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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Ameritron AL-82 Help


Reviews Summary for Ameritron AL-82
Ameritron AL-82 Reviews: 49 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $2100.00
Description: 1.5 KW Output Linear Amplifier w/ 2 3-500 Tubes on 240V for US
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.ameritron.com/products.php?prodid=AL-82
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Page 1 of 5 —>

N6BIZ Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2017 21:30 Send this review to a friend
GREAT  Time owned: more than 12 months
GREAT AMP
 
KG5BV Rating: 2/5 Feb 23, 2017 17:38 Send this review to a friend
Great amp but...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned the AL-82, the AL-1200 and the AL-1500. My favorite? The AL-82. I have had it for 10 years and use it daily. Except for a couple of bad 3-500ZG tubes, no problems, just 1500 watts of power. Then why the bad review? I was happily going alone on a net the other night, and THUMP. Everything went dark. With a handful of fuses, I traced the problem to the plate transformer with a shorted secondary. Bummer. What to do? I have an external HV power supply, so I'll mount it all in a rack and keep on rocking! I wish Peter Dahl was still providing transformers. Sigh...
 
VE3CNX Rating: 5/5 Feb 13, 2017 17:21 Send this review to a friend
Stable Amplifier  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased this amplifier new in 2013 and used it only on 80M as I had other rigs/amps/antennas for other bands. After 3 years, I thought I should rotate the band selector switch to "exercise" it. Much to my surprise,and disappointment, it would not "lock" into place on the adjoining 40M and 20M positions. Upon taking the cover off, I discovered that the band switch frame rotating portion had one small broken piece, preventing it from locking into place. I called Ameritron, and spoke with their senior Service Tech and he said that they had not encountered this type of problem before, but it was possible it had been a manufacture point weakness that had manifested over time. On the plus side, he said that it would not be necessary to change out the entire band switch, only the frame assembly. Nevertheless, it would involve a considerable amount of time though as the band switch had to be removed entirely in order to do so. He offered to send me the replacement part, even though it was long past warranty, which I accepted. We discussed the logistics of repair, and he said that rather than send it back to them, I could have it repaired by the Ameritron dealer in Toronto, some distance away still. I contacted the local dealer and spoke to the tech and he said that he could repair but that it was a labor intensive job. (Code for big $$). So, I made plans to do so. In the meantime, a good friend and Elmer (Bill- VE3NH), sensing my uneasiness at tackling the job, encouraged (pushed) me to do the job at home and generously offered his help. He is a retired and well-accomplished radio tech, and he would not hear of my sending it out for a costly repair. I graciously accepted his offer (challenge). Upon reviewing the task in more detail, I came to the conclusion that the best way was to disassemble the tuning section entirely by removing the tuning/loading coils, Finals, etc. and disconnecting the band switch from the capacitors, etc. rather than desoldering the connections on the band switch itself. It looked fairly straightforward and I estimated we should be able to do it in about 2.0 hours max. After taking many photos and assembling all the necessary tools, we undertook the job. As it turned out, it was a little more finicky than I initially thought, as the space was tight and many screws/connections. In the end, we only had to desolder one wire from the 40M connection at the loading coil. We also had some difficulty extracting the band switch frame assembly from the wafers themselves. Other than that, it went fairly smooth. But instead of a couple of hours, it took us exactly 4.5 hours, start to finish. (Actually Bill- VE3NH did most of the work, I just held the light). When we finished, we gave it the smoke test into a dummy load, and it performed flawlessly on every band. Thank you Bill (VE3NH) for your tireless and steady hand and iron clad memory for detail.

I rate this amplifier as a 5 because aside from the band switch issue, it has performed flawlessly over the three years since new. Also, because the Service Dept. at Ameritron were so helpful in guiding me to a reasonable solution/repair. I have a number of amplifiers (Alpha/Yaesu/Kenwood/Drake) but this AL-82 is a real workhorse. It tunes easily and operates flawlessly. I would not hesitate to buy another Ameritron amplifer.
 
K5VSH Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2016 10:23 Send this review to a friend
The Best that I've had  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've had Hallicrafter (Ht-41?), Yaesu (Fl-2100B), Dentron (Clipperton-L), and Ameritron (Al-80A, AL-811H,and Al-800 Amplifiers. This AL-82 is the best of the lot. Keep the load control up or it will arc on you-Hi!!
 
K2VI Rating: 3/5 Jun 22, 2015 13:38 Send this review to a friend
poor mfj quality control  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had to send two back and still do not have an al-82. First one had a band switch that was erratic and the knob was misaligned and loose that caused the shaft to slip on the knob...A few washers rattling around inside so it went back to ameritron. The second one was UPS must have tossed the box 10 feet in the air. The rf deck was off it's shipping insert. This left an indentation not only on the outer box but also inside. This caused the blower fan to dislodge from the deck and smashed into the PI-network coil which was damaged.The reason the blower came loose was ameritron uses small plastic bolts to fasten the big blower to the amp. Two of these bolts sheered off. If they used metal bolts the amp would have been fine. So when I get lucky and get a good one I will revise my review. By the way ameritron has young women building these amps. I wonder if they actually went to technical school or learning on the job? One other thing that makes me afraid to own MFJ stuff is that they sent a warranty card that had a different serial number than the box and unit was stamped.It was off by one digit. How can one mess that up Is downright boneheaded....BUT WE ARE TALKING MFJ JUST SAYING.
 
WB7QXU Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2014 21:46 Send this review to a friend
Sweet Amp  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I own many amps and this amp is really sweet to use, Love it performance true legal limit out. rugged power supply and The Best tube ever the 3-500z. Nice to operate and tunes well. My solid state rigs love it over the other 3-500 amps. It is really one of the best amps out there, I'd say the best since it has 3-500 tubes the only ones I love. But honestly I can only say the best things about it. Mine does 160-10m with 1500w out Nice sweet tuning, and never gets tired, a real work horse.
 
KA1PM Rating: 5/5 Nov 22, 2013 18:45 Send this review to a friend
A Sweetheart  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've been a ham for over 50 years and have had all kinds of amps during that time, from a Homebrew with a 3-400Z to a Heath SB-200 & other Heaths to the Alpha 87A as well as 3 Henrys. This AL-82 is a sweetheart. I chase DX and like to "Hunt & Pounce" and don't want to leave the amp running while I search, this one fires up in 5-6 seconds, and that's perfect for my purposes. It's smooth, I QSY to a different band in less that 10 seconds, it puts out at least the legal limit on all bands according to a calibrated watt meter (the built-in is quite generous) and even though I wired the fan for high speed, it's still pretty quiet. I've not had a single problem with it. I've run several amps using the 3-500Z tube and have found the tube to be a very good one, and one that won't break the bank if you need a replacement. I would actually rate one amp that I owned as a -0-, but, for sure, this one is a 5.
 
W7ZZZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2013 20:26 Send this review to a friend
OLD SCHOOL BEAST  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Arrived poorly packaged; the deck unit had slid down and was tilted in the box, poking through the side. The transformer had ripped out the bottom of it's box and was painted rattle can black while it was in the shipping box. Overspray on the cardboard interior told the story there. The transformer looked like about twenty stoned high-school students had assembled it during a single short recess period. It truly is an incredibly crude looking piece. Two places in the deck needed re-soldering. The fan is incredibly noisy. Put it all together, fired it up, and it works great. This is old an school amp, with 3300v under full load. Hard to beat that. Scrap the mud off, and if you are lucky, a strong beast lies within. Ameritron needs to figure out how to package products for shipping. Absolutely mind bending pathetic packing. Time will tell if it lasts. So far, so good. The price is reasonable, the tubes are cheap, and it pumps out watts like a maniac. I gave it a five in the end, because after all is said and done, performance is what counts...and this thing performs!
 
KG6YV Rating: 5/5 Jun 25, 2013 07:58 Send this review to a friend
Wow, I am impressed!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received my AL-82 last week and did the final assembly on Saturday. Prior to assembling it I spent about three hours checking all internal connections both electrical and mechanical. Everything was very professionally done at the factory. Assembly was completed in about two hours. Hint: If you don't like lugging around 77 lb amplifiers I recommend moving the chassis to its final place and then installing the transformer. I also replaced the power plug with a four prong 250V twist-lock plug for safety...

Operational Findings:
I already own a Henry and Drake so I expected to need 80-100 watts drive... NO WAY, be careful this beast drives to 1500W on 75M with 55 watts drive from my FT-2000D. It runs about 650ma Ip and 200ma Ig @1500W on 75M. I have not tried it yet on the higher bands but I expect no problems getting full output. The fan on the factory default "med-hi" is OK for me.
So far, so good, this is just what I have been looking for, legal power with my favorite tubes (3-500ZG). If I can remember to do so I will do a follow up review after 6 months.
 
W1AEX Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2013 12:54 Send this review to a friend
Most bang for your buck  Time owned: more than 12 months
I picked up a third-hand fuse blower from e-bay 2 years ago as a "project" amp. The outside cabinet looked brand new but the date on the inside indicated it was roughly 10 years old.

After looking it over it was obvious that the bleeder string had opened and as a result the filter caps failed. The nice thing about this amp is that it's very easy to work on and since it's still in production, all the parts are available direct from Ameritron. I picked up the filter caps from Mouser because they had CDE 500vdc versions that made me more comfortable than the 450 vdc versions Ameritron uses. So... for 130 bucks I ordered all new filter caps, bleeder resistors, meter shunt resistors, and a replacement for the step-start power resistor. It took about an hour to repair and it was up and running.

I've used it heavily after fixing it and it has never complained on any band. It's a very capable workhorse that handles continuous duty modes without flinching. I use mine in AM linear service frequently and it easily handles 200 - 300 watts of carrier output with plenty of headroom for peaks. Mine has Chinese RF Parts tubes of undetermined age and they have behaved fine while easily producing full legal limit on any band. The forced air from the bottom, through the socket, and out the chimneys keeps the tubes happy. The big Peter Dahl plate transformer (same design in current production but made by a third party) is up to the task and the power supply sits at just under 3800 VDC while idling and drops to about 3600 under full load.

This is a well designed and trouble-free amp that can handle any mode at full legal limit. Replacement 3-500's are still reasonably priced and they should last a very long time if used regularly and within their specs.
 
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