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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: 162 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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WA7NDD Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2014 17:19 Send this review to a friend
I've had two ALS-600  Time owned: more than 12 months
I fell into a good price on an older ALS-600 answering an add in a very rural part of Idaho. I had no problems with the amp. Then by happenstance I ran into a AL-572 like new almost no use for $900. I sold the 600 and applied the money to the 572. The 572 was very good wired to 220, but it was not long before I was fed up with tuning for every band or frequency change. I sold it an bought a new ALS-600 with the switching power supply in 2009. It has worked flawlessly. I've since upgraded my station to no tuning of anything other then a button push. For you purest, I spent 45 years repairing broken electronics including 10 years of two-way radio, an broadcast stations. I know how resonance works, I don't need to fight it in my old age. HI HI.
 
W4KVW Rating: 0/5 Aug 2, 2014 08:57 Send this review to a friend
A BAD JOKE!   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I must say that the AMERITRON ALS-600 may be the worst piece of Ham Radio gear I have ever owned.It spent more time on the UPS Truck than it ever did here in my shack or even at AMERITRON. It never operated long enough for me to know how well or poorly it worked.Just plugging it in would blow parts up so keying it was out of the question on at least two tries after being returned from AMERITRON. I returned it 4 times in lass than 4 weeks & after it's last return traded it for an AMERITRON 811H which never had any issues.Never been so happy to get rid of any piece of gear as I was the day this one became someone else's toy. Maybe it was finally fixed because the fellow I traded with never had any issues.I'll not take any more chances on another solid state amplifier from AMERITRON. I am happy that I now own & operate an ICOM PW-1 which has been a PERFECT example of how a solid state amplifier should operate.Some honor that this amplifier gets an even worse review than the Yaesu FT-857D because it was also a BOMB! {:>)
 
NG0Z Rating: 4/5 Jun 19, 2014 21:04 Send this review to a friend
Good not Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am not a tinkerer, I just like to plug stuff together and get on the air so I wanted a solid state amp even if for the same price I could have had a 1KW AL-80B. As for the concept, I love this amp as its easy to use, requires no tuning, protects itself from high SWR and the inevitable user error, and has an easy to read power/SWR meter. Just tune your antenna, turn to the band range, hit "operate" and its good to go.

I use the ARB-704 interface which works fine but is also one reason why I don't give this amp a 5. Essentially, it shouldn't need it, but it did because calibrating the ALC with my 7600 was more trouble than it should be without it. So I spent the extra $80.

Now that its been up and running for a couple months, I think I'm starting to have the T/R issue mentioned in other reviews which is really unforgivable given how long this amp has been in production and how prevalent this issue appears to be. The issue is intermittent for now. I probably won't bother with a warranty repair or the pencil eraser fix as either are only temporary solutions. I will probably go for the AD5X QSK relay kit fix and void my (practically worthless) warranty as I don't want to wait to get my amp back or go to the trouble of packing and shipping such a heavy piece of equipment.

Also, while the amp's fan is very quiet - the power supply fan is very - no, ridiculously noisy. In light of all this, I think a "4" is quite generous.
 
KY3F Rating: 1/5 May 20, 2014 04:41 Send this review to a friend
Bad TR Relay  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had to change the TR relay. It started acting up within months of buying the ALS-600 new.
Ameritron said to clean the contacts with a pencil eraser. I was cleaning it every few months.

I found a Ham on line who had a fix. It entailed ripping out the TR relay and replacing it with a small circuit board. Ameritron said that mod might fix it, but it would void the warranty.
The fix was not plug and play. It required twisting the old relay out of the board, and doing some good soldering in tight spaces.

So if you want to buy an ALS-600, keep in mind what you may have to do.
 
VA3YG Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2014 15:55 Send this review to a friend
Perfect!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased my ALS-600S from DX Engineering and was very happy with the buying experience there.

The amp was shipped via FedEx Ground and arrived to my QTH undamaged and worked great right out of the box. So simple to set up after owning an AL-80BX for many years and loving it as well.

I loaf the amp along at about 400 watts and receive excellent audio and signal reports using my Icom 756 as the exciter and a Palstar AT2K tuner. It's such a treat to not have to fuss with tuning a tube...... really quite slick.

The quality of construction is excellent, the fan is quiet, the controls all operate smooth, the meters are all brightly lit with LED bulbs, I find the meters to be quite accurate, the amp puts out full power as per specs and the amp is quite compact. I have no gripes about this amp at all; it fits my HF operation perfect.

Good job MFJ!
 
KD8QNC Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2014 15:32 Send this review to a friend
Very Good mid range solid state Amp.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought an used ALS-600 with the linear PS about two months ago. It was the newer model with the remote control ports, in great condition, and was only about a year old.

I was looking for an amp. that was quiet and would become an extension to my TRX functioning as though I had a 500-600 watt transceiver. After a few tweaks, I have exactly what I wanted. I run exclusively SSB using VOX and enjoy having voice controlled transmission.

My ALS-600 right out of the box (used) had an issue with the T/R relay and would not transmit consistantly. I cleaned the contacts on the T/R open frame relay and used some De-oxit and it worked as it should.

Using my old Kenwood TS-450s I would often get hot switching using VOX giving an overload fault on the ALS-600. UCK! I replaced the clunky stock T/R relay with the AD5X QSK relay kit which eliminated any hot switching using VOX with my old Kenwood.

The final step was to build a solid state relay control cable connecting the TS-450s to the amp relay connector. AD5X gave me a nice design using an NPN transistor (I used a PN2222)and an audio shielded RCA cable for both T/R relay and ALC connection.

Now the ALS-600 just cranks out 600-700 PEP on SSB with 60 watts drive and is quiet with no clicking relays or loud fans. I haven't used my tube amp. for quite a while. I love this set-up
 
K8CMO Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2014 17:08 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my ALS-600 for about 2 years, and I absolutely love it. I used it first with a Kenwood TS-590 and most recently with an Elecraft K3. My antenna is only a G5RV, but I have achieved DXCC Honor Roll with this amp. I use it mostly on CW but also on RTTY. I drive it with about 48-50 watts normally running on 110 volts, and it easily delivers 500-600 watts output on all bands.
 
KY3F Rating: 2/5 Mar 30, 2014 09:54 Send this review to a friend
TR relay trouble  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The ALS/600 worked fine for 5 months and then it started giving me no output when I keyed the mike.
It started intermittently and then every time. I called Ameritron and the Tech was very nice.
He asked if I had a dog..... He said that people with animals in the house often have trouble with the large relay on the board. I think it's the 2 pole 2 throw TR relay. He said clean the relay and that will fix it.
I used a modified pencil eraser on the contacts and that fixed it for another 6 months.
Today, 6 months later,I had the same problem and the same fix. It looks like I'm going to have to do this every 6 months.
I don't have any animals in the house and there is no visible dust on the inside of the amp.
I rated the amp "Needs Help". An amp should not have any problems so soon.
Their 6 month turn around for repairs is keeping me from sending it back.
 
K5DSQ Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2014 11:38 Send this review to a friend
Pleasure to Operate  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this amp just over a year and have had no issues. It's a pleasure to operate... select the band and start transmitting. Depending on the band it delivers an easy 5-600 watts with about 50-60 watts of drive. Does not get much easier. Only issue I have had is with my pea size brain forgetting to select the right antenna or band, then the ALS-600 kicks me out and reminds me what an idiot I am. Fans are a bit noisy but very acceptable.
 
N5RWK Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2014 14:57 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've owned my ALS-600 for about a month. The power supply/amplifier comes packaged very well. My unit worked perfectly out of the box, no problems at all. I added the 10/12m board, which was very easy to install.

I'm using it with a Yaesu FT-950 rig set at 40W output and a 6BTV vertical antenna. I have low enough SWR on 10-40m so I don't have any issues with overload faults. Just turn it on, select the band and you're ready to go. I haven't had any problems being heard, and often can get through a pile-up without making very many calls.

I bought the heavier transformer power supply version to save a few bucks, since I don't plan on moving it around much. Overall, very I'm satisfied with my ALS-600.
 
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