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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Commander HF-2500 Help


Reviews Summary for Commander HF-2500
Commander HF-2500 Reviews: 34 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $3995.
Description: Two high-power Eimac 3CX800A7 Ceramic-Metal Triodes
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.palstar.com
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WS8RM Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2008 06:58 Send this review to a friend
10+ years and still ticking  Time owned: more than 12 months
One of the few things that I've bought and really have not had to think much about - in terms of problems.

10+ years and still ticking with the same tubes.

I almost run "QRP" = 22 watts into the amp, every night on 75m, getting abt 1000+ out and not a problem.

I had to replace the solid state switch and bulbs, (Pat gave me both at no charge) but that was it. Not bad for 10 years of service.

Wayne
 
W2EH Rating: 5/5 Jun 7, 2007 08:51 Send this review to a friend
9 GOOD YEARS OF SERVICE  Time owned: more than 12 months
After nine years of constant use the only part I needed to replace was one of the solid state switches on the primary and the voltage divider resistors in the metering circuit. After a spectacular billow of smoke from the chassis, a little cleaning, a $35 part was all it needed. The carbon resistors in the metering circuit drift over years and were replaced with film resistors. The Eimac 3cx800a7's have not been abused and still deliver the legal limit on any band. I can't complain, great design by Pat Stein, superior components throughout.
 
NJ3A Rating: 5/5 Apr 2, 2007 12:52 Send this review to a friend
Awesome Amp 10-160  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is the second amplifier I've purchased this year. The first being an excellent Heathkit HL-2200 that uses 2x 3-500Z tubes. This amp on the other hand used 2x 3CX800A7s (sorry no glow here)..only raw power when and where you need it. Using the original manual and tuning settings I got with this amp proved to be the easiest way to go. Even though my amp is soon to have it's 10th birthday...it still performs as new according to the power output on my Palstar AT4K Tuner and manual settings found in the original owners manual tune up sheet. It's got a great fan, runs cool and is not a amp for the weak of muscle...it's heavy due to it's hypersil transformer.

Audio reports are excellent. I'm only driving this amp with at most 55W out of my Icom 756 ProII and it routinely loafs along at around 1500 booming watts with about 35W drive as tuned by the numbers in the manual. Grid current is the key to longevity with these 3CX800A7s and as long as you follow the guidlines in the manual...they'll last as long as you will...and then some. Sure they're expensive to replace...but if you don't abuse them, they'll be around for a long long time. The use of a high power tuner like the Palstar AT4K or AT5K is clearly a need with this amp if you're using wires on the lower bands. My KT36XA exhibits excellent SWR (<1.5:1) on 10-15-20 meters, so I didn't really need it, however...I do on occasion (daily)...tune and use 40-80-160 meters...all with the HF-2500. My G5RV wire antenna is only 4-5' off the ground, mainly used for local NVIS contacts, but I've got the DX contacts to show you what can be done with a excellent amp and tuner combo.

Overall...my HL-2200 is sitting on the side watching all the action that this Commander HF-2500 is getting involved in...

If you can find one...get it...
 
KC4CP Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2007 18:14 Send this review to a friend
GREAT!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In my opinion, the HF-2500 is not the best looking amp ever made ... but when it comes to performance, it is unsurpassed. This thing is rock solid! Easily does legal limit ++. It is much quieter than my AL-1500. And I literally can't hear the relay! No more "clunk" when the relay kicks in.

NO, it is not cheap ... but it is well worth the money. As others have said, it should last a life time.
 
KF8RX Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2007 12:47 Send this review to a friend
Best Bang for the Buck!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Pat Stein is the Man!

If you buy any other amp you are spending too much or getting too little.

I've had mine for over two years. Being the inquisitive type, I called Pat with a few questions. He makes me feel that "appliance operators" are as welcome as the experts. He never rushed me off the phone even though he's quite busy.

This is my fourth and last amp. I should have bought this one first! I could have saved mucho dinero.
 
KA0G Rating: 5/5 Dec 25, 2006 10:23 Send this review to a friend
Rugged and Powerful!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After not having an amp since I last used an old L4-B years ago, all I can say is WOW! One needs to be very careful to avoid exceding legal power. This amp features the Eimac (not the el-cheapo Rusky variant) 3CPX800 - nor the lower voltage rated 3CX800. If you look carefully at the 3CX800 specs, you will notice that the 3CX is only rated at 2250 volts - something lost on most manufacturers. The 3CPX800 is rated at 3+ KV and is a more expensive tube. Despite my being clumsy with tuning this amp at first, and an antenna that changed SWR, the amp is fully protected. This is a no frills very rugged amp that should last until my estate sells it. I mean the amp and tubes both. And I am talking of 20 more years. Highly recommended. I cannot think of a finer amp.

 
N9TGR Rating: 5/5 Oct 31, 2006 19:49 Send this review to a friend
workhorse  Time owned: months
I have been running the 2500 for about four years and it has proved to be a real workhorse,no issues or problems of any kind,I also own a henry and an alpha but havent turned them on in years.
 
NT4I Rating: 5/5 Oct 19, 2006 18:57 Send this review to a friend
The Standard by which all others are judged!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I own several of these beauties and it as good as it gets. Well built - second to none quality, tunes smooth, easily makes legal output power, reasonably quiet, SOLID American made, runs cool. I could go on and on but why bother as you got the message. Pat Stein is knowledgeable, very easy to work with and always available when I called, GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE! And he delivered the amplifier as promised. Why buy brand X Y & Z when you can have the best for less. To bad I can't rate it higher than a 5!
Thanks and catch you down the wire, Vince NT4I.
 
G0UIH Rating: 5/5 May 10, 2006 04:40 Send this review to a friend
Top Class Equipment  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having owned a TL922 for quite a few years, I decided the time had come for a change of HF Amp.
Also the 3-500's were passed their best.
I'd looked over the winter period on Eham.net at the reviews from users of many models and manufacturers.

My new criteria was an amp that was rugged,reliable and dependable - and
that would last many years.

After carefull consideration the choice was made to go for the Commander HF-2500 from
Command Technologies in Ohio USA. Following my initial correspondences with Pat N8BRA,the
unit was ordered and duly delivered by International Airfreight (DHL).
Two boxes were included in the delivery, 1 for the transformer and one for the Amp.
Everything had arrived complete, with no damage (always a nice start!)
The first thing to notice is what a superb job of packing Pat had done, with triple packed
containers and spacers.

Following unpacking I duly went through the very well lay'd out instruction manual.
I noticed that the 3 wires forming the AC power cable were Black,White and Green.
As a UK customer this threw me for a second as we're used to Brown, Blue and Green.
After a little homework online, the conversion was the Black "Live", White was "Neutral"
and the Green was "Earth"

I unscrewed both top and bottom covers in order to locate where the transformer was going to sit.
(Nice touch using "Allen" screw head cover bolts and synthetic spacers to prevent case damage.)

The transformer is fairly heavy, so took a little care when placing it into position, but
this was completed without any problems and the unit duly bolted into its housing area
with 4 heavy duty bolts, vibration washers and nuts.

Next was to slot the new 3CX800A7 tubes into position. Lining them up proved a little
on the fiddly side as the tube covers the socket wholly when positioning.
I did not want to bend any of the pins, but after a few attempts is was apparent when the pins
were ready to slot in. I then placed the anode chokes in position and tighted them up.
What is very noticeable about this amp is the superb build quality and layout of the internals.
Everything looked first class and was nicely assembled.

After replacing both covers I was ready for the first "Power Up".When switching on, both front panel lamps burst into life and the unit seemed ok.
First impression was how quiet it was. My old TL922 was much noisier than this.

After a 3 minute warm up period the green "Ready" LED was showing, so time to fire up
and see what happened. At first the unit seem to trip out quite easily.
So a quick email to Pat at CT confirmed that the error was on my side.This type of amp requires you
to retune after any change of output power from your radio.(I'd tuned at 1500w then reduced the radio drive from 40w to 15w- this did not work) - So with 40w of drive and a re-tune the unit was much happier and output was approaching 1500w.Pat was very quick in responding to my query and
communications/dealings were 1st class.

Well, after 1 weeks' use the amp is litterally ticking over. In the UK we're limited to 400w (hi!) so with a 10w drive from my radio the Commander just ticks along all day and the panel meters bearly move.
This should last for years - which is why I bought it.
Have I made the correct purchase? - well so far, without doubt, the right decision.
Only time will tell, will post an update in the future.

Vry 73 Steve G0UIH/VK2IAY/3D2FI
 
NE5C Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2006 03:08 Send this review to a friend
"AWESOME"  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've used every kind of Amp ever made, from Alpha, Henry and on down the line. My Commander HF2500 is absolutely the finest Amp I have ever had the "PLEASURE" to operate. And you know HONESTLY these days when everything out there is about PROFIT, of Sales? It is very satisfying to own a product that has the "QUALITY" of the HEAVY DUTY COMPONENTS built into it as the Commander Amplifier Line. How simple does it get? You can spend years searching...Or Get a Commander and later...Will it to your Heirs (HI HI) God Bless you and 73's DE N5JFJ
 
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