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Author Topic: Is 500 Watts worth the cost?  (Read 89298 times)
W8JX
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« Reply #45 on: August 27, 2014, 06:47:49 AM »

I recently picked up an almost mint FL2100-B. Looks like original tubes and will do 600W easily. Due to the age, I replaced all the HV components, caps, diodes, bleeders etc. Where I used to have a problem trying to break a pileup with 100W I don't anymore. I find I usually get through on the first or second call with the amp. Amp runs off a dedicated 20A 120V line.

It like SB 200 is a good classic amp and easy to work on. In my book a better buy than any AL 811 amp
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
W8GP
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Posts: 353




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« Reply #46 on: August 27, 2014, 09:00:12 AM »

Ameritron AL-811 on sale at DX engineering for $669.
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KQ0J
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Posts: 53




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« Reply #47 on: August 27, 2014, 01:37:03 PM »

I picked up an AL-811 2.5 years ago and love it .  Went through a set of tubes already - be careful of RTTY etc.   Cant agree with SB200 - first of all no WARC bands.  Second - keying - my FT897D will easily key the 811 with no modifications - just jumper j1027 inside and add a couple radio shack cables.  If you want to key an old fashioned SB200 you will need to buy or make a keying circuit that can handle the current they need.   
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KM4AH
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« Reply #48 on: August 27, 2014, 01:54:49 PM »

 
Quote
you will need to buy or make a keying circuit that can handle the current they need.   

I do that anyway. Earlier Icom radios got me in the habit. I think I still have an internal relay or two for an IC751 around here somewhere.
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V47JA
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Posts: 205




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« Reply #49 on: August 27, 2014, 06:35:49 PM »

Hi,

I really like my Elecraft KPA500, not a single problem and bullet-proof.  Besides, what's a few dB of power when a good prefix is worth 15 dB anyway.  Smiley

73,

John
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W8JX
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« Reply #50 on: August 28, 2014, 03:14:23 AM »

I picked up an AL-811 2.5 years ago and love it .  Went through a set of tubes already - be careful of RTTY etc.   Cant agree with SB200 - first of all no WARC bands.  Second - keying - my FT897D will easily key the 811 with no modifications - just jumper j1027 inside and add a couple radio shack cables.  If you want to key an old fashioned SB200 you will need to buy or make a keying circuit that can handle the current they need.   

Lack of WARC bands is not really a issue to me because you can do well on 17 or even 12 barefoot. As far as keying 200, it is easy to mod so you can key it directly. One reason for short tube life is because they have no reserve. 3ea 811's are rated 135 watts continuous dissipation (45 x 3) and 195 watts intermittent (65 x 3) so it is easy to overload tubes key down. A SB 200 is rated 320 watts (160 x 2) continuous and it is not unusual to see 200's with original tubes still doing well.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
G3RZP
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Posts: 1313




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« Reply #51 on: August 28, 2014, 06:44:14 AM »

DXing on 160 and 80 is a lot easier with some power......The SB200 doesn't cover 160, though.
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W8JX
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« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2014, 11:24:48 AM »

DXing on 160 and 80 is a lot easier with some power......The SB200 doesn't cover 160, though.

True but never was a fan of 160.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
G3RZP
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« Reply #53 on: August 29, 2014, 12:50:23 AM »

If one was keen, and SB200s being pretty cheap, it wouldn't be hard to get a second one and change it to cover 160, 30, 12 and 17. 30 for the non-US licencees, of course. The downside is getting good 572Bs.
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W8JX
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« Reply #54 on: August 29, 2014, 03:51:14 AM »

If one was keen, and SB200s being pretty cheap, it wouldn't be hard to get a second one and change it to cover 160, 30, 12 and 17. 30 for the non-US licencees, of course. The downside is getting good 572Bs.

I suspect a SB 200 will work on 17 stock. I will have to try it sometime. Right now it is on my bench for new HV supply/upgrade and a soft key mod. As far as tubes, you only need 2 and for some reason the tubes seem to do better mounted horizontal vs vertical.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
W4KVW
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« Reply #55 on: August 30, 2014, 09:46:43 PM »

YES,I think it's worth it.I had an Ameritron 811H that did a Great job on HF but I wanted the extra fire on 6 meters since it's my favorite band so I Upgraded to an ICOM PW-1 & it made a big difference in my signal reports as well as being able to work stations during marginal condition over trying with just the 100 watts that I was running before.No doubt that the PW-1 was an Great investment & something happen to it I'd be looking for another one to replace it with.The 800 watts from the 811H was great on HF but since it did not also work on the 6 meter band it needed a new home.If you have the cash buy a Kilowatt or more amp & you won't be wishing later that you did. Grin

Clayton
W4KVW
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KC2QYM
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Posts: 958




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« Reply #56 on: September 03, 2014, 12:19:38 PM »

I laugh at the folly that many put into going full legal limit and paying the price in so many ways as pointed out: running 220 volt circuits, high end tuners, feedlines, and how about the linear itself. Thousands to keep up with the Joneses.  Hey if you have the money it's great.  I very quickly made the decision to acquire a linear when a local ham friend who was moving offered me his SB-200 with an extra set of 572Bs for $300. It worked fine with my home brew tuner that has just enough capacity to tune to my OCF dipole.  I use the linear if I need that slight edge in a pile up or in noisy conditions.  Using a higher power amplifier has never really entered my mind.  I think you can buy SB-200s for $300 - $400 and spend the extra $100 on the Harbach power supply replacement circuit to ensure additional longevity.  In my case the SB-200 has cost me $400 so far and I haven't even used the NOS Cetron 572Bs that have been waiting in the wings for a few years now.  My vote is for the 500 watter.
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AD5ZC
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Posts: 78




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« Reply #57 on: September 03, 2014, 09:28:57 PM »

I laugh at the folly that many put into going full legal limit and paying the price in so many ways as pointed out: running 220 volt circuits, high end tuners, feedlines, and how about the linear itself. Thousands to keep up with the Joneses.  Hey if you have the money it's great.  I very quickly made the decision to acquire a linear when a local ham friend who was moving offered me his SB-200 with an extra set of 572Bs for $300. It worked fine with my home brew tuner that has just enough capacity to tune to my OCF dipole.  I use the linear if I need that slight edge in a pile up or in noisy conditions.  Using a higher power amplifier has never really entered my mind.  I think you can buy SB-200s for $300 - $400 and spend the extra $100 on the Harbach power supply replacement circuit to ensure additional longevity.  In my case the SB-200 has cost me $400 so far and I haven't even used the NOS Cetron 572Bs that have been waiting in the wings for a few years now.  My vote is for the 500 watter.

I haven't seen an SB-200 for less than $400, in working condition for a while now while I regularly see AL-811's for $450.  Seems like a no brainer to me to get 160 through 10 with a much more modern amplifier that has just as crappy of tubes as the SB-200.

Whoops... meant to quote W8JX..  Smiley
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K6TT
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #58 on: October 11, 2014, 10:26:33 PM »

I am one of the unfortunate majority who live with CC&Rs, the best antenna I can manage is a G5RV jr, mounted just behind the top of my 7' fence. This is a total compromise but it's hidden and allows me to work 10-75/80 meters with some success. Things changed when I picked up a 750W Tokyo Hy-Power HL-1.2Kfx amp. I went from calling and calling to making most contacts on the first or second call. I call the amp the 'equalizer'. It gives me the extra push to be above the noise, and peaks I've seen 800W.

I highly recommend the amp if for no other reason as it gives you the added "pop" you need to make the contact. What's wrong with that? Get it, don't regret it and enjoy the new contacts!  Grin
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9930




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« Reply #59 on: October 12, 2014, 10:00:11 AM »

in a word, YES, they are worth it.
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