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Reviews Categories | Power Supplies | Astron SS-30/M Help

Reviews Summary for Astron SS-30/M
Astron SS-30/M Reviews: 75 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $120 to $160
Description: 30 Amp Switching Power Supply (SS-30M with meters) (SS-30 no meters)
Product is in production.
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N7JPF Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2014 10:46 Send this review to a friend
nice unit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Like others before me, I don't care much for the connectors on the back, but they work. My unit is quiet. I have not had any issues with noise of hash. I bout the PS new last month, and am very happy with it, driving my Icom-IC-746.
WB8VLC Rating: 1/5 Feb 20, 2014 11:06 Send this review to a friend
too much noise, looses regulation  Time owned: more than 12 months

Too much noise across the upper HF and VHF low range, 6 meters CW and SSB between 50.0 to ~ 50.5 is useless as is 10 meters especially around 29.580 to 29.615 where the supply has a wandering spur that the squelch will not quiet.

Also when operating at any power level between QRP up to 100 watts, with 3 different radios, the supply starts to sag from 13.8 to 12.95 volts volts and this is in a dummy load.

I tried a Filter on the Dc output, tried some larger gage and shorter length 10 gage wire, new fuses, Temporarily bypassed the fuses, but nothing would fix the voltage sag nor the noise issues.

The screw terminals on the back are total junk and stripped out. The supply is now sitting on my work bench where I'm looking at the voltage sag and noise issues as it is out of the warranty period.

I recently replaced the junk Astron switcher with a 30 year old, Freebee, 24 volt GE supply and freebee 24 volt to 13 volt 50 amp inverter which is excellent.

I now have no noise with the GE/Inverter setup and the new system, minus the Astron, powers a 100 watt radio with a 700 watt home brew amplifier.

If your into weak signal DX work don't buy this piece of junk.

I'm happy now without the Astron on the radio bench.
K7NSW Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2013 15:50 Send this review to a friend
Reluctant Endorsement  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Been a ham on CW for 52 years and always used transformer based power supplies. No problems - reliable. My three stand alone supplies are Astron. I object to switching supplies. I read an article in QST quite a while back comparing different brands. The article happily reported that the noise generated by these supplies typically falls in the hf bands and has been a problem in the past.But now the designers have fixed it so that noise falls outside the ham bands, so no problem. Therein is my issue. The FCC rules say we are to pursue high engineering practices in the development of the radio art. How can using these kind of supplies be justified? Simply because we can dump our noise on some other radio service? The explanations seems to be that the noise we are causing is many db down so no problem. But we re still making noise. IMHO that is not living up to the FCC rules, even if the Commission allows it.

Anyway, I decided to try one on a trip where I heavy supply would not be a good idea. So I bought this one. Great product! Does exactly what I want it to do and as advertised.

Like I said, I still object to these things. But if you are going to get one, this is a good one.
K7NSW Rating: 5/5 Nov 24, 2013 07:35 Send this review to a friend
So Far, So Good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought it new at HRO Phoenix. Their staff knows ham radio and the stuff they sell. Paid $150 plus state sales tax. Hanging around the HRO store for a while was worth the tax I paid. Mint condition out of the box. Shook it - no loose parts. I bought the SS- 30 MM. The two analog meters are big and easy to read. The entire unit is good looking. Fired it up and put my Fluke multimeter on it: 14.07 vdc. No smoke or odors when I turned it on. On side of unit is a voltage adjustment pot. Took me less than 30 seconds to set the voltage at 13.8 vdc. Attached it to my TenTec Omni 7. Worked fine. No birdies or other noise so far. Astron does not supply a schematic diagram with this power supply. They do with their analog supplies. The absence of a schematic is a big deal with me but not a show stopper. So far I am satisfied with the unit. The purchasing experience at HRO was a good one.
W7WET Rating: 5/5 Oct 6, 2012 14:11 Send this review to a friend
Perfect  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have been using this power supply for about 6 months now. It has preformed flawlessly. It is quiet and I have not noticed any noise induced into my radio at all. I rarely hear the fan come on and when it does it is not objectionable. It is a great power supply for my ICOM 7410.
N4KVE Rating: 5/5 Aug 5, 2012 10:14 Send this review to a friend
GREAT PS  Time owned: more than 12 months
I too have one of these units, but mine has the meters. Great PS, but I only use it for VHF/UHF radios. For HF I use the heavy RS35M, which I purchased long before Astron sold switchers. Mine is an early unit, so it came with the threaded posts & nuts on the back of the radio, which makes attaching any cable easy. However to get UL approval, Astron had to change to the small hole/small screw/plastic cover system so an accidental short couldn't happen like it can with the exposed threaded post style. Astron will gladly sell a post kit to revert back to the older non UL approved style. And yes, I did install a 100 ohm 1/2 watt resistor across the heat sensor to allow the fan to run all the time, but slower to dampen the fan noise. These units are great, & should you not like the small screw/small hole attaching system which UL requires, Astron will sell the old style/non approved kit. GARY N4KVE
N9LCD Rating: 2/5 Aug 4, 2012 18:06 Send this review to a friend
POOR CONNECTORS  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Could be a great little power supply -- high output, light-weight and compact. It loafs powering my ICOM 271A at a full 25 watts.

But those crummy output DC connectors on the rear panel!

Yes, I do have a long enough and narrow enough screwdriver to get into the access holes. BUT HEADS OF THE SET SCREWS AREN'T PROPERLY SLOTTED! You have to kind of "push" the screws around and around.

I wonder if any of the designers / engineers at Astron know what happens when you push a screw laterally into stranded wire. THE WIRE GETS ALL SQUISHED OUT OF SHAPE AND KEEPS SLIPPING OUT!

It would help if Astron's instructions at least said how far to strip insulation off your output leads, instead of the "trial and error" process.

SUGGESTION: It might help to tin stranded power leads before trying to insert them into the power out connectors. It may be a little hard to keep from putting too much solder on your leads, but it should help.

I'll really check the output connectors before buying another Astron!
N3CU Rating: 4/5 Jul 28, 2012 16:43 Send this review to a friend
Good Power Supply  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased this power supply over ten years ago and worked fairly well once I made some modifications. First, the output voltage was over 14 volts when I received it but took a minor adjustment to correct it. Then I added resistors across the fan thermal switch to reduce the noise from the fan. After several years, one of the set screw heads broke so I replaced both of them with 10-24 half inch allen set screws. These allow for additional tightening which better secure the wires going to the transceiver. Regular terminals found on other supplies would be preferable, but this arrangement serves me well.
WX0NWS Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2011 11:52 Send this review to a friend
Great PS  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Works great for me.

*Small and powerful
*Nice meters
*Nice powerful fan to reduce heat

*Had to install LEDs for meter backlighting (see below)
*Power connectors are not the best but still work well for me, I would have rather had binding posts but whatever

Click here to see my LED backlight mod for this unit:

73 DE WXNWS Donnie
KH6DC Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2011 19:47 Send this review to a friend
So Far So Good  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Had this for 3 months now since my RS35M died with a shorted transformer. I modified the PS by adding a 5W 100 ohm bypass resister across the fan thermal switch so it stays on all the time but not at full power. I also added blue LEDs to the meters since I like the blue color. It's been working like a champ so far.
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