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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - 6M/VHF/UHF+ | Mirage D1010 Help

Reviews Summary for Mirage D1010
Mirage D1010 Reviews: 8 Average rating: 2.4/5 MSRP: $344.00
Description: 70 CM Amplifier, with no preamp. 10 watts in delivers 100 watts out.
Product is in production.
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W8BYA Rating: 1/5 May 25, 2012 17:58 Send this review to a friend
Not Impressed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased my new amplifier from AES, Cleveland, for just under $400. I wanted to use it with my TS-2000 for SSB/CW work on 432 MHz. AES was SUPER and I got the amp one day after I ordered it. When looking at the amp it looked really cheap and poorly made. The sheet metal edges were rough and not well formed. It is cheap compared to the Mirage amps I had 20 years ago for the various bands. The switches looked chintzy and their operation was not solid and flimsy.

Once connected to the rig I connected the amplifier output to my bird watt meter and bird 50 ohm load. All known good slugs and meter. Also known good 2' RG-214 jumpers were used. The amp was providing 120W output with only 5W input. At 7W input I was getting 150W output. I dared not go any higher since the amp was rated at only 100W. Power input was verified via the bird when placed between the rig and amp and with the TS-2000 power setting. The amp was completely removed to make those measurements.

Another more troubling issue was noticed when I shut off the amp and tried to use the rig barefoot. The TS-2000 was folding back it's power output due to high SWR looking into the amplifier. I was measuring slightly over a 2:1 mismatch in the bypass mode and the TS-2000 was clamping output at around 35 Watts.

Overall, I was really disapointed with everything about this amplifier. It sure is a huge departure from the Mirage amps I use to use long ago when mountain topping etc. The amp also does not have a GaAsFet LNA which would have been a nice option IMO.

The amp was quickly returned, AES confirmed the issues and provided me a refund. I still lost shipping both ways so this experience cost me over $30 and a weeks time. I don't think all their amps can be this way, but I will be staying away from Mirage (MFJ) in the future. Suggest you test well before you decide to keep or try one out.
KI8BL Rating: 0/5 Feb 21, 2012 08:08 Send this review to a friend
Junk!!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
well my family are hams,dad he is k8wfn. he is into 440! i gave it up.he does contesting on 2m,6m and 440. he has two of these amps.well the unf vhf contest jan,21 2012 his bran new 1010 smoked,just had 3 hours on it.swr is perfect and stacked yagis fed with hard line. i have had many on these amps.with no problems. thats the older ones of course,the new ones STAY AWAY from them,unless you have a parts to rebuild them.. i mean a new amp over 300 bucks and GONE of course if you ship and pay 300 again they will fix it. its just sorry that they operate in this fashion
KM3F Rating: 3/5 Dec 6, 2011 21:13 Send this review to a friend
Operating notes.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received this amplifier pre owned, pre MFJ, and as an unknown.
At first, I tried to power the amplifier with the same power supply as used on my 2 meter amplifier at 100 plus watts out.
My supply would trip off on over current protection.
Up on investigation there seemed to be no reason for the tripping as the devices were not getting hot, and no fuse blowing and no obvious problem,.
Upon circuit analysis, I find the amplifier is a bit current hungrey at keyup with cw/fm RF drive added at the same time.
The difference between this amplifier and a 2 m amplifier of the same relitive power levels is there are two bias supplies in the D1010 that draw a lot of current at keyup as well as charging a lot of filter and bypass capacitance in a number of places.
This causes a current spike to the power supply.
If the supply is marginal it will kick out on over current as it should.
In my case I loaded the 13.8 supply output with a lot of capacitance as a current reserve upon keyup, to draw from.
It worked fine as a way to increase a supply's current capacity.
For 8 watts drive from the transverter, the output is 110 watts into a 'flat' home made load at 432 to 434 mhz.
Bottom line is be sure your setup is adiquit to supply this amplifier because the design is very different from a 2 meter design, for current consumption.
From inital observation only, it seems a good unit with solid power out.
Only draw back is lack of a receive preamp if they are at all usefull at 432 without resorting to an external unit.
Also noted, there is about a 2 watt loss in throughput power to the load so it could be a small limit with the amplifier in line but not being used, for transmitt power loss and receive sensitivity loss of about 1-1/2 db +/-.
These amplifiers have a history of production changes to accomidate ATV, prevent uncontrolled ocillation etc.
Be sure you are awhere of this when considering the purchuse of older units that have not had changes made.
There are schematics on the internet detailing those changes.
An understanding of the unit and supporting info goes a long way to making them usefull without a lot of hassle.
I don't know anything about the latest units to compare with.
Good luck.
KA6PSD Rating: 4/5 Jul 3, 2010 15:34 Send this review to a friend
Good ampilfier  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had 2 of these amps and modified them for atv as per PC Electronics write up. They work quite well if you are using the brown faced one from Mirage/KLM... We genrally put out 50-55 watts on atv but you have to remember the is to get total linearity. A fan is a must for ATV. Even with the mods (mostly filtering )I tried mine on 440 at the 98 watt output and had no problems. Hope this helps with your choice as being a fair amplifier for the money.
W8PU Rating: 0/5 Sep 8, 2009 08:05 Send this review to a friend
Only use the older ones  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had issues with two new MFJ Mirage D-26-N amplifiers on ATV. They are advertised to work on ATV. Neither worked right and both went into oscillation, burning up the two 20 ohm resisitors used for stability. One amp was back to Mirage once, the other twice. I still had to tweak on them to get them to work on FM, and gave up using them on ATV. I bought an older original Mirage " brown " D-1010 and its has been working great. Stay away from the new Mirage MFJ UHF amps.
VE3FAX Rating: 1/5 Feb 28, 2008 19:20 Send this review to a friend
Never Worked Right  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
What can I say. This circa MFJ UHF amp has had nothing put problems from new, starting with low output power of 60 watts.

MFJ seems to set them up for ATV with the exception of a few lasts mods, so this may be the cause for the factory low power. I never got a satisfactoy answer from MFJ and felt the added shipping / brokerage costs to return it from Canada wasn't worth it. I already had the feeling this amp was not worth spending another dime on...and was right.

With amp in line, but turned off, HIGH SWR was the norm. I later found it to be related to the relays, which showed a high resisatance even in "bypass" mode. Opening them , I expected to find them burned, but they were clean as a whistle. The problem seemed to be some clear coating of film which had to be burnished off. I suspect it was caused by the HUGE amount of factory glue used on the relay covers, and perhaps particulate fumes contaminated the contacts. (I dont recall the make of the relays at this time)

With that fixed, the matching of this amp still left a lot to be desired. The bandwidth and area of best match (1.5:1) on mine was vector analyzed at 431MHz with a BW of abt 500Khz. (They arn't tunable.) Everywhere else it was unuasble do to high SWR. (3:1 min)

Unfortunatly, the amp soon smoked while testing it one day into a dummy load to investigate the low power problem- I suspect it went into occillation, as experienced by other owners,(perhaps it always was) and took out the finals. Opening the case revealed the 100 Ohm variable BAIS resistor for the finals flamed out and melted. It was factory set at close to 0 ohms.

In my opinion, this amp is not even worth the repair cost of the finals, with me doing labour.

These amps may come with either M25C25 finals (mine) or MRF 648, as indicated in my included schematic- which bore very little resemblance to what my unit actually had in many parts of its cct. This model has obviously been the subject of may factory tweeks and revisons.(Lots of long flying leads on caps/resistors attached to those power transistors!) I read from another user that their techs try everything except VOO-DOO to get these amps to stablize.

Driver is the MRF466 and you must exercise caution to not overpower the input.

You can guess by now that I thought this amp was a waste of time and money and a HUGE dissapointment, not to mention the dismal Mirage (MFJ) service. No effort or offer was made on their part to solve my complaints nor did they show interest in my findings about the relays / low power/ SWR from the factory- (another reason I didnt bother sending it in for service)

I would STRONGLY caution anyone about purchasing this UHF amp (and the ATV model) and to try something from a different manufacturer.

I also have an early Mirage (Beige face) non-MFJ amp for 160W -2m, which I bought used. I am happy with it, but it was made by a different company. Its only service soon to be required will be a relay replacment.

Hope my experience has helped. You can hope mine was an isolated case, but web and user group searching will reveal others with similar experiences.

73 es GL

N0TTW Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 2006 21:43 Send this review to a friend
Worked great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this amp on ebay about 3 years ago and used it on a FT-100D. I have since traded it last year and I'll tell you that this amp worked fine.

Even though it had no built in preamp, that was not a problem. Most people put a mast mount preamp up and this amp will allow DC to pass to it.

If you use this amp on SSB I recommend you use a way to hard key it rather than use its internal RF detector as this is (and with other brands) a flaky circuit.

NE0P Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2004 23:39 Send this review to a friend
Nice output for 70cm  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had a couple of D1010 amps, and each one did as rated-putting out 100 watts plus on UHF. You can now find these used at pretty reasonable prices, and get a pretty decent jump in your 70cm power. Made a nice difference going through the satellites and on tropo. Even had a couple of partial calls copied on meteor scatter using WSJT.

The D1010 didn't come with a built in preamp like the RF Concepts amps did. That was a drawback, although many weak signal operators prefer to run a mast mounted preamp for UHF.

You need to understand, though, that there are 3 generations of Mirage amps:

1. The brown and white face amps. Made by Mirage who I think was under KLM at the time. Very good amps.

2. The black face amps made in California. Look on the back to see the company address. These tended to have blue rocker switches. Mirage had split off into its own company. Good reputation on these amps also.

3. The black face amps made in Mississippi. These are the ones made after MFJ bought out Mirage. These tended to have red rocker switches. I have never used one of these. I personally have had good luck with MFJ products, but others don't like them as well. Draw your own conclusions.

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