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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Ameritron AL-1200 Help

Reviews Summary for Ameritron AL-1200
Ameritron AL-1200 Reviews: 53 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $3310
Description: Tube Type Linear Amplifier
Product is in production.
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K4HYJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2013 08:50 Send this review to a friend
Solid performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I came up with a used AL-1200 through a friend that wanted to buy my Henry 2K-4. It easily produces 1500 watts being driven by an Icom 7600 on all bands except 12 meters. The fan is noticeable but not distracting (it's set on the factory speed setting).

I primarily use it for busting SSB pile-ups which is easy paired with a good antenna. Seems well made - this unit is 2007 vintage with the 3CX1200A7 tube. The meter lights had been modified by placing a resistor in line to lower the voltage. I went ahead and upgraded to strip LEDS to evenly light the meter face using these made for Ameritron amps: - pick your color!

I would debate whether or not this is a "desktop" amplifier. It is large and heavy! There is no space on my desk for this beast. I built a sturdy table next to my operation position and placed it there. It is well ventilated here and not in the way when not in use.

Step start delay is "long" enough to hear the relay close so I feel the power switch will last a long time. Nice Peter Dahl transformer and all later production improvments (bias board, etc). This has the QSK board installed - I do some CW, so it is nice. It also makes the T/R relay noise non-existent - I have to look at the amp to be sure the XMT led is burning!
W3NA Rating: 5/5 Nov 6, 2013 08:14 Send this review to a friend
Follow up  Time owned: more than 12 months
I first reviewed my AL-1200 amplifier about two years ago. So this is a follow up review. Fully capable of 1500+w, I usually keep my AL-200 at 1200-1400w to protect the systems after the amplifier (tuner, switches, and antennas). I have encountered three problems in 4 years of owing and operating this fine amplifier. 1) The small meter illumination bulbs burn out frequently. The solution was to use LED lighting based on a recent QST article. It cost less than $10 and a trip to Radio Shack. Wow, it looks great (better than original) and should last indefinitely. 2) A new 3CX1200A7 tube is very expensive. Even though the tube is know for its excellent durability and forgiving nature, what would I do should the tube fail? My solution was to patiently wait and purchase a good used tube for a reasonable price as a backup. 3) The open frame relay still sticks every year or so. My solution is to yearly open the amplifier and perform a cleaning. At current used prices, this amplifier is a real bargain.
W0FEN Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2013 12:39 Send this review to a friend
Great AMP!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This AMP is the best. I have had several. I bought this used and it appears to be an early one. Used, I had to replace the ALC board. It was not expensive at all under $30.

I did have a problem connecting the AC correctly. I burned out a 12W resistor. The factory immediately knew which one it was. It must happen often. To my credit the connections are confusing.

This amp tunes easily and the front panel indications are correct. I have also run it on 17M on the 15M postion. Not full output but it works fine.

This is a >75 lb. monster for the desktop. It is not easy to move.

I would put it up against a Collins 30S1 which I previously owned. It didn't have 160M and now I have that band as well.
VY1EI Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2012 10:36 Send this review to a friend
Solid performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this amplifier for two years now. Mine came with the 3CX1200Z7 tube, which was a surprise as the amp was listed as having the 3CX1200A7. Apparently the Z7 version is stronger than the A7. I've used this amp for several contests now and its been very reliable. Puts out a solid 1500 over most bands. It puts out about 1100 watts over the lower part of 20 meters. For the money its a very reliable contest amplifier.

WX3B Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2012 10:13 Send this review to a friend
A+ - solid performance, great service  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just a quick follow-up to a prior review. I use AL-1200's at my multi-operator contest station and have yet to have a critical failure of this amplifier. The performance is excellent and 90 watts drive will generate a clean, reliable 1.5kw output. I find Mike (Ameritron) extremely helpful in diagnosing the little things that can occur and his track record is almost 100% doing this remotely (i.e. rarely have to send a unit in).

The 3cx1200a7 tube is expensive, however it is almost indestructible.

This was my first amplifier in 1998, and it continues to be a great performer.

W7RUE Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2011 11:12 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned this AL-1200 for a couple of months now and it has thus far, given me excellent service. I am the third owner. It is a 2001 model and it is replacing an AL-811 which I sold to a new General-class friend of mine.

I got this AL-1200 from another ham friend who had it laying around in his shack collecting dust. He doesn't have a 240v service and he didn't think that he would ever get around to having it installed so it was a 'win-win' for both of us.

I drive it with a Yaesu FT-1000MP which only puts out 100 watts so it will never overdrive the amp. I don't need or have the ALC hooked up and I use an ARB-704 buffer between the amp and the transciever. I am quite satisfied with its performance. It puts out the full 1500 watts of clean RF with less than 100 watts of drive. It is easy to tune and very forgiving whenever I have a 'senior moment'.

I now have no problem with reaching those hard-to-contact stations when I am running or relaying for club and traffic nets; especially during poor atmospheric conditions!

So far I give it top marks!

K9XOK Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2011 15:27 Send this review to a friend
A fine Amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Here it breaks the pile ups and keeps the shack warm too. The tube is expensive to replace but if you do, replace it with a P3cx1500A7(8877) then you will have a AL-1500 but the supplied 3cx1200 is a very rugged tube.If I where to build this amp I would have put that very nice very heavy transformer on the floor with the rest of the power supply.The 8877 conversion is not a direct sub. Requires socket chimney and fil transformer changes. I run one daily on 7.153. With the 3cx1200a7 it loafs along at 800watts rms
When you test drive one it should do 1500 watts with 100 watts of drive.I like the amp, and if you can find one grab the used one for a lot less
money than the much smaller new amps.
Have fun Lifes too short for QRP :-)
W4USA Rating: 5/5 Apr 4, 2010 18:45 Send this review to a friend
GREAT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have several amps, My AL-1200 is by-far the #1.
It has a 30 second start time and gives full power. Not ever a problem. Works full duty. A little sensitive on 12 meters. I have operated mine for over 5 years now and would buy it again.

KG8DP Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2010 15:30 Send this review to a friend
WHAT A TANK!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am experienced with legal limit amps. Commander, Alpha and others. All I can say is WOW. I bought this TANK used only 20 minutes on the tube. the amp was purchased originally from a ham that is a silent key. His brother got it. No use. The boys were only mid 40's and i turn 46 this year. Paid 1900.00 for it went to outside of Detroit and paid for it brought it home. Shazam!!! A-4s, A-3WS, HF-2, and others they all love it. EASY TO TUNE FORGIVING. Find one. Buy it. I have heard they sell medical pulls in NE Ohio 3CX1200A7. If any body has a line on this, e-mail me.
KD8BZY Rating: 5/5 Sep 29, 2009 00:56 Send this review to a friend
I love this amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Have had my AL-1200 for only four days. It is serial no. 0277 and I bought it from a eham classified from a fine Ham in TN. It came unmodified and I inspected all workmanship before installing XFMR and tube/chimney. I was positively impressed by the workmanship involved. The power output is there plus, even for such an older unit (all original so far as I was told and can see). It is easy to tune and forgiving of operator headspace (if anyone can blow out a tube I can). This is my first full legal limit amp and I expect it to be mine for life. The blower, as described by many, is noticable - yes it is. I chase DX and usually the hot DX are pretty light. My ears are 57 years old now but I find it not an additional problem copying the light signals with this amp setting beside my rig, right there with me. Tuning is dependably repeatable. I paid a certain fair price for this amp just a few days ago and would NOT take an additional $500 profit for it. This is my keeper and I am so very happy to be able to have her. I love this amp.
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