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Reviews Categories | Amateur Radio Equipment Repair | N4UQ Alpha Amplifier Repair & Upgrade Service Help

Reviews Summary for N4UQ Alpha Amplifier Repair & Upgrade Service
N4UQ Alpha Amplifier Repair & Upgrade Service Reviews: 44 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $Varies
Description: Excellent repair and upgrade service for the Alpha 76, 77, 78 & 374 amplfier line.
Product is in production.
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N2OAM Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2016 20:28 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Alpha Tech!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'd been having repeated T/R faults with my Alpha 86 & I ended up with smoked PA's in my Flex 5K. Sent it off to Dick for his vacuum relay mod. Now it just purrrrrs along without any problems. If you have an Alpha that needs help, Dick is the "go to" guy!
N1TX Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2016 13:54 Send this review to a friend
Superior service in every way  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Dick Byrd N4UQ is the quintessential professional for serious amp repairs and calibration. There are a number of "amateurs" in the amp repair game, and of course everyone has a buddy who can do it, right? They don't hold a candle to N4UQ. I deal with electronics vendors doing repairs every day in my professional life, and I can say Dick is among the very best on both sides of the fence. I have more confidence in him than the factory after this experience.

The Alpha 89 went deaf after a serious brown-out. I figured it was a T/R diode or related problem. But given the circumstances, I had no idea what else had failed. I asked him to diagnose it and then go through the amp with a fine-toothed comb to identify any other issues. No problem!

In summary, he replaced PIN diodes D9 & D10; replaced F1; replaced R27, R28, R29 & R30 to restore missing PIN receive bias; removed input wattmeter board and replaced D1, D2, D3 & D4; nulled output wattmeter sample; removed front panel and cleaned and lubricated rocker switches; replaced lamps; and finally tested for proper operation on all bands. He returned the failed parts and provided the dummy load test settings and power readings. All that work would have taken me forever, assuming I had the equipment and part. In the end, he charged three hours for his labor and less than $30 in parts. Money well spent.

Turnaround was just about 2.5 weeks, and that included shipping to and from Alaska. KL2R put the Alpha 89 through the paces during ARRL DX CW last weekend, and it performed flawlessly. Fantastic!
N3ZC Rating: 5/5 Jul 14, 2015 11:43 Send this review to a friend
Great guy!  Time owned: more than 12 months
My Alpha 78 suddenly stopped keying. I thought I did something stupid. Between emails and a phone call or 2 Dick took the time to suggest some troubleshooting tips (I was ready to ship it down to him but he wanted to check a few things to try to save me some shipping/repair costs, etc.) Guess what?!..its working now! He's a great guy and a great tech (and a straight shooter too!) It was a simple to correct issue.
Thanks Dick!
Tom N3ZC
W6RKC Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2015 20:46 Send this review to a friend
Says what he does & does what he says  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is the third time I have used the superb service of N4UQ. Right after the return of my repaired Alpha 76A from Dick ( see previous review ), I turned the boxes around and sent my Alpha 78 to him for a preemptive HV capacitor replacement, WARC modification and a few other changes. Dick promptly and skillfully completed all my requests and returned the amp to me where it is working as well as the day it was delivered in 1983 and it is great to have 12 & 17 meters available at full legal power! I expect this amp to last another 30 years before I must contact Dick again. It is such a pleasure to deal with an ethical master at his craft. He says what he does and does what he says.

Rick, W6RKC
W4ZYT Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2015 17:09 Send this review to a friend
Top of the Line  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had issues with my now 21 year old Alpha 89 and read the positive reviews on Dick's work here. I contacted him and sent the amp down to him and received it back today, better than ever. He was very good about keeping me apprised on his progress with the repair, and resolved all the issues with the amplifier completely. And his work is very reasonable. I am pleased that there were so many positive reviews on Dick's work here on eHam, and I'm very pleased to add my highest recommendation as well.
K1VC Rating: 5/5 Mar 9, 2015 07:08 Send this review to a friend
Alpha 78  Time owned: more than 12 months
In one word...AMAZING. I contacted Mr. Byrd in early February. After a few emails I shipped my amplifier. Mr. Byrd received the amplifier on a Thursday and it was shipped back the following Monday. In all, less than 2 week turn around. I sent my amplifier to have the WARC band fix and he changed out my RF input from an RCA plug to an SO-239. The new band label is fantastic. I'm very happy how everything turned out. Mr. Byrd kept in constant contact with status updates and provided tracking numbers. I plan on sending my amplifier back for the tube upgrade at some point.

THANK YOU !!!!!!!
WD2B Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2014 08:09 Send this review to a friend
Over the phone repair advice  Time owned: more than 12 months
My old faithful 1978 Alpha 76P had excessive grid current with little drive. After reading all the reviews of his work here, I called him up, described the symptoms over the phone,and Dick (Byrd Enterprises) correctly diagnosed the problem and told me exactly how to find the bad part and fix it; an open 10 ohm 1/4 watt resistor, part #R28. He could have just said: "Pull the transformer out and send the deck in." He is a rare example of a totally polite,generous and honest radio repair man. Needless to say when any future problems arise I won't hesitate to send my Alpha to him for repair if we can't determine the problem on the phone. All the review of his work are right on.
WK1W Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2014 07:56 Send this review to a friend
Great Job.N4UQ.Thanks, Dick. 77SX Like New  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was fortunate to find a 2-tube 77SX. It had not been upgraded, I was also extremely fortunate to get DICK BYRD N4UQ to do the upgrade. He did the following for me:

Removed blower impellor, cleaned blower housing.
Cleaned amplifier interior.
Replaced HV capacitor, HV rectifiers and HV jumper wires.
Cleaned HV PC board. Replaced transformer.
Replaced the four filament connectors and soldered them.
Replaced HV blocking capacitors with higher voltage units.
Fixed exhaust plenum ring with epoxy.
Replaced step-start relays with improved type.
Replaced bleeder resistors with higher value.
Replaced fuse holders with 600 volt type HPG units.
Replaced lamps and installed black screws on the crank assembly.
Checked overload circuit on the front panel.
CB-2 board: Replaced both LV filter caps, timer cap, Q-201, Q-204.
Installed missing 1k resistor at Q-201. Fixed messy previous solder repairs
and thoroughly cleaned the PC board.
Checked all components on CB-3 (small PC board).
Verified proper bias levels.
Replaced R-1 inside RF deck. 12k unit had changed value to 18k.

The amp is like mew and runs cool. It is a pleasure to use and so easy.
I have the highest recommendation for Dick Byrd.
Thanks, Dick.

Ivan Shapiro WK1W
WU2M Rating: 5/5 Sep 24, 2013 17:10 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Service!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my Alpha 89 from RF concepts as a used amp. I had problems with it and after a trip back to RF Concepts, the amp was still not working properly. I sent it to Dick and he got everything working as it should. He took the time to tell me about the amp and the repairs that were needed. If you want to have your Alpha worked on by the best, Dick is the one to send it to!
AD9DX Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2013 16:50 Send this review to a friend
Alpha 76A Conversion  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had purchased an Alpha 76A at Dayton this past summer. I was assured that the amp was in working order. Long story short, one of the 8874 tubes was fried and the amp was a mess inside. I was annoyed but figured I would buy another set of tubes and life would be good. Boy was I wrong. The 8874 isn't exactly an easy tube to locate. So I started doing research and happened to Dick's humble website.

After exchanging a few emails with Dick, I purchased a set of used 3cpx800a7 tubes and sent them and the Alpha to get converted. The work I had completed was the tube conversion, a QSK relay installed and he replaced the RCA connector with a SO239 connector.

The amp came back in amazing condition. Dick emailed me every step of the way to let me know what progress was being made. Any time I had a question, he responded in less than 24 hours (mind you he also has a full time job). The amp works perfectly and will most likely be the last one I will ever have to buy, unless I hit the lottery.
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