Why I need a HF Amplifier

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N8FVJ, May 16, 2019.

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  1. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Even some "dummy loads" are not a perfect 1:1 match, particularly as frequency increases. There's always some inaccuracy in the sensing element and meter.
    That said, I would NEVER tune up on another operator's frequency, there is always a clear frequency nearby. For those that DO tune up "on frequency," I believe the punishment should be 'drawn and quartered, followed by being keel-hauled." And THEN get nasty.:mad::rolleyes:
  2. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well tuning up "close" is I see it no different than tuning up with a dummy load without a perfect match........ other than one way its QRM, someplace.......and one way it is not. Anyway that's just how I have always done it. Thanks for the comment, 73 Rich
  3. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    yes i use SS - it's a breeze. I switch bands a lot during contests and I also run my station remotely so the auto band switching and tuneless nature of the SS is essential for how I operate. My multiband vertical is resonant where I operate so no need for matching as long as I stay in CW/Digital sub bands.

    I'm just using the cheapy Ameritron ALs-600 and have done so for 2.5 years - it's been great!
  4. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    On 160-meters, 80 / 75-meters, and 40-meters, unless you stay within a relatively narrow frequency range, you are going to get substantially away from a 1:1 SWR and will have to re-tune the amplifier or, if an antenna tuner is involved, the antenna tuner. Even on 20-meters and 15-meters re-tuning will often be necessary if going from the low end to the high end. For 10-meters, if you go from the low end to the high end re-tuning will usually have to happen. For the 60-meter, 30-meter, 17-meter, and 12-meter band, generally no re-tuning will be necessary.

    For those operators that have had their VFO knob rust in place, having to re-tune will be a very rare occasion. If the operator is going to operate only within a narrow frequency range, then there will not, generally, be a need to re-tune. But, for everyone else, re-tuning is just a fact of life and that is going to have to be done on-the-air. A good operator can re-tune easily in 10-seconds or less and often in 5-seconds or less. Frankly, there is no need to get the last milliwatt out of the amplifier which some operators seem to need to accomplish.

    Glen, K9STH

    WD4IGX and W2AI like this.
  5. K6LPM

    K6LPM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not sure how true that is??? With current band conditions 20 meters for the most part and 17 meters to a lessor extent are pretty much the DX bands. 20 is the only band capable of supporting decent reliable QRP . I have worked all across North America on as little as 750mW or .75W or 3/4W or however you want to call it.... But yes, most recently I have been heard on SSB with less than one watt, or as low as you possibly can reduce the power on a stock Icom -7300 and that is excited power output and doesn't account for the losses from over 250 feet of LMR 400 Feedline, Balun, Gamma Match, and Traps. Nor does it account for the directional gain of the Multi Elements of the Tribander Antenna at only 56ft above the lousy and lossy ground at my QTH.
    Full disclosure:
    I wouldn't consider these operations as Award Worthy Official QRP Logged Contacts...
    They are none the less certainly noteworthy and usually end up in the remarks section of my logbooks.
    I pick and choose my QRP battles.
    Whenever I establish a contact with any huge loud station, I am usually equally equipped or better and surely they hear me no less! Running 1.2kW or so into a Seven Element Yagi will get heard! After contact is established, I always drop back down to 500 or so watts automatically and it almost never is noticed unless there is major QSB. If it is a decent ragchew I might ask if I still need the amp on and will tell them I am going to go barefoot and to please inform me if it requires any efforts to continue to receive me. When I put my amp into standby my radio is operating at amplifier drive power of 18 to 25 watts range. This is the make or break point and is kind of an interesting how things go,,,,
    Remember I originally began with a full gallon and after one exchange maybe two at most I already reduced to 500-600W, I then consider the conditions, how loud they are and what they are running and Within a few go arounds I will inform them I am about to go barefoot. Remember I never tell them what power barefoot is at unless they ask. Most assume it's 100W it's kinda 50/50 on how they report. Many times its all good and we continue the ragchew, with me running "barefoot" 20watts. If it seems appropriate, like they still report 59, or it's a very casual kickback contact, I propose an experiment to try some QRP. I then start at 5% power and continue down as low as the icom can go which seems to be a reliable 3/4 of a watt. I have been able to comfortably continue at these remarkable QRP experimental levels, many times with many of the same usual BiG Guns that you might regularly hear on the bands.
    Immediate stations that seem to come to mind would be Bob/K8NY,
    Masa/JE1LET, Rod/WA0HXX, Bill/KH7XS,
    and many others....
    Less than a watt to many big stations ALL ON TWENTY METERS using SSB Phone !
    Twenty is the only way to go for QRP!

    QRP and QRO work together hand in hand at my station!
    I like QRO!
    I am fascinated and amazed by QRP!
    Who can't be amazed by actually working QRP ?
  6. K6LPM

    K6LPM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't knock the cheesy ALS600
    It's a decent no nonsense as
    Don't knock the lil ALS-600
    It is a great economical nofrills plane Jane S/S amp for the masses
  7. K3EY

    K3EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What are you using to see .75o watt.

    Unless it’s a WM2 or high end meter, well...

    The 7300 I had went down to 800MW. My TS590SG can go to zero using Carrier.

    I have had an amazing contacts using simple end fed antennas running .250MW
  8. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    yep, i like it a lot. It's a workhorse - it takes a beating whether it's contest CW, ragchew CW, RTTY, FT8, etc... im trying to justify the purchase of a 'better' amp (palstar, acom) but not sure I can do it. I want more power and would like multiple ANT OUT from the amp but that adds about $1k to the price of an amp over the ALS-1300
  9. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    The KEY to success at QRP is having a GREAT ANTENNA!! if you run 5W into a Hamstick, U will be lucky to work across the street!! But into a 5 element Monobander, the DX will never know you aren't running a KILLERWATT!!!
    K6LPM likes this.
  10. W7CJD

    W7CJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got into the 80-meter Montana Net with an Anttron "hamstick", my first contact in HF with my General Class license.

    I do not have more than 50-watts HF transceiver, even now, years later.

    If I were chasing illusive contest paper, I think 100 watts and 600 watts might be the thing ..only it is not for me.

    Let's go over, again, how many watts is a S-unit.

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