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

Reviews Summary for Ameritron AL-80A
Ameritron AL-80A Reviews: 41 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1399
Description: Ameritron AL-80a 1KW Output, 160-15, 10 possible with mod.
run a single 3-500z, 850 watts CW, 1000 watts SSB.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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KU3X Rating: 5/5 Oct 5, 2010 04:34 Send this review to a friend
Great little amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just bought the AL80A from a friend of mine that bought it new in 1987. I told him not to hammer the grids so I knew it was well taken care of. I also own a Heathkit SB-1000 which is the kit clone to the AL80A. For the price I paid it is really a great little amp. It's not too heavy and can be taken to a remote location for contesting.....and....the amp it up to the contesting task. It works great and loads on all HF bands with ease.
I run both amps at 400 ma on the plate and about 130 ma on the grid. To push these amps to get 1000 watts out is an easy task. I get about 800 watts out at these settings. To get 1000 watts out you will be hammering the grids and shortening the tube life. Think about it, the difference between 1000 watts out and 800 watts out is .96 DB. Nobody will ever see that on their S meter.
In 1987 this sold new from $749 from AES. They may be good amps but why people pay over $600 for these amps used I will never know.
N9PYS Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2010 07:35 Send this review to a friend
Upgraded  Time owned: more than 12 months
My experience with the amp for the last 3 years has been a good one until last month. The zenier diode went out and caused all sorts of problems. To make a long story short I replaced the following parts.
3-500 Taylor
Relays: Ac relay as well as the RF relay
Replaced the zenier with a string of diodes
Replaced the Caps with new smaller ones. After these upgrades it is truly better than a new one. This has been a simple amp and I always use it for daily use. It runs on 220v and easily does a solid KW with 65w in. I also have a completely upgraded sb220 as a backup. If you do find one of these buy it, it may need some upgrading but you can't go wrong it especially considering the cost of the new amps.
W4HWM Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2009 09:11 Send this review to a friend
The AL-80A is the best value on the used HF Ampl. mkt today.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my AL-80A new Feb. 1992. I use it for occasional rag-chewing and find it to be very reliable. I have not had one problem with it at all. It is easy to tune, quiet, and does indeed put out the rated power, in excess of 1000 watts, with ease. I feel the Ameritron AL-80A with its 3-500Z ampl tube, is one the biggest bargains on the market for the dx'er, contester, or just plain rag-chewing, possibly surpassed only by it's successor, the AL-80B. Construction is of good quality and design is heavy duty with a good safety margin in every category. I run it on 120 VAC and it works fine and just loafs along.
W2DWL Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2009 12:33 Send this review to a friend
Still going strong  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased this amp used with some problems, but sent it to Ameritron and had Rob give it the once over twice and bought a new tube from RF Part and have been running great ever since. I run 700 to 800 watts with 50 to 60 watts of drive.
W2BLC Rating: 4/5 Apr 8, 2009 13:52 Send this review to a friend
Fair amp for a fair price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned the amplifier for 20 years - bought it new. It has required some reworking involving new relays three times, replaced meter lamps several times, now I use LEDs, replaced the tube only once - after 18 years of daily use.

I don't QSY a lot, so the tube has an easy life.

I think the biggest problem is the initial resolder/tighten everything down that needs to be done to nearly everything MFJ/Ameritron manufactures.

These amps do a great job and are cost effective - just understand you WILL be doing maintenance on them.

So far as power out, I get 800 Watts on SSB on 75. I rarely use it on other bands.

800 Watts is only 3 db less than the legal max allowed. You have to spend a lot of dollars to get that extra 3 db - not worth it to me.

If I was buying a medium power amp these days - I'd go for the AL-811H. Most amp for the dollar on the market - BAR NONE.

K0CWO Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2009 12:34 Send this review to a friend
Very Pleased  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this 15 year old amplifier used as a backup amplifier. I have been using it as my primary amp at my second QTH. It is wonderfully quiet, produces 800 watts CW and 1000 watts SSB PEP without strain on 110 volts. The original Eimac 3-500 tube works like new. Great amplifier with service available from Ameritron when needed.
K3CN Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2009 20:05 Send this review to a friend
Very fine amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased this fine amp for use with the Kenwood TS 870. I use the Heath Shop Ampkeyer as an interface. It tunes up easily runs quiet and delivers the power I need. I run it at 1kW and it operates smoothly. I have the Taylor tube and it produces 1200 watts at 200 mils of grid current with 100 watts of drive. I then reduce drive to 90 watts and get 1Kw out. It is wired for 110v. I could not be more pleased with it and I won't be selling mine anytime soon.
W3TUA Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2009 13:11 Send this review to a friend
Reliable Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my AL-80A for close to 18 months now and never had a problem with it. Tunes up easily and stands up to full-effort contesting. The amp, coupled with the Heathkit Shop Ampkeyer works FB.
N2HEP Rating: 5/5 Nov 29, 2008 18:31 Send this review to a friend
Great 1K Amp!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased this amp new in 1991. Still going strong with the same 3-500Z! Never a problem. If I ever replaced it, it would be for more power only and probably with the AL-82.
K4GK Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2008 05:11 Send this review to a friend
Keeps on ticking  Time owned: more than 12 months
Several other amplifiers have been used in the past. I purchased the AL-80A (used) when I had a need for a good amplifier which would run well on 110 Volt AC supply. It continues to deliver near 1 KW output on all bands except 28 MHz and 24 MHz where the output is a little less. Despite operator abuse on my end, I have never experienced any problems. The amplifier can typically be purchased (used) in the $400 to $600 range at hamfest, and is possibly one of the best values in amateur radio.
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