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Which amplifier do I purchase: Ameritron AL 80B or ALS 600

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by VE3BXB, Jan 31, 2011.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    No need for the ARB-704. The AL-80B is low voltage, low current keying. I cannot think of any rig in the world ever commercially made that can't directly key the AL-80B, including rigs having only solid state key line outputs (no relays).

    The hex alignment tool is a good idea. Available from GC for $1.75 or so.
  2. VE3PP

    VE3PP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    So am I correct in thinking you are going to take the plunge and buy the AL-80B?

    If so that is a good choice and you will be happy with that amp. The only amp I would want other than the AL-80A is a Commander. And that is not going to happen!
  3. KG4JJS

    KG4JJS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Bob!

    I have just purchased the al80b and have been using it for the last week. It is a dream to operate. I was also deciding whether to purchase the al 80b or als 600 and made the decision based on the following info.....
    Eham reviews check out the reviews on both these amps if you haven't already. The al80b seems to win here.
    The al80b comes with a 2 year warranty and if you do any modes that are heavy duty on the amp like AM,RTTY.DIGITAL,FM the duty cycle on the al80b is more robust.
    The al80b is also more forgiving of operator errors than the als600, and you get more bang for the buck.
    As far as tuning it I couldn't believe how easy and quick it is. I have never owned any amp before and was worried about this as you are but trust me once you write down the tuning settings for your ant these settings are very repeatable.
    Don't forget also that when and if the finals in the als600 have to be replaced the cost is much higher because you will have to pay for the fets, shipping and repair costs where as the al80b you buy the tube and put in yourself.
    I can tell you that fit and finish of the al80b is very good both inside and out the amp looks great!

    If you have any questions on tuning the al80b let me know I will be glad to call you on the phone on my dime and help.

    By the way was born in Winnipeg ex Canadian here!!

    Hello to Steve/WB2WIK listen to anything this guy says about amps he knows what he is talking about.

  4. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    A hex aligment tool is handy when your hex is out of alignment. ;)
    The GC Alignment Tool catalog for your perusal.
    Amazon has the 8 piece #18-530 kit for $9.

    Steve's not the only one... he's just "received more RF burns" than most (except maybe Tom/W8JI). :p
  5. DL1OLI

    DL1OLI Guest


    The ASL 600 does 300 W on RTTY, the AL-811H 220 W and the AL-80B 500 W. For me that was the difference because I like RTTY-contesting.
    But I bought a ACOM 1010 because of the superb protection circuits and faster tuning with TRI. The ACOM 1010 and the AL-80B cost about the same over here. The AL-811H is faster operational because the warm-up time is nearly non existent, the ACOM 1010 needs 3 minutes, which can be long ... From the mentioned amps I like the SB-1000 and the HL-80B. 10 m mod is easy (think green).

    73 Oli
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's a good deal on the ACOM (or a bad deal on the AL-80B!). Here the AL-80B is cheaper than an ACOM 1010, which is probably why it's so popular!
  7. KH6AQ

    KH6AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tim, how much power can you get out of the amp on CW? I see it's spec'ed for 800 watts but will it do more?
  8. KG4JJS

    KG4JJS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can get over 1 kw on some of the bands but back it off to under 800 watts don't usually need all that power. It loafs at 800w.
  9. WC4H

    WC4H XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had an ALS-600 for about 6 years then went to an AL-1500 for about 7. I'm back to an ALS-600. I found both to be reliable and trouble free. Now, I'm in an EASE of USE phase, I'm already thinking of getting the ALS-1300 to get 1.2 KW.

    Your main driver should be, how much power do you want to run. That is usually a function what kind of operating you do. If you are mainly trying to bust pileups, then every watt counts. I must say, I can work just about everyting with 600 watts, but it's not the same as the 1500 watts of the AL-1500.

    The idea of the AL-811H posted above, is not a bad one. Good bang for the buck.

    Carl - WC4H
  10. KH6AQ

    KH6AQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I went from an ALS-600 to an ALS-1300 this week. That is very nice amplifier. It delivers 1200 watts on all bands, does QSK nicely, and the extra 3 dB does make a difference for DXing.

    I've owned three solid state amps and four tube amps and would not own another tube amp. They're ok if you like babying tubes, buying new tubes, fixing damage caused by arcing tubes, turning knobs all the time, and having a noisey heater for the shack.
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