k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

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k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

km5ps
I have been noticing that on 10 meters when I bypass the internal tuner
I get a High Current error message.  On my amp meter on my Astron 35m
pwr supply it shows that when I key up about 22 amps and then keeps
rising up to about 35 amps and then cuts itself back.  When I use the
internal tuner on k3 it does not do this.  It shows about 22 amps on amp
meter.  This is the only band that I have noticed this on.  The swr of
antenna is about 1.3:1 for ten meters.  Any suggestions on what might be
wrong?

John
KM5PS
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Re: k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

km5ps
On 3/5/2012 8:09 PM, km5ps wrote:

> I have been noticing that on 10 meters when I bypass the internal tuner
> I get a High Current error message.  On my amp meter on my Astron 35m
> pwr supply it shows that when I key up about 22 amps and then keeps
> rising up to about 35 amps and then cuts itself back.  When I use the
> internal tuner on k3 it does not do this.  It shows about 22 amps on amp
> meter.  This is the only band that I have noticed this on.  The swr of
> antenna is about 1.3:1 for ten meters.  Any suggestions on what might be
> wrong?
>
> John
> KM5PS
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I did not mentioned that the test was with 100 watts.  When I drop it
back to 90w or lower it does not do this.

John

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Re: k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

Bob Harvey - K2PI
In reply to this post by km5ps
John did you ever get an answer to this?  I have a similar situation.

73
Harv
K2PI



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Re: k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

Don Wilhelm
Harv,

I did not see the initial post (fault of Nabble vs. the real Elecraft
reflector), but High Current messages can be caused by a low impedance
at the antenna connection, or also a fault in the KPA3, like one output
transistor that is no longer functioning properly.
There are other causes, like incorrect bias to the PA transistors.
Without more specific observations, it is difficult to give a specific
answer.

Have you tried a TX Gain Calibration on your K3/K3S?  If not, try it.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 12/19/2018 9:30 AM, Bob Harvey - K2PI wrote:

> John did you ever get an answer to this?  I have a similar situation.
>
> 73
> Harv
> K2PI
>
>
>
> --
> Sent from: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/
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> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>
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Re: k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

Bob Harvey - K2PI
Hi Don:

Actually, my issue is only on 10M.  It appears that as I transmit, current consumption increases, and I get occasional high current messages.  This is more apparent on long duty cycle modes like RTTY, and at higher power levels (80-100W).  If I watch, I can see current consumption start at 16 amps, and slowly rise to 25-27 amps.  

I performed a TX gain Cal successfully, and that made it a bit more stable (only rising to 20 or 21 amps now), but it still concerns me.  A friend suggested this may be blown coils in the output bandpass filters.  I can wrap new coils if needed, but don’t want to do this if that’s not the problem.

73
Harv
K2PI

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Don Wilhelm
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 9:44 AM
To: Bob Harvey - K2PI; [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

Harv,

I did not see the initial post (fault of Nabble vs. the real Elecraft
reflector), but High Current messages can be caused by a low impedance
at the antenna connection, or also a fault in the KPA3, like one output
transistor that is no longer functioning properly.
There are other causes, like incorrect bias to the PA transistors.
Without more specific observations, it is difficult to give a specific
answer.

Have you tried a TX Gain Calibration on your K3/K3S?  If not, try it.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 12/19/2018 9:30 AM, Bob Harvey - K2PI wrote:

> John did you ever get an answer to this?  I have a similar situation.
>
> 73
> Harv
> K2PI
>
>
>
> --
> Sent from: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/
> ______________________________________________________________
> 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
> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>

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Re: k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

Don Wilhelm
Harv,

I think the key is what you said about "long cycles modes like RTTY". 
Things heat up in those instances and the current will increase.  The
only 'cure' is to reduce power.  I would suggest running RTTY at a power
level of 50% of the CW/SSB rating for the transmitter.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 12/19/2018 9:53 AM, Gadget Lust wrote:

>
> Hi Don:
>
> Actually, my issue is only on 10M.  It appears that as I transmit,
> current consumption increases, and I get occasional high current
> messages.  This is more apparent on long duty cycle modes like RTTY,
> and at higher power levels (80-100W).  If I watch, I can see current
> consumption start at 16 amps, and slowly rise to 25-27 amps.
>
> I performed a TX gain Cal successfully, and that made it a bit more
> stable (only rising to 20 or 21 amps now), but it still concerns me. 
> A friend suggested this may be blown coils in the output bandpass
> filters.  I can wrap new coils if needed, but don’t want to do this if
> that’s not the problem.
>
>

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Re: k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

Bob McGraw - K4TAX
In reply to this post by Bob Harvey - K2PI
Check fans and cooling. Make sure airflow is not obstructed.

Bob, K4TAX


Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 19, 2018, at 8:53 AM, Gadget Lust <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi Don:
>
> Actually, my issue is only on 10M.  It appears that as I transmit, current consumption increases, and I get occasional high current messages.  This is more apparent on long duty cycle modes like RTTY, and at higher power levels (80-100W).  If I watch, I can see current consumption start at 16 amps, and slowly rise to 25-27 amps.  
>
> I performed a TX gain Cal successfully, and that made it a bit more stable (only rising to 20 or 21 amps now), but it still concerns me.  A friend suggested this may be blown coils in the output bandpass filters.  I can wrap new coils if needed, but don’t want to do this if that’s not the problem.
>
> 73
> Harv
> K2PI
>
> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
>
> From: Don Wilhelm
> Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 9:44 AM
> To: Bob Harvey - K2PI; [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] k3 High Current Message on 10 meters
>
> Harv,
>
> I did not see the initial post (fault of Nabble vs. the real Elecraft
> reflector), but High Current messages can be caused by a low impedance
> at the antenna connection, or also a fault in the KPA3, like one output
> transistor that is no longer functioning properly.
> There are other causes, like incorrect bias to the PA transistors.
> Without more specific observations, it is difficult to give a specific
> answer.
>
> Have you tried a TX Gain Calibration on your K3/K3S?  If not, try it.
>
> 73,
> Don W3FPR
>
>> On 12/19/2018 9:30 AM, Bob Harvey - K2PI wrote:
>> John did you ever get an answer to this?  I have a similar situation.
>>
>> 73
>> Harv
>> K2PI
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Sent from: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> 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
>> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>>
>
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> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
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>
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> Message delivered to [hidden email]


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Re: k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

Bob Harvey - K2PI
In reply to this post by Don Wilhelm
HI Don:

Understood, but the K3 is rated for full duty cycle on those modes, and this is a new issue.  I can certainly run it way under that and turn on the KPA500, but still worry something is going south.

73
Harv
K2PI

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Don Wilhelm
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 10:05 AM
To: Gadget Lust; [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

Harv,

I think the key is what you said about "long cycles modes like RTTY". 
Things heat up in those instances and the current will increase.  The
only 'cure' is to reduce power.  I would suggest running RTTY at a power
level of 50% of the CW/SSB rating for the transmitter.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 12/19/2018 9:53 AM, Gadget Lust wrote:

>
> Hi Don:
>
> Actually, my issue is only on 10M.  It appears that as I transmit,
> current consumption increases, and I get occasional high current
> messages.  This is more apparent on long duty cycle modes like RTTY,
> and at higher power levels (80-100W).  If I watch, I can see current
> consumption start at 16 amps, and slowly rise to 25-27 amps.
>
> I performed a TX gain Cal successfully, and that made it a bit more
> stable (only rising to 20 or 21 amps now), but it still concerns me. 
> A friend suggested this may be blown coils in the output bandpass
> filters.  I can wrap new coils if needed, but don’t want to do this if
> that’s not the problem.
>
>


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Re: k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

Howard Stephenson - K6IA
In reply to this post by km5ps
Harv,

Make sure that you are getting  13.8V at the K3 when it's in TX
Tap DISP and turn VFO B to **.* V to read that voltage.


73
Howard Stephenson K6IA
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Re: k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

Bob McGraw - K4TAX
In reply to this post by Bob Harvey - K2PI
I just performed a transmit test on 10M with my radio.   CW mode, key
closed, 100 watts into dummy load, PA current 17.38A as indicated on the
radio, PA voltage 13.6 volts as indicated on the radio.  After a 2
minute key closed period the PA temp was 56 C and stable.  Fans stepped
to max.

Same test on 80M.  PA current 18.3A , PA voltage 13.5V and PA settled at
57 C.  Fans stepped to max.

Also ran 10M RTTY / AFSK at 100 watts out with a 1 minute transmission
and observed about the same as above.

The 15 second transmit / receive cycle sounds like WSJT-X and FT-8 mode
or MSK-144 mode {not normally used on 10M}    Normally I do not run any
analog digital mode at 100 watts due to a bit of compression that
appears to occur in the PA stage.     My suggestion, as I do, run 50 to
75 watts with analog data. Likewise with the KPA500, about 300 to 400
watts max for analog data signals.

In working SSB do you get reports of "fuzzy audio" or with PSK-31 get
reports of poor IMD ?  If so I would suspect an issue with the KPA3A.   
Consult Elecraft Tech Support.

73

Bob, K4TAX


On 12/19/2018 10:34 AM, Robert Harvey wrote:

> Hi Bob and Don:
>
> Actually, I am not transmitting data at anywhere near that length of time.  I am talking about a 10-15 second transmission in which I notice this.
>
> Just some observations:
>
> 1.  There is no cooling fan obstruction and they run normally as far as I've been able to observe.
> 2.  This is a new problem.
> 3.  The power supply is delivering 14.0 volts under load, with a line drop of .2 volts on transmit.
> 4.  This occurs into a dummy load, or any one of three matched antennas.  Even bypassing tuners into the DL or antennas shows this same effect.
> 5.  The antenna system SWR is steady, both on the DL and on the antenna's while this is taking place.
>
> If this is more or less normal behavior on 10M, and not indicative of bandpass filter failure or imminent failure, I can live with it.  I can run the KPA500, which only requires about 20W input on 10M to get full output, so I am not concerned about loss of signal all that much.
>
> Thanks and 73!
>
> Harv
> K2PI
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bob McGraw K4TAX [mailto:[hidden email]]
> Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 10:43 AM
> To: Gadget Lust
> Cc: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] k3 High Current Message on 10 meters
>
> Harv:
>
> Per the manual the transmitter is rated at 100% duty cycle for CW and
> SSB modes.   This is for 10 minutes key down.  Then it should be in
> standby for 10 minutes.  I do agree with Don that RTTY at 100 watts is
> likely above the duty cycle rating.    As temperature increases so does
> current.   Which makes for more heat.    Most radios and amps are rated
> at 50% duty cycle for carrier modes such as RTTY.   Most RTTY operations
> I've observed do transmit a lot more than receive.
>
> You haven't indicated but is this a new problem or just a problem
> observed?  Other bands the KPA3A is more efficient and will produce less
> heat than on 10M.  In fact 6M has restrictions on power level where
> power should be reduced to 85 watts or 70 watts depending on segment of
> the band.
>
> Fans, ......cooling is the key factor.   What temp is the PA running
> under these conditions?   Has the temperature calibration been done?
> Also are the fans ramping up as they should?  Is the power supply
> delivering 13.8 to 14.8 under load?   If it is low the PA will draw more
> current to produce 100 watts.
>
> Just a few thoughts.
>
> "Duty Cycle:  CW and SSB modes, 100% 10-min. 100 W key-down at 25 C
> ambient".
>
> 73
>
> Bob, K4TAX
>
>
> On 12/19/2018 9:07 AM, Gadget Lust wrote:
>> HI Don:
>>
>> Understood, but the K3 is rated for full duty cycle on those modes, and this is a new issue.  I can certainly run it way under that and turn on the KPA500, but still worry something is going south.
>>
>> 73
>> Harv
>> K2PI
>>
>> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
>>
>> From: Don Wilhelm
>> Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 10:05 AM
>> To: Gadget Lust; [hidden email]
>> Subject: Re: [Elecraft] k3 High Current Message on 10 meters
>>
>> Harv,
>>
>> I think the key is what you said about "long cycles modes like RTTY".
>> Things heat up in those instances and the current will increase.  The
>> only 'cure' is to reduce power.  I would suggest running RTTY at a power
>> level of 50% of the CW/SSB rating for the transmitter.
>>
>> 73,
>> Don W3FPR
>>
>> On 12/19/2018 9:53 AM, Gadget Lust wrote:
>>> Hi Don:
>>>
>>> Actually, my issue is only on 10M.  It appears that as I transmit,
>>> current consumption increases, and I get occasional high current
>>> messages.  This is more apparent on long duty cycle modes like RTTY,
>>> and at higher power levels (80-100W).  If I watch, I can see current
>>> consumption start at 16 amps, and slowly rise to 25-27 amps.
>>>
>>> I performed a TX gain Cal successfully, and that made it a bit more
>>> stable (only rising to 20 or 21 amps now), but it still concerns me.
>>> A friend suggested this may be blown coils in the output bandpass
>>> filters.  I can wrap new coils if needed, but don’t want to do this if
>>> that’s not the problem.
>>>
>>>
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
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>>
>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>
>


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Re: k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

Don Wilhelm
Harv,

Can you please report your current draw, temperature, etc. in a similar
manner to what Bob observed when he tested his K3S.

Maybe with that data, we can make some recommendations.

73,
Don W3FPR

On 12/19/2018 4:26 PM, Robert Harvey wrote:
> Hi:
>
> Thanks for the information Bob.  No, I don't receive poor audio reports, and yes, I was testing with FT8 on 10M this morning, but I have also notice similar symptoms on CW.
>
> I will keep an eye on it, but it sounds like yours is "normal", and mine less so.
>
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Re: k3 High Current Message on 10 meters

Nr4c
In reply to this post by Bob McGraw - K4TAX
If you’re using a BALUN is it saturating or ha anything changed in your antenna system?  Connectors checked for tightness?

Sent from my iPhone
...nr4c. bill


> On Dec 19, 2018, at 2:13 PM, Bob McGraw K4TAX <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I just performed a transmit test on 10M with my radio.   CW mode, key closed, 100 watts into dummy load, PA current 17.38A as indicated on the radio, PA voltage 13.6 volts as indicated on the radio.  After a 2 minute key closed period the PA temp was 56 C and stable.  Fans stepped to max.
>
> Same test on 80M.  PA current 18.3A , PA voltage 13.5V and PA settled at 57 C.  Fans stepped to max.
>
> Also ran 10M RTTY / AFSK at 100 watts out with a 1 minute transmission and observed about the same as above.
>
> The 15 second transmit / receive cycle sounds like WSJT-X and FT-8 mode or MSK-144 mode {not normally used on 10M}    Normally I do not run any analog digital mode at 100 watts due to a bit of compression that appears to occur in the PA stage.     My suggestion, as I do, run 50 to 75 watts with analog data. Likewise with the KPA500, about 300 to 400 watts max for analog data signals.
>
> In working SSB do you get reports of "fuzzy audio" or with PSK-31 get reports of poor IMD ?  If so I would suspect an issue with the KPA3A.    Consult Elecraft Tech Support.
>
> 73
>
> Bob, K4TAX
>
>
>> On 12/19/2018 10:34 AM, Robert Harvey wrote:
>> Hi Bob and Don:
>>
>> Actually, I am not transmitting data at anywhere near that length of time.  I am talking about a 10-15 second transmission in which I notice this.
>>
>> Just some observations:
>>
>> 1.  There is no cooling fan obstruction and they run normally as far as I've been able to observe.
>> 2.  This is a new problem.
>> 3.  The power supply is delivering 14.0 volts under load, with a line drop of .2 volts on transmit.
>> 4.  This occurs into a dummy load, or any one of three matched antennas.  Even bypassing tuners into the DL or antennas shows this same effect.
>> 5.  The antenna system SWR is steady, both on the DL and on the antenna's while this is taking place.
>>
>> If this is more or less normal behavior on 10M, and not indicative of bandpass filter failure or imminent failure, I can live with it.  I can run the KPA500, which only requires about 20W input on 10M to get full output, so I am not concerned about loss of signal all that much.
>>
>> Thanks and 73!
>>
>> Harv
>> K2PI
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Bob McGraw K4TAX [mailto:[hidden email]]
>> Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 1

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