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Reviews For: DX Engineering RPA-1 Receive Preamp

Category: Receive Pre-amps

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Review Summary For : DX Engineering RPA-1 Receive Preamp
Reviews: 12MSRP: 109.00
The RPA-1 provides exceptional performance from 0.3-35 MHz operating range. It's push-pull amplifier design and robust components enable it to withstand high signal levels and operate when you need it most. It is easily bypassed by turning it off.
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N5OFF Rating: 2015-10-25
Great pre-amp Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Group, I use three HF receivers on the same 50' wire ant and was looking for an amp to at minimum replace the losses in my splitter. I settled upon this amp and am delighted with it. Quality build in metal case and there is an on/off relay built in so one can switch the amp in and out. I use it mostly on the higher HF bands. Conclusion: I can hear WWV on 25 Mhz today with the pre-amp on and cannot hear the station with the pre-amp off. Recommended.
AD5IW Rating: 2013-07-27
Great low noise preamp Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This preamp really improves my AOR 7030+ performance on the high bands. I live in an HOA that restricts antenna so I use a 41' long wire, up 15' (RF Systems). Without the preamp, some signals are just too low to hear well, especially if a narrow filter (500hz) is used. With the preamp, I could hear Russian CW (over the pole) just as well as my K2 but with better audio.

With a plain AOR, the CB band seems almost dead. After turning on the preamp, the band comes alive with thousands of interfering signals.

When using AM sync on a weak SWL station, the preamp helps boast the signal enough to keep the sync working. Sometimes the signal level is just too low to hear well - the preamp can fix that.

Since I live near AM broadcast stations, I use a BCB filter (ICE 401) after the preamp - this is necessary or the AOR gets overloaded. All and all, this is a great preamp.
9V1DB Rating: 2013-02-07
Preamp Works Well + Good Quality Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I received the preamp in great condition, double boxed and padded. The international shipping was as expected (to Singapore) as it always takes longer than I want.....hi hi. But, it did arrive within the published window.

The unit is exceptionally well built compared to equipment I have from other suppliers. I couldn’t resist, so I opened it up to find a very well organized and professional inside too.

On performance, I have compared it with the internal preamp in my Kenwood TS 2000 and find that it does increase the signal somewhat. I tried using both the internal and the DX Engineering in series and that gave a small increase also. Since I work exclusively digital – mostly JT65 and some PSK, finding those weak signals is very important.
W0BKR Rating: 2012-12-14
OKay, but not much gain Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Comparing this to my PT-3, the PT-3 has more gain, easier to use (in/out switch), tunable. I will update my review, but can't use in my application. Insufficient gain compared to my PT-3.
K8ALM Rating: 2012-12-14
Works great with my flag antenna Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Living on an urban lot with lots of manmade noise I put together a rotable reduced size flag antenna to help reception on the lower bands. A flag of this type while reducing noise does not have a lot of gain. The RPA-1 makes otherwise unreadable signals readable without raising the noise floor. It is quiet and well made. I highly recommend this preamp for anyone in a similiar situation.
WB9GKZ Rating: 2012-01-20
Excellent Results When Needed Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought this preamp to help along my Drake R-4B on 10 meters. Although the Drake is sensitive and up to spec, the RPA-1 allows me to dig out the weakest of sigs on the band. The preamp is clean. I've had other (cheaper) preamps that have suffered from overload from some very LOUD 11 meter stations producing "phantom signals" interfering with my 10 meter operation. The RPA-1 is clean and exhibits none of this nonsense.

I have just modified a vintage FT-101E Yaesu transceiver to accomodate the RPA-1 in its receive line. I built out the receive path (past the T/R relay) of the transceiver using mini coax to a couple of the unused RCA accessory jacks on the back of the radio. The RPA-1 can then be inserted in this line and really wakes up the old 101E. It can now hear any signal that my Icom Pro can hear with it's preamp switched on.

DX Engineering cleverly installed a built-in bypass relay into the unit. I can switch off the DC supply (a 12-volt DC walwart from Goodwill, $1) and the preamp goes into bypass when not needed on the lower bands.

I can recommend this preamp for anyone who is serious about weak-signal work. It seems well engineered and provides a big bang for the buck. It has made use of my old boat anchor radios a much more pleasurable experience.

I am thinking about purchasing a second unit so that both of my rigs can have their own preamp.

AB0Z Rating: 2010-03-15
Excellent general coverage HF preamp Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This is a really, really good general-purpose HF preamp. I only have room for an inefficient antenna most of the time, and especially on the lower bands the receive is poor. On my FT-1000MP, this preamp sits nicely between RX Ant In and Rx Ant Out, and with the Rx Ant button I instantly have +1 to +3 S-units!

Do yourself a favor and use a well-filtered 12V power supply. I use a stabilized wall-wart with extra filter caps across the output. The preamp has exceptionally low noise of its own. DX Engineering has very good sales and support service.

Very highly recommended - just get one!

Mni 73 de David, AB0Z
KI0Z Rating: 2009-10-23
Outstanding ! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I at times have +20 over line noise. Having a small yard and unable to put a K9AY rcve system in,trying the anc-4 with no luck at all.... I was bummed out until a voice said make your own rcve system..OK you believe that?? ,I do now! On 40,80,75,160 meters I tried listening on a 30 meter Double bazooka and the TH-11. Both were a big improvement but the TH-11 was far better and if i turned preamp #1 or #2 on & vaired the Attn.0N THE ICOM I could hear and work the FT5 & K4M with ease and on 160 meters and NO noise! ,where with out the TH-11 the Vert.loop was +20 over,no contact that way. However I needed just a little more gain at times and I pulled the DX eng RPA-1 Preamp out and connected it to the back of the Icom and wow total control of noise and Even with +25 over noise im hearning ft5 etc without noise !!! I have used the Rpa-1 on a on gnd rcve loop but it was just so so and not put in use again,but this TH-11 rcve on the low bands is a 10 !!!! just try it with the internal pramps first to see just what it does for you . If you need some more gain the RPA-1 is the finest preamp I have ever used it's as good or Better that the one in the Icom ,Excellent !! I hope this helps you as much as it has for me . Even with an S-5 NOISE LEVEL USING THE TH-11 for low band rcve there is no noise.Dont forget to rotate the TH-11,it makes a differance. G.L. 73 Dave KI0Z..
K1UO Rating: 2009-08-18
Great Performer Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I agree with all the previous reviewers concerning this preamp..It is indeed excellent and performs as advertised...however...It needs an on/off switch to be truly useful in all applications..especially if powered from a station DC power pole or wall-wart application. Unplugging the power source gets tiresome.
It does require a slight bit of additional weatherproofing of the box if used outdoors also.
K9MHZ Rating: 2008-06-03
Awesome! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just got this preamp, and it brought my Collins 75S-3B to life! It has virtually no noise of its own, and does a really nice jos around strong, overloading signals. I like the relay feature in the unit, which deenergizes when power is removed and the antenna is allowed to go straight through the preamp. This allows turning it off if desired, without losing the incoming signals. Well built and the documentation is professionally-written. This is one nice unit!