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Re: [Amps] Future Amp Buyer Questions

To: "Amps Reflector " <>
Subject: Re: [Amps] Future Amp Buyer Questions
From: "Roger" <>
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 13:18:03 -0400
List-post: <>
>I am seriously considering buying an amp in the very near future.
> My antenna will be a Steppir BigIR & 80 meter coil both of which are 
> currently on order. Wish that I
> could put up a beam but it is impossible in my circumstances (money, 
> trees, XYL, etc). The rig will be
> a Flex-5000, also on order. Currently I have a Bencher YA1 low pass filter 
> inline along with a
> LP-100 digital wattmeter from N8LP.
> BTW I am leaning towards the Ameritron AL-811 or Al-811H mainly based on 
> price and reviews on
> eham.
> One of my reasons for wanting an amp is that the rig I am getting will 
> only put out 45 watts on RTTY.
> Another is wanting that extra power for times when 100 watts on CW or SSB 
> will just not cut it.
> However I don't expect it to be a miracle worker with a vertical.
> Anyways here are my questions.
> Are there any other amps in this price class that you would suggest?

You sound as if you are looking at new amps. Have you considered used? For 
the same price you can find some very nice, legal limit amps.  The old Alpha 
such as the 76A amps have been running around $1,000 give or take a couple 
hundred dollars. Occasionally I see one go higher, but here seems no ryme or 
reason as some like new with good tubes go for less than a $1000 and some 
needing new panels and other work go for over $1500. Although 76A a very 
good amp (160-10) the tubes are quite expensive if they need to be replaced. 
However it treated well they should last many years.
 The Henry desk top amps are typically running around $700 to $1200 and use 
the relatively inexpensive 3-400Z and 3-500Z tubes (depending on age).  If 
you have the room the 2K4 floor consoles have been running under a $1000 
most of the time. They seem to weigh a ton, but it's only 160# <:-))  Then 
there are the old Heatkit amps with the SB220 probably being the most amp 
for the money on the market at present.

I mentioned the Alpha 76A and the Henry 2K4 as I have both, purchased used 
at good prices.

> If the amp is turned off can I transmit through it or is some external 
> switching needed? If it is in
> standby can I transmit through it without utilizing the amp?

Most amps built in the last 20 years have internal switching with many 
allowing full breakin on CW (QSK)
They only need a keying line from the exciter. They'll run without it, but 
it's a good idea to also hook up the ALC line.

> Are there any good instructions on using a AL-811(H)? on the web? The 
> manual from Ameritron is
> kind of minimal.
> Does anyone on the list have any good tuning or usage tips for these amps?

Afer the initial tune up write down the tune and load control positions as 
well as drive for the portions of each band you operate. That way you can 
shorten the tune up time required.

> Is there any advantage to using the AL-811H on 220VAC?

Any amp running near a KW out can benefit from 220.  You are drawing half 
the current from the AC mains and the power transformer primary only runs 
half the current.

> Are there any accessories that I really should get? Are pulsers worth it? 
> Which one would you
> suggest getting?

Generally, IF the amp has a tune position that will be adequate. OTOH a 
pulser will keep the plate dissapation down while tuning.

Good Luck,

Roger (K8RI) 

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