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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - 6M/VHF/UHF+ | AM-6154 144 MHz amplifier Help

Reviews Summary for AM-6154 144 MHz amplifier
AM-6154 144 MHz amplifier Reviews: 6 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $300.00
Description: The FAA used the AM-6154 in the 1980's with ground-to-air transmitters. They were designed to cover 118-136 MHz at 50 watts AM continuous output. With only a few hours of work, and almost no extra parts, they are capable of over 400 watts output on 144 MHz SSB/CW at Amateur Radio duty cycles. This amlpifier uses either an Eimac 8930 or an Amperex DX-393 tetrode tube.
Product is in production.
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K3MD Rating: 5/5 Mar 3, 2011 16:15 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Obtained one of these through my friends in the Mt. Airy VHF society in August. Unit I got had been modified already... I never took it apart. You do need external relays, easily available from Fair Radio Sales. These operate from 24 volts, so you must homebrew your own 24 volt supply or get one on EBay. Also you must use an Ameritron ARB-704 if you are using an Icom driver (IC-7000 in my case).
Cranks out 350 watts on a Coaxial Dymnamics peak reading wattmeter, gets 200-300 miles tropo with a single CC 13B2 easily.
Don't have one for 432 yet.
When you consider a Palstar VHF-144 is $3000 and a Lunar Link is $5000, this is a bargain at $450.
Have run through 2 VHF contests with no problem at all.
Blower is loud... that is good, runs cool.
Built like a tank.... milspec.
AI4WM Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2011 12:16 Send this review to a friend
Hard too kill dependable amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
These beasts are like any U.S. government surplus; built to work and built to last.

I bought one of these several years ago for a repeater project and then bought a few more for my shack.

The 6154 is nearly ready to go on 2 meters. Change out the metering resistors and modify the keying and it's ready to go.

Sure there are tons of how-to mods posted, but the amps work fine without much modification. One worthy mod is to wide band the input if you do not like tuning the input when changing frequencies.

I run the amps with the Eimac 8930s or 4CX250B tubes. An adapter is required for the 4CX250B.

Build quality of the amp is super and use is easy and straight forward.

The downside of these are the noisy fan (really not that noisy for a blower) and the cost of replacement tubes. They also weigh about 70 pounds.

The only difference between the 6154 and 6155 is the cavity resonator for the 6155 is designed for 220 MHz. Both can be modified for VHF or 220MHz or 440MHz.

K3SZY Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2008 09:32 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp! I Want Another One  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have the AM-6155 and I run this amp on 144mhz. With 5 watts drive I am able to get 350W out. Be careful to not over drive this amp. I am now looking for one for 432 and a spare tube 8930 for the amp. There is one minor thing that I don't like and that is the noise from the blower. I am working on that. Have new bearings to install in the motor. For less than a dollar a watt this amp is a great deal.
W4VD Rating: 5/5 Sep 2, 2005 05:02 Send this review to a friend
Time owned: more than 12 months
I was lucky enough to own several of these jewels, I also got some new tubes as well and on a Bird 43 I could easily get 500+ on 2 meters and 400-450 on 432 with a good tube, the amps seemed to suffer a slight amount of thermal drift as the amp heated up on UHF with the Amprex DX393 tubes some came with, others came with the Eimac version (I don't recall the exact numbers it was in the mid 80's when I ran them) which didn't suffer from any drift at all, I think this was because the Amprex's tube design, the center of the tube was twice the size of the Eimac's, leaving much less area for air to be forced thru. The Eimac's worked wonderfully on 432 and I worked around 30 states on one of them. And never saw any change in the output or the tuning as it heated up, I ran many a contest with them and nary a problem, built like a tank.

The tube is the same as a 4CX350, 350 watts plate dissapation, it was used by the FAA for ground to air operations and came with a matching 10 watt tranceiver. The original output was only 50 watts AM, so basically all you had to do was mod the input circuit to not swamp the drive and still give you 50 ohm load (it has a front panel input tuning cap to adjust the input perfectly to your exciter) in a flash you have a 1/2 gallon amp on 144mhz, only problem, no relay, you'll need external dow keys, I modded many for friends, the 430 mod is indeed a lot more involved than the 2 meter, you have to make a stripline for the input out of hobby brass but nothing impossible, I never put one on 220, but it's nothing the average ham can't do in a Saturday afternoon for 144, and an all day job for 430, all you need it is a very few common components and a good 120V dow key relay. Pick up the 120V for the relay off the HV lamp inside the amp and it serves as a safety feature too, the relays won't key if the HV lamp isn't on,

Great amp, it's more bang for the buck than the SB220. Lot's of gold and silver inside the amp, I would love to know what the FAA paid for them

Fair Radio still had them listed in their inventory last time I looked.
YC2GAN Rating: 4/5 Aug 11, 2003 02:36 Send this review to a friend
144 MHz  Time owned: months
operasionalnya mudah,daya tahan baik,pingin punya tapi harganya masih terlampau mahal,bagaimana cara untuk bisa memiliki.
WM5R Rating: 4/5 Mar 22, 2001 18:58 Send this review to a friend
Great amplifier  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I actually have an AM-6155 (rather than the AM-6154) on 144 MHz. The two amplifiers were essentially identical except for the certain components in the input circuitry which get changed during the modification to Amateur service anyway.

The AM-6155 can put out 400 watts on SSB/CW with just a few modifications. Modifications for 144 MHz are more involved than the modifications for 222 MHz, but are reportedly much less painful than for 432 MHz. (I didn't perform the mods myself, your experience may vary.) You will need to provide one or more RF relays to do T/R switching if you get an unmodified unit.

These amplifiers can be purchased at various locations, but one sure source is Fair Radio Sales (, which can sell you an unmodified unit. They do show up in hamfests on occasion.

The amplifier is very well built, and designed to fit in a standard 19" equipment rack. The RF drawer can be removed without taking the rest of the amplifier out of the rack. Also, all of the fuses are located on the front panel, clearly placed there to make service easier. Almost every screw in this amplifier is "captured" so you do not need to worry about losing them when you detach compartments from one another - a very nice touch. Finally, the air flow through the amp is designed to enter from the front and leave from the rear, so you can stack several of these in a rack and not have to worry about blocking air flow.

The amplifier is very heavy, though, weighing in at over 70 pounds. You will want help getting it into an equipment rack. Also, the fan noise is much louder than I would like. On 222 MHz, this is definitely one of the best buys around. For 144 MHz, there are many more used amplififers in the 800 to 1,000 watt range that are a lot quieter. Still, for much less than $1/watt, you can get a very respectable linear signal on 144 MHz out of one of these amplifiers.

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