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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: 156 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.
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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.
KF4OKF Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2014 17:43 Send this review to a friend
Great amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Received my ALS 600 last week and hooked it into the station. Using it with a Kenwood TS 950 SD and a Palstar AT4K tuner. This is my first amp and am very pleased with it . The amp was packaged very well and everything worked as advertised. 60 W out of the 950 gives 600W out. My DX score has gone from about 30 percent success rate to around 80 percent with the amp. The protection circuits work as advertised and help a Ham new to amps in case of high SWR or if you forget to switch bands. If you are considering an amp to increase your signal strength take a look at this amp - think you will be pleased with it. Thanks to Ameritron for producing a fine product.
WB0WQS Rating: 5/5 Jan 21, 2014 17:37 Send this review to a friend
Going strong  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked up the amplifier new a couple of months ago and driving it with an Icom 756PRO II. The Auto tuner is LDG-600Pro II. Using a ARB-704 to key the amp. Running mostly CW at 400+ watts, and have made a few contacts on SSB at higher Levels. I ordered the 10-12 mod kit (there are 2 different models btw) and installed it easily. I forgot to inspect the inside of the amplifier while it was opened up, as recommended - but everything seems fine. This is the ALS-600s with the solid state power supply. The amplifier is usually put into service after I have called a dx station several times and fail to get a response.
I am having fun with it.
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.
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