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Author Topic: RM Italy BLA 350 -- Overpriced????  (Read 35252 times)
KD8MJR
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Posts: 2267




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« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2014, 12:36:38 PM »

Glorified Cb amp,like the rest of there stuff...

The real problem is the reliability.  If you get one I suggest buying a few sets of spare finals.
Solid State amplifiers live or die depending on how well the protection circuits are designed and that is something that I have yet to see a reviewer quantify.  We know Tokyo Hy-power was on the top but it would be nice if ARRL SS Amp reviews had numbers to rate different areas of the needed protection circuitry.

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G3RZP
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« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2014, 02:48:40 PM »

KD8MJR said:

>If you get one I suggest buying a few sets of spare finals.<

That is VERY good advice for any SS amp. When you look at the way SS amp parts have come and gone over the last twenty years - as someone once said "Changing like a whore's drawers on a Saturday night with the fleet in port". So many have come and gone in the last 30 years while 6146s,  572Bs and 3-500Zs are still marching on....

OK, 32 years of employment in the semiconductor industry may have made me slightly cynical......
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M0HCN
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Posts: 473




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« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2014, 04:02:46 AM »

However, at least in the mosfet world there are usually several near equivalent parts, MRF151/SD2931/BLF177.....
In the dual KW class there are freescale, Macom and NXP parts that look to be the next best thing to a direct swap.

My experience has been that run in an amplifier designed to run the device at 80% of rating (not the same thing as an amp turned down to 80%!), with good fast acting protection I am mot seeing many failures even in a 24/7 broadcast application.

Now I would not assume that a cheap amp has the required protection circuits, or that they have actually been tested, but finals are not necessarily the big issue in a SSPA (Sufficient heatsink and actually reading the app notes as to the correct way to bolt the devices down however....).

73 Dan.
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W1QJ
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Posts: 1445




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« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2014, 05:48:29 AM »

Ok, here we are almost a year later, where are all of the economists to give the actual facts about inflation?
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W5WSS
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Posts: 1725




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« Reply #49 on: January 12, 2014, 07:05:18 AM »

Well I have a Tokyo HY Power amplifier with the protection feature And most of my concern relative to longevity is more focused on the potential problems of figuring out the best remedy if the chip set that drives the various protection features fail more than replacing the finals.

One problem for the owner of this amplifier is that THP did not provide a schematic although I have succeeded in acquiring some via a ham friend Gene retired Collins Tech.

The THP amplifier I own is the HL-450b uses 4 THP-120's the replacement finals are Toshiba 2SC2879 'unverified' but probably correct.

Mitsubishi finals are widely used for HF RF applications and actually THP was just introducing a new mid range 500-700 watt 12v Dc amplifier model HL-770b had 8-Mitsubishi RD HHF100 100 watt finals found in almost all of the Icom rigs today.

The protection circuitry technology will appear in the future FCC approved Hf amplifiers as we progress through this economical meltdown that we have been suffering.

73
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #50 on: January 12, 2014, 09:17:01 AM »

I have never heard of any thp protection circuitry getting damaged but if it did protection all centers around the Microcontroller which is a very common unit but the firmware that's on it is another issue.  Aquiring the firmware for all the models has become very important.  I am sure that it is floating around in the hands of a few people but I don't expect to hear anything about it until the fate of what remains of THP is decided.
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W5WSS
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« Reply #51 on: January 12, 2014, 12:44:00 PM »

Yes agreed I have not heard of a firmware loss with the remedy being a re download of the last available version.

I do not even know if it has been designed to accept a download of firmware.

Rather Is probably a chip replacement.

Speculate the protection feature could be bypassed if no remedy in firmware available because of obsolescence.

Suppose if I am correct bypassing is a step backwards but a consolation indeed.

Suppose then If there are any chip sets with the correct firmware then perhaps one could endeavor to purchase one.

Wait and see.

73
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #52 on: January 13, 2014, 03:57:19 PM »

I know of one guy who requested a firmware update for his amp and THP sent him a new chip.
That does not mean that we can't program one ourselves, I am sure that is possible. They sell the programmers for about $25 on eBay. We just need firmware and it's a done deal for total self repair.
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W5WSS
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« Reply #53 on: January 15, 2014, 07:59:25 PM »

Thanks interesting to know. I would need to look and see if it is pullable" or surface mount soldered directly onto the board.

Thanks
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #54 on: January 16, 2014, 04:11:55 AM »

It must be a socketed chip.  Thp would not send them out if you needed to solder them in.
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W4KVW
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Posts: 488




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« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2014, 05:11:36 PM »

Well if all else fails they did make a RM ITALY KLV 350 that was a tube amplifier.It has the CE seal on it & uses (2) 6KG6A tubes.The meter on that amp goes up to 600 watts but I doubt it would do anywhere near that with those (2) tubes.I hear lots of stations on 10 meters using the RM KLV amplifiers FCC type accepted or not there are a lot of these amps on the bands in the USA & other countries & I must say they appear to be pretty clean on the air when I have heard them? They look clean on my band scope as well which is something most of the so called CB amplifiers usually are not.I know it takes a lot of money to get type acceptance but these amps just may make the cut but I doubt they can afford to spend that much money just getting the FCC to clear them.I can find nothing about this amp being anything more than 10/11 meters usage so I don't know if they will work on any other bands? They only have one tuning knob in the photo's also so I'm not sure if that's a load or tune knob?

Clayton
W4KVW
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G3RZP
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« Reply #56 on: February 09, 2014, 12:46:06 AM »

Putting the CE mark on can be done by the manufacturer self certifying, which is quite legal in Europe. He needs to have a suitable QA system and a complete Technical File with design notes, measurement results etc. Which is fine in theory for free trade (which is what it is supposed to encourage) but in practice allows all sort of rubbish to get on the market as there is practically no enforcement.
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M0HDX
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Posts: 35




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« Reply #57 on: February 09, 2014, 05:00:00 AM »

Approx £650 to buy over here in the UK and one of the big emporiums over here as decided to discontinue the sale of the BLA-350 for the time being.I read somewhere that this was due to many failures and faulty units.

Save the extra cash and look at other options. Best of luck (you will need it) if you buy  BLA-350

jim M0HDX
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ZENKI
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Posts: 934




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« Reply #58 on: February 14, 2014, 03:33:46 AM »

Compare the SPE2KFA with  the RM Italy amp and you can soon understand why its just a piece of glorified CB junk.
It seems to be popular with the CB hams since  they seem to think that CB brands are better than the equivalent ham brands or products.

Since RM Italy has some market appeal with new ex CB hams I wonder why they just dont bite   the bullet and design a proper linear amplifier that is FCC certified.

They could adopt the standard ITU SSB standards for IMD  linearity, which is not a onerous standard however it would be better than most of the current ham linears.
This would  be a very good starting point for RM Italy.  RM Italy could  offer something  decent for the ham market, however while they continue producing their CB trash products they will never get technical respect for their products. Who wants to be associated with CB trash products, apparently a lot of ex cb'ers who become hams.

Approx £650 to buy over here in the UK and one of the big emporiums over here as decided to discontinue the sale of the BLA-350 for the time being.I read somewhere that this was due to many failures and faulty units.

Save the extra cash and look at other options. Best of luck (you will need it) if you buy  BLA-350

jim M0HDX
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K2GWK
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Posts: 449


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« Reply #59 on: February 14, 2014, 10:49:10 AM »

Compare the SPE2KFA with  the RM Italy amp and you can soon understand why its just a piece of glorified CB junk.
It seems to be popular with the CB hams since  they seem to think that CB brands are better than the equivalent ham brands or products.

Since RM Italy has some market appeal with new ex CB hams I wonder why they just dont bite   the bullet and design a proper linear amplifier that is FCC certified.

They could adopt the standard ITU SSB standards for IMD  linearity, which is not a onerous standard however it would be better than most of the current ham linears.
This would  be a very good starting point for RM Italy.  RM Italy could  offer something  decent for the ham market, however while they continue producing their CB trash products they will never get technical respect for their products. Who wants to be associated with CB trash products, apparently a lot of ex cb'ers who become hams.

That is pure bullchit! The reason hams are migrating toward the RM Amplifiers is simply because there are not many Hams out there who can drop the $8000 to buy an Expert 2K-FA. Not everyone is made of money Jack. That being said, there are less expensive alternatives to the Expert 2K-FA out there, although they are in the $3000 to $4000 range and still out of range of a lot of Hams. It has absolutely nothing to do with CBer's becoming Hams, it is simply economics.
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