Why I need a HF Amplifier

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

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  1. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    so true. 20/40 were in great condition last night - Russians on 20m CW were real 579/599 last night... Europeans on 40m were loud and abundant...

  2. K6LPM

    K6LPM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes indeed there certainly is, and as an added bonus the bands are much less crowded these days too!
    The bands are neither half empty, nor are they half full. Perhaps they are just alright at any given time, someplace somewhere, there is magnetic radiation being generated, some even intelligently.
  3. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are possible ways, and then there are practical and pragmatic ways.

    Could I, if it meant enough to me, sell my house and move somewhere I could have a tower? Certainly.

    But it doesn't mean that much to me. Radio for me is a hobby and I'm not going to take the financial hit or the hassle of moving right now when I have a house that suits me in every other way and I plan to move again in retirement in about 10 years anyway. I'll continue building equity in the one I have, thank you very much.

    I hear these kinds of arguments on pilot boards too when people say flying is too expensive (it is, but that's not what I haven't flown in a year or so.) One guy's answer was that he sold his house, bought a used RV, and used the rest of the money to buy an airplane while he lives down by the river in a beat up old used RV. Now that's dedication, but it's unreasonable to expect others to have that degree of obsessive insan...er, dedication.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
    W4NNF likes this.
  4. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I believe there is a basic misunderstanding of the original post. I believe it should be: Do I need to USE an amp?

    Certainly, there ARE conditions where an amp may, or demand use of an amp. When not needed is the question. IF a station (or stations both ways) are already 20 dB above the noise level, WHY do they insist on enabling and using an amp? Is a +30 or +40 dB signal really necessary, or merely an ego boost to say "just because I can?"

    P.S. Yes, I HAVE an amp. Through choice and circumstance, I have not yet used it, nor have I seen a need. YMMV.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  5. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The absolute best reason to have an amplifier is... 'Cuz I want one!
    KQ9J likes this.
  6. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I still like tube HF amplifiers. With a low SWR antenna such as Myantennas end feed, I do not need a tuner with three dials to tune. SS HF amps would trip off line with a 2 to 1 SWR. Also, instant on tubes such as 3-500Z or 572B puts amp on line immediately. No ceramic tubes with 2 minute warm up for me.
  7. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    At home I would rather have an amplifier with knobs. In a vehicle, solid state. I know how to adjust the power out of a tube amplifier and don't mind twiddling knobs. Ain't that easy in a car/truck/plane/whatever. Usually, if I'm mobile and think I need an amplifier, it's going to run at whatever normal full output is. Don't need/want that much power? Turn the thing off, simple.
  8. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Exactly. I have an amp sitting right here on the desk. It doesn't get turned on every day, though, or sometimes every week. I mainly use it when conditions dictate I need to use it on SSB phone. When it would, especially, be impossible to carry out a decent ragchew or check into a net without it. I occasionally use it on CW, but only very occasionally. Most often I don't need to to make the contacts I want to make. :)

    But let me also say that I do NOT hesitate to turn it on and tune it up when I receive, "Well Rod, got some of that..."
  9. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    How many times on SSB does one get the 'your signal is just above the band noise, copy about 80%'. I get this every other day. Place the 800 watt PEP amp in line and problem goes away.
    WD4IGX and W4NNF like this.
  10. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Bingo. Oh, 100 watts on phone can be OK even now when condx are at least marginal. But these days if you want to shoot the breeze for half an hour on SSB, you're usually going to need that amp.

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