KPA1500 Software Page

Current Production Firmware

MCU 1.40 April 3, 2018

All KPA1500 amplifiers ordered today will have Product Firmware loaded as they come out of the box. Monitor the Elecraft Email Reflector where announcements are made when new releases become available.

Elecraft delivers new features in firmware. As a result, you should consider the Release Notes as an extension of the Owners Manual. Documentation for the new features will be found there and will not appear in the Owner’s Manual until the next major manual revision is released.

Current Production Firmware Release Notes

01.40 3-30-2018

  • T/R improvements for fault handling and hot-switch from STBY to OPER

  • Frequency counter stability improvements

  • Bypass power amplifier when RF input arrives before or after KEY IN. Use T/R Added Time menu item if exciter continues to send RF after KEY IN is raised. This occurs if the key line hasn't been connected, or an interrupter (e.g. N8LP wattmeter or SteppIR controller) breaks the key line and RF arrives, or RF is sensed after raising KEY IN.

  • ATU fixes. Skip full search tune if ATU TUNE is pressed and a stored setting that meets ATU STOP SWR is found. Speed up ATU HiSWR RETUNE.

  • Add current ATU setting to fault entry

  • Improve ATU XCVR KEY when KPA1500 is in mode OPER. Requires K3 MCU version 05.63 or later.

  • Show ATU reactances (nH and pF) in ^DF command response

Important - Please read before installing the latest Production Firmware

There is no special instructions at this time.

Production Firmware Installation Instructions are found in the Utility

  • All Production Firmware is loaded with the KPA1500 Utility. It will take care of the download and installing Production Firmware
  • Before loading Production Firmware, please ensure you have installed the latest version of the KPA1500 Utility.
  • See the Help → Getting Started pull-down menu in the KPA1500 Utility for the steps to install firmware in your KPA1500.

Download and Install the KPA1500 Utility for your Operating System

Follow the links below to download and install the latest version of the Utility for your Operating System. You will be using the USB A-to-B cable that was shipped with the KPA1500.

Minimum Operating System Requirements for Elecraft Utilities

Microsoft Windows: XP Service Pack 3 or later, including Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 and 10.

Apple Mac: OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later

WindowsKPA1500 Utility (Windows Version March 15, 2018
MacIntosh Not yet available
X86 LinuxNot yet available
Installing the FTDI driverFollow this link to the FTDI Site for drivers:

Depending on the Operating System you have, the driver needed for the Utility to communicate with the KPA1500 will need to be loaded.

All Elecraft products in production use the FTDI chipset for this function. The FTDI driver allows your computer to create a virtual COM port so that the Utility can communicate with the Elecraft product.

Beta Firmware Installation and Release Notes

Beta Firmware Release Notes

01.49 6-4-2018

  • Display overdrive event details on LCD

  • Increase time to fault on intermittent overdrive

  • Increase time to fault for high input power

  • Don't compute SWR in Mode OPER until power reaches 25 watts

  • Treat very low VFWD & VREV ADC counts as 0

  • ^VI command corrected (TU VA2SQ)

  • Change default fan speed temperature thresholds from 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 to 60, 70, 78, 85, 90 degrees. Updates existing amps from the old default fan speeds. Does not modify fan speed threshold temperatures if they have been customized (already different from default temperatures).

  • ATU menu item swapped C with L values for bit patterns (TU K1GQ)

  • ALC set command changes ALC voltage only for current band

  • MODE switch from STBY to OPER with ^OS1; command, used by KPA1500 Utility operate page, now clears current fault like the front panel MODE button

  • Add current speed to FAN SPEED menu item

  • Add ^FS fan speed query for KPA500 compatibility

Beta Test Firmware Installation Procedures

NOTE: Beta test firmware may have new issues that we haven't caught during field testing. Please report them to

A little more detail

We make it a little harder to load Beta firmware mainly because we want you to be sure you want to do this. Beta firmware means that, while the KPA1500 engineering team has fully tested the firmware, it has not yet been deemed ready for Production status. You can always return to the last firmware you have downloaded by following the steps in the KPA1500 Utility’s Help section.

To load Beta Firmware, follow the steps below:

  1. Create a new folder for the beta firmware on your Desktop or some other easily found location. Use the a different folder than the default folder found in the Firmware tab of the KPA1500 Utility. In this way, you can revert to the last Production firmware easily.
  2. Now, we will download the firmware in Zip file format. In a web browser, type in this URL:
    If you do not see the correct version of the zip file, press the RELOAD / REFRESH button on your browser to update your browser cache.
  3. Right-click on the .zip file containing the beta firmware (e.g. for revision MCU X.YZ and all associated files). Save the file to your beta folder you just created.
  4. Unzip the files into the beta folder.
  5. Enter the path to the beta folder in KPA1500 Utility → Firmware tab → "Local folder for firmware files".
  6. After you have made the change in Step 5, make sure you *DO NOT* check the KPA1500 Utility box titled "Copy new files from Elecraft server". This will overwrite the Beta firmware if clicked.
  7. Connect the KPA1500 to your computer and be sure it is turned on. Select the Firmware tab and Click on "Check versions now" button.
  8. Review the release notes. To find them, select the "Help" pull-down menu.
  9. Click "Send all firmware to KPA1500." This will cause the firmware to be sent to the KPA1500. You will see that the KPA1500 appears to restart itself. Monitor the Activity Log until it is complete.
  10. After completing a new software download to your product, please power cycle the KPA1500 OFF and then back ON before using it.
  11. Please report any new firmware issues to