first amp questions

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by KA0RPU, Apr 6, 2021.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'll bet if you ask your horse about buying a new amp, he'd say "naaaaaaaay.":)

    SS amps may have more "copper" in them than tube amps do, because to run serious power requires serious current; however as the devices are now mostly 50-60V FETs, a bit less current than back when they were mostly 28V or 12V devices. When commonly available 100V FET modules become the norm (not quite there yet), even less copper will be required. Copper is expensive.

    Also, the heat spreaders and heat sinks required for high-powered SS amps are machined and pretty expensive; both copper and aluminum have increased in price lately and although sinks may be extruded (cheap process), secondary operations like machining the mounting surface very flat have labor cost. Tubes like lots of heat, semiconductors don't.:p

    I believe parity has already pretty much been achieved, though -- if you compare "new equipment" prices for products with similar attributes. Tubes have increased in cost faster than the inflation rate, and not many are manufacturing them.
     
  2. K7JQ

    K7JQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Op didn't mention budget price constraints, nor new vs used. But as far as those who say that SS is far more expensive than tube amps, look at the apples-t0-apples example of the Acom 2000 legal limit "auto-tune" tube amp ($6,600) vs the Elecraft KPA-1500 legal limit "no-tune" SS amp ($6,200). OM Power "auto-tune" tube amps are even more expensive. In the lower power range, The SS 500W Elecraft KPA-500 + KAT-500 tuner ($3,200) vs the manual-tune tube 1,000W Acom 1000 ($3,000). The Acom is twice the power for only $200 less. Within the same manufacturer, yes, the Acom 1200S is $700 more than the A1000 at the same 1,000W power range. Adding a tuner to the 1200S drives the difference higher. Comparing the Ameritron line to itself or others is different, but you should generally open them up and check them out before applying power;). I apologize to Ameritron/MFJ fanboys. IMO, the idea of those who think SS is much more expensive than tube is outdated.

    There have been many posts on this and other amplifier forums describing all the pros and cons of tube vs SS amps. No need to repeat them here...a little research will reveal all that information.

    73, Bob K7JQ
     
  3. KI5WW

    KI5WW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Been running 811H for 25 years. Two years ago I decided it was time for a new one. I already knew it would be either an AL 80 B, or a solid amp from same maker. After a year of trying to decide I now have the AL 80b. Love my choice but I may never know if I would like the solid state amp better. Maybe I would have. But I’m very happy with my purchase. I purchased new.
    Oh and, I run 600 watts.

    Edit: Just remembered I ran the 811 with a 820 I had back in the 90’s. I remember tuning the radio and tuning the amp was more tunning than I cared to do much of. Than add tuning the ant if needed. Solid state may be a better choice in that case. I now use an Icom 7600. Also all ants are resonant.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
    K0UO and KD2ACO like this.
  4. KA0RPU

    KA0RPU Ham Member QRZ Page

    :confused::cool::eek::rolleyes:o_O:mad:
    Yes- that's the whole emotional range i believe (hi-hi):D. O.K.- looks like I have narrowed it down to either the KPA-500 or the ALS-600s. On the other hand I was informed that before I buy any more gear, I had better get my workshop built,made or bought so all the other stuff i have can go out there!!! But no worries, after that gets installed, I WILL get an amp!!
    Thanks Very Much!!!
    73's de Ka0rpu
     
  5. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I’ve had my AL-80B for about 3 years now from a Heathkit SB-200. It’s a very nice mid-powered amp and about the best bang/buck IMO. It’s a good choice for amp newbies because it’s forgiving of mistakes, easy to tune, powerful, you can get parts for it, and reasonably easy to fix if something goes wrong with it.

    It’s a good combo.
     
  6. K1LKP

    K1LKP Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    OK MIKE,

    AS YOU MAKE UR PLANS FOR AN AMPLIFIER, HERE ARE FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN THE BACK OF UR MIND.

    1. PLAN TO HAVE AIR CONDITIONING FOR THE ROOM . ESPECIALLY IN THE SUMMER MONTHS.

    2. NOT SURE IF THE AMPLIFIER WILL RUN ON 120 / 220 VOLTS.
    ==PLAN TO HAVE A DEDICATED POWER LINE
    ==FOR THE AMPLIFIER.

    3. AS YOU PLAN THE LAYOUT OF UR EQUIPMENT, TRY NOT TO PUT THE AMPLFIER WHERE IT IS ENTRAPPED.
    == U WUD LIKE TO HAVE A LOT OF AIRFLOW AROUND THE AMP.

    IF U KEEP THIS IN MIND, U ES UR EQUIPMENT WILL BE HAPPY CAMPERS.:):):):):):):)

    73 - HAVE A HAPPY WEEKEND.

    K1LKP
     
    WD4ELG likes this.
  7. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you're happy with your TS-820 rig, then I would definitely suggest a Valve Amplifier !

    And the advantage with them is that older Amplifiers use much the same designs as the new ones, so personally I would be looking second-hand.

    For 600 watts output, my first choice would be an FL-2100. (far better engineered and reliable than an AL-811 or AL-572)

    Roger G3YRO
     
  8. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I bought the Mercury IIIS amp kit and I'm halfway into it now. Haven't yet got it on the air, but I like it, and there's a Facebook Fans group for the Mercury IIIS. Take a look at the comments on this site if you are at all curious. Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/142293734462468
     
  9. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    With the Shipping delays out of MFJ and Ameritron (nothing leaving their factory for months). there are AL80B's and other Ameritron amps on eBay, used, but selling for close to new. Seems to be the time to sell your used Ameritron (as long as you can pick up something else to replace it -- there's a supply chain problem now for just about every brand).
     

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