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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - 6M/VHF/UHF+ | Mirage B5016 G Help

Reviews Summary for Mirage B5016 G
Mirage B5016 G Reviews: 16 Average rating: 2.8/5 MSRP: $$289.00
Description: 50 watt in 160 watt out 2 meter power amp.
Product is in production.
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KK2DOG Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2015 22:53 Send this review to a friend
Great Amplifier  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using mine for over ten years now with the only issue being a burned-out light. See my previous review under my old call KC2FTN on 12/29/2007.
KM4GGD Rating: 0/5 Apr 21, 2015 05:43 Send this review to a friend
Disappointed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ive had this unit for 1 week and only used it for a few short QSOs on FM. Turned it on this Morning and its as dead as a doornail. No lights on the front panel, nothing! The internal fuse is OK so I not sure where to start looking for the problem. Id calculate my usage to be no more than 10 minutes total, or about $30.00 a minute. I know this is an expensive hobby but darn
N7BOO Rating: 3/5 Nov 21, 2014 14:50 Send this review to a friend
Output Power Failure  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wanted to add an additional comment concerning the Mirage B5016G VHF amp that I submitted to this forum on Apr 2, 2014 13:00.

In addition to my previous comments about the B5016G, there have been many who have experienced not only a preamp failure, but total loss of power output.

Obviously, most will immediately think the worst of the amp and that the finals had failed, when in fact, there's another issue with this amp that will cause total loss of output power which is extremely simple to repair.

The B5016G was equipped with Motorola SRF3417 RF transistors, they're pretty sturdy fellows, but when they assembled this amp some of the soldering was poorly inadequate.

If you look close at the RF transistors you'll see two 500V flat disc capacitors with a value of .01uF (I think), regardless of the value of these caps, you can't miss them, they're reasonably large and you will see them connected between the base and collector of the RF transistors.

Due to poor assembly quite often one or both leads of the cap were either broken or unsoldered, most often, it's just one lead on the cap which is fractured, but I would check both. In order to make a visual inspection I would also suggest wearing a magnifying visor, otherwise the lead fracture may not be apparent.

By the way, the above defect was not due to overheat, just poor assembly.

Apr 2, 2014 13:00

Overall the Mirage B5016G is not a bad amp as long as you understand, that it's a low duty cycle device as it comes out of the box. One of the major issues with these amps has to do with the switching circuit to disconnect the preamp when you key the transmitter, assuming that you have the preamp enabled / switched on.

The circuit is simply too slow and over time, with use, the MGF1302 GasaFET preamp in this amp will fail. The problem is not isolated to this particular model amp, the same problem exists with their outboard preamps. I would suggest, that anyone who owns one of these, purchases a couple of back up MGF1302 GasaFETS, they cost about $12.00 each and can be had from RF PARTS, They will charge you $7.00 shipping when they could just pop them into an envelope with a postage stamp, but whatever, the cost to order two with S&H is $30.90, that's not too bad when you consider having to ship it to a repair center and pay labor fees, I'm sure the cost will be between $100.00 - $150.00.

I would also recommend that in order to extend the life of the RF transistors, that you build a sheet metal air duct (shroud) that includes a old 12 volt computer muffin fan to draw air over the heatsink, I built one in a few hours that covers the heatsink and allows air to be drawn in from the front, then pulled over the heatsink and exhausted out the back.

Additionally, I would suggest not driving the amp full out at 160 watts for any extended length of time, this is not a full duty cycle amp as it comes out of the box. If you're looking for a longer duty cycle, for something like a repeater application, lower the transmitter / exciter drive and run the Mirage amp at about 60 - 70 watts out, by doing this, you could conceivably be able to run the amp almost full duty cycle, but that includes the recommended air ducting modification I referred to earlier in this posting. I know of several repeater owners that have done exactly this, and the amps have continued to performed for years without any failures whatsoever.

Hope this helps some of you RF Mirage amp owners.

K2JX Rating: 5/5 Dec 20, 2010 12:41 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

This review is for the newer Mirage B-5018-G, 2 meter amp. 50 watts in gives me 165 watts out. The pre-amp measures approx a 10dbm increase in received signal strength. I'm driving the amp with a Yeasu FT-897D at 35 watts which reduces the RF output to a safe & cool 100 watts output.

Driving it with 50w to 165w out really does not produce any appreciative increase in my signal through 2m repeaters, Simplex operation is of course a different story. That extra 65w on 146.52 really helps. I do find that the gain of the pre-amp can be problem here near NYC & New England.

Many distant repeaters in New England are now readable under the noise. That's not a bad thing.
It tells me all is working as advertised. I use a separate 30a DC supply to power the amp. In my opinion it's mandatory as the amp draws 16 amps continuous during FM service.

Unless you have a 50 amp supply to run your rig and amp you may have problems with both due to low voltage and high current during long winded QSO's. Build quality is quite good, the unit is fused internally. I installed a 30a fast blow fuse in both the positive and negative dc supply lines. This unit as far as I can see on the schematic is NOT well protected against reverse polarity. All in all I am happy with this amp, it does the job !

73/Jack K2JX
WA4GCH Rating: 1/5 Mar 4, 2010 08:28 Send this review to a friend
Still junk  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well it's back and kinda working.

This is not a 160 watt amp the best it will do is 120 a wopping 3 db gain The 160 watts is PEAK power at max rdive and it's own book says it will not go over 120 on SSB that's 100 bucks per db gain.

They told me the preamp was fine HOWEVER they did something to it because before it went the preamp was so noisy you could not use it and now it is slightly worse that my .4 db NF one.

STAY AWAY from this amp unless you looking for something to buffer your radio and allow you to run it at 40 watts to get a bit over 100 out ...

MIRAGE bow your head for $300 this should be a lot better .....
N4VNV Rating: 0/5 Oct 16, 2009 05:45 Send this review to a friend
TERRIBLE QUALITY  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had two of them, nothing but trouble. AND awful repair service. The Service Tech even gave me a bunch of lip, when I complained about the repair time and cost to me. I WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER PRODUCT BY MIRAGE. I'm not sure if they even have an Authorized Repair Service anymore.
WX9DX Rating: 1/5 Oct 15, 2009 20:52 Send this review to a friend
DOA after 4 days  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I got this amp from AES at Dayton, Nothing Against AES BTW! I kept it in the box till last week October 5 2009. Then I put it into service. It did not perform as advertised and failed at the 4 day mark. I drove this amp with a Yaesu FT2400 with 150 foot of LMr400 between the amp in the garage and the radio in the house. Then 190 feet of hard line up the tower to the Diamond 500 antenna at 150 ft. I used my RF Concepts for this for years and then put the amp in my truck. It is still working after over 20 years of service. But I did not want to buy this Mirage because I knew they had problems. I was told this is what is available right now at Dayton, so I bought the 5016G, 50w input and supposedly 160W out. Never once did it do 160 Watts nor did it out perform my radio by itself with all the feed line to stations 50 miles away.

I will tell you that with over 46 years in the Two Way Radio Biz and now retired, I am ashamed of myself for buying an amp from Mirage when I knew they had such a bad reputation. It's time for RF Concepts to come back into the market place!

Jimmy, WX9DX
KC2FTN Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2007 21:49 Send this review to a friend
After 7+ years  Time owned: more than 12 months
I run this amp frequently between my 706MKIIG and Diamond V-2000A omni with EXCELLENT results. The only problem I've had with the unit was the light in the on/off power rocker-switch burned out... no biggie. Generally I keep it set to accept a 10 watt input, which equates to about 115 watts out on FM. And yes, I've used this extensively on SSB into a PAR loop as well with excellent results too. Here are the power ratings that I am getting according to a Daiwa CN801V meter on FM:

2 watts in, 35 watts out
5 watts in, 70 watts out
10 watts in, 115 watts out
15 watts in, 140 watts out
25 watts in, 145 watts out
50 watts in, 160+ watts out

Would I buy another one? You BETCHA!
KMB01 Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2006 11:20 Send this review to a friend
Dependable Amp!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Nothing that i can complain on this Mirage B5016 G, does what i want to... kicks out 160watts and more.. i even use this amp with an input of 65watts.. hehehe... i doesnt quit, all products are good, its a matter of taking care of your equipment... transmits happy on 144-148mhz above or below, thats another story, check your SWR... your coax... power supply if giving enough juice for the amp... then no problem at all... when you feel too much heat on the amp, then let it rest... as far as my mirage b5016 g, works real well... Tx, Rx, SSB, FM... its fine and trouble-free for me...

10-44s Kabalikat Malaya Zambales
KE6MNG Rating: 5/5 Mar 26, 2006 19:39 Send this review to a friend
Can't Complain  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ive owned the B5018G for approx 4 years.....Granted it hasnt been stressed too hard, but it has performed very well w/ no problems to date.....My reports are worthy on both FM & SSB.....Ive read the negative reviews & understand the issue of having problems w/ a product.....No product is 100%....If I were to buy another amp I would certainly look to Mirage but understand there is another supplier out there that has a great looking product & the reviews are strong so far....As for today, This Amp Works!!!......73's.........Joe
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