Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: ALS-1306 vs Al-1500 down to a decision  (Read 31958 times)
KK4YDR
Member

Posts: 673




Ignore
« on: December 29, 2015, 12:22:28 PM »

Well I have gotten to within say, 2 months of making my final decision.

I am between getting an AL-1306 or an AL-1500. I know all the stuff like 1306 is no tune etc... I am NOT opposed to other brands or options however!!!

What I am wondering is your opinions. Preferrably from those rare stations that may have owned both at some point. I regularly see videos on youtube etc.. of the AL-1306 outputting full legal limit i.e. 1500 watts but I understand it takes 100 watts to get there along with particular chosen band. I also understand it is rated for 1200w from Ameritron. I also see that the Eimac 8877 tube in the Al1500 can easily generate in excess of 2KW given it had adequate interal power supply. I am not looking for excess of 2kw. I just want to make sure that I get the appropriate amplifier in order to suffices my desires. I also understand the first 500 watts etc.... I only seek opinions on this model vs. that model And no other fluff.

I like the Idea of the Al-1500 because it can do legal limit without flinching and the tube can last 20 years if I baby it and do proper tuneups etc... with the added protective circuity in it other amps don't have. But it is a huge amplifier and on average the tube brand new for this beast is around $1400 to replace.

I like the idea of the AL-1306 because there is no tube, no tuning, and the MRF-150 transistors are less expensive for all 8 if for some reason they needed replacing (about $55 each). I also like that it is much smaller in size with a remotely relocatable power supply.

I thoroughly entertain the idea of both amplifiers but can only afford one. I would buy them both just for fun if I were of the means to do so but alas I am not.

Thanks for any ideas that I have no considered, suggestions, or concerns. I appreciate them all. But please do not tell me I should get an AL-811 or something else like that instead. I want to get get legal or very near legal limit, even if I don't use but half of it or less at a given time, at least I will have the capacity to do more when I want.  
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 01:49:05 PM by KK4YDR » Logged
N7ZDR
Member

Posts: 3




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2015, 12:55:09 PM »

FYI---- I have many amps and have had the Acom 1500 for about 1 year and very much enjoy it. she puts out 1500 with about 70 watts in. The tuning on the Acom amps  very fast (10 seconds max). About as close to a SS amp as one can get and not much more than the AL1500.

Good Luck on you selection!
Logged
KD8MJR
Member

Posts: 5557




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2015, 01:11:44 PM »

First of all the 1306 is really a 1200W amp when pushed to it's limits, I would personally run it at 1Kw.  That 1500W must be one of those quick peaks that a meter like the LP-100A will pick up.   I own one tube amp an SB-1000 and its not bad, but my main amp is a HL-2.5Kfx Solid state. I really like solid state for all the reasons you mentioned.

My question to you would be why are you limiting your choices to the Ameritron Catalog?
Like N7ZDR said there are amps from Acom and several others.  Spend the next 2 months first nailing down if you really want a tube amp or solid state and then start looking at the offering from all the different companies.


73s
Rob
Logged

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
KK4YDR
Member

Posts: 673




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2015, 01:35:23 PM »

Oh thanks for the replies. I certainly am NOT limiting my choices. Those two are the most prevalent that come to mind. That is all.

The Acoms are certainly nice. However, they are hard to find in used category. What I listed is also with the hopes of finding used, although I will be capable of purchasing new, I much prefer used to save a lot of greenbacks.

And for the ALS-1306 hitting 1500, I bet you are very right. The difference in 1kw and 1.5kw is ZILCH and we all know this. I guess I would never run it that high anyways. Even if I had a legal limit, chances are I would only run say 25-50% of max. I always base my output power on the station I am working signal report. I am a long duration rag chewer and prefer to not make quick 30 sec QSOs just to fill a log book. So I am not opposed to running less than legal limit, heck I do it now at 100 watts. Again I am  NOT opposed to other suggestions. Please do not regard the two  have listed as my only and final choices by any means.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 01:40:09 PM by KK4YDR » Logged
WE1X
Member

Posts: 555




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2015, 01:38:34 PM »

MJR is spot on.  There are a number of quality tube and solid state amps out there that warrant attention. Further, Ameritron has a spotty reliability / service history with some of its amps since being acquired by MFJ years ago. Finally, the first 500-700 watts from an amp will provide you with the best bang for the buck. Therefore, don't rule out some of the smaller tube and solid state amps such as the Acom AL600S, Acom 1010, Acom 1000, and the Elecraft KPA500.  BTW, I had a Tokyo Hy Power HL1.2Kfx solid state amp...beautifully made...700+ watts out...and never should have sold it.
Logged
KK4YDR
Member

Posts: 673




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2015, 01:41:21 PM »

Yeah I have a little teeny tiny HL-50B and absolutely LOVE it! Its only 50 watts for QRP stuff but man it is so clean and spotless on audio, signal, IMD, etc....
Logged
K7JQ
Member

Posts: 1316




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2015, 08:02:11 PM »

The reason Acom amps are hard to find used is because nobody wants to part with them. Should tell you something about their reliability and performance. But then again, I'm biased. I own an Acom 1500 and love it. Previously owned an Acom 1000 and THP HL-1.5Kfx. Loved them also, but wanted more power. My 2 cents.

By the way, don't discount the difference between 500 and 1,000 watts, or 1,000 watts to 1,500 watts. Been there, done that, and the results are clear. The extra 1-2 dB could mean the difference between that DX station hearing you above their noise level or other stations in a pile-up/contest, or not hearing you at all. Good luck with your decision.
Logged
G3RZP
Member

Posts: 1321




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2015, 02:51:02 AM »

Whichever you get, I'd suggest getting spare final devices if you are looking at a 'long term keeper' amplifier. Rotate the tubes every year or two to keep the vacuum up.

It may be the 8877 will still be around in 20 years, but you can't guarantee it, while the number of RF power transistors that have come and gone is enormous!
Logged
W8JX
Member

Posts: 13268




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2015, 03:15:07 AM »

Have you considered the AL1200?  It has a very rugged output tube with a directly heated cathode which makes it nearly instant on, about 5 sec vs 3 min for 8877,  and hard to damage tuning vs somewhat fragile grid in 8877. Both it and 8877 can easily exceed legal limit while AL1200 needs more drive than AL1500, the AL1200 it is pretty much impossible to over drive with a normal rig. The 3cx1200 series should be around for some time yet as they are still used for medium power FM broadcast applications.
Logged

--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
N3QE
Member

Posts: 5595




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2015, 08:05:32 AM »

Have you considered the AL1200?  It has a very rugged output tube with a directly heated cathode which makes it nearly instant on, about 5 sec vs 3 min for 8877,  and hard to damage tuning vs somewhat fragile grid in 8877. Both it and 8877 can easily exceed legal limit while AL1200 needs more drive than AL1500, the AL1200 it is pretty much impossible to over drive with a normal rig. The 3cx1200 series should be around for some time yet as they are still used for medium power FM broadcast applications.

What mods are necessary to convert an AL-1200 to the more common variant of the 3CX1200?

My money on tube to be around for a long time, would be the 3CX3000A7 and variants. The grid would make a fine dummy load for any 200W class rig :-).

Downside to 3CX3000 is power cost to keep the filament warm when not keyed up. I've been playing with one on the bench for a week; it seems to be nearly instant-on. Do any applications frequently cycle the 3CX3000A7 filament, for example?
Logged
VK3BL
Member

Posts: 1790


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2015, 08:14:13 AM »

Downside to 3CX3000 is power cost to keep the filament warm when not keyed up. I've been playing with one on the bench for a week; it seems to be nearly instant-on. Do any applications frequently cycle the 3CX3000A7 filament, for example?

I wouldn't recommend doing so for the same reason I doubt there are many applications that do so.

Basically, the largest cause of filament failure in vacuum tubes is mechanical stress due to heating and cooling cycles leading to cracks and eventual failure.  Unlike incandescent light bulbs, tube filaments never get hot enough to deplete due to evaporation.

I'm the type that will leave any tube radio or amp on for the day if I use it and am likely to again, even just once.  That said, my favourite rig is a FT-101E with original 6JS6C NEC Final tubes in fantastic condition, and I plan to keep them that way!

I'd imagine given the cost of the 3CX3000A7, most people would prefer to treat them similarly.  Certainly, when the tube was designed the ability to withstand hot-cold cycles wouldn't have been a top priority.

But I get it... 51 Amps at 7.5 Volts.  Ouch.
Logged

J.D. Mitchell BA  - VK3BL / XU7AGA - https://www.youtube.com/ratemyradio - Honesty & Integrity
KM1H
Member

Posts: 5546




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2015, 08:45:13 AM »

Quote
Whichever you get, I'd suggest getting spare final devices if you are looking at a 'long term keeper' amplifier. Rotate the tubes every year or two to keep the vacuum up.

Exactly and Id say the MRF-150 will be unobtainium long before the 8877.

Quote
I like the Idea of the Al-1500 because it can do legal limit without flinching and the tube can last 20 years if I baby it and do proper tuneups etc... with the added protective circuity in it other amps don't have. But it is a huge amplifier and on average the tube brand new for this beast is around $1400 to replace.

Only if you actually believe the Eimac version offers any additional benefit beside the name painted on it.
The $675 Chinese version is built with Eimac supplied machinery and training since Eimac wants to get out of the small tube business entirely.
The AL-1500 is available with either and priced accordingly.

The AL-1500 may not require an expensive external tuner for many antennas while the AL-1306 is more likely to need one.

Quote
What mods are necessary to convert an AL-1200 to the more common variant of the 3CX1200?

It is shipped with it and earlier ones can use the adaptor kit from Ameritron. The 3CX1200D7 is currently $1229 from RFP and will never be cheaper as it is a very limited production tube and most commercial equipment has already been migrating to SS and eventually the price will really go up and be subjected to a waiting list for a production run. RFP also has a rebuilt 3CX1200A7 for $895 for those with the original AL-1200's.

Quote
I'd imagine given the cost of the 3CX3000A7, most people would prefer to treat them similarly.  Certainly, when the tube was designed the ability to withstand hot-cold cycles wouldn't have been a top priority.

It is the most power per $$ on the planet and the Chinese version about the same as the 8877.

Quote
But I get it... 51 Amps at 7.5 Volts.  Ouch.

If that is so terrible Id suggest taking up QRP Roll Eyes  or just unscrew an equal amount of lightbulbs when operating.

Carl
Logged
VK3BL
Member

Posts: 1790


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2015, 10:48:06 AM »


If that is so terrible Id suggest taking up QRP Roll Eyes  or just unscrew an equal amount of lightbulbs when operating.

Carl

I've gotten pretty power (as in mains) conscious lately, it is amazing how much less power you can use if you try.  For example, we had 12x 50 watt halogen down lights in our kitchen / living area, which were on 5-6 hours a day.  That's 600 Watts minimum.  I replaced them all with Philips 4.5 Watt LEDs, with no noticeable loss in brightness, and it comes in at just 54 Watts.  We can now literally leave them on 24/7 and use 1/3 of the power!  The bulbs cost ~$90, and will have paid for themselves in just 3 months.

In that context, the idea of using 350+ Watts just to heat the filament really does seem a bit excessive, especially given that I'm not the kind of person who likes cycling filaments on and off all the time.  Would make a nice QRO amp for serious occasions, however!

Logged

J.D. Mitchell BA  - VK3BL / XU7AGA - https://www.youtube.com/ratemyradio - Honesty & Integrity
W8JX
Member

Posts: 13268




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2015, 10:51:12 AM »

It is shipped with it and earlier ones can use the adaptor kit from Ameritron. The 3CX1200D7 is currently $1229 from RFP and will never be cheaper as it is a very limited production tube and most commercial equipment has already been migrating to SS and eventually the price will really go up and be subjected to a waiting list for a production run. RFP also has a rebuilt 3CX1200A7 for $895 for those with the original AL-1200's.

Well it is a Eimac tube and VERY rugged. It is likely to last you a lifetime unless you are very very young. A pair of 3cx800's cost more and are a lot more fragile. While a Chinese 8877 is about 700 today I would not bank on that in future and they are easier to damage too. It will be a long time before all FM stations using 3cx1200 stop using them as it is a very rugged tube and cheaper than switching to SS and which can cost a lot to fix in broadcast down time and funds while you can swap a 3cx1200 out in minutes and be back on air if a lighting strike takes it out.  And when that day comes years from now, there will be a lot of surplus tubes around from them for a while. I wish I had bought a AL1200 many years ago when they were a lot cheap. The AL82 is a solid amp too and will also exceed 1500 watts if you drive it hard enough and those tubes are cheap and instant on too. The AL 82, AL1200 and AL 1500 all share same chassis and power supply.
Logged

--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
KD8MJR
Member

Posts: 5557




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2015, 11:28:57 AM »


Exactly and Id say the MRF-150 will be unobtainium long before the 8877.
Carl

Well Carl on this one case were I think you are totally wrong.  They still manufacturer MRF-150s today, and they have been doing so for decades.  The stock of them that must be floating around both commercially and individually must be an unbelievable amount.  I have about 12 of them just sitting in my parts bin and I don't even own an amp that uses them!

When the time comes and production stops, your going to find so many of them floating around on eBay etc.  That supply could last for several decades because the "new amp" market would have moved away from them because unlike tubes there are so many new choices of power transistors coming out every year.  So that will just leave Hams who will be feeding on the surplus just like they did for decades on 811's until those ran short, but unlike 811's it's not like these chips have a defined life span versus usage.   It will only be people who have blown them out that will be looking for replacements, so that means the surplus will last a very long time.

Thirdly even if somehow in the distant future, 50-70 years from now the world ran completely dry and their was still a serious demand for them.  Any semi conductor manufacturer could produce a batch in short order, especially in countries like China.  This could be done with much greater ease than trying to make tubes 50 years from now.

73s
Rob

Logged

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!