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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | ALPHA 78 Help


Reviews Summary for ALPHA 78
ALPHA 78 Reviews: 35 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $3495
Description: 3X 8874
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.rfconcepts.com
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W1ITT Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2012 13:22 Send this review to a friend
New front panel  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have an older Alpha 78 that works fine, but needs aesthetic improvement. It has the old sticky paint on both the front panel and cover so I bought a new front panel from Molly and it's nicely screened and pretty. I'll get the top cover stripped and repainted locally. It's probably time to replace the electrolytic capacitors in the high voltage supply as well but this beauty should live to fight many more battles. It's great that RF Concepts/Alpha still supports their classic rigs.
 
K3PG Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2012 17:09 Send this review to a friend
Best Old Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine used several years ago from K5VT (sk) of the VooDoo Contest group. The amp had been to West AF several times and had spent a year in the Caribbean. The QSK board had been 'field repaired' in Africa and Vince sold it to me as sort of a project. Everything was good except for a few small parts and once I got it figured out it works great. I bought an extra set of tubes and plan on keeping it. The Band Pass mode is almost all I use. Only have to put it on the correct Band and choose CW or SSB and it is 'No Tune' Puts out close to legal limit with under 100W drive and is solid.
 
N5WJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2011 17:09 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
What a great amp.. had mine for a couple of years and have it mated with my Flex 5000A rig.. and a 3 ele SteppIr antenna.. can work anything I can hear for sure.. Very Quiet amp and doesn't take much to get it to legal limit.. Usually run mine on 20 mtrs about 40 watts in for a good Clean KW out.. Sent it to Dick Byrd a couple of times for Various upgrades .. he is a super person and Tech and always has done a great job on my amp...
 
W2FBS Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2010 05:10 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp - Made Better by W4UQ!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my 78 back in 1995. I am the second owner. I have had zero problems with it, using it daily. I recently sent it out to W4UQ for updating and what a great job he did! Added the WARC bands, put in step start and did other mods, all for far less than Alpha would have charged me. Dick even got me connected to another owner who had several tubes for sale at a great price. Now I have a full set of extra tubes too.

Legal limit output, bandpass tuning, quiet operation, what more can you ask for?

Great amp made better by the Alpha Master W4UQ.
 
SV1OZ Rating: 5/5 Aug 17, 2010 10:59 Send this review to a friend
SUPER  Time owned: more than 12 months
This amplifier is my best linear I ever had.
I bought it in a hamfest 1 year ago.
When I tried this beauty on all bands incl. warc I was surprised how quite was with plenty of power coming out from 3 8874 tubes.
I really enjoy to work RTTY full output 1-1,5kw for hours without any sign of problem.
The power supply has a heavy duty transformer which never complained with noise on high output.
This little beauty will stay in my shack for ever.
Photos in my shack can be found at qrz.com
If I ever buy another will be 9500...
 
N3ZC Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2010 12:25 Send this review to a friend
The Best!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well..I've only had my Alpha 78 for a week & a half...It has all of the Dick Byrd (N4UQ) mods (2-3CX800A7s, Low Drive mod, New HV Caps & Bleeders & Diodes & Realigned..& in pristine shape!). My 811H is sitting on the floor..soon to be sold.

It work's (& look's) GREAT! I really like the Band-Pass Tuning..turn the knob to 14(mhz) & CW/SSB selector to SSB or CW and you're ready..and with 60W I get almost 1200W out on SSB (and it's just loafing)! or, you can tune manually.. It's also VERY quiet fan-wise (can't evem hear it!)..It's also built like a tank!

They'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands..

A twist on a Mel Brooks line:
"It's good to have an Alpha!"

Go get your's!

73'..Tom N3ZC


 
W5AO Rating: 5/5 Jan 18, 2010 23:04 Send this review to a friend
Classic Excellence  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had one in the 80's which worked well. Sold it and moved to a 77dx. Had the opportunity to acquire a mint 78 modified by WC5E with 2 X 3CX800A7 tubes and the upgraded 3.5 KVA transformer.

The biggest difference is it is not even working hard providing 1500W out on bandpass operation. With the 8874s the grid current was kind of high at full power in no tune. Not anymore.

In my book it can't be beat for any price.
 
N5OU Rating: 5/5 Jun 25, 2008 14:39 Send this review to a friend
The last amp you will own  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned an Alpha 78 for the last 4 years along with quite a few other amps. It was converted to a pair of 3cx800a7's and all the updates and mods were done by the Alpha Master himself N4UQ Dick Byrd. Folks, if you have an alpha do yourself a favor and send it to Dick for any repairs or updates. One of the finest gentleman and true electronics craftsman that I have ever met. As another review stated, I love this amp and will take it to the grave with me. Bottom line, if you ever get a chance to buy one, do it! The no-tune bandpass is very convenient when chasing DX or if I just don't feel like tuning.
 
K0MD Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2008 18:59 Send this review to a friend
Solid and Easy to use  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned the Alpha 78 for 10+ years. It has been a workhorse for me. I am the second owner. It runs well, and the tubes are still good! It has interfaced easily with all of my rigs over the past 10 years.

I like the bandpass feature which essentially makes it a no tune amp. Just turn the bandswitch and you are ready to transmit.

I sent it back to Alpha in 2007 after a lightning strike. It runs like a new amp now.

I am very pleased with the service I received at Alpha. Janet and Molly were most helpful and provided explanations for the delays I experienced.

The 78 is a solid amplifier for multipurpose use in ham radio.
 
W9CLA Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2008 07:52 Send this review to a friend
Quiet and totally reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the good fortune to have (2) of these amps both of which were converted by “The Man” N4UQ to use 3CPX800A7’s. I also had him add 30M, 12M and 10M. What a conversion. The new bandwitch markings look like the factory did it. The fan is extremely quiet, vacuum relay switching, full QSK and plenty of power from the Hypesil 2.4KVA transformer. The best part is the availability of reasonably priced 3CPX800A7’s medical pulls in the $175 each range.

I debated about a no-tune solid state amp but with the bandpass positions on the Alpha 78 it is almost as good all you have to do is turn the bandswitch and key it up. With the addition of the WARC conversion it does everything a new amp costing >$4K will do.

I did do some power supply upgrades by replacing the 220ufd filter caps with new CDE 560ufd 450V caps of the identical physical size providing much better ripple characteristics. It has 93ufd of total filtering versus the stock 36 ufd. Check those 2 watt bleeder resistors I had a couple that were open and some that were reading way high. I replaced all of them with high quality 2 Watt 5% metal oxide resistors. I also did the metal doubling mod so that you can load the amp to full power and yet stay on scale.

The Alpha 78CPX will go to the grave with me. It is all the amp you will ever need. If you can find one buy it!
 
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