KAM-XL and RDCP/Mac Notebook

A few observations and hints that may be of benefit to Macintosh users of the Kantronics KAM-XL.

A KAM-XL and RDCP/Mac user reported that the startup process window would display either an invalid device or that the connected device could not be identified. The "fix" was to increase the speed between the computer and the KAM-XL. This is the TNC "abaud" speed and was increased to 9600.

There is a list of commands in the Kantronics supplied pdf documentation file. It begins on page 102 and doesn't have a table of contents entry. (This was corrected in the new files posted on the Kantronics web site.)

The CW key line for Port 2 is pin 4. (Check the CTRL command)

It was necessary to set a couple of parameters to receive packet on both ports and control the transceiver in the CW mode. These are in addition to settings such as MCOM, MCON, MYCALL, etc.

HBAUD 300/1200 (300 baud HF-Port 2, 1200 baud VHF, Port 1)



If you also use the MacAPRS software, be aware that stream switching has been changed in the KAM-XL.

Instead of |A and/or ~A to change to the "A" stream on the different ports, the switch is now the "|" for both ports followed by the port number.


|1A for the "A" stream on port 1.
|2A for the "A" stream on port 2.


You will need to use some terminal software such as "Z-Term" to upgrade the KAM-XL bios.

If using Z-Term, first check that you are able to communicate with the KAM-XL before beginning. This may require setting the "Connection" information in the "Settings" menu.

Once satisfied, shut off the KAM-XL, remove the cover and set the jumper(s) as described in the Kantronics documentation. Now in ZTerm, set the "Connection" baud speed to the rate required by the jumper settings.

Still in ZTerm, in the "Settings" menu select "Text Pacing" and set the "Character Spacing" to 0 (zero) and the "Line Spacing" to 2. (We tried zero for that setting but received an error during the transfer. This was from MacOS X.)

Turn on the KAM-XL and follow the screen and instructions in the Kantronics documentation. Use the "Send Text" option in the "File" menu of ZTerm to send.


In RDCP/Mac the various bargraph, mode, and squelch controls use the Control:PSK31: menu items or their command key shortcuts.

Example - Where the Kantronics documentation suggests a bargraph LED selection using <Ctrl+C>6, use Command-6 with RDCP/Mac.



The "Zoom Out" key (same as <Ctrl+C>Z in Kantronics documentation) is the Command-` key. This is the same as the "tilde" key (~) and located next to the "1" key on some keyboards.

A quick and dirty tutorial for tuning PSK31 signals - without the fine points.

PSK31 activity may be found around the following frequencies.

1838.15kHz, 3580.15kHz, 7070.15kHz, 7035.15kHz, 10137.15kHz, 14070.15kHz, 18100.15kHz, 21080.15kHz,24925kHz, 28120.15kHz, 50.290mHz,144.144mHz, 222.07mHz, 432.2mHz, 909mHz

Set your transceiver to USB. Enter PSK31 mode with RDCP/Mac. Entering PSK31 mode will set the squelch to 0 (zero) on the 2.0v1 and later versions of RDCP/Mac.

Press Command-6 once. Press Command- = (Squelch Increase) once. Now slowly tune to a signal so the 6th LED is bright and the "Rcv" light is glowing. You should be decoding.

From this point, you may further narrow the bandwidth with another Command-6. To transmit press the Command-T transmit command. Pressing Command-E will return to receive when your buffer has been transmitted.

RDCP/Mac © 1997...2005, Nedbalek Enterprises, Inc.
KAM XL, G-TOR and K-NET are trademarks of Kantronics Co., Inc.

Last updated 8-Jan-2005