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Author Topic: AL-811 Amplifiers Suck  (Read 45939 times)
WY7CHY
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Posts: 746




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« Reply #450 on: January 13, 2018, 10:23:23 AM »

There definitely a love hate relationship with this amp. But that’s nothing new or unique to the al811. And when it comes to experience people, that too can be misleading. I’ve seen people who only have 5 years “experience” with something, but it’s their full time job at that particular skill, and they are definitely the “expert” at it. I’ve seen some who “tinker” with something for 50 years and claim a lot of “experience”, but that doesn’t always mean they are an authority at that particular thing.

And along with experience, especially associated with “many years” also come bias and prejudice. Some of these experienced people know what they know and they don’t or won’t consider newer or different options. So, their experience isn’t always a positive thing. Even in the ham world, there are some experienced folks who won’t even consider a solid state amp. Or they only believe in resonant antennas and believe antenna tuners/trans match don’t work.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dogging the “older generation”. I myself would be considered in that age group. I’m just about 60 years old. As a job, not a hobby, I’ve been working on RF telecom for more than 40 years. From ELF to EHF and everything in between. Maybe that’s why my ham hobby has been on again and off again. When you work with something every day as a job, you want to get away from it after work. But I digress. Even I have some bias and prejudice against certain technologies. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But that means sometimes I’m not as open to newer or even different technologies.

So I take others experience with a grain of salt. But I can afford to. I have enough experience of my own, that I can ask questions, get opinions, get actual users experiences, and formulate my own opinions and decisions. Some people, especially in the ham world, are simply operators. They aren’t into the electronics or design of it. They are happy with a transceiver, amp, tuner, and manufactured antenna and chasing contacts. Good for them. But most in turn have to rely on the so called “experienced” users when they run into problems. That too is fine.

My only suggestion is, ask your questions, receive as much input from others as you can, and formulate a consensus when deciding on your path forward. Don’t take the opinion of just one person. No matter how much of an expert they may appear to be. Their opinion can, and probably does have some bias and prejudice in it. Just like some other opinions from inexperienced individuals may have little fact in it and is more anecdotal. But most importantly, if the setup you have, whether it’s the AL811 amp, or a tak-tenna antenna, or a long piece of wire and an antenna tuner WORKS FOR YOU, then use it and enjoy it. If and when the time comes that you want to change your configuration and setup, there will be 100 more opinions you’ll be able to get when you’re ready to ask. Some from experienced people and some from the novice. But ALL of that information is useful. That brand new ham, in an apartment, with many limitations, is just as valuable as the person who who has been doing it for 50 years and has the means to have a tower, a beam, or 5 resonant antennas. Just have fun with the hobby and make it work FOR YOU.
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Born Wild - Raised Proud: 73
Cheyenne, Wyoming
KM1H
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Posts: 3091




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« Reply #451 on: January 13, 2018, 11:27:47 AM »

Quote
I realized that it would give me no solace to tear down a person that was obviously mentally damaged from one of life's twists and turns.  I believe some of his negative behavior is a result of loneliness and a feeling that life has passed him by:  A desperate attempt to reach out for attention that once was and is no more --- just don't know. 

Since you made this a personal comment Jim I will have to assume it was not about me as lonely certainly does not describe me and never has.
My interests vary and so does a wide circle of friends and family with those other interests.

I feel sorry for someone stuck in a basement every day typing away his hate but not realizing he is describing himself. It becomes very pathetic after awhile when such a personality disorder becomes noticeably self destructive. This behavior also affects those with some disabilities and thankfully I have none yet; I dont even wear glasses and have most of my hair, not overweight, etc. Grin  Unfortunately many friends, non immediate family, and acquaintances have not been so fortunate in their random gene selection.

I also help out as a volunteer at a local food bank and senior center and am currently comforting a long time ham friend, plus his immediate family and mentor with early Alzheimers.

Carl

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K9AXN
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Posts: 389


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« Reply #452 on: January 13, 2018, 11:44:22 AM »


I also help out as a volunteer at a local food bank and senior center and am currently comforting a long time ham friend, plus his immediate family and mentor with early Alzheimers.

Carl


A worthy cause Carl, congratulations for your caring.

Regards Jim
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HAMHOCK75
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Posts: 434




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« Reply #453 on: January 13, 2018, 12:15:23 PM »

Early in my career I noticed that engineers seldom made it into top management unless they were the founders or friends of the founders who where engineers.

I belong to a club where there is only one person on the board of directors who is an engineer. He is also the only board member that members are trying to oust. This past Sunday when I met a member who was going to vote to oust him, I mentioned that he is a long time member, has served the club well, has implemented ideas that saved the club money, he is a graduate of MIT, so why oust him?

The answer was short and sweet. We know he is a very smart guy but he is not a people person. It was not what he was asking people to do but how he asked them that created the ouster movement.
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K9AXN
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Posts: 389


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« Reply #454 on: January 13, 2018, 02:08:53 PM »

Early in my career I noticed that engineers seldom made it into top management unless they were the founders or friends of the founders who where engineers.

I belong to a club where there is only one person on the board of directors who is an engineer. He is also the only board member that members are trying to oust. This past Sunday when I met a member who was going to vote to oust him, I mentioned that he is a long time member, has served the club well, has implemented ideas that saved the club money, he is a graduate of MIT, so why oust him?

The answer was short and sweet. We know he is a very smart guy but he is not a people person. It was not what he was asking people to do but how he asked them that created the ouster movement.

There is some merit to that statement.  What I have found is an engineer who feels he must share his title with others is generally difficult and overbearing.

Worked well partner I'll give it some thought --- never to late to learn.  I assume you recently brought it to his attention.

A great day to you!

Kindest regards Jim   
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HAMHOCK75
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Posts: 434




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« Reply #455 on: January 14, 2018, 12:29:18 AM »

I was hired by a fortune 500 company right of of college. Within six months of hiring in, all of us new hires were invited to the corporate cafeteria for lunch and a presentation by the division marketing/sales group. It seemed like quite a treat to be invited to the cafeteria where division managers, the company president, and their peers normally lunched.

After lunch the marketing guy started with describing how marketing and sales fit into the company but it was soon very clear why our group was invited. He began describing a recent incident in which a salesman ( they were mostly on commission with some salary ) had trouble closing a large sale because of technical questions which they could not answer. A decision was made between marketing, sales, and engineering to send an engineer to accompany the salesman to hopefully answer those questions and close the deal.

In a meeting at the customers facility which included a customer engineer, two of the engineer's superiors and within earshot of all his peers were our engineer, salesman, and marketing person. Everything seemed to be going well until our engineer said something that silenced everyone in the room and virtually sank the sale. Our engineer told the customers engineer that he was too stupid to use our equipment in front of all his peers and superiors. It was the same customers engineer that invited our company to demonstrate our product.

The result

1. An almost done deal was now a damage control effort by marketing and sales. I don't remember whether he said the sale was lost but I think it was.
2. A significant number of sales people now equated engineers in the field to lost commissions
3. Our lunch which had about 30 people including the speakers was 30 more man hours of damage control
    a. To educate us about how to behave before customers
    b. To assure the sales people that the company was making an effort to insure engineers got some education so sales weren't sunk by our participation.

All this happened because of a few inappropriate words. The speakers never identified the customer or the name of the engineer or if he was still with the company. I suspected not.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 12:36:45 AM by HAMHOCK75 » Logged
KM4AH
Member

Posts: 823




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« Reply #456 on: January 14, 2018, 04:17:52 AM »

I'm trying to think of any business where anybody has a job unless something is sold.  Seems like engineers have a problem grasping that sometimes.
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KF7CG
Member

Posts: 1201




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« Reply #457 on: January 14, 2018, 08:17:00 AM »

K9AXN Jim,

It was the rare and venerable (Henry - Trio) Kenwood TS511s and I wish I had enough cash to have kept it when I migrated to a Yaesu FT-101ZD for the 6146 finals as I saw sweep tubes becoming harder to get. Then  to work digital modes I worked up to an FTdx-3000D.

Many unremarkable transceivers recovered from junk were also visitors in the shack. My conclusions that I will propagate to all, there were several good sweep tube transceivers, there were bad 6146 transceivers, and a properly used 811 amplifier can be good depending on the operator. 811H amp that I use is the best that I can support with my power limitations. Again it works when I ask it and for what I ask it to do, a good amplifier.

Thank you Jim for your considered and gentle reply. I agree that a friend to help you along and a willingness to learn what is behind the dial is necessary to the full enjoyment of amateur radio.

Have a blessed day.

David
KF7CG
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AC2RY
Member

Posts: 365




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« Reply #458 on: January 14, 2018, 08:39:04 AM »

K9AXN Jim,

It was the rare and venerable (Henry - Trio) Kenwood TS511s and I wish I had enough cash to have kept it when I migrated to a Yaesu FT-101ZD for the 6146 finals as I saw sweep tubes becoming harder to get. Then  to work digital modes I worked up to an FTdx-3000D.

Many unremarkable transceivers recovered from junk were also visitors in the shack. My conclusions that I will propagate to all, there were several good sweep tube transceivers, there were bad 6146 transceivers, and a properly used 811 amplifier can be good depending on the operator. 811H amp that I use is the best that I can support with my power limitations. Again it works when I ask it and for what I ask it to do, a good amplifier.

Thank you Jim for your considered and gentle reply. I agree that a friend to help you along and a willingness to learn what is behind the dial is necessary to the full enjoyment of amateur radio.

Have a blessed day.

David
KF7CG

If some device is marketed to novice users with little experience (and AL-811 series surely is), it has to be designed with all measures to protect it from operator errors. Novice operators are much more likely to make this errors, often accidentally, since they didn't get used to follow strict procedures. This is surprising that Ameritron didn't add these protection measures. With all modern technology this would not be all that expensive. I do not even talk about other improvements, like replacing band switch with array of relays etc. A couple of hundred dollars added to retail price would easily be compensated by saving on purchasing few sets of  tubes to replace accidentally fried ones.
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KM1H
Member

Posts: 3091




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« Reply #459 on: January 14, 2018, 09:45:38 AM »

At Wang Labs I was sent out as an engineer and later as engineering manager on major sales calls when the technical nitty gritty was to be discussed about our Broadband over CATV cable WANGNET product.

This included some very nice international travel and the customer had equally competent engineering personnel present.  This usually resulted with our sales force and the non technical portion of the customers team nodding off or not even present. I was trusted to not screw things up Roll Eyes
Being commended by Dr Wang himself did wonders for my ego and paycheck Grin

Carl
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