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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Alpha 87A Help

Reviews Summary for Alpha 87A
Alpha 87A Reviews: 97 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $6500 + shipping
Description: The Ultimate Linear Amplifier
Product is not in production.
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W8TN Rating: 5/5 Aug 20, 2013 14:44 Send this review to a friend
22 Years & Goin' Great  Time owned: more than 12 months
22 years ago I purchased my Alpha 87a. Since I was an "early adopter", I did have some of the early PIN diode issues. But, before long, ETO fixed that problem and I had many, many years of uninterrupted service. Even when I transmitted into the wrong antenna, or forgot to reduce the drive, or made some other mistake, my 87a kept me safe by the many protection circuits built into it.

Then I experienced what is known as the "Fault 1" problem. This is a bias voltage issue. But, since it has happened to others, RF Concepts has placed a troubleshooting guide on their web site. I looked through that and decided to order all the parts that "might" need to be replaced (just 5 diodes and 1 resistor.)

It turned out that I needed some help in figuring out how to get to the part of the amp where the diodes needed replacing and RF Concepts came through again. They emailed me written instructions and even though the emails never seemed to show up (they got stuck in my SPAM folder), RF Concepts kept trying - even having the file sent directly to me by the CEO!

The end result was that my 87a is now back in A-1 shape and working just like new. The help I received from RF Concepts (who did not even own the company when I bought my amp 22 years ago) was nothing short of STELLAR! They went the extra mile to make sure I could repair my 87a and all they received was that I bought the half dozen parts from them.

Being inside the 87a let me see first-hand the top-drawer quality with which this amp is built. I don't recommend many things, but I will not hesitate to recommend this amp or RF Concepts. I have seen few things that continue to work as well today as they did 22 years ago when they were first built. But, if I ever need to replace my 87a, RF Concepts will be the only place I look.
WX4B Rating: 5/5 Aug 20, 2013 11:49 Send this review to a friend
Still love it!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my Alpha for a couple of years, now, and thought it time I added my kudos to the reviews. When I first received the 87 A, after a great experience with the RF concepts sales people, and opened the two boxes (amp and transformer shipped separately) the quality of construction was obvious just by looking. The installation of the transformer and the setup for operating were straightforward. The amp operates itself and protects itself from operator forgetfulness. I've never regretted spending the money for this Amp.

To me the only less than stellar comment is on the operators manual, which leaves me scratching my head at times. And I consider my self to be of at least average intelligence. This is really a minor drawback as the Amp operates itself.

Trust it. Get one if you can find one. Decades old, still top of the line.

VA3AVT Rating: 5/5 Aug 15, 2013 11:35 Send this review to a friend
Another fine product worth the hay Ur money grows on.   Time owned: more than 12 months
Still going strong in my shack.. Looking to pick up 9500.. Why?? Because I enjoyed test driving it,, and I can afford every dollar it’s worth… Unlike some others on here who like to criticize & judge me for writing an honest review. I guess there just upset because the truth hurts..

This amp is smooth fast quiet and always keeps me at legal limit with 40watts in.

Thanks ETO for building a fine amp..

W4FMS Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2013 16:45 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my 87A used in 2002. It's just a great amp and I can't say enough good things about it. It couldn't be any easier to use and looks great in the shack. Although the 3CX800 tubes are expensive, the fault circuitry works perfectly and hopefully these last the life of the amp based on casual use. Frank, W4FMS
KA2Z Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2013 08:11 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Alpha 87A aill meet all your needs and surpass all your expectations. You will not be disappointed!
W8FLC Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2013 15:47 Send this review to a friend
Satisfied Alpha Customer   Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased this amp used over a year and a half ago, and I am still amazed how the amp performs. Love the auto band switching & tuning ease. I got a 1.1 match on all the bands that I use it on and If I want 1500 watts, all I need to do is put in about 35 watts drive and there it is.
On a dummy load I have gotten over 2400 watts output 80 watts drive. Let me tell you, this amp is built like no other. The craftmanship is just simply beautiful inside, and the customer service is second to none. Molly at RF Concepts is simply the best and will help you with any request. At least she did with me and from what I have heard a lot of other Hams also.
Would I recommed an Alpha amp to anyone? You bet I would without the slightest hesitation.
73 all and great hamming
N7WY Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2013 06:22 Send this review to a friend
Operating Simplified  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I had been looking around for an amplifier to boost my K3's output by the legal limit of 15 dB. I read a lot of reviews, and one thing kept coming up - a lot of amplifiers need a lot of attention to keep from damaging them, and many require constant retuning when you QSY within a band. This lead me back to the brick on key advertising of Alpha amplifiers. I reviewed the YouTube videos on the RF Concepts website, and then ordered a refurbished 87a from HRO.

Still being a bit anxious, I carefully read the 87a manual I downloaded. It arrived, I installed the power transformer, did a bit of shack 240vac rewiring, and had the 87a on the air.

AlphaMax makes using the amplifier totally transparent - I press two buttons to activate the software, and then let AlphaMax do bandswitching and retuning without my even thinking about it. This is a blessing during contests when I am moving back and forth across 10, 15 and 20 meters and sliding up and down the bands pouncing on stations to be worked.

After I watched the videos, I knew I had to have an Alpha, and my operating experience validates all the claims - the design of the Alpha 87a is unrivaled, except perhaps in its successor the 9500. I wish I had bought one years ago - I'd have saved my investment in a lesser amplifier that went to the electronic recycing center last September.
K2UE Rating: 5/5 Mar 4, 2013 15:30 Send this review to a friend
Superb  Time owned: more than 12 months
I spent 45 years as an RF Engineer, and I I've seen a lot of PA's, but this one is genius -- it just lays there and does it's job, quietly and competently. The best value for dollar I ever spent.
KJ6YVT Rating: 5/5 Feb 22, 2013 09:01 Send this review to a friend
Rock Solid and Fully Automatic or Manual  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This vintage hardware still delivers rock solid performance and conveyance. Dick Ehrhorn created a masterpiece. This linear amplifier just works without requiring operator attention. It will deliver in excess of maximum legal power virtually indefinitely; hence the brick-on-key trade mark.

The Alpha 87A AlphaMax firmware enables it to automatically tune to any frequency in less than one second, and it is supported by computer station-control software (I use TRX-Manager). And with the addition of an Alpha Digital Antenna Selector, it even selects the proper antenna for any band for which it is programmed. The 87A is fully protected from ham-handed operators, and will protect itself in the event an issue occurs that might cause damage.

RF Concepts' support is first rate, very rapid, knowledgeable, and professional. You'll find a lot of Alpha 87A information, including videos, schematic, and more, available on this web page: .

Dick Ehrhorn was certainly correct when he said, "Nothing else is even close to an ALPHA 87A!"
Z35F Rating: 5/5 Jan 8, 2013 19:03 Send this review to a friend
Great Amplifier   Time owned: more than 12 months
I have worked several times in contest with Alpha 87 ...excellent linear amplifier
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