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 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Ameritron ALS-600 vs. Tokyo HL-550FX  (Read 46364 times)
W2FGU
Member

Posts: 3




Ignore
« on: January 27, 2011, 01:20:13 PM »

Looking for experiences/recommendations for the two amps. I am considering purchasing one of these since I can't do much to improve my antenna system which is a ground mounted 29' flag pole vertical - (the ONLY thing I can have and wouldn't be allowed to have this if it were known that it was a antenna). The ALS-600 would cost around $ 1500 (with power supply) and the Tokyo Hy-Power would end up costing $ 2900 . . . Is the HL-550Fx worth the extra price ? . . . My rig is a bare-bones Icom 706 but I plan on purchasing a K3 soon . . . Would welcome recommendations . . .Tnx . . . peteD (W2FGU)



Thanks for all the comments . . . The $ 2.9K price I quote was obtained from a HRO webpage -» http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-010997
I don't now work 6 meters at all and don't envision getting on this band in the near future due to the severe antenna restrictions in my community.


Harry (WE1X) . . .  The flagpole antenna (from ZeroFive Antennas) is indeed due to HOA restrictions. Why would adding a 500 watt amplifier inside the shack draw unnecessary attention (unless it spewed RFI all over the place) ?
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 11:06:08 AM by W2FGU » Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 21836




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2011, 02:10:05 PM »

I couldn't even find a real "spec" or a price for the HL-550FX...it shows as "coming soon" for both.

The real item to compare to the ALS-600 would be the HL-1.1KFX, since it's the same power and the same band coverage (the 550FX adds six meters).  It's $2699.

Major differences appear to be the THP amp includes a wattmeter built in; includes 10m/12m band coverage "stock," not an add-on option; and has its power supply built in, not a separate unit.  As such, the THP is "cuter" for sure.  Whether it works any better or not, I couldn't say.

Logged
WE1X
Member

Posts: 555




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 02:36:34 PM »

Pete,

How did you arrive at the $2900 price for the THP amp since it has not been released to the market?

I've been using the THP HL-1.2Kfx amp (750 watts) for over a year and have to say the build quality is simply outstanding. With MFJ's acquisition of Ameritron some years ago I'd be concerned about that amp's reliability (although I'm sure there are Ameritron owners having had no issues).

Harry WE1X
Logged
ZENKI
Member

Posts: 1621




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 02:49:52 PM »

I would also add that the Ameritron uses Genuine RF devices not industrial heating Class C devices. The MRF150's have excellent IMD performance.

If I was buying a solid state amplifier I would buy an Ameritron ALS1300. Its  got a good price, its not over engineered and uses very good RF devices that could be easily substituted. Another good box is the SPE amplifier, everyone that I have heard on the air produces very clean signals. The signal quality that I have heard from station running the THP products has not been that impressive. A lot of IMD around the edges of these signals  from  these Tokyo High Power amps.

MRF150's or VRF150's are impressive fets.

Tokyo high power uses custom RF devices or devices that have no documented IMD performance.

Another new amp is the Elecraft KPA500, however nobody knows when this amp is going to be released. They have been promising amps for almost 3 or 4 years now and nothing yet has been delivered. If you are going to buy a K3 it might make a good choice. Elecraft products carry a hefty price tag which might deliver a very poor watts per dollar ratio. When the KPA500 was announced Elecraft said the price was going to be well over 2000 dollars. I dont know why anyone would pay such a high price for a brand name when you could be getting twice the power from an Ameritron ALS1300 for the same price? The extra 3db advantage over the Ameritron ALs1300 would be a bargain! I dont have all the details on the Elecraft amp  so my opinions could be totally wrong.

Its nice having choices in life, good luck with your decision!



I couldn't even find a real "spec" or a price for the HL-550FX...it shows as "coming soon" for both.

The real item to compare to the ALS-600 would be the HL-1.1KFX, since it's the same power and the same band coverage (the 550FX adds six meters).  It's $2699.

Major differences appear to be the THP amp includes a wattmeter built in; includes 10m/12m band coverage "stock," not an add-on option; and has its power supply built in, not a separate unit.  As such, the THP is "cuter" for sure.  Whether it works any better or not, I couldn't say.


Logged
KD8MJR
Member

Posts: 5536




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 03:03:27 PM »

Your Comparing a Mercedes Benz to a Ford Focus.  I own a THP 1.2KFX and I have used the ALS-600 and had a good look at internally.  There is absolutely no comparison and for an extra $1000 there probably should not be.

A 550 is a 1.1KFX with 6 Meters added, if you don't need 6M i suggest you pick up a second hand 1.1KFX and save yourself a grand.  If the 550 uses the same finals as the 1.1KFX you will be getting a PA board that has 4x SD2933 MOS FETS, that's about 1200 Watts of Power Capability in a 550 Watt Amp.  What you get with a Amertron ALS-600 is 4 x MRF-150 Fets and that's 600 Watts of Capability.   When I say Tokyo Hy-power is conservative in there ratings it's no Joke, that 550 will probably do 750 Watts if the Power supply can handle it. In any case you could put a Brick on the PTT at 550 Watts and never have to worry.

With MFJ, loose parts, dry soldered joints and floating screws is the Norm!  With Tokyo Hy-Power if something is assembled wrong in an Amp I am pretty sure the guy who put the QC sticker on it in will pull out his Sword and commit Hara Kari.  Grin


Yes they are built that well and they look spectacular inside and out.
Logged

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

Posts: 1621




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 03:04:31 PM »

Try fixing a Tokyo High power or  SPE amplifier!

I have worked on an Ameritron ALS600, it was like working on a Chevy Impala versus working on  computer controlled modern vehicle which only the makers understand! Everything made sense on the Ameritron  and it was easy too fix. I did not even have any screws left over after fixing the Ameritron.  The one that I fixed got hot by lightning and it was a easy fix. FET amps are like tube amps they are very simple if they dont have overly complex microprocessors with funny codes

You can pull these amps apart blind folded versus needing a Swiss watch makers repair license for other brands! What I like about Ameritron is that you can call and email and speak with a real technician who gives you answers in English and who knows all the spare part numbers.

The new Elecraft KPA500 AMP being a kit might also be  easy to fix and repair.  I own several Elecraft products and the assembly and disassemble process  is elegant in its simplicity.



Pete,

How did you arrive at the $2900 price for the THP amp since it has not been released to the market?

I've been using the THP HL-1.2Kfx amp (750 watts) for over a year and have to say the build quality is simply outstanding. With MFJ's acquisition of Ameritron some years ago I'd be concerned about that amp's reliability (although I'm sure there are Ameritron owners having had no issues).

Harry WE1X
Logged
KD8MJR
Member

Posts: 5536




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 03:29:59 PM »

ZENKI where do you get your information from??

The Tokyo Hy power uses SD2933 a much newer and much more powerful device than the older MRF-150s and they are not custom made  Roll Eyes

Here's the Specs, they are all over the Net and most new Amps are using them and even the top of the line Radios like the Yaesu FT-9000 uses two of them.

http://www.datasheetcatalog.org/datasheet/SGSThomsonMicroelectronics/mXsstyu.pdf

Not sure how your going to get IMD figures since that number depends mostly on the design of the Amp and not the device itself.  I guess some companies publish averages based on their test circuits.

ARRL Tests on the 1.2KFX that uses the Same PA board as the 1.1KFX when compared to the results of the ALS-600 showed the IMD as Follows

3rd order 1.2kfx = -36db    ALS-600 = -30db
5th                       -39db                     -40db
7th                       -50db                     -50db
9th                       -68db                     -55db

So I am not sure what your talking about as the Tokyo Hy-power smoked the ALS-600.
Your statement about the Audio from a having a lot of IMD around the edges is just completely wrong, as a matter of fact many people are always complementing THP owners saying it sounds great and lastly in order to get FCC approval the IMD must be up to spec.

Look we could go about this all day, your statements seems wrong to me and the ARRL results back that, but I suggest that the Guy who buys the Amp go read the reviews of both Amps and compare. As for the ALS-1300, LOL you better keep a stack of MRF-150's on hand.




I would also add that the Ameritron uses Genuine RF devices not industrial heating Class C devices. The MRF150's have excellent IMD performance.

If I was buying a solid state amplifier I would buy an Ameritron ALS1300. Its got a good price, its not over engineered and uses very good RF devices that could be easily substituted. Another good box is the SPE amplifier, everyone that I have heard on the air produces very clean signals. The signal quality that I have heard from station running the THP products has not been that impressive. A lot of IMD around the edges of these signals  from  these Tokyo High Power amps.

MRF150's or VRF150's are impressive fets.

Tokyo high power uses custom RF devices or devices that have no documented IMD performance.

Another new amp is the Elecraft KPA500, however nobody knows when this amp is going to be released. They have been promising amps for almost 3 or 4 years now and nothing yet has been delivered. If you are going to buy a K3 it might make a good choice. Elecraft products carry a hefty price tag which might deliver a very poor watts per dollar ratio. When the KPA500 was announced Elecraft said the price was going to be well over 2000 dollars. I dont know why anyone would pay such a high price for a brand name when you could be getting twice the power from an Ameritron ALS1300 for the same price? The extra 3db advantage over the Ameritron ALs1300 would be a bargain! I dont have all the details on the Elecraft amp  so my opinions could be totally wrong.

Its nice having choices in life, good luck with your decision!



I couldn't even find a real "spec" or a price for the HL-550FX...it shows as "coming soon" for both.

The real item to compare to the ALS-600 would be the HL-1.1KFX, since it's the same power and the same band coverage (the 550FX adds six meters).  It's $2699.

Major differences appear to be the THP amp includes a wattmeter built in; includes 10m/12m band coverage "stock," not an add-on option; and has its power supply built in, not a separate unit.  As such, the THP is "cuter" for sure.  Whether it works any better or not, I couldn't say.


Logged

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
KD8MJR
Member

Posts: 5536




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 03:40:54 PM »

Would not know I have never had to Fix Mine  Grin  
It just keeps on working no matter what stupid thing I do to it.
What I do know is that the Tokyo Hy-Power Dealer Mr. Tom Rum has done some pretty generous things for owners of THP Amps, thats one of the many reasons why the scores on eham for the Amps are:

Tokyo Hy-power 1.1KFX = 5.0
Tokyo Hy-power 1.2KFX = 4.9
Tokyo Hy-power 2.5KFX = 5.0

VERSUS

Ameritron  ALS-600 = 4.2
Ameritron  ALS-500 = 4.1
Ameritron  ALS-1300 = 4.0

40% of ALS-1300 owners in the most recent Page have BLOWN their FETS, some of them Twice in less than a Year  Shocked



Try fixing a Tokyo High power or  SPE amplifier!

I have worked on an Ameritron ALS600, it was like working on a Chevy Impala versus working on  computer controlled modern vehicle which only the makers understand! Everything made sense on the Ameritron  and it was easy too fix. I did not even have any screws left over after fixing the Ameritron.  The one that I fixed got hot by lightning and it was a easy fix. FET amps are like tube amps they are very simple if they dont have overly complex microprocessors with funny codes

You can pull these amps apart blind folded versus needing a Swiss watch makers repair license for other brands! What I like about Ameritron is that you can call and email and speak with a real technician who gives you answers in English and who knows all the spare part numbers.

The new Elecraft KPA500 AMP being a kit might also be  easy to fix and repair.  I own several Elecraft products and the assembly and disassemble process  is elegant in its simplicity.



Pete,

How did you arrive at the $2900 price for the THP amp since it has not been released to the market?

I've been using the THP HL-1.2Kfx amp (750 watts) for over a year and have to say the build quality is simply outstanding. With MFJ's acquisition of Ameritron some years ago I'd be concerned about that amp's reliability (although I'm sure there are Ameritron owners having had no issues).

Harry WE1X
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 03:42:45 PM by KD8MJR » Logged

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
KH6AQ
Member

Posts: 7794




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 05:24:49 PM »

I have no experience with the THP but I have owned an ALS-600 for a year. Mine has the linear power supply. It has been a great amplifier delivering 600 watts CW on all bands when the AC line voltage is a bit high. When the line voltage sags in the evening 500 watts is the norm with 50-60 watts drive. The ALS-600 with the switching power supply will deliver the same power regardless of the AC line voltage.

The 12/10 meter mod costs $30 and takes five minutes to install. The time is in taking the ALS-600 cover off and putting it back on.

I set the ALS-600 on top of a K3. Perfect fit.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 12:27:59 AM by WX7G » Logged
W6GX
Member

Posts: 232




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2011, 11:37:01 PM »

I have a THP 1.1 and I love it.  I also use a MFJ tuner and I love it as well.  For the best bang for the buck the ALS-600 is hard to beat.  But if you want the very best amp. at any price the THP is your best choice.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
Logged
KI4YQT
Member

Posts: 1




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2011, 05:10:49 AM »

Pete --

here's what i received from THP a few days back in reply to an inquiry  ...

****   I am in the process of finalizing the website for the HL-550.. The amp is identical to the 1.1Kfx with the exception of adding the 6m band.. Power consumption is 1400VA ...Around 12 amps.... 6 amps per leg for 220V.....Though you are limited to 500w when using 120V due to restrictions in the switching power supply.... So the amp draw will be around 10A or so on 120V...

73,
Tom W5RUM
Tokyo Hy-Power Technical Support *****

you might want to wait a little longer give the fact you're contemplating the purchase of a K3 --  I'm an owner of one and I'm waiting to see Elecraft's amp (shown at Dayton) and which is supposed to be 'coming soon' according to Lisa from Elecraft ... 

Roger - KI4YQT

Logged
N3JBH
Member

Posts: 2358




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2011, 07:25:44 AM »

This is off topic but i used there big two meter and 6 meter amp from Tokyo hy power and there awesome. I had the ALS -600 amp from Amirton and it was ok but i sold it. I just found it was not what i wanted. If the build quality of there HF amps is like there vhf amps i am certain there there would be no comparison. Those Tokyo hy power amps where really built with style and solid. I agree with the other commentator's as well the amps our really under rated  and quite capable of handling much more power then advertised. Jeff 
Logged
KH6DC
Member

Posts: 771




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2011, 10:39:39 PM »

I have an Ameritron AL 811, Tokyo Hy Power HL1.2KFX and had an Ameritron AL600.  The Tokyo Hy Power IS absolutely better than the Ameritrons and worth the extra $1K.  With automatic tuning, internal power supply and all around aestically pleasing exterior, THP is an excellent linear.  If you can check out the interior, the THP is a precision crafted instrument.  The AL600 I had looked like some high school electronics shop project.  Wires were loose and hanging all over the place I had to tie-wrap them my self.  Several connections had cold solder ball-type connection which I resoldered and I bought this linear brand new from HRO years ago.  The finals in the Tokyo Hy-Power HL1.2KFX are ST Micro SD2933 which can be replaced from most online electronics parts store such as Digi-Key, RF Parts, etc. so I don't know what Zenki is talking about being customized finals.

If you have the means, any Tokyo Hy-Power linear would be a great addition to your fine station.
Logged

73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
KH6AQ
Member

Posts: 7794




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2011, 01:55:35 AM »

How about the other station? Can he tell hear any difference between the THP and the Ameritron?
Logged
WE1X
Member

Posts: 555




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2011, 06:06:07 AM »

With all that's been posted I still don't know where the $2900 price tag came from...seems terribly high.  I purchased my HL-1.2Kfx a year ago new for $2000. Absolutely no regrets. Over the years I've owned several MFJ and Ameritron products - none of which reside in the shack anymore due to quality issues. I no longer want to ship products back to the manufacturer for repair nor do I want to do repairs myself with a product that should have been designed for reliability. Yes, stuff happens and even higher-end/higher quality electronics need to be serviced. When that happens I want to trust the work will be done right the first time.

With many of us price is a consideration. However, with years in this hobby and years in business I've learned that the purchasing decision should be based upon the total cost of ownership: purchase price, cost to repair/maintain, resale value; then add to the mix ease of operation, reliability, quality of service, quality of build, etc. THP amps and THP tuners have a long and near stellar history with outstanding support from the factory and their distributors.

Now for a side question - if a flagpole antenna is the only antenna that can be had because no antenna is allowed (and assuming this is due to HOA restrictions) wouldn't any amp (THP, Ameritron, Elecraft, Palstar, even Uncle Carl's Crafted CB Amps) draw unnecessary attention?

Harry WE1X
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 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!