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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: 45 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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N9ZI Rating: 5/5 Sep 14, 2012 06:18 Send this review to a friend
Nice Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
Very good old amp - purchased used about a year ago at a good price, had to get a new 3-500ZG tube from RF Parts, 3-500Z tubes that have not been in service for a while have a tendency to develop problems. The amp has been operating just great - I chase DX on 10 through 80 meters CW & SSB, always retuning & it operates perfectly.

N9ZI - Terry
 
WO4V Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2011 17:39 Send this review to a friend
22 years of abuse  Time owned: more than 12 months
I traded a CB'er out of this amp (he wanted a pc and monitor) back over 20 years ago. I think he had it for a couple of years or so, and no telling what kind of abuse it got from him! Anyway, the tube (Eimac) I got with the amp is still fairly good, a bit less power than back when, but still good for 500 watts or so. By the way, I have worn out a couple of other tubes in this amp, including an Amperex that apparently had a flaw in the glass envelope, for it broke off at the base (that was exciting!) after it ran for about 5 years. No damage to this tank of an amp! Another 1969 date-coded Eimac ran for a bunch of years until it got so soft I pulled it and shelved it for posterity.

This is a pre-MFJ Ameritron, back when they were built in Ohio (?) and were distributed and sold by Pryme instruments. To give you an idea of the abuse it has shrugged off, I ran HF packet for several years with it back in those days, RTTY and Amtor, Pactor, and Gtor, analog SSTV for about 10 years for several nights a week, and digital SSTV for several years. All I have done to it is remove the cover every couple of years and blow out the accumulated dust, and replaced the 12 volt light bulbs with some brighter automotive type bulbs. Oh yeah, the relay detached itself from it's double-side tape mount once. Guess it's time to buy a new tube (the first new one) before long.

Folks, ham equipment just does not get any better than this. I have a B&W Viewstar PT-2500A that I use once in a while when I need to nuke the QRM, but I always come back to the AL-80A. It just does the job and keeps on going, and going, and....what an incredible amp!

Dave
 
AB4KJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2011 09:27 Send this review to a friend
Great amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this amp just before christmas. Was easy to set up and tuning and band changes are a snap. Honestly, the hard part for me was getting 220vac up to my shack. The run from the breaker panels to the amp was too long and I felt converting the amp to 220 would make for more efficient use of power. It was a straight forward process to configure the amp for 220. Thus far, the amp has been very reliable and no issues.
 
WX4US Rating: 5/5 Oct 22, 2010 16:18 Send this review to a friend
Easy tune 1kw 120 VAC amp  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I picked my AL-80A up on ebay from another ham. The amp performs very well running on 120 VAC tuning up to 1.2kw peak on 80m & 40m, 1.0kw peak on 20m, 17m, 15m and 12m but only 700 watts peak on 10m. Who needs more than 100 watts on 10m anyway! I keep it set up for about 500 watts of output when I use it and have been able to break every pile-up in just a call or two. During the last "Route 66" special event I broke 11 of 20 pile ups on the first call and 4 others on the second. I am amazed at how easy it tunes and how quiet it runs. Drive is between 35 to 50 watts for full stated output on different bands. High volage is at 3000 volts and drops to 2600 volts in transmit. I suspect that will improve slightly when I change it over to 240 VAC. Changing from 120 to 240 is very simple moving just 2 wires internally, I just didn't have a plug for it. I did change out the lamps to the bright white LEDs and love the look. You get more watts/$ value in a 1kw amp and the single 3-500z tube will last forever only runnig it at 500 watts out. My old amp is a Heathkit SB-220 2kw (2 3-500z) and now it just sits on the bench.
 
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.
 
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