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New Amplifier

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by K4LD, Apr 13, 2012.

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  1. K4LD

    K4LD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Folks,
    I posted a question a couple of weeks ago about a choice between amplifiers. I'd like to do one more of those questions. If you had to choose between a Ten Tec Titan II with a spare brand new tube, an Ameritron AL-1200, a Commander HF-2500, or a Ten Tec Centurion - what would you choose and why? All are FB amplifiers.

  2. W1QJ

    W1QJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have my likes and dislikes with all of the choices, but I tink I would go with the Commander. It makes the most power with easy of all of them, That amp will LOAF at the max power levels of the rest. Just that alone would be enough for me.
  3. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Titan II uses a 4CX1600B tube which are getting difficult to find and when you do find them they are pricey. The AL1200 uses a 3CX1200A7 which are available but you really need to be sitting down when you find out how much they cost. Check RF Parts for the price on it. The HF-2500 uses the 3CX800A x 2 and once again, these are not cheap. The Ten Tec Centurion uses the 3-500Z x 2 and these are a lot cheaper and still readily available.
    The amplifiers all have different duty cycles and the one you choose will need to fit your operating style. If you work RTTY and DATA your duty cycle will be 100% and there are a couple of amplifiers in your list that will handle that at 1500W out. If you run SSB then any of these amplifiers will do well.
    There are personal preferences and there will be folks that want you to buy what they are using. Read the reviews on each amplifier and see what the folks that didn't like their amplifier have to say.
    Hope this helps
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'd go with the AL-1200, probably. The tube is pricey but they can easily last a lifetime, it's a very very rugged tube that resists damage even from severe cockpit error. It's also "instant on," unlike the 3CX800A7.

    I don't like the Centurion at all; it is undercooled and they fail. It also cannot make legal limit power because neither the power supply nor the cooling system will allow that.

    One nice thing about Ameritron is they've been in business a very long time, are well capitalized and not likely going away, and make every single part in the amp available at reasonable cost. You can buy every part in it from their website, and it's been that way for many years. They encourage self-service and won't void the warranty.
  5. AC0H

    AC0H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Buying new or used?

    From perusing the Ameritron Yahoo Group I believe they have switched from the 3CX1200A7 to the 3CX1200Z7/YU-181 for the AL-1200.
    The Z7 bolts straight to the chassis and doesn't require neutralization.
    Filament V goes from 7.5 to 6.3 @ 25A so it's not a drop in swap.
    The 1200 gets used a lot in contest stations because it's just about bullet proof.

    It's too bad that Svetlana quit making the 4CX1600B.
    It was one hell of a tube from what I've read. I might go for the used T2 if it were in good shape and the spare tube was good.
    I'd be surprised if TT would work on it if you had a major problem.
    Depends on the price.

    I would stay away from anything with a 3CX800A7 in it like the Command.
    To retube that amp with new tubes is $1800.

    Centurion at the bottom of the list.
    Power supply isn't stout enough to drive the 3-500's. That's why TT rates it at 1300W and not 1500.
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