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Author Topic: Linear, Solid State vs. Tube?  (Read 47346 times)
W1BR
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Posts: 4195




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« Reply #75 on: December 28, 2014, 09:05:09 AM »

Gee and to think that we are supposed to only use the power needed to establish and carry out communications. Seems like I read that somewhere while studying.  Smiley

So, if 1500 PEP output doesn't make the grade, I can run a bit more  Grin Grin  Just kidding.  My amp hits the wall at 1300 watts PEP SSB/CW.  I've never wanted for more power, but there are days I wished I had a greater F/B ratio on my HF antenna, and a tad more FW gain.

Pete
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W5SRT
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Posts: 416




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« Reply #76 on: December 28, 2014, 09:13:22 AM »

Gosh, it seems to me that comparing a few dB of IMD levels in amplifiers is like worrying about the brand of airbags in a sports car.  I really do not care.  And, if it is a problem, call the FCC, or write your congressman for tighter regulations.  I mean, that's how air bags are kept good-enough.

In my experience (limited time), I find tuner-uppers are far more annoying, and band crowding is the other issue, where someone is a couple kHz over and bleeding into a channel in use. I suppose running too much power leads to this due to the longer transmit range. And, band noise, where more power gets your signal up above the grass.

Seems to me that what is really needed is for the transmit range to balance with the receive range on any given QSO

The advantages of the KPA500 over the Acom 1000 seems to be 1) compact size, 2) 120Vac supply, 3) instant-on, 4) auto band detect and switching, 5) no tune-ups, and 6) great little American company.

The advantages of the Acom 1000 over the KPA500 are 1) 3.01 dB more transmit power, and built-in tuner to match mismatched antenna.
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W9FIB
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Posts: 2529




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« Reply #77 on: December 28, 2014, 12:11:09 PM »

Funny how a legitimate original post asking for (expert) experienced advice on an amp to choose, can degenerate to such stupid, childish remarks posed by you two (W9FIB and W8JX) clowns. Grow up, and take it outside.

You need to rephrase a bit. I only responded to FIB's troll comments. If it he acts the part he can wear the badge. Him referring to me as a clown is because he is really clueless about a lot of things and try to deflect attention away from that fact. When you get a clash between new CB hams like FIB and old school like myself you sometimes see the CB hams like FIB try to stir pot because of the CB ways in their blood. If FIB does not understand it, it must be wrong so he acts the petulant child he is. Since FIB cannot dazzle with brilliance, he depends heavily on baffling with BS. Such is a troll.

LOL And to think I referred to an FCC rule. How bad of me. To think that referring to FCC rules is such a bad thing. If that is being a troll...I am proud to be called that.

No I call you a clown cause you write like one. Plain and simple. Blaming me for your inaccuracies that I catch is certainly not my problem. I think it is yours. Funny thing is, you try to belittle me, but you never prove me wrong. Which is why I find your writing clownish and funny. And I call it like I see it.

And you seem to never learn that if you would keep your mouth shut so I would have nothing to make fun of you. Like the jets in your driveway! Fusible links attached to lead acid batteries! Generators running in your garage. Jamming on HF so you can keep the frequency. All classic moments! And you wrote them and defended them! That is not my problem. But you have yet to ever offer any proof you are right. And I question you each time, but you never answer or offer proof. You just belittle. That's fine, I am enjoying you make an a$$ of yourself.

What a clown!
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73, Stan
Wisdom is knowledge you gain after you know it all.
N0YXB
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Posts: 1558




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« Reply #78 on: December 28, 2014, 02:19:32 PM »

And don't forget the Ten-Tec closing its doors nonsense, etc., etc.
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N4CR
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Posts: 1757




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« Reply #79 on: December 28, 2014, 09:27:13 PM »

In my experience (limited time), I find tuner-uppers are far more annoying, and band crowding is the other issue, where someone is a couple kHz over and bleeding into a channel in use.

Where to start?

First off, this is amateur radio and we don't have channels. We have a VFO which can tune anywhere. (on a side note, more people need to stop looking at their VFO and use their ears to tune onto someone else's frequency)

Next is band crowding. I think you'll find that the rest of the operators move to the band that is best in the direction and distance that is working at the time. If they are opportunists looking for a contact to anywhere, the band that works best at the moment provides that more often. Eventually, you will do that as well if you are not already. I guess you are since you noticed that everyone else wants to do what you want to do.

I assure you that when 10 meters is hot, you can transmit anywhere you want on 160 meters and nobody will notice, and the opposite is certainly true.

This is not a perfect world. The FCC rules don't mandate gentlemanly conduct. While uniform civility is a nice goal for utopia, it's nowhere near reality. So in the real world, you will have to compete. You will have to dodge and weave. You will have to scramble for a spot. The longer you do it the better you get at it.

It's not just amateur radio, it's the planet we live on. Thinking humankind is going to change after all these centuries of being the same is wishful thinking. I mean, look at some of the participants in this thread. Perfect example.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.
AF7EC
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Posts: 75


WWW

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« Reply #80 on: December 29, 2014, 06:37:07 PM »

I can't believe how bad the name-calling, personal bashing and nit-picking has become here!  I know it's not limited to eHam, but come on y'all, let's keep it light, put on our grown-up britches and exercise some self-control, k?

What if some journalist or young person was looking into amateur radio, and based their decision on what is presented in this thread?

We all have our weak moments, but lets work harder to treat each other with respect...sound like a plan?
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An imperfect being created by a perfect God Cheesy
KX2T
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Posts: 1103




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« Reply #81 on: December 30, 2014, 07:45:16 AM »

Yes Dan you are right on, the Acom amp will match to a 3:1 SWR but that's it then it will go into protection, The SS amps who have built in tuners will maybe go to 4:1 but at a price and if you go with the KPA500 expect to buy there auto tuner with it so that brings up the cost of the whole system. Amp's like the Yaesu Quadra, Icom's PW1 and the Expert 1Kw amps have a built in tuner but I think there around the 4:1 limit with there built in tuners plus there at a much higher price range. Believe me SS amps are nice but there still very expensive at this time and the KPA500 at the 500-600W level is still kinda on the light side IMO, again the first KW brings the biggest bang for the buck and if your into DXing that along with good antennas will give you decent results.
As far as the high jacking of this thread this happens all the time, almost any forum turns into a bitch fest on the internet, I really would like to see at least for ham forums that people would stick to the subjects presented so I hope that once you read between the lines your questions get answered. If I were going on a DXpedition I might consider the KPA cause of its size, its light and can run on lower voltages but for a home station I strongly feel at least a good KW amps is a nice addition. good luck on whatever you end up buying.
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W5SRT
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Posts: 416




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« Reply #82 on: December 30, 2014, 10:31:56 AM »

KE2TR:  Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

I am leaning toward a SS amp, and I do wonder if 500W is enough?  I was rag-chewing with a Ham in WA, who was using an Ameritron ALS-1306 (1200W SS) that was working well for him.  He had a K3 & P3, but opted against the KPA500 for the very reasons you gave (i.e. more power and lower $/W).  I guess the one mental hurdle is the decision to run 240Vac to the shack.  But in the greater scheme of Ham radio, that is not such big deal hi-hi.

73
- Dan
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K7JQ
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Posts: 1304




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« Reply #83 on: December 30, 2014, 06:22:36 PM »

KE2TR:  Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

I am leaning toward a SS amp, and I do wonder if 500W is enough?  I was rag-chewing with a Ham in WA, who was using an Ameritron ALS-1306 (1200W SS) that was working well for him.  He had a K3 & P3, but opted against the KPA500 for the very reasons you gave (i.e. more power and lower $/W).  I guess the one mental hurdle is the decision to run 240Vac to the shack.  But in the greater scheme of Ham radio, that is not such big deal hi-hi.

73
- Dan

Dan,

Earlier, I posted some of my experiences with SS vs tube, and 500 watts vs 1,000. You mentioned that your antennas were resonant, but didn't say what they were. If you're running with gain, directional antennas (yagis, etc) positioned at the proper height, then 500 vs 1,000 won't be as significant a difference vs using dipoles, wires, or verticals. Higher power using a "compromised" antenna system will be a better choice. If you're going with a KW, 240V isn't a decision...it's a must.
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W5SRT
Member

Posts: 416




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« Reply #84 on: December 30, 2014, 08:27:22 PM »

KE2TR:  Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

I am leaning toward a SS amp, and I do wonder if 500W is enough?  I was rag-chewing with a Ham in WA, who was using an Ameritron ALS-1306 (1200W SS) that was working well for him.  He had a K3 & P3, but opted against the KPA500 for the very reasons you gave (i.e. more power and lower $/W).  I guess the one mental hurdle is the decision to run 240Vac to the shack.  But in the greater scheme of Ham radio, that is not such big deal hi-hi.

73
- Dan

Dan,

Earlier, I posted some of my experiences with SS vs tube, and 500 watts vs 1,000. You mentioned that your antennas were resonant, but didn't say what they were. If you're running with gain, directional antennas (yagis, etc) positioned at the proper height, then 500 vs 1,000 won't be as significant a difference vs using dipoles, wires, or verticals. Higher power using a "compromised" antenna system will be a better choice. If you're going with a KW, 240V isn't a decision...it's a must.

Point noted, here are my only antennas, a 1/4 wave 40meter vertical and a 5/8 wave 20meter vertical.

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K7JQ
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Posts: 1304




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« Reply #85 on: December 31, 2014, 10:37:37 AM »

Spring for the KW and 240V service. Then you won't be second guessing yourself...shoulda, coulda, woulda, etc.  Smiley
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 5557




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« Reply #86 on: December 31, 2014, 01:09:19 PM »

Spring for the KW and 240V service. Then you won't be second guessing yourself...shoulda, coulda, woulda, etc.  Smiley

I 100% agree with this statement.  The "shoulda" will be haunting you for years!
500W is great for portable DX operations or mobile use, but a Kw is the real shot for a base setup.

73s
Rob
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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
KX2T
Member

Posts: 1103




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« Reply #87 on: January 06, 2015, 06:22:07 PM »

Agree 100%, go for the KW, I have one of those Zero 5 41' verticals as well, works great on 20m but for the winter I have there new loading coil installed with a 1:1 balun just for 75m use and when spring comes around I'll take it out and re install the 4:1 Unun. Tom makes a great product and I feel that you will have more horse power with a good KW amp. There is also posts on here about the new ALS1306 but is your SWR is above 1.5 to 1 your gonna need a tuner and then the cost goes up and up on your system. I just don't feel that SS amps are really ready for prime time IMO.
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WD4HXG
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Posts: 379




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« Reply #88 on: January 07, 2015, 05:40:57 AM »

There are a number of variables in the selection, but most of
all what do you want? If you want to jump from band to band
without the hassle of retuning then the readily available solution
is a solid state amp. I personally have purchased used tube amps
on three occasions over the years because of my sometimes
propensity to be distracted. Tubes seem to be more tolerant
of my absent minded moments. Yeah my Henry amp needs
retuning when changing bands but I am not chasing DX in
contests.

As for the parts issue both solid state and tube amps come
with their own set of warts in that department. Current production
tubes are not as good as they use to be according to many writers.
That being said in most cases 572's and 3-500Z's are still being
produced. Many power RF solid state devices made a decade or
more back are no longer being produced. Case in point, try to lay
your hands on an MRF616.

My own personal assessment is that solid state devices are closing
the gap in Intermod Performance. Tubes and solid state IMD
performance will become comparable in the future. The question is
when. I kind of doubt solid state will ever be as fault tolerant as tubes
just given the basic physics of transistors. When transistor junctions
lose their cookies they are dealing with hundreds of watts in the
small volume of the junction. Tubes are much larger with much larger
surfaces to dissipate the errant power. 

Evaluate your operating characteristics and let that be the first guide.
Then compare the positives of both solid state and tubes. The best
choice should begin to fall out for you at that time.
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 18518




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« Reply #89 on: January 07, 2015, 11:18:45 AM »

Quote from: KG5EJU
Gosh, it seems to me that comparing a few dB of IMD levels in amplifiers is like worrying about the brand of airbags in a sports car.  I really do not care...

...In my experience (limited time), I find tuner-uppers are far more annoying, and band crowding is the other issue, where someone is a couple kHz over and bleeding into a channel in use.



(my bold)

Here's why we are discussing IMD, and why you should care about it:

There are two causes for a station "bleeding over" into an adjacent frequency (assuming enough
separation that they should be able to co-exist.)  One is because your receiver can't handle
the strong signal from the other station and it generates internal spurious signals.  The other is
because the other station's signal is wider than necessary due to IMD.

IMD doesn't affect how a signal sounds when you are tuned to it, but how much superfluous crud
it subjects other hams to up and down the band.  Yes, sometimes in a contest you hear stations
who apparently use it to keep other stations away from "their" frequency, but in most cases it
is inconsiderate behavior towards fellow hams.  True, some people only care about themselves
and can care less about how their behavior affects others, but if everyone were like that the
ham bands would be in even more of a mess than they are now.


So the best analogy isn't air bags in a sports car, because those are to protect the driver.  Running
an amp without caring about IMD is more like adding protruding blades to the wheels of your
sports car as was done for war chariots back in the day - it is about the damage you do to others
around you rather than protection for the driver.
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