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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Commander HF-2500 Magnum Help


Reviews Summary for Commander HF-2500 Magnum
Commander HF-2500 Magnum Reviews: 4 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $4695.
Description: FCC approved (2) tube version of the Command Technologies Export model.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.palstar.com
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AC0OQ Rating: 5/5 Sep 9, 2009 10:19 Send this review to a friend
Great product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Have owned the HF 2500 Magnum for about a month now. First of all this is not your fathers commander. This amp. has been modernized by Palstar, with many improvements. Check out the amp. for yourself at Plastar dot com. The delivery of the amp. was delayed about a month do to a lack of sheet metal parts, understandable with a new product. Out of the box assembly was easy. Place transformer in unit bolt down , plug in LV & Hv leads. New design includes new PC boards of Mil spec quality. plug in connectors on all boards, parts marked. Meter board and meters no longer glued to front panel as with the old commander line of amps.. Heavier chassis and sheeet metal, that fits properly. increased metering with no meter switching. Relative power output meter. makes tuning easier, easy acess to bottom of unit[removable panel]Ok fire up the amp. set power output a about 500 watts. After about 5 minutes slowly increase output to 1 KW suddenly a pop abd everything dead. Blown internal fuse. Inspection of unit shown mothing. Ring out HV supply with ohmmeter, everything normal. Change fuse repeat test, this time fuse blows at about 600 watts, again no sign of dammage. Call factory, speak to Don the guy who re-designed the amp, Don says "ship it back to us". Since I had business to attend to in Ohio I decide to bring the amp with me on my trip. Meet Don and Paul, president of the Company at the factory place amp on test bench remove cover and fire it up, with the lights in the lab turned out. So far so good, about 3,100 volts applied, start to add some Rf drive from a pro III and I see arcing at the rear of the amp. Palstar uses two different RF chokes in the HV circut one for 160-20 meters and another for 17-10 meters. EAch one switched in or out with a hV vacuum relay. One of the chokes is mounted in the RF deck half of the unit, the other on the other side of a divider that runs front to back and divides the RF and power supply section. It appears that the HV wire that leads to the choke mounted on the Power supply side ofthe divider is arcing to ground. The remedy isto punch another hole in the divider and separate the two leads of the choke. The HV wire was replaced with sivler plated copper wire covered with three layers of teflon tubing. Also a teflon gromet was installed in the holes. Repair works great no trouble since. Also production on all amps was stopped and this mod. applied to all amps. Also included in the repair were several upgrades to the unit. A shield was applied to on of the torride transformers making the unit easier to drive, required a new tuning chart to reflect the change in drive power. A plug was installed in an unused hole in the chassis thus allowing more air flow through the tubes. Over all the amp works great, easy to tune..Noise level from the blower is very low. Power output greater than 2KW into a dummy load, amp just loafs along. Grid protection circuit is very fast, impossible to over drive the grids of the tubes, should make for very long tube life. Over all impression of the new Palstar Commander HF-2500 Magnum amp. Very good, would buy one again in a heartbeat. As with any new product a few growing pains, but Palstar steps up to the plate and hits a home run. Factory supprt is great Don and Paul are great guys t work with.
 
AB2JL Rating: 5/5 Jun 16, 2008 14:12 Send this review to a friend
A Very Good Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
i've had this amp for over a year now with no problems short of a fuse blowing once.

the amp produces legal limit at 20 or so watts. using a flex sdr-1000 to drive it at 20 watts is good because it keeps the heat down in the flex.

it's more amp than you will ever need, but then again, it isn't a matter of need.

the manual is a bit sketchy but that is a minor issue.

i have the amp in a shed (literally) out in my backyard. doing nothing but idling, the amp produces quite a bit of heat, thats nice in the winter but it forces me to run an air conditioner in the summer.

it's definitely a 9.9 out of 10 in any case.

phil AB2JL
 
W4PIG Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2008 12:39 Send this review to a friend
GREAT AMP  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
THIS IS BY FAR THE BEST AMP I HAVE EVER OWNED. THIS IS A POWER HOUSE LOW DRIVE GIVES LEGAL LIMIT WITH NO STRAIN AND LOTS MORE IN STORE IF YOU NEED IT. PAT IS GOOD WITH ALL YOUR NEEDS ARE QUESTIONS FAR BETTER THAN ALPHA EVER WAS ALPHA DONT HAVE ANYTHING BETTER THAN THIS AMP. ALSO I NOTICED ON THE REVEIWS SOME ONE PUT A 4 RATING ON THE 2500HE 3 HOLE MODLE ON THE MAGNUM REVIEW THIS NEEDS TO BE REMOVED TO THE PROPER REVIEW AREA. THIS IS THE 2500 MAGNUM WITH A PAIR OF 3CPX800S NOT THE 3 HOLE MODEL. WHAT A AMP AND THE # 1 CONSTUCTION IS GREAT 73S
 
KC8OKG Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2007 07:32 Send this review to a friend
Legendary quality- Lifetime HF Amplifier. 160-10m  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Purchasing this amplifier has been one of the best decisions I have made since becoming a ham. You will not find a better company to deal with or a better man to deal with than Pat Stein. Because of the price of quality HF tube amps, it took me some time to research the issue and come up with a good choice, since there are many out there to choose from.
Command Technologies products and his satisfied customers speak for themselves.
Rock solid quality material and craftsmanship, this amplifier is built for a lifetime which is what I was after.
The amplifier is legal limit with much headroom.
It just performs flawlessly and effortlessly as it should day in and day out.
Although many companies use the Russian surplus tubes as a money saving measure, you cant beat the Eimac pulse rated tubes. If I have to bet, I would guess that in years to come the Eimac tubes will be around in some form-not so sure with the surplus tubes. Just my opinion.
One thing that sold me on the amp and was an obsessive point of mine was having the cleanest amp I could afford to buy. Pat Stein's amps are the cleanest of clean which can be attributed to his personal design expertise and the quality of the components he chooses like the genuine pulse rated 3cpx800a7's in this amp. Check out the 3rd order IMD numbers on his products. Try to find an amp with better specs. Alpha's in the same price range- with the Russian tubes- not even close in terms of IMD performance! Some people say that 3rd Order IMD is not important-I disagree.
Pat designed and built amplifiers that are being used today at W1AW! If you check out his website, the picture of him was taken at W1AW with his amplifier/s in the background.
If he is good enough for W1AW, his quality is good enough for me, KC8OKG!
After ordering the amp but before receiving it, I continued to obsess about my purchase, wondering if I made the right choice. I continued to discuss the decision with every ham who had any experience with Command Technologies. I could not find 1 ham, that had anything less than favorable to say about the product. Even his competition had great things to say about his quality.
Now that I have used the amp for about 10 months it has far exceeded my expectations.
Approx 20-25 watts input on 20 meters yields legal limit. The amp does 1500 watts without breaking a sweat and is capable of much, much more. Pat gives the pulse rated tubes higher voltage than standard 3cx800a7's to yield more power and efficiency. With this amp remember that you are paying for the tremendous headroom not just a few hundred watts of headroom. I dont have a dummy load that would withstand what this amplifier is capable of so I wont try.

The amp weighs over 100 lbs. The power transformer weighs over 50lbs itself. Other components like the bandswitch are super heavy duty. None of the components of this amplifier are a compromise as far as I can tell. If you are in the market for an amp, take your time and compare them all. The Commander will shine through whether it be the standard 2500 or the Magnum.
If you like to buy many throw away items and recycle them often, forget this amp. This amp is a keeper for those who plan to get old with ham radio. Also, when you call Command Technologies, you will talk to Pat Stein. I have never talked to his answering machine---ever--and I have called many times. If you call him you will see what I am talking about. His warranty is excellent too.
In conclusion, a great amplifier, a great value, no compromise in material and workmanship, the best service and quality. Like they say. "Built like a Tank". Also, this amp has the feel and appearance of good old made in the USA. They are worth the wait. I am proud to have one. Thanks for reading my post. Sincerely, Greg Sarris 73-KC8OKG
 


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