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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Alpha 8100 Help


Reviews Summary for Alpha 8100
Alpha 8100 Reviews: 20 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $4850.00
Description: Itís an Alpha, itís rugged, itís manual tune and itís full legal limit... what else do you need to know? Ok well hereís a little bit more. The Alpha 8100 utilizes an enhanced version of the bombproof RF deck found in the Alpha 99. On the 8100ís control board youíll find a microprocessor that allows us to calibrate the power and gain metering for each specific band, normalize amplification performance and increase reliability and durability. All of these functions aggregate into a single greater benefit for the user, ease of tuning. The 8100 comes stock with a serial port for remote monitoring and performance data logging. The power supply stack found in the 8100 has been designed for maximum durability and reliability while allowing for extremely easy voltage tap changes.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.rfconcepts.com
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N5RN Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2010 10:46 Send this review to a friend
Solid and Great support  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my first Alpha Super power supply and exceptional build quality.

All I can say is that this amp ROCKS!!
All day long and all night long... Operation is so easy...use the factory settings and away you go...legal limit using my K3 exciter at 35-40 watts power. Clean, clear signal with enough punch to get through the first time.

I had a minor problem with the amp during the time I've had it. Support is second to none. Timely responses to email and pleasant on the phone.

Would I buy another Alpha 8100...in a heart beat.

 
NJ3A Rating: 5/5 Jan 30, 2010 16:59 Send this review to a friend
Cool Powerhouse  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is my first Alpha most likely NOT my last. This amp uses the GU-74B tubes that are readily available and strong as the tank they were designed to be used in. Super power supply and exceptional build quality.

I've have a couple of amps over the past few years. One with a nice warm glow of some 3-500Z tubes, Heathkit HL-2200 and a Commander HF-2500 that used the Eimac 3CX800A7 tubes. Both were capable manual tune amps. Sure the HL-2200 needed some TLC, but it was not hard to do. The Commander HF-2500 was an excellent amp...but it wasn't an Alpha.

The Alpha 8100 amp I bought was used at the KP5 Dxpedition and has the serial number to prove it. All I can say is that this amp ROCKS!!
All day long and all night long... Operation is so easy...use the factory settings and away you go...legal limit using my IC-7000 exciter at 35-40 watts power. Clean, clear signal with enough punch to get through the first time. Matched with my M2 KT36XA and I have a real integrated package.

Would I buy another Alpha 8100...in a heart beat (it would probably be an 8410 or 9500)...especially since the new prices from Alpha/RF Concepts are within reach of most experienced hams.
 
REMOVED_EX_NQ2T Rating: 5/5 Nov 2, 2008 17:04 Send this review to a friend
very good amp  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
If you owned an ALPHA,you keep it. The 81 is my second alpha. I have some issues with the 81 with just few hours of use, it stopped txing.

I call Apha, and the problem was traced to an arcing GU74B. With the help of Apha I found two burned resistors, I replace them and the amp was back in bussines. It happended a second time, and alpha develop a mod to propect the amps just in case. They send me the parts, and I did it, my 81 is working perfect.
I consider this problem not related with the amps design, but the tubes quality.

The amps is ADN related with every other previous
alpha,the RF deck looks pretty much the same.

The 81 is classified as a MANUAL amp, but it has a Microprocessor, that I think is underused,or simply not needed for a manual amp. The main reason I believe, is a quick reaction for protection.
Too much energy have been expended just for that, and too much to pay for it.
The user manual is very good, except the squematic diagram is broken down in sections, Alpha should include a complete Squematic.

The machanical construction is not as rugged as the olds Alpha, the front plate should have trim frame around it, the wrap around cover looks cheap, not better than ameritron.

I think Alpha should go one step further and make theirs chassis as good looking and strong as the k922A. Still the A81 should last a life time. I am satisfied with my 8100, Alpha is unbeatable in reliability, clean signal and long lasting amplifiers.

NQ2T/FRANK





 
W8BLA Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2008 12:22 Send this review to a friend
Just superb!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My first new Alpha in years and what a superb choice. I researched all the supposed legal limit loaf along amps and the best choice is the 8100. Many have good quality and many are "well built" but this amp sets the standards in construction, reputation, service and service. Save your time, pick up the phone call them now
 
WR8D Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2007 10:55 Send this review to a friend
Perfection  Time owned: months
I'm still using my 76ca "1982" which i restored to new condition a few years ago. It's in one of my primary operating positions. I bought a 89 new and as usual the alpha line of perfection continues with the 8100. Simply the best there is "period"

73, long time alpha fan John WR8D

Hi Molly!!
 
N2ETJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2007 08:49 Send this review to a friend
Doesn't get any better  Time owned: more than 12 months
After one year of operation with Alpha 8100 #2 production.. Wouldn't hesitate buying again... smooth as silk and loafs along at 1500 all day long.... If you are looking for a legal limit amp , this is IT..... buy one and enjoy many years of trouble free operation...
 
K0RWL Rating: 5/5 Jun 29, 2007 08:48 Send this review to a friend
Pleased owner  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Previously had a 76 which I added a third tube. Bought in 78 at Dayton swaptable and used until January 2007. Turned and sold it for about what I gave originally and it is on the air each night. Bought the 8100 January 30 and using it daily. One problem, not Alpha's as I had a vertical short out, took the roller inductor on the tuner and band switch on the amp. Anthony and Alpha took care of repairs with no problems and got it back to me quickly. Easy to tune, great reports and the only snag is the TS870 has some RF spike issues which will not allow it to work with the 8100. The TS830S does fine with it so got a FT2000 (late XMAS present to myself) and 40 watts will drive it to the limit. Hope to use this Alpha around my shack for another 20-30 years. Greatly pleased with the service I got from Alpha. Think this was the 4th or 5th Alpha 8100 off the line......even talked my buddy into an Alpha 91B.
 
NA9F Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2007 13:07 Send this review to a friend
Alpha Has Produced Another Great Amp  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have owned several amps over my 40 yrs of ham radio but nothing as good as the Alpha 8100.
This amp has operated flawlessly. The Alpha 99 was a terrific amp but this one is even better.
It is so easy to tune and the dials repeat when you at a later date go to an established freq.

I had looked at Alpha amps at Dayton last year and was impressed to see one in key down mode at full power for the entire Ham fest. Cooling was not an issue. It was quiet running and impressive to look at.
I ordered my new Alpha in January of this year. It came without even a scratch in the packaging. I was impressed because I have received equipment from other delivery companies that looked like they were dropped from a truck or things piled on top of the packaging. I then recognized Alpha ships with a company that does not use conveyors in their process. Smart thinking Alpha!

I found the placement of the transformer to be very easy and I even did not have to install those 4CX800A tubes. They were secure in their sockets.

I immediately hooked the amp up and found the tuning was a breeze. The reference numbers for Tune and Load that Alpha provided were very close to my final numbers I now use. I noticed in the manual there were a couple of ways to tune the amp. I had only used the peak and dip method over the years on other amps and had a question about their second way of tuning. I called Alpha and found them to be very helpful. Initially I did receive some less then desirable audio reports and called Alpha. They immediately found the issue. I had received one of about three amps that had gotten out the door with the corrupted firmware installed. I was told how to talk to the amp's processor via my computer and change one data. The amp worked great after that. I have been told that those three units were the last ones leaving the door with that corrupted firmware. I do think the other e-ham reviewer that gave the amp a 0/5 had gotten one of the three. We bought the amps at about the same time. In any case Alpha was really concerned and helped me resolve the issue. Thanks Alpha. The ARRL product review that came out in April's QST had the correct firmware or we would have heard about it.

This amp has that "bombproof" RF deck I have been on the wrong antenna, I have had the old MN-2000 Tuner on the wrong band and I have had the exciter drive up too high. The amp just went into FAULT indicating protection had taken control.

I am well satisfied with the amp. I have gone back to a tube amp after operating solid state. Those tubes can take abuse whereas the solid state I have had didn't.


Ron Hinton NA9F
 
K4AHA Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2006 13:57 Send this review to a friend
Top of the line Amplifier delivers  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Alpha amplifiers have set the standard for quality for decades. Though the owners have changed a couple of times Alpha has not lost it focus as the provider of high quality units.
The 8100 is my third Alpha starting with a 77DX, an 87A then the 8100. Over my 50 years I have owned several other amplifiers. None can compare with the Alphas. The 8100 with its microprocessor system wont let you get in trouble unless you really do something like hit the input with 500 watts. Tuning is extremely smooth and highly repeatable. Blower noise is low and considering the power level it is very acceptable.
Looking inside the components is very laid out and they seem to be oversized for reliability.
All in all the 8100 is worth its extra cost.
 
N2ETJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2006 10:12 Send this review to a friend
Smooooooooth as silk  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After using the Alpha 99 for almost 6 years, It was time to get another amp for the shack.... what? No more 99's? What is next? THE ALPHA 8100... sure why not. Don't hesitate, buy one. Think of it as the REFINED 99... much smoother tuning, more linear power across the band.... all in all another winner for Alpha. If I could give it a 6 I would. There are many nice amplifiers out there but in my opinion, there is only one Alpha. Factory support from Molly, Andrew, Nancy, Glenn and the whole team has been nothing but professional and first class any time you may need them so if you are considering a legal limit amp... with plenty of head room that is so easy to tune and duplicate time after time... no need to get auto tune... give the 8100 a try, you won't regret it.
 
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