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Author Topic: ALS600 - which PS?  (Read 5096 times)
K3RE
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Posts: 35




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« on: November 24, 2011, 08:18:25 AM »

Looking to get a new ALS600 amp. running on 120v. Which power supply is the better one to purchase? I've heard of issues with the switching PS. Anyone who owns the ALS600 care to comment?
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WX7G
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Posts: 6210




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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2011, 01:48:31 PM »

I have an ALS-600 with the linear power supply. It works fine but the output voltage does change with AC line voltage. This can cause the amp to have a maximum output power of 600 watts most of the time and 500 watts during the evening when the AC line voltage drops.

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W7AIT
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Posts: 491




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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2011, 03:59:35 PM »

ALS600 SPS SWITCHER POWER SUPPLY

Read the following and make up your own mind:

Facts/ My Opinions:

1.   I own a ALS600 and bought the ALS600 SPS switching supply for weight reasons.  I bought it back in January new from a reputable dealer.
2.   The power supply failed twice and needed to be sent back to AMERITRON factory for repair twice. 
3.   Each failure occurred after approximately 600 hours of operation (idle most of the time and about 1-2 hours daily CW )
4.   What failed:  The 12 volt side of the supply failed both times.  Corrective action after the 1st failure was replace the 12 volt regulator.  It took them over 3 months to get this fixed.
5.   Second failure occurred in OCTOBER 2011 again for the same reason.
6.   This time AMERITRON had REDESIGNED THE PS PWA and was installing the new designed PS PWA into my unit for corrective action.
7.   I told them I didn't appreciate  being used as a beta site guinea pig for testing out new designs and to that end I set up / established my own test plan recording baseline data and data each day for the 600 hour burn-in.
8.   Results:  To this day, the power supply has not been turned off, has passed all tests, and continues to perform flawlessly.  Total test time on the new PWA is now about 625 hours (idle most of the time and about 1-2 hours daily CW ).
9.   Based on this the test passes and the new PWA appears to work fine.
10.   By the way, NO RF switching hash ever detected in any RX or my SA.  Its quiet!
11.   I decided to keep the ALS600 and the SPS switcher PS as it looks like it'll last a long time
12.   By the way, the AMP works great.  Spectral purity, oscillation stability checked on my Spectrum  Analyzer out to 1 ghz - meets or exceeds FCC limits.  No reports of splatter, distortion or any of the usual complaint associated with AMPS.
13.   I run at 400 to 500 watts CW and its only 4 db down from a full gallon, and it plugs into regular 110 AC wall plug in the shack along with all other gear and all works fine.  I had no need to spend $500 for an electrician to run 220 vac back to the shack (yes that's what they want).
14.   I love the NO TUNE!  Its great!  The AMP has turned out to be sweet deal, a keeper.  I love this amp!
15.   Both the dealer and AMERITRON were helpful in resolving this issue.
W7AIT
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K3RE
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Posts: 35




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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2011, 05:51:29 PM »

Thanks for the replies. I am concerned that it will cause AC line noise. I use X10 controllers for my lights and the Alinco 330 switching power supply requires a line isolator to eliminate any switching noise on the AC.
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WX7G
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Posts: 6210




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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2011, 05:07:42 AM »

The switching power supply, like all switching power supplies, will produce conducted line noise. But it will be below the CISPR limits.
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KC9QQ
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Posts: 45




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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2011, 06:00:16 AM »

Congratulations on decision to purchase an ALS-600.  I own and ALS-600 with the Switching Power Supply.  I have not experienced any reliability problems or electrical noise with the supply--even though I have ethernet running over power line.  The switching supply is also light weight which is nice, if you plan to be moving the amp around very much.

The one issue I have had is having the Power Supply trip off because of RF in the shack.  I do not have the best situation for obtaining an RF ground since my shack is located on the second floor of our house.  On certain bands I have had the supply trip off due to RF in the shack.

Fred, KC9QQ

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K3RE
Member

Posts: 35




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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2011, 06:20:45 AM »

Congratulations on decision to purchase an ALS-600.  I own and ALS-600 with the Switching Power Supply.  I have not experienced any reliability problems or electrical noise with the supply--even though I have ethernet running over power line.  The switching supply is also light weight which is nice, if you plan to be moving the amp around very much.

The one issue I have had is having the Power Supply trip off because of RF in the shack.  I do not have the best situation for obtaining an RF ground since my shack is located on the second floor of our house.  On certain bands I have had the supply trip off due to RF in the shack.

Fred, KC9QQ



Hi Fred,

Thanks for the response. My shack is currently located on the 2nd floor but I use a special coax/capacitor connection to ground. Take any RG-8 (90% shield), solder a 0.01 mdf 10,000vdc cap on each end between the center conductor and the shield. Weatherproof the end that goes outside. You can use just about any length of coax, old or new. Send me a PM if you would like me to email a picture.
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K3RE
Member

Posts: 35




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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2011, 01:08:36 PM »

ALS600 SPS SWITCHER POWER SUPPLY

Read the following and make up your own mind:

Facts/ My Opinions:

1.   I own a ALS600 and bought the ALS600 SPS switching supply for weight reasons.  I bought it back in January new from a reputable dealer.
2.   The power supply failed twice and needed to be sent back to AMERITRON factory for repair twice. 
3.   Each failure occurred after approximately 600 hours of operation (idle most of the time and about 1-2 hours daily CW )
4.   What failed:  The 12 volt side of the supply failed both times.  Corrective action after the 1st failure was replace the 12 volt regulator.  It took them over 3 months to get this fixed.
5.   Second failure occurred in OCTOBER 2011 again for the same reason.
6.   This time AMERITRON had REDESIGNED THE PS PWA and was installing the new designed PS PWA into my unit for corrective action.
7.   I told them I didn't appreciate  being used as a beta site guinea pig for testing out new designs and to that end I set up / established my own test plan recording baseline data and data each day for the 600 hour burn-in.
8.   Results:  To this day, the power supply has not been turned off, has passed all tests, and continues to perform flawlessly.  Total test time on the new PWA is now about 625 hours (idle most of the time and about 1-2 hours daily CW ).
9.   Based on this the test passes and the new PWA appears to work fine.
10.   By the way, NO RF switching hash ever detected in any RX or my SA.  Its quiet!
11.   I decided to keep the ALS600 and the SPS switcher PS as it looks like it'll last a long time
12.   By the way, the AMP works great.  Spectral purity, oscillation stability checked on my Spectrum  Analyzer out to 1 ghz - meets or exceeds FCC limits.  No reports of splatter, distortion or any of the usual complaint associated with AMPS.
13.   I run at 400 to 500 watts CW and its only 4 db down from a full gallon, and it plugs into regular 110 AC wall plug in the shack along with all other gear and all works fine.  I had no need to spend $500 for an electrician to run 220 vac back to the shack (yes that's what they want).
14.   I love the NO TUNE!  Its great!  The AMP has turned out to be sweet deal, a keeper.  I love this amp!
15.   Both the dealer and AMERITRON were helpful in resolving this issue.
W7AIT

Very interesting to say the least. Question is if Ameritron has redesigned their PS will they recall what's already been shipped to dealers. Did you have any further communications w/MFJ? FOr them to redesign others should have had a similar experience.
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AD5X
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Posts: 1437




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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2011, 03:49:36 PM »

I've had an ALS-600 with switching power supply for about four years.  The only problem I've had was when running it on 120VAC.  My shack is a long way from the breaker box, and I was getting a voltage drop of 20VAC key down.  The problem is that the switcher just draws more AC current and keeps the output voltage constant regardless of the input voltage.  But the switcher also has an input current sense that trips out the power supply if the input current is much over 15 amps - which happens with such a large voltage drop.  So it would occasionally trip out on me.  I ran a 240VAC line into the shack and haven't had problems since then.

Unless you are going to be moving the amp around a lot and need the reduced weight of the switcher, I'd recommend going with the linear supply.  It is cheaper, simpler, and is a bit more efficient than the switcher (linear power supply draws 13 amps typical, and the switcher draws around 15 amps typical at 120VAC).  And there is no AC input trip circuit like on the switcher.

Phil - AD5X
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 05:29:27 PM by AD5X » Logged
W8JI
Member

Posts: 9296


WWW

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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 04:32:40 PM »

Thanks for the response. My shack is currently located on the 2nd floor but I use a special coax/capacitor connection to ground. Take any RG-8 (90% shield), solder a 0.01 mdf 10,000vdc cap on each end between the center conductor and the shield. Weatherproof the end that goes outside. You can use just about any length of coax, old or new. Send me a PM if you would like me to email a picture.


The concept of a "shielded ground" is a total myth. It is one of those very unfortunate things that never should have crept into our hobby, but did.


Ground currents are common mode, and no matter what you do they always flow on the outside skin.

http://www.w8ji.com/coaxial%20currents/coaxial_line_and_shielded_wires.htm

73 Tom 
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W7AIT
Member

Posts: 491




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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2011, 09:30:38 PM »

#2 - ALS600 SPS SWITCHER POWER SUPPLY - #2 - For K3RE


I have no idea what MFJ/ AMERITRON has planned as far as updates/ field retrofits or if they will do any at all.  I personally did not ask, nor do I care, not my  place to ask.  Mine is fixed and what others do is beyond my concern.  If you have issues, please contact the appropriate folks and ask your questions to them.
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W5WDV
Member

Posts: 17




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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2011, 02:48:09 PM »

I have 2 ALS-600 amps.... Both with the linear supply and have had no problems. As a previous poster stated, the linear is a little more efficient and since I was relegated to run 120VAC, in both installations, I decided on the linear for that reason alone. Using a linear supply will cause less amp draw on the circuit, while one of my stations is on a second story floor at the opposite end from the service feed, I have a very small voltage drop of less than 2 volts key down. The lights don't dim or flicker in the amp or house, could not be happier. Easy decision once you know what you are trying to accomplish and can physically move a PS that weighs a ton!
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K7KB
Member

Posts: 618




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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2011, 03:43:57 PM »

W7AIT: Interesting story about your ALS-600 Switching PS. Almost the exact same thing has happened on my ALS-1300 Amplifier PS where the 12V module failed 3 times now, with the most recent failure occurring last week. The first time it was sent back to Ameritron. The second time, I had them send me the module and I replaced it myself. I'm sure the Power Supply is just the big brother to yours with a extra 50V section for the other PA in the amplifier. Ameritron is suppose to be sending me a completely new PS tomorrow with updated 12V circuitry. I'm not sure if it's a analog PS, but I'll let everyone know when I get it, which will most likely be next week sometime.

So it's apparent the 12V section in the ALS-600 and 1300 switching power supplies has a design flaw, no question about it. All I hope for now is to have a "operational" amplifier, which seems to be down more than it has actually been operational over the last year.

John K7KB
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 03:53:50 PM by K7KB » Logged
W7AIT
Member

Posts: 491




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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2011, 04:31:08 PM »

K7KB ...most interesting.  w7ait
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K7KB
Member

Posts: 618




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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2012, 04:23:41 PM »

K7KB ...most interesting.  w7ait

I just wanted to update everyone that I did receive a replacement ALS-1300 Power Supply from Ameritron that supposedly has a updated 12V section. It's not a analog supply but at least so far it's been working fine. I ran the ARRL RTTY contest running 400 - 500 watts with no problem. I'm not ready to say it has finally cured the issue, but I'm hopeful Smiley

John K7KB
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