Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR 12V" problem

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Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR 12V" problem

wayne burdick
Administrator
Early K3s had tin plating on the connectors that supply 12 V DC to the  
KPAIO3 and KPA3 modules. We discovered that in some climates the tin  
plating can eventually corrode, reducing voltage to the PA module,  
especially when operated at high duty cycle. This can result in an  
"ERR 12V" warning ("check circuit breaker") and the amplifier going  
into bypass mode. Power output drops to 12 watts max in this case. In  
some cases the power is temporarily restored after turning the K3 off  
and back on.

The cure is to replace the tin-plated contacts with new ones which  
have gold plating. It's fairly easy to replace just the pins involved.  
I believe we've been shipping the gold-plated connectors since  
sometime in 2009.

If you have an older K3/100 and you're planning to use their K3 in  
high humidity or salt air, or if you've seen the warning message, you  
should replace these connectors. They will be supplied free of charge  
on request (email "parts at elecraft dot com").

If you further questions on this topic, please email k3support.

73,
Wayne
N6KR

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Re: Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR 12V" problem

WE5ST
Wayne,
Define "older K3" please. Can you let us know when you started shipping K3's
with gold contacts; date or S/N?

Thanks!
Jack - WE5ST




________________________________
From: Wayne Burdick <[hidden email]>
To: Elecraft Reflector <[hidden email]>
Cc: [hidden email]
Sent: Tue, February 14, 2012 9:53:28 AM
Subject: [Elecraft] Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR 12V"
problem

Early K3s had tin plating on the connectors that supply 12 V DC to the  
KPAIO3 and KPA3 modules. We discovered that in some climates the tin  
plating can eventually corrode, reducing voltage to the PA module,  
especially when operated at high duty cycle. This can result in an  
"ERR 12V" warning ("check circuit breaker") and the amplifier going  
into bypass mode. Power output drops to 12 watts max in this case. In  
some cases the power is temporarily restored after turning the K3 off  
and back on.

The cure is to replace the tin-plated contacts with new ones which  
have gold plating. It's fairly easy to replace just the pins involved.  
I believe we've been shipping the gold-plated connectors since  
sometime in 2009.

If you have an older K3/100 and you're planning to use their K3 in  
high humidity or salt air, or if you've seen the warning message, you  
should replace these connectors. They will be supplied free of charge  
on request (email "parts at elecraft dot com").

If you further questions on this topic, please email k3support.

73,
Wayne
N6KR

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Jack - WE5ST
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Re: Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR 12V" problem

wayne burdick
Administrator
I'll look into the date.

tnx
Wayne

> On Feb 14, 2012, at 8:20 AM, Jack Berry wrote:
>
>> Wayne,
>> Define "older K3" please. Can you let us know when you started  
>> shipping K3's with gold contacts; date or S/N?
>>
>> Thanks!
>> Jack - WE5ST
>


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Re: Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR12V" problem

Adriano Perazio
In reply to this post by WE5ST
Mine is s/n 4795 and showed this problem last week. After turn off it
disapeared. So must be it.

PY2ADR

-----Mensagem Original-----
From: Jack Berry
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 2:20 PM
To: Wayne Burdick ; Elecraft Reflector
Cc: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible
"ERR12V" problem

Wayne,
Define "older K3" please. Can you let us know when you started shipping K3's
with gold contacts; date or S/N?

Thanks!
Jack - WE5ST




________________________________
From: Wayne Burdick <[hidden email]>
To: Elecraft Reflector <[hidden email]>
Cc: [hidden email]
Sent: Tue, February 14, 2012 9:53:28 AM
Subject: [Elecraft] Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR 12V"
problem

Early K3s had tin plating on the connectors that supply 12 V DC to the
KPAIO3 and KPA3 modules. We discovered that in some climates the tin
plating can eventually corrode, reducing voltage to the PA module,
especially when operated at high duty cycle. This can result in an
"ERR 12V" warning ("check circuit breaker") and the amplifier going
into bypass mode. Power output drops to 12 watts max in this case. In
some cases the power is temporarily restored after turning the K3 off
and back on.

The cure is to replace the tin-plated contacts with new ones which
have gold plating. It's fairly easy to replace just the pins involved.
I believe we've been shipping the gold-plated connectors since
sometime in 2009.

If you have an older K3/100 and you're planning to use their K3 in
high humidity or salt air, or if you've seen the warning message, you
should replace these connectors. They will be supplied free of charge
on request (email "parts at elecraft dot com").

If you further questions on this topic, please email k3support.

73,
Wayne
N6KR

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Re: Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR12V" problem

Nr4c
That's odd, as yours is newer than mine, and I'm pretty sure mine has
gold plated pins on all connectors.  And, my K3 was delivered Aug3,
2010.  Well after the 2009 date.

...bill  nr4c


On Tue, 14 Feb 2012 14:37:36 -0200, Adriano Perazio wrote:

> Mine is s/n 4795 and showed this problem last week. After turn off it
> disapeared. So must be it.
>
> PY2ADR
>
> -----Mensagem Original-----
> From: Jack Berry
> Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 2:20 PM
> To: Wayne Burdick ; Elecraft Reflector
> Cc: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid
> possible
> "ERR12V" problem
>
> Wayne,
> Define "older K3" please. Can you let us know when you started
> shipping K3's
> with gold contacts; date or S/N?
>
> Thanks!
> Jack - WE5ST
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Wayne Burdick <[hidden email]>
> To: Elecraft Reflector <[hidden email]>
> Cc: [hidden email]
> Sent: Tue, February 14, 2012 9:53:28 AM
> Subject: [Elecraft] Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible
> "ERR 12V"
> problem
>
> Early K3s had tin plating on the connectors that supply 12 V DC to
> the
> KPAIO3 and KPA3 modules. We discovered that in some climates the tin
> plating can eventually corrode, reducing voltage to the PA module,
> especially when operated at high duty cycle. This can result in an
> "ERR 12V" warning ("check circuit breaker") and the amplifier going
> into bypass mode. Power output drops to 12 watts max in this case. In
> some cases the power is temporarily restored after turning the K3 off
> and back on.
>
> The cure is to replace the tin-plated contacts with new ones which
> have gold plating. It's fairly easy to replace just the pins
> involved.
> I believe we've been shipping the gold-plated connectors since
> sometime in 2009.
>
> If you have an older K3/100 and you're planning to use their K3 in
> high humidity or salt air, or if you've seen the warning message, you
> should replace these connectors. They will be supplied free of charge
> on request (email "parts at elecraft dot com").
>
> If you further questions on this topic, please email k3support.
>
> 73,
> Wayne
> N6KR



>
> ______________________________________________________________
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> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
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> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
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> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
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>
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> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
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>
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Re: Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR12V" problem [more info]

wayne burdick
Administrator
The change was implemented around May of 2009, meaning radios with  
serial numbers in the low 3000's.

If you have a K3/100 more recent than this and you're seeing ERR 12 V,  
check the Faston terminals on the circuit breaker (they are crimped,  
and could be soldered or replaced). Also verify that the KPA3 is fully  
plugged into the KPAIO3, and that the KPAIO3 is fully plugged into the  
RF board.

If it's not either of these, please contact K3 support.

Wayne
N6KR

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Re: Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR12V" problem

Stewart@twinwood
In reply to this post by Nr4c
I had a look inside my K3 today. Although it is an early one, S/N 307
it has a new RF board with gold pins.However, these mate with the KPA103
Interface Module which has sockets that are tinned.

I thought that there was a danger that over a period of time the tin would
migrate onto the gold surface and cause oxide issues.

Shouldn't it be gold to gold, and tin to tin ?

73
Stewart G3RXQ
On Tue, 14 Feb 2012 11:41:16 -0500, nr4c wrote:

> That's odd, as yours is newer than mine, and I'm pretty sure mine has
> gold plated pins on all connectors.  And, my K3 was delivered Aug3,
> 2010.  Well after the 2009 date.
>
> ...bill  nr4c
>
>
> On Tue, 14 Feb 2012 14:37:36 -0200, Adriano Perazio wrote:
>> Mine is s/n 4795 and showed this problem last week. After turn off it
>> disapeared. So must be it.
>>
>> PY2ADR
>>
>> -----Mensagem Original-----
>> From: Jack Berry
>> Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 2:20 PM
>> To: Wayne Burdick ; Elecraft Reflector
>> Cc: [hidden email]
>> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid
>> possible
>> "ERR12V" problem
>>
>> Wayne,
>> Define "older K3" please. Can you let us know when you started
>> shipping K3's
>> with gold contacts; date or S/N?
>>
>> Thanks!
>> Jack - WE5ST
>>
>>
>> ________________________________
>> From: Wayne Burdick <[hidden email]>
>> To: Elecraft Reflector <[hidden email]>
>> Cc: [hidden email]
>> Sent: Tue, February 14, 2012 9:53:28 AM
>> Subject: [Elecraft] Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible
>> "ERR 12V"
>> problem
>>
>> Early K3s had tin plating on the connectors that supply 12 V DC to
>> the
>> KPAIO3 and KPA3 modules. We discovered that in some climates the tin
>> plating can eventually corrode, reducing voltage to the PA module,
>> especially when operated at high duty cycle. This can result in an
>> "ERR 12V" warning ("check circuit breaker") and the amplifier going
>> into bypass mode. Power output drops to 12 watts max in this case. In
>> some cases the power is temporarily restored after turning the K3 off
>> and back on.
>>
>> The cure is to replace the tin-plated contacts with new ones which
>> have gold plating. It's fairly easy to replace just the pins
>> involved.
>> I believe we've been shipping the gold-plated connectors since
>> sometime in 2009.
>>
>> If you have an older K3/100 and you're planning to use their K3 in
>> high humidity or salt air, or if you've seen the warning message, you
>> should replace these connectors. They will be supplied free of charge
>> on request (email "parts at elecraft dot com").
>>
>> If you further questions on this topic, please email k3support.
>>
>> 73,
>> Wayne
>> N6KR
>
>>
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>>
>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>>
>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>>
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>>
>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
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Re: Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR12V" problem

wayne burdick
Administrator
Both the production change and the field modification result in gold-
to-gold contacts throughout the 12 V circuit to the PA.

Wayne
N6KR

On Feb 14, 2012, at 9:12 AM, Stewart wrote:

> I had a look inside my K3 today. Although it is an early one, S/N 307
> it has a new RF board with gold pins.However, these mate with the  
> KPA103
> Interface Module which has sockets that are tinned.
>
> I thought that there was a danger that over a period of time the tin  
> would
> migrate onto the gold surface and cause oxide issues.
>
> Shouldn't it be gold to gold, and tin to tin ?


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Re: Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR12V" problem

Adriano Perazio
In reply to this post by Nr4c
I´m not pretty sure but mine was Oct. 2010 but the problem was exactly the
same except for the msg error. I didn´t see any but i tried to put more than
12w but no way.
I went into the menu to check if the PA was enable and yes. After shut down
it was normal agn.
As i stopped radio after that for the Hamcation visit, i don´t know what
will happens next.

PY2ADR

-----Mensagem Original-----
From: nr4c
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 2:41 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible
"ERR12V" problem

That's odd, as yours is newer than mine, and I'm pretty sure mine has
gold plated pins on all connectors.  And, my K3 was delivered Aug3,
2010.  Well after the 2009 date.

...bill  nr4c


On Tue, 14 Feb 2012 14:37:36 -0200, Adriano Perazio wrote:

> Mine is s/n 4795 and showed this problem last week. After turn off it
> disapeared. So must be it.
>
> PY2ADR
>
> -----Mensagem Original-----
> From: Jack Berry
> Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 2:20 PM
> To: Wayne Burdick ; Elecraft Reflector
> Cc: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid
> possible
> "ERR12V" problem
>
> Wayne,
> Define "older K3" please. Can you let us know when you started
> shipping K3's
> with gold contacts; date or S/N?
>
> Thanks!
> Jack - WE5ST
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Wayne Burdick <[hidden email]>
> To: Elecraft Reflector <[hidden email]>
> Cc: [hidden email]
> Sent: Tue, February 14, 2012 9:53:28 AM
> Subject: [Elecraft] Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible
> "ERR 12V"
> problem
>
> Early K3s had tin plating on the connectors that supply 12 V DC to
> the
> KPAIO3 and KPA3 modules. We discovered that in some climates the tin
> plating can eventually corrode, reducing voltage to the PA module,
> especially when operated at high duty cycle. This can result in an
> "ERR 12V" warning ("check circuit breaker") and the amplifier going
> into bypass mode. Power output drops to 12 watts max in this case. In
> some cases the power is temporarily restored after turning the K3 off
> and back on.
>
> The cure is to replace the tin-plated contacts with new ones which
> have gold plating. It's fairly easy to replace just the pins
> involved.
> I believe we've been shipping the gold-plated connectors since
> sometime in 2009.
>
> If you have an older K3/100 and you're planning to use their K3 in
> high humidity or salt air, or if you've seen the warning message, you
> should replace these connectors. They will be supplied free of charge
> on request (email "parts at elecraft dot com").
>
> If you further questions on this topic, please email k3support.
>
> 73,
> Wayne
> N6KR



>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html

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Re: Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR12V" problem

Stewart@twinwood
In reply to this post by wayne burdick
Thanks Wayne,
Does the field modification also include changing pins on the KPA3
PCB, as mine are tin plated ?

73
Stewart G3RXQ
On Tue, 14 Feb 2012 09:21:31 -0800, Wayne Burdick wrote:

> Both the production change and the field modification result in gold-
> to-gold contacts throughout the 12 V circuit to the PA.
>
> Wayne
> N6KR
>
> On Feb 14, 2012, at 9:12 AM, Stewart wrote:
>
>> I had a look inside my K3 today. Although it is an early one, S/N 307
>> it has a new RF board with gold pins.However, these mate with the
>> KPA103
>> Interface Module which has sockets that are tinned.
>>
>> I thought that there was a danger that over a period of time the tin
>> would
>> migrate onto the gold surface and cause oxide issues.
>>
>> Shouldn't it be gold to gold, and tin to tin ?


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Re: Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR12V" problem

wayne burdick
Administrator
I'm pretty sure, but check with k3support when you order the mod kit.

73,
Wayne
N6KR

On Feb 14, 2012, at 9:35 AM, Stewart wrote:

> Thanks Wayne,
> Does the field modification also include changing pins on the KPA3
> PCB, as mine are tin plated ?
>
> 73
> Stewart G3RXQ
> On Tue, 14 Feb 2012 09:21:31 -0800, Wayne Burdick wrote:
>> Both the production change and the field modification result in gold-
>> to-gold contacts throughout the 12 V circuit to the PA.
>>
>> Wayne
>> N6KR
>>
>> On Feb 14, 2012, at 9:12 AM, Stewart wrote:
>>
>>> I had a look inside my K3 today. Although it is an early one, S/N  
>>> 307
>>> it has a new RF board with gold pins.However, these mate with the
>>> KPA103
>>> Interface Module which has sockets that are tinned.
>>>
>>> I thought that there was a danger that over a period of time the tin
>>> would
>>> migrate onto the gold surface and cause oxide issues.
>>>
>>> Shouldn't it be gold to gold, and tin to tin ?

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Re: Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible"ERR12V" problem

Cady, Fred
In reply to this post by Adriano Perazio
 The mod may not solve everything. At C6ATA last november, one of the K3s which had the Elecraft installed pin changes failed again. KB7Q ended up jumpering around the pins to get back on the air for the contest. I don't know if the pins were gold to gold or what but it was the classic ERR12V warning.


-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Adriano Perazio
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 10:32 AM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible"ERR12V" problem

I´m not pretty sure but mine was Oct. 2010 but the problem was exactly the same except for the msg error. I didn´t see any but i tried to put more than 12w but no way.
I went into the menu to check if the PA was enable and yes. After shut down it was normal agn.
As i stopped radio after that for the Hamcation visit, i don´t know what will happens next.

PY2ADR

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Re: Older K3/100s can be updated to avoid possible "ERR12V" problem

wayne burdick
Administrator
I was unaware of this, but I'll check with support to see what they  
did about it. The station may have been running extremely high duty  
cycle in worst-case temperature/climate conditions. We need to handle  
this, of course. (Nothing like extended field testing to get the  
engineering team excited.)

I know of one case where salt water was literally splashing on the  
gear through an open window. Given the equatorial temperatures, the  
fans were on high, pushing the water inside the vent holes. No defense  
against that. I'm surprised we didn't find barnacles on it once it  
came to the Elecraft dry dock.

Wayne
N6KR


On Feb 14, 2012, at 11:41 AM, Cady, Fred wrote:

> The mod may not solve everything.....
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