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Reviews For: Astron SS-18

Category: Power Supplies

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Review Summary For : Astron SS-18
Reviews: 10MSRP: 94.95
Desktop switching power supply, 15A continuous, 18A intermittent
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N4KVE Rating: 2018-10-17
GREAT PS Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have several SS-18's I've purchased 2nd hand over the years. They work excellent, powering UHF base radios which draw about 10 amps. I also picked up the covers from Astron, so the radio is now attached to the PS in one unit. Excellent PS, just don't try running your 100 watt HF radio with it.
WA8ALQ Rating: 2018-10-17
They don't last Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought 3 of these SS-18 power supplies. Two of them failed about a year apart. The third one is still functioning but I figure it's only a matter of time before it fails. I'll never buy another Astron switching supply again...
N8DJR Rating: 2014-03-21
Quiet, Effective, Inexpensive, & Quality Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Built like a tank this slim design 15 amp switching power supply is both quiet and cool operating no buzz or AC hum and you'll be hard pressed to get the fan back there to come on unless you're dead keying your radio for a long time or running Newsline and even then it will handle that no problem. Astron said "it will take like 15 minutes at 12 amps to turn on the fan
" This PS is way better than those big clunky heavy PS I was using before this one is well worth a few more bucks to cut down on size and weight and still run a mobile radio in the home QTH
KK5JY Rating: 2010-11-17
Perfect Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I used this to power an on-the-go kit, consisting of a QRP transceiver, 45W HF linear amplifier, and external antenna tuner. It has performed flawlessly, and does not emit any RF noise, certainly not enough for me to notice across the bands I have worked, with an indoor antenna, to boot.

Like all the Astrons I have used, there is no external DC fuse. I suspect the internal protections would prevent you from damaging it by overload or short-circuit, but at a minimum, an externally-visible ATC would be nice. I guess they assume you will fuse your cables close to the supply.

Inexpensive and simple, very nice communication supply. Mine doesn't owe me a dime.
K1TWH Rating: 2008-04-25
Good supply Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Has powered my Yaesu FT-857D @ up to 80W SSB and 50W CW for the past two years with no problems or RF noise. Very nice, compact supply.
W2RDD Rating: 2006-05-19
Quiet , Reliable AND 220v Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had this Astron over a year now. Bought it as a supply for a TenTec Argonaut V. Selling point was the 110/220 capability. I keep it in Europe with the Argonaut using it in the 220v mains. Wonderful power supply; quiet and reliable. While slightly overkill for the Argonauts' 20 watts, price was only modestly more. Basic black looks good with the black Argonaut and black MFJ949E transmatch. A nice, small apartment station which pleases the lady of the house. I also have another here in the USA for the SGC2020. Only outboard power supplies I have had in years, so can't reliably comment on others.
K6USN Rating: 2005-10-03
Lightweight workhorse Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've used an SS 18 for over a year for portable operations in Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands and all over the USA. Weight is around 3 lbs and it is roughtly the size of my FT 857.
I power the HF radios to about 60 watts and never have a problem. I've owned Astron's for years and
find them every bit as good as the 'brand name' power supplies from the Big Three.

This unit is rugged! Dropped it on the floor at the LA airport (passenger screening!) and it sports a big dent, but still works flawlessly.

Like my previous Astrons, they appear sensitive to VHF RF fields in close proximity. When using a duck on 2M next to or on top of the SS 18 it shuts down. Powering up restores the functions and no damage is done. I've experimented with ferrite chokes with some success. Moving the VHF antenna a yard or so away solves the problem.

You can't go wrong with any of the Astron power supplies - I've owned or used nearly all of them over the years. ( Do wish they would provide a schematic however!)

A previous reviewer noted no switch for 110/220. He must have an early model. Mine has a slide switch (easily accessable from the outside) and I'v used it on 220V many times.

HR2PAC Rating: 2005-05-04
Excellent!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I use these power supply for my Kenwood TKR-850 commercial repeaters and they are true workhorses. Cannot go wrong with Astron power supplies, built like tanks and excellent performance. 73's from HR land.
N4KZ Rating: 2004-08-31
Quiet workhorse Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought this supply primarily to power some QRP equipment. It works perfectly. It's small, very light -- just right for travel -- and no RF hash on any HF bands that I can find. I've learned the hard way that while switching supplies are attractive because of their size and weight, some of them are terrible noise producers. Believe me, you will forget all about size and weight if the band is full of noise every few kHz! But this one seems very quiet.
K7VO Rating: 2004-07-19
Very small, very light, no hash, runs cool. Very nice! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I went down to the closest thing we have to a local ham shop (2.5 hours away) and bought an Astron SS-18 when my old power supply was toasted by lightning. I mainly run QRP and even my 50W 6m/HF amp doesn't draw more than 8 amps so I decided to get the smallest thing I could find that would reliably do the job. I could have gone with the Astron SS-12, but it was the same size as the SS-18 and the price difference was tiny.

Speaking of tiny, this power supply is only 1-3/8 x 6 x 9 inches in size and weighs in at just 3.4 lbs. Granted, I haven't run it even close to rated power, but it's running my entire shack and it stays cool and just does what it should. I run most everything from 40m to 70cm all mode and I haven't heard any RF hash on any band. There is no fan noise for a good reason: there is no fan! I guess at this power level Astron felt they didn't need one.

Anyway, over the first few months this has been a reliable supply for me and it's small size makes it ideal for domestic travel. Sadly, it can't be switched from 110V to 220V for international travel. For use in the shack it's perfect for me.