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[KPA500] Fan Control from KPA500 Utility?

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[KPA500] Fan Control from KPA500 Utility?

W5UXH
I have not found a way to change the minimum fan speed from the utility.  Am I overlooking it?

I find that when in a qso, if the fan control is set to NOR, then sometimes the fan kicks up really high, I can tell it is at least up to level 5.  If I have it set to level 3, then it sometimes kicks up to level 4, never to level 5.

Most of the time, I like to have it set to NOR (OFF) when idling or in short qsos but in a long qso I like to have the fan *not* run above level 4.

I have been controlling it manually with the menu buttons which of course is not too difficult, but being lazy I would like to have fewer steps.  Using the menu buttons it is about 11 steps to go from NOR to level 3, some requiring "HOLD" and some "PRESS".  Not a big deal, but if the utility had simple mouse clicks to jump up to level 3 and then back to NOR it would be a lot fewer steps.

Something similar to the band selection menu in the utility would really be nice.

Chuck, W5UXH

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Re: [KPA500] Fan Control from KPA500 Utility?

Iain MacDonnell - N6ML-2
Hi Chuck,

You could use the "Command Tester" tab, and enter a command like
"^FC5;" (without the quotes).

If seems like a valid RFE for the KPA Utility, to add a user-friendly
control for this. Maybe contact support and suggest it.... or maybe
K6KR is listening...

73,

    ~iain / N6ML



On Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 9:56 AM, W5UXH <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I have not found a way to change the minimum fan speed from the utility.  Am
> I overlooking it?
>
> I find that when in a qso, if the fan control is set to NOR, then sometimes
> the fan kicks up really high, I can tell it is at least up to level 5.  If I
> have it set to level 3, then it sometimes kicks up to level 4, never to
> level 5.
>
> Most of the time, I like to have it set to NOR (OFF) when idling or in short
> qsos but in a long qso I like to have the fan *not* run above level 4.
>
> I have been controlling it manually with the menu buttons which of course is
> not too difficult, but being lazy I would like to have fewer steps.  Using
> the menu buttons it is about 11 steps to go from NOR to level 3, some
> requiring "HOLD" and some "PRESS".  Not a big deal, but if the utility had
> simple mouse clicks to jump up to level 3 and then back to NOR it would be a
> lot fewer steps.
>
> Something similar to the band selection menu in the utility would really be
> nice.
>
> Chuck, W5UXH
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Re: [KPA500] Fan Control from KPA500 Utility?

W5UXH
Why didn't I think of this?  I should have realized I could handle it this way.  Works great.  I tested first with ^FC3; since that is the highest minimum speed I want and at first thought it did not work because of other noises in the shack.  But ^FC5; left no doubt!

I should have posted my query a week ago (have only had the amp a few weeks now).  

Many thanks.

Chuck

Iain MacDonnell - N6ML-2 wrote
Hi Chuck,

You could use the "Command Tester" tab, and enter a command like
"^FC5;" (without the quotes).
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Re: [KPA500] Fan Control from KPA500 Utility?

mcduffie
On Thu, 17 Oct 2013 12:27:53 -0700 (PDT), W5UXH wrote:

>  I tested first with ^FC3; since that is the highest
> minimum speed I want and at first thought it did not work because of other
> noises in the shack.  But ^FC5; left no doubt!

But why not let the thermostatic controller do its thing?  And, if it is
kicking up to high speed in a QSO, you must be doing some very high duty
cycle QSOs, i.e. talking continuously or working AM with long
transmissions.  Mine never seems to go above about 4, when pushing
things a bit, unless I'm on 6M, then it will run a bit higher during
long ones.  What does your thermometer read normally?  Mine occasionally
goes above 51C, where the first audible fan noise appears, but very
quickly drops off after that.  I also monitor the exhaust temp with an
electronic sensor in the grill of the fan.  I'm quite surprised how cool
things run in the auto mode (norm).  Temps will run higher if you are
running some reflected power too.

Gary
--
http://ag0n.net
3055: http://ag0n.net/irlp/3055
NodeOp Help Page: http://ag0n.net/irlp
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Re: [KPA500] Fan Control from KPA500 Utility?

W5UXH
The reason is because then it does sometimes get up to level 5 and I prefer to keep it below that, if using level 3 as the minimum happens to accomplish that.  Level 4 with headphones on is fine, level 5 is just a tad too noticeable.  

My only type of operation is CW, no monologues, sometimes as much as two or three minutes at a time, maybe as long as 5 minutes, full qsk with "back and forth" conversation.  When I leave it on NOR, invariably on the longer transmissions it will eventually get up to level 5.

When I set the minimum to level 3, it never gets above 4.  We typically are running QRQ (e.g. 60-65 wpm) but the duty cycle is the same as at 30 wpm of course, and the fan does the same thing at those speeds.

No high SWR, the amp never sees more than 1.5:1, using the KAT500.

As for temps:

Testing in a dummy load with a continuous 60 wpm CW canned message, 400W out, starting with fan off (NOR):
Start:      36C
11 secs:  40C
50 secs:  50C
2.5 mins: 60C
4.5 mins: 65C

In this test it leveled off at 65C, never kicked up to level 5.  Room ambient is 79F.  I would guess this rate of temperature rise is probably normal.  

But since it sometimes kicks up to level 5, when it has started from off, and never does when I keep the minimum at level 3, I prefer that.  I would guess for the several minutes at a time when I am listening, it cools back down further with level 3 than with level 0, don't really know.

My daily sked has had his amp for a year or more and he experiences the same behavior, he also leaves his at level 3 for the same reason.

Chuck, W5UXH

AG0N-3055 wrote
But why not let the thermostatic controller do its thing?  And, if it is
kicking up to high speed in a QSO, you must be doing some very high duty
cycle QSOs, i.e. talking continuously or working AM with long
transmissions.    Temps will run higher if you are
running some reflected power too.

Gary
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Re: [KPA500] Fan Control from KPA500 Utility?

mcduffie
On Thu, 17 Oct 2013 13:46:46 -0700 (PDT), W5UXH wrote:

> My daily sked has had his amp for a year or more and he experiences the same
> behavior, he also leaves his at level 3 for the same reason.

Very interesting usage and heating results.  You've obviously done your
homework.  I think for most of us, the controller will fill the bill.  In your
situation (and contest stations, etc.) some extra cooling does help to level out
the speed.  I'm tempted to dig out my old microMatic and run some automated
tests of my own using your parameters to see how mine does.  I would have
problem with the permanent setting of the minimum fan speed though, because, as
a recent retiree from the broadcast industry, I'm a firm believer that fans
whose bearings dry up and get tight are one of the biggest causes of failure in
electronic equipment that runs all the time - that and not cleaning filters. :o)
Since I leave most of my equipment on all the time, I would count on more fan
maintenance/replacement.

Interesting situation!  Thanks for the explanation.

Gary
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Re: [KPA500] Fan Control from KPA500 Utility?

W5UXH
Hi Gary,

Since I leave the fan at NOR most of the day, just bumping it up to
level 3 during the long qsos, the fan mostly does not run at all.

I still don't really understand why the fan sometimes kicks up a step
higher when I have it set to NOR than when I have it set to level 3.  It
is not that often though, but in general during our skeds I hear more
changing of fan speed between 0 and 4 than when I just leave it on 3
during the qso.

The fan noise is not a problem, I just prefer a more steady level while
in qso.

I worked many years on systems that used large numbers of 5V/300A
supplies and the worst problem was due to fan failures in the supplies!  
Too many callouts to drive 50 miles in the middle of the night.

73,

Chuck

On 10/17/13 8:36 PM, AG0N-3055 [via Elecraft] wrote:
> I'm a firm believer that fans
> whose bearings dry up and get tight are one of the biggest causes of
> failure in
> electronic equipment that runs all the time - that and not cleaning
> filters. :o)
> Since I leave most of my equipment on all the time, I would count on
> more fan
> maintenance/replacement.

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Re: [KPA500] Fan Control from KPA500 Utility?

WB4SON
I too have found that setting the KPA500 fan control for a slightly higher
speed all the time means that I don't have a big thermal buildup that
causes the fan to kick into high momentarily. Once I  made that adjustment
the fan hardly ever goes above the middle setting.

73, Bob, WB4SON
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73, Bob, WB4SON
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