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Ameritron al 80 a on 160 meters.....

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by KB4MNG, Jun 25, 2019.

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  1. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    How does this amp do on 160? Seems like I remember someone saying they had issues with flash over and such. Putting together a 160 station for when things quiet down a bit and plan to use it.

    Thanks!!! kb4mng
  2. W2VW

    W2VW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just test drove one last week. 45watts drive and 750 watts out the pipe on ssb. Plays fine on 160.
    KU3X likes this.
  3. WC5P

    WC5P Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I vaguely remember something about adding a washer somewhere to prevent arcing on 160, but I don’t recall any of the details. I had one of these amps years ago, but did not have an antenna for 160 at the time.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

  5. AC0OB

    AC0OB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Mine works great on all bands and except for the upgraded PS caps and fan, parts are original with never a flashover.

  6. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did you get the replacement Caps from ameritron or another source. About how much did they cost to replace.

    I called ameritron to order the caps a couple of years ago. The tech told me if it was not giving me problems not to change the caps out. He said the originals were high quality and would be good many years to come.

    What do you think? The unit came off the line in 1985.
  8. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Steve , I was hoping to see what you might have to say about the thread question , AL80 on 160m ?
    KB4MNG did not state A or B , your link was about the A ver. , filing it away for future info .
    I have to find broken stuff & repair to afford , so one of these days , if & when I want / need to replace my Palstar AT2K , the next I like to try is your recommended AL80B .
    I'm under the impression that , if money was a minor issue , 2-3 tuners to cover 160m - 6m , on some type of all / multi band antenna .
    Then ideally with enough space , no tuner with antennas for each band ;)
    That much space is like winning the lotto , the $4 winning ticket just does not seem to cover ;(
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    He did specify AL-80A (it's right in the thread title), so that's why I sent the link to AL-80A mods/improvements.

    I never had an AL-80A, but do have a "B" unit for 18 years now (bought it new at the end of 2000) and it's on its second tube, and the little pilot lamps in the meters failed after about 5-6 years, but other than that it's fully original and nothing has ever failed or even hiccupped.

    The AL-80B sells for a much higher price today than it did 18 years ago (more than the "inflation index" would have changed it), and I see it took a jump with the Chinese tariffs probably because the tube itself increased in cost here in the U.S. at that time. When the "new" price goes up, often so do the "used" prices -- just because. But the AL-80B is a good amp with several improvements over the "A" model. I've loaded it up to full power on 160m lots of times using pretty mismatched antennas -- without an external tuner at all. My 160m trapped inverted vee is about 1.5:1 at 1830 kHz, but up at 1860 it's >3:1 and down at 1800 it's >2:1 and zero problems dealing with all that (no tuner).
    KD0CAC likes this.
  10. AC0OB

    AC0OB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    I bought the replacement caps from Mouser at the time but do not recall the unit price. I also used caps with a slightly higher capacitance value (210 uF to 270 uf?); I recall the replacement caps were smaller in size than the originals.

    I do recall they were were similar to these:

    and not cheap. Some have replaced the screw type caps with "snap-in" type terminals as less costly replacements.

    I compared the size of the old caps and looked for newer ones with higher capacitannce but also with a size that could fit into the board space.

    I would replace the caps AND the the bleeder/equalizing resistors at the same time. For the bleeder/equalizing resistors I used 56k 7W units. I do recall the resistors used since I have a few left in stock:

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019

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