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Interesting amplifier comment heard on the air

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by W7UUU, Apr 11, 2021.

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  1. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Yesterday I was tuning around on an SDR site and found a QSO that caught my ear. It was on 20m SSB, and the one station was telling the other: "I only work two bands - 20 and 40 and I have an Ameritron AL82 for each band that way I don't ever have to bother with tuning. I just turn them on and it's like having an 800 watt radio on each band. The amps are always on... I just turn the radio on and talk. I haven't tuned them up in years - they just work"

    I've honestly never heard of this - having identical amps "per band" set up and ready to go like this. Seems ridiculous to me but I grew up in radio on the practice of tuning output tanks on transmitters.

    The only place I could see this making sense would maybe be a contest station but still - in 45 years as a ham, I've never once heard of this practice even in that application.

    Is this something others have heard of doing?

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
    N4ZAW and W4NNF like this.
  2. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    @W7UUU Dave, it just proves the old adage: Some people have more money than common sense.

    I have an AL-82 and I can tune it in a very short time. I can't imagine being so lazy that you'd buy an amp for every band! I would also venture a guess that this fellow actually has no metering after the amp(s) so he may be putting out 800 watts or he might not be... When I tune up my amp on 20 I usually only get about 12 - 13 hundred out of it. On forty I get at least 1500 and strangely enough it gets close to legal on all other bands... except twenty... That's not the amp: its the radio. The thing only puts out 70 -80 watts on twenty. Less drive = less output.
     
    NQ1B, NA1S, WD4IGX and 2 others like this.
  3. K7JQ

    K7JQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good thing he only works two bands. Imagine his shack if he had separate AL-80B's for each band 10-160M;). A multi-multi contest station can have mono (or multi)-band amps for each station. I hope he checks his SWR each time before firing them up, as the weather and other conditions can change the need to tweak the tuning. Many thousands of hams have more than one amp or radio as back-ups. He just happens to use one amp for each band. If he NEVER tunes them, he must only work one (or close) frequency on each band. Long QSY'ing usually requires tuning touch-ups. To each his own, I guess.

    Bob K7JQ
     
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  4. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    did into old handbooks. 2x 813 for each band. (parts were cheap huh?)
    i borrowed from that when i started my amp yrs ago.
     
    N8ZL and W2VW like this.
  5. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is an "age-old practice".

    This scan from an ancient ARRL handbook shows how it
    looked in the early 60s.

    upload_2021-4-11_17-22-16.png

    A guy that I learned to know at University had been involved
    in a contest station where the same concept was used during the 70s, but with somewhat more potent "bottles" than the 813.

    upload_2021-4-11_17-32-47.png

    In the 80s, I learned that an SM7, who better remains anonymous, had purchased one of the above commercial amplifiers, with three single-band 5 kW channels and a common power supply, from my previous employer...

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
    N8ZL, NN5AA and W1BR like this.
  6. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I got a strong impression that he had a friend tune the amps for him and he's left them that way for ages. He spent some time talking about the setup and how nice it was to "never have to touch the knobs"

    Makes utterly no sense to me but maybe he's just afraid of them or something

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
    AC0OB likes this.
  7. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    All fine and well - I totally get the idea of "monoband amplifiers" in the ancient days.

    This guy was on an Ameritron amp that covers 160-10 at the turn of a switch.

    VERY different things, obviously

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
    K8PG likes this.
  8. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Operating multi-band amplifiers like they are mono-banders
    may be considered as wasteful.

    But, "to each his own..."

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
    VK6APZ likes this.
  9. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I consider it more "silly" than wasteful. I don't judge others on how they spend their money :)

    But consider: how is that different than having nine Icom IC-7300 transceivers, each one set for one band only?

    How would that be different, and would you still consider that as "to each his own"? ;):)

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
  10. KA2RRK

    KA2RRK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, it is mostly used on the east coast. Usually there is a Radio, Amplifier, and various antenna selections available @ each Radio
    and Amplifier operating position for the given band.

    Each studio as they call it has a breakfast/beverage/meal bar as well. Some hire waitresses...

    RRK
     
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