Suggestions for Amp For TS-480/Remoterig remote shack

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by WB0YLE, May 3, 2012.

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  1. WB0YLE

    WB0YLE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi all.

    I've been successfully operating a new TS-480 (love the rig...) via a Remoterig setup for a couple months...and, while enjoying the challenge of remote operation via a 100w radio (you can make quality DX contacts with only 100w...:)), I'm casting about for thoughts from the collective of adding in some additional power when needed. Some of the considerations:

    1. I'm not Donald Trump, so, budget is in the <$2K USD range
    2. Amp should be able to read the frequency (so as to do bandswitching) from the serial port of the 480.
    3. Autotune (obviously...I'm not there to twiddle the knobs...I may be upstairs, in the garage, or in a hotel room somewhere...or even in my office...operating over a network connection) on the output; it would be connected to a Gap Challenger DX vertical running thru about 75' of LDF4 heliax (I got a couple hundred feet for the price of showing up with my van and putting the spool in the why not?)
    5. 500-600 watts. I don't need to be a big gun. But being heard a bit better over the din is nice.

    The physical control (power on/off) is not that difficult; I have a network-connectable power strip as well as some IO control ports on my asterisk repeater controller that I could use after I gin up the control circuits, so, I'm not worried about that particular issue.

    Has anyone gone down this road? I know, based on the creativity, that that has to be a given...what I'm asking is any lessons learned, equipment to stay away from, equipment to know, the illuminating stuff, not the smoke and noise.

    73 all

    Bryan WB0YLE
  2. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are amplifiers that do exactly what you want and they will be at the $2K mark. One is the Elecraft KPA-500. Information can be read here;
    BTW there are no amplifiers capable of reading the TS-480 serial data directly. The amplifiers mentioned switch by using the frequency input and will change bands to match.
    If you want to wait until you have more cash (lots more) then the Alpha line has one that works just like the KPA-500 only it's legal limit. See it at;
    If you find a Yaesu VL-1000 it'll do the samething at 1KW. Read it here;
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  3. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's a bit of stretch, Gary. All of the Tokyo HiPower amps come with cabling to decode the accessory just data, to set the band of operation, including the the Kenwoods that use a true RS232 interface like the 480 does.

    I don't know which 480 Bryan bought, but if it is a 480Hx, he doesn't need an amplifier!
  4. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    A friend of mine remotes his TS-480SAT.
    His amp is the THY with 1KW out.
    MFJ 1500 watt auto tuner.
    He has a power outlet that he controls and can turn off and on any of the items via the internet.
    I think the amp has four antenna jacks?
    He turns the amp off and sends a carrier to the tuner. The tuner tunes. Once the SWR is within reason, he unkeys, turns
    on the amp and he's ready to go.
    To control the rig he bought one of the interfaces where you put one next the RF section of the 480 and the other in his appartment.
    At his appartment he plugs in the 480's control head. This will take you over your 2 grand limit but it's food for thought for you.

    Barry, KU3X
  5. N3JBH

    N3JBH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well used he could find a THP in the <2k price range i would think pretty easy in the power he want's But i think he need to add close to another 1K to his price for a new one.
  6. NB3R

    NB3R Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Bryan,
    I have been down this road but have spent a great deal more than your budget of $2,000. It may not be helpful but I will tell you about my set up.

    My remote operation goals were as follows:
    Operate the TS-480 without using a computer at the radio site.
    Operate all modes all bands.
    Computer rig control from the remote location.
    Operate and control an amplifier.
    Remotely switch 2 antennas
    Turn the power on and off to all components over the internet.

    I accomplished these goals by using the following equipment.

    RemoteRig ( - It consists of two multi-port boxes. Basically works like a long extension cord between the radio and the control panel using Internet. The 480 control head operates just as if it is directly connected to the radio. Connect a serial cable from the radio body to the RemoteRig at the “Radio” site, and connect a serial cable from the RemoteRig at the “Control” site to a computer, and you have CAT control to the radio. This was the easiest part of my remote installation.

    Tokyo Hy-Power 1.5k amplifier- As you know this is a solid state amplifier and does not require tuning. The amp did not come with a band data cable compatible with the TS-480 so I bought one from Array Solutions. You can find it on this page I bought the TS480-2 cable that includes the ALC connection. By connecting a serial cable from the RemoteRig “Radio” box to the THP amp I have auto band switching for the amplifier.

    Tokyo Hy-Power HC-1.5KAT Auto Tuner – This tuner is made for the THP amp and tracks the band changes from the amplifier. This tuner has three antenna outputs. You can assign an antenna port for each band. This solved my antenna switching problems. I have a fan dipole for 160-10 meters and a fan dipole for 30, 17, and 12 meters.
    I use two Web Power Switches from Digital Loggers to manage my AC power in the shack. Each switch has a www address. I use them to turn on an off a 12v power supply and the other for the amplifier. Since my amp runs on 120v, and may need up to 15 amps, I didn’t want the power supply and amp on the same 120v circuit. Also, I use an app for Android phones to manage the power switches.

    Getting the RemoteRig and the Web Power Switches to be seen on the internet requires a static IP address and access through your network’s firewall. I use DYN to manage my static IP address This is the most difficult part of the set up. Fortunately a few friends were able to help me.

    I am very happy with the performance of my remote station. I can work any mode, any band, QRO, from anyplace, with reasonably speedy internet access (>500kbs). Network latency can be a problem when running CW but otherwise the performance is pretty good.
  7. WB0YLE

    WB0YLE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, guys, for some great replies.

    NB3R: Have the remoterig boxes; they work great, as well as a web-controllable power strip. Use it to control a bunch of stuff in the shack (including the PSs for my repeaters, the antenna x switch to choose which rig gets connected to the antenna (the off-line rig goes to a dummy switch arrangement), etc.); since I have a static block of IP addresses, no worries about going to dyndns or the remoterig dynamic dns. Also have a wireless bridge that is configured to work with the control side of the remoterig arrangement, so, I can actually use the head/remote/wireless through my 4G personal hotspot and get reasonable performance if I don't have access to a hardline...

    I like the THP stuff (a couple of friends have them in their shacks in the area...a little too rich right now for the this economy anyway). Solid units.

    K0BG: I am running the SAT. 100w is ok (make plenty of contacts at that output); just looking to add some oomph to the sig when things are challenging. I was constrained by the capacity of the spare power supply I had on hand in the shack which is why I went with the lower power unit (that, and having the ability to take it mobile without having to run 2gauge from my battery to power it...LOL)

    Fellow op suggested the Ameritron ALS600...but, I have not had good luck with anything out of Mississippi that uses wall current, so, I'm kind of shying away from even considering that, though the price is doable right now.

    I guess I'll just save up the ducats for a little while longer and go with the THP solution and auto tuner for the output.

    Thanks again, guys, for the input. Helps clarify a few things.

    Bryan WB0YLE
    Morrisville PA
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