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Reviews For: Ameritron AL-1200

Category: Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M

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Review Summary For : Ameritron AL-1200
Reviews: 57MSRP: 3310
Description:
Tube Type Linear Amplifier
Product is in production
More Info: http://www.ameritron.com/products.php?prodid=AL-1200
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
00574.9
IK2CNC Rating: 2019-02-27
A great rig! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I purchased it some month ago from a friend dealer and paid around 0.5 Euro/watt!
I used it on 20m and 80m bands using maximum 1Kw out (in Italy the limit is 500 W!) and this beast seems sleeping!
Very low noise and very easy tuning. On a Bird Dummy load I've seen 1300W PeP with 60W drive.
KC8HXO Rating: 2017-04-08
The "Big Block" Time Owned: more than 12 months.
There's an old saying in racing: Quickest way to horsepower is cubic inches. This baby is a beast. Put your foot on the throttle, and hang on. Yes, she makes some noise. (Blower whine, anyone?). Yep, she will use some "fuel". But sometimes that 3CX1200 under the hood is just what you need. Reliable power, without strain. Better make sure the rest of your "drivetrain" is up to the task.
KS4AA Rating: 2017-01-01
Great bang for buck! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Got it a few years ago for $2000, including a new spare Eimac 3cx1200! A few months ago, I sold the spare tube as this amp matched with the Eimac 3CX1200 is a TANK!! The protection circuits are excellent design and WORK... I replaced the old 'open' T/R relay with a sealed one. It QSK's fine! The only 'minor' disappointment is that I can only get 700-w output on 12m & 17m. I had many linears over the past 50-years, including homebrew, but, this one is a classic-design that is well supported. LOVE IT!! It's a keeper!
K5ZG Rating: 2016-11-16
GOOD SOLID AMP WITH MODS DONE RIGHT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I WAS LUCKY ENUFF TO GET A USED ONE FOR $500 FROM MY OLD BUDDY K3SX.I HATE THE OLD CLUNKY RELAYS CUZ IN A CONTEST I RUN QSK.
KV5V, THE GENIUS, PUT IN LEDS FOR METERS, GOT THE NEW FRONT FANEL FROM LUMPY N0UN, PUT IN THE W7RY QSK KIT.
THE AMP TAKES REAL DRIVE (90 PLUS WATTS) TO MAKE IT TO 1300 WATTS. NOT LIKE THE ALPHA 86 ON THE SHELF. IT WARMS THE SHACK DURING A RTTY CONTEST. VERY FAST QSK ON CW.
MY FAVORITIST OF ALL AMPS IS STILL THE TL922 THAT I GOT FROM K5WG AS A GIFT. AGAIN, THE 922 HAS THE KV5V MODS OF SOFT KEY, SOFT START, AND W7RY QSK.. JUST SOMETHING ABOUT SEEING THE 3-500S GLOW.
FOR CHASING A NEW DX STN I USE THE ALPHA 86.
FOR JUST MESSING ARND OR RTTY CONTESTS IT IS THE AL1200. IT IS THE CHEAPEST OF MY AMPS AND IF I BLOW IT UP I WONT HAVE A STROKE. IF YOU CANT WORK EM WITH 1300 WATTS YOU NEED A BETTER ANTENNA.
SEE U IN THE PILES (I DONT MEAN HEMORRHOIDS EVEN THO I AM A SURGEON)
K4HYJ Rating: 2013-11-23
Solid performer Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I came up with a used AL-1200 through a friend that wanted to buy my Henry 2K-4. It easily produces 1500 watts being driven by an Icom 7600 on all bands except 12 meters. The fan is noticeable but not distracting (it's set on the factory speed setting).

I primarily use it for busting SSB pile-ups which is easy paired with a good antenna. Seems well made - this unit is 2007 vintage with the 3CX1200A7 tube. The meter lights had been modified by placing a resistor in line to lower the voltage. I went ahead and upgraded to strip LEDS to evenly light the meter face using these made for Ameritron amps: http://www.ebay.com/itm/131030145960?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649 - pick your color!

I would debate whether or not this is a "desktop" amplifier. It is large and heavy! There is no space on my desk for this beast. I built a sturdy table next to my operation position and placed it there. It is well ventilated here and not in the way when not in use.

Step start delay is "long" enough to hear the relay close so I feel the power switch will last a long time. Nice Peter Dahl transformer and all later production improvments (bias board, etc). This has the QSK board installed - I do some CW, so it is nice. It also makes the T/R relay noise non-existent - I have to look at the amp to be sure the XMT led is burning!
W3NA Rating: 2013-11-06
Follow up Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I first reviewed my AL-1200 amplifier about two years ago. So this is a follow up review. Fully capable of 1500+w, I usually keep my AL-200 at 1200-1400w to protect the systems after the amplifier (tuner, switches, and antennas). I have encountered three problems in 4 years of owing and operating this fine amplifier. 1) The small meter illumination bulbs burn out frequently. The solution was to use LED lighting based on a recent QST article. It cost less than $10 and a trip to Radio Shack. Wow, it looks great (better than original) and should last indefinitely. 2) A new 3CX1200A7 tube is very expensive. Even though the tube is know for its excellent durability and forgiving nature, what would I do should the tube fail? My solution was to patiently wait and purchase a good used tube for a reasonable price as a backup. 3) The open frame relay still sticks every year or so. My solution is to yearly open the amplifier and perform a cleaning. At current used prices, this amplifier is a real bargain.
W0FEN Rating: 2013-01-28
Great AMP! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This AMP is the best. I have had several. I bought this used and it appears to be an early one. Used, I had to replace the ALC board. It was not expensive at all under $30.

I did have a problem connecting the AC correctly. I burned out a 12W resistor. The factory immediately knew which one it was. It must happen often. To my credit the connections are confusing.

This amp tunes easily and the front panel indications are correct. I have also run it on 17M on the 15M postion. Not full output but it works fine.

This is a >75 lb. monster for the desktop. It is not easy to move.

I would put it up against a Collins 30S1 which I previously owned. It didn't have 160M and now I have that band as well.
VY1EI Rating: 2012-03-27
Solid performer Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had this amplifier for two years now. Mine came with the 3CX1200Z7 tube, which was a surprise as the amp was listed as having the 3CX1200A7. Apparently the Z7 version is stronger than the A7. I've used this amp for several contests now and its been very reliable. Puts out a solid 1500 over most bands. It puts out about 1100 watts over the lower part of 20 meters. For the money its a very reliable contest amplifier.

Eric
VY1EI
WX3B Rating: 2012-01-11
A+ - solid performance, great service Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Just a quick follow-up to a prior review. I use AL-1200's at my multi-operator contest station and have yet to have a critical failure of this amplifier. The performance is excellent and 90 watts drive will generate a clean, reliable 1.5kw output. I find Mike (Ameritron) extremely helpful in diagnosing the little things that can occur and his track record is almost 100% doing this remotely (i.e. rarely have to send a unit in).

The 3cx1200a7 tube is expensive, however it is almost indestructible.

This was my first amplifier in 1998, and it continues to be a great performer.

W7RUE Rating: 2011-06-19
Excellent Amp Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have owned this AL-1200 for a couple of months now and it has thus far, given me excellent service. I am the third owner. It is a 2001 model and it is replacing an AL-811 which I sold to a new General-class friend of mine.

I got this AL-1200 from another ham friend who had it laying around in his shack collecting dust. He doesn't have a 240v service and he didn't think that he would ever get around to having it installed so it was a 'win-win' for both of us.

I drive it with a Yaesu FT-1000MP which only puts out 100 watts so it will never overdrive the amp. I don't need or have the ALC hooked up and I use an ARB-704 buffer between the amp and the transciever. I am quite satisfied with its performance. It puts out the full 1500 watts of clean RF with less than 100 watts of drive. It is easy to tune and very forgiving whenever I have a 'senior moment'.

I now have no problem with reaching those hard-to-contact stations when I am running or relaying for club and traffic nets; especially during poor atmospheric conditions!

So far I give it top marks!

W7Rue