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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | National NCL-2000 Help

Reviews Summary for National NCL-2000
National NCL-2000 Reviews: 17 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $600?
Description: Linear Amplifier, 80-10 meters, (2) 8122 final tubes
Product is not in production.
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W0NCL Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2018 13:08 Send this review to a friend
Great Amplifier  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned 2 of these amps for over 10 years in various working states. Both of them are working FB at present after being rebuilt. A very strong stable amplifier.

I started off tracking down parts for these a long time ago from a very nice gentleman, and ex-National Employee, named Max Fuchs. He had some parts that were liquidated when the company sold out so I started getting extra stuff from him. Carl K1MH has been invaluable in offering advice for keeping these repaired and on-line. I don't know how long he worked there, but he is an ex-employee of National as well. A very helpful ham from Nebraska has been another mentor for me on these as well. I can't tell you how many people that have helped me obtain parts for these or given me advice. It's been many!!

These amps, if treated well, will put out about 12-1300 watts all day on SSB and look very nice doing it.

What's funny is that 15-20 years ago when I first started lugging these amps around it wasn't a big deal. Now that I am older, its easy to remember how heavy duty these are.

Getting matched tubes is very important for these. There are some procedures listed online to help you do this. I am always on the lookout for 8122 tubes, but they last forever if treated decent and you aren't flogging the last available watt out of them.

Overall I have been extremely pleased with the service I get out of these.

With the sunspot activity at some of its lowest numbers yet, I think it's a good idea to run an amplifier if possible. I run mine on CW for about 700 watts through a wimpy vertical. At least you have a chance that way to make a decent contact.
WB5F Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2016 19:32 Send this review to a friend
Classic Design  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have four of these amps. I've had one since 1975 and the others I've picked up along the way. Thanks to KM1H I've been able to get a few parts and have had some great advice. They just work and are easy to understand with some experience. Pay strict attention to what he says about the operation and you will be well satisfied.
KM1H Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2015 08:20 Send this review to a friend
A real workhorse  Time owned: more than 12 months
I worked at National when these came out and bought 2 prototypes for very little money. One was converted to 6M in 64 and is still in use, finally had to replace the 8122's in 2011 when the power got down to 700W with a pair of $100 military pulls and back to 1200-1300W.

The other one was run hard for years of DXing and contesting and then 160 added when we got the band and the plate choke modified to add WARC's and run even more for several years. Still full power on the 1968 date code tubes and now used with the vintage gear station on SSB and AM.

Other than replacing filter caps, upgrading bias transistors, going to 18V lamps and switching to 12VDC relays to be compatible with modern gear it has been trouble free. Lets see how many poorly manufactured Ameritrons will be running after 50+ years.

The key to longevity is to never exceed screen current rating and run only enough for full power which is around 10ma. Vacuum out the tube fins and the blower impeller regularly, lube the motor bearings, and never run with the original or poor quality filter caps. I use CDE 100uF 381LX Snap In caps which fit the original holders. The 50K equalizers are replaced with 100K 5W MOX which greatly reduces temperature in that area.
HAMDUDE Rating: 5/5 May 26, 2013 02:51 Send this review to a friend
52 years old and still going  Time owned: more than 12 months
3 more years since my last report, had to replace a meter light. not a single issue and still full output, why don't they make amps like this anymore?
K7NG Rating: 4/5 Jun 16, 2011 07:02 Send this review to a friend
Very pretty  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used one of these when they were still in production. I'm hoping to find a good one to add to my station now. IMHO they are just about the prettiest piece of ham equipment around, while performance is just a shade less then wonderful, without a few improvements.
Rich Measures, who does have some good inputs other than the parasitic suppressor issue, shows how rewiring the T/R input relay significantly improves the input VSWR. He also has some good suggestions about changes to the screen supply and grid bias to make the amp a lot more robust. Re-capping and making the appropriate internal mods and you've got someting that will play for years.
W9TAS Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2010 19:07 Send this review to a friend
one of the best  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use my NCL-2000 every night.After replacing filter caps and tubes,this amp will do 1500 watts
pep with 60 watts pep drive.I run it at 1000-1200 watts out.All you need.Built like a tank!!and easy to work on if need be.
N2DE Rating: 4/5 Nov 26, 2008 10:39 Send this review to a friend
A Classic Workhorse  Time owned: more than 12 months
Built about 40 years ago with commercial-grade components, even a worn-out NCL-2000 is still a good value today if you are willing to do a little work replacing the usual suspects: capacitors, relays, probably the blower motor, and the tubes. The 8122 tubes are not too hard to find, although many of them are probably suspect, but you can still get NOS matched pairs for reasonable prices - I bought two pairs last month, and they should keep my NCL-2000 going forever. The antenna and HV relay are still available as NOS, as is a slightly less powerful blower motor that fits perfectly and is much more quiet than the original. The HV filter capacitors should be replaced by modern capacitors, you may want to replace the HV diodes with two HV recifier modules, and you can insert a pair of thermistors as a "soft start" provision. Even with all these replacements, your bottom line cost for a NCL-2000 would be considerably less than that of a comparable modern amplifier, and you'd have an amplifier that is built like a tank (and weighs nearly as much). What it can't do without major modifications is 160m, but the addition of the WARC bands can easily be done if you replace the band switch. At 700W CW output it runs very cool, with the tubes barely dissipating half their rated power, and very little drive can bring it to 1200W PEP in SSB. If you run it within the design specifications, it should last you a long time. And if you have a defunct one lying around and don't quite feel up to the task of restoring it, please let me know.
KE4AMQ Rating: 5/5 Feb 29, 2008 14:38 Send this review to a friend
nice amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
i just picked up one of these amps in good shape, what a blast to use this.
the amp tunes easy the war stories about the 8122 tubes is b.s. i found several at 60-85 each. the amp runs cool and as any ceramic amp if you dont beat the hell out of it, it will last forever. i love mine i use it more then my new amps. i like the 30 second warm up time
KC2PFC Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2008 12:21 Send this review to a friend
Great amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have a few amps in the past two years, Ameritron 811H, Heathkit SB-1000, Ameritron ACL-500 and a few others. I just picked up this NCL-2000 from a fellow ham friend for $500. Its a great amp and with the ability to drive it with 20 - 200 watts is a great thing. With 80 watts drive I'm getting about 1400 watts AVG output. I also just got a set of replacement tubes (used) for $50!! ;-) This amp is easy to use and you only need to remember to not over drive it and keep the SWR down. The footprint is a bit large and its so heavy (65 lbs) the thing could sink a US battleship. But, can't beat it for performance. If you don't beat the crap out of it, the tubes will last a very long time.
W4YA Rating: 5/5 Dec 12, 2006 18:13 Send this review to a friend
Workhorse  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mine covers 160-10, with full QSK using the WA4DRU Soft Key. I bought it in 1965.

Anybody know where I can get a quiet fan replacement? The fan in my amp is too noisy.
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