Thetis to KPA500 band data

Tom AA4VV
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Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby Tom AA4VV » Fri May 28, 2021 8:59 pm

I'm running Thetis 2.8.11 with an ANAN 7000 DLE and an Elecraft KPA500.

I have the KPA Utility running which gives me the Band, Power, etc for the KPA500.
I would like to connect the KPA500 to the 7000 so that when I change bands on the 7000
the KPA500 will change bands. I know that I may not be able to run the KPA Utility when I am running this way.

I can't seem to figure out how to do this.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
Tom AA4VV
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby NC3Z » Fri May 28, 2021 11:34 pm

I run my 7000DLE and Thetis with the KPA500/KAT500 combo with full band tracking without any middleware. You will need a USB to DB9 serial adapter and you will need to make a crossover, if you want the KAT500 to auto track to you will need to make a Y.

Under Thetis setup, under CAT select one of the CATs (I use one of the CAT+) and point it to the comm port that your adapter is. This will speak Kenwood CAT and once you configure your KPA500 for Serial (under Radio)et the baud rates you will have full auto tracking. You can either push or pull the CAT data, I prefer that the KPA500 to interrogate by setting Serial Poll to On.

It's all pretty simple and works very well.
Gary NC3Z
Tom AA4VV
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby Tom AA4VV » Sat May 29, 2021 1:20 am

Thanks Gary for the fast reply.


Please tell me what you mean by "make a crossover" for the USB to DB9 serial adapter.

73 Tom AA4VV
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby NC3Z » Sat May 29, 2021 1:35 am

On the RS232 connector a cross over switched pin 2 to 3 and 3 to 2.

I made my own adapter.
Gary NC3Z
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat May 29, 2021 12:04 pm

There is an alternative to making two serial cable connections to the KPA500. Tom already has the KPA Utility app running which means the cable between the PC and the KPA500 already exists and is working just fine.

You can install some virtual serial port software that allows more than one app to connect to the same serial port simultaneously. This way both the KPA Utility and Thetis can both communicate with the amplifier at the same time using the existing serial port connection. I do exactly this on my station setup and it works great.

I prefer using Eterlogic VSPE. Create a "splitter" device with the physical COM port on one side and a virtual port on the other. Then assign both Thetis and the KPA Utility to that same virtual port.
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby K9RX » Sun May 30, 2021 1:44 pm

Scott: I'm curious does a splitter allow both apps to read and write? I run JTDX simultaneous to WSJT-X ... and would like to have JT "know" what band I'm on (I don't use JT for TX, just for decoding as it decodes slightly differently).

thanks - hope you are doing well.

Gary
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby w-u-2-o » Sun May 30, 2021 3:06 pm

Gary--yes, it's bidirectional. However, in your case you don't really need to do that unless all 4 CAT port assignments in Thetis are already in use, i.e. you need a 5th. Just use one port per app.
Tom AA4VV
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby Tom AA4VV » Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:15 pm

Gary and Scott, Thanks for the great information. My 80 year old brain would have never figured this all out.

Now my problem is the KPA500 will not power on. The manual says to turn off the power switch at the back when changing cables.
When I turned it off it would not turn on again. I will get that resolved and I hope I don't have to send it back to Elecraft.

Thanks again.
73 Tom AA4VV
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby NC3Z » Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:27 pm

w-u-2-o wrote: Tom already has the KPA Utility app running which means the cable between the PC and the KPA500 already exists and is working just fine.


In my setup I do not use the RS232 PC port on the KPA500 (which KPA Util uses), but rather the RS232 XCVRm which requires the crossover cable.
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Jun 01, 2021 4:48 pm

Tom AA4VV wrote:Gary and Scott, Thanks for the great information. My 80 year old brain would have never figured this all out.

Now my problem is the KPA500 will not power on. The manual says to turn off the power switch at the back when changing cables.
When I turned it off it would not turn on again. I will get that resolved and I hope I don't have to send it back to Elecraft.

Thanks again.
73 Tom AA4VV

Dumb question #1: did you check that both ends of the power cable were fully plugged in?

Dumb question #2: did you check the house circuit breaker?

Dumb question #3: after doing 1 and 2 above, and after turning on the rear panel power switch, did you press the front panel power button?
Tom AA4VV
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby Tom AA4VV » Wed Jun 02, 2021 1:18 am

Scott, Thanks for taking the time to respond. Yes I have done all the things you suggested.

The four posts on the radio side of the back power switch has no voltage when the switch is turned on. I will call Elecraft
tomorrow and see if they think that's a problem and if so send me a new switch.

I do use the amp very close to what they say is the specs. Usually 1.1 swr and a little over 400 watts on FT8.
BUT they do say it should do that. 15 seconds on and 15 seconds off. When the band is open I can operate like that for quite
some time. The KPA500 temp never goes above 65 C.

I do have a question. To get Thetis to change bands on the KPA500 do you think I should be able to use either
DB9 plug ? One says it is used for connection to the PC
and the other one says it is used for connection to a transceiver.

I tried both and neither on would work.

Thanks
Tom AA4VV
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby w-u-2-o » Wed Jun 02, 2021 2:38 am

As already discussed in this topic, both will work, but each requires different cabling. I use the port labeled PC, Gary uses the other one.

Did you adjust the settings in the amp properly for band control?

Have you checked the fuses in the amp?
Tom AA4VV
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby Tom AA4VV » Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:27 pm

I finally have my KPA500 working again..

I do have the KPA utility program working fine. I can change bands with it and it will follow the band if I change
the bands manually.
The problem is I can't get the Thetis program to change bands .

Gary, can you tell me what you have for the KPA500 Menu settings?
Radio = SERIAL
RS232X = 4800
SER POLL = ON

You do have the cable connected to the RS232P port?

Does that look OK?

Then in Thetis I set CAT Control 3 to the same Baud Rate and Port number that works for the KPA Utility..
Restart everything and it doesn't work.

Thanks
Tom AA4VV
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby NC3Z » Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:59 pm

I connect to the RS232 XCVR port on the KPA500.

KPA500 settings > Radio = Serial
RS232 X = Baud Rate that Thetis CAT is set to
Serial Poll = ON (although if you choose to use "Allow Kenwood AI Commands" in Thetis then this gets set to Off

In Thetis your CAT3 Control is set to the Comm port that the serial cable for the KPA is set to.

This all works great on the KPA500, a SPE 1.5K-FA and now an Acom 2000A.
Gary NC3Z
Tom AA4VV
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby Tom AA4VV » Thu Jun 24, 2021 4:16 pm

Thanks Gary for your help. I would never been able to get it to work without your help.

SUCCESS The problem was the cable.

I can now switch bands automatically and run the KPA500 utility with simply adding another
cable.

73 Tom AA4VV
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby NC3Z » Thu Jun 24, 2021 4:24 pm

Cool deal!
Gary NC3Z
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KA5KKT
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby KA5KKT » Thu Nov 11, 2021 1:01 am

New to me are an Elecraft KPA500 and KAT500. The rig is a late model 7000 Black Edition. I am more fossil than fascile in figuring this all out.

Currently working are -
Anan 7000
Thetis
KAT500
KPA500 - (Manual Band Selection) -
PTT
Power Controls

Resources include -
COM Cable - 9 Pin DIN - Male-Female
2 Elecraft Cables - 15 Pin DIN - Male-Female
2 USB to COM Cables - At least one is FTDI
F to F Null Modem Adaptor
NO Y-Cable
comOcom
DDUtil V3

Image

I am not a master of COM ports. Virtual COMs are even fuzzier .

Goal - To acheive KPA500 Auto-Bandswitching

I believe I need a little guidance.

73,
Dick
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby NC3Z » Thu Nov 11, 2021 1:13 am

This combo works great, I use it here. KPA500 - Thetis interface is Kenwood. Turn Serial Poll on the KPA, and turn off AI on the Thetis CAT settings.

What issues are you having?
Gary NC3Z
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby w-u-2-o » Thu Nov 11, 2021 1:44 am

I'm going to assume for the time being that you have a modern PC with zero real RS-232 ports and only USB ports.

The most minimalistic setup would involve a USB-to-serial cable. The serial end needs to be be a DE9 male connector and it should be attached to the "RS232 PC" port. Figure out what COM port number that is on the PC side.

Then, as Gary suggests, go to Setup > CAT Control and choose one of the four CAT instances, it doesn't matter which one. Set port number appropriately, then set the port parameters the same as what you've got them set to on the KPA500 and enable that port. The KPA500 should then automagically follow the band information from Thetis.

If you have problems with the above, to test the cable you can use the KPA500 remote software utility. For now do NOT use this at the same time as Thetis, but only as a test. If this doesn't work you've got cable/port problems we'll need to resolve.

Once you've got the basic stuff working we can work on fancy stuff like having the remote utility work at the same time as Thetis, adding in control of the KAT500, etc.

P.S. moving this to the amp sub-forum where it belongs...
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby KA5KKT » Thu Nov 11, 2021 1:52 am

NC3Z wrote:This combo works great, I use it here. KPA500 - Thetis interface is Kenwood. Turn Serial Poll on the KPA, and turn off AI on the Thetis CAT settings.

What issues are you having?


The main issue I am having is the KPA500 is not following the Anan band changes.

A) What Cable connections sould I be using?
B) Thetis Configuration - Setup > ? > ? etc..?
C) KPA500 Serial = RS232 P - 19200 B
D) Enable CAT..? 19200, none, 8, 1..?


Thanks.
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby w-u-2-o » Thu Nov 11, 2021 2:01 am

See my post above.

USB to KPA500 "RS232 PC"
Nothing to setup in Thetis other than a CAT instance as discussed above.
Match baud rates, use "8N1" for the rest.

The only thing that could go sideways is if you have, for some reason, a USB to serial cable that swaps pins 2 and 3 improperly.

Download, install and use the Elecraft KPA500 Utility software app to validate the cable and baud rate settings before using Thetis. Don't use that and Thetis at the same time.
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby NC3Z » Thu Nov 11, 2021 2:15 am

Which serial port are you plugging into on the KPA500??
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby KA5KKT » Thu Nov 11, 2021 2:55 am

I have the Elecraft KPA Utility running. It is connected with COM4 via USB to DB9 at the 500 at 19200 B. The Operate buttons in the Utility seem to work...change bands, etc.

...shutting down utility and starting up Thetis

I go to Setup > CAT Control > CAT > Enable CAT (COM4) > Apply...

= Amp is not following Thetis.
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby w-u-2-o » Thu Nov 11, 2021 1:01 pm

My apologies, I said the KPA500 "RS232 PC" connection could be used straight from Thetis, but that was wrong. I had foolishly forgotten that I was using DDUtil in this configuration. DDUtil happily causes the KPA500 to change bands using this interface. Thetis cannot do it alone this way.

However, Gary has given you the right answer already:

1. USB-to-serial cable <--> null modem <--> KPA500 "RS232 XCVR" port.

2. On the KPA500

NC3Z wrote:I connect to the RS232 XCVR port on the KPA500.

KPA500 settings > Radio = Serial
RS232 X = Baud Rate that Thetis CAT is set to
Serial Poll = ON (although if you choose to use "Allow Kenwood AI Commands" in Thetis then this gets set to Off

In Thetis your CAT3 Control is set to the Comm port that the serial cable for the KPA is set to.


You do use a null modem, right Gary?

With both cables you can run remote utility and band switch simultaneously.

I actually accomplish both functions with a single cable and DDUtil, but that is a more complex setup.
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby NC3Z » Thu Nov 11, 2021 1:27 pm

w-u-2-o wrote:You do use a null modem, right Gary?


Yes, a simple FTDI USB to RS232 adapter on the PC and a null to cross 2 and 3. Then take whatever that adapter's COM port is and select that in one of Thetis CATs.
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby KA5KKT » Thu Nov 11, 2021 1:48 pm

w-u-2-o wrote:My apologies, I said the KPA500 "RS232 PC" connection could be used straight from Thetis, but that was wrong. I had foolishly forgotten that I was using DDUtil in this configuration. DDUtil happily causes the KPA500 to change bands using this interface. Thetis cannot do it alone this way.

However, Gary has given you the right answer already:

1. USB-to-serial cable <--> null modem <--> KPA500 "RS232 XCVR" port.

2. On the KPA500

NC3Z wrote:I connect to the RS232 XCVR port on the KPA500.

KPA500 settings > Radio = Serial
RS232 X = Baud Rate that Thetis CAT is set to
Serial Poll = ON (although if you choose to use "Allow Kenwood AI Commands" in Thetis then this gets set to Off

In Thetis your CAT3 Control is set to the Comm port that the serial cable for the KPA is set to.


You do use a null modem, right Gary?

With both cables you can run remote utility and band switch simultaneously.

I actually accomplish both functions with a single cable and DDUtil, but that is a more complex setup.


"USB-to-serial cable <--> null modem <--> KPA500 "RS232 XCVR" port." seems to work for KPA500 Band Folloiwng. In my case 'with' a null modem adaptor.

Thank you.
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby NC3Z » Thu Nov 11, 2021 5:35 pm

So you have it working?
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby KA5KKT » Thu Nov 11, 2021 7:02 pm

NC3Z wrote:So you have it working?

Yes, I believe I do.

Thanks for the pointers.

Kind regards,
Dick
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby KA5KKT » Sat Nov 13, 2021 1:30 am

w-u-2-o wrote:...Once you've got the basic stuff working we can work on fancy stuff like having the remote utility work at the same time as Thetis, adding in control of the KAT500, etc...


On to part B. My not too oldish (I5-9600K) mobo has a jumper for adding a COM Port connector. I have done so. I used that with my Elecraft K3 when I had it up and going.

So, yes, I have a comport available on my computer and AFAIK a straight through COM Cable. I also have an additional USB to COM adapter as well as and F-F null modem gender changer.

What additional functionality might I add to my setup?
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Re: Thetis to KPA500 band data

Postby w-u-2-o » Sat Nov 13, 2021 12:43 pm

KA5KKT wrote:What additional functionality might I add to my setup?

Already covered that above. With two cables you can run remote utility and band switch simultaneously. You've got the band switch cable in place and working. Now just add another cable to the "RS232 PC" port so you can run the remote utility software. It doesn't matter if you use a USB adapter cable or the normal COM port, either one will work. And you've already proven that you know how to do this.

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