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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | MACKAY MSR 1020M Help


Reviews Summary for MACKAY MSR 1020M
MACKAY MSR 1020M Reviews: 4 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $????.??
Description: COMMERCIAL MILSPEC HF AMPLIFER 10M - 160M
1KW+ WITH SWR UP TO 3.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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K7UXO Rating: 5/5 Oct 16, 2010 08:30 Send this review to a friend
Great Amplifier  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The first thing you notice is it is rugged. Mackay stuff was built to take a pounding on board a ship in rough seas - literally! There is a lot of heavy gauge aluminum all around.

Everything is also built modular. That is, to be taken apart. For instance, if you take the back cabinet panel off and your not fighting connectors etc, because they are actually part of the interface circuit board behind it.

All the materials are first class. Not only that, but they are over-rated for the application. The PA transistors are rated to a combined 2000 watts. Consider it was intended to operate RTTY or TOR modes at 1000 watts, key down, for weeks on end without stop, this makes sense. You will only find gear like this from military and high seas commercial suppliers. Not ham gear.

The semiconductor devices and other parts are all "normal" devices, that can be replaced.

It is well documented. The service manual goes into a high level of detail.

It is well protected, if you use the ALC to your rig.

It is easy to interface the band switching so you can operate like a 1000 watt transceiver and never touch the amp. I use an array solutions bandmaster, which allows me to set the band switch points by frequency to specifically where the amplifier wants them for correct operation between ham bands. There are less expensive solutions.

The ALC is positive going. This IS a problem because you need the ALC to take advantage of the amplifiers protective circuits. The good news is the ALC goes through an op-amp on a easily accessible board. This means you can re-wire the op amp and make it negative going. Plan your surgery on the schematics first.

I run mine on 240V.

Once you get it set up, the amp just works well. There is at least 1000 watts, any frequency, instantly at any time. The amplifier seems to easily handle 1500 watts on conversational SSB. I would not push it so hard on 100% duty cycle mode like RTTY.

The best part is it can be had for a fraction of a solid state ham 1KW amplifier if you keep your eyes open on ebay. 1000 to 1500 seems to be the going price. And, its 10X the amplifier!

Best amplifier investment I ever made. This one is a keeper!
 
N4VIC Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2009 11:38 Send this review to a friend
I couldn't be happier with an amplifier  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This thing is an American made power house! It is conservatively rated at 1kw but easily does 1.2kw. I came across mine quite by accident and was not looking for an amplifier at all. But it has turned out to be one of those "desirable" accidents. I've used a Harris RF-110A for a few years now and while a great machine in itself, it requires a considerable amount of knowledge/electronics skill and maintenance to keep it on the air. This Mackay was very easy to integrate into the shack and its modular design made the required mods quite easy. By the way, all the mods are easily reversible if you should find one of the matching exciters.

Unlike the previous reviewers, I found the fan noise quite acceptable especially after enduring the "jet engine" noise of the Harris. The power supply and amp are within 3 or 4 feet of the operating position and I've not had one on-air complaint about the sound level. The fans are temperature controlled above the basic setting and I've not had mine heat up enough to go to a higher flow.

There are 8 different bands selectable on the amp but I chose to build my band switching arrangement (using a rotary switch) to accommodate just the ones for which I have antennas (20, 40, 80, 160m) and will go back and add capability as I add antennas. Band switching is accomplished by grounding individual lines to select the desired band. This could be done via the transceiver with slightly more effort since most rigs output band data.

The amp requires direct keying and this is also done by grounding a key line. I simply tied this to a foot switch which also keys the transceiver.

There are a myriad of protection schemes built into the system. It monitors SWR along with supply voltage and will alert if either goes out of specs. I chose not to use the ALC output which normally would reduce the power of the exciter if an overdrive or SWR problem occurred. Since the amp is within my view, I visually monitor the SWR lamp. On several occasions this lamp has alerted me that I had failed to select the correct band.

There are amps one the market selling for $$$$ more than these and will not really do any more and probably are not as robust. I recommend getting the matching MSR 6212 power supply if at all possible. However, with a bit of skill one could construct a 50 vdc 60 amp supply. The individual modules (4) will draw 15 amps each at max output. The system has the capability to operate from 115 vac but the manual discourages it. If 115 vac is used then operation is limited to SSB because of the current draw in some of the other modes.

Bottom line:

If you find one, get one!

P.S. My 1020 is not an "M" version but has bipolar transistors rather than FETs.


N4VIC
 
KC4VFP Rating: 5/5 Nov 24, 2007 14:53 Send this review to a friend
works, and work, and works...  Time owned: more than 12 months
The ITT MACKAY MSR 1020 and matching MSR 6212 power supply, together with the MSR 4030 random wire antenna tuner, make up one of my HF amplifier systems at the home QTH. I swapped a spectrum analyzer for this PA system that features four push-pull, transistor PA modules. Other HF amplifiers include an ACOM 2000A, a Henry 5K Classic, etc.

The ITT MACKAY MSR 6212 Power Supply operates from either 115 or 230 volt mains. The power is converted to DC, and then regulated down to 50 volts through a unique switching supply. Each of the four push-pull PA modules in the PA Cabinet is regulated by a separate, adjustable power supply module in the power supply cabinet.

The ITT MACKAY MSR 1026 power amplifier does sound like a ROTAX engine when the temperature sensors determines that the four PA modules are in need of additional cooling. Keeping the air filter clean and the PA circuit board edge connectors clean is part of the maintenance on this unit. This amplifier is easily driven by any 100 watt radio. Outboard keying and band switching must be supplied by the user, if you do not use the original 125 watt transceiver, which resembles a Kenwood 430. In AM mode, the signal is exceptionally clean. Key down for 2 hours with a full kw only slightly warms the PA box.

The stock frequency coverage of this unit is 0.4 MHz to 30 MHz, but with a “slight” mod, will do 400 watts cw on 50 MHz, but not with the matching antenna tuner in line.

The ITT MACKAY MSR 4030 Antenna Tuner is designed to tune a wire antenna, and has an impressive ceramic insulator around the post connecting to the vacuum cap inside the box. A heavy duty, silver plated, edge wound, motor driven variable inductor takes up a good portion of the inside of the weatherproof antenna tuner. The unit features an auto tune circuit and multiple presets. 115 volt or 230 volt power is supplied from the connector going to the amplifier wiring harness. Voltage for the separate built in AC Power Supply is selectable on a terminal block.

My unit had a tag on it that said “EMBASSY.” What the government probably paid many thousands of dollars for has now been relegated to the status of “surplus.”

This unit is one of the best. You can do without the matching transceiver and antenna tuner, HOWEVER, buying the ITT MACKAY MSR 1026 amplifier without the ITT MACKAY MSR 6212 power supply may prove to be a waste of money, since both units (and control cables) are dependent on each other.
 
KC2MIB Rating: 5/5 Apr 13, 2007 22:30 Send this review to a friend
THE TRUTH  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
THIS IS THE M1-A1 (TANK) OF SOLID STATE AMPS. BEING MILSPEC STANDARD THERE ARE MORE PROTECTION IN THIS AMP THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED. THE AMP AND POWER SUPPLY ARE MODULAR, MEANING IF ONE MODULE SHOULD GO BAD IN EITHER PIECE OF EQUIPMENT YOU CAN TAKE THE BROKEN MODULE OUT AND GET IT SERVICED WHILE YOU CAN STILL OPERATE THE AMP(LOWER OUTPUT THOUGH). THE AMPS AND POWER SUPPLY OPERATES A PAIR OF 6" AC FANS THAT RUNS LIKE A HOVER CRAFT, HOWEVER A MINOR MOD TO THE POWER SUPPLY WILL MAKE THE HOVER CRAFT LIKE FANS SEEMS MUTE. THE AMP OPERATES 8 PAIRS OF MOSFET TRANSISTORS WITH VARIABLE DC @ 45-52V.

BAND INPUT TO OUTPUT
10M - 25W - 800W
20M - 25W - 1KW
40M - 25W - 1KW+
75M - 25W - 1KW+
I HAVE NO ANTENNA FOR 160 BUT THE AMP DOES OPERATE ON THAT BAND.

I'VE MADE SEVERAL GOOD INVESTMENTS BEING A YOUNG HAM AND THIS AMP IS DEFINATELY ONE OF THEM. IF BY CHANCE YOU COME ACROSS A SERVICABLE MACKAY AMP, TAKE MY ADVICE, DON'T HESITATE TO GET IT, YOU'LL BE DISAPPOINTED IF YOU DON'T.


de
KC2MIB

 


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