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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Ameritron AL-80B Help


Reviews Summary for Ameritron AL-80B
Ameritron AL-80B Reviews: 128 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $1300
Description: Kilowatt output HF desktop linear
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.ameritron.com/products.php?prodid=AL-80b
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KI6JL Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2015 17:56 Send this review to a friend
BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK  Time owned: more than 12 months
A superb SSB amp for the price. Combined with an inexpensive FT-950 radio with a K4KIO hex beam at 30 ft makes a serious package that will compete irritatingly with the 10 Kilo-buck+ stations. heh heh.
I'm a klutz. MY friends know it. I'm sure Murphy is lurking in the dark spaces. One thing is true though; there are no spiders building nests in my AL-80B because it is always on. It has taken my abuse for two years now and refuses to quit, to my delight. For 1300 bucks, you can't go wrong. Any ID-10-T can have a reliable kilowatt megaphone.:) As for my next purchase? I'm going to give the ALS-1306 a spin. My critical ham friends have raked theirs over the coals and have only rave reviews. Let me be clear. I'm talking about the long filibusterer type transmissions where everyone is excited and the talk is fast. You know what I mean. Apparently they, Ameritron, resolved the power supply and combiner problems and now have a solid state amp that can stand up to the daily abuse amplifiers suffer with here and not reach Chernobyl temperatures in doing it. I'm looking forward to the kilowatt 6 meter punch that will help on meteor scatter and aurora happenings. 73 de Hank
 
KJ7FX Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2015 11:07 Send this review to a friend
Excellent first Amp.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Owned for a couple of months now. I could not believe how easy it is to setup and tune. Not nearly as difficult to tune as I imagined. I get excellent signal reports and the operation is very well integrated with my FT DX-3000. I use the ALC interface and it couldn't be any easier.
 
WD1W Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2015 16:43 Send this review to a friend
It's a Keeper!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I currently have six amplifiers ... two of which are AL-80Bs. If I had to sell, these would be the ones I'd keep. Buy one, you won't regret it. Why? Easy to tune, repeatable settings, 1000W, 120V (no special wiring), movable (50 LBS), clean signal, great audio reports, tough and inexpensive tube, quiet. What more would you want?
 
K4ROX Rating: 5/5 Feb 17, 2015 15:30 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Great amp, really delivers. Easy to tune No problems on any band. Traded an ALS-600 for it and never looked back. No need for 220 unless you have a stressed outlet or want to lower your bill. Break some Pileups.
 
WB5LFV Rating: 5/5 Feb 8, 2015 07:56 Send this review to a friend
excellent amplifier  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
well got this amplifier just recently and I gotta say is wow!! very nice and works very well so if your lookin for a clean amplifier look no further! I run this one at 750-800 watts tuneup and it'll do up to 1kw voice peaks and I been told it is very loud and clean on everyone's scope! very easy to use and tune up! I love my amplifier and highly recommend it!!
 
KC2GUY Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2015 10:28 Send this review to a friend
Amoung The Best Amps Made  Time owned: more than 12 months
this is a follow up to my review from 2009. Coming from an Alpha 99 which had to go back to the factory for repair (not user caused) , i must say i have had ZERO problems from this whisper quiet amp. it sill gives more than 1k output on most bands, as i am running 220v. i called tech support with a question about setting the pot in the back for 15/17,and a few other tech questions, and they immediately answered, and were very helpful, letting me know they are always there for you. hats off to AMERITRON for a superb product and support. you can see my youtube video of getting 1100 watts out on 40 meters, however i usually run it at 800. after 5 years of perfect performance, this amp has proven itself. mates beautifly with my new Yaesu FTdx 3000!
 
W3SCA Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2014 09:57 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful Amplifier!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I recently purchased a new AL-80B to replace a old AL-811H I had. All I can say is wow! I had seen the reviews about how this amp was the best bang for the buck and I couldn't agree more! I opened the box, followed the easy instructions and installed the tube and fuses and I was off and running. The amp is quiet, powerful and tunes extremely easy. I would highly recommend this amp to anyone. I dont see any signs of "Shoddy" workmanship like others have stated. This is a much more forgiving amp than the 811-H ever was and I would buy another in a heartbeat.
 
AK9S Rating: 5/5 Aug 14, 2014 16:28 Send this review to a friend
Pleasantly pleased...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This amp is a steal!

Unpacked the amp and found the workmanship to be poor. The vents on the top and sides of the cover contained metal shavings and burrs. Typical MFJ quality - made in USA, yet the Chinese can do much better today. Real shame.

Now for the good news...

With the cap set to the default 125V, I was able to get 1 KW with 100 watts drive on 40M. This occurred with a plate voltage of 2900V, below the suggested 3100V. The amp was purring - quite effortlessly producing significant RF power. And it ran quietly and did not get very hot.

I changed the cap to 115V and the plate voltage increased to 3000V. I now get 1.1 KW with a 100W drive on 40M. On 17M, it will do 800W with 100W drive. I did not experience any SWR problem between the exciter and amp on either band, so no need to adjust tuning potentiometers.

Think of it, single tube design, no need to match tubes and no headaches with trying to find a failed tube - the 3-500ZG Taylor included is fantastic and only requires 5-seconds to warm up, unlike ceramics. And cheap to replace, readily available (unlike 572B's) with a very efficient and tough modern design. Also, 3-500Z's ideally need to be driven at maximum specified power for longevity, which makes me feel better when I push 100W from the exciter.

That said, $1,399 divided by 1100W is $1.27 per watt. I can live with the steel burrs on the cabinet vents at that price. As a side note about quality, the meters and knobs work well and their overall quality is quite good.

I recommend this amp to anyone who would be happy with 800W on the high bands and slightly over 1000W on the low bands without the need for a 240V socket. Also, with a depth of only 14-inches, it will fit in tight spaces quite well.




 
K8IKW Rating: 5/5 May 26, 2014 08:30 Send this review to a friend
followup report- 60 days in full station use  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
since placing unit in full service in May 2014 am now able to provide some observations as to functions and features.. while loading on all bands is easily done and settings suggested by mfr are seen as closely same in actual use, on 40 mtr to load dial control setting seems to be only 1.0 as different from suggested 4.5 setting.. on most bands it is seen 850-900 watt RF out except on 40 mtr i do see only abt 500 output there for some reason....all controls are responsive and i do not ue the ALC control system in my setup...i enjoy my unit very much and find it performs exactly as discribed as to expected output and features....i recommend the unit to others. for reference i am using 120 v AC as line voltage with no adjustment of power supply taps.. I use primarliy SSB so all readings above are SSB output readings...except for less power out on 40 mtr all readings are fully consistent with mfr expected outputs and loading readings.. i did receive report of some audio distortion on SSB and did attempt to locate audio problem by reduction of mic gain and reducing rf output level of exciter...may be a mic line issue and trying to resolve..may not be amp issue at all....
 
KS4TL Rating: 5/5 May 5, 2014 06:19 Send this review to a friend
Perhaps the best "starter" amp available  Time owned: more than 12 months
I picked mine up second-hand and have been using it for just short of a year. BTW, I recommend going used - you can find a good one for less than $900. At this price, it is an extraordinary bargain - at MSRP, not so much.

The pros of this amp are simple: it just works, reliably and without fuss. Tuning is straightforward - much easier than the manual makes it sound. (Check out W8JI's website for hints.) Mine has tolerated the usual newbie goofs (driver on wrong band, wrong antenna, etc.) with no harm done. I'm running it on a dedicated 120 V 20 amp circuit, and can get 700-800 watts out on most bands. A 240 V line would no doubt give a bit more.

Having had some reason to be skeptical of the quality of MFJ-assoicated gear in the past, I opened the (de-energized!) amp up and took a peek inside. Neat and clean component layout, good solder joints - no quality complaints here.

I'd strongly recommend a AL-80B over the 811 amps for a first amp. Much more forgiving of operating mistakes, and fewer issues with the tubes - the Chinese manufacturers seem to have licked the quality issues with 3-500Z production, I gather the 811 is a different story.

There are a few comparatively minor cons. At least on my unit, the silkscreened band markings don't quite line up with the bandswitch position. Doesn't affect function at all, but just enough out of register to be esthetically annoying.

Speaking of esthetics, the cosmetics of these amps seem to be based on 1950's era industrial design. It's as though the designer was looking at some WWII mil-surplus gear and said "I like that look, except that it's just too pretty..."

But while the AL-80B may look ugly, it works beautifully!
 
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