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Author Topic: RM Italy Amplifiers  (Read 6522 times)
WY7CHY
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Posts: 635




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« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2017, 06:32:23 AM »

This is a slippery slope. 90% (Probably HIGHER) of ham users don't measure or concern themselves with distortion levels or anything else discussed here. They BUY a radio, amp, etc. and they USE it. No one is out there intentionally trying to interfere with other users.

As for the RM Italy amps, such as the HLA-300V, I think in general they've gotten a bad rap because they are a no tune, idiot proof amp at a reasonable price. You can't over drive it, you can't accidentally mis-tune it. The average ham could buy one for $400 and get 300-400 watts out. Some old school hams don't like this. They don't like true solid state amps, let alone a cheap amp.

The ONLY reason the HLA-300v wasn't "FCC APPROVED" is because it was a true 1.8-30 mhz amp. It DIDN'T LOCK OUT the 11m band. The newer 305 model does lock out the 11m band. And because of marketing, saying it's FCC approved, they charge about $650 for the amp.

Honestly, the RM Italy HLA-305A at $650 for a 250 watt amp is a total waste of money. You're better off getting the HLA-300V for around $450 and getting 300w CW/FM / 400w PEP. Or spending the $450 on a used amp like an SB-200, FL-2100, ameritron, etc. And the amp featured in this thread is definitely a waste of money.

Where the RM Italy amp; mainly the HLA-300V really shines, it that it's a true mobile/portable amp. It's designed to be mounted in the trunk, or behind the seat, etc. It's 100% auto if you want. It's bigger and heavier than pictures show; but not as big and heavy as a fixed station amp. But for mobile, field day, etc. use it's actually the perfect size. There aren't really any other amps that can fill that niche. Even the small 500w ameritron is close to $1000.

So from a price viewpoint, except for "some" of the RM Italy amps, like the HLA-300v and some of the vhf amps, most aren't worth the money. For the same amount of money, you can buy a much better quality amp.
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Born Wild - Raised Proud: 73
Cheyenne, Wyoming
K6AER
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Posts: 4663




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« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2017, 07:24:11 AM »

There is more to getting FCC type acceptance than locking out the 11 meter band. Beside harmonics, gain (under 15 dB) the amplifier cannot radiate from the case while in used to the same specification as the output connector. I believe this is 43 dB log of the power plus 10 dB. This requires the amplifier be tested at an antenna range, 360 degrees, one degree increments at elevation angles of zero, ten, twenty and thirty degrees. These readings have to look at the harmonics out to the third for all operational frequency bands. The test takes about three days. Typical test cost about $12K to $15K. Divide that into your market and with only a $200 increase in amplifier price you would need to sell 75 amplifiers just to break even. That is why the HLA-300VA cost $605. Wither you think the amplifier is worth that price is  irrelevant, it is the cost of doing business.

BTW the HLA-300V will not do 400 watts PEP. Not with 4 eighty watt devices. Mine will barely make 300 watts with 14.4 VCC.
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WY7CHY
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Posts: 635




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« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2017, 07:53:25 AM »

The reason the HLA-300V didn't have FCC approval was because of the 11m band. Other than that, it's a similar amp to the HLA-305V which HAS been approved. The other difference is some additional input power limiting factors added to the HLA-305V.

As for the HLA-300V, it puts out 300w on CW/FM with no problem with an input of 15-20 watts. On SSB, with an input of 20 watts, I get 380-400 watts PEP consistently. And I have some good actual PEP watt meters. Facts are facts. I DO get 380-400 watts out in SSB PEP. I don't use FM/AM/RTTY/CW other than to tune my antenna tuner or amps; but the tests I did do, had 300 watts out with 15-20 watts in on FM/RTTY.
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Born Wild - Raised Proud: 73
Cheyenne, Wyoming
K6AER
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Posts: 4663




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« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2017, 05:56:57 PM »


Watt meters don't care about multiple frequencies, only raw power. If the power read is 400 watts how much is that power in the second and third harmonic and how much is in the primary signal. Is the primary signal distorted, flat topping or a sinusoidal mix of various audio frequencies?

Only a spectrum analyzer will give accurate output signal levels. watt meters only show you the combined power into the load and what is reflected.
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KD5IR
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2017, 09:30:14 AM »

........I just ordered an HLA 305V at a better than Ebay and or DX engineering price.......NO sales tax and NO shipping ! I live in a 5th. wheel and have NO 240V plug for a legal limit amp , therefore an RM Italy , FCC approved amp suits me just fine . Besides , I'm going to be focusing on CW and 300 watts key down will most likely push enough Smeters to an S9 signal so I can enjoy DX Qso's to justify my investment in the RM Italy amp .
.........Has anyone noticed how many of the newly purchased 600 watt , solid state Ameritron amps are listed for sale on the Three main ham sales sites . The Ameritron Tube amps seem to be more of a Keeper than their solid state amps . , Kd5ir
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AA2UK
Member

Posts: 283




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« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2017, 10:13:57 AM »


Watt meters don't care about multiple frequencies, only raw power. If the power read is 400 watts how much is that power in the second and third harmonic and how much is in the primary signal. Is the primary signal distorted, flat topping or a sinusoidal mix of various audio frequencies?

Only a spectrum analyzer will give accurate output signal levels. watt meters only show you the combined power into the load and what is reflected.
Harmonic content is probably less then 10-20 watts of the total watt meter reading.
While I agree an SA is a valuable tool he's not taking readings of a home brew amp and filter with no published data.
Bill,  AA2UK
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 10:24:56 AM by AA2UK » Logged
WY7CHY
Member

Posts: 635




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« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2017, 10:58:32 AM »

........I just ordered an HLA 305V at a better than Ebay and or DX engineering price.......NO sales tax and NO shipping ! I live in a 5th. wheel and have NO 240V plug for a legal limit amp , therefore an RM Italy , FCC approved amp suits me just fine . Besides , I'm going to be focusing on CW and 300 watts key down will most likely push enough Smeters to an S9 signal so I can enjoy DX Qso's to justify my investment in the RM Italy amp .
.........Has anyone noticed how many of the newly purchased 600 watt , solid state Ameritron amps are listed for sale on the Three main ham sales sites . The Ameritron Tube amps seem to be more of a Keeper than their solid state amps . , Kd5ir

When I got a hold of one of the HLA-300V, the 305 had not been invented yet. And; considering that hams are allowed to Build their own amps, without getting FCC approval, the fact the HLA-300V didn't have FCC approval didn't bother me in the least. Especially considering it wasn't approved mainly because it amplified everything from 1.8-30mhz. Including the CB band.

IF, you can find the HLA-300v new, from an actual distributor, they are around $450. ($475 directly from RM Italy if they'll sell it to you). I was fortunate that when I wanted one, the 305 wasn't designed yet and as long as I proved I was a licensed ham operator, the distributor and RM Italy knew I wouldn't use it on CB bands. A couple years later, a lot of retailers had found ways to sell them. But not at the $399 price I got it for. Finding them is difficult.

The 305 (Because it says FCC approved) is what's being sold mainly in the USA. But at $200-$250 more than the HLA-300v, I'll pass on that. Although, it's currently on sale for $629 directly from RM Italy. And they will sell it to you directly. The HLA-300v isn't power or band limited like the 305v is. 350-400w PEP on the 300V and 250w+/- PEP on the 305V.

The closest other solid state is the Ameritron ALS-500 models. It puts out 500 watts, but at $950, it's a waste of money in my opinion. Especially in a 5th wheel or other RV where space isn't that much of an issue. You're probably going to have AC power, so you'd be better off with an small footprint Tube amp like the SB200, FL-2100b, etc... But if you had to have a No-Tune solid state amp for mobile use; go with the HLA-300v (If you can find one) first choice; HLA-305v *If you can get it for under $650.

There's nothing wrong with the HLA-305v. Especially if you don't need more than 250 watts. If you have a low power rig, this amp is perfect to get you up to NORMAL levels. If you have a 100 watt transmitter, then this is only really a 3.9 DB gain. It's something, but not worth $600-$700. The 300V is about a 6db gain. 350-400 watts out. And paying $400-$450 isn't unreasonable. Especially if you want something that is pretty mobile.

But if you have AC power, and don't mind tuning, then you can average 500 watts out of a SB-200 amp for about $400. Or a Yaesu FL-2100b for about the same price.
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Born Wild - Raised Proud: 73
Cheyenne, Wyoming
KT0DD
Member

Posts: 402




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« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2017, 03:24:29 PM »

None of the 600W class SS amps are worth the price they're asking, especially since MFJ added $300-$500 to the price of the ALS - 600. I won't touch one at anything over $1400 NEW! I got an as new AL-80B for $1000 + $75 shipping and Get 800w CW on 120V no problem. Made a tuning chart and I can switch bands and be ready to go in less than 10 seconds.

Todd - KT0DD
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AC2RY
Member

Posts: 277




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« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2017, 03:52:09 PM »

None of the 600W class SS amps are worth the price they're asking, especially since MFJ added $300-$500 to the price of the ALS - 600. I won't touch one at anything over $1400 NEW! I got an as new AL-80B for $1000 + $75 shipping and Get 800w CW on 120V no problem. Made a tuning chart and I can switch bands and be ready to go in less than 10 seconds.

Todd - KT0DD

If transciever costs $2500 new, why not to pay the same for fully automatic solid state linear amp? Modern ones are very reliable and can tolerate user error (like transmitting into shorted or disconnected antenna). And you can find few years old units for $2000 or less. Fully automatic tube amp will cost twice as much. Just try fully automated station, and you will never look back. For those who like work DX, it is even more important - they hop frequncies or bands too often.
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 3297




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« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2017, 04:49:17 PM »


Watt meters don't care about multiple frequencies, only raw power. If the power read is 400 watts how much is that power in the second and third harmonic and how much is in the primary signal. Is the primary signal distorted, flat topping or a sinusoidal mix of various audio frequencies?

Only a spectrum analyzer will give accurate output signal levels. watt meters only show you the combined power into the load and what is reflected.
Harmonic content is probably less then 10-20 watts of the total watt meter reading.
While I agree an SA is a valuable tool he's not taking readings of a home brew amp and filter with no published data.
Bill,  AA2UK


10 to 20 watts of harmonic energy from a 400 watt RF output is beyond comprehension! 20 to 25dB down from the carrier?  Ouch.
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AF4K
Member

Posts: 8


WWW

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« Reply #40 on: November 08, 2017, 05:36:58 PM »

Good one Kraus - he he - so true...

The other odd thin is that they do not mention ANYTHING about hte required SWR range of the antenna!!

https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/rmy-bla600

I will stick with the SPE Expert 1.3K-FA. A proven SS amplifier with some horsepower.

Bry, AF4K



Laboratory results of an amplifier are as useful as testing a battle ship in the harbor.

Neither is their intended use.

Give that amplifier to a goofy ham guy. Let him or her put it to 'the test'.

We'll see quality.

Kraus


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AA2UK
Member

Posts: 283




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« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2017, 08:43:32 AM »


Watt meters don't care about multiple frequencies, only raw power. If the power read is 400 watts how much is that power in the second and third harmonic and how much is in the primary signal. Is the primary signal distorted, flat topping or a sinusoidal mix of various audio frequencies?

Only a spectrum analyzer will give accurate output signal levels. watt meters only show you the combined power into the load and what is reflected.
Harmonic content is probably less then 10-20 watts of the total watt meter reading.
While I agree an SA is a valuable tool he's not taking readings of a home brew amp and filter with no published data.
Bill,  AA2UK


10 to 20 watts of harmonic energy from a 400 watt RF output is beyond comprehension! 20 to 25dB down from the carrier?  Ouch.
the numbers were a hypothetical example showing not compliance but what might be added to a "dumb" watt meter when added to the intended frequency. I didn't mean to imply that I had measured the amps being discussed.
Bill, AA2UK
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WY7CHY
Member

Posts: 635




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« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2017, 11:00:49 AM »

I have no problem with RM Italy amps. Especially the HLV-300v. But $2500 for ANY AMP that only puts out 500-600 watts, is something I would never spend money on. Even if it was an ACOM Ameritron, or any brand. Especially when I can spend $100 less, and get an ALS-1300 no tune solid state 1200 watt amp.
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Born Wild - Raised Proud: 73
Cheyenne, Wyoming
W4IJ
Member

Posts: 14




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« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2017, 09:17:48 PM »

500 watts?  $2500?   That seems a bit pricey per watt. 
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AC2RY
Member

Posts: 277




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« Reply #44 on: November 10, 2017, 08:30:09 AM »

500 watts?  $2500?   That seems a bit pricey per watt. 

$2500 is too much? How about $42500 ? http://www.bellnw.com/manufacturer/Electronics-and-Innovation/A500.htm
It all depends on what you expect to get from your purchase.
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