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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Ameritron ALS-600 Help


Reviews Summary for Ameritron ALS-600
Ameritron ALS-600 Reviews: 150 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $1299.99
Description: 600W Output Solid State Amplifier w /Power Supply on 100/110/120V for US
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.ameritron.com/ameritron/products.php?prodid=ALS-600
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<— Page 2 of 15 —>

K0OM Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2014 09:10 Send this review to a friend
Good so far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just unpacked the amp yesterday and have been cruising the bands with it and it works as advertised. Looks like they have upgraded the meter lighting as it appears to be illuminated with a LED now.
Also have the ALS500M remote unit and as mentioned previously, the meter of the remote appears to be bridged to the main meter in the amp as it shows approximately 50 percent of the normal reading. Really no problem if you know about it. The lamp in the remote unit has not been changed to a LED.
Think I'm gonna like this thing.....
 
KL3IH Rating: 5/5 Dec 25, 2013 21:52 Send this review to a friend
It's not the product, it's the service (update)  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This updates my 11/25/13 review. Since then, I talked with John in Ameritron's service department. Apparently, there was a minor issue with my new ALS-600 power supply that was quickly corrected. When asked if I took the cover off to inspect the unit, I said no. I did not want to invalidate the warranty. John, who was very patient and professional, explained that Ameritron is quite lenient and the warranty would be at risk only if customers attempt to modify their products. I could probably have solved the problem myself and saved a two-month wait.

Minutes after the power supply finally arrived at my QTH in rural Alaska, I hooked the ALS-600 up and got on the air. The unit is easy to operate and does the job as advertised. Signal reports are strong from all over. I look forward to working with the ALS-600 and reporting back in a few months, anticipating that I will be able to give it another 5/5 rating. My sense is that I made a great choice in purchasing an ALS-600, adding to the fine AL-811 I have at a second QTH.
 
KL3IH Rating: 0/5 Nov 25, 2013 15:45 Send this review to a friend
It's not the produce, it's the service.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The amplified might be terrific, I just don't know yet. When I plugged in my new ALS 600 the power supply lit up initially then shut down. I never got an opportunity to try the amp. A call to Ameritron resulted in my being directed to return the failed unit for repair. That was six weeks ago. When I called, I was told the power supply arrived three weeks ago but that there is a 4-6 week turn around for repairs. They must be terribly overworked and understaffed; however, I was treated politely and assured that Ameritron would do what they could to get the defective piece repaired and returned. I regret not having asked for a new unit because of the long delay. Sadly, I had a similar issue with the company last year with a new AL 811. They replaced the defective part, but it took a phone call and long wait.
 
W1AEX Rating: 4/5 Sep 21, 2013 12:20 Send this review to a friend
Good amp that performs well  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased my brand new ALS-600 (linear supply) along with a 10/12 meter filter 3 months ago and after several hundred hours of operation with it from 160 meters through 10 meters the short story is that I have found it to be a well designed amp that performs reliably and delivers what is promised by Ameritron.

I’d like to say that the amp was perfect right out of the box, but that was not exactly the case. After the first hour of running time the linear power supply began to buzz like a grade school science project. It was quite loud and defnitely not something I could easily ignore. At any rate, since I planned to switch it over for 240 VAC use anyway, I went ahead and opened up the PS to see what was creating the racket. It turned out to be the choke (T1) that is in series with the output of the diode bridge. There are two stiff metallic spacers that pass through the coil winding form on each side of the choke to lock the coil in place and the top end of one of the spacers had pulled away from the glue that cemented it to the choke core laminations. This small gap was perfect for creating a loud buzzer that filled the room nicely with irritating noise. My quick fix was to wrap the top end of the spacer with a few turns of black tape to fill the space in the gap and that was the end of the noise. At some point I’ll probably fill that gap with epoxy but the tape should handle the problem indefinitely so I may never get around to it. Once the choke was quieted, a quick look at all the solder connections in the power supply revealed one joint where a wire was pushed through the solder lug of a connection beyond the point where the wire was stripped. The insulation from that wire melted over the connection point when the joint was heated and it looked like solder was added on top of that mess with very little metal-to-metal contact being made. I heated it up, backed the wire out, cleaned everything up, then made a solid metal-to-metal mechanical connection and re-soldered it. That joint might never have failed, but the 5 minutes of work on my part to make it right really should not have been necessary if QC had glanced at this power supply somewhere along the line. At any rate, everything else looked fine and after changing the primary taps for 240 VAC it all went together and fired up nicely. It has run perfectly for me since.

The 10 meter filter board was very easy to install and took far less time to bolt down into place than it took to take the cover off. While I was in the RF deck I noted that the solder connections in the RF deck looked first rate.

My ALS-600 easily produces 500 watts output on CW with the following drive levels:

160 meters – 41 watts
75 meters – 65 watts
40 meters – 52 watts
20 meters – 51 watts
17 meters – 39 watts
15 meters – 42 watts
10 meters – 74 watts

When operating sideband it produces 600 watts PEP very easily on all the bands above but I generally aim for 500 watts PEP and it does that without breaking a sweat. I have used the amp to run RTTY several times at an output power level of around 200 watts and it did so without any problem at all even with extended transmission times. I also regularly use the ALS-600 to run AM linear with my Flex 5K and with a 75 ~ 85 watt carrier and peak power output of around 500 watts (the Flex produces a fair amount of asymmetry with AM so you need to leave more headroom than the usual 4:1 ratio) it never flinches and stays surprisingly cool. The thermal overload cut-out has never engaged and with nothing more than slightly warm air emerging from the RF deck and the power supply I wouldn’t expect it to. The fans are not silent but they are quiet enough to not be picked up by the mic which is boom mounted and only 2 feet from the RF deck.

I purchased this amplifier mainly for warm weather use as my AL-82 forces me to switch the air conditioner into battle mode to keep the operating room cool on warm days. I like the ALS-600 so much that I will probably end up using it until the heat from the AL-82 becomes a desired room warming feature during the cold winter months. It didn’t take long to get spoiled by the ease of operation the ALS-600 offers and I would have given this a 5.0 if it had not been for the easily resolved minor issues I encountered.
 
AA4AJ Rating: 5/5 Sep 4, 2013 11:45 Send this review to a friend
No problems  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
My ALS-600 is about six months old. I have the linear power supply. I found that the TR relay had not been adjusted so, it was slow on CW. The Ameritron techs told me how to 'fix' it and that was the end of that. I run it at about 300 watts (40 watts drive) between my IC-7410 and an LDG 600 autotuner controlled by the rig. Match the band switches, switch the amp to standby, tap the tune button, and switch to transmit. That's it. No tuning, no dipping or peaking stuff, nothing.

This amp will not run QSK and neither do I. I have found that you need to slow the break in delay time to match your sending speed so the TR relay doesn't drop out so often. You can also control the TR relay from a switch. I couldn't be happier.
 
W1TLD Rating: 5/5 Aug 24, 2013 10:24 Send this review to a friend
Very good Amp!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've owned mine approx. 4 months now. I don't use it much, but it has worked flawlessly every time I've used it. It really is easy to use and easy to set up. It's also very forgiving when you accidentally try and xmit on the wrong setting. The fault circuit kicks right in and saves you from harming the amp. It's saved me a couple of times! I'm very happy with this amp. I'm using it with a Kenwood TS-2000 via the Armatron ARB-704 relay. I leave my Kenwood set on about 30 watts and get 200 watts out of the amp on 20 meters.
 
WY4J Rating: 5/5 Aug 24, 2013 09:20 Send this review to a friend
Great Little Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased this little amp used from a SK ham in 2008. Just like every MFJ product I have owned in the my 37 years as a ham, it works great! I don't abuse it or try to overdrive it. The amp required very little drive and best of all, "no tune." Over the years, I have owned, SB-200's Drake L4B's, AL-811's and I am happy with this little one. Now, it does not have all the birds and whistles that my Elecraft KPA-500 has but again, is less than one half the cost and the bottom line is, they both do the same thing which is, 500 watts output with no tuning. I have no beef with MFJ or their products as I have never owned one that gave me any problems, had to be sent back or I had to take apart and repaired. I have absolutely no hesitation recommending this little amp and any MFJ product as they have always been very professional and customer service oriented in all my dealing with them.
 
KQ4YA Rating: 5/5 Aug 24, 2013 06:32 Send this review to a friend
Easy to use and delivers  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It's been a perfect little amplifier for me - works as it should and delivers a nice boost to the signal. I drive it at 60 watts and get about 550 watts out (I've driven it harder just to see how it would react and got near 800 watts on SSB peaks ... but I prefer not to push it that hard and don't). My only hiccup was operator error. When I first got the little amp I hooked everything up. Then I kept looking for an on/off switch on the switching power supply. I looked on the back, the sides, even underneath. Then I switched on the amp and the power supply came on. It made me feel foolish (not at all a new experience for me). I replaced my old SB-220 with this amplifier and suspect that - even with the power difference - I'm still able to work anyone that I could have worked with the old Heathkit amp.
 
AG7K Rating: 3/5 May 19, 2013 16:20 Send this review to a friend
Works well after rocky start!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased my ALS-600 recently, brand new in the box. Hooked it up and threw the switch. No sizzle, no bacon, no joy!! The AC fan in the linear power supply came on but no 12v lamps in either meter. Of course, not being a newcomer to MFJ products, I should have taken the cases off and inspected it before operation :) The 12volt power supply fuse was blown because the 2200uf electrolytic cap was not mounted flush as required, and was pushed hard into the fuse holder (luckily on the load side)by the fan that sits right above it. The plastic cover on the cap was cut by the fuse holder resulting in a dead short. I had to remove the fan and thermistor assembly heat sink, remove the board, reseat the component, repair 4 very poor and one broken solder joints and re-assemble. Rest of the power supply solder and components looked ok. Popped the rf deck open and the solder and parts placement were very nice. Hooked everything back up and put it on the air. First thing I noticed was the sloooow open frame relay would hot switch with the Icom 7600 at times. Never have this issue with the AL-1200. Good thing I was prepared as off came the case on the rf deck again and the AD5X relay conversion was installed. Now it works like it should have from the start. 50watts of drive gives me 400-475 out. Any more than that tends to push it into the imd badlands! When used with the KX-3 10 watts gives me a nice clean 100-150 pep on ssb depending on the band.
I am very satisfied with it now. With good QC and better switching relays this would be 5 stars instead of 3.
 
WD0BC Rating: 0/5 Apr 30, 2013 20:24 Send this review to a friend
LASTED AN HOUR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
PREVIOUS STATION WAS AL 811, LDG AT-1000 PRO II TUNER INTO A ALPHA DELTA MOD-A ANTENNA.

SYSTEM WORKING JUST FINE.

WANTED TO QUICKLY MOVE FREQUENCIES IF I DECIDED TO.

RECEIVED NEW ALS-600.

TOOK AL-811 OFF AND REPLACE WITH ALS-600

ALL WORKING FINE AS USUAL WITH THIS ANTENNA SYSTEM AND TUNER.....HAD ABOUT AN HOUR QSO ON 160.

TESTED ON ALL MY BEAM AND BUTTERNUT. ALL WORKED FINE.

SWITCHED BACK TO THE DX-A. WENT 7.027 TUNED LDG TUNER. SWR 1;1 : 1.

BACKED THE K3 TO 45 WATTS WHICH GAVE ME ABOUT 300 OUT WITH THE AMP. IN QSO ABOUT 3 MINUTES THEN IT QUIT!

AMP WENT DEAD!..

FUZES ARE OK....HAVE 120V AC IN THE PLUG.

AMP JUST QUIT!......

NOT THE WAY TO START A RELATIONSHIP WITH AN AMP.

NOW ...WE WILL SEE IF THE VENDER WILL HELP OR IF I AM GOING TO GET HOZED ?

IT IS ON A CREDIT CARD....MAYBE SOME HELP THERE????
 
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