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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Ameritron ALS-500M Help

Reviews Summary for Ameritron ALS-500M
Ameritron ALS-500M Reviews: 53 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $799.00
Description: 500W Output Mobile Solid State Amplifier on 12VDC for US
Product is in production.
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KD8NCP Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2019 01:18 Send this review to a friend
Beware hot switching this amplifier!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been very happy with this mobile amplifier and I'm driving it with an FT857D with Menu 20 set for 15 watts. It took me a while to figure out why the amplifier alarm lamp kept tripping when I would key up and the problem was RF hot switching, which you want to avoid at all costs (also thanks to my Elmer on this problem). You can solve the hot switching problem by adding a Time Variable Sequencer Unit, DX Engineering DXE-TVSU-1B, or similar, to delay the RF to the amp. I used a 26ms delay and that solved the problem. Otherwise you can probably kiss your finals goodbye.
KD5HZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2018 15:45 Send this review to a friend
Bought Used - Love It!  Time owned: more than 12 months
In reading many reviews of this amp, seems people fall into two categories as absolutely love for it's reliability and simplicity or hate as it fails on them. I must say, my experience has been wonderful.

I bought used and untested along with an Astron RS-70M power supply from an individual who bought at an estate sale. It was lacking the power cord but I took a chance on buying and then getting a cord from MFJ on having either a working unit or ending up selling for parts on eBay.

After hundreds of QSO's works like a charm. While mine is older and doesn't have front plugs for automatic bandswitch, it is still really easy to use as no tune and a simple knob band switch to operating band.

I do use with an automatic tuner, MFJ 998, which is a bit of an overkill since it will handle legal limits (spend more on tuner than amp) but it is all super simple. Since tuner protects itself on transmit and remembers setting for various frequencies, I never worry about tuneup; just select frequency, listen and transmit.

If you have a chance to find one of these in good condition, grab it.
KB8YIJ Rating: 3/5 Sep 30, 2018 00:47 Send this review to a friend
ALS 500 Story  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought a new in the box ALS500M in Phoenix AZ at HRO I'm driving a semi truck so when I had a load out there I stopped in and grabbed one they only had one.

OK with 10 watts in it was putting 100 out so I decided to be easy on it and drive it with 30 watts SSB and used 10 watts CW to fine tune the antenna (A HP40 Tarheel Screwdriver)of course I got the match good on the radio first.

With all that done it was putting out a little over 300 watts PEP on SSB 20 and 40 meters and all was well THEN one day it was down to 100 watts for no reason. Also when you changed bands it would trip the overload on the remote unit.

Called them up sent it in three weeks later got it back hooked it up it lasted two weeks then the same problem all over again only 100 watts out and overload still tripping for no reason?

Well I sent it back again same problem as last time they told me the finals were blown and the whole time was only driving it with 30 watts. This is when I got a little pissed and told them hell CB amplifiers are more durable than theirs why can they get it right!

So this time they had it almost a month got it back SAME THING AGAIN blown finals after three weeks of using it maybe three hours a day at 30 watts drive.

Called them up told them I want a new amp never used or my money back so they sent me a new one except this time they added the 10 meters mod for free.

After that I have been using it everyday for about six months not one problem at all it puts out 450 to 500 watts (With 45 watts drive)on all bands except 10 meters which is about 400 PEP. All SWR is good in and out on all the bands no problems at all.

I'm thinking the original amp I had was built on a Friday or something LOL I don't know but something was wrong right from the start.

My thoughts are if you get one that's good they are a good amp they work as advertised also get one with 10 meters in it because the kit for 10 meters is part of the tank circuit. All the time I was blowing finals without the 10 meters installed and once I got one with 10 meters in it never blew finals again?

I know I might be reaching on that last statement but they could not figure out why it kept blowing finals either.

In closing I will say they always worked with me on the phone and never made me pay extra for anything they even covered the shipping every time.
KM6OKU Rating: 0/5 Aug 16, 2018 16:20 Send this review to a friend
Nightmare MFJ amp with cold solder...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
OK I cannot believe I blew the power transistors up after one week of use and then I went in it and found solder balls all over the power transistor board and a loose half inch long piece of solder floating in the uncleaned solder flux next to the power transistors. Then I found the emitter on one power transistor was cold soldered. Then I found the main 8 guage power line was cold soldered to the high power jack at the back of the case.

So I called Ameritron from here in Germany and they said they would send me free new set of power transistors if I paid for the fed ex so since they were PP100 Chinese clones of the Toshiba 2SC2879's as Japan no longer makes them, I said syonara and just paid $260 for to Fed-X me the 4 transistors and got a matched set of RFP 2sc2879's as nobody can beat RF Parts for reliability, not even Ameritron :) and I had my amp back up and resoldered in 4 days.

Never buy any amp any more unless it has the next generation LDMOS transistors that are the BLF188XR Ampleon (NXP is fine as Ampleon is their new name). These old 2sc2879's are a 40 year old technology and cannot handle any bad SWR. The new 3rd generation BLF188XR technology can handle a 65:1 SWR and will never blow up on you. Do not buy any Ameritron with LDMOS as MFJ bought Ameritron and their quality is akin to being made in China now.

Seriously, I work in Electric Engineering and take it from me, never buy any tube amps or old style transistor amps anymore as they stopped making tubes and transistors to replace them so you are stuck with using the best Chinese replacement transistors and tubes that RF Parts can buy and that is about as trustworthy as a Chinese Junk Boat, which I would not use to cross a river in.

The BLF188XR is the latest tech and is made today and will allow you to short the coax running to your antennae with a copper wire and still not blow up your transistors.

Unless you want a lot of soldering practice then go ahead and buy a ALS-500M. They work for a few weeks very well before the tranny's are toast :)
KT7G Rating: 5/5 May 16, 2018 06:20 Send this review to a friend
very good & reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned and used one of these in my mobile and at times in the home shack. I have a 125 amp alternator in the mobile and a screwdriver type antenna. This amp is designed to protect itself from High Swr and mismatch. anything wrong out there and it drops the relay to protect the devices. Tune the antenna with the amp out of the circuit, then turn the amp on and mine has worked for me for the last 8 years flawlessly.
I used it in the shack and forgot that sequence and had a LDG autotuner work faster than the protection. It got to go visit its parents on that one. I had the remote option installed then and are still using it today. I have six plaques here for high power mobile in 7QP
because of it. The service has been great also.
KE0MPH Rating: 5/5 May 15, 2018 00:04 Send this review to a friend
All good  Time owned: more than 12 months
I messed up, I bought this amp , and a 75 amp power supply to use as backup for my Acom 1000 .
IMy Acom has never had a problem. I tryed to use the 75 amp power supply and ALS 500 with a generator 2000 watt Honda generator couldn't run it so it sat in my basement for 2 years.
I was thinking of buying a new radio from Roger at R&L I,started talking about stuff sitting around, He said put that amp in your car!!!!!!
So I added a second battery for the amp, a 10 gauge wires to charge other battery when receiving.
My radio indicated 14.2 volts on this driving around,with a 40watt drive amp shows 500 watts on the LDG 1000 auto tuner .
In to Hustler 20 and 40 meter antennas,most contacts think I am on a base .
What a great mobile amp
K6AES Rating: 4/5 Feb 16, 2018 17:02 Send this review to a friend
Good, budget HF amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This amp really needs to be used with a tuner between it and the antenna. Otherwise you'll be down on power and/or subject to many O/L events. I use it with an Astron VS-70M and that's plenty for my use (SSB). Highest power out is 600+ peaks on portions of 75m. Average is solid 500w on 75/80, with 400w on 40m. (All watt readings with RTTY dead-carrier). I haven't tested max on all the bands. But this compares to about 1/3 the output I had without a tuner (LDG AT-600PROII) into a GAP Titan DX. I give it a '4' because I've only been using the rig as setup for about a week. If it continues like this it'll be a solid '5'.
N7AY Rating: 3/5 Aug 9, 2017 18:05 Send this review to a friend
Not Bad for a Dollar a Watt  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I picked up a used 500M recently with my eyes wide open. Thanks to all for prior reviews. So I'm fully aware of the limitations of this amp but it does have a bunch of drawbacks, many of which can be read about here in other reviews.

Just wanted to say why I purchased one anyway, despite its flaws. #1 It looks pretty good on a tight budget. Not too many amps available at $1/Watt. #2 Solid state - ease of use. #3 12V. Yes, it's intended as a mobile unit but I was looking for a reasonable amp that would run on the battery bank I run may emergency base system on. It does that very nicely. #4 Small footprint - doesn't take up a lot of room in the shack. #5 Light weight.
KS4OT Rating: 0/5 Jan 2, 2017 15:32 Send this review to a friend
This Amp is JUNK NO GOOD  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just bought this ALS-500M Amp from HRO when it arrived it was well packed that is the best part everything else is a nightmare ....first of all the power output was off on some of the bands ....

160 400 out
80 300 out
40 350 out
20 225 out
17 220 out
15 230 out
12 245 out
10 400 out

another problem was every time i would key amp at 13.8 volts no matter what power 5 watts in or 40 it would trip the load fault when i reduce the voltage to 12 volts it would trip but not as bad anything over 12 volts it wouldnt work ....

so i returned the amp the next day drove up to HRO to exchange and they did no problems when i got back home expecting the Amp to work same problem so called HRO to get a full refund and they gave it to me i tip my hat to the exchange process from HRO its the MFJ Amp that i wouldnt not recommend to anyone on this site all the bad reviews you see on this Amp on eham reviews and anywhere else belive them its all true dont waste your time or hard earned money on this Amp ... i havent had any problems out of my Ameritron Amp tube amps i have a al-82 and a 811h great Amps MFJ JUST DONT HAVE THE TECNOLOGY DOWN ON THE SOLID STATE AMPS .... so stay away from this Amp if you dont want to have a BIG HEADACHE ....go with a acom or a elecraft and you want go wrong just glad i didnt go over my 10 days from HRO and had to be aggravated with the warranty process with MFJ
WR0F Rating: 0/5 Oct 3, 2016 18:23 Send this review to a friend
Sent back a 2nd time DOA  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
We own 2 als 500m before this one that work perfectly as well as a als 1306 and als 1300 .
Well we ordered a ALS 500MR August 2016 and it was dead on arrival. We received it back from service about 3 1/2 weeks later and it still had issues.
The problem is when its inline with 4 known good setups 2 mobile 2 in house we have using ameritron amps it makes the radio see the antenna way out of resonance 20-10 meters etc .
We sent it back this time asking for a replacement as we have yet to be able to use a new amp in almost 2 months . Still waiting to put it in our newest car .
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