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Author Topic: Ameritron ALS-1300 Unpacking / Pictures  (Read 74568 times)
K7PEH
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Posts: 1146




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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2010, 08:25:12 AM »

I am curious to how the ALS-1300 compares to the Tokyo High-Power HL-1.5KFX.  They are very close in price if you include the QSK-5 option as part of the ALS-1300.  I know there are some technical differences.  The QSK-5 is a pin-diode operation whereas I believe the THP amp uses a relay.  And, of course there appears to be a small difference in rated power (1200 versus 1000).  Other differences though are documented I presume but I have not had the chance to look into them yet.  Also, I am not an amp guru so any comments by you gurus would be appreciated.  [About QSK -- I operate about 80 percent or so CW but I have only operated CW with my PW-1 amp a few times as most of the time I have no need of QRO -- but I wouldn't buy an amp without it].

73, phil, K7PEH
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K7PEH
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2010, 08:30:47 AM »

The scariest part of that loose screw that Max found is the possibility of the other loose screw that was not found because it was lodged in some tight corner between one or two parts.
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N4ATS
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Posts: 1303




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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2010, 11:27:01 AM »

"The ALS-600 is half of an ALS-1300. I wonder why the bigger amp is not called an ALS-1200? I notice that the Icom IC-PW1 amplifier, using the same number of MRF150 transistors, is specified to run 1000 watts SSB while the ALS-1300 is specified for 1200 watts SSB."


MFJ ALWAYS adds happy levels to most ALL their products. Their meters will make your 500 Watt (over rated) amplifier put out well over 1000! Do the math , the Icom weighs 92 pounds and DOES 1KW CARRIER all day. The ALS-600 is about 20 pounds and YES it will put out 500 watts CARRIER for about 5 or 10 minutes tops , then BANG
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 11:54:42 AM by Bill Grassa » Logged
KH6AQ
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Posts: 7889




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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2010, 03:37:32 PM »

Let's see if the ALS-600 is half of an Icom 1 kW amp.

The Icom weighs 55 lbs. Two ALS-600 amps (with power supplies) weigh 97 lbs. With switching power supplies they weigh 50 lbs. They weigh in about the same.

The Icom amp will run 1 kW CW and 1 kW SSB. Two ALS-600 amps will run 1 kW CW and 1200 W SSB. The Icom amp will run 1 kW RTTY. Two ALS-600 amps will run 700 W RTTY as is. They will run 1 kW RTTY with additonal cooling. Close again.


The ALS-1300 is rated for 1 kW CW, 1200 W SSB. The manual does not say to reduce power on RTTY. I suspect that with additional cooling - a fan equal to the Icom amp - it will run 1 kW RTTY like the Icom. Close again.

The ALS-600 RF power meter was found to be within 6% according to the AD5X review. No problem here.

The Icom amp goes for $4700 at HRO. Two ALS-600 amps go for $2660. One ALS-1300 goes for $2400. Not even close.
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W5RB
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Posts: 564




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« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2010, 03:46:10 PM »

What I don't get why Martin Ju (I think that's how he spells his last name!) didn't just add one or two more transistors and let it do full legal limit?

240VDC for 1200 watts, seems like a waste to me.

Just a sayin'



K5FLU
MARTIN F JUE
PO BOX 494
MISSISSIPPI STATE, MS 39762
USA

...From QRZ
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K0BG
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« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2010, 03:51:14 PM »

Dave, I tend to agree with you; the exception being the build quality.

Most of the amps Ameritron sells were designed by Tom Rauch, W8JI. I don't believe the design per se is the issue, but how they're screwed together. I personally have worked on several over the past few years. I think loose screws, and poor (missing) solder joints seem to be the most prevalent causes of DOA. Even when you pay $850 for an ALS-500 mobile amp, it shouldn't have half the case screws missing, and a myriad of poor solder joints to contend with.

Personally, I've been all solid state since 1979. The 2KL I use is over 30 years old, and has never even hiccuped. That's the kind of quality we all strive for, but don't always get.
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KH6AQ
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« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2010, 04:55:37 PM »

Yes I understand Martin Ju has not gotten on the quality band wagon. He does not understand that quality does not cost money, it saves money. Go for quality and profits will follow.
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KC9LAD
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« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2010, 09:22:24 PM »

What is "Refected" power? Look at the meter!
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NG7M
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2010, 09:56:54 AM »

I noticed the 10 meter Low Pass Filter was not installed. What did they say you have to do to receive the components to install the filter?

Sorry about the delay, but I haven't checked the thread I started for awhile...  The 10 meter low pass filter is on back order with HRO.  I don't think it has shipped yet.  The ARI-500 transceiver interface was on back order too, but it should be delivered today... check out the end of the thread, I have an update on my first day of operating the ALS-1300.

de NG7M
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NG7M
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2010, 10:14:19 AM »

I was busy this last weekend working the 7QP at W7CT's station in Layton Utah... however the week before I got my BigIR all installed and was excited to fire up the ALS-1300

Do you want the good news or the bad news?

I fired it it up and all was well... I started playing around in the SP DX RTTY contest a couple of weeks ago.  I should have been cleaning up the shack but the amp was too much of a distraction and I wanted to make a few RTTY contacts.

Everything worked great on 20 and 40, I was impressed with how little input it took to drive the ALS-1300 to 600-700 watts on RTTY.  I didn't want to push it and 600 watts seemed to be a pretty good sweet spot for RTTY.  Nothing in the manual about duty cycle which has left me scratching my head.

After working a few dozen Q's here and then and calling QC, I was pretty happy with the Amp.  Easy point and shoot.

Then I decided to head to 80 meters later in the evening... The BigIR isn't as broad on 80 as you would expect for a coil loaded vertical and I got some higher reflected power on the ALS-1300.  The amp shutdown as expected... not an issue right?  It's all protected and supposed to handle it...

Well this is where things went wrong... I couldn't get the amp to come back on.  You are suppose to just toggle to standby and then back to operate after it foldsback and shuts down.  No luck.

I shutdown the amp and when powering it back on... the meter lights come on for a split second and then it shuts down.  the ALC light stays on.  The HV1 power supply bank shows 50 volts as expected but HV2 is at zero volts... Sad  Major disappointment.

It's clear there is a PS issue here... so I call up Ameritron Monday morning and it takes about 30 seconds with John for him to say... ship it back.

This is one of the later versions with all the mods according to John.

To make a long story short, I packed it up and sent it back to Ameritron.  It just arrived back in MS today in fact (UPS verified the delivery).  I hope to get it back in about a week... knock on wood.

Now to Ameritron's credit, they emailed me a UPS shipping label and saved me the cost of shipping it back.  It would have been about $150+ from Utah to MS at 45 lbs or so.  This was all facilitated through their website problem report... I didn't talk to anyone when getting them to send the UPS shpping label via email... I just had to wait a couple of days between each communicaiton via the website.

Talk about disappointment, but what did I expect.  Based on the experience others have had, I'm just another one of the guys that got bit by the QC issues they have and the PS seems to be where they have some trouble.  I'm not alone with initial PS problems.  I really crossing my fingers that this isn't a trend after I get the amp and PS back.... I shipped everything back so John could do a complete check out of everything.

In this case nothing seem to pop or smoke... that second PS just seemed to fail.  I opened it up and couldn't see anything obvious in the PS.

I'll follow up with another post when I get the Amp back in a week or so.

de NG7M (hanging in there with Ameritron in this case)  

« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 12:29:38 PM by Max M. George » Logged
KH6AQ
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Posts: 7889




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« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2010, 11:41:22 AM »

Due to the circumstances during (different band and a VSWR shutdown) the failure it is probably one of the RF amps. The power supply dropping to zero volts is just a symptom.
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NG7M
Member

Posts: 9




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« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2010, 12:20:24 PM »

The falure with the PS is permanent... when I powered on the amp (not using it / keying it up... it's in stand by) the second PS bank has zero volts.  John at Ameritron said it was probably the PS only and suggested I only send the PS back.  I sent the Amp back too in case something is wrong in the Amp. (unlikely though)  They are going to check everything out.  At the end of the day,  I got a couple of hours operating on the Amp before it failed. (mostly RTTY due to the SP DX contest I was playing in)

It really doesn't matter at this point from my perspective... I sent both back. Wink

Again, I'll report back in a week or two when the ALS-1300 is back in my shack.

Oh, on the comments about the ALS-1300 being two AL-600's doubled up... W8JI has made it clear in other posts that this is not the case... the RF deck is different for the ALS-1300... however the PS is like a doubled up AL-600 and that's about it.

mg
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 5557




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« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2010, 02:25:57 PM »

Interesting comparison, I really like the THP 1.5kfx, it would be cool if someone compared the two.  I know my 1.2KFX can put out 1000 watts PEP even though it's rated at 750 watts.  I have an LP-100A meter and it goes up that high if I turn off the ALC and drive it with 100 watts.  I did a few quick tests then backed her down to 740 watts.  So the interesting thing would be to see how high the 1.5kfx could go, I bet it could do 1200 watts with just about the same safety margin as the 1300 Wink    Now on the subject of build quality....Ameritron vs Tokyo Hy-Power  Roll Eyes


I am curious to how the ALS-1300 compares to the Tokyo High-Power HL-1.5KFX.  They are very close in price if you include the QSK-5 option as part of the ALS-1300.  I know there are some technical differences.  The QSK-5 is a pin-diode operation whereas I believe the THP amp uses a relay.  And, of course there appears to be a small difference in rated power (1200 versus 1000).  Other differences though are documented I presume but I have not had the chance to look into them yet.  Also, I am not an amp guru so any comments by you gurus would be appreciated.  [About QSK -- I operate about 80 percent or so CW but I have only operated CW with my PW-1 amp a few times as most of the time I have no need of QRO -- but I wouldn't buy an amp without it].

73, phil, K7PEH


« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 12:34:36 PM by Robert Garth » Logged

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
K0CWO
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Posts: 550




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« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2010, 11:13:56 PM »

Hey Max!

Any updates?  Mine has been working like a charm @ 1200 watts PEP SSB.  I have had no issues or glitches since mine was repaired. The amp does shut down at the expected "refected" power without issues when reset.  Have you gained any knowledge about RTTY duty cycle?  Any info is welcome and appreciated.

Regards, BJ
k0cwo
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KH6DC
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Posts: 771




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« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2010, 10:13:33 PM »

Looks ok,  I have a AL-811 which is 16 years old.  When I first got it from HRO (shipped to Hawaii), I noticed stuff rolling around in the case.  Took apart the cover since I wasn't going to send it back unless it was serious.  Found solder balls with several loose screws.  I found they were part of the mounting on the standoffs so screwed them back and also re-soldered cold solder joints.  16 years later the amp still works perfectly.  the design and function works well but the quality control/quality assurance sucks big time and I will never buy another Ameritron/MFJ product again.  I had the same issues with several of their tuners and antenna analyzer.  I'm saving up for a tokyo Hy-Power HL1.1Kfx to replace the linear.
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
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