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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | NEC CQ-301 Help

Reviews Summary for NEC CQ-301
NEC CQ-301 Reviews: 2 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: SSB Linear Amplifier, 1.9-28 MHz, 2x 3-500Z
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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ZS1ZC Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2017 02:35 Send this review to a friend
Heavy Lifter for QRO  Time owned: more than 12 months
After I built an HF linear around a single 3-500Z, I was in the mood for a pair of them, and looked around for a Kenwood TL-922 to complement my TS-830S series. The ZS market is fairly limited, so none was available at the time, but I was offered an NEC CQ-301 that needed a bit of care. After replacing the tubes with RF Parts 3-500Zís (it had arrived with 4-400ís in it), replacing the grid circuitry that someone had inexplicably ripped out, and putting a couple of little brass shoes on the abused bandswitch, I had a full legal limit amp for all traditional HF bands (no WARC).

Except for a few protection circuits (e.g. soft start), the CQ-301 has an almost identical circuit to the Kenwood unit. Built like the proverbial tank, this amp delivers a kilowatt PEP with not much more than a blush. Itís easy to tune and the matched input works a treat with both tube and semiconductor final rigs (e.g. TS-830S, Drake TR-7).

The 301 is fundamentally the same as any other grounded-grid dual-3500Z amp and performs accordingly. So itís in the same league as a Henry 2KD-5, Heathkit SB-220 (though better production quality), or the Drake L-7. The build quality is really very good and thereís plenty of supply power for well over a kilowatt key-down and 1.5kW SSB PEP into a load.

Although itís a desktop unit, this amp is heavy Ė as youíd expect it to be. It has really solid controls and multifunction meters. The HT supply voltage is switchable to suit transmission mode. It has a heavy-duty antenna relay (as youíll tell from the relay sound), and a sizeable fan for cooling the tubes that is quieter than I expected.

Although it doesnít have the elegant lines of the Kenwood TL-922, it is nevertheless an attractive piece of kit that sits extremely well in a shack. If, like me, you were after a Kenwood, or maybe a Drake, and one of these comes around Ė take it.
PA0FRI Rating: 4/5 Jul 15, 2003 11:35 Send this review to a friend
Good workmanship  Time owned: more than 12 months
Nice build with 100% transmitting components, good workmanship. Quiet fan, noisy T/R relay. Key-down output 1250W at HV 2250V/750mA. On 10m otput about 1kW. The tuned input circuit has to be retuned for the present transceivers. No WARC bands.

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