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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Tokyo Hy-Power HL-2500FX Help

Reviews Summary for Tokyo Hy-Power HL-2500FX
Tokyo Hy-Power HL-2500FX Reviews: 1 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $6495
Description: Full legal limit solid state HF linear amplifier for 160 meters thru 10 meters, and 1KW for 6 meters. Available in the USA after 15 Oct, 2013.
Product is in production.
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N3JXB Rating: 5/5 Oct 18, 2013 19:51 Send this review to a friend
A lot of technology in one small package  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The HL-2500 is a full legal limit solid state linear amplifier that operates on the bands 160 meters thru 6 meters (limit is 1KW on 6M). Tokyo Hy-Power makes many solid state amps so their experience with solid state amps is not something new.

The parcel arrived as one large box with two yellow carry straps. Inside that container is foam sheets protecting a second, smaller box. This smaller box contains the actual amplifier and is safely guarded by all the packing around it. The amplifier package comes with a box that has the power cord, CAT control cables for several brands of transceivers, spare fuses, an ALC and PTT interconnect cable, and a wrench set in the event the unit needs to be opened. There is a printed installation and user guide. The amplifier itself is sealed in a plastic bag and is seated in a cardboard frame that opens and has handles to pull the amp from the box. The faceplate and SO-239 connecters have plastic guards.

I chose to connect my HL-2500 to a 220 volt outlet. 220 volt operation is needed to achieve full power. Putting the proper plug on the end of the electric cable was a breeze. I installed the Icom CI-V cable that is provided and adjusted the CAT control knob on the back on the HL-2500 to match my radio. There are several CAT control options available and these are clearly marked on the rear of the amp. Connecting the antenna cables, dummy load and transceiver cable are no brainers. The ALC and PTT need to be connected to the amp and to the appropriate place on the transceiver. Again, this is a no brainer.

Aesthetically the Hl-2500 has a semi-glossy dark titanium metal case. The front meters and LCD display are covered and protected by dark smoky plastic guard. The screws and all visible fasteners are all black and have a smoothed surface so nothing exposed is rough. The workmanship shows a nice amount of detail.

Powering on the unit lights up the front displays and brings the fan to life. The displays from left to right are power out, a combination meter for reflected power/DC voltage/DC current (ID)/ALC, and an LCD display that shows the band selected in CAT control, temperature, and operational status. There are LEDs for power, operation, high current, and fault. The switches and knobs are clearly marked and self-explanatory. These include power, standby/operate, high/low, a knob to select the display on the multi-meter, antenna A/B, and auto or manual band select. The manual band selector knob is also clearly marked by frequency range.

The HL-2500 does require proper settings on the transceiver for proper CI-V operation. I was easily able to adjust my Icom to the proper settings. However, there is an important point to note in this process. If you are already using CAT with a PC, the PC speeds and control code need to be adjusted to match the requirements of the HL-2500. In my case I needed to adjust multiple pieces of software on the PC that handle my digi operations to restore CAT function over the USB connection to the Icom.

Initial operation of the amp and adjusting the ALC is easy. Using a dummy load I was easily able to calibrate the ALC on the HL-2500 to achieve 1500 watts. I noticed the AMP can easily exceed that limit so care should be exercised. There is also a high current (ID) LED on the front that lights amber in the event of drawing too much current. The user guide describes this warning LED.

In real-time use the HL-2500 performs well. All audio and signal reports were outstanding. I made an AM QSO on 10 meters and was told I must have everything set just right because the station sounded great. My initial SSB QSOs I always asked for signal quality feedback. Every report was glowing and one station even recorded my transmission and played it back so I could hear it for myself. RTTY operation yielded the same feedback. I noticed no stray RF in the shack and no RFI on things in the house. Likewise, I noticed no hash or birdies on the transceiver from the amp's internal power supply. The HL-2500 operates clean.

One nice touch is the powered off pass thru. When powered off the HL-2500 does an antenna A direct pass thru. More importantly the HL-2500 does not seem to affect the ALC of the transceiver in this pass thru state. My legacy amp had to be powered on even when in pass thru so as to not affect the ALC. This is definitely a nice and welcome design feature.

There is one point to mention and that is fan noise. In RTTY and SSTV operation the temperature starts to rise and the fan speed increases proportionately to cool the unit. Once the temperature hits 40C and higher the fan is very noticeable, and at 50C there is considerable fan noise. I did not notice the fan noise so much in SSB operation, and even operating on AM I did not notice the fan so much. This is just something to know up front.

I plan to follow-up on my post after I get an antenna installed for 160 and 80/75 meters, and after I have more experience with my unit.


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