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Author Topic: Solid State vs. Tube. Still deciding, but have a question.  (Read 6168 times)
K6AER
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« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2019, 01:17:38 PM »

For $1500 you can buy a nice used 1500 watt tube amplifier with plenty of reserve power.

The best you can do in a SS device is about 600 watts used.
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W1VT
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« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2019, 01:19:58 PM »

Don't forget that you need a 240VAC line to run a 1500W amplifier.  600W amps are popular because it is possible to run them without one.
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WY7CHY
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« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2019, 01:28:41 PM »

If you're going to go solid state, then go all the way. Get a real solid state amp. Not a tube type. And don't worry about using an antenna tuner on a system. They DON'T trick the radio into thinking it has a resonant antenna. It actually DOES make the SYSTEM compatible and you will transmit all your power. (Minus any feedline loss).

But definitely get a real solid state amp.

A friend of mine bought one of the amps from Israel that uses dual 2 x BLF188, which is running each at 750 watts, with plenty of overhead beyond the 1500 watts. He really like it. They make a 1200w version also. My friend thinks they are great. You can find them on ebay. The 1200w version is around $1500-$1700 (2 different models). The 1500w version; technically capable of 2500w, is around $2300. I'm sure someone will complain about them, but I'm going on a review from an actual user. Nothing more.
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Born Wild - Raised Proud: 73
Cheyenne, Wyoming
K6AER
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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2019, 08:58:50 PM »

If you're going to go solid state, then go all the way. Get a real solid state amp. Not a tube type. And don't worry about using an antenna tuner on a system. They DON'T trick the radio into thinking it has a resonant antenna. It actually DOES make the SYSTEM compatible and you will transmit all your power. (Minus any feedline loss).

But definitely get a real solid state amp.

A friend of mine bought one of the amps from Israel that uses dual 2 x BLF188, which is running each at 750 watts, with plenty of overhead beyond the 1500 watts. He really like it. They make a 1200w version also. My friend thinks they are great. You can find them on ebay. The 1200w version is around $1500-$1700 (2 different models). The 1500w version; technically capable of 2500w, is around $2300. I'm sure someone will complain about them, but I'm going on a review from an actual user. Nothing more.

Went out and looked at the amp...looks a bit crude.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-x-LDMOS-LINEAR-POWER-AMPLIFIER-LEGAL-LIMIT-/162503347501

I would go with the RF kits out of Germany for $2800,
https://rf-kit.de/en/Products.php

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WY7CHY
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« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2019, 09:49:51 PM »

Here's a good used one on ebay. 1KW, but that's only 1.7db lower gain than 1.5kw. (A lot of people think 1500 watts is so much better than 1000 watts. It's barely noticeable.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/TOKYO-HY-POWER-Model-HL-1-5KFX-HF-50Mhz-Linear-Amplifier-Solid-State-Ham-Radio/183830765084?epid=1924623588&hash=item2acd2ade1c:g:kacAAOSw04Vc7p~t

And while some people may be against Ameritron; the ALS-1300 is a very good amp. ALS-1306 if you also want 6m on it. HRO has the ALS-1300 for $2400 and free shipping. The ALS-1306 is $2800.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 09:53:06 PM by WY7CHY » Logged

Born Wild - Raised Proud: 73
Cheyenne, Wyoming
W1BR
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Posts: 4189




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« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2019, 09:45:11 AM »

For $1500 you can buy a nice used 1500 watt tube amplifier with plenty of reserve power.

The best you can do in a SS device is about 600 watts used.

I paid $1400 for a used MFJ ALS-1300 last year.  It was used and broken in by a contester and he dealt with all of the initial problems and MFJ service.  It came with a spare power supply module,and extra MRF-150 devices.  The prices are coming down due to the newer models (ALS1306) including 6 meters, which is common on newer rigs.  I still keep the SB-220 as a backup, I still don't fully trust SS amps.
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2019, 02:47:09 PM »

Here's a good used one on ebay. 1KW, but that's only 1.7db lower gain than 1.5kw. (A lot of people think 1500 watts is so much better than 1000 watts. It's barely noticeable.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/TOKYO-HY-POWER-Model-HL-1-5KFX-HF-50Mhz-Linear-Amplifier-Solid-State-Ham-Radio/183830765084?epid=1924623588&hash=item2acd2ade1c:g:kacAAOSw04Vc7p~t


Wow that was a good deal or who ever got it.
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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
WY7CHY
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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2019, 01:42:07 PM »

There's a lot of good deals out there. People just have to be patient and not HAVE TO BUY TODAY.

According to the ARRL, there are only 757,602 amateur licenses out there. 384,302 of those are technician only licenses. That means, only about HALF have HF equipment out there. Ham Radio is a pseudo dying breed. As many older hams retire, move to retirement communities where antennas have restrictions, as many die off... as well as there are a lot of people thinking it's COOL to buy Ham Radios, Amps, and other gear, and then find out they aren't really into this new hobby for them; there are a lot of gear that gets sold. Then there's those who have fizzled out of the hobby, because of the poor propagation conditions the last few years.

I bought my Ameritron AL-811H amp; MINT condition; WITH 2 sets of tubes (811 and 572b). And I got the whole thing for $600. I picked up an ICOM IC-756 Pro II, MINT condition, with cables, extra microphone, and original box.... for $650. I picked up a 400 watt solid state amp for $400. Picked up a set of NOS 572b tubes for $100. There's a lot of great deals out there. Ebay, Newspaper, Craig's List, etc. Just need to be patient.
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Born Wild - Raised Proud: 73
Cheyenne, Wyoming
KD8MJR
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Posts: 5557




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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2019, 02:21:57 PM »

There's a lot of good deals out there. People just have to be patient and not HAVE TO BUY TODAY.

According to the ARRL, there are only 757,602 amateur licenses out there. 384,302 of those are technician only licenses. That means, only about HALF have HF equipment out there. Ham Radio is a pseudo dying breed. As many older hams retire, move to retirement communities where antennas have restrictions, as many die off... as well as there are a lot of people thinking it's COOL to buy Ham Radios, Amps, and other gear, and then find out they aren't really into this new hobby for them; there are a lot of gear that gets sold. Then there's those who have fizzled out of the hobby, because of the poor propagation conditions the last few years.

I bought my Ameritron AL-811H amp; MINT condition; WITH 2 sets of tubes (811 and 572b). And I got the whole thing for $600. I picked up an ICOM IC-756 Pro II, MINT condition, with cables, extra microphone, and original box.... for $650. I picked up a 400 watt solid state amp for $400. Picked up a set of NOS 572b tubes for $100. There's a lot of great deals out there. Ebay, Newspaper, Craig's List, etc. Just need to be patient.

On the flip side of that there are less companies today and in other countries Ham Radio seems to be gaining popularity.  A lot of the old soviet states and Russians all had to live on homebrew or crap radios and amps, they are now buying up a lot of the new and used equipment.  I know Ham Radio is also becoming more popular is SA and other parts of the world like Africa.

73s
Rob
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KE6EE
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« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2019, 05:39:32 PM »

Ham Radio is a pseudo dying breed.

That's an interesting phrase. I didn't think I was part of a "breed."

What could "pseudo dying" possibly mean? Pseudo means false.

Is our "breed" falsely dying? Is a zombie one of the falsely dead?

The head spins. I guess it's a pseudo spin, however.
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KE6EE
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« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2019, 05:48:01 PM »

On the flip side of that there are less companies today and in other countries Ham Radio seems to be gaining popularity. 

You've got the numbers on any of those assertions?

As a ham of, off and on, some 60 years' standing, I don't think there are any fewer companies today than there have
been over the decades. There is, certainly, a different distribution of places to obtain gear. There remain, to my mind, quite a wide variety of sources of radio gear of all kinds. 60 years ago I couldn't have imagined that I might buy ham
gear made in Asia or Europe. Which is very simple to do these days.

There may be a difference in the popularity of some technical hobbies in the U.S. as compared to other countries. I see this possibly as a reflection of the deterioration of the educational system here over the past 40 years or so. California
has gone from being by far the best state for public education in the middle of the last century to, at present, at or very near the bottom of all the states.

People in the U.S. apparently read less, students study less and everyone seems to prefer the predigested information they receive on their various screens to the adventure of learning by reading and doing. I would guess that in countries where kids are more literate both verbally and mathematically, they are attracted in larger numbers to scientific hobbies.
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WY7CHY
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« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2019, 07:10:01 PM »

Ham Radio is a pseudo dying breed.

That's an interesting phrase. I didn't think I was part of a "breed."

What could "pseudo dying" possibly mean? Pseudo means false.

Is our "breed" falsely dying? Is a zombie one of the falsely dead?

The head spins. I guess it's a pseudo spin, however.


Ham Radio can NEVER Totally Go away. It's not possible. It's the only form of communications; outside of your immediate area; that can survive any possible catastrophic scenario. It's easy to take down the cellular network; the internet; satellites; power grid; etc..... HF radio can survive all that. Even solid state equipment can survive. So, there will always be a need for amateur radio. Especially HF.

But as a hobby; like before cell phones and the internet; that is dying. It was unique to chat with people from around the country and world. Most of us ham's still think it's pretty cool. But the average person, with the internet and unlimited minutes on cell phones, don't think anything of it. They go online with various online communities and chat world wide any time they want. But should the SHTF; HF amateur radio will be the only thing that gets "Out of town". That's why it's a "Pseudo" dying breed. It will never again have the popularity that it once had. At least not in the USA.
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Born Wild - Raised Proud: 73
Cheyenne, Wyoming
KE6EE
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Posts: 2804




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« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2019, 12:25:15 PM »

Ham Radio can NEVER Totally Go away.

But as a hobby; like before cell phones and the internet; that is dying. It will never again have the popularity that it once had. At least not in the USA.

I appreciate your complete explanation of your POV. I was really just taking a look at how you
chose to phrase the idea of the supposed death of ham radio via the word "pseudo."

But I do disagree a bit. Ham radio can indeed go away. At least legally it can. A privatization (corporate-oriented) U.S. administration, such as the current one or, really, any previous ones with few exceptions, could easily look at ham
spectrum resources as good opportunities for commercialization. As with oil resources on public lands and many other
resources whose significant use goes beyond extracting maximum dollar.

I don't doubt the possible utility, given emergency conditions, of organized HF radio comms like the various ham/government ones currently set up.

As a hobby, a science-and-engineering endeavor which depends on special access to limited public resources (the spectrum), ham radio is unique and needs support. In a consumerist society like ours in which too few citizens understand anything scientifically-based, lots of curious minds need to kept stimulated. For many of us the communication afforded via HF is secondary to the challenge of designing and using our gear. And of understanding how and why it works. Yes, making contacts can be fun, especially, for me at least, under adverse conditions via CW. But if I want to have a really useful, in-depth conversation about anything important, I much prefer telephones, letters, email and, much better than all the other routes, an extended conversation at a well-set table.

So I think, unlike you, that ham radio could die out via political/corporate capture. It could be ground to pieces as a very useful approach to understanding one of the most important physical forces, radiation. It provides a tie to the great achievements of modern physics via Faraday's work and Maxwell's consequent equations. I don't want this aspect of ham radio to disappear although it certainly vulnerable.

As for the popular desire to be able to talk to others for all sorts of practical and entertaining reasons, no one sensibly
can dispute the utility of the cellphone/smartphone. The negatives about phones and internet connections have to do
with privacy, the pernicious effects of advertising, the promotion of politically-expedient but destructive "news" and views.

Time for lunch. I don't expect ham radio to disappear before dinner. At least not today.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 12:29:28 PM by KE6EE » Logged
KD8MJR
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Posts: 5557




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« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2019, 03:24:04 PM »

People in the U.S. apparently read less, students study less and everyone seems to prefer the predigested information they receive on their various screens to the adventure of learning by reading and doing. I would guess that in countries where kids are more literate both verbally and mathematically, they are attracted in larger numbers to scientific hobbies.

Reading your post reminded me of my Father telling to me in the 1970's how much his father hated the 1910's.
He was up in arms about cars and all the other new tech that was coming out.  He thought everyone was becoming stupid because they could no longer ride a horse or care for farm animals.

Anyway your assertion about the education of students today is dead wrong!  I am an EE and CE and have been so for 30 years.  If I gave you any of my nieces or nephews high school homework and asked you to do it you would stop thinking the way you do.  I am pretty good at Math and when i look at their homework I am like Christ this is the same kind of math questions we did in University and these guys are doing it in 10th grade.

Just so you know just how much thing have progressed and how much smarter kids are today, did you look at this from a few days ago?

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/31/sport/scripps-national-spelling-bee-winner/index.html

Thats the first time in history that they have not had a clear winner but in fact eight Kids exhausted the Dictionary of all the hard to spell words.  They ended up paying out $400,000 in prize money instead of $50,000.   Now you show me the national spelling bee results from 1950 or 1960 or whatever you consider to be the golden age of education and show me results like that.


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)
KD8MJR
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« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2019, 07:41:37 PM »


People in the U.S. apparently read less, students study less and everyone seems to prefer the predigested information they receive on their various screens to the adventure of learning by reading and doing. I would guess that in countries where kids are more literate both verbally and mathematically, they are attracted in larger numbers to scientific hobbies.

As an added bonus since you think American students are so dumb today, you should watch this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Y5j74uv427g
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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
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