Need input from the community

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by KA4DPO, Feb 10, 2013.

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  1. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been without an RF amplifier for quite a few years now and I am considering buying one. I'm leaning toward the AL-80B for several reasons and would like to get some opinions on it and other amps.
  2. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Invest in a better antenna.

    Save your amps.
  3. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    One does reach a point where installing a "better antenna" is impractical. That is, a very good, even excellent, antenna system is in place. At that point, then acquiring an amplifier is a viable alternative.

    I do agree that one needs to work on the antenna system before going to a linear amplifier.

    Glen, K9STH
  4. N0WYO

    N0WYO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes! Make sure you have the best antenna you can afford and put up for your situation before you consider and amplifier. You may decide against an amp, or if you do get one, It'll perform better for you if you have a good antenna.
  5. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have found RF Amps to be good for just getting over rude operators that have more power than you.

    A normal contact does not require all that much power.

    I guess Ham radio has become , Keeping up with the Johnson's.

    Bigger is not always better.

    500 watts into a good antenna works good. But one should use the minimum amount of power necessary to maintain good communication.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  6. N7WR

    N7WR Subscriber QRZ Page

    In answer to the actual question, the AL 80 B is an excellent, best bang for the buck, amplifier. 1 KW vs 1.5 KW is hardly noticable. The AL 80 B is a proven design, uses a solidly performing, readily available, and economical tube.
  7. W8GP

    W8GP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Antenna comments aside, you will find the AL-80B to be a great amp.It is an excellent value and a great performer and I'm sure you will enjoy being in control of a frequency rather than being at the mercy of others. Although 100w is often enough, especially on the higher frequencies, for the low bands an amp will be very helpful.
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree. It's a very good amp with usable features, including a built-in and very good PEP wattmeter/SWR bridge.

    I have two other amps, but have owned an 80B since 2000 and use it quite often. It's never failed in any way (well, other than the meter pilot lamps burning out!) and is still in use.
  9. KJ3N

    KJ3N Ham Member QRZ Page

    You know you can order replacement LEDs, right? Makes a cool pale blue glow instead of the typical yellowish lamp color. I did mine about 2 years ago.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Of course I do. But I also don't care. I operate mostly in a dark room anyway, and the only thing I need to see is the wattmeter (separate from the amp) and possibly the frequency dial on the rig.

    XYL still to this day wonders why I'm sitting in a dark room. I just like it that way, and really don't need to see much. I know I'm getting out because everybody answers.:eek:
  11. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks folks, antenna system is quite good here and I'm just looking for a little more power. My primary question is regarding the quality and reliability of the Ameritron amp. I can pretty much buy what I want but realize like N7WR (who actually provided a useable answer) that the difference between 1 KW and 1.5 KW is not even an S unit on the other end. I have owned other amps in the past and realize that about 700 watts peak is more realistic for a single 3-500 so really just looking for answers from those who actually own, or have owned the AL-80 a or B. Thanks.
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