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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Ameritron AL-811 Help

Reviews Summary for Ameritron AL-811
Ameritron AL-811 Reviews: 168 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $650
Description: Uses three tough 811A transmitting tubes
Product is in production.
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Page 1 of 17 —>

KN6Q Rating: 5/5 Feb 17, 2017 08:49 Send this review to a friend
Good value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What can I say about an amp that has been in production for 25 years that hasn't been said?

MFJ/Ameritron (despite selling legal limit amps) markets that the first 600 Watts is what really counts. So, never having owned an amp before, I wanted to dip my toe in the water, and this amp is is the least expensive currently made.

Probably more people opt to pay $100 more for AL-811H to get 200 watts more (which is a good deal), but figured I would save $100 for other gear and upgrade later if I wanted to.

I haven't used it in a "real" contest yet, but I've been able to bust through a couple of pileups on my first try. Being in the middle of a solar minimum, for the money, it's the best upgrade to my shack I've made in some time.

It's well made and seems to be forgiving to my learning curve on tuning it.

K1VCT Rating: 4/5 Oct 7, 2016 18:03 Send this review to a friend
Zero issues  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got this "used" for less than half the price of a new one. It was about 3 years old, according to the included original invoice. Not a spec of dust inside. The 10m "green wire" was still in place. The tubes were devoid of any signs of abuse.

Hooked it up, tuned it, made a contact. Zero issues.

So far so good, its my first amp. According to meters, I'm driving it with about 60w and getting about 500w peak on SSB. Really can't complain thus far - except - the 20m input tuning is a little off about 2:1. The rest of the bands are about 1.2:1 on my transceiver. I don't have a slug tuning tool handy, but looking at things from the back, it does not appear to have been "readjusted" from the factory setting. No problems are anticipated with re-tuning.
N0HAN Rating: 4/5 Aug 4, 2016 07:14 Send this review to a friend
basic amp !  Time owned: more than 12 months
Got one of these broken poor solder joints on plates by the choke used silver solder on it and replaced tubes fired it up 600++ wts not bad for broken junk got fot $100 and new tubes!
W0TDH Rating: 4/5 Jun 18, 2016 02:49 Send this review to a friend
Most economical for the $$$  Time owned: more than 12 months
My humble AL-811 was a Christmas gift from XYL 12-25-1993.

After a few glitches early on(replacement parts provided free ), it made all the difference
when my Elmer and I were in QSO's four times a week. (40Mtr CW)
He lived in STL with a lot of noise. The increased signal to him was a blessing.
My Elmer Passed and is a Silent Key. Mostly AM Ops for several years now, using
the AL-811 amp. Mostly 10Mtrs when Band opens.

I have gone through several sets of 811a's since 1993. They used to be 12.00 each :))

I have tried a set of 572B's....and flattened them in no time at all. ( according to RF Parts )
Too much heat. Went back to 811a's and added an external fan on exhaust port with five 1/2" holes in right
side of case. Stock fan was left in place. Tubes seem to last longer now.

AM Ops are at 100watts output. ( 400 wts Peak, 100% Mod). Long winded transmissions are the Norm.
Problems arise when I forget to plug in the external fan.....thus overheating tubes.

The amp is great for helping the Morrow Twins, Gonset G-28 and several AF-67'/68's
to achieve 100wts output using a fixed 6db attenuator to lower exciter output to about 8wts.
Only problem I have is with heat. Better tube life has been achieved with addition of the external fan.

This amp was not designed for longwinded AM Ops, I understand that.
I have pretty much learned to live with losing tubes due to heat, however there must be a better solution,
other than placing the amp in an ice box, ice house etc......perhaps cooling thermal couples on the air inlet....:))
The solution is most certainly not using 572B's. I find them much harder to cool. 811a's seem to shed heat better.

No complaints, just some hands on with the AL-811 amp and can not afford a different amp.

Using amp on CW & SSB I suspect the tubes would last a very long time.


KL2EC Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2016 10:24 Send this review to a friend
great amplifier!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Never had an amplifier before this one. the learning curve was short and I really enjoy using this big box. I have read many varied reviews but I do like the perfomace.
KK4YDR Rating: 5/5 Jan 27, 2016 23:39 Send this review to a friend
Great little small amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got this amplifier in a trade from another station. It was about 6 months old at the time of trade, last month 01/16.

Amplifier makes about 500watts pep peaks in SSB. I haven't used it for other modes other than SSB. I could tune it a little more aggressively but the 811's aren't 3cx1500 tubes like so many tend to think. They are a durable little inexpensive tube and are pretty tough. I accidentally hammered them with a 200ma grid current spike not paying attention and my self-installed GOP circuit kicked in. The amp still makes 500 watts pep. Don't count on these making 600 watts as advertised. That is definitely an overstatement. These are super easy to tune. A little practice and you will be tuning it within 15 seconds on average after a band switch.

Great little amplifier for the money and it's small size. No frills, lots of excitement.

I am NOT going to sell this amplifier. I am going to get a legal limit next and keep this as a rag chewing amp when I don't want to run a 1500 watt space heater in my shack.
VA6DWH Rating: 5/5 Dec 4, 2015 17:23 Send this review to a friend
Great Value !!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Please dont expect this amp to compare to the big dollar rigs.....but for what it costs and its durability....ease of use.....and up to six times the signal out..!...Pretty hard to beat....I have a legal limit rig I use most of the time....but I do keep my 811 an inexpensive second or spare amp its super value....and the tubes are cheap....other than some routine cleaning....never had to fix anything....Build quality is so so...if you get one that works out of the box.....and you drive it properly....chances are you will be pleased....Regards..
G3ZPS Rating: 4/5 Nov 16, 2015 14:10 Send this review to a friend
Good for light use  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had this used amp for 4 years (its 8 years old), the previous owner put 572b tubes in it and gave me the 811s as spares. It has light use - which is probably what its best at, I don't push it hard with my old FT902 and I don't use a speech processor. I cut my teeth on tube gear so I can tune it very quickly. The one problem I had was a failure to go into transmit caused by one damn 1/8 Watt 10ohm resistor in the little 2 transistor relay switching circuit going open circuit. Getting to it (or any component at the back of the amp) is a complete pain, I had to take the back panel off and release enough of the wiring on the one large double sided PCB to get to it. This is one area where the money is saved, put most components on one big board. Its not a contesters amp, don't thrash it for every last watt, expect the odd repair and it will keep going
W2YM Rating: 5/5 Oct 13, 2015 22:51 Send this review to a friend
GREAT LITTLE AMP  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great amp this little ALS-811. I have had know problems. with it at all. I am heard all over when using it.
W8EDW Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2015 10:50 Send this review to a friend
Better than expected!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased the AL-811A about 6 months ago after having problems with my IC-2KL. I was a little cautious about purchasing a tube amp. Here is my set up: Icom 735, AL-811A, SGC-235 Antenna Coupler at the base of a ground mounted LDG S9V43 43' vertical. I am amazed at the performance of this combination with this amp. Absolutely no problems. Just take your time and tune the amp according to the manual. If I can hear 'em I can work 'em. Way to go Ameritron! What a great old design that just keeps working.
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