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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: 127 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $1300
Description: Kilowatt output HF desktop linear
Product is in production.
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AD5HD Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2014 21:06 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Arrived in perfect condition, not a thing wrong with it functionally, mechanically, or cosmetically. Works perfectly and repeatedly so far on 75m, 40m, 20m, 17m, and 15m. 10m and 12m have seen little to no use to date so mod hasn't been done to use them yet.

Input SWR on 15m and 17m is more than low enough to be of no concern with reflected power less than ten percent of forward on 15m and zero on 17m. No retuning of input filter necessary.

Changed the power transformer primary taps to accommodate 115VAC operation, factory wires it for 125VAC. At 120VAC input the plate voltage is right at 3100V, where it ought to be, and drops to about 2700V under load, also about where it ought to be.

About 40W continuous carrier input yields just about 500W out on 40m, nearly 600W on 15m. On the air reports are excellent, no splattering, no distortion, and very clean audio. Trapezoid pattern using a preciseRF station monitor indicates very close to perfectly linear operation when testing with a two tone signal so this correlates well enough. But the user needs to be sure the loading is correct for optimal linearity.

Meters are LED illuminated according to Ameritron customer service although they don't have the same color, one is bluish white and the other a noticeably warmer white. After a while the difference becomes unnoticeable so not a worry.

All the switches and knobs work without issue and seem solid. No gas arcing, Taylor tube seems to be good to go. Meters are easy to read and are stable. Fan noise is unobtrusive. Relay isn't but that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Clattering can get annoying on CW but with headphones it's not really audible.

Was prepared to be disappointed or at least underwhelmed, I wasn't and I'm not. At all. Really can't find a single thing to complain about or even make note of. And the box took a fairly good hit in transit, breaking the styrofoam spacers in the bottom between the outer and inner boxes. There wasn't even any dust on the amplifier itself. Gotta say I'm impressed.
KM6CQ Rating: 3/5 Jul 9, 2013 16:11 Send this review to a friend
Adequate   Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this since 2009. I purchased it new from HRO. The first one they sent me had an interment keying issue. So I sent the amp back and they sent me another. It has been just fine and works as advertised. I lost 100.00 on shipping fees because of it. If you buy an MFJ product consider buying from a place like HRO that will exchange it, or refund your money. They were great. I think MFJ does not test their products, they let you do that. I think of them as a kit manufacture. When you get it, you have to figure out why it does not work and repair it yourself or finish the job. If I had it to do over again, I would buy from a better manufacture. You do get what you pay for.
N5HNY Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2013 20:40 Send this review to a friend
Nice Amplifier  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I haven't owned my AL-80B that long. I bought a complete station from a guy and the amp came with it. My other two amps are a Dentron GLA-1000 sweep tube amp and a KW Electronics KW-1000 572B amp. I ran the other two at 300 watts output. I run the AL-80B at 500 watts output. It's nice to have a amp that has a quiet fan and soft start. You can't hear the power supply buzzing like the other amps when you push them a bit. The amp is easy to tune and works well with the Ameritron ATR-30 antenna tuner. I think this amp will last me quite awhile. Oh yeah, the multimeter switch is a bit flaky but I think it just needs to be tightened up.
N7JJK Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2013 18:30 Send this review to a friend
Great amp, trouble free  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got my amp used about five years ago, and it was basically a "plug and play" device. I haven't had any problems with it, other than dimming the lights when I use it at 500+ watts. I usually run 150 - 200 watts.
NT6U Rating: 4/5 Feb 28, 2013 17:59 Send this review to a friend
Seems to get the job done  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bang for buck it is a good solid amplifier. It is a reliable 700-800 watt amp. Squeezing 1KW is pushing it. Owned since March 0f 2010 running it on 240 V. Not a single problem with it and I use it few times a week. Enough power to make the difference. She gets a 4 because she is good. Not great, not really a KW amp and 12 and 17 meter is compromised.
ND6P Rating: 5/5 Nov 18, 2012 10:25 Send this review to a friend
It's become 'Old Reliable'  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine used about 5 years ago, saving $500 from the list price.

It worked good for a long time before the 20 meter band went out. Some jiggling of the band switch would make it work, so I gave it a look and found it easy enough to fix. The switch's shaft position needed to be aligned. It's worked fine since then.

And one time I accidentally shorted out the 12 VDC accessory jack. I had to replace a flame-proof resistor inside the amp to fix that. That was also was easy enough.

Otherwise, it's been reliable. It tunes easily and repeatably. I used the products from CleanRF to test the linearity in SSB and it was good. It's wired for 220V and I use the QSK Master from Array Solutions for full break in and to eliminate the relay noise.

W8GTX Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2012 13:06 Send this review to a friend
Excellent value  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought mine at a deal for $400 minus the 3-500Z tube. The owner was unsure if it worked and had nothing to test it with. The amp is absolutely mint inside and out and is about 3 years old. It appears to have had very little use as there was no dust build-up on the fan or anywhere inside. At $400 I figured I couldn't go wrong at that price and sure enough after a new tube installed, she powered up fine. She has been in daily use and continues to hum along just fine. I use it mostly on 80/40m and 20m with occasional use on 12 & 10m bands. I rarely ever push it over 800 watts and find no need to. Total cost $600 beans with new tube, who could go wrong :-)
VO1GWK Rating: 5/5 Oct 16, 2012 12:09 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Amplifier  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased the AL-80BX about four years ago, and I've never had any problems. However, I'd like to suggest the following to others whom had problems. If you're intend to run a KW, you should purchase an amplifier rated for at least 1.5-KW, therefore, you won't be overdriving the tube, etc. Just because Ameritron says this amp will do a KW doesn't mean it can do it for very long. When I want to run a KW, I always use an amp that's rated for nothing less then 2 KW thus allowing me to operate at half my available power. I would give the Ameritron AL-80BX a 5 star rating, it's a great amp for such low cost.
KH6TA Rating: 5/5 Aug 12, 2012 12:58 Send this review to a friend
This Amp Rocks!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

This is my 3rd upgrade, AL-811, AL-811H, and now the AL-80B, so I was already familiar with Ameritron amps.

I'm using it @ 125V on a 20a cuircut with just over a kw out with 67W drive from my IC-7600, no problems at all. The amp runs cool, fan is not noisy at all, and ALC is really smooth. Ameritron quality of parts & workmanship has improved notably in the past 5-6 years in my view. Thanks Ameritron.

My opinion is that you can't beat this amp in output vs price, I picked this one up used 4 mos old for $975, I like the single 3-500ZG much better than the 3 811A's in the AL-811H, however, I have nothing bad to say about the 811H, I just wanted more watts out.
N6TEA Rating: 5/5 May 8, 2012 22:35 Send this review to a friend
A Truly Fine Amplifier  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I needed an amp that would work on a 15 amp circuit which the AL-80B will with a bit of forethought. Tuning with Ameritron's Tuning Pulser II is quite simple, effective and quick. A major bonus is direct, unlimited, access to Tom, W8JI, who designed the amp and serves as the moderator for the Ameritron Yahoo Users' Group Forum. He has a talent for providing straight forward, simple answers to complex questions. Even Ameritron's tech support has been known to say that their AL-80B is their best quality amplifier. For instance, it includes an internal in-rush current protector. It is their only model with a two year warranty. This amp has enabled me to work about 25 DX countries since early March, 2012. Working a New Zealand station on 20 meters, the op said that I had "one of the strongest and easiest to read signals heard on the band in a long time; truly armchair copy." This, with a Butternut HF9V antenna, albeit deployed in a bare field with 60 radials, each 65' long. I gave the amp a "5" rating because of its ability to produce its full rated 1KW clean power in a desktop unit on only 120 VAC without slumping, a sophisticated ALC circuit that actually adds to the audio quality as well as protecting the amp, the quality of construction, support and entirely reasonable price. As others said, the venerable 3-500Z tube is a proven plow horse. Mine will tune 20/30, 15/17 and 12/10 bands with no adjustment from the factory settings for the tuning slugs. I do use a Palstar AT2KD differential tuner, however. Regardless, the AL-80B is a well proven amp that you can enjoy for under $1,500. If you chose to buy one, I am sure that you will be delighted.

73 de - - M
Mike Slate
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