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Reviews For: Astron RS-20M

Category: Power Supplies

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Review Summary For : Astron RS-20M
Reviews: 25MSRP: 130.00
13.8 VDC, 20 A Linear Power Supply (with separate volt and amp meters)
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W3DJS Rating: 2019-04-27
Failed twice in 4 months of ownership Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I use the Astron RS-20M linear power supply with an Icom IC-7300 and nothing else. I have powered the Icom at 50 watts max and have now suffered not one, but two catastrophic failures of the Astron RS-20M in four months. According to the service tech, the first time a rectifier failed and blew the fuse. The second time...?

It costs half the price of a new unit to ground ship the unit for servicing to Astron. I know others have had great reviews for Astron. Maybe I just have a dud? I just had to come to to post my experience.
KB5LYR Rating: 2018-04-09
Excellent Power Supply Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased this Astron RS-20M power supply, used, off E-bay 5 years ago. I adjusted the meters on the unit and ran a test on it before putting it in service. This supply is a dedicated supply for my Kenwood TM-281 and operates flawlessly just about 24/7. This unit is built like a tank and I love the looks of it with it's AMP and Volt meters. This is a linear supply so there is a slight hum in it but for me, it is not noticeable. I've ran the Astron power supplies for years and highly recommend them. The price point is very affordable.
N2MDV Rating: 2018-03-31
Great power supply, but watch what you use it on! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought this supply from a friend of mine for $100.00. It's perfect for powering anything that draws better than 15A, like 50W UHF rigs, 65W 2M rigs, many power hungry commercial VHF/UHF rigs, but not HF rigs wide open! Many 100W HF rig are rated to draw around 22A, and my experience is to have a power supply that can handle at least a 25A draw. This is not the supply to do that with. However, if you do, run the HF rig at 5/8th power level, or less, not wide-open at 100W! That said, this is a good power supply, just use common sense upon what you use it on, and how you use it.
KG7OR Rating: 2017-10-18
Old Reliable Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought it in 1991; still use it many hours per day for my VHF base radio.
No induced noise in the radio.
No vibrating or other noise from the unit.
I never have to do anything to it except turn it on and off.
Can't ask for much more than that.
KS4HY Rating: 2014-11-06
Reliable servie since 2004 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased an Astron RS-20m in 2004 to run with a Kenwood TS-450sat. I have also used it to run a Kenwood TS-850sat. I have had zero problems with mine. Very happy with my purchase.
K4HYJ Rating: 2012-11-12
Built like a tank!!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been running it at near capacity powering some ham radio equipment. It sees several hours of use each day.

Simple straight forward layout and heavy duty binding posts - mine came with rated ring terminal connectors to use, nice touch!

No noise on any band (160-.23cm) including SWL, general AM and FM listening. It just works!!

Now I need a bigger one for an HF amp!!
WU6X Rating: 2012-09-28
Great supply, but no easy adjustment Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This supply has been rock-solid for years. I trusted the front panel meter to be accurate. One of my VHF radios power out was not as expected so checked the power supply output with a Fluke-83 meter and was surprised to find the output was 1 volt lower than the front panel meter. The output voltage plus power cord drop was killing my output power on the rig.

So, I re-calibrated the meter and thought, I'll just tweak the supply up a volt. Well, although I'm reading this is possible, it can't be done without disassembling the unit; incredible that the manufacturer did not include at least a hole in the chasis to get to the adjusment.

Check your output at the PS terminals with a good meter and re-calibrate the front panel meter on the unit. Hopefully, yours will be closer to 13.8 volts.
NW6V Rating: 2012-06-20
Old, and possibly showing its age Time Owned: more than 12 months.
A few weeks back (May 2012) I pulled my RS-20M out of a moving box full of station gear in which it sat for 20+ years.

Happy to report that it's now providing power for various station accessories, and the voltage remains rock-solid. And if that were all there is to the story, I'd give it a 5.

I don't remember how the unit operated when new, but this unit now powers up with a bang and is mechanically (not electrically) noisy; a constant AC hum emanates from the case, probably caused by transformer windings or core plates that loosened with age.

How loud? Well, except when I'm transmitting (at which point my equally old IC-740's internal fan comes on and drowns out the hum) it is by far the loudest noise in the shack - louder than the drone of two computer fans and drives in the same room. Also understand, I generally LIKE background noise because I have tinnitus - a loud squealing noise in my ears - and background noise can help "mask" this infernal incessant racket, but this hum makes it worse if anything, and can get pretty annoying. I wouldn't dream of leaving the PS on when not in use.

Since this 20 Amp model is not enough to power accessories plus the current rig (let alone the newer rigs which invariably spec 23 Amps) I was planning to replace it anyway, but were that not the case, this is something I'd want to fix - or discard.

Loose windings or whatever are perhaps understandable for a PS that sat around for decades not being used. Accordingly, I don't think this in ANY way should be construed as a criticism of Astron; even granite wears to dust over the ages. But if I were buying a used unit - off E-Bay or some such - I'd specifically inquire about mechanical noise when powered up.

I'm hard pressed to imagine that new units exhibit this issue, so I'll probably pick up an RS-35M in the next week or two. If that proves equally noisy (I've no reason to expect it will) it will be returned.

73, Chris NW6V
KJ4QAN Rating: 2011-08-05
Built like a tank. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I like a linear supply because they are just plain more reliable. This one gives nice clean power. I put it on a scope. There's just no hash. Not even at 5mV. I've been using mine with a Yaesu FT450 on SSB and it works just fine. Even at 100W the duty-cycle of SSB makes the supply barely warm and the voltmeter never moves. The meters are nice and big and easy to read. I read on the net that somebody replaced the incandesant bulbs with blue LEDs. That would be cool. Maybe I'll use tri-colored LDSs and put a selector switch on mine.
N1UHF Rating: 2011-02-10
Fantastic power supply Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this PS about 8 years ago, used it as my power supply through most of those years. It always supplied clean and capable power. I really like the Ammeter and Voltmeter version as I can always tell what's going on.
It is a heavy beast at 17 lbs compared to the newer switched supplies, though i'm sure big ones are even heavier! Surely not for dragging around for portable or emmcom i recommend a good switching supply. But for home base use this one and other Astron metered versions are excellent.

The reason i'm leaving this review today is because a last week the lighted power switch on mine failed. I called Astron today in CA, and they took my name and address and said they were going to send a switch out to me free of charge. They didn't even ask me how old the power supply was! What a great company...