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Author Topic: Suggestions for my first amp.  (Read 4018 times)
KD0ZGW
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Posts: 715




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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2017, 02:33:27 PM »

I started with an AL811H.  $500 at a hamfest.  Not an error tolerant design.  Once I really started using it I toasted it in short order due to a tuning error while band hopping.  Very common rookie error.

2nd amp is an ALS-600.  VERY forgiving.

Re: the various discussions on actual power out - There are a lot of times when adding the amp makes a contact a lot more enjoyable.  However, I have a rural QTH with very low noise so there will be more times when the amp will help since I can hear relatively weak signals.  With the amp most of the time if I can hear it I can work it.

Good luck.
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KB4OIF
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Posts: 146




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« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2017, 03:19:35 PM »

What antenna tuner are you using.  I will have to have a larger tuner as mine are 125 ones.  Sounds encouraging.  Am 71 yrs young here. Gray matter works fairly well, but I hope to not mess up.


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PLANKEYE
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Posts: 212




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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2017, 03:30:24 PM »

The 811H is a great amp it and all tube amps are easy to tune but sometimes we make mistakes.  You have to learn how to tune them and check and re-check what you are doing.  The tube amps are very easy to tune but human nature kicks in and we get lazy and then you have a problem.  Take your time, think about what you are doing and then think again.  If anyone has been around for a while amplifiers make a world of difference that is why they are called amplifiers.  No everyone will not hear you but they do increase your odds of someone hearing you.  Good luck.  
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K0CWO
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Posts: 474




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« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2017, 05:26:09 PM »

I will try to keep this short.  I have owned an ALS -600.  Although it’s been a few years I had issues with the switching power supply and the amp was anemic on 160 and 75 (400 watts out). I’ve owned an ALS-1300 as well. It too had power supply issues and was mis aligned out of the box.  Granted it was one of the first models (serial number 49) but after these experiences I became gun shy with Ameritron solid state amps.  I currently own an Acom 600S and can say it has performed as advertised.  Granted, more money, but well worth it to me.

I’m waiting for the Acom 1200S to meet FCC approval, when it does I’ll order one to replace my 27 year old AL-80A.

The AL-80A is the nicest 1KW amp I’ve owned.  For the money the AL-80A/B series is the best bang for the buck in my opinion.  They can be had for 600-$1000 used.  It is an amplifier that requires tuning but is definitely worth looking in to for you.

Besides, every ham deserves to see the warm glow of 3-500 tube!

If I were you, I’d buy a new AL-80B if I could afford it.

73, k0cwo
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NN2X
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2017, 06:56:12 PM »

Full stop...Heathkit SB 220

That is the best dollar for watt...and every one knows how to service the AMP...

If you have the bucks...Emtron DX 3SP (A Pair of 4CX 1500 (Chinese version), That will generate about 5KW PEP...So 1500 loafing...

I had the 922 Kenwood, QRO 2500DX, SB 200 and SB 220, and now the Emtron DX3SP..

Best

NN2X, CU On the bands...
Tom
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KB4OIF
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Posts: 146




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« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2017, 01:57:38 AM »

I am still researching which one.  Like I said earlier,  Lots of good points and things to think about.  I look at other amps and keep coming back to the ALS 600.  ACOM 600 is a little too pricey.  Folks say they are really good. Don't want or need a KW.  Just a little more than I am putting out now.  Probably run it at 400 watts most of the time.

KB4OIF
John
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K6AER
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Posts: 4670




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« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2017, 05:59:54 AM »

Remember what you spend on a piece of equipment is what it depreciates. Over several years the ACOM may be cheaper than the ALS-600.
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AC6CV
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Posts: 299




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« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2017, 11:02:32 AM »

Doubling your power gives you a 3db gain. 100 watts to 200 watts gets you 3 db then going to 400 watts gives another 3db. Adding an ALS-600 is like going from a vertical to a yagi with 6 db gain. Just remember you can't work what you can't hear. I have a tube AL-82 and very seldom use it. I really like the ALS-600. Easier to move around on the band than using the old tube linear. JMHO
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K6AER
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Posts: 4670




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« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2017, 11:26:28 AM »

Doubling your power gives you a 3db gain. 100 watts to 200 watts gets you 3 db then going to 400 watts gives another 3db. Adding an ALS-600 is like going from a vertical to a yagi with 6 db gain. Just remember you can't work what you can't hear. I have a tube AL-82 and very seldom use it. I really like the ALS-600. Easier to move around on the band than using the old tube linear. JMHO

There is a corollary to the above statement. They will not call you if they cannot hear you. Realize most suburban hams have very high noise levels. Call CQ with 100 watts and then call CQ with 1000 watts. If your location is reasonably quiet (less than S3) an amplifier will make a world of difference to the QSO numbers. The ratio is even higher with SSB.
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HAMHOCK75
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Posts: 360




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« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2017, 01:58:41 PM »

I have mixed feeling about buying an amplifier at this time. There have been pretty trememdous improvements in solid state power devices in the last few years. The price of one device capable of a gain of 23 dB and 1 KW pep out has dropped to $185 in single quantities ( BLR188XR ). That's five watts pep in for 1 KW pep out. What is amazing is that the manufacturer claims it can sustain vswr of 65:1. This amplifier is based on that device.

http://www.jumaradio.com/juma-pa1000/

I just heard it on the air being used by a ham in Colorado.

Meanwhile old tube prices have soared. Based on past history, devices like the BLR188XR will be half price in a few years.
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AF8JC
Member

Posts: 72




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« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2017, 07:47:53 PM »

The Juma amp is interesting, but it is 1000 watts of solid-state amp for $2700 plus $117 for the 120/240 vac option plus shipping and handling. I'm guessing this would cost in the neighborhood of $3,100 by the time you receive it (insurance would be a necessity). I don't really see anything here to get excited about.
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HAMHOCK75
Member

Posts: 360




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« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2017, 09:49:16 PM »

I am not excited by the Juma amp either. It is the technology behind it that is exciting. I see a bleak future for tube amps. It feels like we are at the cross roads where tube amps will join CRT TV's and pass into history.
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KB4OIF
Member

Posts: 146




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« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2017, 02:31:06 AM »

OK.  Imagine I have purchased a 600-1000 Amp.  Solid state.  Will probably use the Kenwood 590S with it.  From what I can glean from folks on the air and on the internet, 40-50 watts of drive is all I need.  Would like to get a antenna tuner that will handle it.  Max probably 500 watts.  LDG 600 Pro is where I am leaning to.  Want auto tune if possible.  Have read the reviews here and it seems like the one I need.  OK dumb question.  It's the radio, then the amp then the antenna tuner.  Tune it with the amp in bypass then with it on.  First amp so I don't know.   Huh   Any other suggestions.

KB4OIF
John
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W9IQ
Member

Posts: 1706




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« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2017, 03:01:11 AM »

I would recommend that if you have a 1000 watt linear that your antenna tuner should be capable of handling 1000 watts at a minimum. Even if you intend to run the amp at a lower power, one error while tuning up or one voice peak can cause problems with an under rated tuner. Your SS amp could be damaged as a result as well.

You should also take the time to evaluate the implications of the complex impedances that your tuner will need to match. At 1000 watts, the voltage or current can cause marginal tuners, lightning arrestors, feedlines, and antennas to fail.

- Glenn W9IQ
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 03:18:17 AM by W9IQ » Logged

- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
KB4OIF
Member

Posts: 146




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« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2017, 03:30:27 AM »

OK.  Glenn, so if I go with the ALS 600s and the LDG 600 Pro that handles up to 600 watts, I should be ok. I have 3 of the LDG tuners now but they are rated at 125 watts.   I am very conscious of what the meters and my rigs are showing me. I watch the radio and the meters while I am transmitting.   I don't chase DX, but if it's there I will try it.  Don't do contests.  I am a rag chewer. 

KB4OIF
John
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