the output of the K3 to the input of the PA1000, :) and it works ok. But it doesn't seem to be rtelated with the problems I speak abt. I wonder what cables/method do you use to connect the rig to the PA1000? Db9- db15 on com2?

73 Linas LY2H
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Re: PA1000 and Elecraft K3

Postby OH7SV » 08 May 2017 10:26

Linas,

Pasi is using a similar cable from K3 DB15 connector to PA1000 DB9 connector.

Here are some additional tips:

1. Check again very carefully the K3 side connector solderings. The pins of DB15 connector are so near each others. Use some magnifier glass to see any possible shorts to near by pins.

2. Check that both K3 and PA1000 mains ground are in same potential. If you don't have mains socket with a protective ground, use an extension cable which will connect both into the same GND potential.

73 Matti OH7SV
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Re: PA1000 and Elecraft K3

Postby OH2GBA » 08 May 2017 12:59

Hello Linas,

It is a long time ago, but I think I have seen the K3 behavior like you described. The cause was my power supply. The connector on the back of the K3 was not properly inserted and only the positive
was connected. However for this particular case I don't think it is the cause, you describe a 'warm up time' first which would indicate a cold solder somewhere, either on the K3 or the PA1000. You mention you use
the BCD data + PTT. Are you able to measure the voltage on all 6 wires? a multimeter would be good, a scope even better if you got one?

Thats all I can say at the moment.

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Re: PA1000 and Elecraft K3

Postby OH7SV » 08 May 2017 19:46

Linas,

I talked also to Juha OH2N who is an experienced K3 user. Juha suspected the power ON/OFF function thru the DB15 connector. According to Juha's foundings there has sometimes been problems with the related connections inside K3.

Anyway I suggest that you make a GND wire between K3 to PA1000 ground terminals.

73 Matti OH7SV
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Re: PA1000 and Elecraft K3

Postby LY2H » 10 May 2017 22:00

Matti, thanks,

I have tried connecting the grounds of the PA and the K3 together and it seemed it helped in the begining, but after some time ( the day after) the problems came back. I have also tried to change from the switching power supply to the transfromer-based for the K3's feeding with no effect. More, I will try now to use other cable in the K3 configuration , and also - to run the PA1000 with my other rigs, like FT-897 and FT-817 and see if the errors repeat themselves with the other rig brands.

Thanks the group for the inputs. More ideas are welcome!
73 Linas LY2H
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Re: PA1000 and Elecraft K3

Postby LY2H » 22 May 2017 07:18

Hello everybody,

This problem solved, more poping out ! ( No problems, no fun :) )

I got the mentioned problem solved, thanks to the inputs of this groups and an excellent customer care by Matti. Thanks Matti!
It was a faulty ACC cable as a major cause. After getting tired of checking and re-checking the quality of my own soldering skills on the Db15 connector I have decided not only replace the DB15 connector on the ACC cable supplied from the factory but make an entire new cable of my own. It means a new db9, db15 connectors and a 1m of 8 wire computer cable. Bingo! The erratic behaviour of the K3 stopped immediately and never came back! It was one rebaund when I changed back to the Samlex 1223 switching power supply. It is most probably one of this " floating type" accordingly to Matti and doesn't go together with the PA1000 design. So I stay now with an old good Kenwood PS-20 supply and it works just fine. After a week now of intensive use including the Baltic Contest the forementionned problems do not come back.

BUT! During the Baltic contest on this past weekend a new interesting phenomena poped out! For the contest, I took my JUMA PA1000/K3 set up to another location in the countryside. All the interconnections were the same as at home - good ground wire between the rig and the PA, the new good ACC cable, the old good PS-20 power supply. After switching on the gear and not yet have transmitted anything to the air, I encountered with the strange behaviour of the JUMA PA1000. With the OPER button on, the TX LED started glowing slightly, then started blinking with the regular intervals like 2 times a second, together clicking the PTT relay and after minute or more totaly went to the TX mode with the TX LED glowing full color. Pushing OPER again made the PA come back to the RX. pushing again - the PA goes into TX. The OPER button have become like a PTT pedal really, :). The whole PA was woking perfectly as usual, I was taking part in the contest very nicely just had to manualy switch the OPER button for eqch qso, :). The phenomena went away for an hour or so during the contest, but then came back again. Most interesting part - when I came back home from the field position and reconnected everything exactly the same way in my fixed position - no problems, the OPER button and the whole PA is working just great!
So, it is very interesting to know the possible origins of such an event because I intend to carry the PA to possibly more other locations.
In the countryside I was using the Vertical antenna with the radials on 80 m with a perffectly tuned SWR to resonance and the RF choke. I exclude thus the " RF in the schack " problem and because this behaviour was in place even without any antenna connected to the PA and in the RX mode. I exclude also the " check the cables " advise because the cables are good. The erratic behaviour though stopped when I disconnected the ACC from either the rig or the PA or switched the K3 off. The restarting the PA or the K3 made no change.
The house itself is a newly built with an up to date electrical installations with a standard AC outlet sockets with the ground wire.
I wonder could it be that the OPER button circuitry reacted to some interference from the computer modems in the house or security systems or the LED lightning? But the whole PA is in a perfectly shielded box! In general it is a very clean conditions there for the HF and there is no local QRM for the reception.
Thanks again everybody and looking for more food for thoughts!
73 Linas LY2H
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