- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Power Supplies | Astron SS-50/M Switching Pwr Supply Help

Reviews Summary for Astron SS-50/M Switching Pwr Supply
Astron SS-50/M Switching Pwr Supply Reviews: 8 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $199.95 (meters)/189.95
Description: AC operated (115 to 220VAC (auto selection); 50/60 Hz) switching power supply (+13.8V output; adj +/- 1 Volt). Output current (ICS) 50A peak - 40A continuous. Over-Voltage protected, output current limited, internal fuse, over-temp shutdown. EMI filtered output.
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Astron SS-50/M Switching Pwr Supply.

NE6I Rating: 3/5 Oct 11, 2017 18:23 Send this review to a friend
Too Noisy For My Taste  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had been running the Yaesu FP-1030A supply but mine failed, so I went to HRO and told them I needed a new PS that was both RF and audibly quiet. They recommended the Astron SS-50M, and didn't even hesitate in doing so. Seemingly, a very good sign!

On the plus side, it's about half the size of the Yaesu height-wise. And much lighter. Plus it has a higher rated output (40 amps, not 50, despite the model number. It can do 50A limited duty though. The Yaesu is rated at 30A.) It's also less money than the Yaesu. So that's a lot of pluses so far.

Note: it only has one output terminal and if you wish to run multiple devices on it, space is limited on that terminal. I got talked into a Rigrunner and Powerwrx equip to address this for my installation. More $$$ that then negated my savings over the Yaesu supply I had.

However, the killer for me turned out to be the audible noise. The fan noise on this model is quite a bit higher than the Yaesu. And mine has a high pitched whine that after a while, drives me nuts.

At five weeks in, I waved the white flag and purchased another Yaesu. This Astron is now back in the box as an emergency spare.

It wasn't a deal killer but the Yaesu supply matched my Yaesu rig (naturally) whereas the Astron didn't quite do so. I have the supply on the radio desk so it's a mild concern for me. That's why I went with the FP-1030A originally and ultimately did so again. And the ultimately comment now includes the noise level. (Don't get me wrong, the FP-1030A isn't silent but it's much quieter than the SS-50M.)

Your mileage may vary.
KJ5GT Rating: 4/5 Jan 29, 2017 12:26 Send this review to a friend
Overall, good supply.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had this supply nearly a year.It has been reliable, so far, powering a TS-480HX. I have not been able to detect any switching noise on any band.I have two complaints.One is fan noise, not that loud, but present all the time.One observation: the speed will vary with voltage adjustment, faster at higher voltage.The second complaint is about the terminals.They take a single large diameter wire.With the 480HX there are two power leads, and it's impossible to connect both directly to the power supply.I used two short, tinned, 10 G wires to a terminal strip, to connect both 480 power cables.I would prefer a conventional terminal strip, or studs, for the output connections.
K9VSW Rating: 1/5 Apr 7, 2016 14:35 Send this review to a friend
Power Supply Failure  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a follow up of a previous review about Quality issues. After using the supply for about 3 weeks and less than 1 hour per day it failed. The supply would trip when my TE Systems 1454 was only drawing about 35 amps peak. Voltage regulation was not working in SSB and CW modes. I could see the Volt meter begin to swing from 13.8 volts down to about 6 Volts and the supply would eventually trip. Sent it in for repair. Astron had to send me a new supply.
VE7REN Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2015 18:02 Send this review to a friend
im happy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
after runnin this power supply now for a couple weeks,im happy.. I did cut the positive wire under the cover and soldered a resistor in line to run the fan at 60%..this quietened the fan a lot and makes it more appealing.. I use 2 hf rigs,2 mobile 2 meter radios and many lights on tuners,meters,etc.. I suck maybe 25 amps at most and the unit barely feels luke warm...time will tell the longevity of the switcher vs my ol rs35a from 2000..
VE7REN Rating: 4/5 Dec 16, 2015 17:51 Send this review to a friend
good supply,but  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
this supply powers my whole shack and works well doing it.. I haven't found any birdies or anything unusual compared to my rs35 astron.. the only complaint I have is the fan is on all the time,and takes some getting used Jetstream jtps28 switcher was a lot quieter..but you could still hear the fan. ill leave it in the shack for a month or so and see how I feel at that point.. overall a nice supply.
KD4ISM Rating: 2/5 Oct 21, 2015 17:56 Send this review to a friend
Fan noise  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have a ss30m power supply and it works great. So I thought I would buy a ss50m. The ss-50m fan is loud and has a noise that cuts thru my headphones. There is a lot of work to be done on this one.
N7CW Rating: 3/5 Sep 29, 2015 13:39 Send this review to a friend
Fan Noisy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This power supply is about 1/3 the size of the old RS-50A and much more efficient. I run most of the equipment in my shack from the RS-50A and it is constantly hot on the bottom.

The SS-50 (mine has the meters) is small enough I could easily set it on the operating desk with the other equipment - the RS-50A sits under the desk on the floor.

It works fine. I couldn't find any RF noise, but the fan noise is high-pitched and goes right through my headphones. So I put it on the floor under the back of the desk. Still way too noisy. And as noted above, it runs all the time. I have a quiet shack and I guess I like it that way.

All my Elecraft equipment have temperature controlled fans - it can't be too hard to add that feature. I'll keep it as a back up, but it was a major disappointment.
WB5AGF Rating: 4/5 Jul 7, 2015 00:26 Send this review to a friend
high current +13.8V switching pwr supply  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
(This is a preliminary review.)

I bought an Astron SS-50 (without meters - the unit with Voltage & Amp meters is the SS-50M) switching power supply at the local (Dallas area) Ham Radio Outlet store a few months ago. So far I have not put it to its intended use (powering an HF ham transceiver) but thought that the product should have an entry in the eham reviews so that there can be a place for owners to begin entering their observations.

So far as I can tell there is not a reference to the SS-50 supply yet on the Astron Web Site. I contacted Astron and they e-mailed me a product brochure. (I hadn't even heard of the supply when I first saw a bunch of them sitting on the shelf at the HRO store.)

The SS-50 has the same basic plain black steel case design as the SS-30 supply although the case is slightly larger.

The rear mounted DC output connectors are of a design where the DC power wires are stuck into holes in reddish plastic 'blocks' on the rear of the case. The holes for the power wires face directly rearwards and the snug-down method is via screws (flat-blade head) which face out towards the side of the case. I had no trouble inserting multi-stranded DC power wires into the holes once I twisted them fairly tightly (using my fingers).

The DC output Voltage adjustment is via a flat-blade adjusting screw which is accessible on the right side of the case (marked).

So far the only 'negative' comment (more of a slight irritation) is that the cooling fan (on the rear of the case - it pulls air into the case) runs all the time when the unit is powered. I phoned Astron and asked the guy there about this and he confirmed that it is normal, although he expressed some puzzlement himself (mentioning how this differed from the lower current rated SS-30 supply). His comment was that he guessed that the design Engineers were concerned about overheating due to the higher current rating of the SS-50 supply and so their intent was to always ensure that the supply has cooling air flowing through it. In a quiet room, with the supply sitting near to the user, the fan will be audible. I think that with a bit of careful positioning the sound could be reduced significantly. (The SS-50's fan is not as noisy as the MFJ-4245MV switching supply's fan.)

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.