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Reviews For: Samlex SPS-1204UL

Category: Power Supplies

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Review Summary For : Samlex SPS-1204UL
Reviews: 13MSRP: 29.95
Compact 3.5A Switching Power Supply with
cigarette lighter socket and terminal outputs.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
JRT3 Rating: 2014-12-03
RPS-1204 is the answer! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The RPS-1204 is the answer! It is a transformer operated linear/analog type power supply and regulator. It's a fixed 13.8 V +/-1% @ 4A/6A CCS/ICS supply with front panel binding post and cigarette lighter/aux power jack. It's heavy - my first one from Universal (1/13) was dropped and the chassis was warped - shipping damage - they sent me another one, which was fine. They never picked up the mangled one - I guess it wasn't worth the return s&h. Universal no longer carries it (Supply problem!).

I use my RPS-1204 to power my Icom R75, feeding it via a 12V cord and adapter. The R75 runs room temperature now, far cooler than it did with it's Icom analog PS. Icom has been delivering R75s with switching-type supplies lately - you'd think a communications company would think more of their only SW receiver than to supply them with such. I saw the Samlex RPS-1204 on evil-bay - and other places, too. Mine was ~$35 shipped two years ago. It is on 24/7 and produces no RFI - and no discernible hum under the light loading of just an R75. It has a fixed AC cord and large heat sink for the VR on the back panel. I like it!
KQ0J Rating: 2011-06-24
Great little unit! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been using this power supply for 3 years now. Currently I have had it on 24 X 7 for about a year powering a 2M radio that I use for monitoring. I also use it to power an MFJ autotuner for my HF rig and have used it on other devices such as a CB radio and 12 V fan for a rig as well. I have never had any hash problems on HF or VHF - all the reports of that make me wonder if there are some defective units out there.
K1WJ Rating: 2010-01-09
Not for Radio's Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.

Total junk - distroys in coming radio signals - Poor for radio use. Do not even have in the same room with a tranceiver - hash maximus....K1WJ
N5MDM Rating: 2007-01-19
OK for Non-Radio Power Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My Samlex 1204UL is being used to power meters and cooling fans. I've read too much hash to use hooked up to a radio, but I'm not using it for that. What I'm using it for it works good so far. I have not tried to power a qrp radio with it so I really dont know if its ok or not. But when I turn it on nothing is heard on my HF radios, however I'm not using it to power any.
W4KPA Rating: 2006-11-21
Lots of noise Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this to take along in my briefcase to power a Yaesu FT-817 from hotel rooms when I'm traveling. Well, it won't work for that. It's just too noisy even at vhf and uhf. Fortunately it didn't cost much. I went back to my MFJ-4125.
W6TH Rating: 2006-11-21
Hash , needs help Time Owned: N.A.
This is my second view of the SPS-1204UL. At first I was using a coax fed antenna and there was no hash noticed. Recently I have been using a half wavelength antenna tuned with a "L" network tuner. The hash was there and covered up my incoming signal, but able to copy through the hash. I was operating on a 12 volt car battery and used the Samlex SPS-1204UL as a battery charger which did work quite well to keep the battery at full charge, but the hash was awful and when I turned the 1204UL off the hash went away. As I turned the charger 1204UL back on, I heard the swish/hash come back and passed by, later as I was still receiving the hash came right back on the same signal, same frequency. I just learned when the hash comes on and in the receive position to just turn the 1204UL off and run straight on the battery. The coax fed antenna was clean, but not when using an endfed antenna of any kind. The 1204UL does a great job of recharging the car battery when I ran it dead and took just 2 hours to bring back the full charge. I will stay with my linear power supplies.

Earlier 5-star review posted by W6TH on 2005-12-29

A small compact unit that puts my Icom output at 15 watts.

No hash of any kind, good voltage regulation, a very nice piece of workmanship, no junk here.

Well pleased with this unit and a pleasure to work QRP with a Icom 718.

$29.99 plus $4.99 shipping from AES, I consider a good buy.

NE0P Rating: 2006-03-07
Now I found hash! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have now found that this PS puts out hash on the lower bands. Last night I was running my newly acquired Icom 756PRO on 80 meters, and the noise floor seemed higher than usual. There were also some nasty spurs peaking at S9 around 3.550 and moving slowly upward. I reached over, flipped off the Samlex 1204, the spurs went away, and the noise level dropped to its usual S1.

Not recommended for use on the lower HF bands, unfortunately.

Earlier 5-star review posted by NE0P on 2006-01-31

I picked up one of these to use for portable work. Also use it to charge my Yaesu VX7R HT. Very compact, has both terminals on the rear and a cigarette lighter plug on the front. Haven't found any hash or noise associated with it yet. It you need something to power a 10-15 watt or less rig with in a take along fashion, you can't go wrong with this PS. Also a great price!
AB0RE Rating: 2006-01-31
Lacking Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I was looking for a small power supply to power my HT upstairs so I would not have to keep charging batteries (shack is downstairs). I thought I'd give the Samlex 1204UL a try as the price, size, and weight were all great.

I was disappointed when I received it:
- If I transmitted anywhere near the unit with an HT it'd reset. It acted like it could not keep up with the current requirements of the HT, but I think the 1204 is actually very sensitive to RF fields in the near field.
- The cigarette lighter plugs I plugged into the unit kept coming loose. It does not appear that the cigarette lighter jack on this thing has high tolerances.

I ended up returning it. This bummed me out because all indications were that it was going to be a perfect fit for what I needed. (This is only the 2nd piece of ham gear I've ever returned and I've bought a lot).

If you're in the market for a small power supply, I'd strongly recommend looking into something else. I think Astron makes a small version with a lighter jack on front that has to run laps around this thing.

Dan / ab0re
N6ILS Rating: 2004-12-29
Good Portable PS Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just got mine for Xmas and it is doing a great job of running the Icom 703. The great thing about this power supply is the size. It is small enough to put in a laptop type carrying case with my 703 and all my other radio goodies and not taking up much space.

As mentioned previously, it does a great job with the 703. For less than $30 you can't go wrong.
K2ROK Rating: 2004-11-25
Great with the Icom 703 Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
No hash and no problems. Runs my 703 to ten watts without a problem and makes for a simple and lightweight portable operation. I run 17 and 12 meters portable, and this little supply just does it's job quietly and cool. For the price -- it's great!