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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | SPE EXPERT 1.5K-FA Help

Reviews Summary for SPE EXPERT 1.5K-FA
SPE EXPERT 1.5K-FA Reviews: 3 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $4800
Description: Solid state Linear amplifier with switching power supply, inbuilt automatic ATU, weighs only 9.5 Kg (19 Lbs) and handlde easily 1500 Watt
Product is in production.
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IK2SAI Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2018 04:54 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After long months of research on which HF Amp to choose, I finally opted for this brand new SPE 1.5 K-FA, 1.5kW HF Solid State Power Amplifier. Ordered when it still wasn't in production it finally arrived on my busy desk. It is a month that I try it and I am surprised at the build quality and solidity of the performance offered. The appliance is contained in an extremely compact package and is packed in a nice bag that allows it to be transported as cabin baggage by plane.
Let's start by saying that all the following measurements are made on a Dummy Load Palstar DL2K and that the power measurements rely on a Watt meter of the Array Solution, the Power Master II.
This very fast tool is guaranteed for better accuracy than +/-3%.
The room temperature is about 25 C degrees. The tuner is disconnected but, on this unit the insertion does not cause big losses. A maximum of 0.8 db is reported on the manual.
In practice If you use the ATU to correct... trim antennas under 1:1.7 -1:1.6 the insertion loss is certainly much much lower.
The power on the MAX/MID/LOW positions has been detected on each HF Ham Radio band.
160 Meters 1692 W 997 W 451 W
80 meters 1525 W 934 W 434 W
40 meters 1438 W 880 W - 437 W
30 meters 1498 W 955 W - 455 w
20 meters 1521 W 935 W 431 W
17 meters 1570 W 957 W - 458 W
15 meters 1545 W 930 W 460 W
12 meters 1547 W 904 W - 437 W
10 meters 1529 W 992 W 480 W
I did not measure in 6 meters since the dummy load goes up to 30 MHz

The fans (four) are inaudible when the amp is in quiet condition. When reaching the 52 C degrees there is the increased rotation and noise increase. But I must say that the single fan of the dummy load is certainly noisier than the four of the amp when it is at 65 C degrees.
Always in twenty meters bringing the PA to about 65 C degrees but, this time in MID power, recommended for the RTTY in the manual, the power read on the Power Master is 850 W. This, in my opinion, is the true power in RTTY with duty cycle type 80% TX and 20% Rx typical of those who make runner with a very heavy duty cycle . If we talk about search and punch temperatures are clearly contained and the power, consequently, goes up.
Note that all these measurements are made with Icom IC 7600 and Icom IC 7300. Both radios connected as recommended by S.P.E. with the CAT and ALC. The power of the radio is set to 100w. So if the amp is in the radio goes to its maximum. By placing the amplifier in "operate", this through the ALC in turn adjusts the power of the radio according to the needs and according to the band. Indicatively I would say that my unit asks the radio for a power between about 25 W and 50 W.
Notice how the display reads more powers than those from the Power Master. This is due to the signal pickup position of the internal Watt meter and is not a malfunction of the unit.
In conclusion it is a device that has satisfied me very much and that in countries where it is allowed to operate in MAX grants the operator fantastic operating conditions. It's like having a 1.5 KW radio.
Finally a quick look at the software. I have had some hesitation in installing it on my PC with WIN10PRO. In the sense that it didn't work and i couldn't establish communication. I really appreciated, for once, a very well made guide, contained in the last part of the manual, which led me to the solution of problems. Right now, the amp, I practically do not touch it and I operate it via PC at 100%. On the PC monitor you get a faithful replica of the PA display plus a keypad that replicates all the controls and led indications present on the front panel.
Finally adjusting the txdelay of the two radios on 6ms I did not detect any problem between radio and amplifier. In the sense that any spikes in the radio are absorbed by the amp without problems.
For those who are worried about the absorption on the 220v I can confirm that, in Italy the appliance is sold equipped with a SHUKO socket and that with amperometric clamp I measured at full power an absorption of less than 12 A. They make less than 2700 W.
It is an exceptional product that we Italians are proud of.
W3DIY Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2018 12:25 Send this review to a friend
First experience with SPE  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The 1.5K arrived Dec.22. I was not too concerned with buying a newly released amp since it is based on the 1.3K.

TXing into a 5 band Optibeam the SSB output is 1.5KW+. TXing into a 40M 2 element monobander, with an SWR between 2.5:1 and 3:1 depending on the band segment, the SPE A/T does a FB job of matching with an output of 1.4KW.

These PO readings are from an LP-100A which closely matches the SPE display, with 10W of drive!

During several lengthy rag chews at full power the fans were noticeable after a few min. but nothing like my previous PW1.

Imagine carrying a legal limit amp using one arm without effort.
SPE has a winner IMO.

p.s I tested for power supply spurious emissions (in the receiver) on all bands. None were detected with a Flex 6500.
PB5X Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2017 08:17 Send this review to a friend
Another winner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After playing with my new X-mas present the last 5 days I can honestly say SPE has done it again.

After owning a SPE 1K for over 7 years and using a SPE 1.3K (with FCC mod) for the last 2 years I am quit satisfied with the new SPE 1.5K.
This SPE 1.5k is not much different than his little brother the SPE 1.3k but it has some improvements.
The new SPE 1.5k has a new design LDMOS onboard, the 1k80. In comparisson to the SPE 1.3k it has a 1k50 (ealier models even a 1k25).
It can make +/- 200/300 Watts more on MAX power and it has a beautifull BLACK layout in stead of the GREY layout what we have been used too the last decade. So is this worth the extra bucks...?

In my case yes as I have a new Amplifier with 2 years warranty and the latest technology.

But that is not all. For people who are into "PURE SIGNAL" this new SPE 1.5k has the capability to do so as it got a special connection on the back for it.

Also the great service of SPE Italy is wonderfull as they always replied my mails within 1 workday and always are able to answer any fast question by Phone. COMPLIMENTS.

So SPE has made another winner and will this amplifier become a standard for future DX-peditions ;-)

Are their any CONS instead of PROS...
I honestly can say I did not find them yet.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review and I want to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

73 Roberto PB5X


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