Acom or Ameritron...??

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by W3AMM, Jan 3, 2017.

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  1. W3AMM

    W3AMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi KC3GJY HERE im only about a year into the hobby id like to get ouy better my home made loop does great , im ready for an amp. But witch one. I though about 811h but im not sure thats the best choice just because its cheap. I was thinking acom 1010. It will be hooked up to my kenwood 590sg.
    Im not made of money but from all i have read that acom 1010 is simply better and more forgiving then the ameritron 811h...
    For all if you guys that have been,here and made this choice , please share with me your thoughts.....
    Thanks, Doug.....73s
    You can also email me @
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's about twice the price and also about twice the amplifier.

    Only drawback I can think of is it has a warmup time required (I think 2-3 minutes), whereas the AL-811H is "instant on." But the ACOM 1010 is certainly a better amplifier.

    For a bit less than the 1010 you could opt for an Ameritron AL-80B, which runs a bit more power than the ACOM and is also "instant on," and a much more robust amplifier than the AL-811H.
    K8PG, KD2ACO and AF6LJ like this.
  3. W3AMM

    W3AMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tha,k you for your insite, i have read some negative reports on the al80b...
    Such as its not very good on 10 meter. Although i dont base decisions on just 1 report, i hope to gather many first hand reports and come to the most sound and logical decision...
    Thank you for your responce.
  4. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The AL-80B requires a mod to make it work on 10 meter. The mod directions are provided by Ameritron themselves. That said I don't do much 10 meter... and I just got this AL-80B. So no clue how well it works.
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It works fine on 10 meters. Of course you have to perform the "modification," which takes about five seconds and you have to open the amp to install the tube anyway...:)
  6. K3RU

    K3RU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Decide if you want to invest in a tube amp, or go solid state. I would suggest you check-out the ELECRAFT KPA500. Quite a piece of gear, NO tubes, and a very reputable company should you have any issues. The KPA500 isn't cheap, but neither is the ACOM. At this point my advice to anyone is to stay away from AMERITRON. Let me explain...........

    Currently have an Ameritron AL1500 which has issues. Could be the tube - an 8877 from EIMAC is $1500 !! Or go CHINESE for about $800 and cross my fingers. Ordered a new HV filter board complete with capacitors, for $155, and decided to confirm the eight electrolytics were installed correctly, and one was BACKWARDS. Also a ferrite RF choke was broken. So much for Ameritron repair parts quality.

    Very recently purchased an Ameritron AL-80B as a spare amplifier. A brand-new DUD right out of the box. Intermittent Plate current. HMMMMM.
    Turned out to be a multi-pin computer-type connecting plug between the power supply board and the meter board. Which end do you think was barely plugged-in to its socket HALF-WAY ? The power supply board end is out in the open, and of course was completely seated. The other end was buried between the meter board and the front panel, underneath the right meter. Took about two hours to disassemble the entire meter area to get to the half plugged in plug. Thank-you Ameritron. This amp never could have worked properly. I'll say it again - STAY AWAY FROM AMERITRON.

    Some time ago was considering purchasing an Ameritron ALS-1306. Read every review I could find and came away thinking the ALS-1306 is another Ameritron DUD. I got the distributor I was considering purchasing an ALS-1306 from to admit that 1 in 4 brand-new are DUDS NEW-IN-THE-BOX.

    Yes there are a lot of happy Ameritron owners out there. Probably even more unhappy Ameritron owners who like me make the damn thing work and don't bother wasting our time complaining to Ameritron, as it is a waste of time. I'm done with Ameritron.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
    VE2GCE, NX8T, N6YFM and 1 other person like this.
  7. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Or buy a used unit, save the depreciation hit, and you are then sure you have a working unit (assuming you trust the seller).
  8. K3RU

    K3RU Ham Member QRZ Page

    KE0KZI: Considering how power amplifiers get beat and abused and then "happily unloaded", I would never purchase a used amplifier. The sad thing is that apparently the days of anything brand-new actually working when un-boxed are for some companies an unreachable goal.

    My biggest concern with tube power amplifiers are - ridiculously expensive tubes, the Eimac 8877 for example, shoddy build quality and or NO real quality control, and the decreasing availability of tubes should you victimize yourself with a tube amp. Before you buy a tube amp, think very hard about the day you will need to re-tube. The current prices of most "power tubes" is too much for me. Used tubes are a crap shoot. I'm also getting lazy and would prefer no more "tune and load, tune and load".

    I don't like - or at minimum am wary of for "political stability reasons" - amps from "over there", such as ACOM and the others, but - ACOM's "AOM-600S" is interesting, but pricey. I'm not confident in tubes from Russia, or China. My next amp will be solid-state, despite their "vulnerabilities". The only question is - what brand?

    I'm liking ELECRAFT's KPA500 for obvious reasons - mainly it's made in the USA, and is an excellent product from an excellent company. The KPA500 is a 500 watt amp which the "QRO crowd" probably laughs at, but 500 watts is enough for my purposes. The KPA500 is not a "big and hulking" 77 pound monster like the AL1500. The KPA500 is exactly the size of a K3S, and a very good match to a TS590SG. My Ameritron AL1500 "legal limit and more" amp has been overall an expensive disappointment and was rarely used at more than 700 to 800 watts output. My aim is not to BASH Ameritron but from my own experiences with their amplifiers I am not willing to spend any more $$$ for whatever amp they are selling. If ELECRAFT would produce an amp in the 1000 watt output range that would be FANTASTIC ! ELECRAFT are you listening?

    I'm done pontificating now.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
    N6YFM and WB5THT like this.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think you're in the really small minority with your experience. The only complaints I've ever heard about the AL-1500 is how "loud" the blower is...and yeah, it is, when set to full speed.

    Many of my friends have AL-1500s and nobody's had a bad experience, aside from the noise issue. My AL-80B was perfect out of the box and has been running for years without any issues -- and it's very quiet, can barely tell it's turned on.

    One of my best and oldest friends in ham radio is Bill K4OWR who has an AL-82 for many years (dual 3-500Z) and has had zero issues with it aside from it running so much power he has to crank back the drive to keep it legal. And Bill's had a lot of amps, and has homebrewed many of them.

    I guess anyone can get the amp built during the Christmas Party or something, but in general they're quite reliable.

    I'd also like to see a real 1kW output Elecraft SS amp; don't know that would be possible in the same cabinet size, though. More heatsink area, more fans, etc. But with liquid cooling, it just might be possible.
    W4NNF likes this.
  10. K0OKS

    K0OKS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    No doubt Elecraft makes nice gear, and 500W is plenty. You don't get that much more signal by going to 1500W.

    I did buy a used AL-80B, and it has been working nicely. The tube in it is around $200, which was one of the reasons I chose this amp as my first amp.

    I think there are also a lot of hams who take good care of the gear and sell it when they upgrade, or downsize, etc. Not everybody selling something is dumping it because they abused it.
    KD2ACO likes this.

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