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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Ameritron AL-1500 Help


Reviews Summary for Ameritron AL-1500
Ameritron AL-1500 Reviews: 67 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $2845
Description: 3CX1500/8877 Tube Type Linear Amplifier
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.ameritron.com/products.php?prodid=AL-1500
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N5JFJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 6, 2010 02:35 Send this review to a friend
Fine Amplifier  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased my AL-1500 used, and this model has the older Peter Dahl Transformer.
I've owned Amps...I've Sold Amps...Yet I'd like to say here that so far, I am well pleased with the Ameritron AL-1500.
I had a old power supply Capacitor that Spewed, shortly after I purchased the amp. Yet, with a call to Ameritron, a simple chat with Tech support, I had the whole new power supply Board and bank of Capacitors received just a few days.
I installed the new Board, Fired this puppy up, and the Amp has been a "pure pleasure" to operate.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the Amplifier and with Ameritron and my experience with their Customer Support system.
 
KA4ETV Rating: 5/5 Sep 13, 2010 10:01 Send this review to a friend
Great AMP  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a great solid amp. Hard to justify paying more for another brand. The sheet metal case could be better. But thats not much compared to the overall value. I bought mine used for $1500 with the Eimac tube.
 
K4FX Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2010 13:01 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this amp used from a friend for an excellent price. Hard to beat the value. Puts out 1500 watts without breaking a sweat. Excellent tuned input. Works well on the WARC bands. As others have mentioned the case is a little on the thin side.
Being an RTTY contester, I put the fan on high, I do not see what all the complaints about loud noise are about. Of course then I used to run 2 of the 6155 amps for 2 meters and 70 centimeters at the same time. I guess after those two, anything would sound quiet. Any high power amp needs a lot of air to move the heat. A simple fact of life.

As the previous reviewer mentioned, this amp is not your "tune for max power" amp. Do that and you will most likely be replacing the tube or some melted accessory in the line. This is not a toy amp. Unless you have a 50w exciter connect the ALC The ALC is to protect against mistakes, do not use the ALC as the means of providing the proper drive.

The amps vernier tuning, 6 to 1 reduction, makes for really easy tuning. After using the old SB-220 for years, it is like going from a tractor to a Cadillac with power steering.

Nothing not to like here. The SB-220 is in for a long needed rest.
 
W7VO Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2010 11:25 Send this review to a friend
Not for Beginners, LOTS of Gain!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had my used (early build) AL-1500 for about 6 months now, and it does what it is supposed to do. It puts out 1500W on all bands with about 45W of drive. However, this amp is NOT for beginners....

My old Amp Supply LK-500C's instruction manual says simply "tune for maximum output" when tuning that amp. Simple,and easy to do. It took 100W of drive, which is what my FT-2000 puts out. Gotta love a pair of sturdy 3-500Zs

Well, there is no simple "tune for maximum smoke" with the AL-1500. The 8877/3CX1500A tube used in the AL-1500 has very limited grid current capability, and one has to be MUCH more cautious and careful when tuning the amp. Not so easy to do after 36 hours solid of contesting!

One has to ALWAYS remember to turn the exciter power down first to less than 50W if you had previously cranked the power up for barefoot use. One needs to really watch the grid current when tuning the amp, starting at about 10W of drive, then tuning up in 10W increments until final output power is obtained. You will be surprised how little changes in settings have a drastic effect on grid current. Thank goodness for the built in current shut off circuitry!

My early unit came without the large HV glich resistor, or the fan rubber insulator (which DOES work to quiet down noise), both of which were added after a quick phone call to Ameritron, and some minor surgery. All of the dial lamps were burned out, so I purchased some white 12V LED replacements from a guy on E-Bay.

The good news is that there is lots of room inside to work on any repairs needed, which is nice.

If I had it to do over though, I might have looked for an AL-1200 instead, which can take more exciter drive, and has less "sensitive grid current" issues.

Still, a solid amp, with LOTS of gain.....
 
VK3EGN Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2010 05:16 Send this review to a friend
Powerful Simple Amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Over 2kW carrier from 65W input. Works well portable with generator. Metering is simple and accurate. Simple schematic makes repairs easy. 8877 are available for good price. This amp is a keeper. Tested portable in IARU contest, great experience.
 
AA6VB Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2010 15:02 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is an updated review after three months of use on 160, including a few contests (S&P).

I was looking for a legal limit amp I could dedicate to 160 meters that would comfortably run 1.5 KW. There are a number of amps in that category but I really did not want to buy a used amp or invest in a new Alpha 9500, Acom 2000a, or even a Commander HF-2500 due to the high cost.

Over the years I have owned two Ameritron Amps, including the AL-80A, and ALS-600S, and found each amp to be very well constructed, reliable and fairly priced.

After looking at all the options, I selected the AL-1500 although I almost bought the AL-1200 since it is nearly instant on, unlike the Al-1500 which has a three minute warm up period (seems like an eternity when the pile up is growing while you wait for the amp to warm up).

The amp arrived in perfect condition, was very well packed, and the transformer went in without a hitch. A close inspection showed the amp was very well constructed. No loose solder joints, good quality components. All electrical connections were tight and screws well fastened. The controls were firm and robust, yet the amp tunes easily.

The amp easily puts out the legal limit with 65 watts drive and will probbly do much more. The amp tunes smoothly and has worked flawlessly. Input SWR is very low on 160.

I changed the fan speed from medium to low to reduce the fan noise, since I seldom rag chew, almost never operate SSB, and never operate RTTY with this amp. The relay is fairly quiet.

The protection circuit works very well. I have a narrow bandwidth 160 meter antenna. If I move too far off resonance, the SWR really spikes. This happens occasionally and when "operator error" occurs, the Amp simply goes into standby. A press of button (after retuning the antenna) and I am back in business.

I am very satisfied with the amp and think Ameritron offers an excellent value.
 
K0EX Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2010 14:02 Send this review to a friend
excellent value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
my long-time faithful SB-220 will now get to enjoy the simplier life of retirement. i bought the AL-1500 because i wanted WARC-band capability and an amplifier designed for 1500W output (instead of 1000W input).

i'd rather have a Peter Dahl xfmr (because it's a "known quantity") than the Indiana Transformer xfmr in all current models. however, i didn't know how to arrange buying the AL-1500 thru a dealer sans xfmr. oh well... this I.T. xfmr seems capable; curious about longevity.

a word of CAUTION: don't take for granted that your "warm-up" timer is 3 minutes! mine is only 2 minutes; a friends, barely over 1 minute. respect the requirements of the 3CX1500A7!

i'm pleased overall with the AL-1500, with one exception. 15m and 17m share the same bandswitch position. at least for my amplifier, the tuned-input circuit favors 17m with lower SWR (at the expense of 15m), even after i adjusted the inductor slug. this, of course, is a non-issue using radios with a built-in tuner or with older tube-final radios with LOAD and PLATE controls.

i've had two Alphas. they are great amplifiers! however, i am 98% CW. i do not operate hi-duty-cycle modes. the price of "key-down forever", therefore, doesn't satisfy any operating need for me.

little signal in, big signal out. it's that simple (look at the schematic) with the AL-1500. i certainly would buy another one.
 
N2QQF Rating: 5/5 Dec 8, 2009 03:26 Send this review to a friend
Good Amplifier  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have been looking for a legal limit plus amplifier for some time now. I wanted an amplifier that could deliver legal limit with minimal drive that way both my amplifier and radio would run nice and easy. I looked around and after talking with some friends that have the AL-1500 I thought it might be a better buy for the money. I decided to try the AL-1500 and I recently got my hands on one. I have had a few Ameritron amplifiers before so cosmetically they all pretty much look the same. I installed the tube and P/S and started her up. I was impressed with the power she delivered. I missed tuned for a second with minimal power and the fault protection came right on which I was happy about because 8877 are not cheap tubes, close to $900.00 for a new Eimac. Take the tube replacement into consideration for the future.

Anyhow, I delivered 5 watts to tune her up and I was getting over 400 watts out!! I deliver 40 watts a i get over legal limit (1800+) watts. Basically this amplifier loafs at legal limit and will deliver close to 2500 watts or more with full drive. I would not recommend doing this of course but it can certainly deliver the power which is nice because you have headroom. Anyhow, Good amplifier for the money and you will not be upset nor mislead with buying this amplifier.

Oh, BTW... I tested the output into a Dummy Load and not on the air like a LID!!!!
 
WV4X Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2009 12:55 Send this review to a friend
Great amp, great service .  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Mine is late production and with the blower on the low setting keeps the tube cool and the shack quiet, fan mounting changed with the late models makes big difference. Factory service a real 10 of 10, save a few thousand dollars for legal limit + this is the real deal.
 
KE5SMH Rating: 5/5 Jun 17, 2009 09:27 Send this review to a friend
One heck of a value!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The AL-1500 is not the most refined of the legal limit amplifiers, but it is perhaps the best value.

If you are looking for an amplifier that will put out the legal limit, tune easily, and not break the bank, I would defiantly recommend the AL-1500.

When it comes to bang for your buck this amplifier is hard to beat. I got my used and it is a few years old, but well taken care of. It was shipped to me and arrived in one piece.

The assembly was very easy. I was up and running in no time after installing 240v service for the amp.

This amp has helped me to bag numerous low band DX contacts and participate better in domestic nets. I have even had a pileup or two!

The 8877 is a wonderful tube with great IMD characteristics that will last for years as long as you watch the grid current. One thing that must be considered when looking at an amp is tube replacement expense. My amp has the Eimac 3CX1500A7/8877 tube, which can be purchased for around $1100, but there is now a foreign made 8877 that can be purchased for around $550. This is great news for 8877 users.

If the amp has a downside, it is that it is a little noisy, but not too bad for what it is accomplishing.

Overall I feel the Ameritron AL-1500 is perhaps the best watt for your buck legal limit amplifier available today.

Andy
K5PO
 
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