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Author Topic: Flex 1500 Amplifier Recommendations ?  (Read 32888 times)
KE5JPP
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2012, 11:46:29 AM »

So, uh...

...can anyone recommend a decent 100w amplifier for the Flex 1500?

R


Decent? No.

If you want decent then build your own.  Look at the 250 W SS amp which uses VRF151 MOSFETS in the 2010 through 2012 ARRL handbook (mentioned in another thread by Dan, M0HCN).

You'd think Flex would make a companion amp for the 1500.

Gene
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 11:49:20 AM by KE5JPP » Logged
N4RMT
Member

Posts: 33




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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2012, 05:55:43 PM »

I like the HLA-150 by rmitaly, as long as you realize that the "150“ doesn't mean 150 watts output, no matter what the specs say.  You can cleanly get about 90 out.  It's band switched, and filtered, but, I'm not sure if it ever got FCC approval in the US, just because it's RM Italy...
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ZENKI
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Posts: 906




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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2012, 11:45:30 PM »

You start with  the filthy transmitter in the  Flex1500 and you feed it into a cheap CB amp with horrible IMD  performance and you end up with a real disaster on the band. If you need a 100 watt radio its smarter really to  buy
100 ham transmitter rather than using a crappy CB amplifiers that cause a lot of interference.

I like the HLA-150 by rmitaly, as long as you realize that the "150“ doesn't mean 150 watts output, no matter what the specs say.  You can cleanly get about 90 out.  It's band switched, and filtered, but, I'm not sure if it ever got FCC approval in the US, just because it's RM Italy...
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N4RMT
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Posts: 33




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« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2012, 05:51:39 AM »

There you go...  I say RMitaly and you say cheap CB amp.  I've never seen a band switched cheap cb amp.  Why would a company that already has a monoband amp with the same advertised specs waste money building one with filtering and band switching that costs 2.5 time as much as the one they already sell?  You know, chevrolet built the vega, but they also build the Corvette.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 09:06:30 AM by N4RMT » Logged
G6HVY
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Posts: 7


WWW

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« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2012, 05:58:43 AM »

I don't mind building my own, although I've got very bad eyesight and toroid winding is a real test of the spirit

Have seen plenty of nasty signals on the bands, but so far nothing untowards from Flex 1500 stations. If the output is sinful, it's by no means exceptionally so. The worst spectral polluters seem to spend a lot more money on their radios!

(The RM HLA-150 seems like a decent enough linear, provided it's kept below the magic 100. The reviews I've read converge on 'not that bad'. If I can find an online retailer who doesn't charge the standard UK markup...)

R


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WD5GWY
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2012, 09:24:07 AM »

I almost hate to say this, but, I was at the last Belton, Tx hamfest and
I asked one of the Flexradio reps there, what amp he would suggest to
use with my 1500. He said the HLA-300 amp from RMItaly. I asked why
and he said that it is filtered pretty well, and driving it with only 5 watts
from the 1500 would keep it within FCC required IMD specs. He said the
HLA-150 would be OK, but, the 300 better.
  Still haven't tried to pick up an amp for it yet. Might try to get one of those
fire-sale 3000 or 5000's from all the people frothing at the mouth to get
the new 6000 instead!
  Besides all that, even at 5 watts, I do pretty well with the 1500 as it is.
I might even try driving my Ameritron 811H with it!
james
WD5GWY
 
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N4RMT
Member

Posts: 33




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« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2012, 09:30:29 AM »

I like the 300 too, but its way to overpriced to be used as a 100 watt amp, IMO.
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WA8FOZ
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Posts: 187




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« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2012, 09:52:11 PM »

FWIW. Ten-Tec will be coming out with a 5w in/100 w out amp later this year. Shown in Dayton, it is called the 418 and is expected to go for ~ $700.
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KE5JPP
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2012, 06:04:21 AM »

FWIW. Ten-Tec will be coming out with a 5w in/100 w out amp later this year. Shown in Dayton, it is called the 418 and is expected to go for ~ $700.

OH boy!  Another CB transistor amp?

Gene
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N4RMT
Member

Posts: 33




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« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2012, 06:14:51 AM »

~ $700.

I wish I would...

You can get a whole 100 watt HF rig for that that's only a couple of years old!   
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 901




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« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2012, 08:43:08 AM »

~ $700.

I wish I would...

You can get a whole 100 watt HF rig for that that's only a couple of years old!   

SEVEN DOLLARS PER WATT?HuhHuh   Insane.
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ZENKI
Member

Posts: 906




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« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2012, 03:46:44 PM »

Well you guys dont get it! Filters can fix or filter poor IMD and poor bias circuits.

How many hams here really know what TX IMD is, everyone talks about filters and clean in the same sentence and really have no understanding of poor TX IMD is that  is inherent in cheap amplifier design.

It might have filters, however it does not mean that it is clean. Its CB amp from a CB manufacturer, every one that you hear on the air causes splatter.

Now we sacrificing the ham bands with splatter like the CB bands because we have new operators who dont want to change their ways and buy properly designed ham equipment.

While ham equipment is far from perfect in most cases ham solid state amplifiers have 10db better IMD performance. In simple terms better IMD performance less splatter

END OF STORY, do you want to splatter the question is really that simple? If you like splattering like a CB LID then use 12 volt CB solid amplifiers. Its really that simple!

There you go...  I say RMitaly and you say cheap CB amp.  I've never seen a band switched cheap cb amp.  Why would a company that already has a monoband amp with the same advertised specs waste money building one with filtering and band switching that costs 2.5 time as much as the one they already sell?  You know, chevrolet built the vega, but they also build the Corvette.
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ZENKI
Member

Posts: 906




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« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2012, 03:53:50 PM »

Well Flex cant design a clean transmitter how would they know what clean is?

Whoever was talking on  behalf Flex had no idea what he was speaking about!

THE FCC does not have a mandated requirement for IMD specifications.
Filters in amplifiers dont filter out inband  IMD, they filter harmonics. Harmonics in transmitters is hardly the issue these days albeit an important issue.

More stupidity, you start with a ham transceiver that has average  to poor IMD. You feed it into  solid state amplifier with worst IMD  performance than your transceiver. You turn   a good ham transceiver into splatter generator
and then you feed the whole mess into a AL811. Not good thinking batman! You really just building a  transmitter chain is a recipe for disaster. Whats wrong with driving a 811 with standard ham transceiver?

There seems to be serious case of Technical Deficit Disorder when it comes to the issue of CB amps on the ham bands.... Hams who pursue these practices just dont get it. Its plain ignorance I am sorry to say.




I almost hate to say this, but, I was at the last Belton, Tx hamfest and
I asked one of the Flexradio reps there, what amp he would suggest to
use with my 1500. He said the HLA-300 amp from RMItaly. I asked why
and he said that it is filtered pretty well, and driving it with only 5 watts
from the 1500 would keep it within FCC required IMD specs. He said the
HLA-150 would be OK, but, the 300 better.
  Still haven't tried to pick up an amp for it yet. Might try to get one of those
fire-sale 3000 or 5000's from all the people frothing at the mouth to get
the new 6000 instead!
  Besides all that, even at 5 watts, I do pretty well with the 1500 as it is.
I might even try driving my Ameritron 811H with it!
james
WD5GWY
 
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WD5GWY
Member

Posts: 391




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« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2012, 05:07:37 PM »

Well Flex cant design a clean transmitter how would they know what clean is?

Whoever was talking on  behalf Flex had no idea what he was speaking about!

THE FCC does not have a mandated requirement for IMD specifications.
Filters in amplifiers dont filter out inband  IMD, they filter harmonics. Harmonics in transmitters is hardly the issue these days albeit an important issue.

More stupidity, you start with a ham transceiver that has average  to poor IMD. You feed it into  solid state amplifier with worst IMD  performance than your transceiver. You turn   a good ham transceiver into splatter generator
and then you feed the whole mess into a AL811. Not good thinking batman! You really just building a  transmitter chain is a recipe for disaster. Whats wrong with driving a 811 with standard ham transceiver?

There seems to be serious case of Technical Deficit Disorder when it comes to the issue of CB amps on the ham bands.... Hams who pursue these practices just dont get it. Its plain ignorance I am sorry to say.

Well, I guess I was not making myself clear. I was not saying that I wanted to drive
my 811H with the Flex 1500 connected to a RM Italy HLA300. I was saying I might
try driving the 811H directly with the 1500. Just to see what kind of output I'd get
with just 5 watts of drive.
  As for the person at the Flex booth at the hamfest, he was a Flex employee.
And one of their engineers. His point to me was that driving the HLA300 with only
5 watts would not have the IMD issues were it driven with a higher amount of drive.
And that it would not cause problems.
  I have not went out and bought an RM Italy amp and really have no intention of
doing so. I really do like using the 1500 as a qrp rig. IF I were to buy another SDR
radio, it would probably be a 3000 or 5000. (cannot justify tying up 4K to 7K for the
6000 Series) Both of those radios have much better ratings on the TX side than the 1500 and have enough drive for my 811H. (should I want to use it)
  I really do appreciate the fact that you don't want to see CB amps on the ham bands.
I don't either. I have heard people using the RM Italy HLA series of amps with the 1500 and the ICOM 703 etc. And could not hear any of the splatter you speak about. In fact,
I had they not told me what amp they were using, I'd not have know anything was different than any other 100watt or so rig. A lot of the splatter problems I have heard
in the past seems to come from people not setting their radios up properly. And that's with FCC approved radios and amps. And even some that were very high in the Sherwood ratings. I think a lot of the problems you are talking about are from people not knowing how to properly set up their equipment. Not from poor designs.
  One question I do have for you is, what is your background in radio and amplifier design? You speak as though you are an engineer, yet, you do not provide any solutions
or anything to qualify your statements. It would be interesting to hear about your background and experience.
james
WD5GWY
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K5TED
Member

Posts: 699




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« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2012, 11:33:59 AM »

Q: Why buy a 1500 when for a few more $ you can get a 3000?

Certainly a valid question seeing as the used 3000's are now going for around $1000-1200

A brand new 1500 will run you $700
A "cheap" multiband HF amp will run you about $300

There's a $1000 already.

Buy a used 3000 if you are bent on using the 1500 at higher power.

Of course, the trade-off is you will need to buy a Firewire card or use a laptop with a built in Ieee 1394 interface (not too hard to find), or at least a PCMCIA FIrewire card (also easy to find). The 1500 will run on less PC than the 3000 or 5000.


On the other hand.. A used 1500 will run you about $450
A used multiband HF amp capable of operating with 5w in will run you about $300

$750. Why not go the extra $250 and buy the used 3000?

If you were planning to do some Solar/Battery power field work on a regualar basis using the Flex, maybe the 1500 is a good idea. Without looking at the exact specs, I'd guess the 3000 turned down to 5w still pulls a lot more on RX/TX than the 1500. I may be mistaken. Look it up.


To the original question, there are exactly 3 amps that are readily available out of the box plug n play. One is the Tokyo Hy-Power, the other is the RM Italy (already been raked over the coals here and found to be "acceptable at 90w"), and the last is some Chinese thing that is always on that internet auction site going for about $279 plus shipping.

Other than that, you have your pick of kit amps like the HF Packer for around $259, u build it. You can probably find a built one on Classifieds or, here's a good idea.. Build One!

On paper, the 1500 transmitter performance is on par with any other radio in it's price class. Not sure what the big deal is about that. I get nothing but good reports on the signal quality on digi modes. Of course, QRP operation is an acquired taste and not for the impatient or those lacking a certain tenacity.

For the club, I'd suggest forgetting about using an amped 1500 and go find a good used 3000. They pop up on Classifieds almost weekly.

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