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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Alpha 8410 Help


Reviews Summary for Alpha 8410
Alpha 8410 Reviews: 115 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $5395
Description: The Alpha 8410 utilizes an enhanced version of the bombproof RF deck, found in the Alpha 99 and Alpha 8100. On the 8410ís control board youíll find a microprocessor that allows us to normalize amplification performance, calibrate the power and gain metering for each specific band, and increase reliability and durability. All of these functions aggregate into a single greater benefit for the user, ease of tuning. The 8410 comes standard with USB and serial ports for remote monitoring and performance data logging. The power supply stack found in the 8410 has been designed for maximum durability and reliability, while allowing for extremely easy voltage tap changes.

This amplifer is handcrafted, designed, and built in Boulder, Colorado, USA, comes with a 4-year warranty.

Tubes: 2x 4CX1000A Tetrodes
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.alpharfsystems.com/
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K2MK Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2015 08:21 Send this review to a friend
A beautifully engineered workhorse  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Iíve had my 8410 for 6 months and am very happy with it in every respect. Iíll try to provide information that I havenít seen in some of the other reviews.

The amp is beautifully double packaged for shipment. I had what looked like a fork lift hole in one box but there was no damage to the internal box. The factory shipped Federal Express and you can set up a specific delivery time on the Fed Ex website for a small fee. One person can easily mount the transformer. Follow the available video tips on how to do it. The calibration sheet is inside of the amplifier. You wonít find it with the manual.

The website photos show a newer style internal blower but the manual supplied with my 8410 and the manual currently posted on the web site still show the previous blower. I mention this first because it looks completely different and second because there are two screws on the bottom of the chassis that need to be removed. They are labeled as blower shipping screws and when they are removed the blower free floats on plastic mounts. The documentation doesnít mention these screws.

I purchased the external fan kit and it was factory installed. Rather than use the word loud Iíll just suggest that the amp with both the internal and external fans is not particularly quiet. The plus side of this is that when contest operating CW or SSB youíll probably never hear the internal fan speed increase above low speed. Things could differ without the external fan.

The companion PC program works well for the curious among us. I wanted to see what the temperature did during continuous contest RTTY activity. The Fahrenheit display is useful but I found that the raw telemetry data appears to be in Celsius. When the raw data indicates that the temp is 35 degrees C the fan will jump to medium speed. When the temp reaches 40 degrees C the fan will flip to high speed and I never saw the temp go any higher. I call that a rock solid thermal design. I donít know what would happen without the external fan.

The safety circuitry seems very intuitive and sensitive. Every bonehead move I have made resulted in an instantaneous ďstandbyĒ fault with no noticeable power transmitted. I call that fast. On one occasion when I hit the amp with too much input power the amp turned itself off.

With my previous triode legal limit amp I would be very careful of grid current as I would QSY up and down the band. This is a non issue with the 8410. I have never seen the green or red grid current LEDs light even briefly. However, my previous amp seemed a little more wideband in being able to still provide 1500 watts a considerable distance from where I tuned it up. When preparing my tuning chart for the 8410 it took a couple more re-adjustments on 160, 80, and 10 meters than did my previous amp. I probably could have covered those bands with fewer adjustments but then I might only be transmitting 1000 or 1100 watts.

The power output LEDs are adequate if you are happy with 100 watt increments. I prefer to use a digital external wattmeter. I suppose the PC program could be used for this purpose if you have space available on your monitor.

I am very comfortable recommending this amplifier to anyone looking for a really heavy duty amplifier.
 
K5RU Rating: 5/5 Nov 2, 2014 12:56 Send this review to a friend
Excellent amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought it new about two years ago, excellent amp and easy to tune, smooth and lots of power, no problems, thanks Alpha for nice well built product.
 
KB3Z Rating: 3/5 Jun 24, 2014 05:00 Send this review to a friend
Worked Fine Until The Warranty Expired.  Time owned: more than 12 months
When my 8410 worked it was a real workhorse. But it seems that after the warranty expired that's when all the troubles began. I would email the problems to Alpha/RFConcepts and Glenn would respond in a timely basis. But, no matter what repairs were being done to the amplifier, it never really solved the issues regarding increased drive to get 1500 watts. RFConcepts determined that it was not a problem with the tubes. After a period of time, I could only get 1300 watts at best. Alpha/RFConcepts service is good, but the price to send the amplifier plus labor, parts and tech fees is rather expensive. It would be nice if they had a service portal here on the east coast! I did sell the amplifier and purchased another well known amplifier. I did learn one thing, that customer service/reasonable prices is key to success today in the amateur radio hobby today.
 
K9CRT Rating: 5/5 Jun 9, 2014 15:12 Send this review to a friend
Work Horse  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
After owning this amp for 8 months I feel I can give a fair review. I purchased this amp new from Alpha and was able to take advantage of a special where they included either a Alpha wattmeter or a spare set of tubes at NC. I opted for the tubes and my amp was shipped with the 4cx1500 tubes plus as I said an extra pair sealed in plastic double boxed with a tested and performance sheet included with each tube from Penta Labs nothing much more I can add to the other reviews here but perhaps one item. I use the AE9K monitor software that reads thru the USB port on the 8410 and with this software I thought that even on ssb it ran to warm. The blower would kick on and shift to med or high speed often. Why Alpha does not include the fan for this unit I don't understand. I am sure that it doesn't run hot enough on ssb to hurt itself but heat is the biggest enemy in electronic gear. After installing the optional fan NEVER has the blower shifted to med/high. The inside of the amp stays below 90 degrees now and before it would run up into 130-140 area. Just seems like a no brainier to me this fan couldn't cost the company more than a few dollars even though they want $100 for it I bought my fan with better specs and a dirt filter for the fan from Allied for under $30 shipped to my door.

Great product I don't see myself at my age needing another amp or hopefully using those new spare 4cx1500 tubes. As others have said 30w drive = 1500 out. This amp is capable of double the legal limit so running it @ 30w drive lets your transceiver and the amp loaf @ full legal power out.
 
W4VDW Rating: 5/5 Jun 9, 2014 06:08 Send this review to a friend
Alpha - Simply the best...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Arrived on Friday. Assembled on Friday within an hour of arrival. Operational on Friday... I didn't even have to do any fine adjustment tuning for each band; it came with a tuning chart that was spot on. I am just simply amazed and greatly pleased with the purchase.

WOW!!!

If you were ever worried over making an expensive purchase, let not your heart be troubled...

This is the best constructed, best documented, best operating amplifier available. Every facite of my Alpha purchasing experience was the most professional and pleasant in my amateur radio experience. I have no doubt, after talking to other Alpha owners, reading all the positive reviews here, that I made a wise choice. This one is a life long keeper!

Alpha, thank you for a well made product and superior customer service experience!
 
W5JBO Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2014 07:00 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding operation  Time owned: more than 12 months
The amp has operated several hundred hours in RTTY mode,within the years time since I purchased it. Couldn't be happier..
Also a great radio room heater during the winter months.
I had used a Collins 30S-1 for decades prior to the Alpha 8410, but couldn't sustain the duty cycle I needed for RTTY..
A great heavy duty amplifier. Buy one and it will be the last one you will ever need..
 
N4WN Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2014 06:36 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Alpha 8410 is the last amp to purchase.
The amp is controlled by a microprocessor that allows the operator to see exactly what is occurring within the amp. (with available free downloaded software.)It is by far the quietest amp I have owned. It has a 3 speed fan and I have yet to see it on high. It rarely switches to medium and I run full legal output. 24 watts in gives me 1500 watts out. I purchased my amp that was 14 months old and was able to transfer the remainder of the 4 year warranty to myself. I think this will be my last amp purchase. +++
 
VE6AMI Rating: 5/5 Feb 15, 2014 20:47 Send this review to a friend
A CW / RTTY Powerhouse  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A true 100% duty cycle unit on any band or mode. Use only top quality coax in your system. With the free AE9K software monitor via a USB connection, all "under the hood" operating parameters can be easily followed. Presently using the amp with a K3 radio (K3 programmed for optimized band by band drive power) with very easy tuneup.
 
KF4FK Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2014 06:18 Send this review to a friend
My new Alpha 8410  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After 24 years of being a Ham, I decided it was time to purchase a HF Amplifier.

Not knowing what features to look for and what companies have the best reputation, I took a survey of my Ham Club friends. Over 85 percent said if I could afford it, buy an Alpha.

I have had my Alpha 8410 for about six weeks now. I have never worked so much DX in such a short time.

This Alpha is built like a tank, easy to tune, and I really like having a band switch that supports the WARC bands.

I know that I have only had my Alpha a short period of time so I will write another review in the coming months.

73 - KF4FK
 
N4ALR Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2013 14:15 Send this review to a friend
great amplifier  Time owned: more than 12 months
great performer. runs all day without a hiccup. over engineered, built to take a full day of operating, positively a lifetime purchase. would highly recommend. believe the ad with the brick!
 
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