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[Amps] Which Amp

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Subject: [Amps] Which Amp
From: KevNathan@DSB.WA.GOV (Nathan, Kevin)
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 11:34:14 -0700
Hello All,

In the past, I have gotten some good advice from this list so I hope those
of you on here can do it again.  <GRIN>  I am totally blind so please keep
that in mind during the request that follows some brief information.  I do
have very accurate means of measuring power and for achieving the correct
dip and load on my amp to tune it up so these are not considerations.
However, I do not have a means of reading meters on the amp itself.

Last December, after briefly trying a Kenwood TL-922 which had some
problems, I reviewed a mess of information on the internet and finally
purchased an Ameritron AL-811H.  I felt this would provide me with the power
level I wanted to use and seemed to be the best buy for the money.  Now, 8
months later, I have a serious problem.  The other night, while I was
operating on 20 meters, the amp gave a mighty bang followed by almost a
buzzing sound.  I turned off the power immediately and when I tried to turn
on the main power switch later, I found both fuses were gone as well.  I
pulled the top cover to have my wife check for anything obviously blackened
or burned such as a filter cap in the power supply but there is nothing like
that and no smoked smell.  However, two of the four 811's are rainbow
colored inside.  The technical staff at Ameritron tells me that from the
description, these tubes are shorted and probably took out the grid
resistors for them and the protection diode on the power supply board.  They
are not wanting to cover repairs because they say I have over driven these
tubes and this is not a warranty item.  He kept emphasizing over and over
again that you must monitor the grid current on the 811's very carefully
which, of course, I cannot do.

I have someone locally who will look at the amp and fix any blown
components.  But now I need to make a decision.  If the grid current in
these tubes is such a major thing, I want to sell this amp and find
something that is more bullet proof for me as a blind operator.  So, here is
my question.  What is the most forgiving amplifier out there that would give
me 600 watts to 1Kw output power, not be so critical about grid current and
cover 160 through ten meters?  Price is also a definite factor here since I
will most likely take a beating on this amp when I sell it.  I am
particularly interested in amps running a single 3-500Z or similar but
really need some advice here.

I thank you for your feedback and assistance.  I am not signed up for amps
at home yet so please address your replies with a cc to my home address of  73
Kevin, K7RX

Kevin Nathan, Independent Living Coordinator
Dept. of Services for the Blind 
3411 S. Alaska
Seattle, Wa 98118
Voice:  (206) 721-6450
Cell:  (206) 604-4767
Toll Free:  (800) 552-7103
Fax:  (206) 721-6403

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