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Author Topic: Suggestions for my first amp.  (Read 4064 times)
HAMHOCK75
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Posts: 361




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« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2017, 03:51:55 AM »

I just bought the LDG AT600ProII for the same reason for my Yaesu FT100D and an amp. It replaces a 150 watt Yaesu autotuner. The only issue to come up is that LDG's documentation that accessory cable, p/n Y-ACC, works with the FT100D seems to be a mistake. That cable connects the "tip" of the end that plugs into the tuner to the "ring" on the side that connects to the FT100D. The problem that the "tip" on the LDG is an output and so is the "ring" on the FT100D. It probably works fine with the Yaesu FT857D where the "ring" is an input.

Quote
Compatible Radios:
FT-857(D), FT-897(D), FT-100, FT-100(D), FT-991(A) and FT-891
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KB4OIF
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« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2017, 04:15:09 AM »

Did not see a compatible cable for Kenwood radios listed in the accessories.  There is cables that attach the radio to the amp that are brand name specific. 
is there one that matches with the Pro 600 Pro II.

John
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HAMHOCK75
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« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2017, 04:40:59 AM »

The manual is available online at the LDG web site. It only shows cables for Icom's and Yaesu's but the Yaesu cable does not work for the FT100D so I am using it probably the same way you would with no cable
 
There are a few things you might want to know.

1. No power supply came with mine. It takes a 11-16 VDC, 1A power supply with a female 5.5mm x 2.5 mm connector. I found most power adapters have 5.5mm x 2.1mm connectors so it took some effort to find one that would fit. Some places have adapters from 2.1 to 2.5mm but I preferred to avoid any more connections than necessary. The Icom accessory cable allows powering it from that cable but the Yaesu cable does not supply power. It is just a stereo cable where one side is connected to the "tip" and that same wire is connected to the "ring" on the other end. One wire is not used.

2. The only danger is that it has two modes. If you own other LDG's you might know about this already. It has "auto" mode and "semi-auto" mode. The danger is that is should not be allowed to tune by itself in "auto" mode if the transmit power exceeds 150 watts. They warn on page 15 that it could damage the relays.

3. Also, you can set the swr ( threshold adjustment ) it will tune to achieve but the lowest is 1.7:1. I noticed some amps including tube amps say they want a swr of 1.5:1.  

4. The relays are pretty loud in this unit. If it does a "full" tune the racket is hard to not notice. The Yaesu tuner can hardly be heard even though it has a fan and the LDG not.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 04:55:01 AM by HAMHOCK75 » Logged
AC2RY
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Posts: 282




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« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2017, 06:21:21 AM »

The manual is available online at the LDG web site. It only shows cables for Icom's and Yaesu's but the Yaesu cable does not work for the FT100D so I am using it probably the same way you would with no cable
 
There are a few things you might want to know.

1. No power supply came with mine. It takes a 11-16 VDC, 1A power supply with a female 5.5mm x 2.5 mm connector. I found most power adapters have 5.5mm x 2.1mm connectors so it took some effort to find one that would fit. Some places have adapters from 2.1 to 2.5mm but I preferred to avoid any more connections than necessary. The Icom accessory cable allows powering it from that cable but the Yaesu cable does not supply power. It is just a stereo cable where one side is connected to the "tip" and that same wire is connected to the "ring" on the other end. One wire is not used.

2. The only danger is that it has two modes. If you own other LDG's you might know about this already. It has "auto" mode and "semi-auto" mode. The danger is that is should not be allowed to tune by itself in "auto" mode if the transmit power exceeds 150 watts. They warn on page 15 that it could damage the relays.

3. Also, you can set the swr ( threshold adjustment ) it will tune to achieve but the lowest is 1.7:1. I noticed some amps including tube amps say they want a swr of 1.5:1.  

4. The relays are pretty loud in this unit. If it does a "full" tune the racket is hard to not notice. The Yaesu tuner can hardly be heard even though it has a fan and the LDG not.

From my experience with auto tuner, I suggest completely forgo SWR triggered tuning and only leave opefator initiated tuning. This is even more important with amplifiers, as tuning should NEVER be done at high power level (more than 20-40 watts) in antenna. This amplifier must be in bypass mode while tuning.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 06:24:00 AM by AC2RY » Logged
WY7CHY
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« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2017, 07:16:42 AM »

Too many people spend their money "Twice". The older I get, the more I've learned.

1. If you think you want, and all you'll ever need, is a 500-600 watt amplifier....... BUY AT LEAST 1000 watts. If not, you WILL be spending more money than this again in the near future when you realize 500-600 watts isn't enough. And it WILL HAPPEN. That isn't even up for debate.

2. Same with the antenna tuner. Buy one that can do the amp. Even if you choose not to buy the 1000 watt amp now; DON'T BUY a 600 watt antenna tuner. You WILL wind up spending more money later to buy the 1000+ antenna tuner.

3. I LOVE my LDG auto tuner. But NEVER buy a tuner that is dedicated to a specific radio and uses radio specific cables. If you do, make sure the price is the same. What happens when you buy a new, replacement, second, etc. radio. Now you're going to have to manually do it anyway. Waste the 2 CALORIES and PUSH THE BUTTON for auto tune. Then you don't have to worry about which radio does what.

4. Contrary to what some have said in this forum, Tube Amplifiers are NOT going to become obsolete. There's nothing wrong with Solid State amps, but a tube amp has a lot going for it that solid state doesn't. They cost less to build; much less to repair; more forgiving with over powering them; when something does go bad, it's usually a tube which most people can buy and swap out themselves.

Ham radio is a hobby that goes one of 4 ways. User gets their license, buys their rig, loves the novelty for a few months or so, doesn't use it any more, and eventually sells it. Or.... like previously, they stop using it and they don't need the money, so they hold onto their rig. Maybe they get back into it down the road. Then there's those that really like the hobby and they are pretty active in it. Maybe not every day, but often enough. Then there's those that tend to keep upgrading. Some keep all the old stuff too; and some sell and upgrade.

Remember too, that we all have our limitations. I for one, don't have ANY 220-240 volt AC available for an amplifier. Therefor, I am limited to the size of amp I can have. I have to use an extension cord to keep my amp on a separate circuit from my transceiver/power supply and my computer gear. Some people have limitations on what kind of antenna they can have. Each ham is different. Just think about 2,5,7,10 years down the road. There's nothing wrong with buying a basic transceiver initially and then upgrade later to a much more advanced radio. Amps and such are similar. Nothing wrong with spending $300-$500 and getting a good tube amp like an SB-200 or AL-811; deciding you like having an amp, and then a few years down the road upgrading to an Acom or similar $2,000-$3,000-$5,000 amp. But honestly; I think you're better off getting a used tube amp for $500-$600. Tuning isn't rocket science. The used amps at that price, can be sold AGAIN in the future for the same price. A used AL-811H amp is going for about $600. A new one is about $1000. If you buy the used one for around $600, then in a few years if you decide you want more, you can still that for about $600. Sb200's have been selling for about the same price for the last 10+ years.

The problem is when you start buying NEW items that you want to upgrade again in the near future. 500-600 watts is fine for a USED amp; NOT for a NEW amp. (Unless it's a mobile). Same with the tuner. You'll be spending your money twice.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 07:22:30 AM by WY7CHY » Logged

Born Wild - Raised Proud: 73
Cheyenne, Wyoming
K6AER
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Posts: 4671




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« Reply #35 on: November 06, 2017, 07:17:43 AM »

The JUMA1000 is an interesting design. I wish they would provide a diagram. For the price I would also like to see 3 antenna outputs and of course pant the cabinet black. The pricing looks to be fair for a SS KW amp. I did not see the FCC certification. The only other amp in this performance range is the ALS-1306 with two boxes.

As Glen had mentioned your antenna tuner should be able to handle the power into high VSWR loads. I would buy at a minimum a 2 kw tuner for an amplifier at 1000 watts out. The reason for this is at high power the current will change the settings from a setting you need at 100 watts. In addition, with higher VSWR settings, the voltage will increase greatly with power. A 1500 watt tuner may be able to only handle 700 watts into a 6:1 output impedance. I had a Pulstar AT2KD blow out the band switch loading into a 150 ohm line impedance on a voice peak at 1500 watts. (Pulstar repaired it on warranty but put in a higher rated band switch, I don’t think I was the first with that problem).

If you are not running onto resonate antennas (50 Ohm) I would get comfortable with manual antenna tuners.
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AC2RY
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« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2017, 07:57:55 AM »

There are few things I would not agree with many on this thread:

1. Suggesting to buy high power amplifier right away. Keep in mind that any amplifier that has more than 800W will need 240 volts power line to work safely. Not everyone want to invest up to a $1000 just to have that power line installed (I mean actual rates of electricians here - I had to install one for electric washer/drier). At the same time tuners that can handle 1kW CW are even more expensive than any amplifier for that power range (here again I talk about real tuner that handles wide range of loads and not limited to 3:1 SWR). This means that with 1kW or bigger amplifier you have to give up tuner and thus need band specific antennas. Also do not forget about RF radiation limits in densely populated areas many live here. Anything over 1000W will like require RF radiation assessment with real field measurements, unless you want to be successfully sued by your neighbors.
2. Recommendation to get tube amplifier. Original poster clearly stated that he does not want to deal with tuning every time he hops 100kHz up/down on the band. Actually if really powerful amplifier is used (see 1kW+ mentioned above) he will need to do adjustment every 50kHz to keep safe operation. This is a major inconvenience while operation in frequency hopping mode, like looking for DX. If you only work on CQ this is not an issue, but this is not a common method of operation for a new HAM. Once you try to operate fully automated station where nothing needs to be adjusted when changing frequency or even band, you hardly turn back. Also tuning of tube amplifier should be done running it against dummy load. This is a standard procedure for any professional professional operator and should be fully embraced by HAMs. Almost any week I hear someone tuning amplifier on top of weak DX station - do you think other HAM, who try to have a QSO, are happy with it? Thus add price of 1-2kW rated dummy load and likely antenna switch to the cost of tube amplifier.
3. Many say that tube amplifier are more forgiving. Thay may tolerate some abuse, but properly designed and built solid state unit is fault proof. Sensors detect all kinds of fault or error conditions and shut amplifier down within few milliseconds keeping main circuit safe. Modern transistors can survive this reaction time and likely allow amplifier work for 10 years or more without failure. Also do not forget issue with dust accumulated inside the uint. There will be much more of it in tube devices due to high voltage present there. It it will be more dangerous by causing arcs. In low voltage transistor amplifiers it will only reduce cooling efficiency (but remember - temperature is tracked by sensors and thus critical overheating is not really possible). If someone says that dust accumulation is not an issue - please raise the hand who uses and regularly replaces fan filters in their gear?

In the end, the best station is one that is fully automated in its operation and there is no compelling reasons to give up the convenience of worry free operation. Spending money can be tough for some, but remember - you station, if properly built, can be used for 5 or even 10 years without major upgrade.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 08:00:18 AM by AC2RY » Logged
K6AER
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« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2017, 02:53:35 PM »

There are few things I would not agree with many on this thread:

1. Suggesting to buy high power amplifier right away. Keep in mind that any amplifier that has more than 800W will need 240 volts power line to work safely. Not everyone want to invest up to a $1000 just to have that power line installed (I mean actual rates of electricians here - I had to install one for electric washer/drier).


I have been hamming for 57 years and a 240 volt line to the station has never cost over $50 in current dollars. I have never heard of a city or municipality requiring permit to do this. I check with my State Farm agent and ask him if running a new line  would void the home owners insurance and he said no. No more so than frying chicken with out a fire extinguisher.

A standard 120 volt 15 amp line is good for 1800 watts. You should be able to run a 1200 watt solid state amplifier on SSB with out a problem. Key down RTTY is another issue.
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AC2RY
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« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2017, 03:22:26 PM »


I have been hamming for 57 years and a 240 volt line to the station has never cost over $50 in current dollars. I have never heard of a city or municipality requiring permit to do this. I check with my State Farm agent and ask him if running a new line  would void the home owners insurance and he said no. No more so than frying chicken with out a fire extinguisher.

A standard 120 volt 15 amp line is good for 1800 watts. You should be able to run a 1200 watt solid state amplifier on SSB with out a problem. Key down RTTY is another issue.

These 1800W is a an elusive number and only correct if power factor is close to 100%. Tube amplifier with linear power supply will never reach that. Probably 80% will be best you can count on, maybe even less.

And I do not know how it is in your city, but where I live installing new power line and breakers not only requires permit, but has to be done by licensed electrician and then inspected by the township engineer. If you are lucky and your shack is across wall from power distribution panel, you may end up with $500 bill. Otherwise it can easily reach $1000 or more.

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HAMHOCK75
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« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2017, 03:28:30 PM »

Regarding the Juma PA1000. I don't believe it is legal in the US. FCC regulation under part 97.317,

Quote
(2) Not be capable of amplifying the input RF power (driving signal) by more than 15 dB gain. Gain is defined as the ratio of the input RF power to the output RF power of the amplifier where both power measurements are expressed in peak envelope power or mean power.

This amplifier exceeds that. They can apply for a variance and some companies have. The ham who was on the air in Colorado with this amp said it is not sold in the US so he imported it himself from Finland.
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K6AER
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« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2017, 05:55:28 PM »

If the amplifier is manufactured and brought to the US it requires FCC certification. It does not matter how he brought it into the US.
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AC2RY
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« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2017, 06:03:08 PM »

If the amplifier is manufactured and brought to the US it requires FCC certification. It does not matter how he brought it into the US.

You are wrong here. There are exceptions for gear brought not for re-sale. There are other exceptions too. By the way certain limitations are only applicable to gear explicitly marketed for HAM use. You can find many industrial RF amplifiers that accept 10mV or less input to reach full power of kW or more. You can legally buy them if you have enough money.
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K6AER
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« Reply #42 on: November 07, 2017, 06:34:55 AM »

We are talking about ham radio use, not a static display.
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AD5X
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« Reply #43 on: November 07, 2017, 06:53:11 AM »

I've had an ALS-600 for about 15 years.  Excellent amp - never a problem and I've accidentally abused it numerous times. You might consider the ALS-606 though.  It gives you 6-meters and auto-band switching.

For an autotuner, I've had the MFJ-998 for a long time.  The neat thing about this autotuner is that it automatically disables the amplifier when it tunes.

Just my humble opinion.
Phil - AD5X
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WY7CHY
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« Reply #44 on: November 07, 2017, 07:19:25 AM »

I know the OP, KB4OIF, has mentioned their desire for a No-Tune solid state amp; and many are supporting that decision with the ALS-600, but I can't emphasize enough that the best bang for the buck; NEW or USED; is the AL-80B. 1000 watts SSB; 800 watts CW; only uses 12amp at 120 volts for CW and 8amps at 120 volts for SSB. It's one of the most reliable amps of all time. New; it can be bought for just over $1400. Used, you can find them for about $700-$900.

Bang for the buck, power requirements, etc. there is no better amp out there.
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Born Wild - Raised Proud: 73
Cheyenne, Wyoming
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