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Author Topic: Ameritron AL-82  (Read 8129 times)
NK7Z
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2012, 12:01:18 PM »

And thus we constantly hear the new breed running "15 hundret" watts to talk to a guy in the next state.
I was on 75 this morning, and was in a CW conversation with a fellow in IA...  I am in OR, that is a few hundred miles.  He was running 500 Mw, and was S6...  I was running 500 W, I was S4...  Go figure...  I did have the AL-83 running...  Was looking for some DX.  I always figure that when someone in the US answers a DX CQ, they are QRP...

73's
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Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
NT4I
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2012, 12:52:55 PM »

All interesting comments and opinions, but really not answering my initial questions about the AL-82.......(except for a couple post)
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W7VO
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2012, 04:08:18 PM »

My only comment is that I have an AL-1500, (albeit an early one where I had to add the HV glitch resistor and the fan sound deadening gasket), and have used it in many a contest over the last few years. It has never failed me, or even whimpered except for burned out meter lamps. My ONLY complaint is that the 8877 in general is very tweaky with grid current, and as a consequence the tuning bandwidth is pretty small, especially on the upper bands. My old Amp Supply LK-500 (dual 3-500Z amp) is not quite so tweaky. A lot more forgiving too, that is for sure, but the grid limiting circuitry of the AL works just fine.

Of course, the LK amp also goes a long way in keeping the shack lit and warm in the winter. The AL-1500 seems to generate a LOT less heat, even with higher power.

73;

Mike, W7VO
Scappoose, OR
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N4RSS
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« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2012, 06:39:30 PM »

And thus we constantly hear the new breed running "15 hundret" watts to talk to a guy in the next state.

Don't you want to cross post this on http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/board,23.0.html
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K0WA
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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2012, 01:28:17 PM »

I own and operate an AL-82.  It replace a AL-80A.  I got it used for $1300 about four years ago.  I replaced the tubes with Taylor tubes.  I got the amp because of the 3-500Zs are available and fairly cheap to buy.  I know that there are better tubes out there, but not for my money.  I've had no issues with the amp except for the lights in the meter which has been discussed before.  What I like about the amp is that is actually uses chimney's and a blower with great air coming up the way Eimac intended the tubes to run.  It is rather loud for the casual operator, not like an Alpha or an Acom.  (You cannot hear an Acom running...very quiet)  I contest and DX and wear headphones so the blower does not bother me and it does not get into the audio on SSB.

You can run this amp hard and the tubes are not stressed.  I have them glowing pink on RTTY at 1000 watts output.  I drive it with about 50 watts.  I have pushed the tubes to 1500 watts out, but see no need to do that on a daily basis.  I usually run the amp around 1000 watts output.  It is easy to load and somewhat forgiving.  The build is OK...but again...Ameritron hires people off the street just like they to at Frigidaire.  The amp is a basic design and is very straight forward.  Tom did a good job doing this.  I am not sure how Ameritron/MFJ has cheapened the amp.  I would like to see more headroom on the filter caps, but so far all is OK.

I have looked closely at the HF-2000 from QRO.  Ray does not make any crap.  His stuff is pretty darn good. 

If you can spend the money....QRO or Alpha would be by two top selections, but I do not have that kind of Ham Radio Cash, I opted for the AL82.  No one knows what you are running on the other end of the QSO.

Watts are watts

Lee - K0WA
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K4RVN
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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2012, 09:09:40 PM »

RE # 16
I thought the reply in #7 was good to answer the several questions you wrote. W1QJ, Lou, is a reliable source in my experience. What did you decide after sifting through the various replies? It would be interesting to me if you care to post it. Did you get the answers you wanted and which amp is your choice considering cost, quality. tubes and design?

Frank
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NT4I
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« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2012, 05:46:33 AM »

Thanks everyone for your comments, advise and opinions.
It appears that the AL-82 IS the best value for the dollar, hands down.
I can't justify spending $5K + for a piece of equipment that I will only use occasionally.
With that being said, I will be ordering my new AL-82!
I will report back after I receive it and have an opportunity to put it through it's paces.

Thanks again for all the responses.
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K4RVN
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« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2012, 12:11:10 PM »

Good Choice IMHO thanks for reply.

Frank
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NK7Z
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« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2012, 06:40:05 PM »

Let me second that "Good Choice"...  I use my 82 every day, and it is wonderful...  Even when running RTTY...

73's
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Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
W4VKU
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« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2012, 06:51:31 PM »

Does it run on 110v/20Amp versus 220v only?
I could only see that the specs say 220v. it would be nice to have
it run on either 110v/220v or 240v depending on the situation.

Krish
w4vku
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NK7Z
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« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2012, 07:29:18 PM »

Does it run on 110v/20Amp versus 220v only?
I could only see that the specs say 220v. it would be nice to have
it run on either 110v/220v or 240v depending on the situation.

Krish
w4vku
220V for me...  I imagine running it on 110V, would just break the house wiring...  Smiley
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Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
KE2TR
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« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2012, 07:45:33 PM »

I would look real close at the AL1500, yes the 8877 cost more but that tube has headroom and easy to drive, at 1500w its real clean. Back when I used to contest I had owned a real nice Alpha 77DX, nice amp but no grid protection but built like a tank so if you know the tube and know how to use an amp like that its a beast but for a newbee ham it might be a little to much. Back in the late 70ies I built a HB 8877 with 4KV on the plate and a 1.5A PD xfmr, the 77DX did almost as much as the HB and was a smaller box. I sold the 77DX and picked up a 91B, that am was shy of the 77DX's output by 100w but when I sold that amp I picked up a AL1500, yes it was a cheaper built amp but that puppy would do 2500w on SSB with about 130w of drive into a dummy load but you only needed less than 60w of drive for 1500W and it never farted once plus it had a grid trip that worked well. It was easy to tune and at 1500w it seemed like nothing was taxed at all running all weekend during a contest. The Ameritrons are not the best built amp on the market but are good value plus there seems to be allot of 3CPX1500's on the used market from medical pulls that are the pulse rated version pf the 8877 that could be had for a few hundred bucks, the tube has excellent gain and spanks the hell outa 3-500Z's in output. The QRO looks like a real fine amp, built like an Alpha, maybe a little better cause its a basic amp and looks like it would be a real rock crusher but you gotta dig a little deeper into your pockets for that puppy.

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W8JX
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« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2012, 09:32:50 PM »

there seems to be allot of 3CPX1500's on the used market from medical pulls that are the pulse rated version pf the 8877 that could be had for a few hundred bucks, the tube has excellent gain and spanks the hell outa 3-500Z's in output.

Given the the legal limit is 1500 watts and that two 3-500z can easily do that I would not say that a 8877 spanks the "H" out of them. To "spank" it good you would need at least a S unit and that would take 6kw which is well beyond legal limit and beyond a 8877's limit too. Also it is nice to by new tubes (3-500z's) for the price of used pulls. Most 3-500z amps lack a proper power supply and cooling to fully exploit a pair of 3-500z's though.
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KE2TR
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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2012, 08:10:47 AM »

Yes the 3-500z's are cheaper but they don't have the gain of the 8877 and the 3CPX1500's grids are very robust, those tubes should last over 20 years in amateur service. What I mean buy spanking the 3-500's is it takes at least between 100 to 120w to dive a pair of 3-500's to deliver 1500w but it takes less than half that to drive the 8877 to the same output, your IMD is much cleaner if the exciter and amp are not taxed to produce the leagal limit. Back in the late 70ies many hams running Henry 3Ka's would dump 200-250w into that amp to get between 2-2.5K out but there signal would take up as much space as an AM station on a spectrum analyzer. Back then I had a HB 8877 and that amp was clean at the leagal limit plus I only needed 35w to dive it were I also owned a SB220 with some mods in the PS filter cap department and with 100w it would produce 1200-1300w out. BTW those CPX pulls are changed every 500 hours of use so they have mucho life left for use in amateur service. I would still go with the AL1500 and the cheaper tube from china then pick up a CPX pull after I had the amp for a while, place the CPX in the amp and leave the china made tube as a spare. I don't know if Ameritron will let you do it but I would even consider buying the amp less the tube as long as it is tested before it leaves the factory and then buy the 3CPX1500 form a ham who will garante the operation of the tube.
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W8JX
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« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2012, 12:13:15 PM »

While it is true that it does take more power to drive a pair of 3-500z's, how much depends a lot on plate voltage. A lot of older 3-500 amps run 3000 volts or less which reduces gain and peak output. Use a powers supply that can provide 3600 volts or a bit more and drive requirements decrease for same output vs lower plate voltage. Also the 3-500 like the 572 is basically instant and very forgiving on unlike 8877 and there are many old Heathkit SB220's still running original tubes and still going strong.
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