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Author Topic: How about a recent opinion on Palstar LA-1K and SPE Expert 1.3K-FA  (Read 1905 times)
WB6NGC
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Posts: 48




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« on: February 28, 2019, 09:35:21 AM »

I'd prefer the opinion from an owner, please. Something recent, rather than from last year (2018). Thanks
Richard WB6NGC
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W1QJ
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Posts: 2980




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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2019, 09:56:40 AM »

I can do one better.  How about the Remote Ham Radio people who use SPE amps?  Yes, they use SPE amps in many of their sites they say they work great and have quite a few of them.  They recently purchase some Electcraft amps to try them.  Last report is they feel it is a coin toss.  The LA-1K is pretty new on the market you may want to wait a while on that one SPE amps have been out there quite a while and the guy who sells SPE gives great service if needed.
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N1UB
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2019, 12:04:07 PM »

I have had the LA-1K for almost a year now. I use it daily and have no complaints, easily puts out rated power plus. I like that it's light, <30 pounds, has a built in power supply, runs on 120 or 240v without internal changes and comes with both power cords. It's also made and serviced in the the USA. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. There is software available to use remotely too.
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W9WD
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2019, 06:26:22 AM »

Saw this rather current Palstar discussion and thought I would join in.....

I will be using an Icom 746 Pro and have been looking closely at the Palstar LA-1K.
Does the Palstar have to be on for your radio to work? Or will it just let the radio by pass it and use its 100 watts when it's off?
Are there any special cables that can be bought to connect these two?

Thank you.
G
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Greg
On the continental divide in the wilds of New Mexico.
KB6HRT
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Posts: 327




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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2019, 08:44:33 PM »

I tried the Plaster LA-1K about 18 months ago shortly after they came on the market, have 2 HF-AUTO's so though it would be a no brainer. Every time I would key the LA-1K up the unit would trip and reset itself, the temp would rise fast when transmitting an when I would stop transmitting the temp would drop fairly fast, thought there was something going on with the amplifier that was not normal,
sent it back to Palstar to have them check it out, apon receiving the LA-1K back, the LA-1K  responded the same, called Palstar talked to   Paul, he said sounds like RF getting into the LA-1K an causing the reset problem, Paul gave me a set of thing to try to check for RF getting into the shack, I checked and did all the thing Paul recommended, the problem still presisted, buy that time decided to cut my losses and took the LA-1K back to HRO payed a 15% restocking fee, an go another direction, brought a ACOM1000 an a ACOM 1500  both of these amplifier work very well at this station Using the same resonant antennas I use with the LA-!K. Both ACOM amplifier are are very very quite, but do have to be retuned them when changing frequency an have to weight for them to warm up before use, an they require  60 watts drive for full output.....................kb6hrt
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VK3BL
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2019, 10:13:53 PM »

I tried the Plaster LA-1K about 18 months ago shortly after they came on the market, have 2 HF-AUTO's so though it would be a no brainer. Every time I would key the LA-1K up the unit would trip and reset itself, the temp would rise fast when transmitting an when I would stop transmitting the temp would drop fairly fast, thought there was something going on with the amplifier that was not normal,
sent it back to Palstar to have them check it out, apon receiving the LA-1K back, the LA-1K  responded the same, called Palstar talked to   Paul, he said sounds like RF getting into the LA-1K an causing the reset problem, Paul gave me a set of thing to try to check for RF getting into the shack, I checked and did all the thing Paul recommended, the problem still presisted, buy that time decided to cut my losses and took the LA-1K back to HRO payed a 15% restocking fee, an go another direction, brought a ACOM1000 an a ACOM 1500  both of these amplifier work very well at this station Using the same resonant antennas I use with the LA-!K. Both ACOM amplifier are are very very quite, but do have to be retuned them when changing frequency an have to weight for them to warm up before use, an they require  60 watts drive for full output.....................kb6hrt


In fairness Paul may have a point - just how close to your station are you antennas?  Most of us on small suburban blocks are somewhat limited to how far we can keep our exciters, final amplifiers and tuners from our transmitting antennas.

Every AM broadcast station I have seen has used exceedingly large hardline feeds to their antennas and kept their transmitter quite some length from the transmitter, so I accept on premise alone that there is benefit to the practice of keeping your station some distance from your antenna.

Of course, this may not apply to you, but I would suspect the Acom amplifiers are the better choice for your particular station, and many others.

Although they're a dying breed, tube amplifiers in general (especially the basic/all analogue Ameritron designs) are far more tolerant to a vast majority of operating conditions, just as the transceivers of old times were perfectly content feeding a windom with one wire.

Back on topic, and not that I own either, but looking at the design alone it is pretty easy to state with authority that the Palstar unit is considerably more conservatively rated and would be my choice if I were after a true 1kW solid state linear.  That said, if you ever see a Tokyo Hy-Power HL2.5Kfx second hand at a fair price, pick it up instead; they'll surpass 2kW PEP and the design is very basic.  Even the 'computerised/programmable' micro-controllers have had their firmware backed up so they're also probably the most repairable high power SSPA ever made.  Like the Palstar & Elecraft units, they only have 2 final transistors (in current production), but unlike the aforementioned units they run an unregulated 100v linear supply that anyone can repair.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 10:19:09 PM by VK3BL » Logged

J.D. Mitchell BA  - VK3BL / XU7AGA - https://www.youtube.com/ratemyradio - Honesty & Integrity
KB6HRT
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Posts: 327




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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2019, 08:11:53 AM »

VK3BL,
  I have no problem with Plaster the company, they have always done right by me!  If I had a larger area where I could put up a tower over 30'  and more space, for this station,  am sure my results would have be different,  before I did the LA-1K experiment I tried a ALS1300 and was able to get good results with it, but in my case my hearing trumps everything an the ALS 1300 has fan noise that raise the floor noise in the shack, an the ALS1306 has a little more of it than the ALS1300. The Palstar deals with the floor noise some better than both of those amplifiers to me, After posting my last post I did email Val at ACOM, asked him how the ACOM1200s would fit in this station, his replay was, you already have the 2 best amplifiers for your applatation you described for you needs.  These new SS amp's using newer high output devices requiring more cooling to remain stable an give a longer life over time..............There you have it straight form the horse mouth. I had already tried an alternative which i did before an it worked, a ALS 600s it has no fan in the power supply an a large slow speed fan in the amplifier, it worked well for me on 80-40-20m but again on 160m, summer months I though I needed extra punch, because of the number of time's I was asked to repeat information, the ACOM 1500s corrected that for me...................73s.................kb6hrt
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W9WD
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2019, 08:50:04 AM »

Speaking of distance between antenna and amp.......
I will have (when I finally get it up there) a TH6DXX at about 40' elevation and about 38' horizontal distance from the shack.

Will this be enough distance to avoid "feedback" RF problems as described above?

Thanks.
G
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Greg
On the continental divide in the wilds of New Mexico.
K0WA
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Posts: 114




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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2019, 03:13:33 PM »

Speaking of distance between antenna and amp.......
I will have (when I finally get it up there) a TH6DXX at about 40' elevation and about 38' horizontal distance from the shack.

Will this be enough distance to avoid "feedback" RF problems as described above?

Thanks.
G

My station if right under all my antennas.  I am 50 to 60 feet away from my beam and dipoles.  No issues running 1500 watts with the AL82.  Of course, I use baluns and chokes per ham radio standards (whatever they are.)

Lets get back tot he original question.....

Lee
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W9WD
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2019, 04:09:36 PM »

My station if right under all my antennas.  I am 50 to 60 feet away from my beam and dipoles.  No issues running 1500 watts with the AL82.  Of course, I use baluns and chokes per ham radio standards (whatever they are.)

Lets get back tot he original question.....

Lee


I am not asking about an AL82.
I am asking about the Palstar LA-1K.

Glad you do not have problems.
I hope to not have problems too, by asking questions before spending money.
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Greg
On the continental divide in the wilds of New Mexico.
K7JQ
Member

Posts: 1304




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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2019, 05:50:41 PM »

Speaking of distance between antenna and amp.......
I will have (when I finally get it up there) a TH6DXX at about 40' elevation and about 38' horizontal distance from the shack.

Will this be enough distance to avoid "feedback" RF problems as described above?

Thanks.
G

You won't know until you put that combination on line. RF, especially high power, is like lightning...unpredictable as to where it will go and what it will affect in your shack, and your home in general. As with any SS amp, unless your antennas are under about 1.6:1 SWR across the bands, you will need a high power external tuner (with the LA-1K) to avoid power foldback and protection faults over 2:1 SWR.
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NO9E
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Posts: 886




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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2019, 06:21:02 PM »

Good equipment should be RF immune. If it is not, it means it is not well engineered.

I worked portable with KX3 + Expert 1.3k running KW,  with a vertical 4 ft away. No toroids, no distortions incl SSB, no problems. Plenty of DX.

Ignacy, NO9E
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K7JQ
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Posts: 1304




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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2019, 08:02:45 PM »

Good equipment should be RF immune. If it is not, it means it is not well engineered.

I worked portable with KX3 + Expert 1.3k running KW,  with a vertical 4 ft away. No toroids, no distortions incl SSB, no problems. Plenty of DX.

Ignacy, NO9E


There's the kicker..."should be". 'Nuff said  Roll Eyes
A KW into a vertical 4 ft away?? What about the RF exposure guidelines?
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NO9E
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Posts: 886




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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2019, 12:44:32 PM »

You care if it is portable on a pier over salt water, and place for antennas is limited. Especially if DX are coming. 
Ignacy, NO9E
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