Thursday, November 1, 2018

Elecraft KPA-500 at low drive levels

Using Anan-10e to drive KPA-500
I've been using my Apache Labs Anan-10e (and Elecraft KX2 at times) with my Elecraft KPA-500 quite a lot lately, mainly to take these lower-powered rigs up to the 100 watt level.

Although the KPA-500 is targeted towards those wanting to achieve 500-600 watts out from their Big Rigs, it makes for an excellent way to provide "boots" (a W1FB-ism) for QRP radios that have a 'Key Out' jack.

Here is the chart I made for myself as I continue to consider ordering a KPA-100 - Elecraft's amplifier made specifically for QRP rigs. While the KPA-500 produces a higher output, it is far less portable, especially given that mine is wired for 240 VAC.

The indecision continues...


  1. There is a 3 to 1 price difference to consider too. I was starting to consider my retirement location and equipment needs/wants/desire. I have KX3 and thought about getting their 100 watt amp and dumping the TS590. Then I thought, even though given my current QTH I couldn’t use it at anywhere full power, getting the KPA500 as it would fit into a modest retirement station with tower and beam(s), something I’ve never had. I haven’t done anything yet but I am leaning to the KPA-100 forprice reasons. For me the size is a nice feature but not really a deciding feature.

    1. Yes, the price is a big factor and it becomes closer to 2 to 1 if you consider adding the autotuner to the KPA-100.

      Like you, I am considering my retirement station and how I am likely to operate. I hope/plan to do more portable operation from parks etc as we travel around and, with the current solar conditions, would like a way to do that with a power level higher than 10 watts.

      DX Engineering has begun selling imported amps for HF but I've not heard much about them yet.