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Author Topic: Medium-power 50 mHz amplifiers?  (Read 338 times)
KG4NEL
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Posts: 443




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« on: December 21, 2002, 01:49:44 PM »

Hi -

In my 'quest' for 6m VUCC, I've finally decided to upgrade my antenna system from an omnidirectional loop, and go with a beam antenna. The loop works, but after listening to station after station work DX that couldn't seem to hear me on an F2 opening this AM, I've got a good incentive to upgrade my antenna.

I've also started to look at buying an external amplifier for 6 meters...but I'm not having much luck. My FT-847 runs 100 watts, so I'm interested in a 200-400 watt amplifier (3 to 6 dB). I'm on a limited budget, so my price range falls somewhere under $500. Does anyone build such a beast? I've got two left thumbs when it comes to building anything except antennas, so I'd prefer assembled units if possible.

Thanks for any help,

Jim
KG4NEL

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N8FVJ
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Posts: 692




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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2002, 02:01:21 PM »

6 meter amplifiers are expensive & rare. TE systems makes a solid-state 'brick' type amp with 350 watts out, but requires a 50 amp power supply. Henry & Command Technologies (I think) manufactured a 3CX800 tube based 6 meter amplifier, but even the used cost is around $1000. Some hams convert a Heathkit SB-200 for 600 watts out on 6 meters with a 100 watts drive. This is also expensive. Anyone else?
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KF4HEY
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Posts: 172




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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2002, 02:11:58 PM »

There is a used Gonset 50MHz amp for sale for $200 at: http://swap.qth.com/c_ampvhf.asp

Good Luck and Good DX.

73 and Merry Christmas,
Mike KF4HEY
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K0BG
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Posts: 9896


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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2002, 04:49:08 PM »

In a recent QST, there was an amplifier by Acom as I recall, which covers 160 through 6. Currently, I think it is the only one, albeit, there may be a few solidstate ones around. If you could find an old Henry 6N2 you'd be set.

But, I don't think you need any power. I use a 20 meter mobile antenna with the AH-4 in my car, and when the band is open, you can work the world. Some years back, I used a little Icom 5 watts unit and worked 14 countries on my lunch hour!

In other words, if the band is open it isn't power you need.

Alan, KØBG
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AC5UP
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Posts: 3955




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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2002, 08:55:15 PM »

100 watts on Six is like a kW on 20 when the band is open. I've worked scads of TenTec transverters running 8 watts on Six and, if it were my money, the last thing I'd buy (or want) is an amplifier...

Best bang for the buck is an upgrade on the antenna and feedline. You'll find that after you've upgraded you'll still hear stations that can't hear you and that's just a quirk of propagation. It happens to everyone, and for all you know there were plenty of stations calling you that you couldn't hear... Six is like that, and the skip zones can be very narrow. I ran a net one night when we had some Sporadic E coming in and a 20 mile spread in location made all the difference between who worked the DX and who didn't.

Power had nothing to do with it...

- AC5UP
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WA9SVD
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Posts: 2198




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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2002, 09:14:54 PM »

I'd have to agree; if you already have 100 W on 6M, you would gain little by going to 300-400 Watts.  That at most is one S unit, and not worth the expense.  You should concentrate on your antenna, if at all possible.  A decent 4-5 el. Yagi, with even a modest rotator, will be a MUCH better investment.  As already stated, when 6M is open, the proverbial strand of spaghetti will do wonders, but for really good performance, you need a good directional antenna.  That will give you more satisfaction than even a KW amp.  (Now, if only my TS-680 had more that 10W output...)
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9927




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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2002, 10:01:36 PM »

I see 6 meter amps on Ebay all the time.. so keep an eye out there... tom N6AJR
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WA4PTZ
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Posts: 528




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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2002, 07:07:58 AM »

I ran 10 watts on 6 meters for many years and have
worked all over the west coast and into Alaska and
the Yukon Territory, as well as Central America and
a little S.America. The East Coast guys have worked
Europe . Perhaps that is why you don't see many
6 meter amps around....you don't need one.
73 - Tim
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WA4PTZ
Member

Posts: 528




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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2002, 07:14:36 AM »

Or you could put your efforts and money into an
antenna.
 2 element Quad = 6 db gain or 400 watts
 4 element Quad = 9 db gain or 800 watts
And these are just 2 of the many available.
Plus, your receive gain is improved too.
You won't destroy cordless phones and baby monitors
miles away.
73 - Tim
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W0FM
Member

Posts: 2057




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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2002, 10:17:43 AM »

Hi,

I also run the FT-847.  At first I used a pair of stacked halos in the attic and worked pretty much everything (so I thought).  Then I installed a simple 3 element yagi on a rotor and the whole world opened up for me.  Later I added a mast mounted preamp for the receiver and, again, saw significant improvements.  

I agree with the other posters who have suggested that you spend the money on the antenna.  You can get a TV antenna rotor, 6M yagi and receive preamp all for less than the cost of an amplifier.  100 watts is quite adequate on 6.

73,

Terry, WØFM
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