HF Solid State Amplifier Retail Kits for Beginners

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by KD2NOM, Nov 18, 2017.

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  1. K6BSU

    K6BSU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would never recommend anything over a few Watts total power consumption for a beginner. As current and voltage requirements go up, so do the complications and chances for disaster! After you have "fried" $100 worth of power transistors while getting it to work, you will soon decide to buy a commercial amplifier--vacuum tube types are the most forgiving of tuning and operating mistakes.

    Also, unless you have experience with high voltages, don't try to "fix" a vacuum tube amplifier.
    W4KJG likes this.
  2. AJ6AH

    AJ6AH Ham Member QRZ Page

    KF5KWO, KD5FOY and N8DAH like this.
  3. KC8UD

    KC8UD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm a little late to this posting but I just came across this kit from Germany. It's a 2 kilowatt solid state amplifier. It includes internal computer control which can be operated locally or via LAN network or wirelessly via your tablet. This means the software can easily be updated and you could remote operate this amp and park it out in the garage or out in the field at the antenna site. Also includes internal automatic antenna tuner. No knobs. Just an on/off switch and a 7 inch touch screen with very attractive graphics and several user defined display schemes. Even though its a kit, most of it is built and you assemble the pre-built modules. Its also not cheap coming to around $3,500 US shipped from Germany. Their web site is https://rf-kit.de/ and a map of successful builders/user can be seen at the following link in case you wish to talk to them or consult during your build and testing phase. https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewe...&ll=45.853638989613465,-52.44667049999998&z=3. I'd love to have one but its still a little rich for me.
  4. WA9D

    WA9D Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are special concerns for RF power amps, but even audio power amplifiers are not a good idea for a real beginner. As a friend of mine used to say about solid state circuits: If a transistor sees something failing around it, it will take the whole world with it. (With tube amps more of the danger is the risk of killing you, not the amp although that is possible...)
    For an RF power amp of any significant power, the power supply alone would be hard to recommend for a beginner. (There are welding-class amperes available from the filter capacitors!) When you throw in the desire of almost any RF amp to break into oscillation, those are just plain dumb to take on without both experience and understanding of how the finished amp is supposed to work, in detail.
    KA2TVX and W1TRY like this.
  5. K4EM

    K4EM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have many friends that own the RF-Kits amp from Germany...they all love it. It's a partial kit...

  6. KI4FQZ

    KI4FQZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Mercury III is a wonderful kit for a beginner. I built mine in a little over 6 hours with moderate soldering skills. Mostly mechanical assembly, with a few coaxial connections that need to be done correctly, and well. They have great ongoing support if needed also. Maybe a little bigger, at aprox. 1200 watts, but definitely worth it. One pretty and wonderfully functional amp when completed.
  7. AJ4SN

    AJ4SN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I assembled a Mercury III for my friend, N4JAD. It's consists of connecting the various modules. As stated above, only moderate soldering skills required. It's a really nice amplifier for $2500. I also built the 250 watt amp in the ARRL 2018 handbook, and I built an amplifier based on the boards supplied by W6PQL. Of these, there is no question that the Mercury III is the best choice for a beginner.

  8. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Aww, I could do that with both hands tied behind my back...


    Seriously, though, your amp:cool: looks at least as good as many commercial amps. Congrats on a job very WELL done.:D
  9. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wonder how many transistors Helge blew up?

  10. KD8UYQ

    KD8UYQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Larry,

    Thank you for the kind complement. My amplifier turned 4 years old last month and is still is working well. Because there are seven radios in my ham shack that are operated in turn and I'm not on the radio every day I'd say the IC-7300 & Ripley Amp get used about every couple of weeks. So far so good.

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