"New" Commander Amplifier

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by W4TQ, Apr 22, 2011.

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  1. W4TQ

    W4TQ Guest

    I was very glad to see that the Commander line will be in good hands again.

    I purchased one of the new Commanders after they were redesigned by Don Kessler. Don did a magnificent job in the redesign of the Commander.

    -All of the reliability issues with the old Commander line were resolved
    -The new layout is excellent
    -The electronics are up-to-date and modularized
    -The components are all heavy duty--beautiful bandswitch
    -There are external adjustable input circuits for each band position
    -Beautiful heavy cabinet design (all the holes line up perfectly)
    -Operation is very smooth and predictable
    -The grid ciruit protection is fast and effective

    I sold the amp and several other Palstar items after hearing that Don was leaving Palstar (and I became disillusioned with Palstar) . I replaced the Commander with an Alpha 9500.

    73,
    Dan - W4TQ
     
  2. KD0ZV

    KD0ZV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I personally never thought it wasnt in good hands. My experience with Palstar has been excellent and I am not so sure the new changes would have ever happened without their assistance. Don is a talented guy but only time will tell if in the future he is capable of bringing a product to market. Still watching for the coming soon AT-AUTO.

    No way discrediting Don but I think Palstar had a part in making stuff happen. Still looking forward to future products from Paul.

    73,

    Rich
    KD0ZV
     
  3. W9OE

    W9OE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I could not agree more, I have been a Palstar customer for a few years. I will continue to be a Palstar customer. To bad Paul and Don could not have worked things out, but that's business. I believe that Palstar will continue to shine and manufacture first rate products.

    I talked to Paul on the phone two weeks ago regarding a project I was working on. Paul agreed to sell me the parts without hesitation. Thanks Paul!

    Keep up the good work Palstar!!!

    Don, W9OE
     
  4. W6GF

    W6GF Guest

    I think the Palstar auto is one great product. The only thing I have not done to mine is shoot it by mistake. Boy does it take abuse. And yes, Palstar is a great company. I was in the electronics business for 45 years until I sold out and retired. I can tell you that it takes more than great products to make a great company

    George, W6GF
     
  5. W4TQ

    W4TQ Guest

    All of the Palstar products that I've owned were very well designed and very well built; excellent in every way.

    When you say that Palstar is a "great company", however, what does that mean in this case? Unless something has changed recently, Palstar is "Paul Hrivnak", and his wife (who takes care of much of the business), and an assembler or two.

    If Paul gets sick or goes on vacation, who is there to support the product line? If your product line is made up of speakers, antenna tuners, and SWR meters this may not be an issue. If you're a customer with a malfunctioning $4500 dollar amplifier, however, you might feel differently.

    How much support can one man provide when he is also doing planning, engineering, sales, etc.?

    73,
    Dan - W4TQ
     
  6. WY3X

    WY3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm of the belief that if you purchase a company, you also purchase the responsibility to provide full support for that company's products that they previously sold. Palstar was ROTTEN at doing that, they only wanted to support "new" products that they sold. They referred me back to Pat Stein on more than one occasion for help with a Commander II VHF, who did the best he could to help me, in spite of no longer having a stake in the company. Yeah, my amp was 20 years old, so what? That's not that old for a $2000.00 amp! (I think new ones were running $2700!!!) Plenty of amps are still around from the 1960's! -WY3X
     
  7. KD0ZV

    KD0ZV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    "How much support can one man provide when he is also doing planning, engineering, sales, etc.?"

    Well speaking as a small business owner that is in the same boat as Paul including the exact same staff, think my customers that depend on me for business needs would say the support is pretty good. I always take care of business regardless if I am sick or on vacation. Part of the deal.

    Sounds like you better stick with a company like Yaesu, Kenwood or Icom so you have a large staff to call and get the "ship it back and we will take a look at it" response.

    Since you brought it up I can remember Commanders website having a message on the front page saying they were gone and would be back on one MONTH. Is that what you were referring to?

    I have no direct experience with anyone related to Commander so have no personal experience to post. Sounds like good people there. What I can say is I have been buying Palstar equipment for many years. I have sold some of it but currently have 5 pieces sitting on the desk. I have had issues with a couple of them but nothing that Paul couldnt walk me through over the phone. Thats the kind of company's I like doing business with. Buying from a Ma and Pa outfit is OK by me !



    73,

    Rich
     
  8. AA5BK

    AA5BK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an older Commander HF-1250 which I bought before Palstar bought the Commander line. There was no support from Pat. He could not even supply a schematic. Since Palstar purchased the Commander line I had a problem with the plate choke. I contacted Palstar and Paul thru several emails helped me resolve the problem. That is good customer support.
     
  9. W4LES

    W4LES Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I didn't see any Commander amps at the Palstar web site. Is their a new web site for the Commander amps?
    Thanks and 73,
    W4LES
     
  10. W4TQ

    W4TQ Guest

    Below is what the new owner had to say a few days ago in this forum.
    It looks like 2012 for new product deliveries. I don't see anything on
    his existing website concerning amplifiers.
    73,
    Dan - W4TQ
    ........................................................

    April 7, 2011 -- AN Wireless Tower Co., LLC purchases all assets of Command
    Technologies from Palstar, Inc.

    I’m Daniel Simmonds, KK3AN, and Founding
    Member of PA-based manufacturing company, AN Wireless Tower Company, LLC (ANW).
    I’ve been actively involved with Amateur Radio since first licensed in1990 at
    age 15 as KA3WEW, later as N3IMO, KE3YT, and now as KK3AN.

    I feel very
    fortunate to (again) own the Command Technologies amplifier line and wanted to
    take this opportunity to explain the acquisition, and map out the forward plan
    for this tremendous product line with an impressive record of 30+
    years.

    The history of ANW’s involvement with the Command Technology
    amplifier line began when my company made its initial purchase of the assets of
    the original Command Technologies firm in mid 2008. Soon thereafter, and for a
    plethora of buyer & seller reasons, all of which go well beyond the scope of
    this announcement, I decided to in-turn sale the assets to Palstar, Inc. of
    Piqua, Ohio, as it was mutually advantageous at that time to do so.

    Now,
    fast-forward to early 2011: In a remarkable turn of events, Palstar & ANW
    mutually agree it’s in each others best interest for ANW to purchase Command
    Technologies back from Palstar, Inc.

    From my perspective & that of
    the company, the timing could not be better!

    Because of some key internal
    changes presently taking shape within ANW (my core manufacturing company), I’m
    happy to announce that the Command Technologies HF / VHF amplifier line will, at
    long last, receive the manufacturing, marketing and customer support attention
    it deserves.

    While this recent changeover of Command Technologies back to
    ANW may seem to be shrouded in mystery, it can best be summed up quite simply by
    the old saying “sometimes the good guys finish last”.

    The plan to move
    Command Technologies ahead is taking shape, and the first order of ‘hot’
    business for me personally was to ensure a steady, un-interrupted supply of top
    quality, American-made tubes under the direct CPI / Eimac account, and to work
    with the excellent management at Eimac to increase the monthly tube allotments.
    I am happy to report that as of April 15, I was able to secure a three-fold
    increase in the supply of the Eimac pulse-rated 3CPX800A7 triode, marking the
    beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship with this World-class tube
    producer in Palo Alto, California. American made tubes have always been at the
    heart of Command Technologies amplifiers, and that tradition continues in every
    one of the company’s amplifier models serving HF, 6m & 2m.

    I’m also
    excited to report that with an excellent history, both as an amateur radio
    operator & electrical / RF engineer, Dr. Donald Kessler, KI6SZ will be
    working with me in the coming months to further enhance the final product. Many
    already know that it was Don who redesigned the original Command Technologies
    amplifier line to what they are today - adding microprocessor control, greater
    reliability, plug-in PCB assemblies, new cooling system, new metering design,
    the addition of a much desired under-chassis removable access plate to service
    the RF deck, all new sheet metal, plus many other real-world improvements under
    the hood.

    Looking ahead, Don and I are working together on a fully
    automatic auto-tune design for the legal-limit+ HF-2500 that will work
    seamlessly in parallel with the AT-Auto automatic antenna tuner. QSY, push a
    button, and the amplifier and tuner work seamlessly together, and in mere
    seconds the antenna is matched and the amplifier is tuned -- a real hammer for
    serious contesters. Mark your calendars as we are expecting to release these new
    products in early 2012.

    The next order of business is to continue to
    organize an experienced, highly skilled cadre for assembly, warranty work and
    tech support. Honestly speaking, this is being accomplished now, but will take

    some time to be done correctly as we’re smack-dab in the midst of the ramp-up
    stage of the business.

    Another very exciting opportunity has presented
    itself: The next-generation of Command products will quite possibly be sold
    & badged under a different, but well-respected name in the industry in a
    partnership arrangement. This is another key area at which both myself and
    others are working on diligently.

    For future product & company
    announcements, send me an email and I’ll personally keep you in the loop as
    things progress.

    73, Dan Simmonds
    KK3AN
    dan@anwireless.com
     
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