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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Ameritron ALS-1300 Help


Reviews Summary for Ameritron ALS-1300
Ameritron ALS-1300 Reviews: 60 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $2,899
Description: HF No tune Amplifier, 1200 watt solid state w/switching PS
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.ameritron.com/Product.php?productid=ALS-1300
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W8NWN Rating: 4/5 Sep 5, 2014 19:36 Send this review to a friend
Works Fine  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This amp works as advertised. No problems
 
W6LMJ Rating: 4/5 Sep 2, 2014 11:04 Send this review to a friend
Great amplifier, but...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
After 40 years with Heath Kit amplifiers I decided it was time to move to a solid-state amp. I had used an SB-200 and a SB-220. I was very pleased with both. But I am now interested in remote operations and so a solid-state amp was on my short list of things to have. This past Christmas the family came together to provide one. I choose the ALS-1300. Even with all the negative comments, I felt comfortable with the notion of fixing it as needed. The first few months I had the amp I discovered little nit node problems in my antennas system. Things the SB-220 would work through caused the ALS-1300 to fault out. After chasing several intermittent connectors and one bad piece of coax all seemed well. Thats what happens when you have a station for 20 years in one place. Stuff gets old and problems greep in. This past month I added the ARI-500 to the mix in order to have automatic band switching. The ARI-500 seemed dead on arrival. Nothing powered up. I switched rigs, from a IC-756P2 to an IC-746P thinking that might be the problem. Still nothing worked. So I called HRO and they suggested returning it. I got a second one and the same problem as the first, dead on arrival. With this one I also received a cable for the IC-7000 and so tried it with that rig. No joy. So I called Ameritron and luckily got through on the first ring. The nice lady connected me to a technician who walked through trouble-shooting the problem. He was surprised I had tried three different rigs and we agreed the common component was the ALS-1300. Using the pig-tail J45 to pull voyage from the A/B J45 connectors on the back of the amp we determined, given there was no voltage, that that was where the problem lay. It was at that point that the technician shared that sometimes the ribbon cable becomes disconnected from the two A/B J45 sockets and that I should look inside the amp to see if that was the problem. I had a MOD10MK kit to install for 10 meters, and so quickly and happily pulled the amp off the stack of stuff and opened it up. Sure enough the ribbon cable was undone. I reseated it and stuck a piece of white packing foam in behind it to put a little pressure on it to hold it in place. I then installed the 10 meter kit, moving the jumper as instructed. That was very simple. I put the amp cover back on and re-cabled the amp. Perfect the remote band switch now works and I am again very pleased with its function and performance. But, Ameritron should have placed a small piece of foam behind the ribbon cable and saved the cost of the returned ARI-500 and the several hours I spent fiddling with and thinking about a problem they could have easily prevented from occurring in the first place with a nearly no-cost 3 second fix.
 
AB2IR Rating: 5/5 May 30, 2014 06:23 Send this review to a friend
so far great  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Replaced my heathkit sb 2kw amp, decided a simple auto tune unit will save my old age bacon. Was hoping for just 200 watt range on min. level, but this unit kicks out about 300-350 watts to start. Only complaints: my power switch, it arcks if pushed slow. Believe switch is defective, but works. Have not bothered to call about switch yet. And trying to remove RJ cable from remote jack on rear, tough, release pin just does not clear for some reason. Remote control head is just ok for me, stopped using it because of cable mounting position and where to place it on my desk. Amp is next to radio anyway. Ameritron seemed to have fixed the dc power supply issue, no real problems at all.
 
N8VB Rating: 3/5 May 20, 2014 05:09 Send this review to a friend
So far so good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the ALS-1300 at the end of March 2014 from DX Engineering. I also ordered the 12/10 meter kit. The amp would go into protection immediately on 40 meters operating into a dummy load, the other bands all worked fine. I contacted Ameritron Service and they wanted me to send the amp in for an exchange. They said turn around time was 2+ weeks. Before sending it in, I took a look around inside the amp and found that there was a resistor in the LPF input bridge circuit that was considerably different in value than what was shown on the schematic in the manual. I changed this resistor to the value called for in the manual and it then worked fine on 40 meters. Since then the amp has been working well. I can easily get 1200+ watts out on all bands with a maximum of 55 watts of drive. On the air, I keep it at 1000 watts for a much cleaner signal.

The amplifier seems to be well built inside other than the resistor problem mentioned above. The amplifier enclosure is longer than the separate power supply enclosure which is a bit odd looking when they are sitting side by side on the desk.

I took one point off in the review for the problem out of the box on 40 meters. Obviously the amp was not thoroughly tested at Ameritron before leaving or they would have caught the 40 meter problem. This leaves the customer to be the quality control department and also the service department (if you don't want to wait for the weeks of turn around time and shipping charges). I am glad I was able to fix the problem, otherwise I would be much less happy with the purchase.

I also took one point off because the enclosure is very flimsy and it required Ameritron to put in a multitude of screws to hold it together securely. It is very painful if/when you have to get inside the amp (as in when you have to install the 12/10 meter LPF kit). Like most of the MFJ stuff, the front and rear panels are also somewhat flimsy. I wish Ameritron would have used a slightly thicker sheet metal for the enclosure.

I had to decide between the AL-82 and the ALS-1300 when I wanted a new amp. I am almost sorry I did not go for the AL-82 (2 x 3-500Z). The initial problem with the ALS-1300 has made me wonder about the reliability of this amp. The instant on and no tuning is great, but I still have to use an external tuner with my ladder line fed antenna, so I am not sure I save any time on the no tuning part since I still have to twiddle the knobs on my manual tuner. I know I could purchase a legal limit auto tuner, but that adds considerably to the overall cost in getting an amp.
 
W6FCS Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2014 15:33 Send this review to a friend
Neat Little Amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Received today 5/19/2014 after a month wait, from DX Eng. Serial No 24072. Installed 10 meter option. Turned on, followed instr in manual. Only operated it on 20 meters. 50 watts drive gives 1200 watts out. I'll test out the other bands when I use my wire antenna (currently using 20 mtr mono beam). After using my big Henry amps for many years, it certainly is fun to run this little amp. I am a happy camper. You will be too.
 
K2UE Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2014 17:37 Send this review to a friend
Seems to be mature  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the ALS-1300 to replace an Alpha 87A, which is a tough act to follow. I use it with an Apache Labs Anan-100 and PureSignal Predistortion. On 160m to 30m I use an MFJ-998 into a Alpha Delta DX-B Half-Sloper, and for 20m up I use a K4KIO Hex Beam. The ARI-500 interface is nicely able to auto band select using the Kenwood mode from DDUtil on the OpenHPSDR CAT output. I set up the power level on each band to where the the ALS-1300 is showing a 10% gain decrease from it maximum value, essentially the 1dB compression point -- this ranges from 1000 to 1300W on the various bands, with drive levels from 50 to 70W. With PureSignal on (I never turn it off) the off-air IM measures -55dB or better, and needless to say, the signal reports are excellent. For my purposes it is perfect, and fast to deploy. The internal workmanship seems good, as judged by a retired commercial SSB design engineer. Solid-state plus predistortion is clearly the future. Highly recommended in this context.
 
W8EZI Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2014 11:38 Send this review to a friend
Works like a charm  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I am 71. I owned an Ameritron AL-80B for 13 years. It was and is a great design and good amplifier. I sold it because I am no longer able to lift it and carry it outside for a yearly compressed air cleaning.

I sold it and bought the ALS-1300 because I can lift it. Sounds like dumb reason, but getting old means making adjustments.

This amplifier was an older model that had been back to the factory for repair and mods for a second time and the ham who owned it was fed up. He told me he would sell it to me as soon as it came back from the factory. That was 8 months ago. It has been doing a great job for me ever since then. Thanks God for the overload circuits in it. I would have blown it by now without them. It is so easy to get in a hurry and make a mistake. A nearby ham on 75 meters who has a lot of experience told me he heard a subtle difference in the audio quality over the AL80B.

I like that fact the MFJ is in America and has a long track record of support for their products. Other amplifier companies have come and gone.

BTW, I looked over this amplifier inside and out before firing it up. I was looking for bad solder joints or just anything amiss. It looked OK. I also own an ALS-600. You must be careful with the 1300 when switching between the two amplifiers. The 600 will take 80 or even 100 watts input without blinking. The 1300 cannot stand that much input power. I run it full bore output with 60 watts input. Any amount over that pops the overload circuit. I have mine hooked to 220. I have seen 1500 watts come out of this thing before I quickly turned down the drive to get around 1200 watts output.

MFJ sells amplifiers in general for the rest of us. Meaning, I have a lower middle class income. I could not afford a Tokyo or Alpha amplifier. After owning 3 Ameritron amplifiers I would not even want to buy Alpha or Tokyo even if I had the money. The Ameritron brand as carried on by MFJ is making qualilty amplifiers available to hams like myself. I wholeheartedly recommend this amp.
 
N4JA Rating: 5/5 Mar 23, 2014 12:48 Send this review to a friend
Best solid state ever  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've owned many solid state amps. This one is bullet proof. Ameritron did a good job on the protection circuits. If they didn't, I would have blown this amp during the first week. The problem I have is I have to use my MFJ-998 Intellituner on the low end of 80m. If I see a spot on Logger32, I click on that spot and it switches the radio, SteppIR controller and antenna switch automatically. But then it happens! I forget to turn the tuner off and I see about 9:1 SWR. The linear shuts down and I get an SRW indicator light. This linear doesn't blow like every other solid state amp I've ever used. This amp and my logging program lets me QSY rapidly and all I have to do is change the band switch on the amp. I have the ARI-500 and one day I will try to see if I can get my transceiver to control the ARI-500 and the SteppIR. Ameritron I used to hate you, but now I am in love with this amp. The reason I hated Ameritron is I had the AL-82 and they run too much voltage on the 3-500Z's. That amp will self destruct if you tune it up on the wrong antenna. The 3-500Zs will go into parasitic oscillation and blow the plate tuning cap.
 
AD4C2006 Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2014 05:52 Send this review to a friend
Great amp.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was sick and tired to move knobs everytime I changed bands in my former AL-82 and also the blower was too loud so I decided to purchase this quite solid state broadband no tune amp.
After read all reviews was like others very concerned about issues with the power supply but been built in the US its kinda better to have the repair facilities within the country so I made my move and bought it new.
Putting it together was a very easy job, after powering it up made the very first mistake, radio was on 40 and amp was on 80M, no big deal, amp went to standby protecting itself, moved the knob to the right band and found 1200W with just 40W and when drive it with 60W I see 1400W.
Very quite fans, reports given to me show excellent TX audio and solid signal all over Europe on 40M with my dipole. It works easily in all bands from 80 to 15M. Don't have the 10/12M module yet but its been ordered.
So far I am very pleased with its performance.
It works as I wanted.
Another good quality amp from Ameritron

 
KC0KW Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2014 14:47 Send this review to a friend
Very Nice Amplifier, Life is good  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I was going to buy a Tokyo Hy-Power 2500 and then heard they were going out of business. So I thought I would try the Ameritron ALS-1300 wanting to try a solid state amp. I have been a tube guy all my life. I called Ameritron and their tech said they did have some problems with the ALS-1300 combining circuit and power supply but they had fixed that several months ago and now the unit is very stable and a good product. The ALS-600 had gotten great reviews. Now the ALS-1300 is basically just (2) ALS-600's in one package.

From what I have seen the unit I purchased shows no signs of any problems. I even looked inside and was surprised in that the construction looked much better than I had expected. I have an Icom 7100 driving this amp. I purchased the Ameritron 10M Mod kit and it was simple to install. I also purchased the Ameritron ARI-500 that handles the PTT relay interface and amp auto band switching interface to the 7100. Ameritron supplied the RJ-13D radio interface cable. I did need to add a solder bridge on the 7100 for it to output the auto band voltage. It was simple as outlined in the Icom manual. Wow,,, life is good. The auto switching means I do nothing. Just operate the radio just like I was barefoot and the amp just follows. I just decide if I want the amp on or off or what output power I want by changing the drive out of the Icom. I have gotten great reports of very clean and nice audio.

This thing is small in (2) parts so I can carry it. Very quiet, no big fan noise or heat. I have built amps since I was a kid so I am used to complex operations with gear spread all over. This little amp is simple and runs all day at 1200 watts output on SSB. As with any solid state amp VSWR needs to be low. I have a Palstar HF-Auto tuner if needed to keep the transistors happy with some of my limited antennas.

My other current amp is an Alpha 9500. The 9500 is a well constructed great amp. Some of my Ham old tube friends swear the tube amps are cleaner and have better audio. I have had some fun switching between the Alpha and the ALS-1300. They can not tell much of a difference except for more fan noise in the background with the Alpha running or it talking longer for the Alpha to warm up. Yes the Alpha can move my watt meter further. It also gives me the euphoria of that BIG rig feel as I turn the knobs and watch the meters move. But that really does not translate in to much of a signal difference. Especially considering the price difference between the two amplifiers. Maybe simple is better.

I might now think about getting rid of the 9500 while it still has it's value. That is once I get the years of tube mantra out of my head.

 
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