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Author Topic: High dollar amps  (Read 9577 times)
W6UV
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Posts: 540




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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2010, 09:58:22 AM »

But then they complain about how they get into all their own home electronics, plus all the neighbors' stuff as well, and they STILL can't "get out".

Maybe they're trying for the WAS (Worked All Stereos) award.  Cheesy
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K7JQ
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Posts: 345




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« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2010, 11:32:48 AM »

For those with severe space or HOA/CC&R (and there are tons of those in this housing era) restrictions, the only way to compensate for compromised antennas and the ability to "compete" in the DX pile-ups or contests is to somehow increase power. The trick is to prevent RFI interference by getting the antenna as far away as possible from the house and neighbors, RFI proofing home electronics and your shack components, or keep reducing the power until you reach a level where the interference ceases. You can be the most skilled operator in the world, but if your signal is an S-3, and his noise level is an S-4, forget about it.

As to the original question, buying a costly or a cheaper (legal limit) amplifier is strictly a matter of personal preference and individual wants and needs, and it's tough to question anyone's reason for buying either one. As you go up in price, you generally get better build quality, efficiency, duty cycle, reliability, convenience features (QSK, auto band change, auto tune, protection, SO2R capability, etc.), and power "head room" (no one "really" runs 3,000 watts, do they?). As in anything else, you get what you pay for. Hey, life is short...if you want it and can afford it, buy it if it makes you happy!   
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K0IZ
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« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2010, 02:34:10 PM »

Compared with many hobbies and boy toys, ham radio is quite inexpensive. 

A nice radio is 2K.  Golfers spend half that amount each year on new equipment, plus mucho green fees.  A fancy sports car is easily $50K.  How about even modest boats?  Big houses?  Vacation homes?  Big screen TV's?  Disneyland?  etc, etc.

The Collins 30K transmitter was about $3.8K in 1948.  Mega bucks in todays dollars.  Hopefully there will always be people that want and appreciate the best, and can pay for it.  The rest of us get the trickle down technology later, at much lower prices.
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N2EY
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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2010, 04:57:15 PM »

$11,000 will buy a pretty decent tower and antenna, which will help on receive as well as TX.

Yep.

But what $11,000 won't buy (in most places) is a place to put up the tower.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W3LK
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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2010, 05:11:18 PM »

Why do some people care what other people spend on their hobby???
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
N2EY
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« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2010, 05:19:31 PM »

Why do some people care what other people spend on their hobby???

One reason that comes to mind is that some folks are competitive in all sorts of ways. So a new product can mean their old one is no longer "top of the heap". Keeping up with the Joneses and all that.

Another reason is fear of rising prices - the "trickle up" phenomenon.

All IMHO

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W7ETA
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« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2010, 06:15:22 PM »

"Why do some people care what other people spend on their hobby???"

Damnedifiknow?!"

Damned if I know?!

The only question for me is do I wanna spend that amount?  After I answer that question, I go back to my regularly scheduled programming.

73
Bob
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NA0AA
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« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2010, 03:53:21 PM »

Well, I have not owned an amp yet, but I sort of assume that less expensive amps usually work just as well most of the time - I know that there must be something more to the high-zoot amps - protection for the hardware, self-tuning and adjustment circuits, more sophisticated displays, antenna tuning, etc.

For the most part that seems to be the case.

When you look at what a top-class contest station can cost just for towers and antennas, probably by the time you get to the RF generating gear, a $10K amp is not all that expensive and perhaps it's enough cleaner in operation to be worth the cost in a multi-multi station where they might run 4-5 amplifiers at a time.

I figure it's like reading car mags.  I'm never going to have a Ferrari or Maserati or the like, but that does not mean it's not sometimes interesting to read how the other side lives.  And someday, those 9500's will be on the used market, right?
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KB1NXE
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« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2010, 07:31:05 AM »

...  And someday, those 9500's will be on the used market, right?

Probably sooner than you think.  I would wager a guess that many are purchased by the top segment of the age bracket.  That equipment will make it to estate sales soon.

As far as cream of the crop amps.  Except the missing 500 watts (which really isn't much on the other end of the signal path) someone will need to show me the difference between a $10k Prometheus and my sub $5K IC-PW1.  Except the PW1 won't ever need a $1000+ tube someday (but maybe $500 transistors - who knows).
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W6UV
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Posts: 540




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« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2010, 09:21:44 PM »

$11,000 will buy a pretty decent tower and antenna, which will help on receive as well as TX.

Yep.

But what $11,000 won't buy (in most places) is a place to put up the tower.

True, but no ham in his right mind would buy a property encumbered with CC&Rs or other restrictions that would prevent erection of a tower.  This, I presume, is what you were referring to in your post as the amount of land needed for a self-supporting tower, such as a crank-up tower is minimal and wouldn't be hard to accommodate on an average size lot.
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AB9TX
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2010, 06:48:26 PM »

And remember, it costs 5$ a pound to throw away that Ameritron. So for a typical 811, thats about 250.00$.
I would recommend drilling holes in it, of varying sizes. After about 2 weeks, it should be down to about  10 lbs.

 Cool

Earl
AB9TX
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 2706




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« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2010, 02:48:37 PM »

Just to get back on Topic, I have been reading up on the Prometheus for some time now and I also got turned off by the one year warranty!  Seems they are not all that confident in the Amp being bullet proof and for that kind of cash it better be!   

The other issue is Sales, if the previous poster is right and they have sold only 16 units in 2 years, that's 8 units per year.
Now simple math that's about $88,000 income (Yikes) after you take out the materials cost, not sure how they can survive with even one employee on that kind of income. Even doubling that figure I still can't see how they can make any money on this.  So that's another reason to worry, will they be around for the long haul?
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WA8UEG
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Posts: 399




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« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2010, 04:59:40 PM »

I must be very out of date, as I am running a single 3-500 Ameritron AL-80A.

Then I am Ancient with my Swan MKII with 3-400's but what the heck, no tuned input so it works on all bands, Pi Network so it loads nicely over a wide range, gives me 1350 watts with a 100 watss of drive, works great with my FT1000MP. Works for me but If I hit the lottery I will have one of the solid state amps and a 7800 or 9000 till then I'll keep saving for retirement when I hit 95 or so.
 
 
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W1QJ
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Posts: 1515




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« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2010, 05:05:23 AM »

Shortly after the onset of external anode ceramic tubes (a great advancement in tube technology) I saw the phase many times "REAL TUBES GLOW IN THE DARK".  Now that solid state devices are gaining on the ceramic tubes, What phrase can we come up with now?  Anyone got a catchy phrase for SS amps?  I recall when I was a kid and working on cars, I could lift a hood and call out every item on the engine, carb, distributor, spark plug wires, etc.  Lift a hood now and what do you see that you can recognize?
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N4KC
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« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2010, 01:40:03 PM »

1.5 kilowatts are 1.5 kilowatts, and I doubt the station over yonder knows (or cares) what you paid per watt.  I know there are things that make one amp worth more than another.  But as in most things, in a free market, if a product is not worth what the manufacturer is asking for it, it will soon go away.

Still I agree with the poster who asked why we should care what anyone else spends on his hobby.  I think no less of someone with a $50K station nor would I want anyone to think less of me and my fraction-of-that shack.

(Of course, if the guy feels bad enough about his high-dollar setup and wants to get rid of it, I'm good on QRZ!)

73,

Don Keith N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
http://n4kc.blogspot.com
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