Older Amps that you would have in your shack today

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W5INC, Sep 12, 2018.

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  1. W5INC

    W5INC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    So what older amps out there are still good enough to still be used with today's modern transceivers or BAs of yesteryear? Of course the older amps, newer transceiver combo might require a little work to be used together, but that is fine also. Some of these older amps can still haul the mail and can be found at a very good price. Of course these older amps might make you actually turn a knob or 2 when tuning up the amp, heaven forbid. Computer controlled amps have their problems, such as propriety software issues, or computer chips that suddenly become unavailable, that will render them useless. Planned obsolescence?

    I have a 30S-1 that falls into this category. A brute of an amp without a doubt. Since I added the screen mod and the 1500 tube this unit can pump out 1.5 KW pretty much all day, not breaking a sweat while doing it. Sure it is heavy at 130 lbs, but it is bulletproof for the most part and will still be going strong for another 50 years.
    W4NNF likes this.
  2. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It would have to be something that has power tubes that are still current manufacture in the US, the EU, or possibly in Russia proper. That narrows it down a bit.
  3. W5INC

    W5INC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Russian manufactured tubes can still be had for still reasonable prices. Making modifications to amps like the National NCL-2000 amp, that uses 8122 tubes and can be converted rather easily to the GS-36B. These tubes which are readily available and are going for 49.00 and up over at the big auction site. What makes this project easy, is because Mr. Karl, KM1H has done all of the heavy lifting in writing articles on how to preform these modifications on the NCL-2000. I have seen a NCL-2000 going for 300.00 complete. Another 200.00 (?) in mods and for 500.00 dollars, you could possibly have a great amp to use.

    When preforming the mods, you would have to be working with high voltages in circuits, which does scare off a lot of AR OPs today, for some reason. Other articles are out there pertaining to taking older amps and switching them over to Russian tubes. This can be cost effective way to get a 1.5 KW HF amp for a good price, IMO.
    KJ4LCM likes this.
  4. N4MTB

    N4MTB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The 30S-1 is a good deal partly because the tube is actually pretty easy to find and of course can be replaced by the 1500W tube that fits the same socket and requires no mods.

    I had one for years and only sold it because...

    -It doesn't cover 160 meters, and the mod to add 160 looks pretty daunting
    -It (stock) exhausts out the rear, so you can't push it back against a wall (which would be convenient for me)
    -A JA ham offered me more than I paid for it, so I sold it to him! Some JA's "collect" Collins gear and have a lot of money.:)

    But it's a very good amp.

    Another "pedestal" amp I loved was the Henry 4K Ultra. Single 8877, also easy to find and if you treat it right it will last forever anyway. Continuous tuning, all bands from 3 to 30 MHz. Beefy and pretty quiet (and 190 lbs!). It exhausts out the top. Just ran out of floor space in new, smaller ham shack so sold it. But it's another great one.

    Lots of old Henry amps with dual 3-500Zs are very good, reliable, easy to work with and work on and of course the tubes are still made and not expensive. Well documented with easy to find "parts" if needed. The roller inductors were custom made and a bit unique but rarely fail and can be rebuilt.
    WA7PRC and W0PV like this.
  6. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have three SB-220s. Solid reliable rigs.....and a few spare 3-500s to keep them running for the rest of my days, I presume.
    WA7PRC, N2NH and N2IIE like this.
  7. N2IIE

    N2IIE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My Heathkit SB200 has been rebuilt with most Harbach mods. So, New PS board, Soft Start and Soft Key (to work with modern radios) boards. The Taylor 572B tubes that came with it still put out 600 watts with 70 watts drive and I have a spare pair on hand for the future to get past the post by KK5JY above. I should get another 10 to 15 years out of it easily. More when I replace the discreet capacitors and resistors in the near future.
  8. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Had a couple of Henry amps over the years and would put them at the top of list pure quality all the way. That's not to say there are not others that are worth owning Alpha and Drake two that come to mind.
  9. W5INC

    W5INC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The 30L-1 is a great amp and will still hold it's own against any comparable sized amp of today. Especially if you freshen up the PS section with the new products now available for this amp.
  10. WC5P

    WC5P Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yeppers, I use a 50 year old 30L-1 with my near-state-of-the-art IC-7300. The amp has a modern HVPS, low voltage keying, and a set of 572B’s. Very easy to tune. I run it at about 400 watts output, which is plenty for in the city. This amp will probably outlive me.

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