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Author Topic: Best Inexpensive Amplifier  (Read 9291 times)
K2CLH
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Posts: 28




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« on: October 21, 2012, 12:48:44 PM »

Hello I am looking for an inexpensive HF amplifier that will put out 350-1500 watts. I am willing to consider anything but please don't reccommend very expensive amplifers. Thanks in advance for your help.

K2CLH
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N4RSS
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Posts: 260




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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 01:18:43 PM »

Ameritron al-811. Heathkit SB-200 or 220
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K2CLH
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2012, 02:21:51 PM »

Great thanks! How much are they and how much power do they each put out?

Thanks so much for the quick response,
K2CLH
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WA2AAR
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Posts: 90




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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 04:23:07 PM »

Hi I have a 811H for sale here send me a email
wa2aar@verizon.net

Bob
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K7MH
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2012, 04:34:29 PM »

Just what your budget is will make a big difference and so does previously owned vs. brand new.
For my money an Ameritron AL-80B is the best bang for the buck out there.
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VK5DO
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 05:08:30 PM »

I've got a Yaesu FL2100Z and a Heathkit SB200.  Both old and cheap.  Usage and output power - they are comparable with about 600W max out for about 90W in.  The Yaesu has WARC bands and is a bit easier to tune.  They don't seem to pump out much more after about 85 - 90 W input so why do it right?   I'm not sure what US S/H prices are for these but here in VK, they are about a quarter to a third of the price of the cheapest comparable brand new amp.

Dean
VK5DO
VK4TN
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KM3F
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Posts: 509




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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 05:16:46 PM »

Hello Chis,
Your doing very well in progress.
Don't be in to much of a hurry because you have lots of time to get the Extra ticket.
Most new amplifiers might be out of your cost range at the present unless your parents decide different.
The Ameritron 811 'used', might be had for about 500 to $700 range and give you about 500 watts.
The Heathkit line might be had for about the same price range and allow about 800 watts but they are elderly and may need service so the outlay could end up being the same as a newer one.
Take a look in the various catalogs at the amplifiers and see the price range new and their power capability.
Also consider that you will need an antenna tuner rated at the amplifier power level.
This will add to the total cost of the package by about another $300 +/-.
Good luck.
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KB5UBI
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 06:54:46 PM »

The AL-80B is the best bang for your buck. It has a true peak reading Power / SWR meter which you will need and will run 800 - 1000 watts out all day. The first 400 watts will be the most improvement. A 1500 watt linear will cost you almost double compared to a 1000 watt linear; a big price to pay for less than 1/2 of an "S" unit. 
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K6AER
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 08:19:39 PM »

Remember what an amplifier cost is what it depreciates. A $2500 legal amplifier that sells for more than you paid for it was a bargain.

A larger question is what is your budget and what do you really need?
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W8JX
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 08:31:04 PM »

The AL-80B is the best bang for your buck. It has a true peak reading Power / SWR meter which you will need and will run 800 - 1000 watts out all day.

It is for sure a solid 800 watt amp and it will make a KW too but it will shorten tube life some too.
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KB5UBI
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2012, 12:05:17 AM »

"Remember what an amplifier cost is what it depreciates. A $2500 legal amplifier that sells for more than you paid for it was a bargain.

A larger question is what is your budget and what do you really need?"


Good point.

Tom, I generally run the AL-80B around 500 watts. 
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N4ATS
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2012, 04:16:45 AM »

The Yaesu FL-7000 is a great example of a well built best bang for the buck amplifier.  600 - 800 watts all day , solid state. They show up from time to time on eBay, QTH and Craig's List. Very easy to maintain and bullet proof plus they look a lot better , low profile and lots of LED's for status and overall health, while in operation. The manual is free on my web to download and look over.

www.N4ATS.com
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NA0AA
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 01:58:56 PM »

Just what your budget is will make a big difference and so does previously owned vs. brand new.
For my money an Ameritron AL-80B is the best bang for the buck out there.

Yep.  If you want new, this is a great choice.  Best glass tube left, a remarkably robust design - I have messed up mine any number of time with no damage.

$1400 or less at any radio dealer.  Get the pre installed QSK module if you do CW.

And get a dummy load.  The oil filled one will take all the abuse you can hurl at it.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 03:20:49 PM »

Hello I am looking for an inexpensive HF amplifier that will put out 350-1500 watts. I am willing to consider anything but please don't reccommend very expensive amplifers. Thanks in advance for your help.

K2CLH

350 to 1500W is a pretty big spread. Cheesy

With a 100W PEP rig as an exciter, I doubt I'd want a 350W amplifier.  For 5.4 dB, it's not worth the effort to me.

1500W is an 11.8 dB increase -- much more noticeable.  1000W is 10 dB, not a bad compromise.  The Watts all cost more once you get above about 600-800W.

I agree the AL-80B is a lot of bang for the buck, in a proven design that just works.

If you don't mind "used," I see a lot of older Alphas going for very reasonable prices -- but they use expensive tubes.
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KM3F
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Posts: 509




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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2012, 04:22:16 PM »

Guys, the op is about 10 years old!
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