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Author Topic: Ameritron ALS-1300 Unpacking / Pictures  (Read 38230 times)
K7KB
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Posts: 605




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« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2011, 10:41:37 AM »

Well my ALS-1300 died a couple of weeks ago. Of course, just hours before the ARRL CW DX contest Sad It looks like Ameritron's policy of picking up the shipping tab both ways as they did for Max, NG7M, is not universal. I had to pay the shipping to the factory myself which was about $85 via UPS Ground. They will pick up the return shipping.

The Ameritron technician and myself determined the +12V section of the Power Supply died. I wasn't even using the amp when it died. I had it turned on, but it wasn't keyed. I just saw what looked like a flash over around the amplifier and then noticed both meter lights were out with a solid yellow ALC indication. The flash could have have been the lamps actually going out, but I shipped both the amplifier and PS back in case something in the amp caused the PS to die.

I also put a note in the box about my concern with cold solder joints on the combiner board.

I'm going to write up an amendment to my original review I posted on the ALS-1300 later and it will take into account the repair time and quality of repairs. I'll keep you posted here as things progress.

John K7KB
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 11:31:30 AM by K7KB » Logged
WX7G
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Posts: 5920




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« Reply #61 on: March 01, 2011, 12:21:03 PM »

Did Ameritron ask you to ship both the power supply and the amp back?
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K2CBI
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #62 on: March 01, 2011, 12:28:44 PM »

I had two copies of this amp in December 2010.  Both shut down and would no longer power up after very briefly ( maybe 3 or 4 seconds) transmitting 1200 Watts key down on 10 m.  No apparent problem with the other bands - something about 10m.  Very low SWR when they both failed - resonant antenna.  I spoke with a tech at Ameritron after the first 1300 failed.  He thought that either the finals or power supply had died and wanted me to send it to him.  The first amp was brand new and I chose instead to return it for another ALS-1300 copy from HRO.  Sadly, same exact thing happened to the second ALS-1300 on the first day of use!  I couldn't believe it at the time.  Guess it was lucky that both amps died on their first day as I was able to get a cash refund from HRO.

The specs on this amp are exactly what I was looking for.  I'd would buy it again if I thought it had a reasonable chance of working as described but I'm afraid of getting a third dud.  I wrote to Martin Jue about this problem two months weeks ago, but I never got an answer.  Reliability of this amp seems to be awful, to judge from others experiences as related in the comment in this topic.

I'd still like a solid state, no tune amplifier but for now I'm still turning knobs on my 811H.  OTOH ... it works just fine.

Mike
K2CBI

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WX7G
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« Reply #63 on: March 01, 2011, 02:18:10 PM »

K2CBI you say after a few seconds the amp "died." Did it output no RF after that or did it continue to output power but only for a few seconds before shutting down? Did it still output power on bands other than 10 meters?
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K7KB
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Posts: 605




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« Reply #64 on: March 01, 2011, 02:35:04 PM »

Did Ameritron ask you to ship both the power supply and the amp back?

The Ameritron tech and I discussed the situation on the phone and we both decided it would be best to send both units back. From all indications it seems that only the 12V section in the PS died, however, something caused it to die and it's not always the PS itself.

John K7KB
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 2078




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« Reply #65 on: March 01, 2011, 02:36:59 PM »

I'd still like a solid state, no tune amplifier but for now I'm still turning knobs on my 811H.  OTOH ... it works just fine.

Mike
K2CBI

Get a Tokyo Hy-Power if you still want SS without the hastles.
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AG8K
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Posts: 33




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« Reply #66 on: March 01, 2011, 03:32:38 PM »

I am on my second ALS-1300.  After about six months, the first one blew 4 of the 8 FETs and it was exchanged by Ameritron for a new unit just off the line.  It worked for several months then it would not power up.  It had also blown one of the two sets of 4 FETs.  The unit feeds into an antenna tuner so it sees close to a flat SWR.

It is working OK now.  When I adjust it to 1200 watts on CW using the ALS-1300 built in meter,  my Palstar AT peak reading meter reads about 1000 to 1100 watts.  I wonder if the ALS is actually running 1200 watts or is the reading somewhat inflated?  Has anyone actually driven the amp using 90 watts of input power?  I usually keep mine at 25 watts with a max of about fifty watts.

I may just sell it and get an Alpha 9500.  I know it is expensive but I like things that I can use without having to fear that if I push them to the rated specification that it will self-destruct.  I had rather accidentally run 2500 watts output for a second (into a dummy load, of course) or more than run 1500 watts on the ALS and see it quit working.

Has anyone done any key down testing of the ALS-1300?  I don't know what the duty cycle would be or the safe power level for RTTY-SSTV.  I have never had the unit shut down due to overheating unless I count complete failure.

 Tom AG8K

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K2CBI
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #67 on: March 01, 2011, 03:41:03 PM »

WX7G - Both amps just turned off while outputting 1200 Watts CW on 10m.  Meter lights died, units turned off would no longer power up.  Checked fuses, circuit breaker, etc..  All OK.  I was able to transmit 1200 W on the other bands without any problem.  Except, I didn't try 160 as I don't have an antenna for that band.

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K2CBI
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #68 on: March 01, 2011, 03:51:41 PM »

Tom - AG8K - While my ALS-1300 briefly worked, about 75 Watts in gave a meter reading of 1200 Watts out.  90 W would have been too much input.  I also have an MFJ-998 tuner.  I went thru three units to get one that worked right, but that is a story for another topic.
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AG8K
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Posts: 33




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« Reply #69 on: March 01, 2011, 04:35:58 PM »

Tom - AG8K - While my ALS-1300 briefly worked, about 75 Watts in gave a meter reading of 1200 Watts out.  90 W would have been too much input.  I also have an MFJ-998 tuner.  I went Thru three units to get one that worked right, but that is a story for another topic.

It makes me wonder who wrote the instructions for the ALS-1300.  The front cover of my manual says, " Nominal driving power is 90 watts for 1200-watts output(approximately 11 dB gain) on most bands". I would take that statement to mean that it should be safe to drive it with ninety watts! Don't believe everything you read.
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WX7G
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« Reply #70 on: March 01, 2011, 08:39:49 PM »

WX7G - Both amps just turned off while outputting 1200 Watts CW on 10m.  Meter lights died, units turned off would no longer power up.  Checked fuses, circuit breaker, etc..  All OK.  I was able to transmit 1200 W on the other bands without any problem.  Except, I didn't try 160 as I don't have an antenna for that band.

Sounds like RF getting into the power supply and it went into protective shutdown. That's a job for ferrites but not a trip back to Ameritron. There have been similar problems with the ALS-600PS (switching power supply ALS-600).

I've had no problems with my ALS-1300 and have run it on all bands (except 60 and 30 meters) 160-10 meters. It outputs the specified 1200 watt on all bands into the antenna with 45-60 watts of drive. Time will tell.
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K2CBI
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Posts: 54




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« Reply #71 on: March 02, 2011, 05:36:06 AM »

Protective shutdown seems unlikely since the unit never powered up again.  So it certainly was not "protected".  RF idea is interesting tho.
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WX7G
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Posts: 5920




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« Reply #72 on: March 02, 2011, 06:06:03 AM »

Sorry, I misread it as being able to power up again after it shut down. I've been involved with the introduction of many new electronic units and they all have teething problems that take time to iron out. Hopefully Ameritron will get through that quickly with the ALS-1300.

I wonder if the 10 meter board was installed correctly? When installing the board in my ALS-1300 I noticed that the standoffs are not keyed (offset) and are symmetrical. The board can be installed backwards.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 06:08:08 AM by WX7G » Logged
K2CBI
Member

Posts: 54




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« Reply #73 on: March 02, 2011, 06:32:12 AM »

I took time to make sure the 10m board was not in backwards or shorted.
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K7KB
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Posts: 605




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« Reply #74 on: March 02, 2011, 09:00:57 AM »

I wonder if the 10 meter board was installed correctly? When installing the board in my ALS-1300 I noticed that the standoffs are not keyed (offset) and are symmetrical. The board can be installed backwards.

I noticed that also. Fortunately they provided a picture you could look at to give clues on it's orientation Smiley

John K7KB
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